There was a room hidden in a town on the coast of Germany, filled with the darkness and silence that had occupied it for decades. It was fairly large and filled with a number of instruments of arcane design, marking the room as a lab of some sort. Suddenly, after all the years of stillness the dust began to stir, and there was a sudden flash and swirl of rainbow colored light. It twisted and bent in strange ways, forming shapes and depths that a normal human would not be able to perceive, and would give them a headache if they tried.
Finally, in a motion that resembled turning 90 degrees to everything else in the universe, a man appeared in the workshop. He looked of a respectively old age, but not too old as many who saw him would be quick to point out. This may have had something to do with the fact that he was also a vampire, but that was neither here nor there. The most important thing at that moment, especially to the man himself, was just how worst for wear he was.
Such as it was, his dress cloths that were about a century or two out of style were torn, his short cape was in tatters and exhaustion was creeping into his immortal bones. The man breathed heavily, not used to having to exert himself as much as he had. That… was unexpected, He thought to himself as he leaned on one of the tables. It had been a long time ago that he had reached the pinnacle of his magecraft, and while his power had waned since then, there were very few things in the world (or others) which could match him. At the very least he could usually tell in advance what was out of his league and avoid it, though this time he had been taken off guard.
Well, far be it from me to know everything about the multiverse, Kischur Zelretch Schweinorg, master of the Second Magic, thought to himself as he straightened himself with a grunt. The day that happens is the day existence gets boring. In any case, I certainly should think I will visit that universe again later. A frown creased his face. Much later. And more discretely.
He finally glanced around a noticed his surroundings, and he gave an annoyed grunt. He had been in such a rush to get away from those people that he hadn't exactly been precise in where he ended up back in his home universe, just somewhere he knew as safe. Given the sheer number of places and dimension Zelretch visited, he had a habit of magically marking areas in order to find them again and remind himself what he was getting into. And granted, this was one of the safe houses he had setup at some point or another, but it had been so long ago that he had actually forgotten about it up until this moment.
Zelretch shook his head and set about using simple spells to clean the place as quickly as possible. While a bit out of use, this lab was as good as any, and besides which he wanted to secure what he had obtained as quickly as possible. Truly it was sheer luck that he happened to be in the right place at the right time to acquire it for himself. He had been wandering the world for a while and taking in their lore, so when some of the local villains that be started causing a ruckus, he decided to see what the fuss was about.
After his work bench was prepared and the containment Bounded Fields were readied, Zelretch carefully opened the dimensional pocket he used to store items and drew out what looked to be a crystal. It was the size of his hand, and glowed with a warm, golden-yellow light. It was more than just its physical form he had forced it into though, far more.
It was glory. It was power. Most importantly, it was potential.
It had been no small effort to wrest just one of these away from those ghastly fellows who were taking them for themselves. Considering what he had heard about his prize, it was no surprise that that there were those willing to break the container to get at them. However, Zelretch was surprised at just how powerful they were though. If he had to guess, those darkly inclined people were using techniques that worked on a conceptual level in addition to the physical one, bending the laws of reality to their will. It was not fundamentally different from magecraft, and there certainly seemed to be rules and limits, but it was a style and level he had never seen before. From what little he gleamed, those dark beings stuck him as… echoes. Dark reflections of the power hidden in that prison of jade, which spoke wonders of the one he had obtained.
However, that power had nonetheless caused him trouble. One of them had managed to disrupt the Kaleidoscope as he was escaping and destabilize it. It was not enough to stop him, but it was probably that he wasn't exactly where he thought he was. Or more actually when. The last time Zelretch ran into a phenomenon that disrupted his travel like that, he had ended up losing 6 months of time somehow. He would have to endeavor to find out just when he was as soon as possible.
Zelretch shook his head and refocused on the crystal in front of him. He had a feeling that the answers he was looking for lay within. He just needed to figure out how it worked and how to properly contain it, and then perhaps he could use it. He pulled several jewels out of his pockets and arranged them around the crystal, and with a quick mutter he cast an analysis spell that should give him an in depth look into its structure and, well, what it was made of. He leaned back as he let the spell do its work, a thoughtful expression on his face. Given how different this thing was from anything he had seen thus far, he doubted that his spell would be completely successful, but he was willing to take his time and at the very least it should give him a lead-
Suddenly he felt the ground shake for an instant before it became still again. Zelretch stood up straight in surprise, but after a moment's pause nothing more came of it. He gave a shrug before focusing back on the crystal. Perhaps I should investigate the spiritual angle as well- There was another sudden jolt which caused him to snap out of his thoughts. Soon after that there was another two, and the more in irregular intervals.
The magus grumbled to himself and walked to where he thought the door was. The room had a number of bounded fields around it, mostly for keeping others away, but also to keep himself isolated for the outside world while he worked. The fact that there was something strong enough to for him to register something though those fields was disconcerting. He had picked this town for a backup lab/safe house especially because it was small, peaceful and boring. Hell, last he checked it wasn't even close to any other villages. What could possibly be going on here that would cause such a-
At that moment Zelretch reached the door and threw it open, and was greeted by the sight of the village in flames. Screams echoed through the air, and he saw why as ghouls ran through the burning streets, hurling themselves at men in women who fled before them.
Zelretch blinked. "Oh bugger."
*One hour Earlier*
Shirou Emiya gave a groan and stretched out his cramped limbs, or at least as much as he could in the cramped back of the old army truck. He was pretty sure that this thing was built in the 40's and hadn't see much use since then, but he unfortunately didn't have enough standing among his 'peers' to ride in something better. Then again, neither did anyone else in the truck with him.
"Woke up just in time." Shirou looked across from him and saw a young man not much older than him, grinning weakly at him. "We're coming up on the target in a few minutes. Gotta get ready." There was a slight tremble to his voice, but the man managed to keep himself under control
Shirou gave him wordless nod, but he couldn't help but feel a small amount of concern for him. The man looked like he didn't really want to be here, but he probably felt he had to be. Given how much Vice Director Barthomeloi hated vampires and approved their destruction, joining in on an attack or raid was a good way to gain some standing in the Clock Tower. And given how the Clock Tower was the central magus organization for all of Europe, that meant there was always a range of people willing to participate, from the established nobles trying to get a political edge to the third rate magi just trying not to be swept into obscurity by their peers.
True enough, a few minutes later Shirou felt the truck slow to a halt, and he and the rest of the men in the back piled out. They found themselves on the side of the road at the top of a hill, looking down a sleepy village a kilometer or two away, and out north past it was the northern coast of Germany. The area was very rural, with a forest stretching eastward and the sun setting behind some plains westward.
I've come a long way from Fuyuki, he thought to himself as he looked at the landscape. The Holy Grail War seemed like a lifetime ago at this point, even though it had only been about 5 years. Then again, moving to the other side of the planet and diving into the world of magi and politics was certainly a massive change from his old life, which said nothing of living two women. Rin and Saber were his girlfriend and his companion respectively, having endured the trials and hardships of the War with him. The few that knew of this arrangement often made comments to the effect that Shirou was trying to build a harem, but he pointedly ignored those. They had absolutely no basis in reality.
Well, until the recent and particular… incident, anyway.
Pushing that thought to the back of his mind, he returned his focus to the now and out of the front cab came an older, heavy set man with iron grey hair and a scar running down the left side of his face. Shirou had never learned his full name, but that was because he always insisted on being called Enforcer Williams. "Alright boys and girls," he said with a light British accent. "As far as we know there have only been a few disappearances from this town, so it probably isn't anything too major. However aside from the fact that our friends in the Church gave us heads up on there being a Dead Apostle in the area, we have next to nothing for intel. We have no idea how well fortified its little hidey-hole could be, so don't get cocky." He turned to look at Shirou. "Warden, keep an eye on the fresh meat."
Shirou nodded before saying "When with the rest get here?"
Williams snorted. "About 30 minutes. Had to get gussied up for killing a vampire, the bloody wankers. I tell you, if I didn't have men like you, my job would be a nightmare."
Shirou gave a small chuckle at that, but still gave a slight frown. The Enforcers were the hunters and marshals of the Mage Association, the parent organization which encompassed the Clock Tower. They were not quite soldiers (the Chelon Canticle Brigade fit that bill more closely, though they were under the direct control of the Vice Director), but they were among the strongest combat oriented magi in the world. Their main job was to hunt down magi who had gone too far with their research, pushing past the already loose morals of normal magi and becoming abominations. Which made their current assignment a little odd. "Sir, I have to ask, why exactly are we doing this? It's not like I'm not willing to, but this seems more like something the Church would handle. Was this a mage that ended up turning himself into a Dead Apostle?" Shirou asked, using the official name used to refer to vampires.
Williams shrugged at this. "I can't say I really know myself. One of the Church's men approached me with this and said it would mean a favor if we could handle it. He was vague on why they couldn't take care of this themselves. A little suspicious if you ask me, but it's not like the Church to screw us like this if something unbecoming actually was going on."
Shirou nodded again. "Alright. What do you want us to do in the mean time?"
"You, the other Wardens and the new guy will do a basic sweep around the town." William said as he pointed to the woods out east. "You and the new guy will take the edge of the forest. I'll be going into town to rustle up any information I can."
The title of Enforcer was not given out lightly, and at any given time there were only about thirty of them. As the world was a bit too large for thirty men and women to hadle all of the dark things that dwelled in it, there was also the Order of Wardens, lower ranking combat magi who were commanded by the Enforcers and trained so that they might become Enforcers themselves someday. Shirou arched an eyebrow at Williams order, as the 'new guy' wasn't actually a Warden. "Are you sure you want him with me?" He asked, both knowing that the forest was a good bet for where the Dead Apostle was hiding.
"You're just going to take a look around the edge." William said before he gave a smirk and lowered his voice. "Besides, it'll be good to know early if he's the type to piss his pants in the dark."
The younger man shook his head in exasperation, but conceded. Though Williams put it in a rather crude way, it was important to know if your teammates could handle the pressure and fear of being in a situation like this before hand.
Williams then started to walk over to the rest of the group. "Alright, here's the plan-"
He never finished his sentence though, as in that instant an inhuman how pierced the air, echoing from the village. The group turned towards the source of the sound, and as he looked Shirou swore he saw something near the tree line. He Reinforced his eyes, using one of the simplest and his most favored uses of magecraft to increase the ability and strength of whatever was reinforced, including his senses. His now increased vision spotted a number of dark, humanlike shapes moving out of the forest and towards the village. "Enforcer Williams-"
"I see it." The older man said, his tone going hard. "Damn, there has to be at least a dozen. How the hell is our intel so bad?" He shook his head and raised his voice. "New plan! Everyone back in the tuck! We're going into town and we're going in hot!"
Shirou only hesitated briefly before he followed the order. Given how the closest road would lead them into the opposite side of town from where there creatures were coming from, he was tempted to Reinforce the rest of his body and just run straight. However, he knew that he probably wouldn't get there much faster than truck, and he would be more tired when he got there. He grit his teeth and hoped that they could get there before those things could do any damage.
It didn't help that he already knew that they wouldn't.
Shirou lashed out with his pair of white and black Chinese sabers and cut down another one of the Ghouls that had leapt at him. He wasn't able to let his guard down though, and a moment later another pair leapt down from the nearby rooftop in an attempt to surprise and pin him. Luckily the man managed to threw himself to the side, and while still sailing through the air he threw his swords with a cross armed throw. Under most circumstances, this was an incredibly stupid move as normal swords were not meant to be thrown and as such were useless if someone actually tried to do so.
However, Shirou Emiya was not in the habit of only using 'normal' swords.
The blades spun in the air and flew true, striking their marks just as the ghouls landed in the space he was occupying a moment prior. There was a loud squelch as the blades cut through most of their torsos, and they crumpled to the ground at the same moment Shirou's momentum carried him into a store front. Shirou grunted as his body came to an abrupt stop against the corner of the glass window, but he managed to hit the frame and slow down enough to keep from being shredded by broken glass.
Shirou gave a grateful look at swords now embedded in the corpses' chests. Kanshou and Bakuya, the Blades of the Blacksmith and his Wife. They were his favored weapons, and were more powerful than anyone might suspect at a glance.
So much so that if people knew just why he could create copies of them so easily and just how deeply it effected his very soul, then he might end up facing some Enforcers himself someday.
He didn't have time to reflect before the glass behind him shattered and an arm reached through and grabbed him. It wasn't as strong as Shriou thought it would be, so his attempt to throw it off of him resulted in the offender being thrown into the street. The rest of the glass window behind him broke as the body of a woman flew forward and tumbled into the street. He skin was cut in several places from the glass, but she didn't seem to care as she clumsily got back on her feet to face Shirou. He saw the faint red glow lighting the back of her eyes, and the snarl that formed on her lips baring slightly too sharp teeth.
Shirou had to suppress a grimace at the sight. The woman had already been turned into one of the Dead, a thrall of the Dead Apostle that was little more than a mindless corpse. Ghouls required time to properly transform and were stronger because of it, but the Dead could be created in a matter of minutes after death. The fact that some of the populous had already been turned was upsetting, but there was nothing he could do to help them. Well, there was one thing. With a wordless push of will and prana, Shirou Traced a longsword, using his specialized branch of magecraft to create a construct out of magical energy. The simple blade appeared in the air hovering over his shoulder, and after a second's paused it shot forward.
The woman crumpled as the blade passed through her neck, neatly severing her head from her body. Shirou let out a breath before he checked himself for wounds, but it seemed that his armor had done its job. It wasn't traditional armor, rather several plates of black Kevlar on his limbs and a Kevlar vest to protect his torso. He had not expected the Enforcers he had worked with to pitch in and buy him the set, but he definitely appreciated the protection and mobility it provided. He looked back up and saw smoke rising from distant fires, along with the screams and roars of the helpless and their hunters. Williams had told Shirou not to break off from the main group, but the younger man had to take care of more than their small group could handle.
Twin feelings of disgust and anger welled up inside of Shirou at the sight, and he wasted no more time before he moved on. The town burned, but the threat still remained. Shirou had to save as many as he could, and the slowly burning rage in his chest insured that he would find the thing responsible.
It was only five minutes later that Shirou found the thing responsible. And he was starting to wish he hadn't.
Shirou grunted in pain as he flew into a lamppost with such force that it bent on impact. His reinforced body and his amour prevented his spine from shattering, but the pain kept him from landing on his feet as he hit the pavement. The blur in his vision managed to clear in time for him to see it walking slowly towards him in slow deliberate steps.
It was unequivocally an abomination by anyone's definition of the word. It towered at 4 meters in height and was mostly humanoid in shape. Which was appropriate because it was made out of human beings. It looked at least a dozen bodies had been twisted together, molded into this disgusting parody of human form to take the shape of the giant walking towards him. Shirou could make out the individual limbs and bodies in the mast, but the worst part was undoubtedly the faces. They stared out in wide eyed horror at the world, and their mouths constantly opened and closed. Shirou hoped for their sake that the people who comprise it were not aware of their existence.
The monstrosity had no real head sitting on its hulking shoulder, instead having another face in its upper chest. It was this face that was looking at Shirou, its eyes glinting with malice and a sadistic smile on its face. "Ah, it's been some time since I have been able to add a magus to my regalia," it said, its other mouths moving in time with the first. "I think it's time tried expanding again."
"You… monster." Shirou all but spat out as he got to his feet. "I swear, I won't let you hurt anyone else."
The Dead Apostle took on a look of mild surprise before it gave a chuckle. "Really? I can't remember the last time one of you was the sentimental type. In that case, I'll be sure to keep you alive long enough to watch the rest of the meat in this hole burn."
Shirou's growl gave way to a scream as he charged forward, dozens of swords appearing behind him, intending to shoot them forward to rip the abomination to pieces. However, the mouths along the things body opened and let loose a horrible, dissonant scream which clawed its way into Shirou's skull. It didn't stop him, but it did cause him to stumble and several of the swords clattered to the ground while the rest propelled forward feebly. The creature did not seem to care about the few that sunk into its flesh as it charged forward to meet him. Shirou lashed out with the sabers in his hands, but again the Dead Apostle just shrugged off the wounds before connecting with a viscous back hand, sending Shirou flying one more time.
Shirou briefly saw a pair of large wooden doors before he plowed through them, and he cashed through a number of other objects until he came to a painful stop. He gave a groan as he put his arm over the closest piece of debris in an attempt to haul himself to his feet, and it was then he noticed he was among the shattered remains of several pews. A quick glance at his surroundings confirmed that he was in a church.
This is not good, he thought to himself as he went over his options. That thing's screams had some sort of disruptive quality to it, a mental attack which broke the listener's focus and instilled raw animal fear in its place. It was not absolute as Shirou was still able to fight, but it wrecked all hell with his ability to use magecraft. He was lucky that he didn't need to constantly cast spells to remain effective in combat; a normal mage who was focused on such things would have been killed by now.
However, Shirou was quickly reminded how his advantage was still not doing him much good as the Dead Apostle ripped the doors out of its way and strode into the church, it's wounds already sealing themselves shut. A Vampire's regeneration was always a problem, but this one was just healing faster than he could hurt it. Still, Shirou grit his teeth as he struggled to his feet. It didn't matter. He was battered and probably had a few fractured ribs, but he was far from done. Since his usual approach didn't work, he would just have to start using some of the more powerful weapons in his arsenal. The number of unique blades Shirou could Trace with his magecraft was far, far greater than anyone knew, and many were incredibly dangerous. He didn't use them often, partly because of how much prana they cost to make, but mostly because he couldn't afford to have anyone see and ask awkward questions. But now that the two were alone-
The sound of a whimper reached Shirou ears and his head turned. Panic set in when he saw a small, blonde girl huddled behind a pillar on the other side of the room, staring at himself and the monster with wide, tear stained eyes.
The monster noticed as well. "Too bad. Looks like you won't be able to keep your promise." The abomination leapt at her and her scream filled the air.
It was too close. There was no time to think.
Zelretch scowled as he looked out at the burning buildings around him. He was annoyed that his safe haven wasn't so safe anymore, but this was hardly the first time such a thing had happened to him. He was frequently not even in his home universe, and he had made so many plans and arrangements over his long lifetime that it was a wonder he could remember it all. Still, this was not what he would call an optimal work environment.
One of the ghouls that had been rampaging in the streets turned its attention to and charged. It didn't make it within 10 feet of the man before he gave a quirk of his eyebrow and a point of his finger and its head exploded. Zelretch gave a sigh of annoyance and made to turn to get back to his project. However, a glint caught his eye, and his gaze was inevitably drawn down to the slightly tarnished wedding ring on the ghoul's hand.
The Wizard Marshal's expression was mild, but it was a cross of depression and shame. To put it simply, the centuries of life had made the man somewhat inhuman over the years in his mind set, and he knew it. It was only rare moments like this one that he could truly reflect on it. Zelretch had lost so many friends, seen so much death, and seen how little a person's life could mean anything in the grand scheme of things that he had become somewhat numb emotionally. It was getting so hard just to care about people these days.
In the end, he gave a depressed sigh. He figured that at this point so much damage had already been done that it wouldn't matter much if he took a few minute to make sure his prize was secure before he annihilated whatever was responsible for this. He turned back and waked back into his lab, intending to cast a few more protective spells on the item before he stored it in a dimensional pocket.
However, he stopped when he caught sight of the crystal again.
The intensity of its glow was increasing.
Shirou's sabers slipped from his grasp and clattered on to the floor, and blood passed his lips. His legs no longer felt strong enough to hold himself up, but he did not collapse do to the arm that was currently impaled through his stomach. He had been so focused on getting to the girl that the abomination took advantage of his distraction to attack the man directly. And now Shirou was in so much pain that he could hardly see the monster's leering face looking at his own.
"Ha! I am surprise you've managed to live as long as you have considering how suicidally stupid that was." It turned its attention back to the girl, who was now pressed against the wall away from them. "Well, you should be able to live for a little longer. Let's watch her die together, shall we?"
Shirou twitched and felt despair run through him as he saw the creature's arm reach out towards the crying girl. In the back of his mind he had always figured that he would die in a way like this, in battle for the defense of others. It had always been Rin and Saber's greatest fear, and why they never truly approved of his decision to try to join the Enforcers. Shirou hated the thought of leaving them, but he was willing to take that risk for the sake of others. But this…
In spite of the darkness creeping into his vision, Shirou grit his teeth and grabbed onto the limb that held him fast with all of his fading strength. He couldn't end it like this. He wouldn't end it like this. He was going to kill this monster. He was going to see Rin and Saber again. He was going to save everyone.
He was going to-
Before Zelretch could reach it, the crystal gave a blinding flash or yellow-gold light and vanished.
Light. It was everywhere, everything suffused with a gold-yellow radiance. Shirou wasn't sure if he was standing or floating, but he felt the warmth of the place suffuse into his very being, making his pain distant and forgettable. Am I dead? Shirou wondered to himself.
Then, the light before his coalesced. It drew into itself, folding and molding into a shape before him. With each passing second it grew more defined and brighter, until its radiance outshine the world around it. Shirou tried to cover his eyes when it grew impossible to look at, but as soon as it started there was a flash and it was over, leaving him to upon the glory before him.
It looked to be a giant of a man, his body perfectly conforming to the archetypical heroic build, save for the fact that he had four arms. He wore armor that reminded him of a vaguely of a roman soldier, and in his hands he held a spear, a shield a wreath, and a horn. However impressive his physical appearance might have been though, it was dwarfed by his sheer presence. It was like the sun itself had had taken shape and now stood before him, and Shirou could not tell if the radiance the being emitted was real or something his own mind imagined. Shirou had no doubt that this being was no less than a Divine Spirit, but what one was doing here he couldn't guess. Divine Spirits had ceased to walk the earth since the Age of the Gods. The being was completely still and silent for several long moments before he spoke.
Shirou blinked. He didn't know if the Divine Spirit was referring to him or the situation itself, and either way he had no idea how to respond to that. Point of fact, he didn't know how to respond to this situation at all. Just was what happening? "Uh…What's going on? Who are you?"
The being took on an expression of mild amusement. "You do not know who I am? How novel. I suppose this truly is not Creation." He then looked into the distance at something Shirou could not see. "The rest of the stolen have been corrupted. Only this remains and my grasp on it remains tenuous at best. My sight is narrowed here and you are the first I have found which may be worthy." He turned his gaze back to Shirou, giving a look that pieced into his soul. "So I must ask, what are you Shirou Emiya?"
The tone left no option to refuse, no way to lie. He still did not know what was going on, but Shirou answered as simply and truthfully as he could. "A sword."
The Divine Spirit was not surprised by this response, instead nodding. "Indeed. I have never seen a mortal soul like yours, twisted but still on the cusp of humanity." The being's mouth twisted into a scowl. "You have great potential, but your very nature could lead you to ruin."
In spite of himself, Shirou gave a small snort. "Yeah, I've heard that one before." His thoughts inevitably drifted to Archer, the man he could have so easily become.
The being before him had a brief look of confusion on his face, but before Shirou could repeat his question of what was going on, the Divine Spirit recomposed himself. "Nevertheless, your very nature is that of a weapon. Why are you fighting to protect these people so?"
It was Shirou's turn to look confused. "What kind of question is that? I'm saving them because it's the right thing to do."
"Ah, the salvation of others. An endless goal." The other said, a hint of sadness crossing his face before it hardened again. "So, will you endlessly pursue it? Till your body rusts and your will cracks?"
Shirou gave an exasperated sigh, losing his patience with the cryptic creature. "Agh, I've already gone through this!" he growled, causing the being to raise his eyebrows. "Look, I said I've heard all this before an I meant it. I know that there will always be more to save. And I know that I can't save everyone. And I know, I KNOW that I can easily ruin myself and hurt the ones who care about me if I follow this path."
The magus took a step forward. "And you know what? It's still worth it. Because people's lives are worth it. Even if I can only save one, that's one more life that can enjoy the world and make it a better place. That's one more life that can love, be loved and do great things. So no, I don't intend to let it destroy me, but if it does, well, at least I'll try to make that sacrifice worth something." Shirou's face settled into a glare. "So, are you going to get to the point of all this or not? Because if I'm not dead I have a little girl to save."
The Divine Spirit was silent for a long moment, clearly caught off guard by what Shirou had said. Then, suddenly, he began to laugh. It was a deep and resonate laugh, reminiscent of rolling thunder. A smile affected the giant's face as it ended. "Very well." With a sudden blur the arm holding the spear moved, and it tip stopped just touching Shirou's chest. "I, Sol Invictus, the Unconquered Sun, deem you to be worthy."
The light which had surrounded them began to surge through the spear and into Shirou, and his back arched in shock as he felt POWER. The light and fire of a living sun coursed into his body. The sensation burned away his perception of that ethereal world, but Sol Invictus's words remained
You are a weapon, but that is no better than a tool. You will become more.
As that power went deeper, Shirou realized in wasn't going into his body. It was pouring into his soul.
You would sacrifice yourself for the sake of others. You would stand alone against the darkness to protect the weak. You would suffer to let others have a chance at happiness.
Someday, your fight will end.
The distant pain from his injures faded to nothing.
But that is not this day.
The real world creeped back into his perception. He could feel the monster's arm inside of him, and see the vague outline of its body as it reached for the child.
You shall be the salvation of the helpless. You shall bring light to where the darkness hides. You shall be the sword which will strike down the corrupt, the hateful, and the wicked.
Shirou Emiya, you shall be a Champion of Justice.
His vision became clearer, his body stronger, and a low growl came from his throat. The abomination noticed something was amiss and paused, looking back at Shirou in confusion.
Though your path will be difficult, it matters not.
For you are Exalted.
The power flowing into his soul coalesced, and there was a single moment of pure, perfect completion.
Reality came crashing back in full, and Shirou burned. Power, unlike magic but similar raged in ihis body. Pain laced through him as his natural prana encountered this foreign source, but it didn't matter. Pain meant nothing. Shirou's hands snapped out and with a force of will Kanshou and Bakuya flew into his hands, and the moment they did they were wreathed in a golden glow.
With a yell of fury his arms swept upwards, and with a brilliant flash of light the arm that impaled him was severed from the monster's body.
The Dead Apostle let out a scream of pain, fury and confusion. "What?! What is this?!" it yelled, looking at the stump where the elbow used to be. It bleed profusely, refusing to heal like all of the wounds before it.
Shirou did not answer, instead merely prying the arm that was inside of him out of his torso. It hit the ground with a wet thud before it was shortly consumed by gold-yellow flames. He could feel the now open hole in his chest begin to mend itself, but he paid it no mind. All of his focus was on the thing that needed to die. Shirou charged forward.
In a panic the abomination let out its dissonant scream, but this time Shirou did not waver. His magecraft trembled slightly, but he had something far greater than that at his command now. This power, this Light, infused his body, pushing it forward and driving his blades into its torso. It screamed again and lashed of at him, moving at inhuman speeds fueled even more by fear. However, for all its swiftness it could not hit him. Shirou let the arm and legs come within centimeters of striking him, but none touched him just the same. Each strike the thing made merely let him get further into its guard, and with speed and precision he had never known before, Shirou cut into the creature's flesh more and more.
Soon the abomination was bleeding all over its body and it realized just how badly it was losing. It suddenly leapt away from the man, vaulting through the large stained glass window that framed the front of the church in an attempt to just get away. Without hesitation Shirou bolted out the doors after it, and spent a moment looking around for his prey. He spotted it attached to the outer wall of the church, its instincts to run overwriting all else as it climbed up to the top of the bell tower. Shirou gave chase, not bothering to jump or climb, but simply placing his foot on the wall of the Church and running straight up at his target.
The two met just as the Dead Apostle reached the top of the tower, and Shirou smashed into it, forcing the two into the open belfry. The creature once again tried to attack, lashing out with its legs from its position on the ground. Shirou had already regained his balance however, and decide to keep it from running again. Two more cuts and two more flashes of light and the legs were removed. It jerked its body and grabbed at the hanging bell in an attempt to right itself, but Shirou jumped atop its torso, driving his blades through its sternum and shoulder. The sheer width of the thing resulted in its flesh being crushed and compacted as the sabers pieced down before lodging themselves in the wooden floor.
It screamed and howled in fear and rage, but it could do nothing to free itself. Its body would not heal, its strength faded, and it could not understand what was happening. Shirou rose and stepped down from the body, leaving his blades where they were. Something else was needed to end this, something more. His mind briefly searched for the best weapon for the situation and quickly found it. Holding his arm out to the side, he Traced a beautiful longsword with a black and gold hilt. It was Durandal, the Holy Sword of Charlemagne. He brought the blade above his head in a two handed grip and gathered all of his power, his magecraft, his Light to bear.
"Wha- what are you?!" The Dead Apostle's last words had only a moment to be heard before the blade came crashing down.
The top of the bell tower exploded. Debris flew aside to make way for the pillar of liquid golden light that took its place, blazing with such radiance that it could be seen for miles. In the middle of this light Shirou stood, his sword now lowered amide the burring corpse of his enemy. He paused briefly, considering his situation. He did not know what exactly had happened to him or why, but he knew what was important, what he had to do. Just like how he somehow knew that there was a gold sunburst etched onto his brow.
He turned a stepped to the edge, and the Exalted gave his first words. "To all that would seek to harm the innocent, to all that would prey on the helpless, to all that would bring the darkness of night to the world, FEAR ME, FOR I AM THE DAWN!"
A/N: I know bunch of you were waiting for this one so here it is, Shirou the Solar Exalted. For those of you who don't know, I've been wanting to use this concept for some time now, and even though I have a fic where I kinda did this (A New Dawn), I didn't really want to keep going with it as Sekirei didn't really add anything to the story, though I will probably be using several parts of that fic wholesale here. This is going to be a straight FSN/Exalted cross.
This chapter feels a little… sloppy to me, probably because I tried to finish it before I went on vacation. However, it got all the really important points down, so maybe I'll just touch it up a little later when I have the time.
Till next time.