View Poll Results: Which Saber would be best for Shirou?

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47. You may not vote on this poll
  • Arturia (Original waifu--ACCEPT NO SUBSTITUTES)

    13 27.66%
  • Nero (She's basically the love-child of Iskandar and Saber)

    13 27.66%
  • Mordred (Because daddy issues)

    18 38.30%
  • Attila (Just to be completly hipster)

    3 6.38%
  • Siegfried (Screw the women, this boy needs a MANLY MAN)

    13 27.66%
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Thread: The Son of the Great

  1. #841
    ジュカイン Lycodrake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agailius View Post
    You mean the incarnation where she lives into her girly side?
    No. That's fanon. Please don't assume.
    F/GO Saber Lily is basically idealistic, somewhat naive Arturia.
    Quote Originally Posted by Seika View Post
    Yes, excellent. Go, Lyco, my proxy.
    F/GO SUPPORT

  2. #842
    Fail Event Horizon Agailius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lycodrake View Post
    No. That's fanon. Please don't assume.
    F/GO Saber Lily is basically idealistic, somewhat naive Arturia.
    Ahh, interesting. But, yesh, she'd be first on the waifu menu if I added her to the pole. The fact she's more idealistic only adds to the desire to see her shipped with FreshPrince!Shirou.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arch-Magos Winter View Post
    When Agailius thinks your idea is really really stupid, you know you've screwed up.

  3. #843
    *double takes at the poll listings*
    Whelp, it's official. Agailius himself voted for Mordred.

  4. #844
    Citizen of the World TheInfamousMan's Avatar
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    Daddy issues are best issues.

    Mordred: How dare you!? That armor was a gift from my father!!

    Shirou: I-I'm so sorry! I'm sure that he was a great man an-!

    Mordred: I hated my father!

    Shirou: Um... then I guess he was a jer-?

    Mordred: Don't talk bad about my father!!!
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  5. #845
    Fail Event Horizon Agailius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kishou the Badger View Post
    *double takes at the poll listings*
    Whelp, it's official. Agailius himself voted for Mordred.
    Don't worry, Saber will still be there!
    Quote Originally Posted by TheInfamousMan View Post
    Daddy issues are best issues.
    Amen, brah. Why do you think the Horus Heresy is so gorram popular?

    Mordred: How dare you!? That armor was a gift from my father!!

    Shirou: I-I'm so sorry! I'm sure that he was a great man an-!

    Mordred: I hated my father!

    Shirou: Um... then I guess he was a jer-?

    Mordred: Don't talk bad about my father!!!
    I like to try and be a little more obscure.

    Shirou: Dad! Guess what! I learned my sixth language today!

    Iskandar: Good work, son! You made your father proud! Now you just gotta learn all these hundreds of other dialects!

    Shirou: Aww...

    Mordred: FAAAAAATHEEEEER! I learned my seventh language today!

    Saber: GET OUT. Also, Shirou, where's my dinner?

    Shirou: *ties on the frilly apron* Coming...

    OR, going Gundam style...

    Rin: You hit me!

    Waver: And what's wrong with me hitting you? Maybe giving you something to complain about will make you feel better.

    Rin: Do you... really think I'm that petty?!

    *Waver slap*

    Rin: That's twice! Not even my own father hit me before!

    Waver: Then he was too soft as well as an idiot. You can't get through life without taking hits.

    Also, HOLY CRAP, TIM! I didn't think you'd come to read this old thing! You know, noblebright and all... Did you somehow know I was rewriting this thing?
    Last edited by Agailius; September 22nd, 2015 at 10:10 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arch-Magos Winter View Post
    When Agailius thinks your idea is really really stupid, you know you've screwed up.

  6. #846
    Citizen of the World TheInfamousMan's Avatar
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    Well its more like I'm giving it a look over. Doing an okay job so far though! Hope to see more!

    And dont call me noblebright man. I hate titles like that and I'm not that good of an author.
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  7. #847
    Fail Event Horizon Agailius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheInfamousMan View Post
    Well its more like I'm giving it a look over. Doing an okay job so far though! Hope to see more!

    And dont call me noblebright man. I hate titles like that and I'm not that good of an author.
    Well, I hope my rewritten addition becomes more than just 'okay'. When I look back at what I wrote a few years ago, it's kinda... basic. Hopefully making it a little more gritty yet hopeful at the same time makes it more interesting. And that involves COPIOUS amounts of daddy issues all around. Say, mind if I PM some ideas I had for the rewrite?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arch-Magos Winter View Post
    When Agailius thinks your idea is really really stupid, you know you've screwed up.

  8. #848
    Citizen of the World TheInfamousMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agailius View Post
    Well, I hope my rewritten addition becomes more than just 'okay'. When I look back at what I wrote a few years ago, it's kinda... basic. Hopefully making it a little more gritty yet hopeful at the same time makes it more interesting. And that involves COPIOUS amounts of daddy issues all around. Say, mind if I PM some ideas I had for the rewrite?
    Sorry have my plate pretty full right now.
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  9. #849
    Fail Event Horizon Agailius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheInfamousMan View Post
    Sorry have my plate pretty full right now.
    Ah, no worries. Ya got stories of your own to worry about. Hope we get to see more Lupin and Kirei antics soon! Speaking of stories, Imma work on the next chapter. Hope you come to read it when it comes up!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arch-Magos Winter View Post
    When Agailius thinks your idea is really really stupid, you know you've screwed up.

  10. #850
    死徒 Dead Apostle
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    Yeah, they could bond over their dads being unreachable. And have a hetero bromance. Seriously, her confidence and his conciounce could make good material


    Also think about all the possibilities, How much Shirou is gonna suffer trying to explain to Mordred why his dad want to fuck her dad. Even better how they are going to react if Iskanadar actually it success in his mission, shirou is going to act like "well I always wanted a Sister Or Brother, now I have both"

    Also Looks this is pure gold.
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CJPtpOoWgAIVENx.jpg

  11. #851
    I wonder what Iskanders reaction to Assassin will be.

  12. #852
    A mecha-loving Shotacon who plays children's card games naschyamamoto's Avatar
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    Just finished this whole fic in a day, and like it a lot! Actually found it on FFN, but to my disappointment it hadn't been updated in a LOOOONG time. But by the luck of the gods, I've caught up to it here!
    Quote Originally Posted by Base View Post
    I wonder what Iskanders reaction to Assassin will be.
    Yeah, that should be pretty fun. Good ol' Sasaki's a pretty good candidate for Rider's kingdom, methinks, but with Caster keeping her quicktounged servant on a tight leash that'd be pretty hard. Oh well.
    Actually, are the Caster and Assassin of this war the same as the ones from the first two routes? We haven't actually gotten any definite proof for either of them.


    Quote Originally Posted by Elf View Post
    There was contributing. And suggestions and . . . okay a bunch of people demanding me to write this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aiden View Post
    Well yeah, that last one always happens.

  13. #853
    Fail Event Horizon Agailius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by naschyamamoto View Post
    Just finished this whole fic in a day, and like it a lot! Actually found it on FFN, but to my disappointment it hadn't been updated in a LOOOONG time. But by the luck of the gods, I've caught up to it here!

    Yeah, that should be pretty fun. Good ol' Sasaki's a pretty good candidate for Rider's kingdom, methinks, but with Caster keeping her quicktounged servant on a tight leash that'd be pretty hard. Oh well.
    Actually, are the Caster and Assassin of this war the same as the ones from the first two routes? We haven't actually gotten any definite proof for either of them.
    I do apologize for the lack of updates. A LOT of crap's happened over the past year, and between RL and working on Spartan in Westeros, it's... difficult to say the least. Just know I haven't abandoned this fic. It's just... really hard right now.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arch-Magos Winter View Post
    When Agailius thinks your idea is really really stupid, you know you've screwed up.

  14. #854
    i've been reading this the last few days and...well i've noticed some discrepancies in the story. Was the Chapter Zero chapters added before or after you wrote the rest of the series?
    For those writers looking for new story ideas visit my account: https://www.fanfiction.net/u/6347453/FateOnline. There are dozens of challenges there waiting to be picked up.

  15. #855
    Fail Event Horizon Agailius's Avatar
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    After. Chapter Zero is the prequel.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arch-Magos Winter View Post
    When Agailius thinks your idea is really really stupid, you know you've screwed up.

  16. #856
    Quote Originally Posted by Agailius View Post
    After. Chapter Zero is the prequel.
    That explains it. Thanks.
    For those writers looking for new story ideas visit my account: https://www.fanfiction.net/u/6347453/FateOnline. There are dozens of challenges there waiting to be picked up.

  17. #857
    Fail Event Horizon Agailius's Avatar
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    A/N: ...Five years. Almost five goddamn years since I last updated this thing. There really is no excuse that I can offer which can adequately get across how extremely sorry I am that it took so long to get this out. Well, if anyone's still keeping any eye on this thread, here's the one I've been stuck on for five years.

    ------

    The thunderous crash of the holy sword’s strike sent a shock wave of rubble throughout the auditorium, instantly turning the once formal and vast chamber into a blasted ruin, reducing almost everything to dust and clumps of drywall, splintered wood, shredded metal, and tattered fabric. In the same instant that Saber’s attack destroyed the Grail, as everything else exploded violently around them and as light consumed them both, Waver could feel the gale winds which had surrounded Rider, the same winds which had preceded his deployment of his greatest Noble Phantasm, suddenly died down. When the blinding light faded, and the dust of rubble no longer blew in Waver’s face, he looked in shock at the sheer devastation Excalibur had wrought.


    The Grail was gone, along with much of any semblance of what the room may have once been. Somehow, Archer was still alive, the golden Servant struggling to free himself from the wreckage surrounding him. Emiya was also still alive, Saber’s attack apparently so precise it hadn’t proceeded past its intended target. Rider had shielded Waver from the backlash of the attack, which had probably saved him from being crushed or ripped to pieces by the torn masonry, wood, and metal flying everywhere.

    “Rider?” Waver asked numbly, looking up to his Servant. “Are you… alright?”

    “As far is being hurt goes, I’m fine,” Rider sighed, before turning his gaze back to where the Grail had been. “But nevertheless, it seems this is where our campaign must end.”

    “Huh?” Waver blinked, before comprehension widened his eyes. The Grail itself was what anchored the Servants to the world. If it were destroyed-- “What? No! Don’t you dare say something stupid like that! You can’t die now--I won’t allow it! Haven’t you forgotten my Command Seals?!” Despite his own words, Waver’s tone became more shrill and desperate with each syllable coming from his mouth.

    “Lad,” Iskandar said with a peaceful, almost resigned tone, “Remember what I said at the banquet. Even if magical energy supplies us with physical forms, we are still ultimately Servants. It is true, the commands you gave me will help me to maintain my form for a while longer, but, sadly, without the Holy Grail to anchor me here, there is little we can do to keep me sustained indefinitely here.”

    “Then let me form a new contract with you!” Waver pleaded with him.

    Rider merely shook his head. “I’m sad to say you likely don’t have the capacity to do that. You know better than I you simply have not the means to supply me with mana by yourself.”

    “But you can’t just go away like this!” Waver felt something hot and painful in his eyes, but paid it no mind. “Not like this! You said you wanted a body of your own! So you could conquer the world! Are you really gonna just go back on your word like that?!”

    For a few moments, Rider’s response was nothing but silence, an unreadable look on his face. “...Come to think of it, there’s something I must ask of you.”

    “Huh?”

    Rider looked at him solemnly, his voice deep and kingly. “Waver Velvet… would you like to serve as my retainer?”

    “Your...” Waver’s eyes widened, and he choked a sob attempting to escape his mouth back, even as something stinging and burning ran down his cheeks. But as he prepared to answer, as he peered up at the figure before him… he saw behind Rider and gasped in abject shock as his gaze went to the night sky above.

    Rider seemed to pick up on this, he himself turning to look where Waver’s eyes fell. “--?! What in the black pit of Tartarus...?!”

    [BGM: Fate/Zero Anime OST - The World is Tumbling Down]

    The ceiling overhead had been utterly torn away, but the sky it gave way to was not the starry night Waver remembered it was when they first arrived. In its place was a thick, swirling cloud of pitch black vapor, spiraling around what appeared to be a massive, gaping hole as dark as the void of space, yet somehow emitting an eerie red glow. It was like something had literally punched a hole in the fabric of space, and the mere sight of it filled Waver with dread.

    “What the hell is that?!” Waver shrieked.

    “How the hell should I know?” Rider retorted, understandably apprehensive. “Whatever it is, I don’t intend stay and find out! Come on!” Rider then unceremoniously plucked both Waver and the unconscious Master of Berserker before slinging them over his shoulder, clutching the sword he’d taken from Archer in his free hand. Theodore had shot back into Waver’s shirt at the first sight of the black hole--and with good reason. Because without warning, a flood of crimson-black mud cascaded down from it’s maw, which enveloped Archer in a torrent of blood-like tar.

    OH, FU--!” Waver wailed, only to be cut off as Rider's shoulder pounded into his gut, the boy watching back in terror as the downpour of dark mud rushed forward and flood the entire room, the substance causing all in it’s path to instantly go up in flames. Rider was moving inhumanly fast with each bound he made as he dashed away from the chamber and through the winding hallways, his capabilities as a Servant allowing him the superhuman speed he thundered at presently. But even his speed seemed to only seemed to be enough to slow the mud's approach, it's flow slowly getting closer and closer to them no matter how faster Rider surged forward.

    “Damn it! At this rate, we’ll be caught in it for sure!” Rider grunted. “Bucephalus, come forth!” Not a moment later, a far more familiar and comforting phantasmal rip in time and space appeared beside them, and sure enough, out emerged Bucephalus, the black charger neighing as it faithfully answered Rider’s call. His old partner beside him, Iskandar prepared to leap onto his oldest friend. But as he did, he could feel a searing heat at the back of his neck, and heard the torrent behind them suddenly surge with some new unholy force. Glancing out of the corner of his eye, he saw that the black mud had suddenly picked up speed, and was gaining fast on them. In that split second of time, Rider knew that if he tried to get them onto Bucephalus, they'd all be swallowed by the mud before they could make their escape. His steed could outrun the mud itself, but for Rider to get on and speed himself forward, he’d have to...

    Without a single word, without any hesitation, Rider practically threw the two on his shoulder over the saddle, before slapping at Bucephalus’ flank. “Go!” He barked, to which his mount brayed loudly, its powerful legs surging forward with a mad abandon, half out of reaction to Rider’s command, but likely also out of a primal instinct to run from the mud, Iskandar imagined.

    “Rider!!” Waver gasped, absolutely horrified as he watched the distance between himself and his friend increase… and that of the mud from his friend all but close. Yet there was no fear in Rider’s eyes--only a stern look in his eyes. At the very last moment, just as a wave of mud crested atop him, poised to crash down and submerge him… Rider gave a calm order.

    “Your battlefield lies elsewhere, lad. My duty as king will not allow you to die here. Remember this moment, and tell of it to those you will come to know.” Then, Rider gave one last, small, satisfied smile. “Live, Waver.”

    And then the wave of black mud crashed down upon the King of Conquerors, consuming him in an instant.

    For a moment, all Waver could do was look dumbly in shock as the mud continued forward. Bucephalus surged out the exit, somehow still manifested despite the absence of its master.

    But there was no joy in his survival filling Waver’s heart. No satisfaction he had seen the Grail War to it’s besodden end. Not even the fact that he’d come so far, despite all the weakness and inferiority he had compared to the other Masters.

    There was only an abysmal emptiness in his heart. And the belated horror of what had just transpired--Iskandar, the man who had called him friend and equal… Was gone. In one horrible, cruel moment, he was gone.

    The cry that filled the air as Waver watched in helpless despair towards the quickly burning building was as heart-wrenching as the tears streaming down Waver’s face.

    RIIIIIIIIIDEEEEEEER!!!!!

    ---

    [BGM: Fate/Zero Anime OST - All The Evils of This World]

    All around him, Rider felt naught but an endless sea of curses.

    Aparthied. Arson. Assault. Battery. Bribery. Burglary. Child Abandonment and abuse. Domestic violence. Embezzlement. Enslavement. Extermination. Extorsion. Fraud.

    The moment the black mud engulfed him, his senses were overwhelmed; the oppressive tide of malice crushing his body. Agony unlike anything he’d ever felt rushed over him. Armor, clothes, and skin burned like paper amidst roaring flame. Flesh melted like running tallow as blood boiled away until not even vapor was left, until even his bones crumbled away, scattered and swept away into the void of sheer spite which rushed around him like dust in a roaring current.

    Nothing physical was left of Iskandar--only the formless core of his being persisted, somehow able to keep himself from being completely consumed by the black-red tar which rushed all around him.

    Genocide. Hate crimes. Homicide.Kidnapping. Lying. Manslaughter. Murder. Rape. Robbery. Sexual Assault. Stalking. Theft. Torture. Treason. Vandalism. War crimes.

    Twisted, contorted faces bubbled around him, and though their voices had no chorus, he could make out each and every curse that came from their mouths.

    Hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate. Die, die, die, die, diedieidiediediediediedieDIE!!!

    In the midst of these curses, Rider became aware of another presence within the tide of spite--something distinct within the darkness. The same black void that had poured out the foul mud into the world hovered above him, as though in cruel mockery of the sun at the height of noon. Amidst the cacophony, an ominously familiar voice echoed in the distance.

    ‘Let the Grail be cursed,’ the voice of Lancer howled in the distance, his tone bereft of the honorable dignity Rider had found so resplendent, being instead filled with vengeful rage. ‘May the wish that it grants bring disaster!’

    And in that moment, though stripped of all other senses other than a base, primeval awareness, Iskandar could somehow ascertain as to what it was.

    ‘Is that… the Grail? How can that be? Hadn’t Saber’s Noble Phantasm destroyed its vessel?’

    The vessel, perhaps. But not its contents.

    A voice more pronounced than the others emerged from the black void which hung above Rider.

    I might not be able to consume the world... but I can at the very least send you do it for me. Yes… you would be perfect for this, King of Conquerors. A body of cursed flesh shall be yours--and you will ravage the world, as you did in life! Pillage! Rape! Slaughter! Burn! KILL!

    A vision flooded Rider’s thoughts;a dark scene of slaughter and human suffering. A city lay in desolation amidst a raging inferno. The ground lay awash with blood, and mounds of human corpses were piled up in the streets. He saw his soldiers--clad in blackened armor, their weapons running red with gore and their eyes aglow with the frenzy of battle.

    And standing in their midst, Rider saw a dark reflection of himself--his great mantle of vibrant red now so deep a hue of maroon that it seemed almost black. His armor was of a similarly sinister reprise, and his sword was blackened as though it was a sliver of night, with lines of eerie red tracing up the blade. Wreathed in black lightning, he brandished his sword towards a sky smothered in black-red smoke. There, the same black sun hung, offering no light save for the glow of the flames which consumed the land.

    I, Angra Mainyu, ask you: Who will embrace all the evils of this world?

    In that instant, he realized the truth of the Holy Grail--that it was corrupt beyond measure.

    Whilst once indeed a receptacle which received and granted the wish of the one who obtained it, it had been twisted into a vessel which contained the evils of mankind made manifest. A womb which carried within it the unborn form of the Zoroastrian god of evil, whose birth would bring disaster to the world in the form of six billion curses--the very same black ichor in which Iskandar now found himself in.

    And in the face of this... Iskandar laughed. ‘What a complete farce!’ He guffawed, even if he had no mouth with which to do so. ‘You’re just like Saber, aren’t you? The only difference is that you are a slave to what is EVIL!’

    Though the entity before him had no form beyond the black sun, he could feel how it reeled at his reaction.

    [BGM: Fate/Zero Anime OST - You are my king]

    ‘It is certainly true that humanity is plagued by the evils you embody, demon god. Therefore, it is also true that a king such as myself must be ready to accept these vices. But to spread naught but the death and destruction you seek is by no means what a king should be! Just as no one would truly wish to follow the throny path of a martyr, none would wish to meet what lies at the end of the demented path of a monster! To be king, one must embody the extreme of all things--good and evil! To have the greed to seek a better future for one’s people! To laugh with them when times and fortunes are good! To rage when disaster and woe befalls them! That is how a king’s retainers can envy and adore him without end, and the flame of aspiration can burn within his people--for by wanting to be like the king, they want to exemplifying the entirety of the human experience!

    ‘Therefore, Angra Maiynu, I shall acknowledge you with all my heart! And likewise, I shall deny you with every fiber of my being! I shall be shackled by neither righteousness nor wickedness, save for that which I chose for myself! And for me, that path is clear! To win, but not destroy; to conquer, but not humiliate: That is what true conquest is! Glory lies beyond the horizon! Challenge the unattainable! Speak of conquest, and make it real! For my men, and for those who watch behind me!


    The formless void of the demon god howled in demonic fury, but it was impotent before the King of Conquerors. The flow of curses which swirled around Iskandar tried to crush his ego, as though to tell him that he fought alone against its sheer vastness.

    But Rider knew that he was NEVER alone.

    ‘Ionian Hetairoi! Let us conquer all this world’s evil together! Ooooolalalalalalalalalaaaiii!!’

    An explosion of wind instantly billowed out around Iskandar, and within the blink of an eye, he could feel that his body had returned to him. Astride Bucephalus once more, he urged his loyal friend to gallop straight for the black sun, shouting his battlecry and holding his sword aloft as he charged forward without fear. Without fail, Rider could hear the deafening roar of his entire army behind him, and he watched as his retainers cut their way through the curses that blocked their advance. The screams of the damned echoed all around them like a maelstrom now, but still they advanced.

    United in the absolute loyalty to the king they all shared, Iskandar’s men never wavered as they made that most glorious charge.

    ---

    [BGM: Fate/Zero Anime OST - You are my dearest friend]

    “Rider, you big, stupid idiot!!” Waver cried out miserably, though there were none to hear him amidst the smouldering ruins. Tears ran down his face as he gripped at the massive slab of rubble, fruitlessly trying to lift it out of the way--even as the scorching hot stone burned his hands.

    Fuyuki was in flames all around them. As far as the eye could see, the buildings around the now destroyed civic center had been set ablaze by the fire, with vast clouds of smoke blocking out the sky, awash with the red-orange glow of the flames that burned below.

    Yet even though he should have run, Waver knew he couldn’t give up on the man who had called him friend, especially not after he had saved his life. Not even Bucephalus’ sudden disappearance had deterred his attempts to find Rider. Waver had been fruitlessly trying to pull aside the rubble which lay approximately above where he’d last seen Rider before that black mud had covered him. Laying some distance away was the former Master of Berserker, which Waver had cast a sleep spell on soas to keep him from waking up and trying to kill him again. He had to get him out--he had to get to him before he vanished; at least long enough that he could answer Iskandar’s last request to him.

    But even if he had somehow possessed the strength to lift the rubble--which he most certainly didn’t, even with Reinforcement--his tolerance for pain was not nearly enough to endure the searing heat of the rubble before his body forced him to instinctively pull away from the rubble. His hands were red and black from burns, but the pain that coursed through them couldn’t compare to the pain that now welled up in his chest, feeling powerless to even attempt to help his friend.

    His eyes, cheeks, and nose stung from the tears he shed, even without the smoke and heat all around him. He sobbed hoarsely, hoping beyond hope that Rider could hear him. “You are my king…! Don’t just… up and leave like this! I want to be useful to you! I want to devote everything to you! Please, Rider… please give me the honor of being allowed to follow you! Let me… let me dream what you dream!”

    But he heard no voice call out in reply.

    “Not like this… it can’t end like this… Rider…”

    So consumed by his own sorrow was Waver… that he almost didn’t hear the rubble begin to shift and tremble before him. With a gasp, his gaze shot to where the noise emanated, and indeed, he could see the rubble beginning to move, as though…

    As though something from underneath it was struggling to break free.

    Half a heartbeat later, the booming crash of thunder filled the air as a very familiar, insanely muscle-bound arm shot out of the rubble. Ripping crumbled masonry and twisted metal away as though it were nothing but paper before him…

    The titanic figure of Rider all but erupted from the burning wreckage, once more astride Bucephalus. Alive, whole, and unharmed.

    “Phew!” Rider exclaimed, patting his mane of hair to brush away the flecks of rubble in his hair, Bucephalus whipping his head side to side to do the same. “That was not pleasant.” He gave his familiar, huge grin when his gaze fell on Waver. “Boy! You’re alive after all! Fantastic! Good to see there’s some silver lining in all this.”

    For a moment, Waver looked up in bewilderment at the Servant. “R-rider…?”

    “Yep! Alive and kicking! It’ll take more than that black mud to do me in. Though, admittedly, getting out of that rubble might have been difficult if I hadn’t heard your voice just now.”

    Stupidly, he could only blink in uncomprehension. “Huh…? You... heard me?”

    Iskandar’s smile softened. “Verily. After hearing such a marvelous oath of fealty from my newest subject, I knew exactly where to go to find to you!” He laughed heartily. “And I gladly accept your pledge! Here and now, and forever afterwards, let it be known that Waver Velvet is both my friend and my trusted vassal!”

    At those words, Waver couldn’t hold himself back anymore. A long, drawn out cry escaped his lips as he proceeded to practically bawl his eyes out, but with tears of sheer joy overflowing from his already stinging eyes in spite of the smoke around them. “H-how...?” He managed to barely squeak out between his sobs. “The--hic--the Grail’s gone, i-isn’t it? How can you maintain your body like that, idiot...?!”

    “Mmph,” Rider grunted, shrugging. “It’s a bit of a long story, I fear. And I don’t think right now’s the time for me to tell it.” He panned his gaze around them, his gaze turning grim. “By the gods, what sheer devastation...”

    “A fair price, would you not say?” Came another familiar voice behind Rider, although this time, Waver did NOT find comfort in hearing it.

    [BGM: Fate/Zero Anime OST - The Battle to Come]

    Indeed, much to his dawning horror, Waver watched as from the very same path Rider had carved through the rubble, stepped the form of Archer.

    Who was completely naked.

    In fact, he and Rider were BOTH naked.

    “N-no way…” Waver all but wheezed, mostly from terror, but also from the embarrassment of seeing two Servants in the buck. “You’re still alive, too?!”

    Rider, however, only raised his eyebrows in surprise, turning his gaze to make eye contact with the blonde Servant. “Hmm. So you survived as well, King of Heroes. Come to think of it, you got doused in that black mud, didn’t you?”

    “As have you, I see,” Archer replied, a smirk on his face. “It pleases me to see you had the fortitude to resist that sick abomination; I would have been disappointed had you allowed yourself to be corroded by its influence, and perhaps even more so had you simply faded away. Now, the two of us have been gifted these bodies of flesh and blood. I suppose, in a macabre and roundabout manner, that your wish to be incarnated into this modern era has been granted.”

    “Perhaps,” Rider grunted, again surveying the destruction left in the wake of the Grail’s mud. “But nothing was worth this.”

    “Nauseating, is it not?” Archer laughed. “Though I must confess, it’s capacity for murder is unrrivaled. Though it may be revolting, I might have a use for such a thing.”

    Rider shot a hard glare at Archer, clearly disgusted at the sheer notion of using whatever that mud had been. “I will NOT allow you to unleash that monster upon the world, Babylonian King!”

    “By all means--you are welcome to oppose me, King of Conquerors,” Archer replied with a laughing smile, if anything entertained by Rider’s firm opposition. “I have decided to destroy you with my own hands, after all. However, this time and place would make for a poor finale for either of us. This war is over, and we are both drained for it--though it would be all too easy to finish you here and now, I will not be satisfied unless I strike you down at your full strength. Fortunately, you only need to wait another ten years before we can conclude our battle, Rider. If there is any silver lining to that damnable Master of Saber’s actions, it is that he managed to destroy the Grail before its connection to the other side could be established.”

    “Ten years…?” Waver uttered, having not said a word up to that point as he listened to the two kings speak. “You’re saying the next Holy Grail War will occur in a decade?”

    “Precisely, boy,” the blonde Servant replied. “The accumulated mana that was not used in this war has already been put in reserve for the next one. Thus, only a fraction of the usual time to accumulate the ritual’s requisite mana is needed. During that time, you are both welcome to enjoy this world however you see fit. So long as neither of you attempt to impede the next Holy Grail War, I shall visit no harm upon you.”

    “...Very well,” Rider declared. “If your intent is to wait until ten years time to try and use the Grail for such a thing as that, then I will withdraw from here for now, Archer. But be assured--I have every intention of stopping you! I may not be a savior, but I’m a tad too fond of this modern age to allow you to so ruthlessly destroy it!”

    Archer merely smirked, before turning around, climbing up atop the rubble. “Then regain your strength and prepare, Rider. I look forward to the storm that you kick up as you desperately struggle against my inevitable will. As for me, I have a certain man to dig out of this ruin. Until then, King of Conquerors!”

    Without another word, the golden Servant walked further away into the smouldering ruins, until he was out of sight entirely.

    “...Come, Waver,” Rider said solemnly. “We’ve much to do, but first we must be rid of this place. Climb on!”

    ---

    Rider told him everything as they rode on Bucephalus through the smoke and flames.

    It turned out that the Grail, rather than being a colorless wish-granting device, had been polluted at some point by none other than the Zoroastrian evil god, Angra Mainyu. Any wish that was made before the Grail would inevitably be twisted and warped into unleashing the literal evils of the world upon humanity--the black mud which had set the surrounding parts of the city ablaze had been that very curse, with the reverse moon that had spewed it out being an incomplete manifestation of the corrupted Grail itself. Incidentally, when he--and, evidently Archer--came into contact with the mud, the demon god had tried to corrupt them to its will, in an attempt to send them out into the world and cause further destruction on the planet. It was only through Rider’s own ego that he was able to resist most of the effects of the mud, and as a result, he had obtained a body of his own; with his own will and personality unaffected by the Grail’s corruption.

    They both realized that, Emiya not ordered Saber to destroy it when he had, it was likely that Angra Mainyu could have successfully manifested right then and there.

    And Archer actually wanted to let that happen in the next Holy Grail War.

    By the time Rider had explained everything, Waver felt like he’d had enough horrible revelations for one day. Really, he was surprised to even still be conscious at this point, with all the trauma he’d been through that day.

    But as they made their way through the flames, what they saw was far too sobering for him to slip into unconsciousness.

    Much of the Shinto district was still on fire, with what Waver had to estimate to be more than a hundred buildings destroyed in the conflagration that has swept through the city. Whilst they had tried to find survivors, there was little even Rider could do with his mana so depelted other than push aside rubble, attempting to pull people trapped underneath. Tragically, even most of these were usually too far gone to save--with almost all of them either burned to death or crushed beneath the rubble.

    But that didn’t mean they gave up on trying.

    They were soon able to reach the edge of Shinto, where they found a veritable army of Japanese rescuers; firefighters, paramedics, police, and other emergency personnel frantically responding to the disaster. More were coming in every few minutes, to the point Waver was sure they were calling in additional support from the surrounding countryside.

    To say that they were stunned at the sight of a giant naked foreigner astride an equally massive horse emerging from the flames more or less completely unscathed was a bit of an understatement.

    He and Rider only stayed long enough to leave the still-unconscious Master of Berserker in the care of the paramedics, having carried him all the way from what was once the municipal hall. They then grabbed a large cloth which Rider tied around his waist before they rode back into the flames to try and see if there was anyone else that could be saved, ignoring the warnings and protests of the rescue workers.

    For several hours, the two raced throughout the flames, trying to find any signs of life. Each time they did, they carried them back to the rescue crews, with Bucephalus easily navigating through the smoke, heat, and flames. Ultimately, they managed to find and rescue just under thirty people in total, faithfully bringing each and every one back for the paramedics to tend to. It was all that they could so in that situation.

    Waver never considered himself a noble person. And it wasn’t as though he had been dying to go back into that hell over and over again just to help people.

    But Rider had felt that, with his wish for a new body granted to him, he had an obligation to try and help as much as they were able. And having sworn an oath to serve his new king with devotion, Waver--as weak, tired, and hurt as he was--felt likewise obligated to help Iskandar by following him back into that hellscape. Whether or not the people they had managed to get out of there would survive their wounds was out of both his and Rider’s hands, and they left their ultimate survival in the hands of the paramedics.

    That being said... it did feel good to help those people.

    But as they made their way through the flames once again, Waver could feel exhaustion beginning to set in, struggling to keep his eyes open as a weariness he’d never felt began to seep into his very bones.

    “At your limits, boy?” Iskandar asked just behind him, his Servant hardly seeming tired at all. “Perhaps we should head back to the field healers and rest. I can’t maintain Bucephalus for much longer, anyway--it would be quite pointless to go in for another rescue just to needlessly endanger our lives.”

    “Y...you’re right,” Waver mumbled, shaking his head to try and keep himself from nodding off.

    [BGM: Fate/Stay Night Anime OST -- The Inherited Mark]

    With that, Rider began to wheel his steed around… when something caught his eye enough that it gave him pause enough that he dismounted his steed.

    A young boy, perhaps no older than seven years old, was wandering aimlessly through the flames. His eyes seemed completely blank and lifeless as he forced his small body forward, and even in his exhausted state, Waver could see the wounds that the boy had. They were almost certainly fatal.

    The groan of creaking metal and the rumble of crumbling stone suddenly filled the air--as an entire floor of a building’s wall fell loose, about to fall right on top of the boy…

    Just as Waver was about to cry out for the boy to jump out of the way, Rider had already interposed himself between the falling wall and the child, slamming his fists into it with such force that is was blown to smithereens, instantly blown back and pulverized.

    Rider then turned around, silently looking down at the red-haired boy now in front of him with an unreadable expression on his face. The boy, in turn, could look numbly up at Rider’s face before he limply fell back towards the ground. Iskandar swiftly grabbed the boy by the arm, catching him before he could hit the ground, and lifted him up into his arms. “Let’s hurry,” he uttered, striding back to Waver. “He hasn’t long to live.”

    Remounting Bucephalus and carrying the child in one arm, Iskandar bid his steed to gallop back towards the direction of emergency crews; but with how badly the boy he was injured, and how far away they were from the paramedics... Waver knew they wouldn’t make it in time.

    But just when it seemed they’d lose him, they happened upon another figure wandering through the flames.

    Emiya Kiritsugu.

    The normally stoic Magus Killer looked completely different from when Waver had last seen him. His eyes had once been cold and machine-like, but now… they looked almost dead. He himself was not injured, but whatever the hell Emiya had gone through had left him utterly broken.

    “Magus Killer!” Waver heard Rider call out to him. “It seems you’re still alive as well. Hurry and climb on, this boy is fading fast and we need to reach--!”

    When Emiya saw the boy in Rider’s arms, Waver swore he saw a frantic hope fill the man’s eyes--the first emotion that Waver had ever seen from the otherwise machine-like man. The former Master of Saber dashed over to them. “Let me… let me see him, please!” He pleaded desperately. “I can save him--please!!

    Rider seemed just as shocked as Waver was at the Magus Killer’s almost unhinged disposition, but nevertheless dismounted before he knelt down, still holding the boy in his arms. “Make haste, then. I know not how much longer he has.”

    What followed… could only be described as a miracle.

    They watched as a ripple of warm light emanated from Kiritsugu’s chest… and from it emerged a wonder of the world Waver had only heard of in legend.

    A golden sheath, enameled with blue, with the mark of the fairies etched into its side, signifying that it was wrought not by the hands of man.

    “Avalon…?!” Waver uttered in awe. The fabled sheath of Excalibur, thought lost to King Arthur before his final battle. A relic from the Age of Magic, wrought from a mystery unknown to mankind, which granted miraculous power to its wielder.

    Without hesitation, Emiya Kiritsugu placed the wondrous sheath atop the boy’s chest, a brilliant white light enveloping the latter’s small form as it seamlessly receded into his body.

    When the light faded, the boy’s wounds were already healed, and half a heartbeat later, he gasped for air, coughing as life was breathed back into him.

    At the sound of the boy’s steadied breathing, a look of supreme joy filled Emiya’s eyes, tears streaming down his face as he held the boy’s hand. “...He’s alive... He’s alive! He’s alive!!”

    Whew,” Rider sighed with calm relief. “Quite the close call there, Magus Killer. If we hadn’t found you when we had… well, it matters not now.” He looked down at the boy, giving him a big, encouraging smile. “Hear that, boy? You’re gonna make it!”

    “Thank you… thank you...” Emiya sobbed over and over again, his voice filled with gratitude. Waver knew not if those words were meant for Rider, or for the boy, yet…

    It was almost as if, in saving that young boy’s life, it had been Emiya himself who had been saved that day.

    ---
    Last edited by Agailius; January 24th, 2020 at 06:03 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arch-Magos Winter View Post
    When Agailius thinks your idea is really really stupid, you know you've screwed up.

  18. #858
    Man, it was a shock to see this pop in my inbox again (from FF.net), but I'm super glad it did. Prose and characterisation still top quality. Good stuff.

  19. #859
    Fail Event Horizon Agailius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haunter View Post
    Man, it was a shock to see this pop in my inbox again (from FF.net), but I'm super glad it did. Prose and characterisation still top quality. Good stuff.
    Well, thank you. To tell the truth, it was the interaction between Rider and Avenger which had me stuck for about 5 years, much to my embarrassment. I'm desperately wanting to remain as faithful to Rider's character as possible here, and quite simply, I had no idea how to properly do his character justice.

    It wasn't until I went to post the other Zero Point chapters over on SpaceBattles that I finally thought, 'No, fuck you, get this shit done NOW.'
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arch-Magos Winter View Post
    When Agailius thinks your idea is really really stupid, you know you've screwed up.

  20. #860
    死徒 Dead Apostle
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    Happy you are making another chapter.

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