As the summary indicates, this is a sequel to From the Azure to Zero, covering the events of the Fifth Holy Grail War.

Disclaimer: I own neither Blazblue nor Type-Moon. This disclaimer applies to all chapters of this fanfic.

When people travelled by plane, those in the economic class often spent at least a few moments to consider the possibilities brought about by the First Class section. What kind of decadent comfort did those who spend so much money on a plane ticket enjoy?

Jealousy was a wonderful way to pass the time, after all.

In the case of this particular plane heading toward Fuyuki, Japan, the other passengers would have been surprised to learn that the suite had been reserved by eight people - less than half the maximum amount, and that none of them spent the flight enjoying the luxury that they had paid so high a price for.
Part of that was because they hadn't paid anything for it. In fact, six of the people who had been listed as passengers weren't people at all.

As for the man who sat at the table located at the center of the suite, he paid no attention to the inanimated dolls; the entirety of his attention went toward reading the report that was placed before him.

"It is as I feared sir, they attacked our facility in France."

The slight Russian accent that marked his otherwise perfect Japanese betrayed his family's roots.

His interlocutor is the only other individual in the room, who has remained almost completely motionless for the past hour.

"Do not be concerned." Hastily fending off the glare of the grey eyes, he raised the report as though it was a shield. "They were able to salvage the seventh model and it will arrive one or two days after we do, well within schedule"

No sooner had he finished his sentence that the other turned away from him without interest, and he sighed in relief.
Most who witnessed the scene would find his reaction quite odd, as the other man showed no sign of aggression or anger.

But he is Constantin Nazar Yggdmillenia, magus and a candidate Master for the Fifth Holy Grail War. His knowledge and wisdom far surpass that of the common man and it is for that reason that he is keenly aware of the true nature of his companion and partner.
Even if it was unlikely that he would be killed because of the failure of others, simply enduring the full attention of such a man was a trial in itself.

Tomorrow the two of them would arrive at the city of Fuyuki and in the shadows of that quiet town, seven heroes and magi would clash in a battle to the death to claim the omnipotent wish granting device called the Holy Grail.

It would be the first time that Yggdmillenia officially entered this contest and as such he could normally have expected the full support of the main family.
However, the unofficial involvement of their group in a previous war had ended in disaster and he had been forced to arrange matters himself as a result. In fact, most of Yggdmillenia's members were unaware of his efforts.

If he failed, he would fade into history as a mere footnote.

But if he succeeded, rewards beyond his wildest dreams awaited him.

But it was much too early to begin thinking about what might come at the end when it hadn't even begun. Blinking himself back to the present, he relaxed in his seat to continue to review the important project that had been completed mere weeks ago.

He considered it a good thing that the Holy Grail War had returned while he was still in his prime, but a mere decade had almost been too short an interval; if it had occured but a year ago, he would have had to give up on the opportunity.

Thinking of the one that travelled with him, he couldn't help but wonder if that might have been the better outcome.

"So you have finally reached a decision?"

It was the calm voice of a wise mentor that echoed throughout the holy place, offering peace to those who would hear it.

The voice fit the speaker, as the priest clad in black stood proudly before the altar, looking down to the girl that he had been teaching for the better part of a decade now.

They made for a strange pair, the priest's black hair and monochrome apparel making the red of her clothes stand out, particularly in such an austere place.

"Drop the act, Kirei." The irritated voice of Tohsaka Rin cut through the atmosphere like a knife. "I've been training for this since I was born, there was never a chance of me giving up my place."

If her classmates had heard her speak that way the image of a perfect student would have crumbled into nothing, especially since she spoke to such a respected member of the community.
It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that she was the only person who had dared raise her voice to him in this place ever since he had taken over the task from his father. But she had known him for longer than she could remember, and any sense of awe or intimidation that could come from him had vanished around the time she had finally managed to kick the smile off his face.

"Of course." With the same amiable nod that he used when one asked him to pray for a loved one, Kotomine Kirei brushed off the offense. "I was referring to your use of the relic I prepared. It wasn't easy to acquire it, you know? Why, I barely managed to fetch it before it was put on auction."

"I might be more grateful if I knew what it was." It was there that lied the true source of her even more aggressive disposition than usual; the all-important relic that would decide her Servant and partner throughout the upcoming war had been kept secret merely for the amusement of a mischievous priest. "The only reason I agreed to this is because you promised me that I'd have the strongest Servant."

The annoyance in Rin's voice did little to conceal the deep anxiety that lied in her heart. In truth, she didn't care if the relic belonged to a tyrant, a hero or even a monster. All that mattered was that it matched the promise that the priest had made.

She needed the strongest, more than anything else.

With a long suffering sigh, Kotomine reached into his pocket.

"I had intended to ask you to perform the summoning blindly as repayment for all those years of ungratefulness, but in that state you wouldn't even speak the incantation correctly." Ignoring her outraged glare, he produced a small box from his pocket and handed it to her. "Then bear witness to the fruit of my efforts and repent, Rin."

Suspiciously, she took hold of the box.

He was being far too dramatic; Kotomine enjoyed theatrics, but only when there was a payoff at the end. Whatever was in the box, it was either a relic so great that it would more than match his promise or a tasteless joke.

With bated breath, she slid open the container and felt anger ignite again in her heart.

This was no great magical relic, no sigil of power that would summon an unfathomable knight of old. Nothing but a shapeless clump of colorless matter that had been used to draw a smile.

"Hey, what the hell is-"

At the last moment, she swallowed her words when she noticed the smug expectation in his smile.

He wanted her to get angry, she mustn't fall for his petty game. But if he smiled like that, it was a trap rather than a bait.
A trap...but what kind of trap? Surely he had hidden the relic inside the amorphous substance; taking the risk of damaging such an important object would be going too far even for him.

The answer came to her in a flash, a memory from the countless lessons that she had taken. A certain legend that anyone who had the slightest interest in mythology would know of.

"Wait, is this really-"

Her voice fell into silence as his smile widened ever further with every word.

"Bow your head for doubting me, ungrateful apprentice. As promised, I have delivered the strongest weapon."

She most certainly did not bow her head, but she couldn't help but look down again at the unassuming form that she held in her hand.

Nothing more than a lump of clay...