High School DxD is a Japanese light novel series written by Ichiei Ishibumi and illustrated by Miyama-Zero. The Fate series is owned by Type-Moon. I do not own any of the characters mentioned from both series. The only things I own are the ideas that popped into my head for this story and whatever original characters I would create for the story.
My main muses come from Gabriel Blessing and Marcus Galen Sands, authors of great works themselves. This story is meant to be a work of pure fiction made solely for fun, constructive reviews will be welcomed, flames will be ignored. Any references to characters in real-life are purely coincidental and should not be taken seriously. If I could make money out of my ideas, it would be nice...
Root Damn It!
It's alive... Its' Alive... IT'S ALIVEEEEE!
Apologies for the late chapter, my work has been quite hectic and being in an area without internet made it hard for me to get my writing out. Granted, I have written out my ideas on Microsoft Office, but the final one had to be put together and edited on the site itself. I had managed to write it fast enough to get it out before the end of the year, hope you enjoy it.
Without further ado, read on and Merry Christmas!
Published: December 24th 2019
Chapter 11: Offers And Test
An ability that follows the Thaumaturgical Theory World Egg where the user would project his inner landscape out into reality, forcing the world to accept its existence. As opposed to a Marble Phantasm which was seemingly more natural and allowed the user to always get the optimum results, or in layman's terms, win the lottery every single time.
An ability that was only accessible to a few humans due to its unique nature that goes against every bit of sanity and logic known to man.
An ability that was so unique to each person, not even twins would have the same one due to their instincts and understanding of the world.
An ability Rin would comment it being necessary to be clinically insane just to get the hint of the power.
An ability that was considered the taboo of taboos, something so dangerous and unique that whoever has access to one would be targeted as a Sealed Designation on the spot and be sent to the dungeons for dissection.
An ability that I learned from my travels that quite a few Servants aside from Archer and Iskander have as well, each one as magnificent and terrifying as the next.
An ability, as one TV host so eloquently put it, "to reject your reality and substitute it with my own."
An ability that was also ever changing to reflect the mind of the user.
Just like mine at the current moment.
The sounds of the dirt and dried grass echoed loudly as I made my way through the Reality Marble amid the numerous weapons that defined my soul and that would make many run away from the sheer presence alone. On occasions, I would take a few minutes in my mind-scape to go through the different weapons I have obtained or to witness the changes to the Reality Marble that could give me clues to my evolving aria.
Today, it was the latter.
I slowly looked around me, mentally comparing my Reality Marble to those from other dimensions. From what Zelretch had often commented, my template was perhaps one of the more diverse in terms of our shared magecraft, all due to our different experiences despite the origin being the same that came from fire burning the flesh on our bodies.
Archer EMIYA had a dreary world with cogs in the sky and a dark mist covering the dusty area to show his mental state after his ideals had betrayed him and sent him to the gallows to be hung. A world that showed his cyanism to life in general.
Shirou Emiya of the Blade Route (Something Zelretch had used to label him, not sure why) had a bright field without the aforementioned clouds or mist to represent his faith to his ideals even if they were flawed. Still relatively dusty for my taste.
Another template labelled God-Slayer Emiya had Cherry Blossoms and one statue of Sakura to represent his love and commitment for her. I had to give my respects to that template of me, going against the control of an actual goddess of love just for Sakura was certainly worthy to be called a Hero in my book and definitely for Sakura.
Another template labelled In-Flight Emiya had a Reality Marble that was a cross between Archer and Blade to represent his flaw ideals that were still good to work with while handling his, and I cannot believe the words coming out of my mouth, harem of buxom alien women.
That one made me feel oddly jealous for some reason…
And then there was that one version of me that made me pray for that template's sanity, if only because he was actually adopted by another version of Zelretch as his pseudo son/apprentice, and he apparently got a few quirks due to his upbringing. His Reality Marble was arguably the most diverse as the sky was ever changing with mini 'windows' to show the different dimensions with the corresponding weapons, not to mention the areas producing 'samples' of the different worlds he had been to.
Evidently, there was even an alternate world where Harry Potter existed as an actual person and that template of me had to raise him while dealing with Voldemort and a manipulative Dumbledore. Go figure.
My templates were very varied with their abilities, not to mention the relationships we have as Zelretch so cheekily pointed out. Some were subtle, others were extreme. So it stood to reason about mine being quite different in itself, with mine still having issues forming a complete image since this was the third time it was changing in light of my ever-changing perspectives on the world. I would like to think that this could be a sign of my maturity, although Rin would counter argue with it reflecting my progressing insanity.
The ground upon which I was standing on was mostly dried dirt with some actual grass growing in patches, with the odd dandelions or flowers springing out from them, creating some decent landscapes that actually acted as borders for some of the weapons that I categorized for easier finding. A gray mist that reminded me of my time with Rin at the Clock Tower covered the area and I could see above me some of the gears that were inspired from Emiya while having some proper white clouds in the sky. Around me are the different weapons I have witnessed and collected over my lifetime, some from my own world, others from other dimensions where I would see my templates fight with. But all served one purpose.
To be my weapons for any fight.
A mental thought changed my landscape, bringing me to a spot that held four hills around me. Three of which that mean a lot to me.
The first hill was related to the Irish folklore, with the prize jewel being a certain crimson spear that pierced my heart once. The ground was covered with the lush greenery one would expect from their homeland, and there was the feeling of history one would get when visiting the Celtics.
The second hill held weapons of the Greek mythology, with a few chains and daggers littering the ground or resting against others. Chief among them were the weapons that belonged to Heracles, the immortal demi-god Berserker who could make the Terminator look like a child with the whole 'unstoppable force' look. To complement the look, the hill was rocky and shaped in the manner of the fabled Mount Olympus, with some ridges housing the weapons belonging to those who 'supposedly' acted as champions or scorned by the gods, with the crown jewels being Zeus's Lightning Bolt, Poseidon's Trident and Hades's Prong at the top. Nestled between them was a glowing blade with Greek symbols that came from one of my travels, appropriately named the [Blade of Olympus] by Zeus.
Though honestly speaking, it felt like the male gods were compensating for something with a blade that big. I doubt even Heracles needed something like that in his arsenal...
The third hill was one that I would likely be the most familiar with and arguably attached to, the weapons pertaining to the Arthurian Legends. At first glance this was the messiest of the three with the lush green being the only accessory to make it look good, but when viewed from above, one would notice a very interesting arrangement that got more apparent if they understood the mythology. Low quality spears and swords formed the perimeter of the furthest ring, with each ring going inwards layered with better quality steel. At the very center, when viewed from the top, clusters of weapons belonging to the Knights of the Round Table formed the circle with the prize jewels of my Reality Marble in the middle.
And finally, the strongest of them all, Excalibur sheathed in Avalon, while surround by a small cluster of white lilies and dandelions.
These were the weapons that had been in essence part of my core, the relics of those who formed me in that war.
And now, there was a fourth hill. I turned to face the latest addition to the Reality Marble, a big frown forming on my face as I considered the dilemma in front of me.
The new hill recently added was an unusual one; when compared with the Greek version, this hill was more of a step plateau that rose to roughly four feet in height. Unlike the other hills or the majority of my Reality Marble, each step had at least one Hybrid Phantasm created using the pieces of Sacred Gears collected in all of my hunts or fights, and some odd additions to reflect the type of abilities they have like the ice covering the grounds of one weapon or the unending loop of life and death surrounding a spear. At the peak of that hill, two swords were stabbed into the rocks and chained up to the hilt with them.
The first weapon was the re-forged Excalibur Blade of this world, recreated from the shards of the Excalibur, the image of my Excalibur, and the Noble Phantasm Caliburn. From where I was standing, two stars were shining to represent two of the seals unlocked for my use, with a third giving off a dim glow to suggest that I was close to unlocking that one. Curiously, there were small balls of light that hovered around it like fireflies at night and I could swear that I could hear them talking. I could not understand what they were saying but it was a pleasant sound.
The second weapon was something even more problematic than the Excalibur for me. This was the weapon that was apparently created during that time I was going berserk by the supposed higher entities made up of Oroborus, Great Red, some heavenly armoured fellow and one supposed avatar of Angra Mainyu of all things. Furthermore, a copy of the Kaleidou-Amulet was used to create the body and in it, the powers of supposedly every single Sacred Gear was added inside, just waiting to be released from the literal shackles that was chaining it. From my vantage point, I could see something shifting inside the jewel, proof of an entity being kept inside and awaiting my call to it.
These two were bad enough, but it was the tip of the ice-berg for me. I looked above to the one cog gear that was located directly above the hill. Unlike the others, this one had a mirror like surface where I could see myself and the two swords in the hollow portion of the gear. I closed my eyes and focused my intentions towards it. It took only a second before the sensation of going through ice-cold water washed over me, after which I slowly opened my eyes to the new area created.
The new area could be described as the total opposite of my Reality Marble. It was a dark place with gears similar to Unlimited Blade Works but inverted in colour and in 'texture' if you would, being made of white marble instead of rusted metal. The 'ground' was not of dirt and grass, but it was now a dark blue lake that shimmered as I stepped on the surface. In front of me was the same hill that held the Hybrid Phantasms, only this time only there was a light stream of water that flowed from the top to the plateaus, overflowing from the brim and spilling over to the ground. Furthermore, there was now a statue of a man at the peak that grasped both swords in its hands. The statue was unusual in its design, one half of its body showed a man that wore a simple hammock, the other half of a knight with braces on its arm and leg. At its forehead was a very ornate cross with a red gemstone in the middle, and around its neck was a very elaborate good necklace that held trinkets in the shape of a dragon, a snake eating its tail, a skull, a three-leafed plant and a sword. Its head bore a wing of an angel on its left and the horn of a devil curved inwards on its right.
From the base of that statue, lines of what appeared to be liquid silver branched out to other statues that littered the new area. Each statue was unique in both its design and the weapon they held. Some of the weapons were clear while the majority were blurred out in a manner that reminded me of objects viewed through a fogged window. I was admittedly a little paranoid at them the first time I discovered this place, it was rather disconcerting to look at a statue that seemed to have the bare visage of a face and supposedly looking at you with what barely passed as an eye, let alone the rest that seemed to follow me no matter where I moved.
But all of them had one thing in common.
The weapons here in this part were all Sacred Gears, or at least the ones that were clear to me. Those were the ones I have obtained from my hunts and fights with others, or have at some point studied with permission from the others. It took me a while to understand the layout of this place, but it was apparent that the Thirteen Longinus formed the perimeter around the hill, followed by clusters of other statues that seemed to pertain to their nature closest to them. Of the Longinus, the [Boosted Gear] and [Divine Dividing] were the most obvious, with the red gauntlet being prominent on the statue of a gladiator raising his arm and the blue wings shining brightly on the back of a statue showcasing a man wielding a spear and a shield. In the distance, I could see a statue of a nun kneeling on the ground in a prayer position with [Twilight Healing] glowing brightly in its hands. A few away from that, a sea man in the garb of Poseidon with devil horns on his head stood proudly with [Hell's Trident] in its grasp, with another statue supposedly representing the user of [Sword Birth] just next to it. Hilariously, that one looked to be a ringer for Archer with the whole robes and hood look with the swords taking their places around it.
This space was the newest addition to my Reality Marble, this much was clear. There was some inking of it since I first gained some of Kiba's swords and [Hell's Trident], but it was only after the fight in Hell that this space became known to me in full form.
The bit I was not certain was the sensation I kept getting around. It was supposed to be part of my Reality Marble, yet why?
Why does it feel like something else entirely?
I let out a sigh as I slowly opened my eyes and relaxed my posture as I watched the sun rise slowly in the distance. This had been the sixth time since the Rating Game Tournament Disaster I have accessed my Reality Marble in an attempt to gain my full aria while trying to understand the addition of the Sacred Gears. Needless to say, it was very frustrating for me as I was not getting any closer to getting the answers I wanted. The usual areas of the Reality Marble were something I could understand, modify and adapt to my specifications, and it would be helpful if I can figure out my full aria.
That new area involving Sacred Gears, now that was really mind twisting. And yes, I could almost imagine Rin snorting at me in amusement because normally I would have a fair amount of patience but this was getting ridiculous! How the heck could a totally new space appear in a Reality Marble of all things?! The only explanation I could think of was because Sacred Gears were connected to a person's soul, and in some manner of speaking the Reality Marble is a representation of a soul brought out to the real world, it would be possible that it appeared there to reflect the new nature that was my soul getting altered in some manner by the presence of the Sacred Gears.
But it was still very annoying to see something that was right there and not able to understand, pardon my language, absolute shit on it.
Somehow, I also got the feeling that this newly created area could be a possible lead to the reason I could actually take over Sacred Gears or in some manner of speaking 'stealing' them from other users, not to mention the bit of me getting some sort of attention from some avatars of Heaven and Hell.
What a pain it was, and that was not the only mystery to have.
I lifted a hand to my neck where the Kaleidou-Amulet hung around with a gold chain, the gem catching the small rays of light early and shining quite nicely as though it was absorbing the light into it. As I held it in my palm, the temperature of the jewel seemed to tease me in the cold morning air, as though it knew of my frustrations to understand the new circumstances that surrounded it.
The restored amulet was mixed bag for me. While it being fully repaired was a good thing, the fact that its security got reset was an issue. The device was given to me by Zelretch after all so it would only recognize him as the owner as opposed to me as its current operator. It was even worse since what I could tell, the power was restored to it completely yet I cannot access it to get back home.
And if that was not insulting enough, I still could not make heads or tails on the beings that repaired the gear. I got something on the dragon gods, but I got zit on the holy armoured fellow and the guy wrapped in dark bandages. The holy being I would guess to be from Heaven had the power to force Ise and I back to our normal forms and restore our respective devices, not to mention create that odd sword that apparently carries the powers of all the known Sacred Gears, Devils, Gods, Dragons and the other fellow's power, with the distinct possibility of the Kaleidoscope added to it as well since it was using the image of the amulet as the base. But that was not the bit that concerned me. It was the words he spoke that got me on edge, as he was referencing both Archer and Alaya, which meant that he was aware of who I was and what was likely my future if certain events were to happen.
And there was the 'thing' which evidently came out of the cracks of the dimension, the one that many described as being the darker copy of yours truly. From what was seen from their memories, it was clear that this one was not to be trifled with; even from the memories, I could feel the presence that wanted to melt my flesh from the bones and tear my mind to pieces. This was a being of pure evil on the plane of existence as the one in the holy armor, matched only by the two dragon gods if not exceed them. And I could understand what they meant by a darker copy of me, it was weird seeing my face on him with my voice but at the same time it was not me.
But worse, this one reminded me especially of the being in the Holy Grail, Angra Mainyu. I have seen the version in my world and fought a few in other dimensions, so I would know the feel and 'taste' of his presence. And if it was not enough of a clue, the fact that he said I was the victor of other wars that defeated his avatar meant that he was in more ways than one the actual Angra Mainyu of the cup that somehow was linked to the different dimensions.
And he was after me…
Would that mean this world actually held some form of Alaya and Gaia? This world still had gods and youkai living and thriving in all parts of the world, so it was certain that Alaya did not have that much hold on it, but if it did exist in this world, would that mean I was just a few steps away from meeting my doom, or would fate have different plans for me?
I really hate my bloody E-Rank Luck...
A huff broke my thoughts and brought my attention to a certain wolf with blades on his back coming to my side. The wolf sat on his hunches, looked to me briefly before letting out another huff and looked to the sun.
"Did I disturb your beauty sleep?" An irritated growl answered my query, putting a smile on my face as I placed my palms behind me as the sun rose higher in the horizon, the first few rays of light hitting the rooftops of the smaller buildings ahead of me. "Sorry about that mate, would a few servings of roast for dinner help?" The wolf seemed to be considering but his tail betrayed his thoughts as it wagged very happily at the proposal. "Okay then, extra meat it is with a couple of lamb bones on the side." That certainly did the trick as the wolf let out a satisfied huff and what could pass as a smirk on his face.
Having him as my companion came as a bit of a surprise. I had visited him (yes, it was a guy, trust me on it) a few times to keep him company and to get the steel spikes off his back, and he seemed to at least tolerate my presence enough to let me tend to him at times. Sometime after the tournament fiasco, I arrived to find a face full of teeth as he came charging like a bull out of hell. It then got very awkward as I was on the ground and he was going all over me trying to find something on me, before he huffed and moved away. It took an explanation from the frazzled keeper to understand that oddity and it helped to understanding the destruction of the forest around me. I never thought he was that worried for me.
Not that he would admit it, he had a bit of a tsundere in him.
Shortly after that, the newly named Koing Schenider ended up coming back home with me to the apartment where his appearance surprised the exorcists a lot. The blade wolf apparently had quite the mischievous streak as he would appear from nowhere to scare Xenovia and Irina, with Mitelt happily helping him out with the pranks. It had a bit of grudging respect for Griselda when they first met and I have on occasions spotted them doing some odd sparring with him mock-attacking the woman with its speed attacks.
Although I got the feeling it was trolling me with the amount of clothing damage he would give Griselda right around the time I would appear at their spars and giving me a bloody heart attack.
The reactions from the Sitri Peerage were rather hilarious, given their first meeting was quite destructive. Poor Saji was scared stiff each time the wolf waltzed past him in a manner that I knew was deliberate in intentions; he wanted the poor devil to be scared shitless. Reya and Megumi were more or less used to him and started leaving out snacks for him to eat while Yura liked to play rough house with him, although she needed special clothes to avoid tears (damn girl nearly gave me a heart attack when she came to me in shredded clothes that barely protected her modesty). Momo came along to try and understand the magical properties of his body, but often used me as her body shield when the wolf growled warnings at her. He was indifferent to Sona and Tsubaki, and apparently was more receptive to Ruruko when she started interacting with him, if his wagging tail was of any indication.
Then again, she always had those treats with her and liked to give him tummy and head scratches.
When it came to the Gremory Peerage, the results were mostly the same with the exception of Ise who got chased around a lot by Koing, and Asia whom the wolf got along very well and was very protective of her. It made for an interesting situation when Raisei the sprite dragon got into a staring contest with the wolf until poor Asia tried to calm them down. Nowadays the dragon would be nesting on the wolf's head out of mischief with the latter getting irritated with its action but just ignored it.
And so, he was the second male to not get shocked by the little dragon. Go figure.
I snorted as I got back to my feet and stretched my arms just as the sun rays hit the apartment. Well I would have to take another look at the mind-scape later, as it was it would take me quite a while to get something of an idea about my issues. I would also deal with the beings later.
Time to make breakfast.
"Hey Shirou!" I turned to find Ise running up to me with his arm waving, Asia, Mitelt and Koneko following behind at a more sedate pace. "You are done for the day already?"
"My class has ended a little earlier because our lecturer is out with the flu. Quite a few of the others got some activities in the region that required leaving the campus early so the last lecturer let us off provided we signed off the permission passes." I explained while continuing to walk with the four by my side. "And considering the shop is getting busier these days, I would need to get in early to prepare for the crowd."
"That must be rough." He commented. "How are Kano and Kawako?"
"They are doing fine. Although I am a little worried at times. Kano really wants to get the second bar open so that the revenue can pour in." I sighed heavily. "The two are not getting any younger and so far I have yet to meet their sons. It seemed like they never visited once, only sending a card or two in the entire year. Kawako is a little heart-broken at that."
"Those sons could use a little hard reminder." Mitelt stated with a rather scary smile that made Ise moved away in fear. "They need to remember their parents~"
"Maybe we can visit them later?" Asia asked while Koneko nodded her agreement. "I do want to thank them for the treats from the last time."
"Yeah, and if you want, we can help out a little." Ise volunteered his aid. "It's the least we could do to repay them. And if it involves furniture moving, I can at least help to move them around."
"I will let them know that." I looked around us to see if anyone was around before asking softly. "So how is your current status on your lifespan?" To that question Ise let out a tired sigh while Asia and Koneko looked sad.
"As you know, I only have a hundred or so years left in me. For humans that would be a nice thing, but by devil's standards, that is considered very short, practically a baby's age in comparison to the whole devil longevity of at least a thousand years." Ise answered while scratching his hair. "At least Koneko is helping me with Senjutsu to slowly fix my 'life core' if you would call it that. Our last session gave us the estimation of me obtaining at least two years back."
"That's nice, being able to get back your years by fixing your core." I remarked. "In most cases that would not be that effective, then again they did not have an actual youkai specializing in the field of Senjutsu to help them."
"Yeah, it helps." Ise nodded before tilting his head. "How about you? I suppose you have some manner of recovering from that as well." This time I gave him the resigned sigh as I gathered my thoughts, knowing the possible reactions to my answer. Mitelt on her part looked ready to smack me since she already knew the answer.
"In all honesty, I would be lucky to hit my twenties, if not early thirties."
"WHAT?!" I was so lucky to have erected a privacy ward around us and we were in a relatively empty part of the academy. That said, I was a little surprised at the volume made by Asia and Koneko. They had one set of lungs on them.
"Even before that little tussle we had, I was already damaged in some manner." I started to explain. "I had gone on a few hunts with other monsters and demons before coming here, and quite a few ended up with me in the hospital."
"Kaichou and Buchou did mention about you in intensive care before transferring here." Ise remarked as the trio of devils listened while Mitelt looked away briefly with a frown. "And that time your wounds were shown at the conference..."
"Those were some of the older and newer wounds. Fact is that I have gotten so banged up over the years my lifespan had dropped a little. But going into that Berserker form without a limiter really took a toll on my body." I gave that bit of truth since there was no need for them to know of my dimensional travels and fights. I may have Avalon in my body with the whole 'regeneration restoration' bit, but without Saber around for the first few years of my travels, it was clear that the limited restoration came at the cost of slowly withering away my lifespan. Zelretch bestowing the Amulet gave me some reprieve as the Prana used could be obtained from it, allowing me to use my own brand of Senjutsu to slowly build back my lifespan. Whatever that Berserker form was, it undid my work and I was now a lot closer to Archer than I wanted in terms of what age I would die.
"At least we are out of that, huh?" Bless the young lad's heart, he really wants to get away from the sore topic.
"I suppose so, now we can focus on getting some of our life energy back." I nodded before giving a wry smile. "That being said, that can only be done if we don't have any more life-threatening incidents like those previous ones."
"Yeah, doubt that will stop soon." The both of us laughed while the two devil girls looked to each other and shrugged with Mitelt face-palming at our words. We continued on before I asked the next thing on my mind.
"How about your peerage, how are the girls reacting? And Irina for that matter."
"They have calmed down for now. Buchou is currently trying to find better methods of getting back vitality. Irina is asking Michael for some help to see if anything can aid the dragon aspect of my powers. Akeno..." Ise at this point sported that silly expression connected to his perversity. Mitelt and Koneko looked to one another, nodded once, then raised their hands to smack his head hard at the same time. "OW!"
"Pervert." Koneko glared at Ise.
"Bad boy." Asia pouted at him.
"Hopeless idiot thinking with his lower head." No need to say who that was.
Ise for his mind scratched his head as he dropped the expression before looking to me in a manner that said he wanted to pass the baton. "How about you? How are Kaichou's Peerage and the exorcists reacting?"
"That is a mess that really got on my ass." I scratched my head a little at that. "Griselda is getting on my case for making Xenovia and Irina worry over my condition. They too are trying their side to get some treatment for me with their contacts from the church and possibly the Heaven Faction. Regarding the Sitri Peerage, they are going through some of the old texts from Sona's family library to get some answers. Levi-tan is also helping out a little in that area as she wanted to understand what type of power I used in our little tussle."
"Yeah, the so-called Berserker power." Ise gulped a little at the reminder before glaring at me. "I thought you said you don't know any of those spells."
"I said that I had heard of them, not know how to use them." I answered before pausing, my sudden stop nearly making the others crash into me. I narrowed my eyes before sighing. "Looks like we got some company."
"I was wondering when you would notice that?" Mitelt mentioned as she prepared one spear in her hand. "Then again you are better than the dragon boy here."
"Huh?" Ise looked around the empty corridor. "There is no one around… Wait a minute, when did it get this empty?"
"Exactly." I answered as Koneko took point behind us, her cat ears out and twitching at every angle. Ise brought Asia closer while bringing out [Boosted Gear]. I did not really get into a stance as I had a suspicion as to whom was involved this time. I let out another sigh before calling out. "Are you that desperate for a reply? It has only been a month."
"Yes well, my boss really wants to have an answer." The three devils jumped as Georg made his way out of the classroom ahead of us and straightened his glasses. "And I do want to meet you again so I took the excuse of checking on you, and here I am before you."
"Well I suppose I can let it slide, since you are so polite. Like seriously, compared to my other encounters, you are the second most polite to meet me." I shrugged at that.
"Oh, only the second? Who's the first?" Georg raised an eyebrow at that statement.
"A human-turned-vampire magus who was able to take down multiple forces of magus and exorcists with one hand behind his back and taking some tea at times." I answered with a straight face while thinking about Julius. Seriously, the third time I met that guy, he was literally drinking Earl Grey Tea while battling a team of five magus, all while conversing with me on the importance of brewing tea leaves in hot drinks.
Never piss off the gentleman vampire, period.
"Hmm~ it would be nice to meet with that fellow." Georg remarked as he nodded.
"Uh, Shirou?" I turned to find the young lad and the two ladies looking at us two with confused expressions. "What's going on here?"
Oh right, forgot about them.
"In case you forget, Georg here is from the Hero Faction." I pointed a thumb at the young magus who was looking quite amused at the situation and had the audacity to wave at them. "He had approached me sometime after the Hell invasion with an offer to join the faction. And if I am not mistaken, he just sent us all into an alternate mirror dimension with his Sacred Gear to get some alone time."
"That would be the second time we meet if you recall." Georg raised a finger. "First time being I crashed Vali's little fight and we got interrupted by your devil companions."
"True." I crossed my arms while mentally preparing my trigger. "I guess your team wants an update for the request?"
"Of sorts." The magus flicked a card at me, which I only accepted after it went through a few rune circles I conjured quickly to check for curses. "My leader is desiring a meeting with you in person. He has seen your exploits and wanted to get a better opinion of you."
"Wait a second here! What is really going on here?!" Ise blew up at this point and pointed a finger at Georg. "Why the fuck do you guys want Shirou for your group? I thought you terrorist guys hated our guts!"
"Finally! Someone with common sense, and it had to come from the breast-obsessed dragon boy of all people!" Mitelt threw her arms up in frustration.
"It is the Maoh Faction that gives you guys so much grief." Georg answered as he paced before us. "True, some of our members were involved with the past attacks but we were not fully committed to them. We have our own goals."
"Being the only faction of humans with Sacred Gears to take down others." I remembered the talk I had with Azazel. "You want to establish humans as the hunters of sorts."
"Of sorts." Georg then gestured to me. "The issue currently is that my leader really wants to meet you in person despite knowing that you would likely refuse our offer and all. He just wants to get a feel of you."
"Don't mind me saying this, but your boss is weird." I said in a flat tone.
"One of his quirks." Georg shrugged. "Anyway, I am just the messenger who has just completed his task." He pushed his spectacles up while the air started to get charged. "This next bit though, is going to be my own personal interaction and experimentation." That got Ise and the others to get into position while I still maintained my pose. "Oh, and this will be a private conversation, so..." With a gesture of a finger, red mist appeared at the bottom of the devils' feet and they ended up falling through with a yelp, disappearing along with the mist. Only a quick jump and the extending of her wings saved Mitelt from that fate.
"Did you have to do that?" I raised an eyebrow at that.
"What can I say? I am a performer." The mage smirked in good nature. "But as promised, they will not be harmed. I did say that I had a soft spot for the ex-nun."
"Thank you for that. I don't think we can afford to keep them waiting." I nodded while taking my hands out of the pocket. "So shall we get going to have a spar?"
"Well I do need an excuse to get away from my group and I want to know your moves a little." Georg raised a hand to create a circle around his wrist. "Best to make it convincing. Don't worry about making a mess, we are in a mirror dimension and it would be easier to explain your disappearance."
"Shirou, when this is over, you and I are so going to have a big conversation after this." Mitelt directed a glare at me. "I do not appreciate having to play that trick on Asia."
"It was the only way to get them out and to make sure the next bit is private." I answered softly. "But I agree, I do deserve the blame."
"Let's get started." With that Georg let loose a few bolts of light in our direction, forcing us to break off in different directions. Mitelt ended up going out of the window to begin a bombardment of spears while I went into the classroom to flank him. A quick projection sent my weapons through the fake wall at him, but he conjured up that weird portal magic to send it back at me while creating a small shield to block the spears from piercing him. With another gesture, a stream of fire gushed around him and seemingly ate through the concrete to get to me, forcing me to call forth a set of Noble Phantasms aimed to freeze cursed flames while converting some of them into Prana for my weapons.
Damn I was so glad to insist having him not damage the academy. This would be one heck of a mess to clean up.
"Incoming!" That was the only warning I got from Mitelt before a host of birds made from her spears descended onto Georg like the second coming of the plague. Georg on his part clearly did not expect that as he had to back away quickly and call upon his Sacred Gear to eliminate some of them. Mitelt however had been practising and experimenting with her technique; after the first two birds were destroyed, the others held back in the air, half of them pointed their wings to fire off bolts of spears at him while the other half of the group splintered to form smaller versions of themselves to sneak past his defences. With him sufficiently distracted, I brought out a certain item I had been meaning to try out for some time.
"Holy Division!" I brought out the spear made from the fragments of [Divine Divide] and used it to slash [Dimension Lost], causing the wizard's gear to lose power and decreasing his defensive power. Georg's eyes bulged at that and made to back away when Mitelt came from behind and slammed a fistful of light into him, causing him to crash into the other classroom.
"Damn that felt good." Mitelt let out a sigh while shaking her hand a little. "But damn, what are those robes made of, kevlar?"
"Enchanted robes from the looks of it." I remarked while raising an eyebrow. "I hope you did not hurt him too much, we kind of need his help."
"And as I stated earlier, I really do not like playing tricks on Asia." Mitelt countered back easily. "I figured the two of you would make some weird deal but we are really playing with fire. If he wants to play possum to keep his cover, at the least I can give him some real injuries to help with that."
"And for that I am grateful." Georg came out of the wreckage looking a little worse for wear with tears in his robes and a bruise forming on his face. "And I suppose I earn that punch. Blimey, you have one hell of a right hook!" He winced while lightly cradling his right side, seemingly having a broken rib. "Did you really have to hit me that hard?"
"I am pissed." That was the answer Mitelt gave.
"Point taken. But at least my part is done. Now then..." He smirked at this point, "If you don't mind me saying, you two are something else. But I think you too need something to cover your own ends."
"Oh great~ I will not like this." Mitelt groaned at his words and I could only agree in my mind.
This was going to suck.
Several circles appeared around us and fired off bolts of holy light, demonic energy and lightning at once, forcing me to create a wall of steel around us to hold them off. Not deterred by that, Georg slammed his palm on to the ground, creating huge cracks from which thick vines sprout out and rushed towards us. I raised a hand to direct some of the blades at them, shredding the vines as they went along, but they seemed to adapt to the attack quickly as the vines overwhelmed them in sheer number and thickness before rushing forward with increased speeds.
"Ah come on!" Mitelt let loose her creations only for them to get torn apart, but not without setting the vines on fire upon contact. "Do we really have to play along with this?!"
"As stated, you need your own excuse." Georg merely waved a hand to summon a tidal wave that rushed at us through the narrow corridor, forcing us to separate to get away from getting swept away by the current. That merely opened us up to the salvo of spears that came from the ground, cutting me by the legs while nicking Mitelt. He followed that up with more magical circles that shot off ice spikes at us which we managed to dodge. Good thing too as they apparently freeze anything they got into contact with before exploding into pin cushions of ice.
"Okay~ if this is about what I said and done earlier, I'm sorry about it." Mitelt mentioned lamely as she looked at where she was a few seconds ago. Georg merely smiled wider as he called forth more of his weird mist and some more spell circles to attack us with.
Oh well, better reply back in kind.
"Trace Bullet, Continuous Fire!" I let loose my volley of blades at him, prompting the wizard to use his mist to capture them while using his magic circles to fire off bolts of light at me. I used [Aegis Type 2] to block them while running down the corridor and firing off more blades. Grabbing an ice-themed weapon, I froze the water on the ground to make it less fluid before calling forth my own version of spikes to deter Georg, giving Mitelt the chance to attack him with her avian constructs. Yet despite of all that was happening, Georg was giving a genuine smile of excitement.
And truth be told, I too was sporting one of my own. It has been a while since I last fought a magus on any type of battlefield.
"As Hercules might say, let's ramp it up!" Georg held out his right arm to the side where a magic circle was forming and in a blink of an eye a magical staff with a red gem at the top came forth in his hand. With a stab of the staff into the ground, the ice seemed to have lost its state and started swirling into a miniature tornado, transforming itself into a three-headed serpent made of ice, their eyes glowing a menacing red. With a gesture of his staff, the serpent pushed forward with a speed that belied its form, and it was only with a wall of swords that prevented me from getting a face-full of teeth.
"Eat this!" Mitelt call forth a magic circle and let loose a barrage of fireballs to hit the serpent. It looked like a successful hit as the steam dispersed to reveal two of the heads have been blown cleaned off if not shattered to pieces, but that did not last long as more ice started to build around them and reconstruct the heads in no time, the two moving and opening their mouths to demonstrate the invulnerability. "Ah for fuck's sake!"
"You got to try harder dear." Georg gave a cheeky grin as he swung the stuff to direct the serpent at her. I took the opportunity to call forth [Hell's Trident] to create a spear of my own design and threw it at him, the sounds of the ice literally turning to steam instantly filling the hallway. Georg reacted by having the serpent take the hit for him, causing the construct to roar in agony as the spear sunk deep into one of its eyes and literally boiled the entire head all the way to the neck, eventually snapping it off and leaving two heads without the regeneration kicking in.
"Oh my. That is really interesting, creating a spear that could melt the ice and cancel out the regeneration process." Georg looked at his damaged construct with great interest. "Honestly, you having that devil's Sacred Gear has done you wonders." He then turned to me with a glint in his eyes. "Then how about this?"
Fire erupted from the bottom of his foot and rushed forward in a tidal wave of darkness, figures of animals forming at the forefront as they came at me with open mouths. With a grimace, I pulled out a Noble Phantasm this time to counter that.
"Wipe them out, [Temnyy Izgnan Nik]!" Clutching the handle of the blade that erupted with a crimson flame of its own, I swung it hard to let out my own torrent of flames to meet the dark flames head on, the two flames clashing violently in the middle and fighting for dominance until mine managed to overpower his and consume it. Then with the added firepower (I could not help the mental snort at the unintentional pun), the flames roared to life and went straight for Georg, forcing him to direct the serpent to take the attack. The construct took the full blast of the attack and absorbed it, with the end result being its entire body breaking down with it screaming in agony.
By the Root, I would be having nightmares from that alone.
"Hah, eat that!" Mitelt cheered only for Georg to use the opportunity to send chains of light at Mitelt to keep her tied up before calling forth more of his mist to send her away. "AH MOTHERFU~" Her curse got cut off halfway as the mist had successfully teleported her away from the battlefield.
Thus, leaving me alone with him. Oh boy...
"Don't worry about her, I have pushed her back into the real world. She should be making contact with the devils at this point." Georg said as the ice around us came back to him to create a new two-headed serpent. "Now that is done, I can now do this in private." Georg spoke rather ominously as the new construct stared at me with plenty of hissing. I prepared my next volley as Georg reached into his robes with one hand and then proceeded to pull out…
A brown and worn out document folder?
"Here is the list of information you would probably want to know for the faction." Georg levitated the folder to me while the serpent lowered itself to let Georg pet it on the head, with one head reminding me of a puppy with the open mouth and hanging tongue. "Granted, you might want to take it with a grain of salt if you are going to use this."
"I guess we are done with the whole 'negotiations went wrong' excuse?" I dismissed the majority of my weapons while straightening up.
"Indeed." The wizard dismissed the construct and cracked his neck with a grimace. "Blimey, I have not had a workout like that for a while now, I am getting rusty."
"You do have some decent moves for a mage not fully trained in combat. Granted I have not met that many magus in this area, but you are perhaps the best of the lot in terms of variety, and that is not taking into account with your Sacred Gear." I remarked nonchalantly.
"Coming from you, that is high praise." Georg gave a bow at me. "And I do mean that sincerely."
"And I mean what I said about your skills. Seriously though, has anyone told you your gear is bloody hax?" I asked with a flat tone and with a hint of exasperation at his Sacred Gear. Honestly speaking, his gear is about the closest thing to being an overpowered WMD type of Reality Marble, I would think that Gilgamesh would be hard-pressed to bring out [Enuma Elish] if he wanted to.
"I have been told that, though honestly it is a tad overrated." Georg gave that admission before reaching into a pocket and pulling out a crystal orb encased with gold trimmings. "Now for the one to be given to your allies. This has some details for an operation in Kyoto, but again take it with a grain of salt. Cao Cao is getting rather insistent on changing the details of the plan and it is becoming very tiresome to keep track of his changes."
"Thanks." I grabbed the crystal he threw with the side checking of runes to make sure it was not booby-trapped. "But don't mind me asking, are you sure you want to do this?" To that Georg gave a rather mischievous smile that made me think of Zelretch for some dreadful reason.
"You could say that I have gotten interested in you since our first meeting, and those times we have been keeping an eye on you and your fighting, you have brought back something in me that I have missed in my time with the Hero Faction or the Chaos Brigade." Georg straightened his glasses. "As such, I am willingly to play my cards a little differently."
"Your boss will not be pleased."
"As long as Cao Cao gets his wish of fighting monsters, I could care less right now." Georg answered calmly. "Our meeting and this fight are just the reminders of my own dream that I need to pick up once more."
"Which is?" My question was seemingly ignored as Georg turned around and waved his hand to bring out more of that mist from his Sacred Gear, bringing me back to the real world. Just as my head was about to be covered, he turned his head and looked at me in the eye.
"I suspect it is the same thing as you. To find the Root of all magic."
What did he just say?!
Before I could say it out the teleportation got completed and I found myself at the academy's garden shed. It was only by instinct that I dismissed my weapons in time as I could hear voices heading my way and within a few moments the door slammed open to reveal the two peerages making their way to me.
"Shirou! Are you okay!" Ise yelled as he skidded to a stop in front of me. "That guy did not try to dissect you or anything right?!"
How did that line of thought come about?
"I am fine, it is a good thing that I am supposed to leave class early." I took a sniff of my clothes and grimaced. "I would need a change of clothes anyway before heading to work."
"Do you think you can give us a quick overview of what happened? Hyoudou-san said that the magician was from the Chaos Brigade and he wanted to recruit you." Sona asked with a very stern expression.
"Sure. Lead the way." I let the devils move along before following them with Mitelt by my side, a quick gesture with my hand telling her that we would chat later. Her lips thinning and a glint in her eyes were the only indicators that she got the message but did not have to like it.
Yup, I was going to get yelled big time.
"And that is my report." Georg ended his surveillance report while adjusting his slightly cracked glasses, not minding his torn up and burnt clothes that looked ready to break at the seams. Aside from Hercules who was clamping on his mouth to stop his laughter, the rest of the crew were silently digesting his information.
"Well, I would say that was a bust." Leonardo spoke out first with a shrug. "I don't think Emiya would want to be with us any time soon."
"True, but at least we are getting more information on his strengths. Soon we would be able to test him in our own way with a bit of tweaking." Cao Cao leaned back in his chair as he tapped his fingers to a rhythm in his mind. "Truly this is rather exciting to say the least."
"Are we really planning to bring him in?" The sole exorcist of the room asked with some restraint on his temper. Something of an achievement by Georg's standards since the past few meetings ended with the rooms needing to be repaired.
"Yes, although from the looks of it, it would be more along the lines of control as opposed to free-will." Cao Cao remarked easily.
"I highly doubt that would help us in the long run. We should just get rid of him." Okay, looks like Siegfried's temper was still simmering on high. Georg minutely tapped a hidden rune on his clothes to prepare a thin layer of protection from the possible explosions to come.
"In time I suppose. In time."
"Aww~ do we have to get rid of him?" Jeanne asked while looking at a folder containing information on Shiou Emiya with a rather disturbing expression on her face. "I am sure we can convince him otherwise. I would love to have him over on our side."
"Jeanne, please keep your mind out of the gutter." Georg would wholeheartedly admit that he was begging at this point. Ever since that footage of Emiya being shirtless from the Faction meeting, the females in the Hero Faction have been in a very disturbing mood to the point that the males were going out of their way to get the hell out of the compound just to retain their sanity. Some of his fellow magicians even started using cleaning spells to 'rid the area of contaminants', all while shivering in fear.
Considering that he was now covering Leonardo's ears, Siegfried doing the same for his eyes, and Heracles using his body as the barrier with his back towards Jeanne just to protect the young boy's mind, that was not an overreaction.
"Jeanne, control yourself." Cao Cao to his credit was maintaining his position with a notable twitching of his eyebrow. Even he was not immune to the craziness of the females.
"Well if there is nothing else, may I return to my quarters?" Georg asked while mentally praying to get away from the female in heat. "I do need to attend to some of my experiments, they should be bearing results that I really wish to be checking on."
"Very well." Cao Cao waved him off, letting Georg get out of the room with controlled haste, pausing to give a betrayed looking Heracles and Siegfried an amused smirk before leaving them to their doom, his smirk going wider at the outraged sounds the two made. It did not take long for him to reach his quarters, from which he grabbed a change of clothes and a few small items placed inside his bag. He did not wish to be in the area for too long.
With a quick check and a nod, Georg activated his gear and walked through the mist while applying some complex magical calculations that altered his abilities lightly to change the destination. It only took roughly two minutes before he exited the portal to be in a rocky plain that was about a few miles away from their hideout. With quick steps he entered a hidden cave and walked with precise steps to a wall upon which he took out a talisman and fitted it to a niche next to him. The talisman glowed briefly before the wall groaned and shifted to allow an opening just big enough for him to enter. Georg took a moment to fire off a spell to scan the area for intruders before walking through and closing the entrance, then he made his way down an odd dried up river channel and to a hidden cavern which was filled with different instruments, cauldrons of boiling potions and sigils drawn on old chalkboards and the walls.
"Home sweet home." Georg placed his bag on the nearby table and cracked his neck before heading to the showers to cleanse his body, carelessly stripping and throwing his tattered clothes to the side. With a flick of his fingers the hot water came pouring on him and he hissed at the aches and stings as the water hit his sore muscles and open wounds, with the chemicals cleansing and sealing the wounds until they are minor blemishes on his skin. Yet it did not stop the exhilaration that was coursing through his veins, both from his mock fighting and his little 'report' to Cao Cao.
'It is all going according to plan.'
For anyone who knew Georg, they would probably be surprised that he was actually playing both sides of this matter. After all, he was a human possessing a Longinus Gear working in a faction that aims to remove all monsters from the planet to prove that humans were the bigger threat, not to mention his leader was the one wielding the strongest Longinus of them all so that was suicidal of him to even think of double crossing him.
But then, they would not understand the mindset of a wizard… or should it be the mindset of a magus?
Georg turned the water off and grabbed the towel to dry himself off, thinking about his interactions with all he had met in his past, all the way back to his teachers. Normally he would not be so retrospective about these types of matters, but seeing Shirou Emiya in action and meeting him face to face had made Georg consider a lot of things. His magecraft was perhaps the most peculiar and that in turn made him think back to his teachers in his younger days. One in particular was rather insistent to refer to their magic style as magecraft since in his words, 'true magic could not be replicated by others no matter what others do'. At that time, Georg was too young to understand, and by his own hand was able to replicate and bring about old magic styles back, not to mention wielding a Longinus. In some loopy sense of weirdness, he could be forgiven for disregarding his teacher's words.
At least until he witnessed Shirou Emiya's fights.
No matter how much he searched, no matter whom he asked, there was no records of such a person wielding such unusual magic. It was only by looking through his old notes that he recalled his master's teachings and realized that this was what he meant. A totally different system similar to how the Sacred Gears were conceived.
It also brought back something of his past to mind, that a magus should always continue researching magic to be the best there is, so that one could achieve the greatest reward available to a magus. A reward that his master was actually tearing up on his last bed as he took his last breath to the grave.
Something called 'The Root'.
Georg was intrigued by this reminder and decided to research more on this 'Root' that his master was obsessed with. The more he did, the more he brought back some of his teacher's lessons to his mind. It did give him a window of opportunity to do something about his current position. Not that he hated his current position in the Hero Faction, he did believe humans were superior as demonstrated with his magic alone. But there was a need to keep some insurance in the event that the faction would get destroyed or someone decided that he had outlived his usefulness. Georg was not blind to how Cao Cao would easily throw someone away if their Sacred Gear gets destroyed or taken away, and at the same time would use someone by getting them under a trance with his Longinus. Because of his teachings, as limited as they were, he made sure to devise some plans if he had to do a quick getaway.
It was also because of those teachings that he decided on a risky tactic to make an alliance of sorts with Shirou Emiya. It was not just the fact that the young man was an unknown entity, his name and magecraft were something that reminded Georg of one last bit of info he was keeping to himself. He recalled his master on occasion cursing the name Emiya with enough venom to send chills down his spine. When asked, the master would go on a tirade about a mercenary who went about breaking every rule in the book on traditional magic and using firearms to kill off important heirs thus ruining great families and making a good number of them extinct, then about another Emiya who had the power to create weapons that came out of legends. It was this bit that made Georg wonder about Shirou Emiya and whether he was either related to the two or was even the second person mentioned. He was leaning more to the first as his master was quite old to begin with and the idea of Shirou Emiya being around the time of his master's fights was a little ludicrous unless he was involved with reincarnations or got a new body. And given how he reacted to some people, it was clear he did not have the full picture.
Perfect for Georg to weave his net.
But as expected, Shirou Emiya was cautious and observant. He may be agreeable to the alliance, but he was clearly keeping an eye on him and some of the terms he laid out were quite troublesome to say the least. Asking him to give a binding oath was perhaps the most troublesome of the lot, yet it excited Georg to some extent. It certainly did not help with that Fallen Angel appearing in the middle of his proposal, followed shortly after by the exorcists, and Georg had to do it under threat of her spear. But it seemed to have worked out quite well so far for the both of them.
And there was one more reason for working with Shirou Emiya...
Georg stopped in front of the large mirror charmed to the wall and twisted his body slightly to look over his shoulder at the reflection. Just around his shoulder blade was in his humble opinion the most intricate magical tattoo he had ever laid eyes on. Split three ways, it was formed using the image of what appeared to be a pyramid with a snake eating its tail inside it, followed by a wand that bisect the two in half. Studying its details, Georg noted that it had gotten a lot darker and more noticeable than the last time he checked on it.
This tattoo appeared shortly after a mission in Kyoto to speed up the process of obtaining more territory for their future task of capturing the kitsune, when he had to clean up from a fight. He honestly believed that the yokai he fought decided to pull one last curse on him to take him out, but found his observations wrong after some heavy testing. As much as he could tell, the tattoo possessed a type of mana that he had never encountered before, and there was something resembling a binding spell linked to it, suggesting a binding contract was involved somehow. And with a rather unusual open-ended connection to it, as though he was meant to be linked to someone or something. Georg created a scrying spell based on the tattoo and while he did not come up with any results, he did have an indication that two others had the same issue.
The first was the rouge exorcist that had appeared during the Excalibur incident, the one named Lyle Wallner. Based on his scrying, he had a tattoo on his chest that resembled a three-part cross with vines decorating it. From what he gathered, the teen was currently underground while working on odd missions for the church, proof that he was still loyal to them despite the bounty on his head.
The other result was something that he had kind of expected for some time and yet still surprised him. The second one lead to Shirou Emiya, the mage that had been at the focus of their group for quite a while now. The image of the tattoo was odd in that it kept fading and changing designs, as though it was unsure whether the mage was related at all, but majority of the time showed that it was a three-part sword tattoo that seemed to be centred around his hand.
This presented a fair bit of problems for Georg. He was going to need to do some thinking.
Still, Georg would continue this minor alliance with Emiya for a while longer just so he could get the opportunity to study his magecraft and see if there was a connection with the other Emiyas his master had ranted about. Not to mention securing an insurance policy in case Cao Cao decided Georg was expendable, he would not be caught off-guard. This was all getting quite exciting for him, and this tattoo that appeared promised something of great importance based on the notes by his late master, regarding seven chosen to take part in a ritual that promised of a prize that his late master had written as the holy grail of magic. Georg had a feeling that it may have some relation to the Sacred Gear itself, and if so then he might have a chance to get to it before the others. Nothing against Cao Cao, but he could use some new materials for his research and if the stories on the grail were true, he would hit the motherload.
He only had one complaint about it…
Why did this tattoo had to be of this design? He did not need any more references to that silly story book damn it!
"Okay you guys, break time." Kano called out to us as he entered the kitchen.
"Finally~" Mitelt slumped against the table. "I am beat~"
"Today was a very interesting day to say the least." Irina commented as she laid down her towel. "Was there some tour group earlier on?"
"There was. Came all the way from Hokkaido." Kano nodded while grabbing a few bottles of drinks to pass around. "Not exactly the nicest group around. So many rude youngsters yelling and shoving."
"Indeed, two of them were getting too handsy for my taste." Xenovia grumbled as she sat down.
"Well at least you broke their expectations of getting lucky… and their fingers… and one guy's spine... at least one losing the ability to bear children." Kano and I winced at that part while Mitelt raised her hand to let Xenovia perform a high-five. Indeed, it was a good thing there were cameras in the bar to at least exonerate Xenovia if anyone tried to accuse her of using excessive force, but damn the screams were loud when she delivered the mother of all nut-crunching kicks to the man's jewels. Every male in the room winced and crossed their legs as one as the man dropped to the ground crying in agony, while some of the females cheered Xenovia on.
Even a few of my swords felt that pain.
"If it helps, the tour guide was very grateful for that humbling lesson." Irina gave an innocent smile that somehow did not reach her eyes and making me take a couple of steps away from her. "It seems those two have been quite troublesome."
"Xenovia, the badass nutcracker." Mitelt crackled while Xenovia looked to the side with a blush on her cheeks. I could only shake my head at the situation. It felt weird after the incident in the underworld, yet it somehow does not surprise me as much.
"Anyway, take the time to relax. My dear is getting some grub for us." Kano spoke before leaving the kitchen in a bit of a hurry, likely scared of Irina's mannerisms and Mitelt's words at the point. Not that I could blame him, it would appear that Irina has unlocked her sadistic side.
I actually felt a little bad for Ise, he already had Akeno going after him and now his childhood friend seemed to be following in her footsteps. I shall offer a prayer for his sanity and likely his pelvis if he continued his path to getting a harem.
Darn it, I still have trouble understanding that kid.
"It is somewhat surreal considering the crap we went through during that tournament." Irina remarked as she sat on her chair.
"Tell me about it." Xenovia nodded while leaning back. "I am feeling quite inadequate with all the fights we have been having. I need to train more."
"Do what you need. In the mean-time..." Mitelt waved a lazy hand to put up a couple of privacy spells before turning to me. "We continue our discussion about Georg." I could only let out another sigh at that tone, it was really problematic for me.
When Georg approached me at the student festival, it was clear that he had his own agenda but masked it under the guise of recruiting me for the Hero Faction. After that initial proposal, he quickly demonstrated the mindset of a magus with a hidden agenda, someone who was using the faction as a cover to conduct his own business. His approach for an alliance with him had merits but I was quite cautious considering how he conducted himself, so I had to push for an oath to ensure his loyalty, something that was unintentionally aided with the appearance of Mitelt who came to check up on me, followed shortly by Xenovia and Irina. He certainly was hard-pressed to give the oath but at least it was in our favour. The trouble now was whether to tell the others about the arrangement. Mitelt wanted to at least have Asia protected while Irina was thinking to warn Griselda. Xenovia however sided with me on withholding the information for a while before approaching the others to ensure there was no double-crossing involved on the Hero Factions.
Let's just say that things have been tense and leave it at that.
"Okay, so it seems for now the information is accurate." Mitelt placed a finger on her chin as we went through the folder I took out of my dimensional pocket. "Least we know now there is something going on with Kyoto. My guess is it has something to do with the current ruler there."
"Who is it exactly?" I asked while looking up from one of the pages in my hand.
"Yasaka, a kitsune yokai who is the leader of the Kyoto Yokai Faction." The Fallen Angel answered. "From what I have heard, she is along the same power group as one of those Ultimate Devils, making it hard for enemies to target her. Further-more she has a few yokai acting as her guard that are close to the same strength. Lord Azazel himself is a little wary to approach her without some backup in case things go south for him."
"Making her a tempting target for a group of people who want to prove they are not pushovers." Xenovia snorted at that point. "I do not know whether to admire their bravery, laugh at the stupidity or pity them."
"None of them at this point." I placed the papers back into the dimensional pocket. "They are really wanting to summon the big red dragon by taking this Yasaka hostage. I understand the idea of using her yoki as a big battery and bait. Nothing says a bigger stick than a creature that has a close enough power output to rival other species, but this is getting a little much if they are going to do so in Kyoto itself in plain view of others."
"Well considering Georg has that game-breaking gear of his, it is safe to say they will do the kidnapping and ritual in that pocket dimension of sorts." Irina pointed that one out to our answering groans.
"Okay, so let's recap what we know. We do know that in terms of the entire Chaos Brigade, the main reason for the formation is to draw out Great Red to kill it for Oroborus. Yet it feels that the Hero Faction are the ones doing it for their own reason while the other factions are just riding on her coat tails." Mitelt remarked.
"I guess like the name suggest, their groups have no common purpose aside from dealing with Great Red. I can safely say that the elimination of Great Red is an asset to everyone if only because his absence would create a power vacuum for others." Xenovia gave her opinion. "We know that for the Hero Faction they just want to get rid of the dragon to prove they are better despite being humans."
"Vali's group is only doing it because the dragon is an opponent that Vali would love to fight in the future to prove he is the best dragon of them all." I gave my answer to that statement. "While I am not certain about the Maou Faction, I would say that it is their way of shouting to everyone that the devils are better than dragons."
"And the magician group has no known purpose. The only thing we do know is that they have one confirmed Longinus wielder." Xenovia rubbed her temple. "This is a pain." The rest of us could only nod in agreement.
"Now do we go and tell the others?" Mitelt asked with her lips pursed in frustration. I was about to give my reply when my silent alarm pinged and the four of us turned to the kitchen door at once noting the odd energy that sprung up. "Looks like we have a guest. You got saved by the bell for now."
"Yup." I placed my documents back into the dimensional pocket while Mitelt took down the wards in time for Kano to make an appearance.
"Hey Shirou, someone is calling for you." Kano called out with a smirk. "And I must say, you have some smooth moves." I blinked at his choice of words while the girls raised an eyebrow as one.
"What are you talking about?"
"Kid, a young lady came to the bar asking for you, and she is certainly quite the beauty up to this point." Kano remarked while throwing a thumb over his shoulder. "Considering her looks, she could compete with that Gremory girl for the foreign look." The four of us looked at each other with curious expressions before I got off my chair and made my way out of the kitchen and to the bar where a young woman with long silvery-white hair was waiting with her back towards me.
"Can I help you with something miss?" That got her attention and prompted her to turn around, and I found myself once again thinking that any women connected with the supernatural seemed to be required to be beautiful to an almost uncanny degree. She seemed to be roughly eighteen years old with pale skin and aqua-colored eyes that shone with a cursory light as she looked at me, which combined with the silver hair was a clear indicator she was not from around Japan. She was dressed in an attire that hugged her generous figure tightly and suited a young woman in an office, and I would likely have dismissed her as normal if not for the unique prana signature coming off her.
"It is nice to meet you Shirou Emiya." She bowed her head towards me while addressing with a notable accent that reminded me of Greenland or the Celts for some reason. "My name is Roseweisse, I have come with an invitation from my boss."
"I see." I looked to make sure Kano and Kawako were away from us. "Do I know your boss?"
"Perhaps. His name is Odin." That answer admittedly got me doing a double take with wide eyes. This was clearly not a social call with THAT name thrown about.
"I see. Kano, may I borrow your office for a second?" I called out to him. "Something came up in the academy." The old man waved his hand towards his office, allowing me to direct her and the others to the room. With a quick closing of the door, I drew a rune to invoke the maximum silence spell that could be used without tripping the other sensors before turning back to her. On her part she looked at my handiwork with a bit of intrigue, with one finger unconsciously following my movement.
"Okay, now that we would not be interrupted, we can talk." I spoke while the others took the seats around the table. "Though if I may ask, how do you know where to find me?"
"That would be due to Lord Azazel. Odin was talking with him on Japanese bars and he told us that you worked here." Roseweisse answered while crossing her rather distracting long legs. "Although I must admit, this was the last place I expected someone of your calibre to be working in for cover."
"It helps to pay my rent and my hospital bills." I shrugged before looking at her seriously. "I do not mean to be rude, but I am guessing this is a very important meeting." The young lady nodded in agreement.
"Lord Odin wishes to meet you in person before he meets the devil princesses." She answered while taking a quick of the tea provided, humming in approval at the flavour. "To be blunt, he is a little interested in your ability to create weapons that range from mundane to divine constructs. He has not been shutting up about it since he saw you create those weapons during the ball and the invasion."
"Anything else?" Mitelt folded her arms while narrowing her eyes. "I can tell there is something else to it."
"There is." Roseweisse gave another nod. "I doubt I need to repeat to you what you became during the fight with the Red Dragon Emperor, but Lord Odin was curious about the transformation." I groaned and placed my face into my hands while Xenovia and Irina patted my shoulders in sympathy.
"Great, another one wanting to know about that mess." I growled while mentally adding another name to the tally.
"I must confess my own curiosity on it, it would seem to be some sort of berserker charm resembling the ones from Norse Mythology." The woman remarked. The others paused and looked to me in that inquiring manner. I did not really give a good explanation last time so this was going to be problematic.
"Close, but not quite. It is a fail-safe that one of my teachers added to an amulet I have for safekeeping, the charm is more of a Mad Enhancement to bring out the full power of the body without the limitations, the only issue is the state of mind. Unfortunately, the amulet was damaged so the fail-safe did not work as planned and it got corrupted of sorts." It was the truth, just not the full truth.
Roseweisse cupped her chin while looking at me intently. "That does sound reasonable, though it seems an odd choice for a fail-safe."
"As you can imagine, it was meant solely for opponents that are so destructive it would be a Class S situation, and it can only be in areas where there are no allies around to avoid collateral damage." I shrugged with a wince. "But with all the fights I have been in, the amulet got some damage and the latest one ended up cracking the shell, disrupting the runes on it. Also being in the underworld, whatever prana I could get would be somewhat tainted."
"That would explain the unusual burst of power we had sensed." Roseweisse remarked. "It was potent enough that every god in the area came to the same spot trying to find out the source." She paused while tapping a finger on her chin. "The weird thing is that all of us felt something different about your presence, it was as though the rage was linked to different aspects of our religions in some manner."
Well that was concerning. I had some suspicions based on how some of the gods reacted to my presence; it would appear that my 'Berserker Alter' state was comprised of other Berserker Servants whose presences permeated the Noble Phantasms, either from my earlier use of the gauntlets or just the act of drawing the weapons out of my Reality Marble. That could mean that what Odin felt would likely be Thor in the time he went berserk.
"It is fascinating and all, but what exactly is he wanting?" Xenovia looked to her with folded arms.
"Mainly to meet up with you. Due to the circumstances of the tournament, Lord Odin is somewhat reluctant to meet up with the devils for a discussion just yet, and since you are reportedly a neutral party, he would come to you first." Roseweisse then rolled her eyes. "At least that is the official reasoning. The real reason is that he keeps whining about wanting to meet you and it is driving me nuts. If I don't get him a meeting soon, he will be messing with my pay check, and he has not been doing it or his paperwork properly for the past 3 months!"
"Our condolences to you." Xenovia muttered while sharing a glance with Irina while Mitelt placed a palm to her face. I was tempted to do the same myself, but maintained my expression on the outside.
"If he wishes to meet with us, he needs to at least go through the proper channels before doing so. I have given my conditions to being approached by outsiders. As it is, my protective detail is getting a little antsy right now." I motioned with my thumb at the general direction where I could feel the presence of the guards watching over the cafe, alongside the prana changes that suggested they were getting impatient with her stay and might consider barging in to make sure we were safe.
"Very well, I will relay your message." Roseweisse nodded as she got up and handed over a packet of documents. "Thank you for your time. Here are some papers detailing the next visit and some information in case you want to know more on my boss."
"Thank you for the message, although the next time you will hopefully be buying something." I added that quip at the end to which she chuckled before leaving the office.
"She seems nice." Irina remarked with a cheerful tone.
"Yes, however this is getting really irritating." Mitelt said while crossing her arms. "This is like that match with the flaming chicken and the Excalibur, only now it is involving the gods directly."
"This is going to be a headache." Xenovia agreed with Mitelt.
I had to agree myself.
"You have a big mouth, you know that?"
"Okay~ in my defence, there was a lot of drinking with my pal Odin, and there were a lot of nice women serving us." Azazel wilted under the glares directed at him by Xenovia, Irina and Mitelt while I sat back in my chair to massage my temple with Griselda patting my back sympathetically. In a sofa close to us, both Sona and Rias shared an expression of resigned exasperation while their respective peerages could only hang their heads. Ise on his part was also sporting a big bump on his head when he reacted to the words 'women serving us'.
Boy needs to visit a goddamn Buddhist temple to meditate on this.
"Okay, so let me try to understand this." Rias spoke out with a hand to her head and her eyes glaring at Azazel. "Because of the tournament fallout where Ise and Shirou duke it out as berserkers, Odin does not want to come to us directly for permission. Instead he goes the roundabout road by approaching you to get the location of Shirou's workplace, a place I might add is supposed to be a secret, just so he can get a meeting with him despite the fact that Shirou is being closely monitored by the three factions."
"Haha, when you put it that way…" Azazel wilted even further from the glares directed at him.
"There is also the issue of the Chaos Brigade planning something in Kyoto that involves the leader of the yokai faction. We are already stretched thin as it is with security and we can't afford to get more distractions by other groups." Griselda delivered a smile worthy of an angry Rin Tohsaka at Azazel who was looking ready to bend over and beg for mercy.
"You do recall that we are now having a situation because of the Chaos Brigade gate-crashing on our tournament and for the two over here losing control of their powers. We had tried to reach out to the Norse Faction for some time now before this but he has not properly responded to any of our messages nor consider giving us aid." Sona looked like she wanted to use her spectacles to stab Azazel for the trouble he created for us. "And by having his aide make a visit to Shirou, who I might add has declared himself neutral in the alliance, in an area that was supposed to be kept a secret by his request, Odin and by some extension you, are opening up the possibility of another war setting off because Odin does not want to go through the proper channels to listen to information that is not necessarily required at this point!"
"Erm, oops?" Now everyone with the exception of Gasper and Asia were glaring at him, likely thinking of the headaches the fallen angel had given us by giving away the information of my work place.
I pitied his comrades in the Grigori, he must have been such a handful all those years.
"As much as I enjoy seeing his comfort, can we think about the situation for now?" That at least got them off his back for the time being while earning me a pouting glare from the fallen leader, and I went to place the documents given by Roseweisse on the table for all to view. Considering whom it concerned, I was a little surprised how thin the packet was at first, least until Asia had pointed out a symbol at the top where the fold was which apparently was a shrinking charm to fit all the documents into an unassuming packet. At the last count there were 50 sheets instead of the assumed 10.
I was so going to take the charm and use it for my work.
As we sorted through the notes, I started getting an idea of the god's personality, strengths and approach to people, and I could not help but compare this world's Norse god to the versions I had met over the years or glimpsed from the Nobel Phantasms in my Reality Marble.
I was most familiar with the version that was prevalent in the memories from the Noble Phantasms and at least one world where a different competitor had entered the Fifth War and summoned a facsimile of the Norse God himself. It said something about the gods from the past that the facismile version was so arrogant to the point that Gilgamesh, who already has a hate-on against the gods, had taken it personal and decided to engage him early on in that war, resulting in a fair amount of Fuyuki in that dimension to be disintegrated beyond recognition alongside the other Servants in the war. That version of me barely got out of there alive, and ended up having a body donated by The Scarred Red, Touko Aozaki herself. Sadly, that was also one of the dimensions where Rin had a more ruthless personality than others as a magus and had attempted to kill both that version of me and Sakura to get what she wanted and to 'remove the stain of the Tohsaka Family', and later myself when she realized who I was. It was with a heavy heart that both my template and myself were forced to take her down for good.
Another version of Odin was in another dimension where I had to second guess whether he was an actual god or an alien considering the level of technology that was displayed in Asgard. If Atlantis needed some representation as a technological marvel ahead of its time, this place would be a good example. This version was more benign if not a little ignorant towards other people in different realms, and certainly have the power to back up his words.
Although for some odd reason, this one reminds me of Anthony Hopkins in terms of appearance, if the actor had more hair and a beard to rock the look. There was also the manner he spoke that reminded me of the actor of sorts, not helped by his son Thor who looked a lot like that Chris Hemsworth.
Then in the world where my template became a god slayer, there was one version that had me thinking that Zelretch had to have a hand in the creation of the world, because there was no other way to explain the supposed male god that came forth to fight him was actually a blond-haired goddess with her mythical roots laid in the Babylonian History and with a body that could compete with the likes of Rider and would send Ise straight to Heaven and back to Hell in no time.
This world though, this version was an old perverted god that made a part of me want to tear my hair off in frustration despite his achievements.
"This Odin is…" Irina tried to find words to describe the god in question and failing miserably.
"A fucking pervert." Thanks for the follow-up, Mitelt.
"Aside from that, he is quite efficient when it comes to his territory." Sona gave a reluctant compliment as she read through a stack of papers. "He has been pretty cordial with the major factions and is one of the factors that we have yet to go to war with one another."
"Definitely a lot better than the Greek Parthenon." Rias looked through her stack with a raised eyebrow. "While not as responsible as the other gods from other cultures, he is apparently quite the ruler that ensured no one tried to screw them over. Zeus might have lesser problems in his area but that can be more due to his iron fist approach that scares his subjects."
"But he does not trust the Three Factions that much. " Griselda remarked as she pointed a passage out of her sheet. "I am only guessing but while the Three Factions had been at war and at truce, he was the one whom could be considered the next strongest outside of the three. Zeus and the other Greek Gods may be strong alongside the Asian Gods, but I am guessing their influence are not as well-known."
"So basically, their power and influence are based on the beliefs of the common people?" I asked thinking about the similarities of their influence and the ones from my world.
"Of sorts. People have heard of different cultures all over the world, but Christianity is the most known in almost every part of the world. That is one of the defining factors for the Sacred Gears, to spread the faith among the people." Azazel explained as he pointed at me, Ise, Asia, Tsubaki and Saji. "And since the bible is the medium to spread word to the populace, the devils, angels and fallen are known about as well as God. For the other factions, their faith is somewhat of a mix."
"The gods are separated by their cultures, but it is also the regular people, aka humans who are influenced and in turn influence others. The Asian Gods tend to stick with their communities quite tightly, with the folks practising Shintoism, Taoism, and other types of practices. Their stories are more related to the mystical creatures which is why you hear more of demons and yokai as opposed to gods like Izanami, Suzanoo or Amatarasu."
"Move on to the western gods and then you read on events like gods demonstrating their wrath on humans or choosing them to be their champions. The Greeks are known more for their rather extreme punishments or misfortune whereas the Norse are known for their Celtic culture, Berserkers and of course, their gods like the iconic Thor." Azazel folded his hands while leaning back in his chair. "In that sense, Odin and by extension his other gods are more approachable and thus more popular with people either through myths or even fictional stories, and so extending their beliefs."
"That… kind of makes sense… I think?" Ise tilted his head in confusion and I had to agree to some extent. So while Christianity was the religion that most would know of, others depended on the humans to spread the word. The Norse were popular more due to gods depicted in popular fiction, and the Greeks certainly did not help their image with the whole cheating spouses, backstabbing and being all round jerks for humanity. So in some weird way, Azazel confirmed my thoughts of this world beliefs being similar to mine.
Though the explanation seemed to be off to me, I would think about it later.
"Okay, putting that all aside, we can tentatively say that Odin is considering to join the alliance." Rias leaned back in her chair. "The only issue is that he is being very crappy in his approach."
"He does not trust in the strength of the alliance." Griselda gave her view. "When you consider that the Christian God and the Original Four Maous are gone, as one of the original gods he would not trust so easily. Even if we have the archangels and Azazel as the original fighters, he would not be so open to the offer as we would like. He would need some type of assurance and perhaps incentive to do so."
"And how are we going to deal with that?"
"Well…" Griselda turned to me, and it took a few seconds for me to see everyone else looking at me. Seriously Deja Vu going on here…
"Nope, not it."
"Well he had approached me for your location and that aide of his did approach you to begin with." Azazel started to speak.
"Only because you are a drunk fallen angel who gets distracted from anything with breasts." My eye twitched as I watched the fallen shrug carelessly. Damn it, I really want to smash his face with my fist.
"Actually, you might not have much of a choice." Sona gave a reluctant expression as she spoke. "Before we came here, there was a missive that came in earlier. The Norse Gods had tried to tell us about Odin wanting an audience with Shirou. I know that my sister and Lord Lucifer had to refuse him on that, but considering how he sent his aide to you, he is really determined to do so."
"... Considering that the alliance would need someone like Odin on their side, guess I have to take one for the team?" I groaned as I placed a palm on my face. I could almost hear Archer with his snark and that smug expression on his face as he mocks me for my predicament.
I hate my E-Rank Luck.
"Hey on the bright side, you get to meet the cutie again." Azazel smiled while ignoring the glares given to him by the ladies in the room, while I got a couple from Ise and Saji for thinking with their lower heads.
"Azazel, for your sake, shut up."
"The word just came in, looks like the Norse Gods will be making contact with the Three Factions sooner than expected. As to whether they would join, that is still up in the air since Odin is not being very cooperative and being his whimsical self." Cao Cao nodded as he listened to the report given by one of the spies he had under his disposal. The person before him was your typical teen who got bullied due to the appearance of his Sacred Gear that would change his skin into metallic scales for defensive capabilities, but as a result of it being a sub-species it ended up changing his actual appearance to look lizard-like with the bonus of blending into the surroundings like a chameleon. He had approached the teen when he was getting stoned by the people of his small village, and the boy practically threw himself at Cao Cao to thank him for his saving.
Truly, the best pawns were those who followed you willingly.
"I see, thank you for the report." Cao Cao made sure to have a smile as he complimented the spy. "Continue your observations of the town, but make sure you take good care of yourself."
"Yes, my lord!" The teen gave a somewhat exuberant salute before leaving the room, the door closing to reveal Siegfried had stood behind it to listen in on the report.
"It is earlier than I thought." The swordsman commented as he made his way to the chair before Cao Cao.
"Indeed, it is an issue but still well within my expectations." Cao Cao went to grab the jug of water on the table and poured a generous amount into the two glasses that appeared before them. "We can afford to ignore it for now, most of our manpower is being focused on Kyoto. We are almost ready for our assault on the capital."
"Can we really do that? The Norse Faction had ignored all requests thus far which was good for us, but should Odin decide to acknowledge the alliance, we could be dealing with bigger roadblocks that we can't afford to have." Siegfried tapped his fingers on the chair rest in agitation. "It would be ideal that they only do so after our takeover of Kyoto, but the god may be pushing to get in as the first major faction after the three."
"That is true." Cao Cao sipped thoughtfully. "Perhaps a small distraction or two is in order."
"What do you have in mind?"
"Well, I know for a fact that Loki is not enthused about the alliance and the promise of peace." Cao Cao answered as he set the cup down on the table. "He had approached us the day after the tournament to understand our views, he was more than happy to let us be on our way as long as Odin did not join up with the alliance. He wants to bring forth Ragnarök as stated in the legend."
"Is that wise? Correct me if I am wrong, but does that not mean the end of the world?" Siegfried raised an eyebrow at him.
"True, and that in itself lies his value to us." Cao Cao smirked lightly. "He is a lot like the late departed Kokabiel, he hates peace between the gods and would want to see others kneel before him. No doubt right now he is pissed at Odin, a quick word to him will have him going after Odin and perhaps the devils residing in Kuoh Town. That should be a good enough distraction for most of it."
"I am thinking of sending in someone else to stir things up a little." Cao Cao admitted as he pondered before the smirk went wider. "Perhaps a few nightmares ought to do the trick."
"You are thinking of sending in that guy?!" Siegfried exclaimed with his eyes wide.
"Why not? It would be interesting to test both the Hyoudou Issei and Shirou Emiya in this manner. This ties in rather nicely as well for the latter since we could use that chance to see how he reacts to that particular stimulant." Cao Cao locked his fingers together. "Won't you agree?" Siegfried used the action of drinking to hide his frown. He was all for using Loki to stopping Odin from joining the Three Factions and if it had the benefit of messing Shirou Emiya up he would support it.
But the idea of sending 'that guy' to Kuoh Town as an added distraction might be a touch much in Siegfried's opinion.
"I thought we wanted to reserve his gear for the other gods." He commented to get some answers from Cao Cao.
"Yes, his gear would be most useful for the lower tier gods." Cao Cao nodded his head at that comment. "For the medium tier, he might still be fine. But we have yet to fully test his gear against a highest tier around. And if Odin is going to be there, it would be a good chance to test it out."
"But is he not… troublesome?"
"You can call him as he is, an opportunistic backstabbing bastard." Cao Cao snorted at Siegfried's attempt at subtlety. "Knowing him, he would likely use this chance to test the waters out and if it works he would most certainly try to expose us to some eldritch creation with his Balance Breaker. He is still trying to take us out so that his merry crew could take over the leadership."
"Call it a gut feeling." Cao Cao smiled coldly. "I believe Emiya would be willing to help us deal with him."
"Do we have even have the time to do that?" Siegfried set his cup down a little harder than required. "We can't afford to have any delays even if we are ahead of schedule. We should just let Loki deal with the devils and Emiya, he is a higher tier god in his own right and even if he gets defeated, their strength will be diminished and force them to recovery."
"That is true, I just figure that sending one of our own agents would also help to expedite matters on our part." Cao Cao gave a smile to assure him. "You need not worry, I am only sending him over to give them something else to think of so that Loki would have an easier time to deal with, and as I stated, this could be a good chance to get rid of one possible traitor and test Shirou Emiya before we actually meet him in person." Siegfried looked at his leader for a moment before letting out a heavy sigh. He had some misgivings but Cao Cao had not let the group astray thus far, he would trust him.
"Okay, I will defer to your decision." Siegfried spoke as he made to leave the chair.
"Excellent, if you find him please tell him to meet me in an hour's time." Cao Cao paused before continuing. "One little note though, don't tell anyone about this conversation." Siegfried stopped with his hand on the door knob and turned to look at him with a raised eyebrow.
"Considering the sensitivity, I think it is best we keep this to just the two of us. If you must tell someone, perhaps Leonardo would suffice. The others are currently running other tasks and I do not wish to distract them with this."
"If you are sure…" Siegfried drawled with an uncertain tone. Cao Cao merely nodded and looked back to the documents he had been reading prior to the spy's report, signifying the end of the conversation. Siegfried merely shook his head lightly before exiting the room and closing the door. Cao Cao waited for a few moments before letting a soft chuckle.
"If only you knew, dear Siegfried." Cao Cao looked back up and leaned against the chair with his hands behind the head with a mocking smile present.
Cao Cao did not come up with the idea on the spot, he had it planned for some time now since the report of Shirou Emiya's fights at the conference. He found himself intrigued that such an individual had been hidden under the radar for so long from all the major factions, such a person would have been sought after the moment he had been found, yet he had managed to stave off the ones seeking to control him. And the contradictions he gives off at any given time!
A man who desires peace for all.
A man who was equipped with the weapons of war.
A man who seeks to help those around him with a smile.
A man who destroys all with a cold mentality and steel to match.
An enigma in a world full of gods, super-powered humans, magic and devils.
That was why Cao Cao had decided to send in one of his spies to test Emiya in the guise of delaying them with their meeting with Odin and the Hero Faction's Kyoto mission. Such an individual who could back up his words in front of gods and the like was one to be watching over, and the spy in question had the perfect Sacred Gear to check for weaknesses to exploit if necessary.
He was not kidding about sending in the traitorous agent to fight as well. The person in question was someone that had been giving him a fair number of issues that could not be explained away as carelessness ever since he joined the Hero Faction. That teen had one of the mid-tier Sacred Gears that had proven to be deadly in his hands and to some extent seemed to fit his dark personality rather well, and was also an opportunist that desired to take power away from Cao Cao. When they first met, Cao Cao had to be heavy handed to make the teen follow his leadership, and while the teen had proven useful in the field, he was too much of a hassle to keep around for too long. He would not work with any of the others willingly without him using his gear to exploit their weaknesses, and Jeanne had expressed a desire to castrate him for harassing the other females and stalking her around.
But considering the type of gear he has, Cao Cao was considering the best way to deal with him. Shirou Emiya ended up being a good excuse for him as this would allow Cao Cao to see what were Emiya's weaknesses and remove a traitorous element at the same time. Sure he would likely lose the gear in question to the alliance or more likely Emiya, but it can also test whether the rumors of him taking away Sacred Gears was true.
There was however one reason he wanted this kept under wraps. He did not need to worry much about Leonardo, Hercules and Jeanne as they would more or less agree what he would say. Siegfried was somewhat worrisome as of late but was still able to follow his orders.
No, it was Georg that got Cao Cao a little wary.
The magician had been keeping to himself for sometime now, conducting more experiments that were not related to any of their missions or tasks, performing random scouting of areas that usually resulted in him bringing in unusual items for said experiments, and recently going to check up on Shirou Emiya more times than required. He had always been a bit secretive since they first met, and while he had opened up somewhat, it would appear that the appearance of Emiya had brought back his old self, or at least the part that was more calculative than Cao Cao could appreciate. The leader would not lie that he was constantly checking his back to see if Georg was planning to go his separate way to further his research; he recalled Georg's master being a conniving bastard who would gleefully dissect someone alive just to get ideas for other experiments, and while he himself would do some experiments of questionable nature, Cao Cao thought he would haul at the types the man performed.
And if Georg was beginning to show the same behavioral patterns…
No matter, he would keep an eye on the magician to ensure he was not planning to double cross the faction. They had gone too far in the Kyoto mission to get it screwed up now, if he needed to collar Georg with his Sacred Gear, so be it. Cao Cao figured that much as he stood up, grabbed the documents and made to leave the room, pausing for a moment to scratch the back of his hand.
He ought to see the pharmacist soon, his hand had started itching for some reason and was turning red from the scratching…
Hello, I have returned with a new chapter for this story. Phew, I finally managed to get this done before the end of the year. You have no idea how hard it was to write this chapter since I had to work longer hours for my new job without a working internet, not to mention having a touch of writer's block while I am trying to change events from canon, yeah it has been a hard year. This is one of my shortest chapters to date so hopefully it is fine for you guys.
Just so you guys know, I have started a mini-series for Harry Potter ideas just to get stuff out of my head. Also for those you have not check the profile info, my other account for RWBY fanfics is there.
So there you have it, this is my new chapter. Hope you enjoy reading it. Please Rate, Review and hopefully continue following the story.
And I put my pen down for now.
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL!