I don't own BLACK BUTLER (KUROSHITSUJI) or anything of FATE/STAY NIGHT. While I have no idea as to if I will continue this, I at least wanted to post a crossover for these two anime (I'm not basing this off any manga or light novel or video games, just so you know) and since it looks like no one else has done it yet this will be the first.
It's been a while since I've written anything, and I'm actually having a tough time (especially with the 'voice' of the characters). So I'm hoping everyone will understand. Also, no flaming please, only constructive criticism.
Things might be a little OC since, as I've said, I'm having a tough time and I just can't seem to get in the characters heads. Plus there's lots of background information that I feel SHOULD be here, but at the same time feels like its cluttering up the story with things that people should already know. I guess that can't be helped. I'm trying to write as if my reader's don't know either BLACK BUTLER or FATE/STAY NIGHT. I've also got some other things I should be focusing on, so don't expect any fast updates if I do chose to continue this.
I'd also like to apologize in advance for any errors in how I explained the mage-craft. It's pretty complex stuff and there's a LOT of it. Also while I get 'mana' and 'prawna', I've always been fuzzy on what 'od' was. Other people have explained about all this better than me, I'll admit that, so if my explanations don't work, just let me know. I'll recommend those stories to you (seriously, some of those were great reads) so you can find better answers than I can give.
In any case I hope you all like it. If I get a lot of positive or helpful reviews I'll think about doing more chapters.
The First Arc
SOMETIME AFTER THE 3RD GRAIL WAR FOR HEAVEN'S FEEL
"That war was like a nightmare."
A certain man said to himself. Sighing tiredly he put away the quill and ink he had been using to write a personal record of all that had happened in the 3rd Holy Grail War for Heaven's Feel; though for his own reasons there had been a number of things he had not included. There were a number of events in the recent Grail War that he would prefer future readers of this record not know about and that was not even taking into consideration the events he had either not understood or had no way to gain understanding about.
A wise man once said that 'no plan survives contact with the enemy,' and that certainly was the case in the Grail War. Everyone that had participated had done so for their own reasons and with their own plans, and in no time at all everyone's plans fell apart as chaos ensued.
He leaned back in his chair and stretched, shaking out his cramped fingers as best he could. He had decided to include at the end of his record a detailed instruction of the Servant Summoning Ritual that the magus he'd supported had used, also adding in as much information as has he had regarding how it worked and what Servants were. Some of the biggest problems in the war had been a result of the Masters forgetting that Servants were not merely tools to use and throw away, but people of greater experience and power than their summoner who each possessed their own agenda's in regard to getting what they wanted, regardless of their Masters intentions.
Sure the Masters of the War each started out with the three Command Seals, which Marked them as the Grails chosen participants for the conflict and could be used to give 3 absolute commands that the Servant had to obey, but it was not like those commands could be tossed around without care to consequence. Firstly, without a command seal you didn't have the right to obtain the Grail nor the ability to hold a Servant.
Secondly, the command seals could be used as support to boost a Servants power in battle or bring them instantly to the side of their Master should said person find themselves alone and under attack. All it would take was one precisely worded order like, "By the power of this command seal, I order you to fight without holding back until the enemy is dead!" Or even, "Servant, I order you to instantly appear at my side from wherever you currently are!"
They could also be used to force a Servant to do something they didn't want to do, but that was much riskier. One reason was because the Servant would try to fight the order and, depending on certain variables, resist enough that the Master might need to use up more command seals. Another reason is that if the Master tramples on the Servants pride, then it wouldn't be strange if the Servant decided to take revenge on their Master.
In other words, Servants were dangerously powerful and it was unwise to use the limited number of command seals carelessly. For a Master to disregard their Servants will, was an act if extreme foolishness. Servants were not puppet-like copies of Heroic Spirits to be treated as mere weapon without their own thoughts.
Heroic Spirits were people who had become so famous and well known in life that their names and accomplishments became legendary to the point that due to the collective regard of the people, their souls became elevated in the accumulated attention. Similar to how a normal tree could evolve into a nature spirit, then into a god if enough people worshiped it or just thought about it. When this happened to a human, their soul was removed from the cycle of reincarnation and placed within the Thrown of Hero's.
No matter how you looked at the facts, it meant that Heroic Spirits and Servants were people of great accomplishment and power in life and possessed even greater might in death by drawing on their legend.
The Servant Summoning Ritual could not summon the full might of the selected Heroic Spirit. That was just not possible. What it did do was this: If some item was used as a catalyst, then by using the summoner's power, a Heroic Spirit associated with that item would be copied and a small portion of their power brought down and incarnated into a temporary body shaped by the ritual into a particular class and become the Servant of the Master that called them. The magus was called "Master" because they anchored the Servant to the world through the contract which completed the ritual and supplied the power to maintain the Servants presence in the world.
Without using an item for the ritual, the summoner would have no way of knowing which Heroic Spirit would be chosen, but would be almost guaranteed to get a Servant that they could get along with. On the one hand, this meant that Master and Servant would probably be able to work very well together, but on the other hand the odds of the Servant turning out weak (in comparison to other Servants that is, since all Servants out-class humans) was very high.
If you knew that you were going to go into a life or death battle royal against powerful Servants and their ruthless Master, who would you rather summon to help you: some celebrity or no-name adventurer who's legend is weak and has very little strength to speak of, or some famous warrior who's might was well proven?
Or to put it another way: If an actor that knew nothing about fighting and a Kung Fu Master were going to battle to the death, and your life depended on the outcome, which one would you rather have on your team?
This was why magus's who were chosen to participate in the Heaven's Feel, always wanted to get good catalysts. Furthermore, the summoned Servants would fill one of the 7 classes: Assassin, Berserker, Caster, Archer, Rider, Saber, and Lancer. Of course that's how it was supposed to be. In the recent war, the Einzburn Master had tried to cheat by summoning an extra Servant, Avenger.
The man mentally snorted in disdain at the memory of that 8th Servant.
Though its presence in the war meant that the potential for other classes existed if the seven standard ones were already taken, it proved that more was not necessarily better. Avenger had been insane, both his body and reason corrupted by curses, and most importantly of all, he had been the weakest of all the Servants.
The first to die, as a matter of fact.
He never did find out that Servants identity, but it probably didn't matter. No one had won that war and it had ended with all the participants dead. The reason he had survived was because he had only been an assistant to one of the magus's that had been chosen for the ritual. That and because he'd known when the best time to start running was. By the time the War ended, he'd made sure he was well out of town and out of the line of fire.
Well enough thinking of all that. He'd finally finished writing down his account of the 3rd Grail War of Heaven's Feel. He was definitely going to take a well deserved rest.
He grabbed the cup of tea that his most recent apprentice had quietly placed on his desk over an hour ago and thoughtlessly gulped it down, frowning in dissatisfaction at both the strong flavor and cold temperature.
Slamming down the cup, he shouted, "Hugo, get in here you lazy trash!"
For a distinguished person like him to an incompetent apprentice like Hugo Marzen, was almost a disgrace. The teen's background was nothing special, but his family was wealthy and well connected. It was the only reason he'd agreed to mentor the boy.
*cough, cough* "Hugo!"
Stupid boy should come promptly when he called. Students these days just don't know their place.
The door opened and a gangly teen with red hair and a heavily freckled face walked in, looking nervous.
"Sir, you called?"
The man coughed and glared harder.
"This tea has gone cold. You should have come in with a replacement a long time ago. A talentless boy like you should be grateful that someone like me ever agreed to waste valuable time by accepting you as a student and work hard to please me! Furthermore, what type of tea is this? It's so bitter and it leaves a dry aftertaste."
The man suddenly felt his whole body convulse with the need to vomit while his throat felt tight.
The previously nervous Hugo relaxed and huge grinned appeared across his face.
"Sir," the teen answered maliciously, "it's a true Mystery to me how a fool like you managed to live as long as you have. Rather than say I have no talent, isn't it more likely true that you are just a bad teacher? In any case, none of that matters anymore. I happened to meet a certain distinguished person who made me an offer. It turned out that I am not the only one harboring a grudge against you. We got to talking and discovered that there was a simple way to solve each other's problems. Care to make a guess, Sir?"
The man glared murderously at the treacherous teen.
*cough, cough, cough* "You idiot trash."
"No, Sir. I am neither trash, nor an idiot. You, on the other hand, are. I've noticed that while caught up in your writing, you always drink whatever beverage is brought to you, no matter what it is or who served it, without even bothering to check for either poison or enchantment."
The dying man could no longer control his convulsing body. As the young apprentice magus watched his former mentor die, wracked with coughs and spasms, he still dared not come even a step closer, not even when valuable research papers scattered, the bottle of ink was broken, or when the cup of poisoned tea spilled. The teen may have hated the dismissive way his mentor in mage-craft had treated him, but a magus was still a magus, and all magus's were deadly so long as they still lived, sometimes even beyond that.
"Sir, you forgot the first rule of mage-craft: To be a magus is to walk with death - our power can kill us, our spells can kill us, the world can kill us, our enemies can kill us. You just happened to make more enemies then you were prepared to handle."
As soon as Hugo was certain that his former mentor was dead and no longer a danger, he dragged the body out of the way. He had at least an hour to harvest the man's Magic Crest, so for now he'd focus on looking over those papers his mentor had been writing to see if they were worth trying to salvage.
Even though many of them had suffered due to the combination of tea and ink that had spilled, there were still enough easily legible ones left for the callous teen to realize just how priceless these documents were.
Not many knew about the Heaven's Feel Ritual that is held in the Japanese city of Fuyuki every 60 years, however, those who did know would willingly pay a high price for even the smallest scrap of information.
The Grail War for Heaven's Feel was a battle royal where 7 magi were chosen as Master's to each summon a Heroic Spirit as a type of incredibly powerful familiar called a Servant, and fight each other until only one Master and Servant pair were left to claim the Holy Grail, an omnipotent wish granting device.
The surviving pair could then share the accumulated power contained in the Grail to make an otherwise impossible wish come true. But what the Servant did not know was that if at the end of the War their Master betrayed and killed them using a command seal, then that magus could use the entirety of the Grail's power to reach Akasha and obtain a True Magic.
This cup of miracles was a prize that anyone would want.
However, the Grail was not actually a holy cup.
It was a highly magical artifact (that coincidentally happened to look like a large chalice) created to gather power from the local lay-lines of the land where the ritual had been set up, and to feed upon the spiritual power of the souls of the summoned Servants that were killed in order to grant the possessor of the Grail a single wish.
While there were some things that the Grail couldn't do, it was still true that with that massive amount of power gathered into one place and only needing the mind and will of its possessor to give that power direction, there really wasn't much that couldn't be done.
Yes, the Holy Grail that was fought over by the chosen Masters and Servants was not the holy cup that belonged to the Christian Church, but it was none the less a cup capable of granting the equivalent of a Miracle.
~ Touch the Akashic Record, Akasha, the Swirl of the Root, the Root of all existence (all knowledge past, present, and future), and gain the 3rd True Magic, Heaven's Feel. This magic turned a person's soul into the equivalent of an eternal motion device with the result of granting eternal life, limitless magical power, and perfect manipulation of the soul (i.e. Resurrecting a dead person back to true life without any negative side effects or granting life/soul to something inanimate that was never alive to begin with). Such a power required the sacrifice of all 7 of the summoned Servants, though that was a secret that no Master would ever tell their Servant. Considering that the goal of mage-craft was to reach the Root, every magus alive would willingly do just about anything to obtain such a power. It was to obtain this power that the ritual was originally created.
~ However, if only 6 Servants were killed, then the wish could be shared between the Master and Servant pair and they could each obtain what they want: heal an incurable condition, re-write history, re-shape the world as they wanted it to be, power enough to save or destroy everyone or anything, and all it would take was a wish.
However, out of the 7 Masters and 7 Servants who would take part in the ritual, at most only 2 were capable of gaining the prize. People have been known to kill for lesser reasons, so how far would participants be willing to obtain such a prize?
How far would others be willing to go for just the chance? What price would they pay for even a single scrap of information in the hope that it might give some small advantage? And it just so happened that the ruined pages were a firsthand account of what happened in the 3rd Grail War along with secret information regarding the Grail, the Servants, and the main ritual spell constructions.
Hugo grit his teeth and loudly cursed his late mentor, even kicking his corpse in frustration.
Had he previously known the worth of those papers he'd have taken the risk to rush up close to the dying magus in order to save them, or better yet, waited another day before killing his arrogant teacher.
Too late for that now.
In the end, Hugo did what he could to save the damaged papers. For many of them it was a lost cause, while for others the words were only a little smeared.
After 10 minutes he realized that there really wasn't anything more he could do with them for the time being. So he turned his attention to setting up the ritual to harvest his former mentor's Crest.
Once he had the Crest he would have plenty of time to study it before needed to send it off to the dead magus' next of kin. They might accept the man's death, but they'd never forgive the loss of the Crest. Nothing was more important to a magus than his mage-craft, and the Crest contained the all the circuits and spells that belonged to all the heads of each generation of a magus's family, it was literally the most important part of a magus family's legacy.
With that action decided he set to work.
Hugo would later come back to those papers once they were dry. The ones damaged by the spilled ink were, unfortunately, a lost cause and was also true for many that had suffered from the spilled tea. Still, even if that was the case, Hugo did his best to retrace the words damaged by the tea.
The biggest problem came when he got to the spell diagrams and magic circles. The papers that explained them had been the ones that couldn't be saved. On top of that he could easily tell that they had been extremely complicated and currently beyond his level of understanding.
In the end, he gave up on all the diagrams except the one for the Summon Servant Ritual. It had taken the least damage and appeared to have been a relatively simple design (compared to the others).
Well in any case, it'd be several decades before anyone would have the opportunity to try them out, and that's only if the papers ended up with someone willing to try, so it shouldn't cause him too much trouble later on.
After all, what's the worst that could happen?
Time passed and the only record of the 3rd Grail War ended up passing through a surprising number of hands. Due to its unfortunate condition the record was eventually transcribed into four copies. This meant that not only were the original errors included, but new ones also found their way in. On top of that, due to the copies pristine appearance, those who didn't know how bad the damage to the original had been, easily assumed that there was nothing wrong with any of the copies, even if one of the pages included a few words of warning.
One such copy happened to make its way to Japan and ended up in the hands of a certain priest. As luck would have it, this happened to be the only one of the four copies to have suffered damage (a previous owner had been researching with acid), resulting in the warning page getting burned off.
3 YEARS BEFORE THE 4th GRAIL WAR STARTS
In any other reality, when the time of the 4th Grail War approached the magus, Tokiomi Tohsaka, would go to the church in Fuyuki and create the summoning circle in the basement for the priests, specifically the one he had agreed to take on as an apprentice to better support him during the upcoming war.
However, in this reality Father Risei Kotomine (the Church's overseer) had in his possession a certain book and used its contents to set up the Summon Servant Ritual for his son, a fellow priest named Kirei Kotomine, who had been chosen as a Master to participate in the 4th Grail War.
The two priests were secretly in an alliance with, Tokiomi Tohsaka. The reason for this was simple: to prevent the Grail from falling into the hands of someone that would abuse its power. Tokiomi was a traditionalist and his wish was to reach Akasha and obtain the 3rd True Magic. This was a wish that the Church could understand and, given the past relationship between them and the Tohsaka family, they could be confident that of all the possible Masters, he was the one that would cause the least amount of trouble should he win.
The Churches stance in regard to the Heaven's Feel Ritual was naturally a disapproving one. Even if the cup was not the true grail of Christ, its name and power was a matter that could not be ignored. Furthermore, when unscrupulous magi fight, there would be a lot of collateral damage, making it difficult to get rid of evidence and witnesses.
However, it was impossible for the Church to terminate the Ritual since the Mages Association of Magus's would never agree and might even be willing to go to war over this matter. At the same time, all parties could easily agree that no magus could ever be trusted to monitor the conflict impartially to act as a much needed referee. Plus, someone on site had to be in-charge to ensure that regular people never found out about the supernatural side of the world and do whatever needed to be done to maintain the secret.
So long as no evidence could be presented that could disprove the Church's stance, no one would argue with their authority for the duration of the Grail War.
Of course this would hold true so long as everyone involved followed the rules and didn't go too far in pursuit of their victory and the prize…
When all preparations were ready, the dignified burgundy-suited magus and two priests (a white-haired old man and a brown haired 29 year old, both a little over 6'5" in height) met in the large torch lit basement of the old Fuyuki church.
"Is everything ready?" asked Tokiomi.
"It is." Said Father Risei. "I used information from an old journal related to a previous war as the bases for this ritual. I modified it somewhat and am confident that Kirei will summon an Assassin class Servant. Given my son's temperament and experience, I am sure that they will be able to work well together. Assassin may be a weak Servant traditionally and thus less desirable normally, but this Servants stealth and skill at gathering information should prove to be very useful."
Nodding, Tokiomi asked the next most important question. "What are you using for the catalyst?"
This question was answered by the younger priest. "I am using this." Kirei Kotomine replied, holding out an ornate golden dagger for his master in mage-craft to see.
"A grateful client gave this dagger as a gift to the Hassan-I Sabbah, specifically the one known as the Hundred-Faced Hassan, after completing a particularly difficult mission. The story goes that though the weapon was too eye-catching to be used, it was none the less treasured as the blade that marked the start of the legend. There is no way it will fail to summon the famed 'hundred faced' assassin."
The magus smiled with approval.
"Excellent. Then if your preparations are all complete it's time to begin. There's less than a minute until the moon reaches its zenith."
Nodding, Kirei carried the dagger to the summoning circle and placed it in the designated place.
Risei and Tokiome moved back from the circle until they were against the wall, more than far enough away to ensure that their presence wouldn't interfere with the ritual.
Kirei moved to his designated position in front of the circle and looked at his wrist watch. Silence filled the room as they waited. When only 55 seconds remained until the appointed time, the magi trained priest began his chant:
"Diamond and blood to the soul, silver and ruby to the origin.
Gem and the Archduke of Contracts to the cornerstone.
The Ancestor is my great master Schweinorg.
The alighted wind becomes a wall.
The gates in the four directions close(burst), coming from the crown, the three-forked road that leads to the kingdom circulates.
Shut (fill) Shut (fill) Shut (fill) Shut (fill) Shut (fill)
Repeat every five times, simply shatter once filled.
- - - - I announce: Your self is under me, my Fate(Doom) is in your Sword
In accordance with the Advent of the Holy Grail, if you abide by this will, this feeling, this reason, then answer!
Here is my Oath: I am the one who decides all that is evil in the world of the living, I am the one to decide what is good in the world of the dead.
You, seven heavens clad in the three words of power, arrive, O' Darkness, from the ring of deterrence, arise, the Eternal Keeper of the balance!"
In the Thrown of Hero's his domain resembled his family estate, a large mansion with a large garden and lawn surrounded by endless woods. It was a place that was eternally caught in a perfect moment of the most perfect summer afternoon.
It was beautiful.
It was peaceful.
It was empty and dead boring.
He felt as if his entire existence had been trapped and frozen in a bead of amber and he hated it. This was not the afterlife he had expected or felt he deserved. Actually, if everything had worked out as originally planned he wouldn't have had any afterlife at all.
Mentally he once again cursed that demon.
If only it had eaten his soul the way it was supposed to; but no, instead it had changed its mind out of fondness. How utterly ridiculous! Demons were not supposed to care about their foods fate. Considering the level of obsession the demon had had for him he certainly had not expected to be let go.
This kind of mercy was just too cruel in his opinion. What had been done could never be undone and thus his soul could go to neither Heaven nor Hell. Perhaps the demon had expected him to be reincarnated and get a chance at a better life, if so it could not have been more mistaken. Then again, it's not like either of them could have expected his achievements in life to have been enough to earn him a place here.
If he had to spend eternity anywhere there were certainly more terrible places he could think of than his home. But even so he hated ending up like this.
It was so boring!
In this sleepy eternal now he was completely alone with nothing to do. He wanted out. He wanted to see his demon again. At the very least he wanted to demand it find a way for them to be together forever if it was so unwilling to eat him.
He hated to admit it, but during their time together he had also grown to care about his demon. Maybe it was foolish to care about someone obsessed with killing and eating him, a person who constantly prodded and poked at him like a crow toying with a worm, but that was how he felt.
He hated the demon and missed his companionship. This annoying contradictory feeling… What was there to do about it?
In no way could their relationship have been considered as a healthy one.
In his worse moment when neither God, His angels, nor the police had come to save him, the demon had come. When he had no one to trust or confide in, the demon had always been there. Whenever he felt alone and helpless, the demon would come and be both his sword and shield, protecting him and striking down his enemies. The demon was a constant companion who would never lie or betray him, the only one who could make his wishes come true and never leave him.
Without the demon at his side he felt incomplete, as if the only thing left that gave his existence any meaning was gone.
He'd gotten his revenge and kept his side of their deal, so there was nothing left to live for… But the demon had unexpectedly come to care about him to. The deal was completed and his life had to end, but it chose not to eat him and now he was stuck, alone forever, in the Throne of Hero's.
He desperately wanted this endless monotony to end. He wanted to return to the world of the living, maybe go on new adventures or find out what happened to those left behind.
But most of all he wanted to see his demon again and either force it to eat him and end his pain or find a way for them to be together for the rest of eternity. Either option would be fine.
He didn't care if his feelings were selfish. He'd stopped being a good boy a long time ago.
Suddenly, he felt a tugging sensation and heard a strange chant…
(- ; -)
His life in Hell was not like he'd expected it to be. Then again, could this sort of existence be called 'life?' Maybe it was because he was there as a former human-turned-demon that he found his time here to be less than desirable.
Back when he was still a human boy he often thought about what Hell would be like. While walking his path of revenge he had done many terrible things, more than enough to earn him a place as one of the many tortured souls that languished here, however he had sold his soul to a demon in exchange for a wish. Therefore, upon the completion of that contract, rather than go to Heaven or Hell his soul should have been eaten by that demon.
That was what he had agreed to and that had been the plan. The only thing he'd cared about was getting his revenge. Once that goal was accomplished he could die satisfied, he would no longer have a reason to keep on living; and thanks to the deal he had made with his demon there was no reason to even think about having any sort of future at all.
In the end he'd succeeded in obtaining his revenge and fulfilled the purpose of his life, furthermore none of it would have been possible without the help of his demon butler Sebastian. Since he got what he wanted it was only right that Sebastian get what he was owed, both his honor and his pride demanded it. Debts should be paid after all, and the demon had worked hard to earn his prize.
Sebastian deserved to be happy.
The boy deserved an end to his suffering.
Everything would have been fine if that had been what happened.
Unfortunately, due to the interference of some interlopers into their private matters, things had not worked out as they should have.
A demon with a long enmity toward his butler had tried to make use of a broken young boy in order to manipulate a situation where Sebastian would not be able to obtain the soul he desired from his Master. To make the situation even more complicated a demoness, along with her three identical followers, entered into the mess because she wanted to obtain that broken boy for herself.
The best way to describe the resulting situation would probably be something along the lines of: The mantis stalks the beetle unaware of the sparrow behind.
The end result of that mess was that two powerful high level demons truly met their end and by their sacrifice Sebastian's Master was reborn from a human boy into a demon, inheriting the two's accumulated demonic power to both fuel his transformation and boost his personal demonic power. As for Sebastian, due to receiving the order to 'remain his butler until he eats every piece of the owed soul' the demon butler must now serve his young master forever. The reason for that was simple: a demon cannot eat another demons soul. Furthermore, since the boy-turned-demon had upheld his end of the contract, even fought to the best of his ability to do so, this meant that the contract remained in effect and could never be cancelled, there was no justifiable reason to end it even if both parties were willing. Thus the former human boy would forever be the Master of the high ranked demon he had named Sebastian Michaelis.
And Sebastian hated him for it.
The older demon had protected him, supported him, seen to all his needs, and faithfully obeyed all his orders (rarely 'misunderstanding' any of them).
After all that effort, to not only end up with nothing, but to also be trapped in a contract that could never be ended… It was no wonder the demon was upset.
In a way, that hurt the demon-boy more than anything else about this situation.
At some point during their time together in the mortal world, the boy had come to care deeply about his demon. Their relationship had not been a healthy one by any definition of the word. Toying and manipulating, hating and adoring, taking and taking, a codependence founded on the needs and wants of two supremely selfish individuals.
The entire time they had been together, no matter what happened, no matter what things they each manipulated the other to do or what games they each devised, no matter how one pushed and the other pulled, they had remained close and developed a respect for each other.
But the entire time they were together, the boy had never forgotten that the demon standing at his back was going to kill him and eat his soul.
It gave him comfort.
Under the demons protection, no one else would be able to hurt him or kill him. He felt safe.
He'd suffered so much that a night without nightmares was a rarity, and as the orphaned child of a wealthy and powerful family he had no end of enemies after his money and life.
So what if the demon wanted to eat him? He was safe until his wish came true. No one would be able to touch him or stop him while his 'one-Hell-of-a-butler' was at his side.
In the last few months, when the end of his revenge was in sight, he'd started to imagine that Sebastian might actually have started to genuinely care about him as more than food or entertainment to stave off boredom. He'd never mentioned it though. He was destined to die at Sebastian's hand. Besides, he'd rather die than humiliate himself by talking about things that would soon have no meaning anyway.
But he lived, became a demon, and went to Hell.
It was where demons belonged after all.
However, it turned out to be a place where they did not belong.
'Sebastian,' a once mighty demon that both failed to complete or end his Contract, had to serve his former food-turned-much-younger-weaker demon forever... It was a humiliation that constantly stung his pride and the other demons, regardless of power or status, never missed a chance to bring it up.
And then there was him. A mere human boy, weak, crude, insignificant, a lowly creature never meant to be one of 'them.' Even the weakest demon could easily annihilate the strongest human. Humans were either food or toys, they had no other value. So how could the demons accept a human becoming one of them?
Being a demon was more than just having inhuman power and living in Hell while not being one of the souls tortured there. The denizens of Hell had their own culture and way of thinking. The young demon had needed to learn all that he could about it in addition to mastering his new power, and he had needed to do it as fast as possible.
Sebastian had enough strength and status in Hell to have his own territory, so it was easy (for a time at least) for them to seclude themselves away and hide their situation.
Sebastian had been especially cruel while teaching his Master the things he'd needed to know, but the boy had not complained. He accepted that this was a way for his demon to vent his frustration, and instead focused on learning as much as possible while scheming subtle ways to punish his teacher.
Knowledge and strength were essential to survival and they were both each other's weaknesses. Fortunately, after brutal training, they'd learned how to also become each other's strengths as well. Sebastian was skilled in demon magic, but his area of greatest expertise was in physical combat. His young Master, due to being both a former human and a young child, was weak in this compared to the average demon. However, the boy turned out to have an outstanding aptitude for demon magic. His genius and talent in this area was at such a level that in less than a century (as Hell reckons time) the two estimated that the boy's ability was worthy of comparison to the highest ranked elites of Hell.
This theory had not been tested yet and the two were more than willing to avoid finding out for sure. They had been very lucky in this.
Naturally, such luck could not last forever and their secret was found out.
The young demon had only just barely finished completing his demonic education when their humiliating situation was discovered. Like all predators do, the other demons sensed weakness and attacked.
In order to survive, the young demon had had to quickly put his education to good use and gain practical experience.
With their fists, wits, and power the two asserted their dominance. After another couple centuries (Hell time) they cemented their place in Hell and the constant challengers decreased. However, even if their lives, territory, and status rankings were no longer in danger of being stolen, it didn't mean they were accepted in demon society. The boy knew that would never happen.
The young demon mentally sighed. He could accept living in a world that didn't want him. He could accept being a demon. But he could not accept Sebastian's feelings regarding their situation. The elder demons constant contempt and anger stung worse than a thousand slaps.
He didn't want to continue being a burden to his demon.
He wanted everything to go back to how it used to be between them. Thanks to Sebastian he'd relearned what happiness felt like and even felt some contentment at his butlers satisfaction in their relationship. Even if Sebastian had only been pretending to care about him back then, it was still better than enduring his butler's obvious frustration now.
He wanted to leave Hell. He wanted to know what happened to the world he'd left behind. He wanted his demon to like being with him again or to finally end his existence, no one else deserved to do so. His life and soul rightfully belonged to Sebastian and if the demon butler was unable to take them then the boy wanted him to at least still treasure them. If that was something that Sebastian would never do then… Why spend forever waiting for something that might never happen? Hope would just be another way to suffer.
He wanted the suffering to end, but refused to ever surrender his life. It wasn't in his nature. He hated to lose to anyone, even himself.
Leaving Hell might not solve his problems, but it would give him a respite that he badly needed. The problem with this was that going to Hell was easy, it was leaving that was hard.
However, unless some idiot opened a portal right in front of him or he somehow got summoned, the boy might never leave. Of course the odds of either of those two things happening were so ridiculous that, comparatively speaking, the average human stood a better chance of getting struck by lightning five times and living. It just wasn't something that would ever likely happen.
Suddenly the young demon boy felt a tugging sensation and the words of a distant chant.
Could it be…?
At first nothing happened, but power began to fill the room and gather in the circle as the priest continued to recite the memorized words. The magic circle started to glow; first white, and then shading slightly into light blue as the power built. The gathered mana circulated, visibly condensing into a glowing white mist-like tornado. However Tokiomi Tosaka, being the one most experienced in mage-craft out of those present, thought that there was something strange about the words. Furthermore, some of the runes in the circle had an unusual shape and had started to flash with a red light.
By the time the chant reached the second-to-last sentence the entire circle was glowing an ominous red and the 'mist' somehow managed to change from ethereal-white to shadow-black.
Despite the power continuing to flow smoothly, it was clear that something had gone wrong.
When the last word sounded, the darkness burst from the circle, snuffing out the torches and drowning the room in blackness.
Into the heavy quiet that followed a young, unfamiliar, English accented voice sounded.
"You have summoned me. This fact will not change for all of eternity. However, though this is my first time being summoned, I believe that there is something strange about the method you used. I feel… different."
Tokiomi and Risei wasted no time in relighting the torches.
Standing in the center of the summoning circle was a young boy who appeared to be no more than 13 years of age, perhaps younger given how short and slender he was. He resembled a porcelain life sized gothic doll, what with his slate-blue hair, perfectly flawless white skin, and black Victorian Era clothes that would not have looked out of place at a funeral. His long bangs were swept slightly to the side, just barely managing to hide the black eye-patch that covered his left eye, while at the same time making the brilliant sapphire blue of his right eye all the more noticeable.
The men exchanged a few glances, before Kirei accepted the inevitable and began to question the Servant he'd summoned.
"You are not of the Hassan-I Sabbah. Are you a Servant of the Assassin Class?"
The boy smiled, tilting his head to one side in a slightly kittenish manner. "Ahh… there was once a group of famous assassins by that name. Odd, I had never heard of them until just now, yet suddenly I have information about them appearing in my mind. How has this happened? Wait… Grail War? Servants?"
The boy seemed to be momentarily distracted as he automatically accessed the needed knowledge bestowed to him by the Grail from the Ritual. "But you are right. I have no association with that group and I do have the qualifications to act as an assassin."
Kirei Kotomine did not hesitate in giving the needed reply. "I have summoned you to be my Servant in the upcoming Grail War. The Grail carries the main burden in choosing the participants, supporting the summoned Servant, and imparts a certain amount of knowledge to the Servant that is summoned. Specifically, knowledge of legends concerning your fellow hero's and everything you might need to know about the modern era to properly full fill your role in this War."
The boy's smile turned into a happy grin.
"That seems like an incredibly useful thing, and very practical. Whatever ritual you used to summon me must have been very sophisticated. You managed to call out to me using very little effort, almost no price, and at the same time grant me useful information about this world so I need not waste effort studying all that has changed since I last walked the earth."
"Indeed," said Kirei, "I am your Master, Kirei Kotomine. Who are you?"
The boy seemed to still for a moment in thought, the grin fading from his face.
"I'm sorry, but I cannot acknowledge you as my Master at this moment. You don't have any of the qualifications. Besides, the Contract between us is not complete. No doubt this is due to whatever ritual you used. Until we finish, you do not have the right to call yourself my Master."
Kirei frowned. It was true that the ritual had not worked as it should have, though it did function well enough to complete a summoning.
"What more needs to be done? Normally, all that should be needed is for the Servant and Master to acknowledge each other after the summoning succeeds."
"Well, Mr. Kotomine," the boy began, obviously choosing to ignore his summoner's status as a priest of the Church, "You and I need to come to an agreement regarding the future. After that I'll need to place my personal Mark on you to seal the deal. It will sting a bit, but it's very useful. With it I can find you anywhere or tell if you're in trouble instantly, no matter how far apart we are. This deal can be done verbally and fairly quickly, only a few minutes at most. Shall we get started?"
Kirei, hesitated before agreeing. There was something suspicious about the boys' words. Furthermore, his time serving in the Church as an Executor (killers in a sect of the Church specifically trained to hunt supernatural and occult threats) and then later on being trained by a magus, had taught Kirei the importance of formalized contracts and seals. It could be dangerous to agree to a deal without fully understanding all the terms.
"What sort of verbal contract are you talking about?"
"The important thing is to have a mutual agreement, it doesn't really matter what we agree on. The act of making a deal is all that we need to complete our contract."
The boy seemed to pause in thought a moment before continuing. "Let's keep it simple so it's easy to remember. How about this: You accept all the responsibility and price that comes as a consequence of both summoning me and making this deal. In return I'll diligently listen to anything you have to say for this night. End of obligations. Does that sound alright? Oh! I almost forgot, even though you're a fallen priest who dabbles in black magic and are already likely to be well on your way to being damned, I feel that I should add the traditional warning: If you turn your back on the faith, even this once, the Gates of Heaven will forever be closed to you. Knowing this, do you agree? It's fine if you don't. You can always try to summon someone else."
Kirei took a few moments to think carefully about what the boy said.
The Grail War was going to be dangerous and without a doubt there would be danger, deaths, and suffering. He was not overly concerned about these, in fact there was a part of him that was somewhat looking forward to it. Besides, it was a price that any participating Master had to pay to participate in the War. Also, each Master had to spend a certain amount of personal power in order to anchor and maintain their Servant, so this wasn't unexpected either.
The second part of the deal also didn't seem like it would be a problem. Since he would be the Master, it was expected that the Servant would listen to his words. Furthermore the three command seals that marked him as a participating Master granted him the right to give three absolute orders that could not be disobeyed. Though naturally it was best not to use them unless absolutely necessary.
The warning at the end was the only thing that seemed concerning since it hinted at something unforeseen and dangerous. But try as he might, Kirei could not see just what hazard the warning was referring to. Had the boy said that because Kirei was a priest meddling with mage-craft? The boy was obviously from some bygone era, so it wouldn't be strange for him to be somewhat superstitious in his beliefs about such matters.
He carefully looked over the Servant he'd summoned. The boy's attitude was surprisingly open and friendly for a Servant of the Assassin Class; though he supposed it could just be an act. The eye-patch and black clothing were the only hint that the boy was a Servant of the shadows. The young priest paused in his thoughts and paid more attention to how the boy was dressed. The style of the clothes were definitely from some time in the latter half 1800s to early 1900s and clearly of a cut belonging to the upper class. The fabric, though black and plain, was of excellent quality and would have been fairly expensive at that time.
A small flash of reflected torch light drew the priest attention to one of the boy's gloved hands where two rings glinted. One was a small gold signet ring with some sort of stylized door or gate as a crest. The other was on his thumb, a silver ring with a large emerald cut blue gemstone the same color as the boy's one visible eye. At first glance it looked like a sapphire or a topaz, but Kirei had been trained in magecraft by a man who's family specialized in jewels. Therefore he could tell that it was actually a blue diamond.
Whoever this boy had been back when he was a living human, he had come from a wealthy background and most likely from sometime around the Victorian Era. He also spoke with a very upper class English accent.
Given these facts, plus how famously conservative that place and time period had been, it wouldn't be surprising for Assassin to think that any priest that performed secret magic rituals in basements was likely damned.
Well, what was done was done, and getting another Servant wasn't an option.
"I accept your contract." Kirei said. The deal seemed oddly simple, just an agreement to something they would have done anyway, but since Assassin seemed to need it in order to complete the Master and Servant contract between them, there was no reason not to agree.
"That's great to hear." Replied the boy. "Now step across the circle and hold out your arm."
Kirei did so, choosing to extend the same arm that had the command seals on the back of his hand, and the two clasped each other's forearms.
"I'll Mark you here, just behind the wrist of this hand which is no doubt drenched in blood and sin."
Before Kirei could question what the boy meant by that, a burning agony seared through him. It started at his wrist, but somehow became so all consuming that the pain engulfed every part of his body. He fell to his knees as a tortured scream escaped his lips.
It only lasted a few seconds, but to Kirei it felt like hours.
I already started on the second chapter.