Emiya sighed, shaking his head.
His life—or, rather after-life—had changed drastically since, since everything had changed.
Very eloquent, dumbass. Careful, or you might cut yourself with that wit. He sighed again, looking down from the crest of the hill where he sat. Swords dotted the horizon of his mental landscape, the world that had existed inside of him and that symbolized the whole of his existence.
Unlimited Babe Works.
"Wait, something is wrong there." Frowning, he recited his whole aria under his breath nodding to himself and ending it again to himself. "—Unlimited Babe Works."
No, something is definitely off, but I can't quite place my finger on it. He shook his head again, as he noticed someone was approaching him from behind. Without turning around, he spoke.
"Father," she said as she walked up to him.
Normally he was quite a bit taller, but she was a big girl too. Seated as he was, she towered over him. He did not look up, his eyes instead caught onto the unreachable horizon in the far distance. Behind them, sounds of joyous laughter and play could be heard, something that still bothered him even now. Then again, how long had it been since this had started? The sun did not rise, nor did it set in his reality marble, therefore it was impossible to tell the passing of time properly.
Then again, he did not need rest or food so why did it matter? None of the others had complained about it either, so it probably wasn't a problem.
"I see you are brooding again," she said and he could hear the teasing smile she wore.
He looked up, a denial on his lips but at hearing her light giggles he knew she had only wanted just such a reaction out of him. She knows me well, but how? Does she remember me from all the times I have used her? Thoughts gathering into the object until it gains sentience, something akin to tsukumogami perhaps?
Emiya also realized he was thinking of his bow as a she already, completing his mental transition entirely already. Exhaling, he stood up.
Does that mean it has been a complete transformation—an evolution into something more? Meaning that I cannot use their original forms ever again...? He frowned at that thought, finding the line of thought and the consequences it evoked much more complex than he had initially expected.
"Bow, can I still use you?" He asked, turning around and looking down at her.
She smiled at him, tilting her head ever so slightly which made her midnight black hair sway like a waterfall of ebon silk. "But of course, father."
He frowned at that, nodding still to indicate his understanding as he crossed his arms. "How, though?"
She smiled reaching down for one of his hands and holding with both of hers. "It is quite simple. How do you use your Bow?"
Raising an eyebrow, he said nothing.
She rolled her eyes at him, raising the hand to her throat and pressing it against her skin. "Hold."
With an amused expression, he let his fingers curl gently around her neck. She slowly turned around until she was facing away from him, raising her hands over her head she looked over her shoulder at him.
"Now, pull my hair and choke me, daddy."
He blinked and in the space of that instant she was gone. In his hand was his usual bow once more. He frowned, trying it out and noting nothing odd with the weight or proportions.
"...Bow?" He asked, but heard no reply. "Hey, bow?"
In between blinks of the eye, she returned to her previous form again in his arms. She said nothing, smiling mischievously up at him with one hand intertwined with his much like he had been holding the string before.
"See father, no problem."
He sighed, rubbing his hair with one hand. "If you say so."
Just then, two shapes came rushing at him and darted behind him. A pair of figures, looked up from behind a respective leg of his at the third figure of the tanned sun-child running towards him. "Avalon?"
Kanshou and Bakuya, still holding onto his legs moved around him as Avalon darted around his left side. He blinked, utterly lost as to what was going on as he raised his arms into the air. All three ran in a circle around him, switching directions on a dime as Avalon tried to catch one of the two.
Ah, they're playing Tag?
"No fair!" Avalon cried, stepping back with a pout.
"Ha ha! Too slow!" Bakuya laughed loudly, grinning widely at the pouting faeling.
Even Kanshou was smiling, though with nowhere near such obvious relish as his twin, laughing much more quietly as he hid most of his face behind Emiya's leg.
"Gnununuu..." Avalon gripped her tiny fists, taking a step back as he face set into an expression of determination.
"Fufufu, try it! You'll never catch me!" Bakuya shouted as she patted her trusty shield with one hand. Emiya stoically bore the ignominious treatment without a word as he looked on, only rolling his eyes at Bow who had stepped back and was laughing at his predicament.
"Gnunu—!" Avalon shouted as she shot forward like a bullet.
Emiya blinked, realizing she was aiming straight for him. Is she trying to tackle me to get at them?
He thought about dodging, but with the two behind him holding onto his legs he simply decided to bear with it. How bad could it be?
She jumped, diving headfirst at him as he resolved to catch her before she hurt herself in trying to slam into him. Only...
Avalon turned into numerous motes of light that danced around and through him, the warmth of her passing a nostalgic sensation of a time long gone. He almost felt like he was standing in the middle of the golden fields of Ever Spring for a moment, where the sun did not shine down with oppressive heat but a warm care.
He blinked, turning around just in time to see Avalon re-materializing and reaching out for a clearly surprised Bakuya. The white-haired girl's eyes were wide with shock as she tried to jump back, but it would not be enough to avoid the charging faeling's mighty dash.
But just as Avalon was about to reach Bakuya, something pulled the tomboy away from the blue-haired sheath. Avalon landed, blinking at having missed Bakuya by just the smallest of margins. Turning around, she owlishly looked at Kanshou who had his white-haired twin in his arms as they both grinned at her.
"You're one to talk! Bweeeh!" Bakuya shouted, blowing a raspberry at Avalon as Kanshou turned around and started running away with Bakuya still in his arms.
"Uuuggh! Get back here!" Avalon shouted, rushing after the two.
Emiya blinked as Bow sidled up to him once more.
"What lively children," she noted.
"Hmmhh..." He nodded, frowning. "And they could use their... powers, I guess? Without any input from me. I didn't even feel any magical energy drain either. Strange."
Bow merely shook her head with amusement, well used to his habit of analyzing everything by now.
Looking out over the crest of the hill, he turned in place as his eyes scanned the vast rusted landscape. There were countless blades here, but only the weapons he had already noticed before seemed to be in an human form. Was it a matter of how often he used such weapons?
Frowning, he tried to imagine what kind of chaos it would be if every blade in his reality marble had experienced a similar transformation. Looking up, he froze. Sitting in seiza, cross-legged or squatting like delinquents—a sea of eyes met his. They all seemed waiting, expectant even. As if waiting for the pistol to go off to signal the beginning of a dash race, all coiled up and hoping their turn would be soon.
And then as he blinked they were all back to normal.
"Hmm, what is the matter father?"
He turned to look at Bow slowly, inhaling as he did. "...Is every blade here...?"
"Hmm? Of course...? I thought that much was obvious, father." She smirked at him, no doubt enjoying his trepidation at that realization.
"Were they always here? Or did something trigger this change?"
"Who knows. I've always been by your side, even when you wanted another at the same time. You're always so rough and insatiable..."
He blinked at that. Did she mean how he shot broken phantasms? Shaking his head, he ignored her for a moment. Should I be worried about all of this, or trying to revert it?
Looking around, he beheld his kingdom of rubble. The arid landscape with the burned out smog-filled sky above, the acrid stench of smoke and rust in the air so strongly as to be choking. This was no place for anyone to be living in—a land of stoic solitude, the end result of his mad dash for an ideal that could never work.
It was not a place anyone else should be forced to live in.
Beside him, Bow seemed to notice how grim his thoughts had turned, sidling up flush against him to distract him. Yet it managed little beyond making him simply glance at her once, before returning to his dismal deliberations.
She needed something more, something to keep him distracted.
"Oh, father. Why not see if any of the other weapons might not know something?"
"Hmm?" He frowned at her, though internally she cheered at seeing his brooding broken.
"You have countless blades here, all with a unique perspective on things. They must surely know something. It might help you gain a better grasp on this change," she explained.
Emiya nodded slowly, exhaling. Right, that's true. Then, I should try...
The blade came spinning in the air from a mile or more away, landing in his hand as if it had always been there. His fingers clasped around the hilt as he brought the jagged purple blade up to his face for closer inspection, the numerous colorful splotches and blots almost shining with a dark inner light.
Rule Breaker: All Spells Must Be Broken.
Bow seemed to gasp, taking a step back. It was possible that his condition might be reverted, were he to stab himself with this sword of negation and betrayal. She knew this just as well as he did, though only second hand.
However, he had no intention of trying anything quite so extreme at this time.
Opening his palm, he willed the blade to change. And there she was. She was tiny; small enough to comfortably sit on his palm with room to spare. Sitting in his palm with her arms crossed and face turned down as she glared at him with heated eyes. Here there was none of the expectation or hope, rather it seemed like this little creature was filled with nothing but spite and vitriol as she scowled up at him.
They stared at each other for several seconds, Emiya trying to get a read on the little dagger and Rule Breaker stubbornly glaring at him all the while as she held her silence. She looks quite a bit like Medea, huh. The purple of her hair is a little darker, almost as if it had been dyed by blood. Her eyes look red from crying and her body language is quite hostile. That makes sense, being a crystallization of the legend of her betrayals, rather than a weapon Medea acquired during her life. It is purely born of her. Does that mean a rule for how weapons appear in here? Caliburn looked quite like Saber, didn't she?
Emiya shook his head.
"I wanted to ask you some questions..." He began, finally deciding that this was getting him nowhere.
"Of course you do. Everyone always wants something from me... Well I'm not going to tell you anything! You can go play around with your bimbo and die for all I care! I've had enough of being used and thrown aside by everyone! Just leave me alone!"
Punctuating the shout, she stood up and jumped off his hand. Magical circles appeared around her as the familiar cloak appeared to shroud her shoulders, lifting her and allowing her to fly off.
He blinked, glancing at Bow who seemed just as lost by the exchange. Shrugging, he jumped after the flying mini-witch, leaving Bow behind as she sent him off with an amused wave of her hand and an 'itterashai'. The dagger was fast, but he was faster still as he managed to catch up in no time.
"I just wanted to ask a few question, I have no intention of hurting you," he tried.
But... "Go away! Leave me alone!"
The dagger would not have any of it, speeding up as much as she could to avoid him.
This isn't going to work, huh. Should I leave her be or transform her back? Basing on the display earlier, it's probable Rule Breaker can still use her power even in this form. It might be dangerous to leave her be, but on the other hand if I force her back it might reinforce her belief of always being simply used and discarded...
Suddenly Caliburn appeared, running beside him with a serious look on her face. "What is the matter, Shirou? Enemies?"
He blinked at her sudden appearance, but before he could say anything Rule Breaker stopped as if she had hit a wall, with Emiya and Caliburn halting two steps later. They turned around, watching with wide eyes as the little dagger slowly approached Caliburn. It was like looking at someone who had for the first time beheld true beauty, so overwhelmed by the experience as to cry tears of joy.
In fact, the dagger was crying as she slowly approached Caliburn.
The sapphire-eyed sword turned to look at Emiya with obvious confusion, entirely lost for words in this situation. "Erm, Shirou?"
"Ah, I... I—Could, could you call me 'oneesan'? J-just once?"
Caliburn blinked, wholly confused now as she glanced at Emiya again for guidance. He shrugged, as if saying it was her call.
She cleared her throat primly, raising a hand to cover her mouth as she did. "W-well then, ah... How may I be of assistance, oneesan?"
"Kyaaa! My soul is being healed!" The tiny witch shouted, bringing both of her hands to her chest as she swooned in mid-air.
Caliburn instinctively stretched out her hands to grab the dagger out of the air as she was sinking, treating her like one would a wounded songbird. Blinking, she looked at Emiya again and seemed almost annoyed by the amused smirk on his face.
She cleared her throat again.
"Is everything alright?"
Emiya crossed his arms, tilting his head as he answered. "To be honest, I have no idea. But do you mind watching her over for me?"
The sapphire-eyed sword blinked before nodding. "I shall on my knight's honor make sure nothing harms her!"
I had actually hoped you would keep her out of trouble, but this should work too, he thought without saying anything as he merely nodded.
"G-guh! This, this pure love of mine! Please accept my lily-colored love for you, oh radiant beauty whose virtuous heart has struck through me like a bolt of lightning from the heavens above!"
Caliburn blinked at the loud proclamation the dagger in her cupped hands made.
"Ah, I cannot. For I have sworn to protect and guide Shirou, there is no place for anything else within me. I must steer him on the just path, a task which will be much to arduous to be distracted from. I apologize, from the bottom of my heart," Caliburn clearly rejected the dagger.
"Guh! No, it's not over yet. If it's just that man, then I can still win! NTR is my specialty, after all! I can still steal you—krhmm, I mean, I can still win your heart! Please let me stay by your side!"
The tiny witch looked fired up, mustering all her resolve as she reached out with both of her hands to hold one of Caliburn's thumbs. Even from where he stood, Emiya could see the hearts in her eyes as she stared up at Caliburn.
The sword frowned, inhaling slowly as she glanced at Emiya again. Finally, she nodded. "Very well, I shall protect you. But know that my heart shall never be swayed from Shirou's side!"
Rule Breaker nodded vigorously, almost sparkling with excitement.
"Could I ask you a few questions?" Emiya butted in finally, causing the dagger to look up and glare up at him again. She almost hissed, flying up to place herself squarely between him and Caliburn as if to say that he could not have the golden sword as long as she was around.
"It would trouble me if you do not answer his queries," Caliburn stated, noticing the tension that had sprung anew.
"...Fine. But only because you asked!" The witch shouted, crossing her arms.
Emiya nodded, exhaling as he shot a thumbs up as thanks to Caliburn, who shot one back with a happy wink.
"What should I call you? Rule Breaker, or are you Medea as well?"
"I am a noble phantasm born of her divinity and crystallized legend, though it is not my name. So don't you call me that!"
He nodded. "Rule Breaker seems like a mouthful, however. Hmm, Ruru?"
"Don't call me that either!"
Caliburn blinked, mouthing the words quietly in thought. "Ruru, Ruru... It is quite cute, is it not?"
"Please call me Ruru as much as you please! Please!"
Emiya shook his head at the tiny witch, saying nothing on that topic as he moved on. "Then, do you possess Medea's understanding and memories of magecraft? Specifically her top-class expertise in bounded fields and enchanted items?"
When it came to a bounded field that contained numerous magical swords, she seemed like the perfect person to ask. Blade to ask? He shook his head at that thought.
"Something like that," Rule Breaker admitted.
"Then, do you know why and how this change occurred here?"
"Huh, are you an idiot?" The dagger asked, glaring at him as if at a particularly slow child. "This is a reality marble, fool."
He nodded, motioning for her to continue. "I understand that much—an innate bounded field is shaped by the individual. But I've never heard of it being alterable to this degree. Something like this couldn't have just happened without reason."
She sighed, shaking her head. Rearing back a foot, she flew straight at his forehead with a flying kick that barely even stung as she shouted; "You idiot!"
What are you, a wasp? He wanted to complain, but said nothing as he cleared his throat.
No need to further antagonize her, rather he would simply listen to what she had to say and ignore the abuse.
"Isn't this because you're such a worthless playboy womanizer who breaks hearts everywhere he goes!? Huh? How many women have you made fall for you and then just left behind?! Those curse-like emotions gather around you and coalesce into your soul as you keep going without noticing any of it! Idiot! Fool! Eroge-protagonist who was turned into a dense-harem-protagonist!"
Emiya frowned, crossing his arms as he gently with one hand pushed her away from his face. Her punches barely even itched, but it was a slight bit annoying to have her trashing against his face.
"So... like how heroic spirits are born of humanity's wishes, I've been affected by lingering desires? Like... infatuation wraiths, of some kind?" He mused, not quite believing any of it. He shook his head. "Ridiculous. The amount of women necessary for something like that would be immense beyond counting. I don't remember anything like that."
"Nincompoop! Dunderhead! Fool!" Rule Breaker shouted, roundhouse kicking his nose. "That attitude is the exact root cause of all this! You're a Guardian and have been to countless worlds and places! You're the consistently most popular Type Moon male character! Of course this would happen when you don't address any of those feelings and let them pile up!"
He blinked. What does the Crimson Moon have to do with any of this?
"What are you even talking about? How would you even know any of that?"
She clenched her fist, shaking with anger. "I am Rule Breaker! The blade that cuts through all magecraft and mysteries! What is the fourth wall to me?!"
He blinked, before deciding to ignore her ramblings. Who else could be knowledgeable of something like this? Someone who is experienced with magecraft but also with crafting magical weapons and of strange realms...
A Lancer in blue; a legend known far and wide for both his martial and magical skills, someone who had spent long years in shadowed realms under the tutelage of a mysterious master only spoke of in hushed tones.
"Huh, his weapon might do."
Stretching out his hand, he called forth the red spear from beyond the horizon. It landed in his hand with a deep sound that echoed through it, causing it to hum for half a second before it stilled.
Exhaling, he willed the change to occur.
"Heh, well didn't take long of ya, laddie. Guess ya missed me after all this time," the purple-haired woman said with a toothy grin.
"You're not..." Emiya began with a frown.
"Eh? You're expecting Setanta? Nae, he made me with tha help 'o his venerable master. So there's a bit of both in me, yeah?"
Her hair was a dark shade of something between blue and purple, depending on the light shifting between one and the other as it reached all the way to her waist. The waist so slim and taut that it looked like he could have wrapped both of his hands around her with ease.
Frowning, he had to ask, "Is it an Irish thing. Wearing those full body tights, I mean?"
"O'course!" She grinned at him, her blood red eyes twinkling with humor. "It's either that or going naked. Anything else takes too long to get out of when after a good fight you wanna have an ever better shag."
"...Ah," Emiya nodded, his face suddenly going carefully blank as he tried to loosen his hand from hers. Holding onto the spear might have been a mistake...
"See, thas your big problem. Lookit yer trousers, laddie. How're ya supposed to get yer pecker out when ya need it?"
"...That's never been a problem, exactly." He cleared his throat, trying to get himself out of her grip more insistently now.
"Eh, shy one? I remembered as much. Ye're all wily and coy, playing around and taunting everyone around yah. Heh, ye'd make hell of a woman." She laughed gaily.
"What?" He managed in a flat tone.
"If these or this..." She said running her hand down her body, cupping each breast in turn and ending with a slap of her butt. "Don't interest ya..."
Leaning in, he could feel her breath on his ear despite his attempts at keeping the distance his distance from her.
"Then I'm sure ya won't mind if I take the lead. I'm sure ya never forgot about having me so deep inside of you, even after all these years," she said and he realized she had guided his hand down to her crotch.
And he could feel something hard there. His eyes involuntarily were drawn down, almost as if they had been reeled in by what lay there.
A strapon, bright red and veiny. Almost—no, just like Gae Bolg.
His mind went entirely blank.
"Thas my Gay Bulge; veined lance of little death. Now be a good laddie and bend ov—"
Emiya instantly grabbed the hard shaft, willing her to return to spear-form as he turned around and with all his strength sent the lance flying into the distance with a mighty toss, as far away from his as possible. Even as it disappeared far into the distance behind the hills beyond his sight, he could still hear her gay laugh echoing with wicked amusement.
Turning to regard the cool gazes of Caliburn and Rule Breaker, he cleared his throat.
"I hate that guy so much."
Thanks to Gray Walker for proofreading.