With his body and soul fading away from the world, the Nameless Archer found himself feeling rather disappointed.
It was strange that a man like him could even feel such a thing. A Servant with no history, no purpose, no master, not even a name to call his own. He had been summoned into this Holy Grail War without any of it. He had stared out upon the city as it burned from the war being waged, and had felt nothing, not even the slightest bit of pity for those being consumed. The only thing that he had found meaning in was her.
The Caster Servant, Cu Chulainn, had mocked him, calling him the guard dog of the holy sword wielder. It would have been funny, Cu Chulainn accusing someone else of being a lap dog, if it hadn't been so true.
Regardless how strange it was for a Servant of the Archer class, the Nameless Archer had found himself wholly attached to the corrupted Saber, Arturia Pendragon. He had no idea why, but he felt that he was connected to her somehow. In the entire world, she alone seemed real to him, and he had dedicated himself to her protection.
Sadly, he had not succeeded in his goal to protect her.
She would most certainly have scolded him for his stupidity. He had Caster in his grasps, with a blade to the man's throat, but he had allowed Caster to keep him talking about philosophy of all things, giving the slippery bastard enough time to turn the tables. How many times had Saber told him that the battlefield was not the place for words?
…When had she told him this? What had been the connection between them? He wished he had had the nerve to ask her if she had felt the same way about him. He probably would never find out now.
Time passed, and the Nameless Archer began to wondered what exactly was going to happen now. He had been expecting to be devoured by the Holy Grail, but if those kids succeeded, there would be no grail left. He had never given it much thought before, but what happened to servants after they died if there was no more grail? A Servant was just a shallow copy of one of the Heroic Spirits from the Throne of Heroes, not the Heroic Spirit themselves, so it was unlikely that he would be finding his way to the throne. Would his soul go through the same recycling process as all the others? Strictly speaking, the soul of a Servant wasn't even real, more of a magic construct than a true soul. Even without the grail, Gaia should simply rip him to pieces. So the only real outcomes were either being wiped clean and used in the cycle of reincarnation, or simply fading away into the void. Rather grim options, not that he had any say in it.
Did he even care?
Could a man with no real memories or purpose even be said to have existed in the first place? If his soul was purged or recycled, nothing would be lost save for his knowledge and skills. He had no personality or conscious. It is said that one's identity was made up of a mixture of their memories, knowledge, and beliefs, and be this definition, the Nameless Archer had been made without. Regardless what heroic spirit he was supposed to have been modeled after, he was not that man. He was no one, truly nameless.
Perhaps if he was reborn, and given a new chance at life, maybe then he could find an identity of his own.
Then maybe he could understand what it was like to truly exist.
Months had passed since his death and the Nameless Archer had found himself surprised to find that he had neither been destroyed by Gaia, nor had his limited memories been reset by the recycling of soul materials. This unforeseen turn of events had now led him to having what could probably be called one of the most unique experiences in the world, being conscious as a baby inside of a woman's womb.
It was something both horrifying, and rather obnoxiously boring, as there was not really much he could do but wait to be born and watching his soon to be mother's daily life. Not really be best of in-flight movies, though it was informative enough.
He supposed it could be worse. Without his reinforced hearing and his C+ Clairvoyance granting him the ability to both see and hear what was going on in the outside world, he wouldn't have had anything to do at all. He would have been left just listening to the sound of the girl's heartbeat for nine months. After all, he didn't want to move around too much and risk harming his new host.
It had taken him a while to piece together what was going on in the world outside of his mother's womb, since it seemed he was in a new world with a new language not provided for him by the Servant Summoning System, but it hadn't taken him long to realize there was something off about his new mother.
She was far too young. Dangerously young.
She would have been just a little over thirteen when she had first gotten pregnant.
Her name was Nora. She worked as a maid in what appeared to be the estate of a high class noble, alongside dozens of other individuals. In Archer's time observing her, she had never mentioned any family of her own, so she is likely an orphan made to work in order to pay for her own living. This was made extremely difficult by her pregnancy, though the Lord she worked for seemed oddly understanding of her situation. At the very least, he hadn't thrown her out onto the streets.
As far as Archer could tell, the nature of his conception was not a willing one. His understanding of the native language was limited with such a short time of observation, but it seemed as though Nora had been forcibly taken by 'something'. The way the other maids talked about the man, it was at the very least a different race that was looked down upon, and perhaps a different species all together. Whenever the other servants brought the topic up, their advice to Nora was always the same, "Once the baby is born, hand it over to the slavers."
It was good advice. The young maid knew nothing about raising a child, nor could she do so while at the same time keeping her job. A baby would cause her nothing but trouble. She had no reason to desire to keep the child. Archer wouldn't have begrudged her the decision. It was the logical one. If she didn't, then she would end up on the streets and then they would both be picked up by the slavers. Even if she somehow managed to keep her job, a baby would provide no benefit to her in her foreseeable future. Better to sacrifice the dead weight.
And yet, even though the correct option was obvious, Nora's body still reacted every time someone suggested it. She was hesitant. Archer didn't understand why. Why should she even care? Was it some kind of misplaced sense of attachment or responsibility?
No. It was something else.
A baby who is handed over to the slavers without a mother has almost no chance of surviving long enough to be bought. Even if buying children capable of learning a trade was common place, a baby which would require several years of time and resources wasn't worth enough to people buy, and the slavers had little in terms of motivation to keep the child alive. Even if the infinite was picked up, it would almost certainly be by the army where it would be used as a throw away soldier as soon as it was old enough to hold a spear.
Nora was hesitating, not because of any attachment to her unborn child, but rather because if she handed the baby over to the slavers in order to absolve herself of responsibility in the eyes of the kingdom, she would be more than likely condemning it to a slow death by neglect.
Even if Archer was the benefactor of the girl's foolishness, he couldn't help but feel like she was making the wrong decision. In truth, he would probably have managed himself just fine growing up as a slave. He doubted they would have been able to place on him a marker that he couldn't remove.
He couldn't understand it. The girl stood to gain nothing and had everything to lose. So why wouldn't she just take the easy way out?
...Well, if the girl was going to be stubborn, then he might as well help the poor fool out. It wasn't like he had anything better to do. Channeling his own prana through her body, he could protect her from the worst of the effects of the pregnancy and augment her endurance, letting her do her work with little trouble.
He just hopes that her self-destructive mindset wasn't contagious.
Have been having computer troubles that have been making writing awkward. Just sent my laptop in for repairs yesterday, so I wouldn't have it for the next two weeks, give or take a few days. Funny how my last laptop lasted for 6 years before rusting away under the relentless march of time, and then this new one lasted for four months before becoming just as unusable.
Anyways, while I'm waiting for my laptop to comeback, I thought I would try write something on an old tablet... I regret everything.
A concept for a reincarnated version of the 'Nameless Archer' who because of his lack of memory also has a lack of morality. Having him grow up without Shirou's survivor's guilt and forming his own opinions about how he should live his life. I feel like it would be funny to have everyone around him talking about honor, chivalry, justice and saving people and having him go 'that sound like a hassle.'
Kind of afraid that he is going to end up being a bit of a Mary Sue, but its an experiment.
I was thinking of having him run into other Heroic Spirits reincarnated in the long run. Would be really funny to have him go off for a short while in order to quest or whatnot and come back to find that his mom was married to Cu Chulainn. (...You mother fucker...)
I'm also planning on exploring the idea of a world without Gaia, and with a great quantity of mana, but with magic still weaker because of magecraft being mainstream.
Since magecraft is a limited resource and is divided among the users, it would make sense that even if there is no Gaia and there is 10 times as much mana in the air, if there are over 500 times as many mages, then you still would end up with your spells costing more. Though without the influence of Gaia, his projections wouldn't fade away.
Magic is more stable, but more expensive.