A/N: Thank you to everyone who reviewed because I greatly appreciate it. This chapter was a bit of dozy to work on partly because I was trying to experiment with a new way of doing battle scenes to make them flow better with the overall narrative of the chapter.
To help I watched fights from Fate/Stay Night, Fate/Apocrypha and Fate/Grand Order arcade to help me choreograph the battles. I hope it comes together well for you guys.
And for the servants under the unknown servant, I'll reveal who they are if their presence becomes necessary, which you guys can chalk up to the author being "crazy-prepared" trope as a precaution.
I haven't heard from Darklord11, so I did this chapter myself (I wasn't sure if I was to contact him or if he was interested in doing the next chapter).
Now I'll answer the guest reviews then we'll get right into the chapter.
Drake: Thank you.
Guest: Yes he is, which it is part of his character unfortunately and one of the reasons I decided to use him to provide "balancing" between and during battles since anyone else might've made things a little too easy for Lelouch. And yes I understand the desire to smack him one, but rest assured he will get better (and anyone else reading this don't worry I have no intention of bashing his character.)
True on those counts but hacking the grail could vary depending on the situation/location, but she isn't the only one.
Yeah, Gilgamesh might drive Lelouch nuts if he controlling him wouldn't be such an issue.
Alter servants I am trying to avoid giving him only, but Mordred on the other hand….
Guest: Thank you
Now on with the chapter.
To say the situation was difficult would be an understatement.
It had apparent from the start a battle was inevitable, but Jeanne in a sense completed her objective. Now Shirou and everyone else, minus Lelouch and Mash, had to fight their way out. It was five servants vs. six enemy servants, which on paper would've been a relatively even battle depending on the strengths and abilities of the servants.
Sadly it wasn't as easy as it seemed.
Unaware the enemy servants had a Berserker's Mad Enhancement forced upon them Shirou and the Heroic Spirits were facing a difficult battle. One of the enemies worthy of note who was quickly proving to be the most dangerous under Jeanne Alter's command was Vlad the 3rd or better known to the world as Vlad the Impaler who became the base for the Legend of Dracula.
Dressed in regal black robes, trimmed with gold, and black pants with matching boots. His pale skin and blonde shoulder-length hair with tints of green near the end coupled with his icy stare from his yellow eyes added to the intimidating aura he radiated.
"Dedicate that blood. That is your life. I will dedicate here my human life that is smeared in blood." Vlad declared as his body glowed with crimson energy, "Kazıklı Bey!"
Erupting from his chest was what appeared a torrent of blood and bone, which shaped itself into tentacles, and as they drew in bits of broken wood and stood the tentacles became sharp stakes more akin to spears.
Thankfully despite their disadvantages, Shirou's Saber class servant countered with her own Noble Phantasm after charging it with magical power.
The blast of golden energy didn't unleash Excalibur's full power, requiring more time to charge it, but it was enough to scatter Jeanne Alter and her servants allowing them to evade it. Vlad's attack with his Noble Phantasm was consumed by the golden blast before he was forced to dodge the destructive wave of energy. Seizing the chance to push the offensive Chiron let an arrow fly towards one of Jeanne Alter's other servants, a fair-skinned young woman, hoping to swiftly elongate her before she could join the fight.
Dressed in rather revealing light blue and red outfit exposing her cleavage and thighs, yet she wore armored shoes and gantlets that covered her forearms armed with a staff with a cross on top. Her long blue hair with matching eyes burned with a fierce determination.
No one would've expected the famed Dragontamer Saint would've worn something so revealing, but at the same time, no one would've thought that Saint Martha could've deflected Chiron's arrow with her staff.
Martha quickly retaliated with a sphere of energy she hurled from her staff at her foe, which Chiron easily dodged. An exchange of attacks between the two Heroic Spirits began, but the result almost expects after each exchange of an arrow with a sphere of magical energy Martha was moving to close the distance between them. Undeterred Chiron kept firing upon Martha while the latter deflected each arrow with her staff, or dodged them, as she continued her charge towards the Hero Trainer.
It was becoming apparent that a close-quarters clash was inevitable, but Chiron wasn't worried. He might've been summoned as an Archer he was far from helpless in close quarters combat. Chiron released one final arrow as Martha was about to strike him with her staff, but she dodged his latest shot the Hero Trainer quickly cast his bow aside to side step Martha's attack before following it up with right hook towards her abdomen.
In a surprising turn of events, Martha let go of her staff to catch Chiron's punch at the same time she spun her body to intercept it. She caught the blow in time, and the impact of the punch pushed her back slightly. Fortunately for Chiron, he was already following up his attack with another, but unable to catch it without locking herself in a stalemate she raised her free arm allowing the armor upon her forearms to take the blow instead. Upon impact, Martha used the punch's own impact to propel herself back allowing her a chance to assume a fighting stance.
She's good, Chiron complimented internally. She is no Hercules, but she can probably hit hard if she was able to catch one of my punches.
Chiron adopted what seemed to be a more defensive stance.
I should gauge her combat skills first before attacking; otherwise, she might catch me off guard with another surprise.
Martha was the first to attack while Chiron stood ready to intercept it. The teacher of heroes caught her next punch before moving his head to the side to evade a second punch, which was followed by a swift kick to her torso pushing her back. Chiron pressed his attack, but mindful of the possibility Martha could counterattack. Chiron's expectations were met when Martha caught herself before standing firm as Chiron rushed her who attempted to punch her foe, but as Chiron dodged it, he was kicked along the side by Martha.
The impact sent him flying through the air, but he quickly recovered in midair upon which he managed to gracefully land.
Just in time to see Martha, who recovered her staff, unleashing her Noble Phantasm.
A dark fog had manifested behind her as a substantial creature was taking shape within.
"A miracle," Martha chanted, "O', Tragic Drake Who Knew Naught of Love...like a star!"
The creature within the fog emerged, although it didn't look like a traditional dragon the monster was identified as one. Its form was more akin to a hybrid between a dragon, a lion and a turtle fused into one. It had four horns along with six legs, a tail and a purple shell with a black scaly hide and glowing red eyes.
Leaping backward, over Tarasque, Martha hit the back of the beast launching Tarasque at Chiron like a projectile weapon. It was spinning as the dragon flew towards Chiron intending to crush him.
Chiron narrowly dodged it by sliding under the creature as it flew over him missing him.
That ended up being quite useful, Chiron thought with a smirk since he had unknowingly been setting up Martha.
Without realizing it Martha had launched Tarasque towards Jeanne Alter, but before it could crush her she knocked away with one swing of her banner, a seemingly impossible but impressive feat.
Before Martha unleashed her Noble Phantasm, Shirou and Jeanne were left to contend with an Assassin-class servant. Her identity was easy to determine thanks to the Iron Maiden she was carrying and Lelouch's deduction about her likely involvement. However, her choice of attire left Shirou wondering if European Nobility dressed like that or it was even allowed since it was not something anyone would've expected.
Carmilla's choice of attire was a cross between European fashion and someone with an oblivious BDSM fetish, which given what she had done to her victims shouldn't be surprised. Much of her body was exposed as well as a fair amount of cleavage showing off her ashen skin. She wore thigh-high black high-heel boots, a black mask that concealed the upper half of her face and a blood red and black dress with long bell-shaped sleeves with the rest consisting of black straps that wrapped around her upper torso to empathize her stunning figure.
Even though her eyes were hidden behind a mask, there was a yellow glow from her eyes, and lastly, upon her shoulder-length white hair, she wore a crown that was more akin to a pair of horns.
Carmilla was also armed with a golden staff she held in her hands.
"Well now, what interesting prey," Carmilla began with a seductive tone intermixed with her intimidating aura before fixing her gaze upon Jeanne. "Your blood I'll savor bathing in."
Jeanne felt an unpleasant shiver travel down her spine.
She remembered Lelouch and Dr. Romani's explanation of Carmilla's history, which upon seeing her and the iron maiden she was carrying around Jeanne felt her stomach turn in horror knowing the fates those women who were unfortunate enough to cross Carmilla's path had suffered. Even worse Jeanne couldn't help, but hope that simply draining them of their blood was all they did because she suspected those who were killed by Carmilla's iron maiden was probably the quickest way they could've met their end.
Yet chillingly judging by her appearance and attitude, which has been no doubt worsened by the Mad Enhancement forced upon her, it's more than likely Carmilla toyed with them in some horrible ways before killing them and then raising their corpses as zombies.
However, Jeanne pushed those thoughts aside and focused on one thing, defeating the monster before her and keep Shirou safe. The only problem was that Shirou was a human and a master so he would be the focus of the enemy's attacks and Jeanne herself as a servant wasn't at full strength.
Likely caused in part by the existence of Jeanne Alter.
I understand Shirou's desire to help but trying to protect him and defeat the enemy servant will be difficult.
Jeanne readied her banner as Carmilla licked her lips.
Carmilla rushed towards the duo, but Jeanne quickly realized she was aiming to attack Shirou. Jeanne responded quickly using her banner to deflect the magical attack she launched from her scepter. Carmilla didn't stop her charge until Jeanne parried a swing from her staff, she was within arm-length of Jeanne before attempting to slash her across the face with her claw-like fingernails. Jeanne pulled her head back in time before shoving her enemy away.
Shirou readied an arrow before letting it fly.
The enemy Heroic Spirit saw the arrow coming at the last second before batting it away with her staff. Jeanne seized the moment to counter-attack using her banner, but Carmilla deflected the swing with her staff before attempting to fire a sphere of energy, conjured upon the top of her scepter. Jeanne ducked as the sphere flew over her head as she was moving to counterattack. Shirou continued providing support with his arrows, although he thought about moving in closer to attack Shirou realized such a move would only put him at serious risk.
Still, his frustration was beginning to grow.
Swinging her banner around with one hand Jeanne poured as much strength she could muster to overpower Carmilla's defensives and land a more decisive blow. The banner slammed into Carmilla's scepter, although she was struggling to hold up her defenses, the impact forced her back. Still, Jeanne pressed her attack. However, after blocking another swing from Jeanne's banner, Carmilla was suddenly hit by a right hook across the face with enough force behind it to knock her to the ground. Seizing the advantage Jeanne moved in to deliver a finishing blow, but Carmilla recovered in time and backed away. Not before conjuring bloody red spikes from the ground in front of her to impale Jeanne, but thankfully she realized the danger in time and rolled to the side to evade the spikes.
Carmilla attempted to attack Jeanne while she was recovering, but Shirou intervened by shooting arrows at her. She deflected them with a casual wave of her staff, but in response, Carmilla conjured another pair of red spikes below Shirou's feet. Fortunately for Shirou, he realized the danger in time and having expected a counterattack was quick to dodge. However, his actions did give Jeanne enough time to recover as she returned to her feet to attack the Blood Countess.
"How pathetic relying on a human to help you a Heroic Spirit," Carmilla mocked.
"And what of it?" Jeanne replied with a fierce expression, "I was the banner bearer and commander for an army of ordinary men which was a factor in becoming a Heroic Spirit so why should this be different?"
"Heh," Carmilla was grinning, "maybe so but a human cannot hope to match a Heroic Spirit."
"Maybe," Jeanne said before resuming her attack.
Nearby Atalanta had just fired her Noble Phantasm at the location she gleaned from Lelouch to assist Mash against Chevalier, but she had to quickly resume her own battle against another of Jeanne Alter's servants.
His appearance alone was troubling, which matched the Heroic Spirit's mental state.
The enemy Heroic Spirit Atalanta was facing was dressed in black Victorian-style attire with a matching tattered cape. His shoulder-length black hair mirrored a grotesque mask that covered the right side of his face which was held to his face by bandages. The left side of his face was normal except one of his eyes were red and his skin pale, but more alarmingly his hands were monstrous claws with long razor sharp nails.
One couldn't tell if they were gloves or part of his hands.
"Oh, my beloved Christine why do you reject me so," The Phantom of the Opera asked.
Atalanta said nothing because she learned early during their clash that arguing with this man was pointless. She had also deduced from their initial conflict he was an Assassin-class servant who only gave himself away to Atalanta upon mistaking her for Christine after approaching her using his class's presence concealment skill. His obsession with the songstress attached to his legend had squandered a perfect opportunity to attack, but it allowed Atalanta to fight back.
For a madman he is much swifter than I would've expected, Atalanta thought.
Oddly surprising was the fact that the Phantom was both very quick and agile than what his appearance would've suggested possible.
As such it made only pinning down the Phantom more difficult, which Atalanta suspected whatever agility he had was boosted by the Mad-Enhancement Trait forced upon him.
"Be careful Atalanta the enemy servants somehow had the Berserker class's mad enhancement forced upon them," Lelouch had warned through a telepathic conversation the two had earlier when he asked for her to provide ranged support for Mash using her Noble Phantasm.
That Berserker trait has made him unnaturally fast, Atalanta thought after she let another arrow fly.
Sadly it only tore through his cape having barely missed the Phantom.
Atalanta contemplated a way she could create an opening, but she didn't want to drag the battle out for too long otherwise the Phantom would likely make use of his Noble Phantasm.
After missing hitting the Phantom with another arrow, as the latter used a ruined building as cover, an idea came to mind. Although she didn't like it and it was a risky move. Still considering all of her efforts to hit the Phantom have all narrowly missed Atalanta was running low on options and letting the fight drag on could allow for another enemy to join the battle and tip the scales against her.
The Phantom had been steadily closing in since the battle started.
Upon dodging another arrow the Phantom had closed the distance with a sudden burst of speed putting him within striking distance of Atalanta with his claws, but his efforts were met with a swift bash to the head with Atalanta's bow followed up by a roundhouse kick that knocked him to the ground.
Atalanta readied another arrow and released it aiming for the head, but remarkably the Phantom recovered and escaped. However, the arrow didn't miss entirely instead hitting his right shoulder just barely missing his head. The Huntress was annoyed by the Phantom's persistence and evasion.
I suppose I'll need to bait him to land a clean shot to immobilize him, Atalanta thought internally.
Thankfully for Atalanta, she didn't need to resort to such a tactic because a Black Key struck the Phantom's Shadow immobilizing him in place. Seizing the opportunity, Atalanta shot the Phantom in the throat before quickly following up her strike with a second shot to the head. Amakusa arrived on the scene where he swiftly beheaded the Assassin-class servant.
"I see he was a slippery one."
"That is putting it mildly," Atalanta replied with an expression of annoyance.
"Still we're doing better than her," Amakusa said while pointing to Saber.
It wasn't so much that Amakusa was deriding Arturia, but instead, it was because she had been singled out as the most dangerous among the servants opposing Jeanne Alter. In a way, it was beneficial for other servants like Amakusa who had been generally annoyed by her servants, but at the same time, it was a problem for Arturia who found herself under attack by Vlad and another servant who joined the battle aiding his ally.
The Second Servant was dressed in a black coat, trimmed with white, and pauldrons shaped after horse heads with bladed manes while wearing a white collar shirt with a light red tie and black pants. The white hair man possessed cold light blue eyes and a fair skin complexion while armed with a claymore with a T-shaped blade.
Charles-Henri Sanson had joined the battle when he attempted to assassinate Arturia, but sneaking up behind her intending to behead her. However, due to how low his class skill, Presence Concealment, was Arturia was instantly aware of him the moment Charles tried to attack her. His skill was high enough that it would've worked better on an ordinary human, but against a Servant, it was doomed to fail.
Even so, the failed assassination aside, Arturia was now facing down two servants on her own.
The assassin I can handle easily, but that man is dangerous, Arturia thought.
Ever since the battle between them started, Arturia has been actively studying her foe trying to understand Vlad's abilities as a servant. A troubling ability Vlad had was his Noble Phantasm, which from what Arturia could observe, allowed him to conjure stakes from his own body using Vlad's own flesh and blood to do so. Such an ability made approaching Vlad in close quarters combat dangerous since in close proximity he could create stakes from his body to impale her if she got careless.
I could destroy him with Excalibur, but unless I can use a wide area burst of power, I'll miss him. However, if the attack is too powerful I could hit our allies too, Arturia said as she weighed her options during the heat of battle with the two servants.
Arturia clashed blades with Vlad's spear once again resulting in a shower of sparks but was forced to retreat when Charles attempted to behead her while locking blades with Vlad and the fact the latter was about to sprout stakes from his chest to impale Arturia. Apparently, he had been hoping Charles's attempt to attack her would've distracted her long enough to land a blow in, but Arturia realized the potential danger and safely retreated.
Seizing his chance Vlad thrust forward with his lance, but Arturia dodged it before slipping her sword below it and then striking up to force Vlad to point it away from her to create an opening. Arturia slashed across horizontally trying to behead the vampire before her, but Vlad recovered just in time and narrowly deflected the attack. It was a near miss, but the impact of her strike was enough to force Vlad back a few feet. Charles attempted his own assault, but Arturia side-stepped it before counterattacking with a powerful reserve vertical strike that sent the former executioner flying after using his sword to block Arturia counterattack.
Vlad reassumed his attack instantly, but Arturia quickly parried a swing from his lance with her sword.
With the reaction of a springboard, Arturia counterattacked with a swing of her sword, although Vlad blocked it he was beginning to struggle against holding back against such a mighty swing. Fortunately for him, he managed to force Arturia back by launching stakes from his chest, but after retreating she effortlessly deflected them.
Even if she was outnumbered, Arturia was pushing Vlad back with skillful swordsmanship. Despite the difficulties, Arturia was facing it was just as problematic for Vlad. Thanks to Arturia's remarkable speed and strength, this was quite the surprise for someone of her stature made it difficult for Vlad to pin down. To an outside observer the battle between the two, despite interference from Charles, was intensely fierce both Heroic Spirits were locked in a stalemate.
One such observer was Amakusa who was suspicious as he glanced over at Jeanne Alter who appeared to be more content to watch than actively take part.
She couldn't have noticed we were involved in any battles?
If Jeanne Alter was indeed a Ruler-Class like him and the Jeanne with them, then she had to be able to sense the presence and locations of any servant. Granted Amakusa's own True Name Discernment skill wasn't as capable as a properly summoned Ruler actually overseeing a Holy Grail War, but it was enough for him to sense Servants in his proximity and he could determine their real name and abilities upon seeing them face to face.
Amakusa had taken some time to gaze upon the other servants so he could take note of their real names and abilities. Still, the fact Jeanne Alter was rather unconcerned with the difference of numbers indicated she was arrogant or she was planning something by luring us into a false sense of security.
Lelouch and Mash were attacked by a sixth enemy servant we didn't know about, so could the enemy...
That was when realization dawned on Amakusa, although a part of him suspected it from the start. However, the attack on Lelouch and Mash merely cemented that suspicion.
If one servant was sent after Lelouch, stalking him in spirit form...then.
At that moment Jeanne d'Arc was locked in battle against Carmilla when suddenly an eruption of dark magical energy behind Shirou drew his attention. The explosion of power was followed by a chilling howl as another Heroic Spirit materialized. This one was covered in head to toe with black armor with a dark aura of ominous energy surrounding him while the visor of his helmet glowed an eerie red.
Arturia was horrified, because not only did she recognize the newly materialized servant that alone just made her realize the full extent of the danger Shirou was in.
Lancelot...they summoned you...of course, this was your homeland, Arturia thought while trying to disengage from the battle to help Shirou.
Lancelot rushed towards Shirou while grabbing a broken piece of wood, which was comparable in length and size, to use as a makeshift club. Upon grasping it, the timber glowed with dark energy with red cracks along its surface.
Shirou responded, but instead of running he stood his ground taking aim with his bow.
If I run then Jeanne will be killed.
It was a very dangerous possibility, although others would regard Shirou's decision as suicidal.
As heroic as the thought was it the action was futile.
Unaware of the fact Lancelot, as a Berserker-class servant, possesses the Knight of Owner ability that allows him anything he can hold as a weapon transforming it into a Noble Phantasm regardless if it's something as simple as a twig. After batting away the arrow, Shirou shot at him the charging Berserker struck Shirou. The blow to the left side of his body sent Shirou flying six feet before impacting the half-burnt remains of a house. He had dropped his bow and one of the swords Shirou had been attempting to draw before Lancelot attacked him.
"SHIROU!" Saber cried out before she was forced to block an attack from Vlad.
Before Lancelot could attack Jeanne from behind her darker half was attacked by Atalanta as the latter unleashed her Noble Phantasm upon her. Lancelot broke off his attack to defend his master using his makeshift weapon to deflect the arrows from harming Jeanne Alter. With Charles holding off Arturia, Vlad utilized his Noble Phantasm to create a multitude of stakes from his body to quickly counter the arrow onslaught and protect his master.
Suddenly black keys embedded themselves into Vlad's back with two pinning his shadow down. Amakusa appeared behind him with a satisfied smirk on his face.
"It seems you have really become a vampire as a Berserker, something you weren't in life," Amakusa noted before embedding another black key into his back. "Vampires are undoubtedly very powerful, and a Heroic Spirit like you gains a considerable edge, but that strength comes with a crippling weakness from weapons with the virtue of purification."
Immobilized Vlad could only cry out in agony.
Charles attempted to intervene, but Arturia kept him occupied. Little did anyone realize Amakusa and Atalanta switched to spirit form to maneuver themselves into position. Atalanta's attack on Jeanne Alter was merely a distraction and to create an opportunity to take down one of her servants since most Heroic Spirits would respond quickly if their master were in danger.
Thus leaving one of them wide open for a surprise attack from Amakusa.
"Now," Amakusa said beginning a Baptism Rite, "time to pray vampire."
Stabbing another Black Key into Vlad's body as blue flames began to engulf it.
"I shall kill, and let live; I harm, and I heal; there are none who shall escape from my grasp and none who shall escape from my sight," Amakusa said before stabbing Vlad with another black key. "Be crushed now. Those defeated and those grown old I welcome you. Devote yourself to me, learn from me and obey me…and you can rest. I am light, and I shall relieve you of all your burdens."
The blue flames died as what little remained of Vlad was now reduced to a statue composed of ash.
"Ask forgiveness, I the reincarnation shall swear…Kyrie Eleison," Amakusa said as he threw one last black key into Vlad's back causing his burnt body to crumble into ashes leaving some lingering blue flames.
Atalanta's attack ended at that time, but as the dust settled Jeanne Alter was utterly unharmed, but Lancelot who had rushed to her aid had been wounded. His injuries aren't enough to end him, but it was apparent that Lancelot had taken some damage defending his master from Atalanta's onslaught.
"Impressive, you survived her Noble Phantasm without a scratch," Amakusa complimented.
"And I was waiting for you to challenge me, so did you get cold feet?"
Amakusa smiled, "not at all. I suspected you had another servant hiding nearby in spirit form, especially when you sent that Saber-class servant to attack my master. I found it rather odd you didn't seem concerned about the possibility of coming under attack."
The saint's eyes narrowed in suspicion.
"Unless of course, you were trying to bait me into attack you where you would've unleashed your other servant on me."
Jeanne Alter merely grinned, "Maybe."
Suddenly a roar could be heard in the distance before all eyes turned to the horizon towards the southwest, a horde of wyverns was approaching accompanied by something much larger. The creature was an authentic dragon with black and gray scales with glowing markings on its chest with curved horns.
"That must be Fafnir," Amakusa said remembering what Lelouch shared with him after Chevalier d'Eon was defeated. "He could be quite the problem."
The real Jeanne, meanwhile, hurried to the fallen Shirou's side, but despite the impact his body endured upon hitting the remains of the house he was miraculously still breathing. He was unconscious, but Shirou Emiya was still alive. Atalanta in the meantime had taken over the fight with Carmilla allowing Jeanne to check on Shirou's real being.
"He's still alive, but…Shirou can't stay here." Jeanne said upon noticing the incoming horde of wyverns led by the legendary evil dragon.
Jeanne Alter began laughing maniacally, "You might be powerful, but I doubt all of you will last long against such numbers."
Suddenly a rose made of glass struck the ground between Amakusa and Jeanne Alter.
"It's not elegant, neither this city, your combat style. I don't like your philosophy and principles either, but yet for being so beautiful, you shroud yourself in blood and hatred. For good or evil shouldn't a human be more free?"
The voice was that of a woman who materialized near Amakusa as she shifted from her spirit form into physical form. The newly arrived Heroic Spirit was a young woman who appeared to surprisingly young for a Heroic Spirit. She possessed long white hair tied into a pair of long pigtails, a fair skin complexion with clear blue eyes, with a large white puffy hat upon her head. Her attire matched the same color as her hat with a one-piece sleeveless dress, which was low enough to expose her thighs with long matching boots and small white gloves.
"Another servant?" Amakusa asked although it seemed she wasn't with Jeanne Alter.
"That's right, and I am so happy because this is how a Hero of Justice should announce themselves right?"
Amakusa wasn't sure how to respond to that, but he decided to move on, "We will welcome your help, but we should retreat for now."
"We can help?"
"We," Amakusa and Jeanne Alter asked in unknowing together.
"That's your cue, Amadeus!"
"Leave it to me!"
Appearing behind Amakusa was a tall man with pale skin, pale blonde hair and blue eyes, and dressed in black with a matching long coat and cape with a gold interior. Upon his head was a distinctive purple hat while in one hand Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart held a conductor baton.
"Please enjoy. It is time for a public performance!" The Caster-class servant announced, "Prepare to listen! To the sound of a demon! Requiem for Death!"
Upon activating his Noble Phantasm, Requiem of Death: A Funeral March for the Death God, the surrounding area became enveloped with the sound of a grand orchestra.
White angel-like figures carrying various musical instruments began to appear as the area was being drowned in music, which was effecting Jeanne Alter and her servants seemingly immobilizing them.
"My performance can handle the servants, but I don't know if it can snare so many tone-deaf creatures?"
"Not to worry we already have an escape plan in mind, but," Amakusa said before glancing to the other Jeanne, "grab Mr. Emiya if he is still alive. We're leaving!"
As Amakusa declared that snow began falling around them before a violent snowstorm quickly engulfed the surrounding area, but yet the immediate area around Amakusa was untouched. Arturia and Chiron, having finally been able to disengage from their battles against their respective foes, rejoined Amaskua along with Atalanta and Jeanne who was carrying an unconscious Shirou.
"What is this?" Chiron inquired.
"Assist from a new servant Lelouch acquired," Amakusa answered as Viy appeared behind him.
Arturia and Chiron appeared ready to attack it, but Amakusa raised his hands.
"Relax he's on our side, and he'll guide us through this snowstorm while it helps cover our escape. As long as we stay on the destinated path, we'll be unharmed. Otherwise, you might freeze to death very quickly."
"Then lead the way! We need to find a safe place so we can tend to Shirou," Jeanne said urging the party to depart the battlefield while they still can.
As Arutira, Atalanta, Amakusa and the others followed by their new allies fled the battlefield an annoyed Jeanne Alter was left in the freezing sub-zero temperatures while immobilized by the lingering effects of Mozart's Noble Phantasm. However, a large shape descended upon her before quickly shielding its master from the snowstorm with its body and wings.
Under the dragon Fafnir's body, Jeanne watched as Martha, Carmilla, and Charles joined her while Lancelot had recovered sufficiently, now standing beside his summoner.
"Rider," Jeanne commanded, "I want you to follow them? Confirm their location and then contact me."
"Understood," Martha replied, "I'll crush them."
"No need to go that far, but just tell me their location when you find them."
"I can't believe we lost the count," Carmilla noted seemingly seething in anger that her prey had escaped her.
"His loss was unfortunate, but it was a mistake to ignore that other Ruler. I did hope to bait him into attacking me, but I guess he is smarter than he looks." Jeanne Alter said while admitting to having intended to bait Amakusa into attacking her so he could be ambushed by Lancelot. "I'll return to Orléans and prepare to summon additional servants to bolster our numbers. The rest of you are free to go about as you please."
Using her banner, Jeanne Alter generated a wall of fire that surrounded Fafnir, which was powerful enough to repel the snowstorm while melting all of the accumulating ice off of the dragon's body. Once she had mounted her pet, Jeanne Alter and Fafnir took off escaping the snowstorm that had blanketed the area while leaving her servants in the snowstorm.
She knew they would survive without any problems, but it would slow them down.
The wyverns she had beckoned on the other hand weren't as fortunate.
A few hours later as the group headed north towards the town of Bar-sur-Seine, although it would've taken several hours on foot to reach the town from their present location, the Heroic Spirits were able to move much faster than a human and cover more ground. Lelouch would've been the only one not able to keep up, but their new ally summoned her horse a living steed made of glass to carry him, and an unconscious Shirou joined by their new Rider-class ally.
The town of Bar-sur-Seine was deserted upon their arrival, but it would serve as a temporary refuge.
Mash was tried from her running since they rendezvous with the others after escaping from Jeanne Alter and her servants, but she was confident she could run for longer if the situation demanded it. The group found the local inn, which they agreed would serve as a temporary base of operations especially upon a leyline being detected below it. Once inside Chiron carried Shirou to one of the rooms upstairs to tend to his injuries while Lelouch and the others were occupying the dining room of the inn, which was large enough to accommodate all of them seated on various small tables.
After collecting himself, Lelouch activated his communicator on his wrist triggering the appearance of Dr. Romani via hologram followed by Mash joining them after setting up a summoning circle in the cellar to receive supplies.
"Any enemy servants near our location?"
"None, you guys are safe for the time being, and Mash was successful in establishing the summoning circle."
"Right then," Lelouch said turning to Mozart and his companion, "we should tend to introductions first."
"Of course, allow me to introduce myself I am Marie Antoinette of the Rider class," Marie said happily introducing herself. "I am not sure how I was summoned since I do not have a master."
"Marie, as in Queen Marie Antoinette?" Mash said recognizing the name while Dr. Romani was just as surprised.
"She was the wife to King Louis XVI during 18th-century, but she lost her life during the French Revolution," Dr. Romani explained. "Marie was tragically a target of hatred by many people during the Age of Revolution, but in recent years some historians found evidence that Marie had organized donations for the lower class and pushed the higher class to make concessions for the poor instead of a hedonistic, absolutist monarch some remember her for."
"Yes that is regrettably true," Marie acknowledged with a hint of sadness upon her features.
"I guess the fact you are a Heroic Spirit confirms your humanitarian efforts were deemed heroic enough by some," Lelouch said suspecting her efforts towards donations and pushing for concessions were the key factors behind her ascension to the level of Heroic Spirit.
Marie smiled, "I suppose, but I was surprised to see I became a Heroic Spirit."
"You weren't the only one Marie," Mozart said joining the conversation. "I don't feel like the type who would be a hero, although it's true I am great, I am just another artist. I did infuse my magecraft into my music, but only because I was drawn to the sound of demons."
"Amadeus," Lelouch muttered before recognizing the name having heard some of his musical works, "wait are you Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart?"
"Charmed to meet you young man and yes I am. As I am sure you guessed I am a Caster-class servant."
"Actually there have been some artist and scientists who have appeared as Heroic Spirits, especially in the caster class." Dr. Romani said joining the conversation. "Instead of influencing or performing heroic deeds through supernatural means their deeds came through their creations and innovations they introduced. The impact their works or discoveries had upon the world and humanity could result in them becoming a Heroic Spirit."
"I see," Mozart said contemplating this, "I am still doubtful I deserve being called a Heroic Spirit, but I suppose that would explain it."
"But she is," Marie exclaimed as she turned her attention to Jeanne. "I know who you are Jeanne d'Arc, the woman who became a Saint who saved all of France."
"I am no saint;" Jeanne admitted modestly, "all I did was follow my dreams, the dreams of a foolish country girl. I never realized the price of my dream until my hands were soaked in blood while carrying this banner."
"Maybe, but you cannot deny the results your efforts left behind. You left a bigger impact on history than you believe, so much so that I have always wanted to meet you. I just worshiped you growing up."
"Please your majesty you're words are far kinder than I deserve."
"Call me Marie," Marie interjected before turning to Lelouch and Mash, "technically I am no longer a queen. So splendid foreigners please just call me Marie. There is no need for formalities, and I think I prefer it than being called Queen or your majesty."
"Alright," Lelouch said before introducing himself before going around introducing the others, "I am Lelouch Lamperouge, and my servants are Amakusa Shirou Tokisada a Ruler-class, and Atalanta, an Archer."
Lelouch gestured to Mash and Anastasia.
"Last and not least, she is Mash Kyrielight a Demi-Servant fused with another Heroic Spirit and a Shielder-class and this is Anastasia Nikolaevna Romanova a Caster-class and Viy."
"Pleased to meet you two," Mash offered while Anastasia said nothing except bow her head as greeting.
"I am a Saber-class servant, King Arthur Pendragon," Arturia said introducing herself. "My master's other servant is Chiron an Archer-class, and my master is Shirou Emiya."
"I see…the unconscious young man Jeanne was carrying as we fled, but I am surprised he is still alive after a blow like that," Mozart commented.
"So I am," Dr. Romani commented, "such a blow like that alone should've shattered every bone in his body yet his vitals are still in the green."
"I suppose he got lucky," Lelouch said, but like the others, he was baffled by how Shirou survived such a hit yet he doubt discussing it would reveal the reason behind it. "Anyway, I suppose we can explore how Shirou survived later because we have more pressing matters to discuss."
"I agree," Marie began, "I know in a Holy Grail War, servants and their masters are supposed to compete for the Holy Grail. Yet the enemy already has it, but it's confusing why we have been summoned?"
"Perhaps it's the law of causality?" Amakusa suggested before explaining, "This is just a suspicion on my part, but I believe since a Holy Grail War hasn't begun yet someone already has the Grail we have a reversal of causality. A bug in a system where the Grail is trying to resist since the greater the opponent, the greater the reaction, although on the other hand, this could be an intentional effect to cause more chaos in this era."
Jeanne nodded in agreement, "I agree, and given the situation, it is the most logical conclusion right now."
"On the other hand, this reveals a significant fact…Marie, Mozart, and Anastasia aren't the only servants summoned without a master," Lelouch offered.
"You believe there are more servants summoned who aren't aligned with the other Jeanne?" Arturia inquired, but Marie was quite pleased with the implication.
"For now yes," Lelouch answered, "but I suspect the other Jeanne is already aware of this."
"How wonderful a chance to meet more people!"
"Careful Marie," Mozart cautioned, "that may not be a good thing. It could just mean more enemies, but if they are allies, then the additional numbers will be helpful."
"I agree, and there is what Lelouch learned from the Saber-class servant Mash, and Anastasia defeated," Amakusa pointed out.
"Despite the battle having gone south we did succeed in eliminating two of her servants, and we have learned the identities of the other servants employed under the other Jeanne," Amakusa noted. "Furthermore Atalanta's attack on the other Jeanne has revealed something else I noticed."
"You mean how she survived unscratched from my Noble Phantasm?" Atalanta inquired, which Amakusa nodded confirming it.
"The black armored berserker is clearly very formidable and skilled despite having lost his sanity to Mad Enhancement, but not even he could survive Atalanta's Noble Phantasm completely scratched," Amakusa said before elaborating further. "Yet this other Jeanne who probably lacked the same level of combat prowess, enhanced by the Berserker class or not, shouldn't have been capable of surviving without sustaining some injuries."
Jeanne understood what Amakusa had discovered, "I see, so you suspect the other me is drawing power from the Holy Grail directly?"
"I believe so, and it would explain her ability to summon and control so many creatures and servants without straining herself. The Holy Grail has likely augmented her abilities as a servant greatly, which is probably more so than I could've achieved under similar conditions."
"However what you are also saying is that killing her will be difficult," Arturia asked suspecting the second reason Amakusa brought it up.
"Yes," Amakusa replied with a nod, "so regardless of the risks we should search for these other servants and recruit them to our cause. Jeanne and I can find them due to being unrelated to the war, but I believe Dr. Romani can help us."
"I may not have the ability of a true Ruler-class servant, but I can still search farther than any servant."
"Romani, could you begin the search for any servants near our locations while watching our backs for any enemies who are likely in pursuit of us?" Lelouch asked, which Romani agreed with a nod.
"Leave it to me, but in the meantime, Lord El-Melloi II had some words, so I'll turn it over to him."
Dr. Romani's holographic projection vanished before it was replaced with Lord El-Melloi II's.
"We should probably discuss the other servants in employ to the other Jeanne. Two of them I am actually familiar with," Lord El-Melloi II pointed out. "The black armored servant you saw I encountered a Berserker-class servant in the previous Fuyuki Holy Grail War. I don't know his true name, but he has particularity dangerous ability to make any object he grabs a Noble Phantasm. He can quite literally turn something as simple as a tree branch into a deadly weapon equal to a low ranked noble phantasm."
"I recognize who it is," Arturia began, "its Sir Lancelot."
"WHAT!?" Lelouch and Lord El-Melloi II both exclaimed in surprise.
"The Knight of the Lake has become a Berserker?" Mash asked with surprise having clearly heard about the legendary knight.
"He'll be hard to take down given his legend and combat prowess," Lelouch said recognizing Lancelot as a serious threat.
"Yes, but I can take him if required."
"Ok, so who is the next one?" Lelouch asked turning to Lord El-Melloi II.
"The next one I know his real name, and I faced him before in the same Holy Grail War, and he is probably just as dangerous as Lancelot is. His name is Gilles de Rais, a Caster-class servant who was able to summon demonic, amphibious familiars to aid him."
Lord El-Melloi II paused as the memory of Caster and his disgustingly depraved master brought back unpleasant memories.
"His servant was from a time where he fell into insanity after the death of Jeanne d'Arc causing him to commit horrific acts before he was executed, and this habit continued into the Fuyuki Holy Grail war where he abducted children alongside his master to kill them for their amusement. Eventually, he was taken down by the combined efforts of the other servants when his actions could no longer be tolerated."
Jeanne bore a sadden expression upon her face because Gilles de Rais was once his most trusted subordinate who had served under her. She remembered the admiration he held for it, so perhaps it wasn't too hard to imagine how hard her demise might've hit him.
She just never would've imagined her demise had led Gilles down such a terrible path.
"And beside him, we have Saint Martha, a Rider, from the 1st century who arrived upon the shores of France after she was exiled from her homeland without a sail or a paddle. Martha's most notable achievement was for suppressing the evil dragon Tarasque. A holy maiden who made a terrible and grotesque monster fall madly in love. They have a shrine of her in the city of Tarascon, France," Dr. Romani explained in the background behind the Holy Grail War veteran.
"Does it say how she suppressed it?" Atalanta asked suspecting there was more to that story.
Romani examined the information he had while Lord El-Melloi II observed him on his side.
"Nothing other than making it fall in love with her."
"How wonderful," Marie said with a bright smile, "the power of love is truly something to tame such a dangerous beast."
Mozart raised an eyebrow, "Marie I am highly doubtful that's what really happened."
"Oh don't be such a sourpuss," Marie replied.
Amakusa intervened before the conversation further derailed the actual subject of their discussion.
"Her questionable story besides Saint Martha was able to hold her own against Chiron in hand to hand," Amakusa pointed out trying to get the conversation back on the track.
"When Chiron is done with Shirou we should ask him about his fight with Martha so we can devise counter strategies against her," Lelouch suggested which Amakusa agreed with a nod.
"Agreed," Arturia said before turning to Jeanne, "who fought the other servant, Carmilla right?"
"Yes," Jeanne nodded, "and she was an Assassin-class servant. She didn't attempt to ambush us using her Presence Concealment, so either its rank is too low to be effective on servants, or she was arrogant in the belief I was an easy target without it."
"If it was arrogance we can use that against her," Lelouch suggested before Atalanta pointed out.
"She may not be so willing to be on the frontlines of a fight because after I took over the fight so Jeanne could tend to Shirou, I was pushing her back until our escape gave her a chance to retreat."
"That is a possibility especially if we face her and the other Jeanne's servants again with more servants on our side," Arturia said agreeing with Atalanta.
"Right, so we'll need to be flexible when dealing with her. Now the other assassin class servant, Charles-Henri Sanson I believe his name was," Amakusa began.
"Let's see," Lord El-Melloi II said before pulling up the information on his console, "The fourth head of the Sanson family, which had performed executions for generations in Paris. He was the one who oversaw the execution of noteworthy individuals such as Louis XVI and eventually Marie Antoinette including others. I am surprised an executioner would be an Assassin-class."
"I suppose that contributes to why I was able to detect him very easily when he tried to ambush me," Arturia added to the conversation.
"Maybe, but according to records the Sanson family thoroughly studied human anatomy and pharmacy to find out how to best decapitate people in one strike, which aided them when they served as doctors who worked free-of-charge using the techniques they had developed for killing to help the needy." Lord El-Melloi II explained upon further reading the information before him. "Their efforts and contributions they provided in this degree were far ahead of what medical aid was capable of at the time. Likely his extensive knowledge of human anatomy enables him as an assassin to know how to best eliminate a target in one strike much the Guillotine he operated in life."
I could almost swear I heard another account it was someone else, maybe Charles's son, who had executed Marie and her husband? Lelouch thought as he remembered hearing something about that in history class, but he decided to brush it aside since it wasn't important.
"I see, but I had no problem keeping him at bay. Even though I was surprised he was able to defend against me, but that was all he could do," Arturia acknowledged confident that sooner or later she would've overpowered Charles and ended the assassin in a prolonged one on one engagement.
Her concern for Shirou's well being merely led her to focus on breaking away from her fight with Charles than trying to really finish him off but silently acknowledged her concern overruled her better judgment at the time especially given Lancelot's appearance.
"And now our last concern, the Legendary evil dragon Fafnir," Lelouch began with a serious expression. "Out of the servants, the other Jeanne commands he'll be the most dangerous weapon in her arsenal."
"My snowstorm barely affected it, and the temperatures were well below freezing that froze the wyverns solid," Anastasia noted.
Lord El-Melloi II had the information on the dragon in front of him, "Fafnir, the legendary evil dragon slain by Siegfried, a noteworthy hero of Germanic mythology who is sometimes confused with Sigurd of Norse mythology due to their similar stories."
"Perhaps Arturia and her sword might be enough to strike such a beast down," Amakusa suggested.
"Maybe, but that depends if conditions are favorable for us. I am sure the other Jeanne is aware of how powerful Arturia is, and will not risk her greatest weapon so carelessly." Lelouch cautioned, although clearly insane he was highly doubtful the other Jeanne was stupid especially given how she tried to lure Amakusa into attacking her and quietly dispatched a servant to attack him and Mash without anyone realizing it until it was almost too late.
"Then it's another reason we should find more servants. Just as we know what her strengths and servants are she knows who ours other, and will prepare accordingly," Jeanne advised. "If we can gather other servants that will give us an edge and more tactical flexibility especially if we can find someone else capable of slaying Fafnir."
"I concur with that, so beginning tomorrow we'll search for other Heroic Spirits. Hopefully Dr. Romani will find us a trail we can follow to track some down since I doubt we'll have the time to travel across the whole of France looking for them."
Lelouch took a deep breath, although they still had numbers on their side they were still at a slight tactical disadvantage.
We really are in for one heck of a fight, and this is just the first out of seven singularities, Lelouch thought while wondering what tomorrow would bring.
A/N: another chapter concluded, and the number of allies is growing, but they are going to need some firepower to better their chances.
I did face some trouble expanding on some of the fights, but I didn't want to drag them out too much either.
Also, I needed to do some research on actual towns in France to provide some real-life locations and calculate the distance on foot it would take to reach them to better judge overall travel time and update the story timeline (yes I am keeping track of the story by date from chapter one). I have also been conducting some research with some suggestions from Greatratking88 to plan out some original singularities, although these will not take the place of the primary seven they will still be part of the story as sub-singularities trying to replace one Lelouch and Shirou have taken out.
I have two in mind, and if I decide to do one of them or move onto the second singularity will determine which servant Lelouch gets next.
And rest assured Shirou will not be killed because let's face it no matter how well I could justify it we can all agree no one here would let me get away with it…furthermore, we all know he has a hidden ace he doesn't know about.
Anyway, I have posted a new poll on my profile, partly out of boredom and curiosity, which has no bearing on this story but could be used for planning a future story (not a sequel mind you) if I decide to try this crossover again.
Thank you all for reading, and I thank you in advance for your reviews.