Yo, everybody! It's time for a brand new story, one that all of you lovely people voted for in the poll! Sometime around when I was getting ready to get back into the swing of things, I set up a poll, asking what story you guys would want to see when I got back. And here it is, brought to you by myself and Daemon of Wrath!
Before we begin, a few things. First, this story will be AU to Fate/Grand Order: Cosmos in the Lostbelt, as certain events have changed significantly for our crew in Chaldea. All positive changes, we assure you. Secondly, this will be set after Volume 3, but a little bit before Volume 4.
Myself and Daemon discussed as to what point in time we should start the story at. The first idea was Pre-Volume 1, set sometime during the past segments of the Adam Taurus Character Short. The second is the story route we chose, namely because so far, there have been very few stories that start when RWBY is well underway. Most tend to start during the beginning.
With that said, however, please enjoy our newest story! Ooh, but before that... Oi, Ritsu! Do the disclaimer!
Ritsuka: What? Okay...? *clears throat* This story is a work of (fan)fiction. Any and all characters and places with relations to actual people are purely coincidental. The authors do not own Fate/Grand Order or RWBY. Both belong to Nasu-sensei and RoosterTeeth respectively.
Time is a fickle thing.
It is a river, ebbing and flowing along a path.
Often at times, time will branch into different paths - possibilities and futures that could have been.
This, is one such story.
A world besieged by darkness, with four simple and honest souls left to stand against the tide.
Yet it shall be by the tangling of Fate that warriors shall gather together.
What story shall you weave this time, Ritsuka and Gudako Fujimaru?
I shall watch this story unfold...until the very end.
A Fate/Grand Order x RWBY Crossover:
"Chaldea in Remnant"
Fate/01: Over the Horizon, To a distant Shore
Ritsuka Fujimaru did not have what one might consider to be an ordinary life, much less a simple one. By all rights, he should never have found himself involved too deeply in the world of magecraft. As a member of a lesser family of little to no importance, he shouldn't have expected to get involved in something as grand as preserving human history. And yet, it did occur, all because he went to get his blood drawn.
He wouldn't say it was all bad, however. Along the way, he had made many friends and went through many great hurdles. Yet in many instances, he always found himself in the most bizarre and terrifying situations, ranging from fighting literal gods and demons to trying to face off against powerful Heroic Spirits.
In all honest, the only reason Ritsuka hadn't broken under the pressure was because of-
"RITSU-NII! HELP MEEEEE!"
Ritsuka sighed, drooping his head low. So much for peace and quiet today. Actually, who was he kidding?
When was it EVER peaceful in Chaldea?
Moving over to the source of the disturbance, Ritsuka entered a fairly large room filled with bizarre machinery, all of which the result of the collaboration of minds by Sherlock Holmes and Leonardo Da Vinci. At the far back of the room, he found the latter Servant, a fairly buxom woman with beautiful clear skin and shoulder-length autumn brown hair and crystalline eyes, in the middle of what could only be considered sexual harassment. The unfortunate victim was a girl with fiery red hair and brown eyes, flailing as she attempted to escape from Da Vinci's grasp while being stripped of her clothes.
"...Da Vinci-san?" Ritsuka sighed, face-palming. "What are you doing to Gudako?"
"Ah, Ritsuka-chan! Perfect timing!" Da Vinci smiled widely. "Would you be a dear and strip for me?"
"DON'T LISTEN TO HER!" Gudako Fujimaru cried. "HELP ME! SHE WANTS TO TAKE MY CHASTITY!"
Da Vinci wrinkled her nose. "I would appreciate it if you didn't associate me with Fergus, thank you." she said before she went back to trying to disrobe the poor girl. "And I'm not interested in your purity, dear girl. I leave to the other Servants."
"Again, I ask. What are you doing to my sister?"
"SHE WANTS TO PROBE ME!"
"I'm afraid that would only provide poor results. And to answer your question, myself and Holmes an incredible discovery! Nay, I believe we've made a break through! And tests demand a test subject!" The excitement increased as Da Vinci became more aggressive. With a deft hand, she removed Gudako's top, leaving her with only a bra and a half-removed skirt. "Now, strip! Those clothes will get in the way!"
Ritsuka sighed again. He had been doing this a lot lately. Idly, he wondered why in the world he hasn't already gone insane by this point. "Da Vinci-san, please stop harassing Gudako. I will use a Command Spell if I have to."
The threat seemed to work, as Da Vinci paused. Long enough for Gudako to escape her grasp and snatch up her clothes, retreating next to her brother and hissing like a cornered animal. With her prey again, the Servant pouted. "Oh, you're such a killjoy, Ritsuka-chan. Have you been hanging around EMIYA again?"
"Which one?" Ritsuka asked. "We have two. Three, technically, if you count Kiritsugu-san."
"Does it really matter?"
Ritsuka opened his mouth, then closed it and tilted his head. Now that she mentioned it... It really didn't. Despite both Servants insistence, both were very much alike. And the likeness only got worse as EMIYA Alter slowly became more and more open with everyone. Not that it was an easy task, mind you, as getting that man to even the slightest bit social was like trying to get a raccoon to not steal anything.
"So, what is this break through?" Ritsuka asked. "And more importantly, why did you need test subjects? More importantly, can we expect life threatening injuries because of these experiments?"
"You won't." Da Vinci assured him. "At least, I don't think so."
Gudako growled. "First you kidnap me, feel me up and now you admit that this experiment could be dangerous?!"
"First off, I didn't kidnap you. I simply asked you to come to the lab." the Caster-class Servant said with a small pout, folding her arms beneath her breast. "Second, how else are you supposed to grow your breasts?"
"THEY DON'T NEED TO GET BIGGER! THEY'RE FINE AS IS!"
"I can name a few here in Chaldea who would disagree." Da Vinci smirked evilly. "Say, a certain edgy count and black holy maiden?" Gudako blushed and spluttered in utter embarrassment. Ritsuka shook his head, knowing full well she said that only to elicit this reaction. Clearing her throat, Da Vinci's tone changed. "Anyway, you're aware of the processes we used to traverse the Singularities and Lostbelts, yes?"
"Yes, I'm aware. Why do you ask?"
"Would you believe me if I told you Holmes and I may have discovered a way to create an artificial Kaleidoscope?"
Kadoc Kemlupus would never admit, but there was a certain hint of bizarre adoration for the way Osakabe-hime squirmed. "W-why did you have to barge into my room...?" she weakly protested as Anastasia Nikolaevna Romanova drank from her cup of tea. "And more importantly wh-why are you two sitting in my kotatsu?!"
"In my defense," Kadoc raised his hands. "Anastasia more or less demanded I bring her here. She's been obsessed with this thing."
"B-but you could easily buy one! Heck, you could've even had someone make one for you." Osakabe-hime whimpered, a bit downcast. She had more or less planned to spend the whole day in her room and play Rot Cells, but that plan was quickly out the window. "So why...?"
Anastasia smiled. "Because your kotatsu is far better than any cheap imitation."
"Just how is mine better?! There's nothing special about it!" Osakabe-hime argued.
Kadoc smiled thinly. Thought it had been several weeks since the Lostbelt incidents, he could still hardly believe everything that had happened was so quickly forgotten, or swept under the rug. No, actually, it would be more accurate to say that the events were still freshly lingering. They were simply doing their best to move forward.
Of course, there was still an awkward air hanging around him. Up until recently, he had been an enemy to these people. Yet now, he was treated as a friend and ally. It was very strange, much less a bit uncomfortable. Especially around Anastasia. He had to constantly remind himself that this was not the Caster he had grown accustomed to in his Lostbelt or cherished. Rather, this was the one that history remembered. Not the one born from a dead end.
As such, getting used to her was a bit challenging, especially when he first came to Chaldea. It took a long time before he had finally settled in and found himself used to Anastasia's presence. Oddly, however, despite being a separate version, she still had some form of remembrance to the other Anastasia. Because of that, she understood her other self's thoughts and feelings on Kadoc and often relayed them to him. It was touching, if perhaps a little awkward.
At the very least, however, he was happy that she thought of him as a dear friend.
"I disagree. Your kotatsu is very nicer compared to the other ones I've been offered. That, and it is the only one that isn't big enough for Ivan."
Osakabe-hime tilted her head. "I-Ivan? Is he still trying to, you know, dote on you?"
"Every now and then." Kadoc answered. "As much as Anastasia enjoys him, she doesn't like being coddled that much."
"Indeed, not." Anastasia said, taking another drink of her tea. "On another note, there was another reason why I came here."
"Gudako-sama's birthday is coming up. I was hoping you could give me an idea as to what she might like."
Osakabe-him didn't answer at first. In fact, it looked like she had gone completely stiff. After a minute, she became hysterical. "Gudacchi's birthday is almost here?!" she cried in panic. "I knew I was forgetting something! Oh no! This is bad! Bad bad bad! What-what am I supposed to do?! Oooh, you're so stupid, Osakabe! You marked your calender for this occasion, and here you are, focusing on video games!"
Kadoc sweatdropped. "...it's just a birthday." he told the Assassin-class Servant. "I'm sure anything would-"
"BUT IT'S NOT JUST ANYONE'S BIRTHDAY! IT'S GUDACCHI'S!" Osakabe-hime suddenly towered over him, her face overshadowed by her hoodie and eyes glowing red. Kadoc promptly shrunk where he sat, retreating slowly away. "She's my number one! My key item! Without her, I wouldn't have this room all to myself or all these video games! She's why I can enjoy my time in solitude and play online all day! I owe her my everything!" She promptly returned to normal size and weeped, cradling her head. "Oh, what am I going to do?! Gudacchi's birthday is in a few days! That's not enough time!"
Anastasia hummed. "It seems we are both in a dire strait." she remarked calmly. "In that case, might I suggest a collaboration? Two heads are better than one."
"YES! That's perfect, Ana!" Osakabe-hime nodded strongly. "But what should we do? Even if we order it, it won't get here in time? Uhm, a home-made gift? Oh, but what would she like?"
"Hasn't Gudako-san been obsessed with jeweled rings lately?" Kadoc recalled. "Why not make her one of those?"
"That's an excellent idea, Kadoc." Anastasia said. "But what type of Metal should we make it out of? And what jewel should be set?"
Osakabe-hime pursed her lips, folding her arms. "If I remember right, gold-band rings with rubies seem to be really popular."
"Truly? Truth be told, those sound rather gaudy." Anastasia said with disinterest. "A silver ring with a diamond would suit Gudako-sama."
"I disagree! A copper ring with a topaz gem would suit her!" the hikkemori shot back, crossing her arms with a harumph. "Kadoc-kun, what do you think?"
Kadoc blinked. "M-me?" Why were they asking him? He didn't know much about jewelry, it wasn't even remotely related to his specialty Mage craft! Maybe asking someone like Isthar would be a better idea.
'Actually, on second thought, that would be a bad idea.' Kadoc immediately thought with a shudder. When it came to Gudako, Ishtar had a problem of going overboard. He could still remember the Christmas party that she was in charge of throwing. Though it was quite extravagant, they still had yet to finish off all the leftover food.
And that was a month ago, as he had learned.
"...I think Anastasia's idea would be a good idea." he offered. Osakabe-hime pouted while Anatastia had this smug look on her face. Her shadow wiggled, making it clear that Viy also felt pleased by his decision.
"No fair! Kadoc always agrees with you!"
"Not always." the white-haired girl replied. "He does disobey often. Though it's mostly whenever Ritsuka-sama is involved." She then tilted her head and cupped her chin. "Actually, have you seen either of them? I had hoped to ask Ritsuka-sama for advice about Gudako-sama's birthday gift first, but I couldn't find him."
Osakabe-hime shook her head. "I haven't. Ritsucchi has been enjoying the relative peace and quiet."
"What peace and quiet?" Kadoc scoffed. "I've only been here for a few weeks, and Chaldea is anything but."
"Ack! That's cheating Kuro!" Illyasviel von Einzbern, the Caster-class Servant, cried in dismay as she watched her character become unceremoniously thrown off the edge of the platform, courtesy of a kick by Chloe "Kuro" Einzbern's character.
The dark-skinned girl smirked. "All's fair in love and war, Illya."
"Iskander! Waver!" Illya whined pitifully. "She's cheating!"
"Well to be fair, Kuro is playing Ganandorf. And his attacks hit like a truck." Waver replied.
Beside him, Iskander nodded strongly. "Indeed... You would be hard pressed to defend properly. It also didn't help the fact that you chose to play as Shelk."
"But-but Shelk is so cool! How could I not?!"
Every Thursday, Zhuge Liang - or rather Waver Velvet as he preferred to be called following his final Ascension and Iskander hosted a video game hang out with a few Servants in Chaldea, and sometimes even the staff. Today, Illya and her "sister" had rushed over to play with them after they had been invited. Had you met Zhuge Liang earlier, you would have been dumbfounded to see how he acted now. At first, his personality as a mix of his original self and Lord El-Melloi II, but through each Ascension, Waver's old childish persona had started to bleed through and overtake his personality. Something that the Rider-class Servant that fought with him in the Fuyuki Fourth Holy Grail War appreciated immensely.
"Cool," Kuro smirked. "Does not equal kickass."
Illya growled at her "sister". "Don't get cocky, Kuro! I can still beat you!"
"Hah! In your dreams!"
Iskander's booming laugh shook the room. "Ah, truly the rivalry between siblings is a beautiful sight!" he said with a broad grin. "We should have invited the whole Emiya family here!"
"I don't think that would've been a good idea." Waver sweatdropped. "Did you forget what happened the last time we left EMIYA and Alter in the same room together for more than five minutes?"
"Oh, right..." Rider then remembered that particular incident. It took weeks to repair the place.
"In hindsight, we should have let Irisviel behind to ensure they didn't claw at each other's throats." The King of Conquerors sighed as he shook his head, palming his temple. "You'd think after dealing with Singularities and Lostbelts, they'd learn to respect one another."
Waver gave his old friend and partner a deadpan look. "I think the odds of that happening are about as lucky as getting Saber Alter to stop binge eating like a maniac." he said. Her Lancer Alter and Rider counterparts were nowhere as nearly as bad as her in the gluttonous department, thankfully, but to this day, he couldn't quite understand she felt the need to eat so much. She could eat for ten people all by herself for Pete's sake. "How is it that, out of all the Alters, EMIYA's the only one who has the most trouble with his?"
"What're we talking about?" Kuro asked, taking an interest about the conversation when their older brother was mentioned. "Something about Onii-chan?"
"We were talking about how EMIYA and his Alter try to kill each other if left unsupervised." Iskander told them. Immediately, the two girls let out an 'ah' of understanding. "A troublesome duo, those two."
Illya nodded. "Yeah... I wish those two would get along. They argue over some of the most stupidest things, too!"
"Oh, like what?"
"Well, there was this one time where they argued who's Kanshou and Byakuya was better. Another time-" A small beep began sounding off next to her. Looking down, she found her cell phone ringing. "Aah! It's dinner time! Today's Mama's turn to cook!" Immediately, she scrambled up to her feet and paused the game. "Sorry, Iskander! Waver! But I'm not gonna miss Mama's cooking!"
"It's fine. Come again!"
Kiritsugu Emiya, or rather the Assassin-class Servant EMIYA, wasn't sure what was worse: the dreadful silence that was hanging in the air or the tension that came with it as he stared at his son - sorry, sons from the other side of the table, both of whom looked like they wanted to be any place other than here. It had been quite some time since he was summoned to Chaldea. And it amazes him to realize that the memorial essences he received changed him from the Counter Guardian of Alaya, to the husband and father of the Emiya family.
It took a bit of adjustment, what given his overall existence. At first, the concept of being a loving father and husband was utterly foreign to him, especially when he met his son.
That had been a most awkward conversation, especially given how both of them ended up being Alaya's attack dogs.
By the time the Lostbelt incident had occurred, however, he had more or less filled in the shoes that Illya and Iri and his son remembered him by. However, things had truly become quite strange when EMIYA Alter had made his appearance to the group after having been summoned.
Not even an hour later did he witness EMIYA Alter insulting his son, which nearly resulted into an all-out fight in the main lobby that was only stopped by the combined efforts of himself, Kuro, Illya and Iri. And unfortunately, the troubles didn't stop there. Gudako had taken it upon herself to try and get this stubborn reflection of Shirou Emiya to open up to them. This, naturally, earned quite a bit of tension, especially when the man raised his gun at her.
And then EMIYA Alter learned why that was a bad idea when he found the whole family protecting Gudako: himself pointing a gun at him, EMIYA's blades poised over his exposed neck, Illya and Iri holding Gudako protectively and Kuro standing between her and EMIYA Alter.
The only reason the man was even still alive was because Gudako was the kind-hearted soul she was. In all honesty, Kiritsugu found himself often wanting to blow this man's brains out, while Iri and Illya made their best attempts to try and get to know the man.
Sadly, he was quite stubborn.
It had taken months of work just to get him to attend the family dinners. The only reason he was even invited to be with them in the first place was because he was Shirou Emiya, or at the very least a twisted reflection of him. However, Kuro and EMIYA both have expressed their disdain for him, the latter even more so.
"...stop glaring at each other." Kiritsugu said in a strained voice. "And if either one of you busts out with a weapon, I will have Iri bust out with the skillet." EMIYA huffed and turned away. His Alter counterpart merely gave a wave of dismissal and leaned back, closing his eyes as if enjoying the silence. Kiritsugu sighed and rubbed the bridge of his nose. "Good grief..."
Sometimes it was difficult being a parent. Especially with a family like his. Yet he wouldn't have it any other way.
"Are they still fighting...?" Irisviel, the Caster-class Servant who wore the Dress of Heaven, called out from the kitchen. "You'd think after several months together, they would learn to get along!"
"As if..." EMIYA muttered.
Alter snorted. "The feeling's mutual, brother."
"Do not call me that. Ever."
"Enough." Kiritsugu scowled. "I swear, one would think you two were children rather than grown men."
"Yeah. We act more mature than you two. And it's us we're talking here." Kuro said as she and Illya entered.
"We're back!" Illya cried happily, waving at her family. "Did we miss anything?"
Kiritsugu smiled. "Not much. Just the usual problems between these two."
The two Archers said nothing as they continued to glare at one another in contempt. It was like a staring contest. One that was promptly ended when Irisviel entered the room, holding a tray of various foods. "Dinner's ready~!"
And thus, another eventful night for the Emiya family came to pass. However, somewhere in Chaldea, a certain woman with a tiger-striped shinai couldn't help but feel as if she were missing out on a fine feast before once again throwing herself against her opponent with a roar.
If there was anything several Servants could agree on, which was saying a lot given how varied they were, it was that addressing their Alter counterparts and themselves could be confusing at times.
Even worse when another version of an already summoned Servant made their appearance, with little difference except for Class. Some Alter Servants had settled on alternative names. Artoria's Alter form as Saber had settled simply for "Altria." Artoria's Lancer self usually wished to be addressed by her class name. The Lancer Alter variant also wished to be referred to simply as "Alter," arguing that she was the closest one could get to an alternative form, especially given her nature as the million-to-one version of Arthur Pendragon that could possibly have existed.
However, while the vast majority of Artoria's alternate forms, they had managed to form some individuality among themselves, the same could not be said about the counterparts of Cu Chulainn. The man had two different Lancer forms, one older and one younger and had a Caster counterpart. And the last was a Alter counterpart of the Berserker class. With the older and younger versions of the Lancer, they had managed to settle for the older being addressed as Cu Chulainn and the younger by his original name, Setanta. Caster Cu Chulainn wished to be referred to as Caster, if only for the same reason as Altria's and for the sake of simplicity.
Sadly, the Berserker-class Servant was the only one of the Cu Chulainns who had not been given a name to be addressed. And the problem was that he honestly didn't care for it. He was fine by being addressed by whatever name they gave him: Alter, Cu Alter, Berserker, any name would do.
Scathach and her counterpart from the Lostbelt, Skadi-Scathach (or simply Skadi), disagreed with that sentiment.
"For the last time..." Cu Alter growled at the two women. "I don't need a name. Just because I'm a replacement for a guard dog doesn't make me an actual animal!"
Setanta snickered. "I beg to disagree. Out of the four of us, you're the most wild."
"He's got a point." Caster Cu nodded. "Then again, you do live up to your class, my friend."
Scathach silenced the two with a cold glare. The two shut up immediately, wisely deciding to not get involved further, lest they draw the wrath of the Witch of the Shadow Lands. She then returned her attention to Cu Alter and folded her arms. "You need a proper name, instead of being addressed by simple designations." she insisted. "The other three have already decided on names for them to be addressed by."
He scoffed. "And as I've said, you can call me anything you wish."
"You sure about that?" Cu Chulainn asked with a brow raised. "No judging here, but I think anyone would have a problem with being called 'mongrel' for the rest of their life."
"...a fair argument. But my point still stands. I refuse to be named as if I'm some kind of dog."
"You're not being named as if you're a dog." Setanta stated. "You're getting a name because you're your own person. You deserve one, especially after what you did for the Masters all this time."
"They're just fine calling me anything. It doesn't matter." The Berserker shrugged.
Caster Cu groaned. "It's like talking to a damned brick wall. I think even Alter-chan was easy to figure out a name."
Skadi shook her head. "What a troublesome child. I question how in the world our Masters managed to put up with you."
"They order me to fight and kill, I fight and kill. Simple as that." Came the blunt reply. "Anything else isn't worth my time or effort to bother with." Everyone gave him blank stares, which made him frown. "The hell's that look for?"
"You know..." Setanta started. "For a guy who says he doesn't want to be named like a dog, you sure do act like a dog if all you do is take orders." Cu Alter growled, making Setanta smirk. "See? You even growl like a dog!"
"You want to end up on my spear?"
Scathach promptly smacked his head with the flat end of her Gae Bolg Alternative. "Enough, Cu Chulainn. We are deciding a name for you, even it takes all night. And before you say anything, we are not referring to you by your Class. Frankenstein has already requested she be referred to as Berserker."
"I've caught Ritsuka calling her 'Fran' on several occasions." Cu Alter deadpanned.
Skadi waved a hand. "Because he's earned the right to refer to her by that name. Now, start thinking of a name, or we decide it for you." She then went quiet for a moment, and then smirked evilly. "Or, we can drag Medb here and have her decide a name for you. How does that sound?"
At the mention of Chaldea's resident sex maniac, barring Fergus, all Cu Chulainns shuddered. "...you wouldn't."
"Yes, we would. She would be a great motivator for you four to finally pick a name for your Berserker form." Scathach agreed with her counterpart.
"I'll kill her if she steps foot within twenty feet away from me." Cu Alter replied.
"You know Gudako wouldn't like that. She'll just tell you to stop."
Cu Alter growled again, but even he had no choice but to admit defeat. He knew full well that Gudako wouldn't appreciate him killing a "comrade." Even if said "comrade" was constantly trying to get her into her room as she could have sex with her and drag him along for the ride. He glanced at his other counterparts, but even they cowed before their teachers' ultimatum.
They weren't stupid, after all. And neither was he.
"Fine, dammit!" Cu Alter huffed. "I'll think of a name for you idiots to address me by! Happy now?!"
"Wonderful! But we expect an answer by tonight, or will drag Medb in here. BOTH of her."
'...sorry, Master. But at the rate things are going, you might find yourself with two less Servants.'
Speaking of the relationship between a Servant and their Alter counterpart, some answers had come more easily than others. The best and earliest example had been Jeanne d'Arc and her Avenger counterpart, born as a result of Gilles de Rais' actions in the Singularity. At first, everyone wasn't entirely sure how to address them, but the two had eventually settled on the Ruler being called by her name, and the Avenger called "Joan."
That was after she violently denied any and all suggestions being called Jalter.
Much like Waver and Iskander's Video Game night, the two had their own activities, which was namely looking after the younger Servants. That was to say Servants like Abigail Williams, Jack the Ripper, Nursery Rhyme, etc. At first, it was simply Jeanne and another Servant, but as they progressed through the Singularities and other events, there had to be changes, thus Joan was asked to look after them alongside Jeanne. Their relationship wasn't ideal, but some liked to think it was akin to that of a responsible sibling and a rebellious sibling. In a way, it was a correct assumption.
Especially if one heard their conversations.
"Big Sis Joan! Come play with us!"
Joan flinched as the "Kid Trio" - as they were dubbed by many of the Chaldea staff - neared her with their bright and cheery smiles. One would think that, after spending several months, she would be used to this sort of occurrence, but the truth was that she could never get used to it. Whether it was because of her bizarre nature or something else was up for debate. She looked to the side, expecting Jeanne to try to help her.
The bitch was smiling and not lifting a finger. 'Traitor!' she cried in her mind. "Er.. M-maybe later..."
"Aw..." Abigail pouted. "Does Sissy not want to play with us?"
"N-no! It's not that! It's just that, well, er..."
'Shit shit shit! How would Ritsuka or Gudako handle this?! No, wait. They'd just give in and play with them. Double fuck!'
She truly was stuck between a rock and a hard place. Her counterpart was of no use, and her Masters weren't around to save her.
Why couldn't things ever be simple?
"Looks like you're all having fun." a cool voice said. Joan looked behind her, finding a sharply dressed man in a pristine white suit with wavy white hair and gold eyes, dancing with mirth. "Well, at least one of you is."
"Fuck you, Count!"
Edmond Dantes, Count of Monte Cristo and Avenger-class Servant, smiled wryly at her foul language as he clicked his tongue, waving a finger at her. "Now, is that any way to speak to a comrade, much less fellow Avenger?"
"What brings you here, Count?" Jeanne asked curiously. "Hopefully not here to stir trouble again. We've had enough of that."
"Believe me, Holy Maiden, I've learned my lesson. As to why I'm here, I'm actually hoping you two could help me." The two Servants looked at each other before turning back to Edmond, curious. "Jackal and myself were having something of a get-together with Sigurd and Brynhilde. Unfortunately, Jackal had to leave, and I left them for only a minute." A small quake shuddered throughout Chaldea, nearly knocking over small fine china in the room as a result. "And as you can tell, the results are disastrous."
Jack cocked her head to the side, a finger on her cheek. "I thought Big Sis Hildr didn't do that anymore."
"That was Penthesilea." Jeanne sighed sadly. "Brynhidlr is a work-in-progress."
In another part of Chaldea, a small band of Servants had gathered in the archery range. Given how many Archer-class Servants Chaldea had amassed, Da Vinci had decided it was time to expand the base. With a wide diversity of heroes of different eras, the archery range was considerably large and offered a fair amount of diversity. It was armed with state-of-the-art machinery, ranging from between traditional bamboo dummies to large round targets with red circles to even flying drones with a tipped horn that was flashing to indicate itself as a target.
"Remind me again," Robin Hood, a man bearing orange hair and a rather passive expression, deadpanned. "Why are we here?"
Oda Nobunaga, a short girl with raven black hair and red eyes with a red coat hanging over her shoulders, smirked. "To decide which among us is the best Archer, of course!" she declared with fervor. "And because Okita, being the cheapskate she is, decided to take Demon Saber out on a small excursion with Old Man Hassan!"
"...did you seriously just call the scariest Assassin this whole damn place an old man?" a young man dressed in western apparel asked with a sweat drop. A sentiment shared by all others present. "Nobu, friend, no offense, but you are either a brave idiot or crazy."
"Did you think I earned the title of Mad Fool of Okehazama for nothing, Billy the Kid? Now, are you in, or not?"
Billy shrugged his shoulders. "Depends, there a reward for this, aside from bragging rights?"
"Winner gets a free favor from the Masters and next in line for Saint Graph ascension!" Nobunaga announced.
"So we pretty much get a freebie and next out of the three of us to get a strengthened Saint Graph? ...meh. Why not?"
Robin shrugged. "I don't see a problem with this. Though quick question, why aren't Arjuna or any of the others participating in this?"
"It couldn't be helped..." Nobunaga sighed sadly. "Arjuna has taken to sparring with Rama and Karna for the whole day. I don't have to tell you where Artemis is, I hope? And Gilgamesh-"
"Which one?" Billy questioned. "Goldilocks or the shrimp?"
"Both. The bastard didn't think it was worth his time and the little one decided to spend some time with Enkidu. Tomoe and Fujino are busy helping Nero and those Romans with something, Kami only knows what, and Moriarity and Napolean are playing poker. Hence why only the three of us are here today."
Robin sighed. "Well, whatever. So long as I don't have to stick around to here Elizabeth singing."
"You brought that upon yourself." Billy snickered, earning a glare from the green bowman. "I have no idea why you punish yourself by hanging out with her."
"It's complicated, alright?"
"Whatever you say. So, how's this whole thing work, Oda?"
"It's easy. Winner's the one who hit the most targets. There will be several moving ones across the room alongside some stationary ones. Just shoot them all down." she explained. "But that's just a warm up! The real fun starts when Mashu shows!"
"Hmhmhm~ You'll see!"
Twenty minutes later, Billy the Kid and Robin Hood were screaming and cursing Nobunaga's name as they tried to avoid being killed by a very pissed off Berserker-class Lancelot as he protected a defenseless and very confused Mashu.
Two hours before Oda came to ask Mashu for a favor, the Shielder-class Demi-Servant was sitting in the infirmary, sitting beside a bed with a book in her hand. In that bed was a woman with shoulder-length brown hair with a medical eyepatch pulled over the right side of her face, along with a faceful of gauze and bandages. The end result of Nightingale going overboard, as usual, though compared to her more recent attempts at medical aid, this was quite tame.
"How are you feeling, Ophelia-san?"
"I'm feeling alright. Still a bit weak though. And the pain is reduced to a dull ache at this point." The patient replied. Her current condition was the result of a month's worth of healing magecraft and spells from a state where she should've been dead.
Like Kadoc, Ophelia was once an enemy to Chaldea, being a member of the Crypters. Due to circumstances, she had chosen to fight alongside Chaldea, and nearly died. By all rights, she should have died back in the Lostbelt. It had only been through the intervention of Medea and EMIYA's respective Rule Breakers that she had managed to survive, though she had been critical condition ever since.
It had only been a few days after the Lostbelt incident that she woke up. And in that time, she was welcomed warmly, especially by Mashu. Truth be told, it wasn't that surprising, considering they originally had a cordial relationship before the start of the Singularities took place. Surprisingly, Sigurd had also warmly welcomed her to Chaldea, even though she was partially responsible for much of his state back during the Lostbelt. He held nothing against her, however, and even offered her his protection if she were to ever require it in the same way the Fujimaru siblings would. A similar offer even came from Bryhildr, who thanked her profusely for bringing Sigurd back to her, since it was thanks to Ophelia that Chaldea even managed to acquire his Saint Graph in the first place.
In the month following her awakening, she had been couped up in the infirmary, with Mashu visiting her every day whenever possible. The two had gotten reacquainted with one another, the latter retelling the exploits she, her Masters, and the other Servants took part in during the seven Singularities.
Sometimes, Fou was even present to see the girl's recovery. Speaking of the adorably fluffy animal, it was a surprise to Merlin that he had managed to retain his sentience and intelligence, despite losing his power as Beast IV to save Mash.
Ophelia had been aware of what the tiny little bugger actually was, though she could hardly believe it was actually a Beast.
After all, who expected Primate Murder to be a cute and cuddly little thing that liked to sit on top of your shoulder or head?
"That's a relief." Mashu said, her smile positively beaming. "According to Nightingale-san, you'll be able to leave here soon."
Ophelia's eye widened. "Is-is that so?" she asked, a bit surprised before she smiled also. "I can hardly wait. How are you doing today if it's okay to ask, Mashu? Has Galahad been acting up recently?"
"No. He's gone back to sleep, I think."
Another significant change from before. After defeating Goetia and the Remnants, Galahad had abandoned Mashu and Chaldea, informing Ritsuka and Gudako that their actions had ruined humanity's future and were no longer worthy. To say that they were disheartened would be an understatement. Even so, they continued to fight to ensure humanity's and their world's survival during the Lostbelts.
It was actually during that event where they came across Galahad again and fought him as an enemy. It was a long, hard battle. But in the end, they emerged victorious and learned the real reason why he had left them.
It had been a test of sorts. To see whether or not they could withstand what was to come, and what may come after. To use the same words that the Assassin-class Servant Tamamo-no-Mae had used, the Incineration of Human History was the "easy mode" and the Lostbelt and siege of the Alien God was the "hard mode."
Galahad wanted to see if they still had the power to overturn fate. He had expressed some guilt over his doubt as to whether or not they could overcome the battles ahead, but Gudako and Ritsuka had more than proven him wrong. After that, he offered his full support to them. After the events of the Lostbelts had concluded and the world had been returned to its original state, albeit in a state of disrepair following the Alien God's attack, Galahad had once again become inactive, rendering Mashu's Servant prowess somewhat limited for the time being.
"I see..." Ophelia hummed. "He's quite the finicky Servant, isn't he?"
Mashu giggled. "He's endearing in his own way." she said. "By the way, when you're free to leave, I want to introduce you to the other Servants here in Chaldea, if that's okay?"
"A-all of them?" Ophelia whispered, slightly terrified. While Sigurd and Brynhildr may hold nothing against her, she was sure that there were a few others who may have had a bone to pick with her. "Um, c-can I...think on it?"
Yes, it was a time of peace and quiet for Chaldea. A victory, hard-fought and well-earned. And with the current state of the world, the Magi Association had more pressing concerns than the "heretics" who broke practically almost every major law. As a result, Chaldea was allowed a respite and room to breathe.
Of course, the day to day shenanigans that occurred here kept everyone busy, be it from the prank wars instigated by Nobunaga against Okita, the parties held by the Kid Trio, or by a social gathering of like-minded individuals.
However... Those peaceful days were about to come to an end.
Gudako weeped as she clung to Ritsuka's back, refusing to acknowledge the fact that someone other than her most beloved and trusted Servants had seen her naked. "I can't get married anymore..."
"There, there, Gudako..." Ritsuka sweat dropped as he attempted to comfort his sister.
Da Vinci, of course, ignored them both in favor of the data in front of her. Stars were twinkling in her eyes, saliva was falling from her mouth. "Incredible..." she whispered, panting. "This data is absolutely wonderful! I didn't think it was possible! If we were to implement this data, we can artificially induce a Quantum Slide! Ingenius! Zelretch, eat your heart out!"
"W-well, I'm glad we could be of help..." Ritsuka grimaced. "But, next time, please ask us instead of forcing us to go along. And for the love of whatever benevolent god that still exists in this world, please don't do anything stupid like use another Servant or staff member as a guinea pig."
"Hm? Did you say something, Ritsuka dear?"
The teen sighed. "Nothing..."
He really shouldn't bother with this. When Da Vinci becomes like this, nothing will get through to her. Well, maybe one person could've...but he was no longer here.
His expression fell somber upon recalling the memory of the friend they will never see again. Romani Archaman. Head of Chaldea medical department and former acting Director of Chaldea. A close friend and comrade that has been with them through thick and thin. Also known as the true King Solomon and Grand Caster.
The person who sacrificed himself so that Humanity would have a future. Due to his sacrifice, not only did he die, but he erased himself from the Throne of Heroes, making it impossible to bring him back by any means.
Romani was gone. Forever.
"...I miss him too, you know." Ritsuka looked up, finding Da Vinci's face touched with sadness. "Some days, I kind of expect him to just be hanging out in the infirmary or in a room somewhere, slacking off. And whenever I think that, I have this lecture all planned out in my head for him."
Ritsuka didn't know what to say to that. But he understood. Everyone in Chaldea dearly missed Roman, Servants included. The man had gotten to know them well, and touched their hearts one way or another.
David, King of Israel and Solomon's father, was one of the most distraught following Goetia's demise.
But time marched on and they eventually moved on. But they still missed the doctor. "...Romani better be happy he's gone." Gudako muttered into her brother's back, sniffling. "'cause next time I see him, I'm going to kick him in the balls."
The gloomy atmosphere was alleviated somewhat, as Da Vinci giggled and Ritsuka chuckled nervously. "I suppose that's all the more reason for him not to come back. Your kicks are dangerous, Gudako-chan." she said before she returned to her computer. With a few keystrokes, she opened up a live feed. "Edison, Tesla. Are you two there?"
"We'll call you back in a moment, Da Vinci!" the baritone voice of the Caster-class Servant Thomas Edison growled. "I'm in the middle of something!"
"Yes. You're in the middle of losing." another voice, this one belonging to Nikolai Tesla. "Admit it, fool. My genius far surpasses yours!"
Da Vinci sighed, pinching the bridge of her nose. Of course they were arguing. Really, with the way these two acted, one would think they were an old married couple! "If I may ask, what are you two arguing about this time?"
"Which one of us is most suited to helping Salieri and Mozart's next musical piece, of course!"
A moment passed before that sentence registered. All three of those present in the room blinked owlishly. "...I'm sorry, but could you repeat that?" Ritsuka asked. "I think we misheard you. Did you just say you two were trying to help Salieri and Mozart make a new song?"
"Greetings, Master!" Tesla called back jovially. "And yes, we were, but as you can tell, this blowhard is trying my patience!"
"What was that, you senile-?!"
"Stop it." Da Vinci snapped. "Back to what you just said. Are you saying that Salieri and Mozart are in the same room?"
"...and Salieri hasn't tried to kill Mozart?!"
"To be fair," Edison said. "We left Queen Antoinette with them."
"Well, now that makes sense. Marie has a way with people." Gudako replied.
Due to Salieri's Saint Graph being twisted, practically as a result of the rumor that spread during his era that he killed Mozart, the Avenger-class Servant would try to kill Mozart. It took them several weeks just to try and get the man to tolerate his presence. At best, he could be in the same room as Mozart for about twenty minutes at most before flying off into a murderous rage. This was thankfully mitigated whenever Marie Antoinette was present, acting like a living moral inhibitor for the poor man. As such, Mozart and Salieri, so long as Marie was present, had a stable relationship, similar to the one they had back when they were both alive.
"Well, whatever." Da Vinci sighed. At least she wouldn't have to worry about another rampage. They already had to deal with Brynhilde trying to kill Sigurd earlier. "Just get your butts over here! The tests results are finally in! And I need all hands on deck for this, so please see if you can find Helena and Babbage!"
"Truly?!" Even though they couldn't see their faces, the Fujimaru siblings could practically hear the grin of excitement from Edison and Tesla, as they could hear things being moved around in the background. "We will be there in a moment!"
While Da Vinci, the inventors, and the Masters held their meeting, Chaldea was abuzz with activity elsewhere.
Aside from the archery range, there were several facilities that were meant to give the staff a sense of normalcy, especially since most of them preferred to stay here. Up until recently, they had all been prisoners here in Chaldea while trying to preserve Human History and whatnot. Among the many facilities was a pool, a bar, a lounge and various other sorts of places. There were also specially designed dorms meant to adhere to certain cultures, primarily for the Servants. By far, the most grandoise was the Roman dormitory, though only because Nero had requested Marie's input and put her own spin on things. The most modest had been the Arthurian dormitory, which mostly kept the default design of Chaldea, but with a few changes.
In the far back of Chaldea, however, there was a special area designed that had mostly been left forgotten. Very few staff members in Chaldea entered it, and even then, most had simply forgotten it even existed.
This room was referred to as "the Lostroom."
No one has entered the space since right after the Remnants. Not since Ritsuka and Gudako saw that vision of Galahad and Earth's destruction. It had begun to be left forgotten once again. At least, until now. For the first time since the beginning of the Crypters' emergence and the convergence of the Lostbelts, the room was active, evident by a single figure shifting about. At first glance, one might this person to be human, but had they deigned to look more closely, there was something unnatural. Their skin was deathly pale, almost entirely white at her torso while other parts of her body were metallic gray. Their arms and legs were coated blue, as if they were wearing gloves and boots, but there was no indication they wore anything, save perhaps the translucent veil.
No, not a veil. It was their hair, spilling down close to her feet. Blue markings were etched into their face while their ears were pointed, not unlike that of an elf, while white decorations wrapped around the back of their head. Their eyes were strange, yet somehow beautiful. A mysterious shade of blue that twinkled and dazzled.
This unnamed figure, inhuman yet bearing a female body, gazed at the room for only a meager moment before it placed its hand against the table. A soft glow radiated from its touch before it pulled its hand back, leaving behind an object.
Seemingly with its objective complete, the figure stepped back and faded away, as if never there to begin with.
The Lostroom was once again still, though not for long...
"YES! At last, it's done!"
The assortment of genius inventors from across the ages all stepped back, allowing the two Masters to look at what they had created. In all honesty, neither could truly make sense of what it was supposed to be or if it was even meant to be anything. One thing was for sure, it was large. Enough so that it filled up almost the entirety of the back wall of the room, practically embedded into it with various instruments and tubes piercing into the wall.
"...alright, I'll bite." Gudako said, cocking her head to the side. "What the heck is this thing? And how is it supposed to artificially induce something similar to the Second Magic? Actually, wait. Never mind that question! Is it safe?!"
"This, my dear Gudako, is our greatest project to date. To put it simply, it's a dimensional generator that will imitate the effects of Kaleidoscope's ability to traverse different worlds using Rayshifting as a basis. As for your last question...theoretically it should be."
Ritsuka, wanting to give the woman of a benefit of a doubt, tried to his best not to look disappointed with her. "It won't explode, will it?" he asked.
It was the giant armored Charles Babbage, another Caster-class Servant, that answered. "Had Helena or myself not tweaked its design, it would have." he admitted, making Gudako balk in horror before glaring at Da Vinci, who looked away and whistled innocently. "However, we had to convince Tesla and Edison not to make it nuclear."
Gudako's face paled. "You two wanted to make it nuclear?!" she cried in horror. Neither of the two siblings dared to imagine what would happen if it did explode with nuclear in mind. A destroyed room was one thing, but a destroyed base was another thing altogether. "What the hell is wrong with you two?! Aren't you two supposed to be the smart ones?! Not even Da Vinci is that stupid!"
"Hey!" Da Vinci pouted. "I take great offense to that..."
The two Servants and rivals at least had the decency to look somewhat ashamed. Helena coughed into her hand, bringing the attention to her. "If it does explode, it'll only really ruin the room and spill out into the hallway. The only real damage it would cause is to Da Vinci's equipment. We would have asked Holmes for his input, but he's busy helping the Count with trying to prevent Brynhildr from killing Sigurd again." She then turned back to the gigantic contraption, putting a hand on her hip. "If we're being honest here, I really doubt it will have the desired effect Da Vinci thinks it will have. Even I'm not entirely sure this thing will work."
"Well, only one real way to find out." Ritsuka shrugged. "But, if it does work... What's going to happen? It's not going to send us to another dimension, right?" The raven-haired boy gave the Servants a pleading look. "At some point in time, I really do want to go back home and visit our parents." Gudako nodded in agreement. It had felt like ages since they last seen them, and lord only knows what was going on in the outside world, aside from the Magi Association being the uptight pricks they usually were.
"It should be fine! ...I think." Da Vinci stuck her tongue out, making everyone present groan in exasperation. "Now, who wants the honors of activating this beauty?"
"Well, if there's the chance it's gonna explode, might as well take responsibility as Chaldea's first master." Ritsuka sighed.
Besides, he knew full well nobody else was going to volunteer for this. Some days, he thought he must have been a glutton for punishment. He walked up to the machine, with Da Vinci giving him instructions. He sucked in a breath and closed his eyes as he put his hand against a small blank plate. His prana and od began to flow into his arm, circuits flaring. Energy was poured into the machine, evident by the circuits that lit up all across its gigantic metal framework. It began to slow groan to life, pistons pumping, gears spinning and steam blowing out from its pipes while its various monitors began to flash. Gudako watched in amazement as the hulking metal creature was now pretty much one giant Christmas tree, minus all the leaves and woodwork and double the decorations.
"Yes, it's working!" Da Vinci cried, stars dancing in her eyes. "Ooh, listen to her purr! If only that bumbling idiot Romani was here to-"
A spark danced across the machine, silencing her immediately. Then another. And then another.
"...um, Da Vinci?" Ritsuka nervously asked. "Is it supposed to do that?"
"...no. No, it isn't." More sparks began to dance as the machine sped up, almost haphazardly while letting out bizarre noises. "We may, uh, want to get down!"
It came without warning. At first, it sounded like a wave of static, blaring into her ears before it increased ten-fold into overwhelming pain. "Mashu!" Ophelia cried as she watched Mashu fall to the ground, clutching her head. "What's wrong?!"
"I-I don't know!" She screamed in discomfort and panic. "There's something wrong! My head hurts!"
It felt like there was something burning inside her. Her skin was tingling, hairs standing on end. Something inside of her was on fire, burning her from the inside. Worse, her head felt like it was splitting. She had no idea what was going on. But it was definitely not good!
Ophelia pulled herself out of the bed, ignoring the ache in her bones as she tried to steady Mashu. However, she soon found herself struggling to keep herself up when she felt the whole world around her begin to quake. A nearby vase shook and then fell to the floor, shattering. "A-an earthquake?"
Mashu hissed and whimpered, trying to block out the pain. Neither girl noticed the flowing cold blue light that started to seep around her body.
Slowly, a pair of hazel eyes began to open, as if waking up from a long dream...
The pain abruptly ceased and Mashu felt her mind blank out for a second. Then her body went limp in Ophelia's arms, eyes rolling to the back of her head. "M-Mashu?!" Ophelia cried in a panic. Thankfully, it only seemed as if the girl was unconscious. Chaldea continued to tremble for what seemed like an hour before it finally came to an end. The world became still while warning sirens blared.
"Is..." the woman panted. "Is it over?"
The door to the infirmary was thrown open as a woman wearing a red uniform and cap entered the room, her expression a mix between mania and worry. "Is everyone okay?!"
"I-I'm fine, but Mashu's unconscious! She said her head hurts before-before...!"
Ritsuka opened his eyes to find himself falling. All he saw was bright blue, with white clouds passing him by.
'What...?' he thought, his mind cloudy and marred with static. He could barely hear himself think. 'What's going on? What was I...?'
"...Wake up, Fujimaru-kun."
The voice was familiar to him. He swore he had heard it before. Ritsuka blinked, and suddenly he was no longer falling. Instead, he was lying face-down on the ground with Gudako over him, face completely taken with fear and hysteria. "Y-you're okay!" she cried as tears fell from her face. "Oh, thank god!"
"G-Gudako...?" Ritsuka whispered, prying himself off the floor. "Ow... What happened?"
"I-I don't know! There was shaking! A bright light! And...and...!" She spoke in a frantic manner.
"Gudako, breathe." He kindly told his sister.
"Where's Da Vinci and the others?"
"I'm here..." the Caster-class Servant said, appearing within his field of vision. "And to answer your question, you may want to look behind you." Ritsuka did as he was told and gasp. The spot where the machine should have been was completely obliterated. Scorch marks practically seared itself into the wall with scraps of shrapnel and metal decorating the walls. The machine was a twisted mangle of a mess, no longer capable of being called a machine. It looked more like a giant, mangled mesh of twisted and burned metal. "The device malfunctioned and, well... We're still trying to figure out what happened."
"Where are the others?"
"Helping the others. The power went out and we're trying to restore it. Several areas in Chaldea have also gone dark, though thankfully, none of the important areas have lost power." she said before she grimaced. "I'm sorry, Ritsuka-kun. I didn't think this would happen. I think an explosion would have been preferrable to this..."
Ritsuka smiled sardonically. "Yeah, tell me about it..." If there was an explosion, at most there would've been contained damage and injuries that could be healed. But now they were left in the dark. Literally. "How is everyone?"
"Fine, for the most part. A few injuries, but nothing more." she replied before she frowned. "But... We have a problem."
No sooner had Leonardo Da Vinci told them did they rush over to the infirmary. "Mashu!" Ritsuka cried out in concern as he ripped the door open.
Gudako entered after him. There they saw a distraught Ophelia sitting beside an unconscious Mashu, her glasses discarded and her jacket removed. "Please keep your voices down." Nightingale gently reprimanded the two as they rushed over to their friend's side. "There are other people here who are injured."
"S-sorry." Gudako winced. "But what happened to Mashu?"
Ophelia bit her lip. "I don't know..." she said, clearly distraught. "Before the earthquake hit, her head started to hurt. Then she went unconscious."
"But she's fine, right?" Ritsuka pleaded. "Please tell me she's okay!"
"She is fine. We're monitoring her vitals, as well as investigating the causes." the Berserker Nurse replied curtly. "Have faith in us, Master. Mashu will be alright."
"...Thank you, Nightengale..." Ritsuka nodded. It just hurt him to see Mashu like this. He hadn't felt this helpless about her condition since right after the Fifth Singularity when she suddenly collapsed and he learned of her nature as a Demi-Servant. Suffice to say, it had not done him any favors to his mental health. And that was to say nothing of when Salomon had come to pass. Gently, he wrapped a hand around hers, holding it tightly. Silently, he prayed for her health as he lowered his head.
Watching the sight unfold, Gudako's heart throbbed. It took her everything not to squeal at the sight. Then she reminded herself of the current situation. She turned to Nightingale. "I get that Chaldea's going through a blackout, but do we actually know what happened? I know Da Vinci's latest experiment caused it, but this? And Mashu blacking out at the same time?"
"It is strange." Nightingale nodded. "However, we haven't checked the status of the outside. If memory serves, Master Kadoc and Anastasia decided to head outside and assess the-"
Nightingale frowned in distaste as Kadoc stumbled into the infirmary, panting and sweaty. "What did I just say about yelling?! There are injured-"
"Lecture me later!" Kadoc growled. "Fujimaru, y-you need to come out and see this!"
"What?" Gudako asked. "Kadoc-kun, what's going on?"
"Just follow me! I-I don't think words can explain this!" Gudako and Ritsuka looked at one another, and then back at Kadoc. The two of them looked at one another before looking back at Kadoc, who looked shaken. Ritsuka took one more look at Mashu, then reluctantly pulled his hand away from her before he followed his sister and Kadoc out of the infirmary. "You two are NOT going to believe this..."
It was a crystalline ocean that stretched out before them, rather than the chilly cold mountains that surrounded Chaldea. A body of water that stretched out as far as the eye could see, with only faint sillhouetes of land in sight. A starry night sky hanged above their heads, creating an almost beautiful scenery. Were it not for the current situation and the matters at hand, such a beautiful scene would have been greatly appreciated.
Now, however, the sight only filled the Fujimaru siblings with dread. "Why..." Ritsuka gasped, finding his throat inexplicably dry. "Why is there an ocean? What happened to the mountains?"
"I don't know..." Kadoc shook his head, running a hand through his white locks. "This is what me and Anastasia found when we checked outside to see if anything else happened."
"Did we get transported somewhere else? Is this a Singularity?" He sincerely doubted that was the case, but given that Da Vinci's machine was using Rayshift as a basis as a means of traversal, he wasn't about to rule anything out. He looked at Gudako, who's attention was focused solely on the stars. "Gudako, is something wrong?"
"...Ritsu-nii?" Gudako spoke in a whisper. "That...that is the moon, right?"
The male Fujimaru frowned at that before he looked up.
And then he understood her shock.
It was most definitely the moon. However...the moon was shattered into numerous pieces! Half of it was whole, yet the rest of it was broken off into fragments!
"...this can't be physically possible..." Ritsuka finally said. "That-that's the Type-Moon. That is NOT possible."
"It is possible..." Kadoc said with mirth. "I can't tell if this is a Singularity or a Lostbelt. But whatever the case is, Fujimaru-kun... I don't think we're on Earth anymore."
In the distance, visible from across the wide forest that stretched out before her, there was smoke and fire. The night air was cool, but thick with tension. Even from here, she could feel it. Negativity. A cold breeze whipped by, causing her red cloak to flutter. A nightmarish screech rung as a black shape passed over her, resembling a bird with a white bony mask. She looked up and watched them leave, heading straight for the town that was being besieged by these creatures.
She sucked in a breath, closing her eyes as she pulled out a red rifle from the back of her hip. With the push of a button, the rifle suddenly began to extend. Pieces clicked and shifted, moving upward and spreading out, becoming more broad and unfolding into sharpened blade. Within a few seconds, the rifle became a long curved scythe.
Another screech rung in her ears. Her eyes opened, revealing pools of silver. Her body vanished in a red flourish, flowing and flying onto the back of the giant bird, blade digging into its back. It screeched in pain, but continued regardless. A brief wave of nostalgia passed by, reminding the girl of happier times.
For the upteenth time since arriving Anima, Ruby Rose missed her old team.
A World has opened its eyes, for a fragment of another World has arrived in its threshold.
Legends shall revive, and unfold into a greater one.
Will history repeat itself, or will you forge a brighter future?
I shall look forward to it...