I in no way shape or form own Fate/Stay Night or Overlord ( オーバーロード). They belong to their respective owner. Fate/Stay night is property of Type-Moon, and Overlord ( オーバーロード) belongs to Kugane Maruyama. And I in no shape or form make a profit of writing and publishing this.

Wow, it's safe to say my expectations were blown away. Truth be told, I didn't check my profile for at least a day after I uploaded the chapter because I was getting the jitters. Nevertheless, I am grateful so many enjoyed my work. Only one chapter in and we already broke 220 favorites, 280 followers, and nearly 50 odd reviews! Thank you all so much!

I hope I can continue holding your interest in this story.

Thanks to some reviews I went back to edit some grammatical errors and fixed up the narrative so the story flowed better. Namely the level of Momonga, I wrote him to be level 3 instead of level 2 as I wrote his top level to be 32. Losing five levels for every death, it made no sense that his level was an odd number instead of even.

Thank you for everyone that posted a review and I'll be answering some now.

To ANTAGONlSTIC, alexkellar & StoryReiter : I believe this chapter will answer your question. The short answer: Yes, Shirou is indeed a Player. The idea of wandering boss or NPC did cross my mind, but I decided against it as there's another story very similar to the premise you suggested. [Raid Boss], a Harry PotterXOverlord cross over with Harry being mistaken for a raid boss. Check it out if you're interested.

To ArmantusCumPinnae: Regarding Touch-Me. In the novel and anime, it was never stated when he saved Momonga. While the two scenario are very similar, I fully intend on including Touch-Me later on. The idea was introduce Shirou with a main member and allow for him to learn the world of Yggdrasil. Momonga was the best, and really only choice.

To Ruberforumfree, Zathol, : To answer the pairing question, the short answer: no. When it comes to Albedo, the idea of a ship for her and anyone else never worked for me. The idea is interesting but the two contrasting personality would quite difficult to write and rationalize. Albedo general disdain for humanity and anyone that isn't considered a Supreme Being with Shirou's sense of humanity and altruism. I don't simply want to use the cliche answer of saying: Momonga changed her setting and she's forced to love him. I'm sure I can find some interesting interaction but for the moment its a no go.

To miguel: In regards to your review and questions I'll be mainly using material from the main Fate/stay universe and some references here and there from the others series. For Fate Grand Order, while the game is very enjoyable and an interesting idea to take, I won't be including anything too large into the story. Apologies.

To KhanhM: Not a bad idea. I might consider a design change for him just before heading to the New World. I can write it by saying how he got tired of being reminded of Archer and change his clothing using YGGDRASIL intricate crafting system. An idea to keep in mind down the road.

To BoneDaddy25: Your question will be answered in this chapter.

Regarding NPC creation: That I'll be keeping a secret, I don't wish to spoil anything just yet.

The exchange between Shirou and Zelretch: Many seem confuse or rather divided in my interpretation. In the context of the dialogue we know that Shirou accepted Alaya's contract, thus when he dies he'll be chain to the Counter Force thus making it impossible to see either Rin or Saber. When Shirou stated "Will I be able see them again?" it's in the context of if/when he does die will he be able to move past Alaya and see Rin and Saber in the after life. Hopefully that clears that part up.

Without further ado, please enjoy!

Further Edited: 2021 - Fixed up the grammar and expanded on a few of the details and dialogues.

Extra Edits: 2023 - Fixed up the grammar some more and word choice.

Word Count: 13,423


Chapter 1 – Welcome to YGGDRASIL


May 27th, 2128. World: Jötunheim. The Forest of Descent. Recommended level: 50–55.

"Shit!" A voice cursed, the source coming from a blue Fishman whose body was bedecked with fins and gills on his form and layered by a combination of leather and metal armor.

In his hand, he held a longsword, which the Player swung with the activation of his skill.

"[Aqua Slash]!"

With a force that could rival that of a raging river, a torrent of high-pressurized water erupted from the guard of the sword. The wielder swung the blade with immense strength, causing the stream of water to collide with the shield of their opponent. The paladin, adorned in white armor embellished with a sacred emblem, stood firm against the assault, bearing the weight of the deluge with the resilience of a small lake.

Before the Demi-human Player could press on, an incoming bolt of thunder flew from the side. The Fishman, forced to cancel his assault, stumbled back on reflex.

A mistake as it allowed the paladin to retaliate.

"[Holy Bash]" The holy warrior slammed his mace into the amphibian's side, gouging out a good chunk of his health.

He staggered, attempting a retreat, but the paladin wasn't so merciful.

Stealing a glance at his remaining party, the aquatic Player grimaced. He and his five-man party journeyed here to power-farm EXP for their support mage to reach level 55.

For an hour, it was smooth sailing until another party of five ambushed them amid conflict with the local mobs.

The PKers caught them unaware and gave them little time to react. From the initial attack, the ambush party managed to take down their support mage, tipping the scales in their favor.

Currently, the party of Demi-humans was outnumbered.

The Fishman swordsman and the enemy paladin were locked in a heated battle, their weapons clashing with each strike. Meanwhile, their golem tank was struggling to hold its ground against the ambushers' skilled assassin and powerful wizard, who were relentlessly attacking it with spells and quick strikes. The tank was trying its best to protect the group's resident elven healer, who was frantically tending to the wounded. However, the enemy's tank had managed to immobilize their centaur bowman, who was now unable to provide support from a distance.

The opposing party's healer was safe, standing at a distance behind enemy lines, constantly buffing and healing his allies, much to the victims' chagrin.

"Damn it, this is hopeless! We need to get out of here!" Shouted the centaur, Awesome Horse.

"If you have a plan, then I'm all ears!" Aquamarine retorted, mustering another failed attack on the staunch paladin.

"Come on, come on! Is that all you've got?! I thought you monster Players would be more of a challenge!" The paladin taunted.

Growling, Aquamarine charged forward.

"[Triple Strike]!" His sword glowed with the activation of the skill.

"[Stand Fast]!" The paladin countered, his body glowing. [Triple Strike] landed with three slash attacks, but thanks to the paladin's skill, the damage was mitigated.

"[Holy Concussive Force]" White light condensed in the center of the paladin's body before a powerful shockwave exploded from him, slamming into the Demi-human, knocking him back, and reducing his HP into the red.

"Oh no. I've got you!" Seeing her party leader in danger, their healer reached out to help him. This slip allowed the enemy's assassin to bypass the tank and go for the healer. He blinked behind her and stabbed his jagged dagger into her unprotected back with a skill, dropping her HP to zero. Aquamarine was forced to watch as their only healer shattered into polygons and faded away, much like any hope of them getting out of this situation alive.

"Fuck! They got White-Ears-san!" The golem tank, named Ironheart, cried.

Clenching his teeth, the aquatic Player fought back the urge to scream. With their healer gone, their loss was all but guaranteed. Already, the other's health bar was in low yellow, and it would be a matter of when they'd lose.

'Why? Why does this always happen?!' He lamented. They were just minding their own business, trying to help their friend. What did they do to deserve this?

"Damn you!" Aquamarine roared, using his anger to strengthen him as he slashed at the PKer like a man possessed. "We just want to play the game in peace! Just like anyone else!"

The paladin parried the attack, grabbing a hold of the Fishman and tossing him to the side. The swordsman staggered, tripping on a piece of upturned root. A metal foot planted itself on his chest as he struggled against it.

"You want someone to blame?" The paladin sneered down at Aquamarine, his avatar overshadowing the Player. "You've only got yourself to blame for your shitty luck and for picking to play as a freak!"

The paladin held up his mace, and beams of light concentrated at the tip. He got ready to unleash his skill.

Aquamarine stopped struggling, his eyes closing shut as he knocked his head back with a growl. It was annoying, but there was nothing left that he could do. He accepted his fate while his friends screamed out for him.

"Take this. [Holy Hammer Strike]!"

Before the paladin could bring down his mace and deal the killing blow, out of nowhere, three black and red blurs slammed into his back, breaking his charged-up attack. They exploded on contact. The blue humanoid amphibian raised both hands instinctively to protect himself. When he opened his eyes, the paladin was gone, his prized white steel mace lying on the ground beside him.

The commotion startled everyone, with both party members staring with wide eyes at the sudden attack.

"What the hell?!"

"Damn it! We're getting third-partied! [Ressurec—" No sooner did the enemy's healer proclaim this, three more red and black bullets flew forth at him before he got his spell off. They struck from behind and reduced his HP to zero. The healer followed after their party leader, his character model shattering before he knew what had just happened.

"What the hell?!"

"Impossible!"

"Shit! Where is it coming from?!"

The PKers cried out, panic ensuing between them.

"Awesome Horse-san! Aquamarine-san!" The golem shouted to his friends. "Get behind me!"

Trusting their friend, the two Players hastened to the golem's side. A barrage of projectiles in the colors of black and red rained down on the opposing party, which was caught off guard and completely distracted by the unexpected turn of events. The three-person party moved out of the way just in time.

"Ahhh!" The PKers all screamed. Explosions rocked the area, kicking up a cloud of smoke. When the dust cleared, all the PKers were gone, and in their place were pieces of their equipment and gold coins to indicate their deaths.

"We're alive? We're alive!" The centaur excitedly cheered, peeking out from behind. A beaming emoticon popped up.

"Y-yea. W-we are." The Fishman sighed. A huge weight on his shoulder was finally resolved.

"Yes, but I'm more curious as to who helped us." Questioned the golem, his head turning and surveying the surroundings for any lingering threats.

"Is everyone okay?" A voice asked.

The three Players turned towards the voice. A lone player was watching the scene from up above, perched on a tree branch. They were surprised to see it was a Humanoid Player, one dressed in deep crimson and black gear. The group immediately tensed up upon seeing another potential PKer. At least until they became aware of the enormous black bow in his hand.

It wasn't difficult to identify the newcomer once two and two were put together.

"Are you the one that helped us?" Aquamarine paused. A quick look revealed the Player's name. "Emiya-san?"

"I am." The Humanoid Player nodded. With a step, he dropped down to ground level. "I'm sorry I didn't jump in sooner. If I had, I could have saved your friend. I needed to know for certain they were actual PKers."

"Hey man, it's cool." The four-legged archer easily dismissed, still feeling the adrenaline of the situation. "They didn't take our bud's gear, so it's all good!"

Though it was annoying, losing five levels upon death wasn't unbearable. On the other hand, losing a piece of valuable equipment was indeed something to fret about. Especially for newbies just starting out and wanting to climb the levels. The penalty system that YGGDRASIL employed was no laughing matter, as it dropped the Player's most valuable equipment on them upon death, whether they liked it or not.

"That's good to hear. With your healer gone, do you have any potions to heal yourselves?" Their unexpected savior asked.

Embarrassingly enough, the three of them shook their heads and said, "No." White-Ears, their elven healer, was a superb Player and a godsend for the crew. She was adept at keeping the party at full health with high-level AOE healing. This often made carrying potions unnecessary, or in most cases, they gave them to her to manage. The trade-off was that her spells required a charged-up time, something that bit them in the rear as the enemy party kept on interrupting her before finishing her off.

"I see. Here, take these." Aquamarine observed the archer operate his menu with a wave of his hand, causing three potions to materialize. With a casual toss, each member caught one. In their hands was a crystal vial filled with a rainbow-colored liquid. When he saw the object their enigmatic helper had given them, his eyes widened.

An omega potion. One of the highest-grade potions in the game. Not only does it fully restore health, but it also raises all stats for an hour. A relatively rare item that required a fair share of ingredients to make or gold to purchase. Potions like these were kept as reserves for raids or dungeon exploration.

And he just handed them out like nothing to a bunch of low-level strangers!

"T-thanks!" They bowed to him in gratitude and downed the potion. The loot became the next issue once their HP was no longer a concern. Awesome Horse and Aquamarine went to retrieve their fallen comrade's gear to later hand it back to them. They dare not touch the loot of the PKers. Emiya was the one who killed them, so he was entitled to the spoils. With that taken care of, the three were about to bid farewell, but Emiya surprised them yet again.

"You're not going to pick up the loot?" He asked.

"Huh?" The three looked back.

Emiya stood there with his hands crossed. The various items belonging to the PKers were still there, waiting to be taken. It seemed that the only thing he bothered taking was the gold.

"You're not going to take them?" The golem inquired.

Emiya shrugged. "There isn't anything worth taking for me. I figured you might find more uses for them than I would. That, or you can just sell them." He smirked. That was certainly one way to get back at the PKers, by denying them any chance of retrieving their precious items.

They were stunned once more by the man's generosity. He already went above and beyond what was expected of an average Player in YGGDRASIL by aiding them with an ambush, giving them superior healing potions, and now allowing them to depart with the loot that he deservedly earned. It made sense that he wouldn't have been interested in the low-level loot as he was a max-level Player. But it was the thought of the matter that truly shined. The three respectfully accepted the offer and took the items for themselves.

Afterward, they each sent him friend invites, which Shirou politely accepted.

"Will you be needing some help getting back to your friends? I wouldn't mind tagging along if needed." The crimson archer offered to escort them.

"No, no. We can make it on our own, Emiya-san. You've done more than enough for us. Please, your generosity is too kind." Aquamarine answered, and a look from the other two confirmed this.

"Very well. Take care, you three." With that said, the Humanoid Player dashed off, disappearing from view a few seconds later.

"Never thought I would ever see a humie go out of his way to save Demi-humans like us." Ironheart commented, a hint of admiration shining in his voice.

"No kidding. The others are going to freak out once we tell them about this!" Awesome Horse added.

"Come on, you two, let's get out of here. I'd rather not risk the chance of some PKers finding us again." Said Aquamarine, bringing the matter back on track.

The party of three soon left, their spirits soaring as they had all but given up and resigned to being PK'd, only to be saved by an unlikely individual. Their thoughts lingered on their mysterious benefactor, an act of kindness unseen in the harsh landscape and meta of YGGDRASIL, and their respect for the Humanoid Player at an all-time high.


[—][—][—][—][—][—][—][—][—]


Shirou has experienced a variety of odd things throughout his long and adventurous life. He could say with assurance that, at his age, he was unlikely to be surprised by anything. And for good reason. He has traveled the globe, taking in everything from impoverished, war-torn third-world nations to ancient structures that have withstood the test of time. And that didn't even take into account the various animals and people Shirou had the pleasure—or, in most cases, the displeasure—of meeting along the way. And more frequently than necessary, those who have previously attempted to kill him.

The magus has battled a wide variety of foes, including heroic spirits, terrifying Dead Apostles, numerous undead, rare Phantasm Beasts, other magus, rogue magi, insane cultists, and the occasional ancient spirit. If he was really, really unlucky, then he would be dealing with several of them at once.

This dangerous lifestyle has led to him developing a rather thick skin. It was hard to scare or surprise someone who had once fought multiple Dead Apostles in an underground sewer filled to the brim with undead and rotten carcasses. Shirou thought he'd seen and experienced it all.

Again, Shirou underestimated Zelretch's propensity for the insane.

When he said that he had a solution, he remained hopeful and curious. And where did he now find himself?

A game.

Shirou was in a Root-damned video game!

He knew it was too good to be true. Even when the old vampire promised to help, he would always find a way to twist it in his favor. Honestly, Shirou shouldn't be surprised, but he was.

"Too late now, Shirou. You made your bed, all that is left is to lie on it." Shirou spoke aloud. Even after residing in this virtual world for about a month, it took him some time to become accustomed to and understand his reality. In the end, he was left with little choice but to embrace this new world and everything that the game has to offer as his new life.

And what a new world he was thrust into!

YGGDRASIL was its name.

A DMMO-RPG that shared the name with that of the World Tree from Norse mythology. YGGDRASIL was a massive open-world game that allowed for near-limitless player freedom. The game's overworld was divided into different and distinct worlds, or realms, as they were called, that could be traveled to and explored. As he later learned, YGGDRASIL was one of the best-selling DMMO-RPGs on the market, developed by Kaleidoscope Industry. A company founded and run by Zelretch himself. The game was notorious for its difficulty, only providing the Players with the most bare-bone of information and instructions before letting them loose into this world for them to learn as they go. And dying. Lots and lots of dying and exploration.

YGGDRASIL ascribed to the trial-by-fire and trial-and-error philosophy of running a game. And all of that was without mentioning the various sadistic and downright evil mechanics that the game employs to elevate the difficulty.

To call the game challenging and unfair was underselling it.

He remembered one particular tidbit where Momonga described the developers of the game as sadists and trolls, giving them the appropriate moniker of 'shitty devs' by the community. After hearing about some of the egregious decisions they've made to take advantage of the player base whenever possible, they more than earned it. It made total sense that Zelretch, of all people, would be their CEO. With a company full of pranksters with the same twisted sense of humor as the Dead Apostle at the top seat, Shirou shuddered at such a thought. Was it surprising that the game had the reputation it did when he was in charge?

Despite the game's less-than-flattering reputation, no one can deny that YGGDRASIL was an amazing game and a spectacle on a technical level with the current technology base. It was clear that the developers poured their blood, sweat, and tears into it. A game that has dominated the market and toppled its competitors for many years since it was first released. The Players continued to strive for victory despite the game's steep learning curve, refusing to let the "shitty devs" have the last laugh.

As he thought of Momonga, he found himself smiling.

Shirou was appreciative of having come across and made friends with the undead mage. There was little doubt that if it weren't for him, the virtual magus would be completely clueless as to where he was or what he was doing. Who knows how long he would have spent stumbling aimlessly while attempting to make sense of his brand-new reality? The faker was aware that his questions were rather revealing, which frequently led Momonga to ask him how, as a "veteran" of the game, he wasn't aware of such things. Momonga thankfully never pushed, and Shirou will always be appreciative of that. Any questions he asked, the reserved undead would answer with patience that he would forever be appreciative of.

Shirou could only imagine the nightmare and headache of trying to explain to his friend that an immortal magician with the power to travel between parallel worlds somehow transported his consciousness into the game. The last thing he wanted was for his first companion to think he was crazy and belonged in the loony bin.

The first week of his new life in the virtual world wasn't kind to him. Especially with how difficult the game was and how knowledge and information were coveted, like how a magus would covet their family's secret magecraft. The lack of general information only made it more confusing and infuriating, such as when he first cast Structural Analysis on himself that first week. He could still remember the shock of what he first witnessed.

"Structural Analysis." Casting the magecraft on himself, he had to gauge the strength and limitations of his new body. Previously, information such as active magic circuits or his pool of Prana and Od would be tallied and filtered to his mind, along with a few general details regarding his body. Instead, a small screen appeared that read:

Stat Screen:

Emiya – Lvl: 100

The (Fake) Hero

Job: None.

Resident: None.

Alignment: Greater Good. Sense of Justice: 450

Race: Homo-Magi

Racial level: None, human races don't have a Race level.

Job level:

[Magus]: 15 lvl

[Specialized Magus]: 10 lvl

[Master Chef]: 10 lvl

[Blacksmith]: 10 lvl

[Blade Master]: 10 lvl

[Archer]: 10 lvl

[Magus Killer]: 5 lvl

[Hero]: 5 lvl

[Heroic Spirit]: 5 Lvl

[Counter Guardian]: 5 Lvl

Others: 15 Lvl

Total: 0 Racial level + 100 Job level = 100 level

Ability Chart:

HP: 80

MP: 90

PHY. ATK: 80 (Adaptable)

PHY. DEF: 70 (Adaptable)

Agility: 85 (Adaptable)

MAG. ATK: 35 (Adaptable)

MAG. DEF: 65 (Adaptable)

Resist: 85 (Adaptable)

Special: 100

Total Stats: 690+

The screen reminded Shirou very much of a Servant's stat chart. This character stat screen listed parameters such as strength, agility, and other basic statistics with assigned values and other miscellaneous information such as alignment or race. The silver-haired Player spent the better part of two days looking over his character menu and stats, trying to make heads or tails of it all. Sure, there were now numerical values placed on certain stats and abilities for him to quantitate, but with no point of reference, he had no idea if they were any good or not. Especially compared to other Players.

That's not mentioning his various job classes. Momonga explained to him that there were three viable races: Humanoids, Demi-humans, and Heteromorphs. He explained that each different race offered its own different play styles, with certain advantages and disadvantages spread throughout. Humanoid players don't get any racial classes and instead were granted access to multiple job classes, allowing for greater versatility. This was balanced out as Humanoid Players only receive one skill point to allocate when leveling up. Heteromorphs, as he pointed out, have the advantage of picking racial classes and earning three skill points. This allowed them to even out the playing field and spec into powerhouse builds as opposed to more well-rounded Humanoid Player classes.

A cursory glance at them told Shirou that each job class corresponded with an aspect of himself. [Magus], [Specialized Magus], [Magus Killer], [Master Chef], and [Blacksmith] were obvious examples, being attributes and core aspects of his old life. [Blade Master], [Archer], and [Expert] were perhaps referring to his skill, as he was often regarded as a dangerous swordsman and archer during his freelancing days. The last three were the ones that puzzled him the most. [Hero], [Heroic Spirit], and [Counter Guardian]. He could only assume Zelretch had a hand in deciding them, especially with how on the nose they were. Even though he had reservations about their assignment, he was powerless to change it. Considering YGGDRASIL's stance when it came to information and knowledge of the game, he highly doubted he was going to get any more information on them by just politely asking other Players if they knew anything.

Shirou wasn't afraid to admit that he was lost and afraid of his circumstances when the reality of his situation finally set in. Something that he hadn't experienced in a very long time. Out of everything he'd expected to happen when he accepted Zelretch's proposal, having his consciousness transferred into a game was the absolute last thing on his mind. To be thrust into a whole new world and was forced to come to grips with this new reality of his, one that was completely digital. Then came the question, what was Zelretch's goal in all of this? How would placing him inside a video game fit into the promise that was made?

He secretly harbored the grim hope that when he stabbed the Jeweled Sword into Shirou, it would have killed him, and somehow he would be on his way to the afterlife. Free of Alaya and to at least see or join Saber and Rin. Instead, he was dumped into a virtual world with no explanation or guidance, forcing him to improvise as he went along. Even after all these years, he still couldn't quite free himself from such naiveté.

Without a direct method of reaching Zelretch, he was effectively stuck with no way out. Not even trying to reach the GMs yielded any results.

Well, unless he killed himself, but that was a dark road he didn't wish to entertain. That, and he wasn't too sure if it would work or not, as his body was entirely virtual and abided by the rules of YGGDRASIL. More than likely, he would just respawn like any normal Player. However, he hasn't tested it thoroughly yet and wasn't in a rush to find out.

Isolated, he was unsure of what to do or how to proceed. For the first time since the Fifth Holy Grail War, he felt utterly out of his depths and alone. Were it not for Momonga's presence through all of this, a part of him wondered if he would've gone off the deep end trying to make sense of it all. In that respect, it was almost as if he was like Rin, steadily inducting him into the gaming world.

It was also thanks to his unlikely companion that he learned of a means to preoccupy himself. The faker quickly learned that YGGDRASIL was far from peaceful or safe, as he first believed.

In this virtual world, there was a massive divide between the player base and the community. Players who take on the role of Heteromorphs or Demi-humans were actively and routinely hunted down and, "PKed", as Momonga would say, on a regular basis. Shirou remembered expressing confusion regarding the odd terminology—another point of skepticism against the digital magus. PK was an acronym that stood for Player Killing, an appropriate naming convention. He explained that there was no penalty for killing Players of Heteromorphic races and that this also applied to specific Demi-humans as well. The undead Player would regale the magus with stories of the friction between the communities and go on to quote the shitty devs saying, "We wish for a sense of grounded realism within our world" for the reason why such a concept of racial divide existed in the first place.

When Momonga first described how Players who chose to play as Heteromorphs were treated, Shirou presumed that he was exaggerating. He was aware that since it was only a game and not real, some people might act too zealously, but it couldn't be that bad, could it? He chalked up the hunting and attacking of Heteromorphic Players as simply a part of human nature for conflict and strife.

However, Shirou witnessed firsthand the fervor with which many Humanoid Players went about attacking and hunting Players for nothing more than choosing to play as Heteromorphs and Demi-human races. No one batted an eye towards the issue, and those in the Heteromorphic Player community were drowned out by PKers and the larger Humanoid Player community as a whole. There were even guilds with the sole purpose of PKing Heteromorphic Players like it was a sport!

Shirou couldn't help but find a twisted irony in it all. Players playing as these different races were hunted and killed by mainly Humanoids classification Players, for either sport, amusement, or some other unfathomable reason, were the dominant faction within YGGDRASIL. It was like a dark reflection, mirroring how many monsters and other supernatural beings of the Moonlite World were the ones that dominated the helpless humans.

An irony that only deepens considering Shirou now acts as a defender for the Heteromorphic and Demi-human Players that he comes across.

Heteromorphic and Demi-human Players were hunted down simply because they could be and were even indirectly, or at times directly, encouraged to be by the developers themselves. That was how the meta operated, and Players fully exploited it.

It was a twisted notion, one Shirou couldn't abide by. He adopted a self-appointed position as a defender after witnessing such unjust injustice and did his best to make it right. A role that he was steadily easing himself into.

An endeavor that was made all the easier by what his new body provided. If Shirou had to list a positive, it would be the changes made to his health to accommodate him in this new world.

With his body and consciousness composed entirely of lines of code, as far as he could tell, he was no longer tied to the same restrictions when compared to the common man. For one, sleep was a thing of the past, for he could play for days on end and not feel fatigued once, allowing him to accomplish tasks with ease. Of course, he didn't push it. He was still discovering what his limitations were.

The most intriguing and curious change brought about by his body's full digitalization was his magecraft. For lack of a better world, it integrated with YGGDRASIL's systems and rules. His magecraft, and by extension, Unlimited Blade Works, received a massive overhaul.

In the real world, his projections could and would never reach the same level as their original counterparts. This was due in part to his limitations and the influence of Gaia degrading them. This resulted in Shirou tracing Noble Phantasms that were always a lower grade than their original. Nothing more than a cheap copy. In YGGDRASIL, however, that preconception was thrown out of the proverbial window.

He was no longer constrained in terms of what he could and could not trace. Consider Kanshou and Bakuya, which he used to save Momonga. The married blades were a simple and favored Noble Phantasm of his that pulled him through many times in the past. They were easy to trace, but relatively weak. In YGGDRASIL, that wasn't the case. During one of his experiments, he performed Structural Analysis on the two blades. The results astounded him. The married blade, a rather weak Noble Phantasm in his previous life, was classified as a Divine tier weapon. The highest grade of any equipment or weapon within the game.

YGGDRASIL possesses a ranking system to measure one's equipment and item strength and quality. From the lowest, known as Low tier equipment, to the highest, or Divine tier.

No matter how much prana or Od he poured into C-rank Noble Phantasms like Kanshou and Bakuya, he couldn't make them equal to an A or even EX-ranked Noble Phantasms in strength. His projected weapons would always be 99% accurate but never 100%, no matter how hard he tried. At least, not without Shirou making Broken Phantasms out of them and the like. But that was entirely another matter. The traced copies wouldn't be able to handle it. The same couldn't be said for within YGGDRASIL.

Further experimentation revealed why. Unlimited Blade Works was rewritten in a sense and improved upon. Shirou learned that he could manually raise or lower the tier of his traced Noble Phantasms. If he so desired, he could trace something like Gáe Bolg, a Noble Phantasm with a rating of B+, and have it be no stronger than a D rank Noble Phantasm, or he could make a plain, unremarkable sword a Noble Phantasm as powerful as a Divine tier weapon.

To say that Shirou was baffled was a major understatement. Of course, it came at a price; higher-tier tracing required the use of more mana. But even that wasn't a problem. If his calculations were accurate—which they were, as he verified them five times—then with the increase in his mana level, Shirou in his new virtual body, along with his class buff and build, would be able to mimic Gilgamesh's Gate of Babylon attack style with ease. Aka, spamming various non-descript Noble Phantasms at his opponents without care—regardless of the Noble Phantasm rank and cost for a few minutes.

Of course, just because he could do it doesn't mean he should. Gilgamesh had the courtesy of his Gate of Babylon being all but infinite, along with his high mana pool. Secondly, Shirou was never one to flaunt his strength and power like Gilgamesh would have. When it came to the isolationist tendencies of the magus back on Earth, he did concur that knowledge was power. The less that it was known, the less likely it was for someone to find a method to counter it. From what he'd seen of the game already, it wouldn't surprise him if there was something in YGGDRASIL that could rival his Unlimited Blade Work.

The only question he had left was how his Reality Marble would manifest within this digital domain. A test for another time.

A beeping sound knocked him out of his musings. A notification appeared on his HUD. It was a [Message] from none other than Momonga.

"[Momonga-san? Is there something you need?]" Shirou answered, holding a hand to his ear.

"[Hello, Emiya-san. And yes, I-I was wondering… if you could help me with something. That is, if you're not busy or anything. I-if you are, I apologize for interrupting...]" Momonga skittishly asked.

Shirou couldn't help but chuckle amusingly at the undead's awkwardness. Over the past few weeks, the two have spent a great deal of time with one another.

It turns out that Momonga was a solo Player. He didn't have many or any people at all to play with, and so, that left Shirou as his only real friend. As a result, they hung out frequently, played together, and got to know one another better, which helped them develop a more sincere friendship.

Shirou will admit that he befriended the undead Player on a whim. He did it primarily to learn more about YGGDRASIL from a somewhat reliable source, but that didn't mean he shrank away from making a genuine attempt to get to know Momonga better.

Momonga was very much the same. As a newbie still learning the ropes of YGGDRASIL, having a highly skilled and max-leveled Player like Emiya with him made enjoying the game possible, for he didn't need to constantly look over his shoulders for PKers when playing. That, and having someone to talk to and play with beats playing by himself any day of the week.

They were two loners in their own right, coming together and striking up a powerful friendship through a chance meeting.

Why, it was almost as if it were all preordained...

"[It's no problem. I'm free at the moment. What do you need?]"

"[I require your assistance with this one area. It's home to a certain type of undead that will allow me to gain a job class that I've been missing.]"

"[Understood. Send me a waypoint marker, and I'll be there as soon as I can.]"

"[Thank you again, Emiya-san! You have no idea how much this means.]"

Shirou chuckled under his breath.

"[No need for that, Momonga-san. After all, what are friends for? Give me a couple of minutes and I'll be there.]"

With that, the connection ended, and he received the waypoint marker from his friend. Shirou looked at the destination that Momonga had sent for him. The location was called [The Fields of Torment and Memory]. It was located in Helheim, the realm of the dead.

How fitting.

"[Reinforcement]!" He pumped more mana into his magecraft-turned-skill and sped through the area, ignoring any and all mobs in the way. His speed made it easy for him to outrun any possible enemies. Their AI programming gave chase until they reached their maximum parameter before returning to their preprogrammed route. It didn't take long before he came upon the closest town available to him. Shirou made his way to the center in haste. It was where a Transporter Gate stood, which allows Players to teleport between the nine playable realms.

He teleported to his destination after selecting the world of Helheim, where he was bathed in blue and purple light.

World: Helheim. Starting Town: Frysta lāk

The change in the environment was instantaneous. The open and clear blue sky of Jötunheim was replaced by looming clouds that blanketed the sky. A sense of melancholy completed the transition from the Realm of the Giants to the Realm of the Dead.

The location where the two would meet up was called the [Crypt of the Wandered]. An area that led directly into the [The Fields of Torment and Memory]. The location was a fair distance away from the starting town Shirou teleported into. Opening his world map, Shirou calculated that the quickest way there was to cut through a connected area known as [The Smothering Gorge]. A landmass with a massive gorge cutting up the middle like a grievous wound and filled with icy water. Mobs in and around the gorge lie somewhere around levels 60–65, a high mid-level area. Players would need to either pay for a ferry across from an NPC, fly with magic, or use other means.

With his destination set, he took off. The white landscape blurred as he shot through the world of Helheim like a bullet. Shirou expanded his senses as he traveled at speeds almost no normal Player could achieve naturally.

Shirou was sad to learn that his sense of smell was stunted due to the limitations imposed on DMMO-VR games. His sense of smell was his greatest tool when hunting in the past. But it wasn't all bad. His hearing and sight more than made up for it, and when [Reinforcement] was applied to one of the senses, it was even better.

Of note, this was particularly handy when he was out on his patrol. His heightened sight allowed him to catch the littlest of details and grants him an enhanced sight to determine if or when he should interfere. Shirou's improved hearing helped him differentiate whether the situation was PvP (Player versus Player) or PvE (player versus environment).

Like now, for example.

Shirou's eye caught the distinct glow of a spell circle in the distance. A powerful one at that, if the thunderous explosions were anything to go by. A small detour saw the digitalized human stop on an open field, one of many that plotted the area around the gorge. Reinforcing his eye, and like a telescope, he could make out the sight of battle happening just on the horizon. The Player's names and levels were the first to reveal themselves.

Heavy Hands – Lvl: 82

Ruling Berkser – Lvl: 70

SeetheLIGHT – Lvl: 80

Super Durable – Lvl: 75

Merlin#885 – Lvl: 74

FEEltheHEAT – Lvl: 73

Peroroncino – Lvl: 59

Bukubukchagama – Lvl: 84

It was a fight, to be sure, and from what he could see, six Humanoid Players appeared to be ganging up against two Heteromorphic Players. One was a gelatinous pink slime, and the other was a humanoid avian. The situation looked to be a perfect example of a PK hunting party. Surface-wise, at least.

Shirou noted that the fighting looked recent given how much HP both groups of Players still possessed.

Shirou was never one for excessive force unless necessary. If he believes a group wasn't completely guilty of whatever action they took, he would show them mercy. He adopted the same mindset while conducting his patrols. Depending on the situation, if it was a malicious PK party, he would wipe them out without hesitation. If he encountered a conflict where the two sides were equally matched, he would leave them alone. In situations where he had no prior knowledge to rely on, Shirou would use his best judgment and play it safe.

He would start off light to frighten the larger party away. If that didn't work, he would start over by sniping the Players one by one as a kind of warning. A smart party would know when to call it quits, especially when it came to YGGDRASIL's punishing death system.

"Trace on." Blue motes of light gathered, and in his hand appeared a massive black bow, and in his other, several arrows. A black steel shaft with equally black-feathered fletching was notched back. The distance between him and them was easily two kilometers or so. A distance considered far out of sight and range for a normal Player. For Shirou, who had the aid of his hawk-eye, Reinforcement, and prior skills back on Earth, it was almost child's play. Being grouped together made it easier for him to avoid worrying about being overly precise. Such a distance away would also register for his sneak attack multiplier bonus.

Particles of black energy began to form and coalesce at the arrow's tip. Shirou poured as much mana as the arrow would allow. Once it couldn't be filled anymore, he released it.

The arrow flew true, the mass of mana forming a black interior with a crimson outline around the arrow. It no longer resembled an arrow, bearing a strikingly similar image to a certain Jeweled magus's powerful Gandr shot. Another arrow was drawn, notched, and let loose within a second of firing the first.

He fired several more before halting. With his keen eyes, he calculated that it would take a few seconds for them to reach their targets.

He rested his hand on the pommel of the sword he'd just projected, watching and waiting for what was to come next.


[—][—][—][—][—][—][—][—][—]


"I don't think we're going to get out of this alive, nee-chan." The Birdman Heteromorph, Peroroncino, said to his sister.

"This wouldn't have happened if you'd listened to me! Buuuut~ Noooo. You just had to open your big, stupid mouth!" Whined the pink Elder Slime, Bukubukchagama, with an angry emoticon directed toward the winged Player.

"I said I was sorry!" He exclaimed. An opened mouth frowning emoticon appeared over him.

Bukubukchagama sighed, using a skill to defend herself and block an incoming spell. She silently bemoaned in her head, wondering where it all went wrong.

The day started so well for the brother and sister duo. Bukubukchagama had recently gotten back from an interview for an upcoming job. She had been a nervous wreck the entire week, constantly fretting that she would be rejected or that she would ruin it. Her fears were put to rest as the interviewers were so pleased by her performance that they hired her on the spot, signing off on a fair contract with a nice salary to boot.

Peroroncino, her idiotic but lovable little brother, managed to get into contact with someone to receive an early copy of an eroge in the popular franchise, Hyper Lover Magical Girl. A franchise known for its rather gratuitous lewd scenes.

With both of their spirits high, the siblings decided to unwind by playing YGGDRASIL to grind out some levels. A plan that Peroroncino carried out for all but five minutes before he changed his mind and decided to respec and switch builds. Again...

For the fifth time in that month alone.

The female slime couldn't help but grumble in frustration when she heard this. When it came to playing YGGDRASIL, her brother had a terrible tendency to be indecisive. It was rather common for him to suddenly decide that he wanted to switch his current job class and build for something 'cooler.' First, it was a roaming battlemage, then it was a stealthy assassin, and next, he decided on a beast tamer before getting bored, only to then go another route at the last second for a dual-wielding swashbuckler. And on and on it went. Even if his life depended on it, her perverted brother couldn't stay committed to anything.

And being the loving, gracious, and kindhearted elder sister that she was, Bukubukuchagama agreed to help him gather the needed materials and levels to reach said job and racial class. Everything was going fine until they happened to run across another party, and just to their luck, they were PKers. Before the two groups unintentionally bumped into one another, the other group was farming nearby for the same resource that the siblings were.

It would have been simple to avoid and ignore them. The two could come back another time. Unfortunately, her brother made a smart-ass comment to the group. One thing led to another, and now they were fighting said party.

Peroroncino grunted, blocking an attack. He held a pair of rapiers in his hands, deflecting an attack from the Humanoid Player, Ruling Berkser, who was brandishing two flaming axes.

"Damn it. We could really use some help." He muttered.

His eyes swept the field, and he didn't like their odds.

"Hey! Kami, god, or whoever is listening! Could you, like, help us out or something?! Please?!" The swashbuckling Birdman screamed to the virtual sky above, in part voicing his frustration. No one truly believed such a declaration would do anything.

At least until a hail of what appeared to be black and red projectiles raced across the field and directly in the direction of the opposing group. The PKers were caught off guard by the surprise attack and explosion. The two that took the brunt of the damage were the pyromancer, FEELtheHEAT, and the mage, SeetheLIGHT. While the others were around low green and high yellow, both of their HP dropped into the red.

The unexpected attack put an end to any further fighting between the two groups. Their eyes widened at the thought of being third-partied.

"What the hell?!

"S-shit! We have a sniper!"

"Move! Move! We're fish in a barrel out here in the open!"

The Humanoid party panicked, scrambling to reorganize themselves to defend against their potential attacker. They retreated from the Heteromorphs, who were safe from the blast radius of the attack.

Bukubukchagama was equally surprised but quickly shook herself out of her stupor. They needed to move as well, lest they too be caught in the crossfire of the ambush. Peroroncino, on the other hand—

"Hey, Kami! I would also like a blonde gyaru girlfriend who's also a sex addict. Oh! And with big breasts!"

—was being the same perverted little brother that she knew he was. Leave it to him to misinterpret a lucky break as some kind of divine intervention.

The slime slapped a tendril against her gelatinous body, the equivalent of a facepalm.

"Otouto." The elder sister hissed. "Stop fooling around and get behind me!" Bukubukuchagama ordered.

Whoever the attacker was, if they were able to cause that much damage on their own, they were strong. As a tank herself, her points in physical and magical defense should be enough to defend against attacks, along with some spells and skills for additional armor and defense if needed. The same couldn't be said for her brother, hence her exasperated voice telling him to fall back.

"[Greater Iron Body], [Fortify Defense], [Fortify Magic Defense]!" Three different defensive skills layered on the slime's body as she braced herself.

The other party had a similar idea. They grouped up and formed a circle, their backs to one another as they watched each other's backs. A Player dressed in brilliant silver bulky armor stood at the front, Super Durable, with a tower shield in each hand. In addition to their vigilant shield, the mages erected multiple barriers on top of them. Their heads swerved from one direction to another in hopes of finding their mysterious attacker. Neither group spoke as they waited in silence to see what the unidentified attacker would do next. The odd thing was that for the first thirty seconds, nothing happened. No secondary bombardment, no revealed ambush, absolutely nothing.

With such a successful surprise attack, it was common sense to follow it up completely to ensure the target didn't have time to recover. Instead, all they received was silence. By the two minute mark, both sides had relaxed a little.

Suspicious, the axe-wielding Player turned to address the second mage of the party, who was garbed in blue robes and wielded a golden staff with the rather unoriginal gamertag of Merlin#885.

"Find out what you can. Where are they?"

"Let me see. [Widen Magic: Seeker's Gaze]!" An incorporeal flux of invisible air expanded outward and continued to travel a great distance. It was a 7th tier spell that gave the user the ability to identify and mark any observable opponents or creatures within a predetermined radius. The [Widen] metamagic enchantment increased the range of the spell even further.

"What the hell!" The blue mage exclaimed. The sheer disbelief in his voice could be heard by both groups, echoing through the air. "I can't find them. It says there are no Players within at least one and a half kilometers of us!"

"No way!"

"Impossible!"

"A-are you sure?"

"What kind of range is that?!"

Protest and voices rose at the knowledge that their attacker was further away than they originally thought. Bukubukchagama and Peroroncino, privy to such a disclosure, were stunned into silence. They've never heard of it or seen it before, an attack from such a distance.

"Calm down!" All conversation ceased as the group—including Bukubukchagama and Peroroncino—turned towards the source. A fully armored dwarf with a large warhammer served as the party's last member. His gamertag identified him as Heavy Hands and the leader of the party, if she had to guess. "If what you said is correct, then that means he attacked us from at least two kilometers away, right?" He addressed the mage.

"Y-yes… More than likely." Stammered the mage, reeling from the shock of the knowledge.

The diminutive Player said no more and simply turned his attention back to the surrounding area. His helm obscured his face as he gazed across the horizon. "If he could make such a shot, then why hasn't he followed it up?"

"…Maybe he ran out of mana or something?" The axe-wielding barbarian supplied unhelpfully. The dwarf turned to him. Despite having no facial animation, Bukubukchagama can easily imagine the deadpan look he was giving behind his helm.

"If that was the case, then why attack us in the first place if he wasn't confident in finishing us off?" He explained blandly, shaking his head. "To attack from such a distance away, he wouldn't have done so unless he was confident he could hit us. Which he did, but is choosing not to follow up with. That is also something that I don't get; why not bombard us, seeing as he has the range and power to do so? Unless…" He trailed off, his gaze landing on Bukubukuchagama and Peroroncino.

Heavy Hands said nothing, scrutinizing them as if they were the key to the mystery present.

"Unless we're dealing with the [Heteromorphic Savior]…"

'Heteromorph Savior?' Bukubukchagama caught the tail end of it. The Player spoke just loud enough that the Elder Slime heard that phrase. For her, that name held no meaning whatsoever. The same couldn't be said for the rest of the group, however, as everyone started talking over each other.

It wasn't just them either, as her little brother joined in, a hushed voice carrying with it a layer of excitement.

"No way… So, he is real!"

"Otouto. Who are you talking about?" She whispered. "Is he someone important?"

"Yeah. He's a Player that's been getting a lot of traction on the forums recently."

'Ah. That would explain it.' She thought.

Despite being a dedicated gamer, Bukubukchagama typically avoided the various forums around YGGDRASIL. The only person who would have the time and patience to sift through the various message boards' complaints and fabricated information posted by trolls was her brother. A quick summary from Peroroncino explained that he was a Humanoid Player that appeared roughly three weeks ago. The rumor went that a mysterious Player would go around counter-Pking Humanoid Players that were actively hunting Heteromorph and Demi-human Players alike. Stories and complaints about how parties would suddenly and unexpectedly be wiped out began to surface regarding the mysterious Player.

Most dismissed this as the YGGDRASIL forums weren't known for being a reliable source of information. That didn't stop the unknown vigilante from continuing to be a thorn in the side of many PK parties.

"What do we do, boss?" One of them asked.

The party leader didn't answer immediately, his gaze scouring the horizon in great thought. After almost a minute of contemplation, he made his decision.

"…We pack it up. There is no point in fighting a losing battle."

One or two voices rose in complaint, but he silenced them all with a glare. In the end, the others obeyed. There was still little known about this particular Player, and he wasn't about to gamble losing a piece of his gear on a losing hand. On his signal, the party's mage dropped the barrier. Most were worried that the [Heteromorph Savior] would strike once they were vulnerable, but their fears were unfounded because nothing happened. The party backed away from the pair before teleporting away.

All that was left were the Heteromorphic siblings.

"We… We're alive." The slime sighed in relief, her avatar sagging. "Come on, let's not push our luck and get out of here."

"Actually… I was wondering if we could stay for a bit."

"What?" The elder sister snapped her head back at her younger brother in disbelief. "Why?!"

"I want to meet him." Peroroncino answered simply. "Come on, nee-chan, tell me you aren't curious as well. This is perhaps a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! Words is that the Player is a pretty cool guy. I doubt he'll do something crazy like PK us just after he chased away those PKers."

"…Fine." Bukubukchagama relented. "But how do you intend to get his attention?"

Peroroncino's answer to his sister's question was a simple smiley emoticon. The wings on his back spread open, and with a mighty flap, he took to the sky.

'Huh… I forgot all about that.' Bukubukchagama mused. As an avian Heteromorph, one of his innate racial skills was flight. A feature that he essentially ignored because it frequently wouldn't have worked well with the builds he was using at the time.

Reaching an appropriate height, Peroroncino began screaming, saying, "Over here. Over here!" while waving wildly in the air.

If she were to be completely honest, her brother's explanation piqued her interest. It was unheard of to encounter a Humanoid Player who was actively assisting and defending Heteromorphic Players. Well, besides the local rumor of the recent World Champion going around enacting justice or whatever.

Few people were willing to go above and beyond to assist others, which only served to distinguish the generous individuals from the majority.

The siblings awaited the appearance of their enigmatic savior. For a little while, it seemed that he might not show.

As Bukubukchagama called out to her brother, something caught her attention in the distance. A Player was slowly making his way over, and she could just make out his outline by squinting her eyes. The figure drew nearer, and Bukubukchagama's disappointment was quickly replaced by intrigue. When Peroroncino saw that his idea had worked, he descended to join his sister. A few seconds later, they were joined by their enigmatic savior, who blurred to a stop in front of them.

The two took in his presence. As per the rumors, The Player had no racial characteristics that would identify him as a Demi-human or Heteromorph; he was a full-fledged human.

He was dressed primarily in crimson and black, with tanned skin, suave silver hair, captivating heterochromatic eyes of silver and gold, and sharp features that seemed to indicate time and effort had been put into creating his striking appearance. Strangely, they noticed that he had no weapons on him.

"Are you alright?" He asked.

Bukubukchagama was unable to contain the unexpected shiver that ran down her spine. The timbre of his voice was rich and baritone, evoking images of popular actors who played the roles of suave, sophisticated gentlemen in her beloved TV shows and films. It was a voice that was exceedingly pleasant to listen to. Moreover, the way he spoke was gentle and tender, reminiscent of how a grandfather might greet his grandchildren. It was a fascinating juxtaposition, to say the least.

"Are you him? The [Heteromorphic Savior]? I bet you are!" Peroroncino closed the distance between the two, practically getting in his face and invading the human's personal space while gushing the entire time.

"Don't be rude!" Bukubukchagama snapped out of her daze and scolded her hyperactive brother. She even slapped him upside the head for good measure and pulled him back. "I'm sorry about that, Emiya-san. On behalf of me and my idiotic little brother, thank you for saving us."

"Geez, nee-chan, your violent side is showing." Peroroncino wryly muttered. This earned him another smack. "Oww! Ok, I got it!"

Emiya chuckled softly while glancing between the two. "It's no problem. I'm glad that I could have helped."

"That was totally awesome, by the way!" Peroroncino geeked out, breaking free of his sister's hold.

"How'd you do it? Especially from so far away? You don't appear to be a long-range mage or sniper."

Emiya was silent for a moment at this point. He extended his left hand to them without saying anything. A long, black bow that was longer than Emiya's character model materialized in his hand.

"You… you mean to say you attacked from over a kilometer and a half away with a simple bow?" The bow was anything but simple, but the question was sensible.

"About two kilometers, to be exact." The archer nonchalantly corrected.

"T-that's impossible! There's no way you can attack from that far away." She couldn't help but exclaim.

Among the various playstyles and builds, archers were better suited for medium to long-range skirmishes than ultra-long-range encounters. This was due to YGGDRASIL's real-time commands, which required the Players to manually notch and release each arrow. Additionally, varying terrain, environments, and weather can make it difficult to get a clear shot. A sniper playstyle would outperform standard archer playstyles because it uses a rifle with a scope to enable better accuracy. A specialized long-range mage can use various spells to detect and mark enemies and Players for their spells, as some have auto-tracking.

"Perhaps, but YGGDRASIL is a big game. Even though you haven't seen it before, it doesn't mean it isn't possible or viable." Emiya smoothly countered, answering her question.

To that, the pink slime relented and admitted he was right. The developers marketed YGGDRASIL by emphasizing the variety and choices of its creator. The game's main draw was its near-limitless freedom in customization and playstyle. It wouldn't be out of the question to see a build like his being used given how tuned some job classes were and how there were still a lot of unknowns.

"Whoa… so cool!" Peroroncino whispered, awe coloring his words.

Bukubukchagama instantly recognized that tone of voice.

"If you don't mind, I have a question of my own." Emiya politely asked.

"Of course. What may that be, Emiya-san?"

"A moment ago, you referred to me as the [Heteromorphic Savior]. Why is that?"

"I believe my brother can help you with that. He knows more about that than I do." Said Bukubukuchagama.

"Ah… Right!" Peroroncino straightened up. "You've been making a name for yourself on YGGDRASIL's forums over the last few weeks. Those in the Heteromorphic community came up with a nickname for you. Hence, people are referring to you as the [Heteromorphic Savior]."

There was more to it than that. Throughout the numerous patrols and ambushes Shirou participated in, they typically resulted in a complete wipeout of the offending party or stragglers running away. Much of his success was mainly due to his impressive archery skill and abusing the sneak attack damage multiplier, resulting in most of the Players being killed without ever seeing his nametag. Save for the Players that he rescued. A general description was finally drafted, containing a description of his attire and race but never his name. Those in the Heteromorphic community kept quiet, fearing he would be hunted, so they came up with the epithet [Heteromorphic Savior] to hide his name and anonymity, if only for a little while. They did it as a way to thank him for his assistance and hard work.

"Although I am curious as to how you don't know this. Doing something like ambushing PK parties is bound to rile some people up. Don't you check the forums?" The Birdman questioned.

For a moment, Shirou's body stilled, but it passed far too fast for either Peroroncino or Bukubukchagama to notice. "Right… the forums... O-of course!" He awkwardly trailed off. The two siblings shared a look, or more accurately, the emoticon of a face with a raised eyebrow appeared over them to signify their confusion. In the end, the two waved it off as unimportant.

"In any case." Emiya cleared his throat. "Thank you for answering my question. I'll be on—"

"Wait! There's something I want to ask you!" Peroroncino quickly interrupted. "Please teach me how to be an archer just like you!"

Peroroncino went so far as to bow at the waist, his voice all but beseeching him to take him on as an apprentice so that he may learn the way of the bow.

'Of course.' The elder sister mentally rolled her eyes. He changed his mind, again. No doubt her brother was captivated by Emiya's amazing display and wished to replicate it.

Shirou, for his part, examined Peroroncino closely. "Is that so? Well…" Once more, he was cut off, but this time it wasn't by the Avian Heteromorph. With a swipe of his hand, a recognizable message screen appeared.

"Has it been that long?" The siblings heard him mutter, reading the message before addressing them again. "Sorry, I promised a friend that I would meet up with him. I didn't expect for this to take as long as it did, and he got worried."

"Oh. My apologies for taking up your time, Emiya-san. Please, do not let us get in your way."

"But nee-chan, I still want to ask him some questions." The little brother whined.

"We've already taken enough time from him as it is. Be more considerate, Otouto." The elder sister softly chided.

"Actually..." Emiya spoke up. "Why don't you two join me? I'll be more than happy to answer some of yours on the way there."

"Really?! Yosh!" Peroroncino happily exclaimed, pumping a fist into the air.

"Are you sure, Emiya-san? I don't wish to intrude." The slime tank double-checked.

"I certainly don't mind, nor do I think my friend will. Besides, we can use an extra pair of hands along the way. Assuming that you aren't busy yourself."

Bukubukchagama and Peroroncino made sure that today was a worry-free day for them to play. Time was not a concern. Not to mention that if she declined to participate, her younger brother would complain her ear off.

"Very well. Thank you for allowing us to join." Bukubukuchagma gave her thanks with a small bow.

With two new companions, the newly formed party of three made their way out of [The Smothering Gorge]. A ferry was taken, as only Peroroncino could make it to the other side unaided. During their ride, Emiya took the time they had to answer some of Peroroncino's queries as Bukubukuchagama quietly observed them from the side.

Bukubukuchagama kept to herself but kept an ear open to their conversation, waiting and watching from the side. Her brother bombarded Emiya with tons of questions. Some trivial, and others poignant.

Questions like;

"How far can you shoot from?"

"What kind of build do you run?"

"What job classes should I invest in to be like you?"

"What would you recommend?"

To her pleasant surprise, Emiya answered all of his questions patiently, even the more inane ones. His knowledge of the subject showed as he went in-depth and explained to her brother the requirements and the necessary mechanics of what makes a good archer. He offered sound and sincere advice, displaying a zeal that matched Peroroncino's as they became absorbed in their conversation.

It was another mark that confirmed his sincerity and piqued her interest even further. It was a testament to Emiya's character that he would not only reveal but also actively assist in replicating such a strong build. Information was worth its weight in gold in YGGDRASIL, especially information on powerful character builds, and he was giving it out freely. On first impression alone, she would say that he passed with flying colors. Their brief journey was over in a matter of minutes, and they were on their way.

Following the Humanoid Player's lead, the three traversed the plains of Helheim. As they moved south, the sky above gradually darkened as more and more crumbling buildings and other structures popped up. As they entered a new area of the vast playable world, numerous tombstones sprung up. They eventually came to rest next to a misty cemetery with scattered gravestones in the courtyard. In the middle was a mausoleum, its decay evident by the layering of cracks and vines inside the stony enclosure.

"Momonga-san, are you here?" Shirou called out.

Bukubukchagama's ears caught the faint noise of something shuffling about. Something emerged from behind one of the crumbling buildings. The skeletal face made it clear that it was undead. He was dressed in a black robe with gold accents that formed symbols. In his hand was a twisted staff.

Momonga – Lvl: 80

"Emiya-san? Sorry, I didn't realize it was you. I laid out some ward spells just in case any PKers might come around. I saw three dots moving towards here and assumed the worst." The skeletal Player explained.

"It's fine. I should have [Message]'d you back that I was bringing company. That's my fault." Emiya apologized.

"Pardon me, Emiya-san, but I would assume these two were your latest rescue?"

"Have I become that predictable?" The silver-haired Player chuckled. "Yea. I helped them out of a PK party."

"I see." Momonga nodded. "Greetings, Bukubukchagama-san, Peroroncino-san." The undead bowed, welcoming them.

"Hello to you too, Momonga-san." Bukubukchagama returned the gesture.

"Yo~" Peroroncino informally replied, offering a casual wave.

"I hoped you didn't mind if they tagged along. I figured it would be easier to help you if we had more Players on hand."

"It's no trouble, Emiya-san." The Elder Lich quickly assured. "If you vouch for them, then I trust you. With four Players, this should make the quest that much easier."

"Now that we've patted each other on the back, let's get to it!" Declared the winged Player before rushing into the mausoleum.

"Idiot." Bukubukchagama sighed. The three quickly ran in to join their excited companion.


[—][—][—][—][—][—][—][—][—]


May 31st, 2129. World: Niðavellir. Location: The Forest of Everclear. Recommended level: 45-50

Numerous mountain ranges, hills, plains, plateaus, caves, and other geographical features can be found within Niðavellir, the playable world of the Realm of the Dwarves of YGGDRASIL. The realm lacked much in the way of diversity when compared to the other realms. Save for one particular area within the overworld, The Forest of Everclear. The location housed a thickly forested area covered with vines, tall trees, and vegetation. It was situated in a bottleneck area between two massive plateaus, which gave this specific location a notorious reputation as a PKing hot spot. Players frequently found it difficult to see farther than a few meters due to the dense level of vegetation, making them particularly vulnerable to sneak attacks.

Hence the situation now:

"Damn shitty devs!" A loud voice cried out.

A figure rushed across the marshy ground, kicking dirt as it sprinted deeper into the jungle.

It had a humanoid shape and structure and was heteromorphic, but that's where the similarities ended. The skin of the creature was an unnaturally deep red. The skin appeared leathery at first glance, as though skin patches had been layered on top of one another. It didn't end there; small, malformed mouths with sharpened, soiled-yellow teeth could be seen all over the body. The arms, legs, and entire body were covered in these mouths. There were at least six visible mouths in the general head area. Interestingly, there were no discernible eye sockets. The creature had four arms, each holding a different weapon. The purple and yellow spike armor only added to its monstrous appearance, as it appears to be almost like a second layer of tough skin.

Bellriver – Lvl: 88

"[Greater Detect Presence]!" A twisted staff glowed in one hand as Bellriver activated his spell. [Greater Detect Presence] was a rather self-explanatory spell. It can be used to detect any possible enemies or intruders. A tiny screen with a list of the nearby mobs appeared, but there was no Player nametag.

"Damn it. They must have some anti-divination and anti-scrying spells active. I'm not dealing with amateurs, it seems." The crimson-skinned Heteromorph cursed. Pushing some foliage out of the way, Bellriver caught a flash of light at the corner of his eyes.

"[Maximize Boost Magic: Mana Shield!]" Powered by metamagic enchantments, a transparent blue energy dome encircled him. Not a second later, a beam of pure energy slammed into the shield. The attack and the one that followed it were successfully repelled by the shield. A barrage of armored claw fists struck the shield from the other side, slowly forming cracks around it. A Humanoid Player in sleek pink armor charged Bellriver from the side with a long, curved scimitar, forcing him to leap back.

"[Graceful Arc]!" Cried out the female Player, using her skill.

"[Infused Strike]!" Bellriver responded with his own, his sword clashing against the scimitar. He reared his second arm back, which was holding a mace, to attack but was once more stopped.

This time, the attacker was a Player carrying a two-handed battle axe and covered head to toe in black spiked armor. He attacked the Heteromorph's unprotected back, taking a fair bit of HP.

Bellriver disengaged, slowly backing up until he could no longer. His back was pressed up against one of the towering trees that dominated the forest. Three additional Players emerged from the surrounding woodwork and joined the other two. The first was a lion Demi-human in a mixture of fur and metal armor. The second was an armored, hooded assassin. The final member was a Player dressed in silver armor who held a combination of a lance and magic staff with a jewel near the tip.

They stood in a semi-circle, spread out, and cut off all escape routes.

"Finally stop running, have you? It looks like we found a freak with some common sense." The axe-wielder jeered.

"Oh yes, you must feel so proud of yourselves for ganging up on someone who was minding his own business." The multi-mouth Heteromorph sarcastically quipped, glaring back defiantly.

"Like we care for your opinion, you walking tumor!" The bestial Demi-human sneered. This got a laugh from his companions.

"Tell you what, drop a good piece of equipment, and we'll consider letting you go." The female sword fighter said this, aiming one of her scimitars at Bellriver.

Bellriver growled. One need not be psychic to know that they were lying through their teeth. This wasn't the first group of PKers he came across that used the same BS scam scare tactic, and he doubted it would be the last. They were trying to play him a fool to get a second loot drop from him. The four-armed Heteromorph tightened his grip on his weapons. There was no way he would go down without a fight!

'I could sure use some help.' His thoughts briefly wandered to the rumors he read on the forums about a Player going around saving Heteromorphic Players. The various posts spoke of how he would appear when he was needed most. The Gibbering Mouther could certainly use that kind of help right about now.

Shaking his head, he braced himself for the upcoming fight.

'I ain't gonna give them the satisfaction.'

The PKers, seeing Bellriver not showing any indication of surrendering, prepared themselves.

"[Dimensional Slash]!"

Before anyone could make a move, a powerful voice called out. Each of the five PKers' HP was reduced to zero as five distinct slash marks appeared on them. They shattered into a rain of polygons before they even had a chance to realize they were killed. Five items landed on the ground in front of the equally bewildered magic knight.

"W-what?" Was Bellriver's lame reply. He didn't think his prayers would be answered.

"No need to fear!" A boisterous voice declared.

A stunning sight met the eye as Bellriver looked upon the Player before him. Adorned in resplendent white and silver armor, complete with a matching silver helmet, the Player commanded attention. At the center of the armor, a large azure sapphire glinted in the light. A crimson cape flowed from the left shoulder pauldron, draping elegantly over the Player's backside. The knight's left hand held a formidable silver shield, while in the right hand, a sword with a golden crossguard glimmered. The armor and weapons hinted at the presence of a powerful paladin, but underneath the armor lay a different truth. The Player was actually a Heteromorph like Bellriver, an insectoid Heteromorph, to be exact.

Touch Me – Lvl: 100 [World Champion]

"For I am here!" After finishing, the armored Player struck a dramatic pose with his legs spread apart, his shield at the ready, and his sword poised to strike. His red cape fluttered triumphantly, despite no wind blowing on it. Strangely enough, it didn't end there. A small explosion effect then appeared behind him, followed by the kanji for "Justice has Arrived!" So shocked was he that Bellriver didn't even react, simply staring at the mysterious and eccentric paladin.

"What?" Bellriver repeated.

"Hmm, strange. Why do people keep on saying that?" Touch Me mumbled to himself. "Are you alright?" He asked, his boisterous voice lowering to a reasonable level.

"Errr… Yes, I'm fine." Bellriver thanked the man, shaking off the confusion caused by Touch Me's "explosive arrival". "Thanks for the save. I didn't think anyone would come."

"If someone is in trouble, it's only natural to help them." The World Champion proclaimed it as if that were the most obvious thing in the world.

"Right..." Bellriver drawled, unsure but still appreciative of the save. "For a second there, I thought you were perhaps the [Heteromorphic Savior] everyone's been talking about."

The four-armed Heteromorph knew that wasn't the case. The rumors all stated that the [Heteromorphic Savior] was no front-line Player like Touch Me was. The gear, appearance, and general demeanor that had been scavenged and gleaned from the forums also didn't match up with the silver paladin.

"Hoh? [Heteromorphic Savior]? Who is this Player that you speak of?" Touch Me asked, intrigued. The name alone gave him some hints and he was curious to learn more.

As thanks, Bellriver informed Touch Me of what he knew. He shared with him of the tales and rumors surrounding a phantom Humanoid Player who was seen rescuing Heteromorphic Players. There wasn't a lot of information available about the man, but it was known that he strictly combated PKers and went out of his way to lend a hand to any Heteromorphic or Demi-human Player in need. The insectoid paladin found his interest peaked as the narrative went on, and his opinion of the man only grew.

After everything was said and done, Bellriver sent Touch Me a friend request, which he readily accepted. Bellriver bid the World Champion farewell before logging out, leaving him to reflect on his thoughts and what he had just learned.

"It would seem that there's another Hero of Justice wandering the realms of YGGDRASIL... How interesting! I would very much like to meet him someday." He mused aloud.

Touch Me swept his arm and set his crimson cape aflutter as he walked away, his stride purposeful and determined for the future.


Author's note:

And that concludes the second chapter, or chapter 1 if you want to be technical. To be honest writing this chapter was a lot tougher than I originally thought. Thanks to so many supportive and wonderful reviews, I scrapped my original draft and reworked it into this. A good thing too as this one is much more pleasing to read.

For those curious, I had initially design this chapter to be a straight narrative chapter, telling and explaining the world of YGGDRASIL to Shirou. I would have gone in depth on what has change with him, his new character stat sheet, and so on. Basically it would have been on HUGE info dump, and that is boring! Hence, I scrapped the idea but kept all the information to be later doled out in later chapters, as to also not make the chapters a big narrative dumpster fire. Like this one, where I explain how Unlimited Blade Works now work. If I'm being honest the chapter doesn't like the 'umph' compared to the last, at least in my opinion but I still enjoy writing it. Hopefully you do too.

[Gibbering Mouther] : It's a monster typically found in D&D, of which the author of Overlord takes heavy inspirations from. You can google it for a better idea of what it looks like.

My thoughts:

1. Unlimited Blade Works: Alright, this was perhaps the biggest challenge when it came to making it all connect. We all know how UBW works, and how stupidly OP such an ability is. Not counting the reality marble into the equation. Overlord has always been a story about OP characters and how they affect the world around them. Naturally, I combine the two themes and gave Shirou a big boost in power both in game and eventually the New World. I tried to make his ability make sense in a gaming environment. The idea for Shirou to now have the ability to scale his own projected weapons came to me as I came up with the idea to integrate it into YGGDRASIL's virtual gaming world. To me I kept on telling myself, was this fair? Or at least, as fair as it would be in YGGDRASIL while still retaining its OPness.

I am curious, is it a good idea or bad one? My main focus was to improve Unlimited Blade Works while at the same time making it versatile and make it make sense in the gaming world.

2. The characters: Bukubukchagama and Peroroncino. One of the best thing a fanfic writer can hope for, is to have characters with less than detailed backstory. This generally allow me, and many other writers that I read to make up and write their backstory for said characters. Aside from key traits, we don't know much about Peroroncino or Bukubukchagama besides their character role, and general traits. Peroroncino as a massive perv and Bukubukchagama as the elder sister and voice actor.

When it comes to this fic, I don't simply want this story to be like Hokage Naruto joining the cast of the RWBY universe and is forced to pretend to be a student and follow the canon event without ANY deviation. That, to me is boring. Not to point any fingers but the idea is that I don't want to a retelling of the story we all already knew about.

Rather than making any radical change, like suddenly turning Momonga from an Undead Sorcerer to a Night elf assassin or something out of left field. I opted to take a more subtle and influential approach. Hence why I wrote the interaction of Peroroncino and Shirou like that. So through Shirou, Peroroncino is influence to become the powerful archer that he is in canon. This was in part for me to show Shirou leaving a visible impact on the canon lore of Overlord while not diverging from it too much.

3. Touch Me: Since Shirou saved Momonga earlier than canon, I decided to have Touch Me save another member of Ainz Ooal Gown instead. The players he killed were the same that almost killed Momonga in the original canon. I know many people, myself include that wish for the meeting of the two, and I originally had them meet originally in my third draft but scrapped it as I felt the chapter was going on too long and it was overloaded with content.

4. Character stat: Much like Unlimited Blade Works, I kept to the notion "Is this fair." His initial Ability Chart value are all base on his basic body. Meaning, what he do without any [Reinforcement], or his traced Noble Phantasm. I have the prefix of adaptable next to nearly all the stat to show that they can be increase depending on what Noble Phantasm he traces and uses. Again, my main concern was if it makes sense and fitted Shirou.

I think I was fairly reasonable in assigning the stat values. If not, then do let me know so that I can change it. For reference I use the website below to help me get a better picture of how the characters stack up to one another.

( r/overlord/comments/5fk5zd/overlord_character_stat_table/)

Don't forget to leave a review concerning any thoughts or complaints. I read them all and they motivate me to write even faster.

See you in the next chapter. (hint: The Fake Hero meets The Virtual Hero)

Next Chapter: The Meeting of Heroes.