There was a feeling of tension in the air…
Archer wasn't sure if what he's feeling was real, but usually when armies were to begin a big battle, the protagonists were supposed to say something like that. Though Archer himself couldn't say he felt anything like that.
He's a bit too lazy to try and figure out why.
Edison and his army, split into three groups, were ready to move at the trigger, beginning the final battle of the Servants in this Singularity.
And the role of trigger in this case went to Archer, that was why he was inside Cu Alter's city. No, it was not a suicide mission, it made sense, as a somewhat invisible Servant, for lack of Assassins on Edison's side, he was the best option to conduct reconnaissance. Especially considering his other abilities were similarly suited to such a role.
Archer didn't want to do it, of course, but he forced himself by reassuring himself that by having fulfilled his role now, he might not have to do anything else in the future. Still, Archer's abilities were not well suited to open combat, so Edison was simply being pragmatic.
That's why Archer used his Noble Phantasm at its best… well, as 'best' as he could.
Appearing as a faceless ghost, he would fire a couple of shots into the enemy's army, killing those he could before once again disappearing into the crowd, before any of the enemy Servants appeared.
After all, Edison also understood the necessity of preparing for battle beforehand.
After he'd taken out a preset number of the enemy's forces, he would then provoke an attack by the enemy Servants, preferably only one, and then lure them into an ambush he'd already prepared. Not that such a plan was particularly elegant, but in the current situation, especially given the contingent of Servants on Cu Chulainn Alter's side, it seemed the most prudent plan for both Archer and Edison.
Well, that was the plan anyway, but reality had a curious power to never live up to expectations.
So when Archer sensed the approach of a tremendous force, seemingly sweeping away everything in its path, he realized, without any extra skill or Noble Phantasm informing him, that something had not gone according to plan.
The feeling of the approaching Servant was that of a mad beast, a vast and unbounded, unstoppable rage. Before Archer had time to realize that a much bigger fish had bitten his bait, it had already covered half the distance separating it and Archer.
For a moment, the thought that Archer had somehow managed to attract Cu Chulainn Alter flashed through his mind. That picture? There was nothing good about it.
Archer was totally unsuited to an open battle with any Servants, but someone of Cu Chulainn Alter's level? It couldn't even be called a fight.
Moments later, Archer rushed away, momentarily concealed by his cloak, Archer escaped. In one deft leap, he had climbed onto the roof of a random building and darted away towards the city walls, the roof of the building cracking beneath his feet, like glass cracking from a stone impact.
Then came a loud sound, as if a jet had just rammed itself full speed into the building, and only then did Archer realize that the house under his feet was already rubble. Had he hesitated even for a moment, he might have already died then and there.
Not that he had escaped the danger yet.
Thanks to his abilities as a Servant, Archer managed to easily orient himself at the last second and land on the ground, instantly on his feet to escape. But it was too late, he was caught.
In an instant, Archer felt a steel grip on his throat. If there was any silver lining to these very dark clouds, the deep, gruff and rough voice that was now speaking to him was unequivocally not Cu Chulainn Alter's. "Invisibility? Don't care."
After another moment, Archer realized that he was in a state of free fall, or rather flight, the Servant had thrown him! The impact on the ground knocked all other thoughts out of him. "Well, well, who do we have here…"
Slowly, Archer was able to focus his gaze on the approaching Servant.
The man was tall, dressed only in pants, with an exposed and highly imposing chest with its musculature, scarred and tattooed appearance. The Servant walked slowly, almost lazily, but the cocky smile on his strong and stern face, with its prominent chin and several scars, let Archer know instantly that he had little chance of escape.
Though his Noble Phantasm made him invisible, that didn't mean there were no ways around it.
Some, like Angrboda, were simply too strong for such an ability to work on. Some, like Da Vinci, could neutralize it through other skills or spells. Some just didn't rely on sight in the first place.
Not in the sense that they were blind, but in the sense that they gave priority to something else.
Berserker's animal instincts.
There were numerous Servants on Cu Chulainn Alter's side, but this Servant, Archer, recognized instantly. What gave him away most was the shackles still bound together by a chain around his wrists.
"You, choose what we do with you. Well, what will I do to you." Berserker, meanwhile, merely stepped forward, approaching Archer as he pondered his next course of action, "Now you can fight me fair and square, and I'll crush your head with my hands. Or you can try to run away, and then I'll catch you and crush your head with my hands. You have exactly three seconds to think about it."
"Are there any other options?" Archer tried to smile as he slowly lifted himself off the ground. Even if he used his other Noble Phantasm now, he had virtually no chance in combat.
"Do you prefer that I don't crush your head with my hands?" Berserker smiled a smile that looked more like a predatory grin, "Fine, then I'll just beat you until your whole body is a flat piece of meat. Are you okay with that?"
Archer wasn't comfortable with that, but he didn't really see any other options in the current situation. "I guess so…"
"Then… " Berserker stretched out his hand to the side, and then there appeared a twisted blade of black steel, then on the other hand… A blade? Probably, it was a peculiar looking blade, looking more like a huge club, or a long pole arm, set on the handle of a sword. "You can make the first shot, I'm not in a rush."
A moment later, Archer stood up, prepared to do his best to run. What? You thought that he was going to fight? What kind of Archer fights a Berserker head on?
But before he could even prepare his distraction and get ready to fire, Berserker suddenly froze with a shocked look on his face. A second later, Archer himself also froze before he could take advantage of Berserker's distracted state.
A monstrously strong energy was coming. It was from… one of Edison's army positions? A tremendous force, beyond anything Archer had ever felt before. Edison, Tesla, the Demon Kings, Karna… This one made all before it pale in comparison.
"Who… ?" It was all that flashed through Archer's mind, before, as if shot, an unknown force traveled the entire distance from Edison's camp to Archer's current location, it then crashed into Berserker.
Archer only had time to see Berserker open his eyes in astonishment, which disappeared a moment later with a rumble of crashing mountains, as Berserker was thrown back by the impact.
"If you want to be dinner green man, stay where you are," Only at that moment Archer could tear his gaze away from the lined line of destruction and broken walls of houses, and find the reason for Berserker's disappearance from Archer's field of vision. "If not, run. I'll allow it… this time."
The back of the huge Servant, with her large horns rising high, and her golden hair flowing down her shoulders and behind her shoulder, looked majestic… It also scared Archer shitless.
But looking at her and the volumes of mana that continued to press on Archer, he could only swallow.
He clearly wasn't planning on staying in this place and finding out what the conflict between the two Servants was all about.
"Oh… " Cu Chulainn Alter blinked.
He'd suspected for a long time that strange Servants were trespassing on his turf, but he saw no reason to antagonize them. If one of his subordinate Servants decided to deal with the saboteurs himself, well, that was of little concern to Cu Chulainn Alter.
However, the appearance of the new, unknown and powerful Servant unexpectedly in his territory caused Cu Chulainn Alter to rise from his throne.
He smelled a big battle incoming, and Cu Chulainn Alter was not planning on missing it.
Scáthach threw herself at the threat that had just arisen without thinking.
A powerful Servant? That's what she'd expected from both Edison and Cu Chulainn Alter's camp.
Being outnumbered against such powerful Servants? In that case, she would have preferred to take a wait-and-see attitude and wait for such a powerful Servant to be weakened as much as possible.
But the Servant, appearing seemingly out of nowhere, in place of Cu Chulainn Alter's territory, made Scáthach momentarily forget her original plan.
It wasn't stupidity on her part. It was the only option available to her.
"All forces to the unknown threat!" Scáthach gave the order to all the Servants in her camp, before rushing forward on her own.
Scáthach has spent countless years fighting the worst creatures inhabiting the Lands of Shadows. What are called undead, or monsters, or even gods, Scáthach has met them all, fought them, and killed them. Scáthach had learned to identify the likes of them with the scantest of clues. And Scáthach knew how to act when she found an enemy like she had just sensed.
Attack. Attack with all her might. Attack with all the strength and fury she could muster.
It was worth sorting out whether it was an enemy or ally later. Though based on the darkness she felt on whatever it was she felt, she doubts that it would be the latter.
What Scáthach felt reminded her of the darkest and most powerful monsters she had encountered in her long life. Whatever it was, it was stronger than her, Cu Chulainn Alter, the Demon Kings, and even Ainz. Scáthach understood that unequivocally.
It was necessary to act. And she had to act now.
If she didn't destroy it, the Singularity would end. Alaya and Gaia would end. Perhaps all existence, the Root itself, would end.
So without thinking, Scáthach rushed forward.
"MY PLAN! MY BEAUTIFUL PLAN! The whole plan is falling apart!" Edison clutched his head the moment he realized that the Servant he had been treating as a guest had rushed forward, disregarding all instructions. Tesla himself… Of course, he gloated over Edison as he watched his next so-called 'great plan' fall apart without even experiencing contact with the real situation, but at the same time he could also say that he could commiserate. Not that he would ever Edison, of course.
Only Ainz could find a way to manage Angrboda. That she had even agreed to come to fight Cu Chulainn Alter at the behest, though, rather, at Edison's entreaty, was already an incredible miracle. Well, you know why they call it a miracle.
And so, for some unknown reason, Angrboda had rushed forward, ignoring all Edison's orders and plans…
To be expected, but it didn't make things any better.
However, unlike Edison, at least Tesla knew exactly who Angrboda was…
Not completely, of course, but he knew two important facts about her.
The first was that she was catastrophically strong. The second was that she was uncontrollable.
Which meant that there was only one possible course of action left.
"Let's go, let's back her up! She's already storming out! Just attack, the ambush is ruined anyway!" Edison turned around at Tesla's shout, and then a spark of reflection flashed in his eyes.
Could Tesla be trying to set him up? No question about it, that's the first thing Edison should have thought of!
But could Tesla also have sacrificed the Servants, all the people, the Singularity itself, just to frame Edison?
No, that's exactly the last thing that Tesla would do.
To be buried in the same grave with his mortal enemy with the inscription 'Here rest two heroes who fought hand in hand to save Singularity?!' Ha!
"All forces!" Edison's shout rang out through the encampments. "We're going in for the assault!"
Scáthach saw Cu Chulainn Alter approaching from the side moments before he saw her, and she didn't stop. Her fallen apprentice deserved her attention, but definitely not right now. After she had dealt with the monster that had appeared out of nowhere, only then would she put her attention to him.
Cu Chulainn Alter was fine with that, he didn't bother Scáthach with any questions, only changing his course slightly so that he wouldn't accidentally crash into Scáthach as they ran towards the monster.
In the blink of an eye, teacher and apprentice, hating each other as only insensitive warriors could hate each other, were once again on the same side of the battle, rushing forward toward a common goal.
They would kill the monster and then each other, and only in that order.
Perhaps there was even a poetic comparison to be made. That despite their differences, the two heroes were now fighting on the same side, on a single mission to destroy a danger far greater than either of them had imagined. But that was not really the case.
Simply as fate had dictated, two enemies had found themselves on the same side, for the duration of one battle. No more.
But just when it seemed that Scáthach could already see her new target in the distance, another figure blocked her way. Multiple figures, in fact.
"Oh…"- Scáthach shifted her gaze to the emerging Servants. "Karna, Tesla, Edison, and… Oh…"
"I'm sorry, but orders are orders," Nobunaga kept his gaze firmly on Scáthach, standing shoulder to shoulder with Tesla. "I think you'll understand."
Edison was clearly surprised by the unexpected reinforcement coming from Scáthach's camp, but as he looked at Tesla's face, who was clearly expecting something like this, he didn't let the surprise show on his face. He could not allow himself, Edison, to be surprised when his greatest enemy was not!
Nobunaga, on the other hand, was too focused on her two opponents to have such silly thoughts.
Cu Chulainn Alter and Scáthach, the two greatest heroes of Ireland. A threatening bunch indeed. But not with the Servants at her side.
Tesla, Nobunaga, Karna, and, for what it was worth, Edison? Unfortunately, even the two strongest Celtic heroes had little hope in this fight.
Moments later, an arrow slammed into Nobunaga's body, and if Nobunaga had not heeded a few simple tricks learned in her last battle, that would most likely have been the end of Nobunaga's role. Nobunaga, having been seriously injured by the Noble Phantasm of Jack in the past, was not about to make such foolish mistakes again and had already taken an intangible form.
So crashing into where Nobunaga's heart should have been, the arrow made its way further before hitting the wall of the nearest house, causing it to instantly split apart as if it were a clay vessel. A second later, Nobunaga heard a voice. "Pity. I had hoped to reduce everything to a fair duel."
"I know these arrows," Karna's voice was even as he said this. "Arjuna, my brother, you're here."
Nobunaga's eyes found the figure of the Servant that had shot off the arrow in the distance. The distance was such that even if he had been a modern sniper with the world's most modified and perfect weaponry, the marksman's skill would still have garnered nothing but applause.
The legendary brother of the equally legendary hero Karna, the blessed brother Arjuna.
If Karna was the 'hero of the poor', then Arjuna was the 'hero of the noble'. The perfect warrior to whom only Karna was equal, the illustrious son of Indra, the gods' beloved sage king and the great archer of ancient India… And also Karna's brother, doomed to always fight against him, whatever the conditions.
At least that's how the legend goes. At least Nobunaga could chuckle that the latter was true at the moment. Karna on one side, and Arjuna on the other.
Four to three, huh… Now things did look more even, but even so, the odds remained on Nobunaga's side, even if the price for that uneven odds included adding Edison to the count.
However, the appearance of a fourth Servant on Arjuna's side made Nobunaga tense up for a moment.
"Rama," Karna declared instantly, "the Great King Rama."
Rama, huh… Another great and powerful Servant on the enemy's side.
Four legendary Servants against three legendary Servants… And Edison.
Which meant, Nobunaga grinned, all they had to do to win was to hold out until Angrboda could finally deal with his opponent and break out back into the fray.
Nobunaga's smile turned slightly predatory as she looked at the frozen opponents, waiting as if for an invisible sign to start the battle.
She was curious to see what Angrboda could actually do in battle. Ainz really knows how to keep a girl expecting.
"There's going to be a big battle," The voice of the nurse dressed in the red echoed only a moment later than Scáthach's voice. "That means there will be wounded. "
Rama rushed forward a moment later, leaving the other Servants behind, knowing what was coming.
"SANITARY BRIGADE!" The voice of the Servant, a frail, silver-haired girl, rang out in an unexpected roar, as if in the voice of an experienced commander, "FULL THROTTLE! THE PRIORITY, THE ELIMINATION OF THE ENEMY!"
After that, Berserker, the mad nurse, rushed not forward, but to the other Servants,- "FOLLOW UP!"
Cu Chulainn, in fact, had no choice but to rush forward under the cold and almost insane nurse's, which was not unfamiliar to the Berserker, gaze.
Although at the last second he did manage to ask a question, a clarity unexpected of a Berserker, looking at the Servants surrounding him. "If we are a sanitary brigade, why is our priority to eliminate the enemy?!"
"THE FEWER OPPONENTS, THE FASTER THE BATTLE ENDS! THE SOONER IT ENDS, THE FEWER INJURIES ARE SUSTAINED! AMBULANCE BRIGADE, GO!"
And so, the rest of Scáthach's camp rushed into the fight, including Cu Chulainn, the Caster one, which was supposedly on Tesla's side.
"Oh…" Medea didn't even need to look at the battle of the legendary Servants that were about to fight in front of her to know that she has no place there. Great witch or not, this was not a fight for someone of her level. The best she could achieve in the current situation was to wait for the right moment and maybe stab one of the Servants fighting against Tesla or Nobunaga in the back… and then die almost immediately afterwards.
But even something as paltry as that, assumed ideal conditions on the battlefield. Conditions where she could wait for that perfect moment until the very end, without being distracted by the actions of Servants other than those already embroiled in the battle. And that was unfortunately not the case. Although, conventionally speaking, the 'strongest' Servants were already occupied, the other, less powerful Servants were still capable of influencing the outcome of the battle.
And therefore Medea was 'forced' only to watch.
And yet, noticing the movement of the nurse's red blur along with numerous other Servants, rushing to the aid of Scáthach and Rama, she instantly gave the order to Mashu. "Forward."
"Cu Chulainn?!" Medea's voice made Cu Chulainn nearly stumble as he followed behind Berserker. "Medea?!"
"I think you're on the wrong side!" Mashu's voice sobered Cu Chulainn instantly, and the Servants around him also stopped, glancing alternately at their surroundings and at Cu Chulainn. "And what is Nero doing here?"
"Umu!" Nero's voice boomed joyfully, totally inappropriate for the current situation, but matching perfectly with Nero's face, a face that neither Medea nor Mashu had planned to see in this Singularity.
"Cu Chulainn, I suddenly have a couple of questions for you…" Henry, a young fellow of short stature, with his sheriff's hat pulled down, glanced at Cu Chulainn, moving his hand to the pistol still holstered on his belt.
"Ahem, ahem, guys… there is a reason for this…" Cu Chulainn stepped forward, turning sharply toward the four Servants, Henry, Nero, the silent tall Indian, and the nurse in the red camisole so as to put his back to Medea and Mashu, "Actually I got nothing…"
"Five to two is not fair!" A new voice distracted Cu Chulainn for a moment, causing him to shift his gaze to the appearance of…
"Another Cu Chulainn?!" The two Servants, both the Lancers, appearing out of nowhere, were heroes known to Cu Chulainn, silencing him for a moment.
One of them, a young man in his prime with long blond hair below his shoulder blades, holding a spear in his hand, froze, looking at Cu Chulainn. The second, who also held a spear in his hand and standing close to the first Lancer, looked different. He had short black hair and a small mole above his lip, good facial features and a prominent look of a predatory eagle gave him the appearance of a conqueror of hearts… he looked like the kind of person to get into women trouble and get stabbed in the back because of it.
"Huh, I didn't think I'd meet you here…" Cu Chulainn blinked, equally surprised. "Though, considering that my Alternate version is a king, then I guess I should probably expect some old acquaintances here?"
"Now I think we're outnumbered," Henry's voice had a sobering effect on the other Servants, "Five against four?"
"I'll help!" Cu Chulainn had expected the next Servant to appear. What he hadn't expected, though, was that it was another Lancer. "Another one?!"
"Technically." Of all those present, the young fellow in the Chinese cut clothes looked especially wild - as did his half-crazy smile on his strong-willed face with massive eyebrows, his hair gathered in a tight ponytail behind his head.
"Wait a second." The voice of one of the Lancers who had just appeared interrupted the other Servants again, causing them to glance at the young guy with a mole on his face, who immediately pointed to the guy in Chinese clothing. "Weren't you our ally?!"
"No," he smiled. "I just want to fight the strongest. The strongest are behind you, so my mission is to get to them, you're blocking my way, and that makes us enemies."
Medea was ready to curse at the changing battlefield conditions, but she didn't have time for that before the situation changed again. "The most beautiful queen has answered the prayers of her most beloved subjects! Behold, the queen is here!"
"Medb and him," Medea took the appearance of the pink-haired girl and the blue-haired grunt for granted. Now all that was left to do was to balance the power once more…
"Brother Karna and Mother are there!"
Medea's gaze was fixed on Bunyan's towering figure on the horizon, and on Blavatsky's now like a miniature figure nestled on Bunyan's massive shoulders.
"I suggest that you come out of invisibility, or you might just die from a stray shot." The silent Caster spoke up for the first time, causing Archer, who had only been trying to escape the battle by taking full advantage of his powers, to curse quietly as he appeared at Cu Chulainn's side.
Not that he was on Cu Chulainn's side at the moment, but he was spotted before he could dash away from the battlefield.
"One more, but from where?" Medea quickly stopped trying to figure out who and from what camp, and more importantly for what reason, this last Servant was showing up on the battlefield. "But we're only missing… MASHU, NOBLE PHANTASM!"
Mashu reacted faster than she could comprehend Medea's order, and deployed her strongest shield. "LORD CAMELOT!"
A moment later, Camelot's walls appeared out of nowhere around Mashu, along with all the surrounding Servants, the walls emerging from the void, the unshakable stone monolith that is Camelot.
It didn't come too soon, as an arrow carrying with it a titanic power exploded, its yield no worse than an Edison nuclear weapon could. In an instant, the neighborhoods, the population, the residents, the army and all those unfortunates who had not managed to escape at least several kilometers from the impact, disappeared.
Mashu fell to the now cratered ground a moment later, barely able to withstand the impact, but Medea had no time for sympathy for her.
The witch's gaze was fixed on the short girl with red hair gathered into two ponytails, a huge bow resting on her shoulder, shooting gloves on her hands, and a light dress on her body. The look in her yellow eyes was cold, and dangerous. "Where is my husband? Where is my Rama?!"
"I believe that…" Cu Chulainn expressed the Servants' general thoughts,- "We have found Sita…"
Ainz took one more picture from the pyramids, and then made himself comfortable on a nearby rock, as he took his time to choose the best ones.
I wonder what was going on with the Servants in America now?
Judging by the fact that no one had contacted him, there was still a long way to go before the finale.
It was unlikely that anything interesting was going on.
Okay, as expected - kudos to DiscereEstVivet - he is the best.
For FAQ look chapter 155.
So, let's go to the more unique questions:
Chaldea has both Da Vinci and Tesla and with Da Vinci becoming a Grand Caster at that. - Da Vinci is not a Grand Caster, she is a Grand Caster Candidate, ie, she can become Grand Caster should situation arise
They should've already fixed the core or at least created a device that could help the core replenish its energy from being charged with Ainz's magic for example - It's not about fixing the Core, it's about it not being perpetuum mobile. And yes, they could use Ainz to charge it back, but it's not yet reached the point they would actually need to bother Ainz, since they are not 100% sure what his plans are
Can olga use metamagic? - Now that's an interesting question. I would think "yes"
Is lancel the one who summoned that partial ygdrassil servant Remus? - Maybe...
And hey - there is a lot of new chapters!
It's all on my Pat reon\rure though, so it's now 6 - chapters ahead. And this is not the end! For 1$ you get 6 new chapters right now, interludes and beyond. And even more, I made a 2$ tier, that is now 6 chapters ahead of 1$ tier, or 12 chapters ahead of public release. And even 3$ tier, that now has 15 chapters!
Also, I commissioned an illustrator to make illustrations for my fic. And she did just that. And so there are some pictures on my Pat reon now too. And even more, now 5$ tier can vote on what gonna be drawn next.