Prologue- A wish to the lake
Disclaimer: I own nothing outside my ideas and madness.
"- So, everything is over?"
"… Yeah. This is it. There's nothing left."
"I see. Then our contract is at an end. I became your sword, defeated your enemies, and protected you …I am glad to have fulfilled this promise."
"… Yeah. You did well, Saber."
Nothing more needs to be said. Saber is far away, and I do not run to her. The morning sun starts rising, the halted wind began anew. A golden view that seems to last forever and in it… Saber stands with a smile.
"There's one more thing I need to tell you," her voice filled with determination.
"…What is it?" I reply like always.
Her body seems to relax before she spoke in a voice without regret…
"Shirou- Thank you for saving me."
Saying those words, she closes her eyes, as if to treasure these memories. I keep mine open, looking at her as the wind picks up, carrying her fading form with it as if she were never there in the first place. I do not speak as I knew this would be the way we parted.
"Yeah- It really is like you," I finally said, no regret in my voice. Staring at where she once stood, I squinted against the morning rays, ingraining this moment within my mind forever. After a few moments, I turned to face the pool of mud only to see it was grasping for Illya, trying to pull her within itself to consume her.
Acting fast, my body moved before I realized it, picking up Illya's unconscious body and throwing her farther from the lake. I then felt how not a moment later the mud grasp around my legs. My legs burned more than before, no longer simply being graced as it pulled me into itself, mind going blank from the pain coursing through me.
I could feel the curses once more, this time not held back by Kotomine to prolong my suffering. It was consuming me, just as it did in that fire with the people caught within its flames. "Ghhh," I grit my teeth to drive away the pain.
Steeling my mind against the onslaught of curses my circuits flared and once more, it was in my hand, the golden sheath of Saber. I didn't even have to think about tracing it, my soul responding on instinct as it once more eradicated the curses from my body. However, this time it wasn't as strong... Of course, it wouldn't be. Saber was gone, it could only use the last remains of her energy that was left before it once more would be nothing but a perfect sheath.
As I tried to push myself out of the lake, the feeling of the mud shifted. No more could I feel the onslaught of curses against the weakening Avalon. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I heard of a woman's voice, monotonous but beautiful.
Before I could even register the words, my mind slipped as Avalon lost its light...
... I don't know how long I was unconscious for...
My mind drifted as if in a dream, a dream familiar yet distinctly unfamiliar. It was a brilliant white tower with a single man inside, his white robes flowing behind him as he turned to me, his hair shimmering like the rainbow.
"Ohh, you are here." He said simply as if expecting me. "You have performed me an immense service, helping Artoria. For that: I would like to thank you."
I tried asking him what was going on but no words escaped my lips.
"Forgive me, I can't manifest your words in this place, as you aren't completely here; this is but a dream after all." He answered in a joyous tone. His lack of care obvious.
"Nonetheless, I think I should bestow upon you what you might have been given once upon a time, but that you no longer can be able to be gifted." His words were declared in a similarly joyous tone but seemed to convey genuine gratitude, despite the cryptic nature of them. Stepping towards me, I made no attempts at moving, knowing I couldn't even if I wanted to. Standing straight in front of me, the man I knew as Merlin from Saber's memories once more spoke.
"I'm not capable of granting it to you. However, I can grant the one you possess what it needs to be yours." Clearly enjoying my confusion, Merlin struck my chest and transmitted a pulse of prana through it. The pulse awakened my circuits without my control and made my mind trace Avalon once more. This time it was, however, slightly different.
"There, now you might survive. At least Artoria can't say I didn't try, hmm?" He asked, knowing I couldn't respond. 'He's enjoying this... But what does he mean "might survive"? Survive what?' I thought to myself, however, I didn't put much thought into it. Once more I could detect Avalon's influence through my body; it's gentle presence once more filling the gaps it had left when extracted. 'How?' Was the question that echoes through my mind, something Merlin took note of.
"You must be confused, correct? I simply repaid you for liberating my lord of her duties in the best way I could imagine; That Avalon inside you is now tuned for your prana signature, just like it was to Artoria." He acknowledged my internal question. His joyous tone turning into one of a teacher explaining a new subject to his student. 'He... is worse then Fuji-nee...' I thought to myself.
"Hmm, it seems like you are slipping away. Farewell then, Shirou Emiya and good luck. You will need it." He said suddenly and before I recognized it the tower and its inhabitant faded from view.
Waking up, I was surprised by my surroundings. Comparing it to either the Ryuko Temple or the White Tower, it looked... plain. It was a magnificent ordinary forest but it nevertheless was that, a typical forest. As I tried to stand up, my body groaned in protest, but I disregarded it. Remembering Merlin's warning, he had been grave when declaring those things. Looking around, I couldn't discover any sign of civilization, but the air was too polluted to be without it. Gathering a deep breath, my brain was assaulted.
Hundreds, no thousands of scents entered my nose; sending my body into overdrive and causing my circuits to heat up. Taking a few seconds, I gradually relaxed as nothing happened; my brain slowly calming down from the wave of stimuli. So many distinctive scents. They were everywhere, almost impossibly overwhelming for my mind; it was almost bizarre. Snatching another deep breath, I looked around for something to focus on to withdraw my mind from this sensation, only to land upon two items: a backpack and Rin's dagger, resting against the tree I woke up beside. I stared at the bag for a moment, not quite comprehending why my old backpack had come here when it was in my shed.
Walking to open it, I discovered an odd note at the top: "Here are some things I thought you would need, now Arthoria will have to get off my neck... But next time, try to be more talkative. It is problematic to maintain a conversation on your own, you know?"
I could feel my eyebrow twitching more and more at that last sentence. 'He... is worse then Fuji-nee, no doubt...' was the only thing I could think. Sighing, I hastily looked through the bag: several pairs of my clothes, the essentials for hygiene, a tent with camping equipment, 500 dollars and an ID that included all the required identifications... 'That is disturbing...' I thought before seeing a picture of my 12/13-year-old self. '12? Why does it- No, don't tell me... Indeed, it is true...' Looking down at myself, I was met with my 12 or 13-year-old body, explaining why the clothes were smaller than they should be for my 17-year-old body.
It had been three hours since I found myself here. I had spent the majority of my time exploring the area I woke up in to secure it, the sun slowly sinking. Until now, I haven't found much, except the river I was currently traversing upstream. A water bottle had emerged from the water a while ago. 'If there's that then that must mean some kind of human being upstream.'
With those thoughts, I had walked onward, hoping to find out where I was and what had been downright dangerous that Merlin himself assisted me. 'He expected me as if to see me off on a lengthy journey…' For some reason, this felt like it happened in the past or should have happened. '... I can think about it later. I have to prepare a camp and clean up before I encounter anyone anyways.'
Making up my mind, I carry out a brief search of the area before settling down by the river and unpacking the camp equipment and tent. It went faster than expected, requiring only a few minutes to put up before preparing the food from the bag. 'It won't compare to what Sakura and I typically make but it's better than nothing at least.'
The forest was quiet, starting to slumber as night fell upon it, lulling the creatures of the wild to sleep. It had been a long day but not everyone was preparing to slumber. Quick feet moved between the trees, leaving not a whisper as their owner passed.
Quicker then a shadow the young girl ran. Her steps didn't disturb the twigs nor grass underneath her foot. Such was the grace she had developed for thousands of years. Her form was nothing but a silver blur to the woodland creatures, shocking them for but a moment before being calmed.
Coming to a halt near a river, she ultimately stopped, making her appearance finally be revealed to the world. She was a beauty in her own right, tall and graceful, with copper skin and black long hair braided into a silver circlet that rested on her head. She wore a silver tunic with sandals on her feet, letting her move swiftly without restrictions from her clothing.
She didn't stay still for long, detecting the sounds of a crackling fire not too far away. 'It seems like I found them, it was harder than I thought it would be.' It hadn't been hard to follow the tracks. The problem had been finding them in the first place as they simply… appeared under a tree, without any tracks before it. 'It should have been a Nymph but this is far too far away from that tree to be one… I should have found it sooner.'
Pushing the thoughts aside, for now, the immortal maiden stepped out into the clearing; ready to observe what it was her mistress had needed her to inves-
Staring, the ancient hunter merely stared at the sight before her, her cheeks heating up despite herself. In front of her was a modest camp, not anything compared to the hunters but it was sufficient for one person. What made her freeze, however, was what she saw in the river… A young boy about 12 or so… who was bathing, naked?
Hey, that was my first fic so far, hope you all enjoyed it! As to some questions as to what this is all about, I sorta just found it strange that in the Fate Route the characters managed to destroy the grail with so little effort in the Visual Novel. So, I decided to change some things, along with a few other unrelated changes that will be explained later.
As I said before hope you enjoyed and please write any critique or suggestions you have for the story or for my writing in general, anything will be very helpful!
Word count: 1868
Edit #1: 2020-01-24
Edit #2: 2020-02-14