Honestly, Shirou knew things were going to go south fairly quickly when he was Rayshifted before he could explain anything to Saber Alter, but Archer rubbing salt on a wound distracted him for long enough that he couldn't react in time to mediate.
Although Shirou wasn't able to intervene in time, it didn't mean that the same held true for Olga, Romani, and DaVinci.
"Romani- Chaldea lockdown procedures, code red! Hurry!"
Olga's voice reverberated within Chaldea Gate, ringing in everyone's ears with how shrill it was in its anxiety. Then again, it was understandable given the panic in her rapidly widening eyes and paling complexion.
"They're too close to the coffins- hurry dammit!"
Shirou inwardly winced as the tension in the air turned suffocating.
It would be an honest-to-goodness tragedy if the fate of mankind was sealed to destruction due to the collateral damage of volatile French-English relations destroying the rayshift coffins. Be that as it may, the activation of runic lines and a spontaneous bounded field, proved faster than Saber Jeanne Alter pulling out their respective weapons.
All at once, the magic sigils powering the bounded field within Chaldea Gate flashed with a deep blue, and then Saber and Jeanne Alter were gone.
"Oh, thank God," Olga rasped out, sweat matting her brow. She felt as if her voice would go hoarse from anymore anxiety and yelling.
"What did you do to them?" Shirou asked, feeling his connection to Saber Alter and Jeanne Alter weaken somewhat from the distance away from him.
Olga was rather blunt in her reply.
"For the sake of the facility, we had no choice but to rayshift them into a simulated training space," she explained before moving on all together. It was evident by the stress lines on her face that she was exhausted, and was rushing things along. "DaVinci, may I ask you to handle allocating Chaldea's newest Servants into suitable quarters? Chaldea should have plenty of spare rooms for accommodations."
"Not a problem, Director." DaVinci resounded from the comms.
"Thank you," Olga nodded and signaled everyone to start leaving.
Hesitantly, Shirou made to follow, exhaustion causing his knees to shake with each step, but it wasn't quite that simple for him when a familiar hand patted down over his shoulder.
"Where do you think you're going?" Archer EMIYA chided, maintaining an aloof air.
"To a bed," was Shirou curt reply, as he grunted and shook Archer's hand off to keep walking forward. "What's it matter to you?" He called from behind him.
A bemused smirk made its way over Archer's face while he raised both hands up and shrugged in disinterest. "You know, just wondering about things and all."
Shirou narrowed his eyes on Archer at this point.
"But how sure are you that those two Servants of yours aren't trying to kill each other, right about now?"
"You think I don't know that?" Shirou scowled, knowing full well that he was stressing inside with how to deal with this all. He figured that he could get a quick nap, and some time for himself to think before he'd confront them head on, but Archer made him realize how naive the notion was.
Saber Alter and Jeanne Alter in one place, in this circumstance.
He shuddered, but decided to solider on.
Grunting, Shirou walked opposite to everyone and entered back into a rayshift coffin while sighing into his hands.
"Emiya-Senpai, you can do it! Fighto!"
Shirou blinked, noticing Mash nervously trying to cheer him on, but her own strangled features revealed her trepidation. Alters were terrifying when provoked, and Jeanne Alter was definitely the provoking type by virtue of her own mouth. One was willing to butcher, and the other was willing to put themselves on the chopping board. What a combination.
Maybe if he got in-between them, they'd stop? Wait, what if he used himself as a hostage? It was something to consider. However, Olga popped a vein moment's away from leaving Chaldea Gate, as she yelled across at everyone who was idling.
"No more jokes! Emiya, get out of there. You need to rest!" Olga had enough with this all, and the limits of her patience was being reached. She glowered at her Servant who was instigating this for his own amusement, and directly called him out.
"Yes, Master?" Came the languid reply.
"Stop antagonizing yourself- wait, why are you both glaring at me? I-I didn't say anything wrong."
Olga instinctively flinched from the combination of Shirou and Archer's mutual displeasure at her statement, regardless of if it was right or wrong. Kojiro and Spartacus glanced over, but didn't make a move since there was no hostile intent.
"I should still probably check on them, Director. They're my Servants and I can't just let them kill each other," Shirou reasoned, much to Olga's annoyance. He was always the thoughtful one.
In any case, it wasn't Olga who ended up persuading Shirou to take a needed break, but someone else.
"By all accounts though," DaVinci spoke up through the speakers. "Irritable as Saber and Jeanne Alter may be towards each other, it doesn't change that they are your Servants Mr. Emiya. They may beat each to an inch of their lives, but they likely won't resort to death blows. As such, a little break shouldn't be all that harmful."
A tentative hand was raised while everyone digested DaVinci's point.
"Uhm, Ms. DaVinci…I think they hate each other?" Mash shifted awkwardly as she addressed the main issue.
Saber Alter and Jeanne Alter's displeasure towards each other could very well make them unrestrained.
"Let me ask you a question, Mash," DaVinci led on instead of directly answering. "Is a Master safer with one Servant, or two?"
"Well, two, but-"
"Trust me," DaVinci assured Shirou more than Mash through the speaker. "It may just be from my own assumption, but I don't believe that either of the two are the type to lose rationality when it concerns their Master."
"How did you conclude this?"
"Observation," DaVinci smiled smugly in Chaldea's Command Room. "I'm sure that I'm not the only one who's seen certain things and behaviours in Jeanne and Saber Alter."
Shirou grew contemplative, while Mash and Ritsuka coughed recalling the ending battle at Fuyuki.
Mash's cheeks coloured, a squeak escaping her pursed lips. She dolefully pretended as if imaginary steam wasn't wafting out from her ears. Oh wait, that was just her face burning from the boldness that that particular image invoked.
Then there was Jeanne who recalled the expression her Alter had made during their duel whenever her Alter spoke Shirou's name, or looked in his direction. The way her countenance brightened, and a gleam lit in her eyes spoke of a type of joy that Jeanne couldn't help but envy about her 'little sister.'
She swallowed, a hand making a fist over her heart.
"How curious. I wonder how it feels like…?" Jeanne trailed off, only to falter.
A shiver crawled down her neck in a materialization of her acute senses. She was being watched, and it felt as if she was getting judged at the same time.
Glancing beside her, Jeanne met the gaze of her fellow Saint, and almost instantly got the feeling of a parent shaking their head at a child.
"W-Why are you giving me that look? Did I say something wrong?" Jeanne flummoxed, ears reddening.
"Maybe? Maybe not? Or perhaps someone's just not trying hard enough?" Martha appeared thoughtful, nodding to herself from beside Jeanne and Sieg, and not saying anything further when Sieg glanced away in embarrassment from her knowing wink.
However, to Jeanne, it still felt as if Martha was implying something that was largely going over her head. The fact that she felt inclined as the 'older sister' to have experience over her 'younger sister,' meant that she wasn't going to let this matter go so easily.
Sieg flushed in mortification, while Jeanne hadn't quite caught on yet and continued trying to persuade Martha that she wasn't whatever Martha thought that she was.
Olga suddenly clapped her hands and drew everyone's attention.
"Alright! Everyone, hurry up and leave!" She announced. "That means you Emiya, get out the coffin and rest. Will meet up for a debriefing in a few hours."
No one disagreed, a majority eager to obtain some rest.
As everyone left, everyone failed to notice a small peculiarity: DaVinci and Romani had suddenly stopped talking through the calms.
In Chaldea's Command Room, Romani felt goosebumps travelling down his back.
"What is it? What's happening?"
Romani did not respond to DaVinci, prompting her to spin Romani around and look at Romani's screen detailing where Saber Alter and Jeanne Alter had been sent to.
"What did you do?" She sighed exasperatedly while stiffly rounding her face on Romani. "Weren't you just supposed to send them on a virtual training exercise? Why did they end up in a Singularity?"
"If I say I had nothing to do with this, do you think she'd believe me?"
"…You're touting a thin line Romani."
What a brave man.
-[Elsewhere after several grueling hours]
Jeanne and Saber Alter were panting heavily from across each other in a grassy field. Each was covered in various bruises and small cuts while the fringes of Saber Alter's hair were smoking.
"Slut," Saber Alter cursed, pushing herself onto her feet and glowering.
"Bitch," Jeanne Alter returned fire, using her war-banner as a crutch to pull herself up. "I told you already. He obviously fell for me!"
"As if Shirou would ever fall for seduction!"
"That's why it's genuine?" Jeanne Alter spat the blood out of her mouth and sneered.
Saber Alter visibly seethed at the retort knowing full well that she was being bullshitted with from the amusement twinkling over Jeanne Alter's eyes, but flinching regardless. It was no secret to her that she was self-conscious of a developing inferiority complex in regards to Shirou.
She didn't want to lose him.
She wanted to stay next to him, and share her sadness and joys together.
The oath Shirou had sworn to her, and her own oaths to him made her fully committed to seeing them through. A goal and a desire brewed from within her, and the worse part was that it was sincere. Her? Sincere of all people?
Uncertainty made her feeble deep inside, shaking her resolve.
Her greatest fear right now, was how Shirou would react if her original self was summoned compared to herself…
It's fine. You're fine. It's all fine. She's not here. She won't take him away. What did Merlin say about sincerity? Your actions will convey it all. That's right. That's right. Surely, he'd choose her. Please, he had to choose her.
Saber Alter grimaced, shaking her head. Hell, she hadn't even confronted Shirou yet about what happened in Orleans to obtain this kind of result.
Focus. The second-rate is the one here. Work hard.
Still, it made her so Goddamn anxious just thinking about what good qualities she had to deserve Shirou staying by her like the way he did for the original Saber in the Fuyuki Grail War.
While still troubled by what may come in the future, now some smug harlot was trying to butt in on her already rickety-feelings boat?
This couldn't be ignored.
Indeed. Before she'd turn her attention on Shirou, it was important that the French whore learned her place in the hierarchy. This wasn't the first experience she'd had with a French matrimonial conspirer, and once burned twice shy!
Without saying a word, her lips thinned while regarding Jeanne Alter and that cursed mouth of hers.
However, as fate would have it, the conclusion of their differences would have to be put aside for the time being as things took a turn for the ridiculous.
A glowing object cast out a looming shadow over the horizon heading in their direction.
"I'm not the only one seeing that, am I?" Jeanne Alter muttered vaguely.
Saber Alter didn't reply and merely watched as a rocket crashed down from up high, cratering comically into the ground and producing a mushroom cloud of dirt and debris.
"I sense doubt in your heart!" A voice echoed. "Weak. How weak. Your temperament has wavered. Light and darkness form as one to reveal- SABER!"
Saber Alter twitched as a figure began to appear through the smoke of the crash-landing sight and came within view.
"It is I! Mysterious Heroine X!"
"…" Saber Alter had no words the very moment that she noticed Heroine X's features and registered what she'd just said.
Meanwhile, Jeanne Alter glanced from Saber Alter to Heroine X, then back to their respective swords and colour schemes. She came to an epiphany.
Why did this all seem so dumb?
It is a period fraught with disaster and peril. Chaldea enjoys an uneasy moment of peace as the struggle for humanity's future continues on. In a place very, very, very, far away, seeking the elusive Altrium, a mysterious alien has appeared from the sky. Yet her motives remain hidden in the dark and light concealment of a shadowed hat and bouncy ahoge. Saber Alter, the most avid fighter of the Dictatorship, 'he's mine, fuck off,' sets out on a journey that will strengthen her position and shape her destiny…
SABER WARS - The EX-Morgan Awakens
Sorry for shorter chapter. I made a pretty big mistake with this update. You see, I made a discussion post earlier asking about what sort of events I could do for Sword Order as I wasn't going to just jump from main singularity to main singularity. This being the case, I did the dumb thing at choosing an event at random, and then realizing after writing a significant portion of the update, that chronologically, it wouldn't have worked out very well. Therefore, I ended up taking a majority of the work that I did and saved it for later on, which led me to this shorter update prologue.
Thanks for reading, and thanks to my newest patron: Ethan B!
Next update: Huntsman V2
P a treon. com (slash) Parcasious
The Lonely Peak
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