Hello there and yes, another story.
With Sword and Arrow about to finish (two more chapters – probably another week left to finish), then I have decided to add a third story to update together with Avalon Bond.
Curse me, call me names, whatever…I know that Naruto fans will curse me for not focusing on updating my in-progress stories for quite a while now. While I cannot say categorically that I have abandoned them, it would be great if someone would be interested in continuing them. Simply saying, my creativity for Naruto is no more. And Fate universe occupies my mind constantly. So, yes, I have decided to start a third story. The first one involved a mix between the Fate series and Unlimited Blade Works. The second story involved the events following the UBW Good End. And now, this new story will be focused on the Heaven's Feel Path. Obviously, with many differences, mainly in regard to the main characters – Shirou and Saber.
I still do not know if this story will be focusing on a romantic pairing, I am still in debate about that. Certainly, it will take a while and will not happen until the end of the Grail War.
Also, if one were to look closely, will notice that I have added a new name to the main characters of this story – Scáthach.
She will be added to the Heaven's Feel. And before anyone asks, no, Shirou will not be paired with Sakura. Yes, people will curse me saying that their romance in Heaven's Feel was one of, if not, the main event. Well, many events will happen accordingly to Heaven's Feel path, with the exception that Shirou will not have those feelings for Sakura, especially after his new experiences growing up. Emiya Shirou will also develop some differences along the chapters. He will still have the same mentality towards helping others, but over time, it will be let's say more canalized…directed towards those who deserves it. It will be clearer as the story progresses. Well, not much to say right now, so let us proceed with the first chapter.
Fate: Shadow Spear
Chapter 1 – The Land of Shadows
Twelve-year-old, Emiya Shirou had woken up in his room.
His eyes slowly adjusted to the bright sunshine that bombarded his face. His breathing visibly relaxed after he had woken up from his every-day nightmare. Five years ago, the kid now named Emiya Shirou was living a happy life with his parents in Shinto County until a heavy fire bombarded the area, pretty much decimating the region. His life turned up-side down in mere seconds as his parents were killed as well as hundreds and hundreds of people who lived nearby the blast radius. However, because of what happened, the boy suffered a severe case of amnesia. He did not remember the events prior to the fire. The only memory he had was of the fire and the events that followed. He remembered the haunting screams begging him for help. He remembered how the extreme heat burned his shoes to the point that he could barely feel it anymore. He remembered the images of the burned bodies around him as he ran for his dear life.
In essence, his first memory of hell on Earth.
However, above all, he remembered seeing the face of a man in elation upon saving his life.
Emiya Kiritsugu soon took him to the hospital right after taking him from the fire and offered to adopt the kid. His mind was blank at the moment, but Shirou had accepted it, nonetheless. Emiya Kiritsugu had disclosed before that he was a magus and Shirou found it so cool that he wished to know more about it. Six years later, Emiya Shirou had gathered a new set of fond memories to have with his adopted father and even his sister figure Fujimura Taiga, a girl older than him who lived next door. Ever since learning from his father that he was a magus, Shirou had pestered his father to train him as well. After many pestering, his father had agreed to teach the boy something, though it became clear that the boy would never amount to much in the mage craft department.
Kiritsugu was silently thrilled, because this way his son would not be dragged into such a dangerous way of living.
The boy, though, displayed nothing but tenacity in his upbringing. He constantly trained his body and even practiced kendo to compensate for his subpar achievement in mage craft. Kiritsugu found out that the only ability that Shirou had possible for him was reinforcement and it was not even very prominent. Aside from training in mage craft and constantly honing his body, Emiya Shirou had developed other type of skills. In no time, the boy became the house's keeper, taking care of every domestic work possible. He was the cook, he did the dry-cleaning, he cleaned the house, pretty much everything house-chore related.
Getting up from his bedroom, Shirou got dressed and got ready for the day. As soon as stepped outside his bedroom, he saw bloodstains on the ground.
The image would have scared him, had he not seen it before. A look of sadness appeared as he remembered that his father now had possibly six months left to live. Shirou had bombarded his old man with questions about what happened, but Kiritsugu would simply resume to a dire illness he had inherited from his own father. Eventually, Shirou had accepted the cold hard truth and mentally prepared for the inevitability. As such, he had tried his best to keep the house in pristine condition so that his father did not have to move a finger. He would work extra effort in the kitchen learning as much as possible so that his father enjoyed his last meals. Even so, Shirou could not understand why his father constantly travelled, despite his illness.
He had left yesterday for his constant trips to Germany and England, leaving Shirou to take care of the house all on his own.
Taiga would appear every now and then, but mostly the boy would be alone.
However, doing things on his own was nothing new.
He would cook, shop for groceries, go to school, do his normal training routine…until the day when his father returned from his trip.
Today was Sunday and Shirou had a list of chores to perform today. Taiga had barged in demanding breakfast and Shirou obliged her with a smile on his face. His height nowadays was enough that he did not need a stool to reach the kitchen. After that, the young went outside to take care of things as soon as possible. Shirou usually choose weekends to quickly finish the chores he needed, since he would not be able to in school days. He had taken some of his father's overcoats to a specialist dry cleaner to get rid of the blood stains. When asked about it, Shirou did tell the kind worker the truth. It was no secret after all. Shirou left the place before seeing the look of pity in the man. The boy really did not need that right now.
After that, he went for some grocery shopping for the week and then he had to take his small bike for repairs.
When he finished his usual chores for the day and seeing the sun about to set for the day, young Shirou looked at his list and saw that he still had one more thing to do before going back home. He had been doing this every Sunday after he found out about his father's illness. Taiga had taught him about religion and had personally taken him one day to visit the Ryuudou Temple and taught him about the many rituals of Buddhism. He found the bus that would take him there and quickly hopped inside.
Despite being rather late evening, Shirou was not surprised to find that the place was packed with people as he climbed the huge stairs towards the temple.
Sunday was a special day of the week in Buddhism. Many people would come here, some would pray in search for atonement, others would just come to appreciate what they have or even seek enlightenment for the future. Still, many families would come here and make a field day in celebration. Thus, he could see children playing and even teenagers hanging out together. Shirou smiled and walked towards the shrine as he kneeled and prayed for his father. Shirou's experiences taught him to become a realist in terms of expectancies. Therefore, the man child did not pray for a miracle to happen. His father had already explained that what the doctors told Kiritsugu. His organs were failing slowly but surely, and his inner strength was at best a third of a healthy individual. The kid had made peace with the fact that he would lose his adopted father.
Therefore, he did not pray for salvation or miracles, but rather that, if possible, that his father would not suffer in pain and just rest in peace.
After saying his prays, Shirou clapped his hand as per the ritual and looked up to the statue of Buddha with a solemn smile on his face.
"Ah if it isn't young Shirou…" The boy turned to his right and saw his father's friend Reikan Ryuudou walking towards him, carrying a gentle smile. "Every Sunday, I see you come here…if I may ask…who or what do you pray for?"
"Reikan-san, is for my father…"
The man tried to keep up the composure, but Shirou could see the man faltering his usual control. Many did not notice but Shirou did. He could see when people would look at him in sympathy. It happened quite frequently in his life from those who knew his story and of Kiritsugu. And he could not act out on it, but it bothered him greatly. Reikan for his chance wondered about religion and how much this little child had suffered. He was no stranger to this little one's history as one of the victims of the Fuyuki fire and took away the boy's previous family, leaving him all alone until Kiritsugu found him amongst the rubbles. Now, five years later, the boy would once again lose his family because of Kiritsugu's terminating illness.
"I see…well, carry on then…if you want someone to talk to, I will be here." The boy smiled, at least thankful that the man gave him his space.
"Reikan-san, is Issei around? I wanted to say hi" Another reason Shirou had chosen to come to the temple was to meet his best friend in school. His father had introduced them one day and they hit it off. Issei was also quite reserved for their age and Shirou got along quite well with him. Reikan smiled at the friendship. The father frowned at seeing his son emulating Reikan's every behavior. The priest was aware that eventually Issei would inherit his position, but he at least hoped for the kid to enjoy his youth and find some friends to play with. Now seeing young Shirou about to be alone once more, he figured that having a friend would help him surpass the troubled times ahead. Problem, though, was that…
"Sorry Shirou, today is a busy day for him." Reikan's heart broke slightly at seeing the dejected face for a second, followed by a sincere smile and a nod in appreciation.
This boy was just too much.
"Yeah, I figured…well, please tell me I said hi and that I will see him tomorrow at school." The boy then bowed in respect to the head priest and walked away. Despite this being a sad event, Shirou became mesmerized by the sight of the sunset dimly illuminating the halls of the temple. The boy spent some time just enjoying the scenery before reaching towards the stairs once more to catch the bus back home. As he descended the stairs, he could see a family a few steps down. A father who was holding a little girl on his shoulders; a mother who was carrying some bags and a little boy by the mother's side who was bouncing a football ball on each and every step of the stairs. Shirou found himself smiling at the memory of doing that exact same thing the first time he came to the temple with his father.
As soon as the family and Shirou stepped on the same step, the kid had missed his bounce and the ball diverted towards the forest around the temple.
The kid began to cry to his mother and father, earning a fond smile from Shirou.
"Don't worry, I will get that for you." With that, Shirou ran towards the direction of the bouncing ball, not even waiting for the family to appreciate his gesture. He could see the ball rolling down the forest fast and realized that he would have to step it up from fear of not reaching out in time and lose sight of the ball. Shirou admitted to never wandering around the forest around the temple. And because the sun was already down for the day, the sky was slowly turning dark and the forest around him became more daunting as he progressed on his path. The noise of the ball still bouncing reached his ear and the boy followed the noise until he had reached a clearing of sorts. He could see that the ball continued to bounce until it got inside what appeared to be a dark cave. This time, the feeling of dread became more intimidating as he stopped in front of the dark cave's entrance.
The wind by now picked up both from the forest and from within the cave.
His conscious was screaming for him to head back and apologize to the family for not finding the ball.
However, Shirou had given his word that he would help find it. Thus, strengthening his resolve, the boy went inside, hoping that the now moon light would be enough for him to see inside the cave. As he stepped inside, however, he began to feel unease as if his inner strength was slowly leaving his body. By each step he took, he could feel a different wind reaching his face. He could now hear whispers and even rattling of chains being dragged all around him. Despite that, he kept walking...for some reason, he found that his body was doing the walking for him. His eyes became unfocused and his senses started playing tricks on him.
He could not formulate a coherent thought as to why this was happening to him.
He could not recall why he was here…he could not recall how he got here…he just walked.
Back at the entrance of the cave, one with enough knowledge could see a white fissure in the air indicating a portal.
Shirou did not know how much time passed…seconds, minutes, hours. All he could see was darkness. When the first images appeared in his eyes, the boy's throat closed as he was in a clearing. Where he stood there was no light, there was no sound, just emptiness. His eyes could see hills around him and even a dark looking castle in the horizon. Though, he figured that his mind was playing tricks on him. His steps continued, but now Shirou found himself losing strength…he found himself with the lack of air…his eyes were slowly shutting down as his body became simply too heavy to keep standing up. He fell on the ground unconscious, none the wiser that he was not alone. Spirits and Wraths circulated around him, all of them quite salivating at the prospect of sucking the boy's life dry. It has been ages since the living had set foot in this place.
Before any of the spirit could even touch the boy, however, all of them were impaled by a red lance in less than a second.
By the length of the hair and body curves, it appeared to be a woman as she kneeled to check on the last arrival to her land.
She would not waste time pondering on exactly how this boy appeared here of all places. She could feel that the boy's life force was slowly draining him, and he would be dead within minutes. She quickly placed his prone body above her shoulders and used all her agility to take him to the safe confines of her castle.
When Shirou next opened his eyes, he was surprised to find that he was sleeping on what appeared to be a couch in front of a fireplace. His memory was still foggy as he tried to remember just how he was in this place. Just by looking around, he could see a more classic decoration, no doubt believing that the design was far from the usual places he had known in his hometown. His memory was returning to him and he recalled chasing a ball inside that dark cave near the Ryuudou Temple, but how the hell did he get here…wherever here was.
"I see you have awakened, boy…" Shirou almost jumped from where he was seating as he turned to see the woman whose gentle but firm tone reached his ears.
The fire had allowed him to take a look at the woman standing there with her arms crossed below her cleavage. Shirou found himself mesmerized at such a beauty. Long purple hair reaching her waist, he felt her red eyes looking at him as if she was looking inside of him. She wore a full-body outfit that had metallic shoulder pads. Strapped on her back, Shirou could see what appeared to be a red-looking spear. Also, Shirou could not help but shiver slightly at the levelled gaze she was showing him.
"W…who are you and where am I?" The woman kept staring at the kid for a good while as if she was judging his every action.
"The name is Scathach, boy and right now, you're in a place that may very well be where you die." Shirou held his breath as this woman uncrossed her arms and approached him, before placing a hand on his forehead. "Your life force is slowly returning to you, that's good. What's your name, boy?"
"S…hirou, Emiya Shirou"
"Humpf, based on your hair color, I would hail you as a Scot, but the name is strange…where are you from, Emiya Shirou?"
"Ah Fuyuki, Japan, miss Scathach". The woman found it humorous that the boy would address her as such, though the location he hailed from was strange. The gateways to this place were mostly located within Ireland, Scotland and the United Kingdom, certainly no gate would open that far away. Scathach has lost count of how old she was right now and after every soul that has passed through this land, she became familiarized with every possible place on Planet Earth. The place called Fuyuki must have a powerful leyline if it managed to open a gateway to the Land of Shadows. She would have to investigate this matter further. She found that the kid's also red eyes just like hers were looking at her with curiosity, probably waiting her to explain things further.
"Stay here until I return, I will have to check a few things." The boy appeared to be cautious, but she could not feel fear from him. "If you step foot outside the castle, you will die…in here you no harm will come to you."
"…Sure, if you say so." Scathach continued to look at the boy in curiosity, but soon left to investigate.
In the end, Shirou waited for half an hour and was almost closing his eyes once more at the warmth of the fire when he heard high heels echoing around the hallway. True to Shirou's report, Scathach did find the portal that led to this city called Fuyuki and like she suspected, it did have a powerful leyline. The black cave had a very strong energy inside, albeit very dark and ominous one. The moment she arrived at the portal, though, she was surprised to see the energy subsiding as if losing strength. As such, it became impossible to cross to the other side. Now, she could not take the boy back to where he came from, which meant that she now had an unfortunate house guest. This place was her responsibility and no living person…well, no regular living person should roam these lands.
When she explained the boy what happened, Scathach was curious at the lack of a proper response from this kid. Well, he looked attentive to her explanation alright, but she was prepared for a different reaction.
Fear…anxiety…afraid of being far away from home…away from his family. Instead, all he responded at the end of her explanation was.
"…I understand." Truly, Shirou was thinking about his house and school. No doubt, Taiga will soon receive a phone call from the school saying that he went missing. His father rarely took a phone with him on his trips, so Shirou doubted that he would hear about what happened to him. And he usually left for months before returning, so by then, Shirou was counting on being able to come home. Plus, for all intents and purposes, this woman before him did not appear to be evil, nor would treat him badly.
"Anyway, like I said before, do not leave this castle and you should be fine…I can show you were you can sleep, shower and the kitchen in case you're hungry."
She led him throughout the castle, giving him a quick tour. Throughout the tour, the woman could see his calmed look, and not once did he pester her for anything, which was a blessing. Scathach did not believe she would be able to handle some kid whining at her for god knows how many months until the portal reopened. The last place they visited was the kitchen and Shirou was simply mesmerized by the gigantic place. The furniture appeared old compared to his house, but he could work his way around quite easily. Scathach found it weird that the kid would smile at the sight of the kitchen.
"Thank you for your hospitality miss Scathach. If you wish, I could prepare something for you in retribution." She blinked twice at the offer and smirked.
"Sure kid, help yourself…it's not like I have anything more to do today."
With that, the boy walked inside and quickly went inside the storage room nearby to collect some items while Scathach would simply serve herself a glass of whisky and take a seat by the table.
Feeling the hard liquor clearing her throat, Scathach pondered on the last individual who came to these halls, though it's been a long…long time ago.
While the dog of Ireland was fun to be around, he had left far too soon and had not finished his training with her. The bastard ended up dying soon afterward. Though she came to understand his prowess in battle and could not help but feel pride of his achievements as his teacher. And looking at the kid going his way around the kitchen with astounding ease, she found herself hoping to have a good interaction at the very least with another living soul. It was far better than constantly facing demons, wraths, and gods in this forsaken place of hers.
So, she fired some questions his way, things about his life, his relatives, his likes, dislikes.
Shirou explained to her everything about his life, or at least the stuff he remembered anyway. Beginning from the event that shaped him into the person he was now to being adopted by his father and then his life together with the man. He talked to her about school and his usual life with his sister figure and friends. Shirou found himself quite strange as he was at ease around this woman. Kiritsugu had always told him to be wary of strangers, but considering what happened to him right now, his life was of little consequence to a woman like her. The boy then asked some questions about this place and these wraths that almost killed him. Scathach was slightly taken aback by the apathy in which the boy talked about the possibility of losing his life.
As if he had no qualms about dying.
"Ah miss Scathach, can you tell me how to turn the flame on with this stove…I can't seem to find a switch." She snorted and snapped her fingers, before a flame erupted right below the pan where Shirou laid some eggs and bacon. Scathach's nose flared at the smell of a home-cooked late breakfast. The noise of bacon and eggs being fried was like music to her untrained ears. She usually did not find the need to cook a meal. Living alone for so long had forced her to go about food in a pragmatic sense, just enough to satisfy her hunger.
"Wow, that's so cool miss…are you a magus as well?" The lancer looked at the kid in a new light, frowning her eyebrows.
While it was not an overly protected secret that she used magic, she felt somewhat averse to mingling with the kind as she had never meet one trustworthy and honorable. However, this was a mere kid she was talking about. Looking at him more closely, though, she could barely find the traces of a magus. Though the magic circuits were present, it was almost imperceptible, faint.
"When you say, 'as well', are you referring to you, Shirou? Though I can't say I'm overly impressed…"
"Yeah, father also did say that I would not be any good at it. The only passable skill I can make is reinforcement and I'm not very good at it." Scathach snorted at the pep talk…"I wanted to prove him wrong, you know, but it's been a while I started training in it and nothing…plus it hurts like hell every time I need to create a new magic circuit." This time Scathach blinked rapidly at the absurdity of the statement just as Shirou finished cooking and placed two dishes of eggs and bacon on the table.
The absurdity of 'making' magic circuits left forgotten as she looked at her plate and let her untrained senses fill her in.
The wonderful smile and the smoothing noise of freshly cooked bacon assaulted her senses. She was not even that hungry, though she found herself slightly drooling at the prospect. Shirou saw this and smiled as he took his own knife and fork to eat his own plate. Kiritsugu had travelled throughout the world, hence he had decided to import some culture to his son, as such, Shirou learned how to make both Japanese and European style dishes. When Scathach ate, she felt her rusty pallet sending her all kinds of different information that her brain went into overload. She started eating slowly and savoring each piece like it was her last.
Right now, she was looking forward to the kid staying with her for a while as he would be able to cook all sort of different and tasty food for her.
"I'm glad you liked it miss Scathach."
"Well, it seems that having you here boy will prove beneficial after all. Now, please go back to that 'creating your magic circuits' again".
Shirou finished his plate and looked at her strangely.
"Ah, father never explained it in detail, so I kind of taught myself how to use magic by converting my nerves into magic c…" Shirou was about to explain what he did, when he saw the look of incredulity.
She now wondered how the hell the boy is still alive.
"Some father you got there; it would be better if he never taught you…it would have been more merciful." To his look of doubt, she elaborated. "Boy, activating your magic circuits is considered the very first lesson…you need to know how to, before even attempting actual magic. I'm guessing your father did this on purpose to lure you away from using it." She could tell the look of betrayal quite easily and it made her sigh. Shirou had told her many things about his adopted father and she really did not want to burst his bubble like that.
"So, you mean…I have been doing it all wrong from the start…" She nodded, while finishing her glass of whisky and pouring some more.
"Afraid so…I will tell you what…magus tend to operate through equivalent exchange. So, if you make me a delicious meal like this one every day, I will teach you how to properly activate and use your magic circuits and even see a few things more I can teach you throughout your stay here." She found humorous how happy the boy was at the prospect. He would be properly trained and all he had to do was cook for her. It sounded too good to be true. "However…" Shirou then saw a maniac smile on her face appearing and she now was sending him mixed messages. "You will find that my method of training probably will be much different than your father's…I can promise you it will be painful…yes, painful indeed."
Shirou found himself swallowing hard at that and the sense of dread did not stop even after the woman smiled at him and extended the plate to him wanting another round of his delicious bacon and eggs.
Yeah, that's about it for a first chapter.
Looking through the servants of Fate Grand Order, I found about Scathach and started pondering. Looking around , there aren't many stories of them together, which is a shame. Yes, I know that her relationship is with Ritsuka Fujimaru in Fate Grand Order, but she would also be a nice partner to Shirou. She loves battle and Shirou could benefit so much from training with her. Also, since I had written pieces of Fate, UBW and even Fate Aprocrypha, it was now time to do a Heaven's Feel route. Perhaps in one of the stories (either this one or Avalon Bond) I can try to incorporate some elements from Fate Grand Order, who knows. Now, for those wondering about Saber/Arturia, it will take some time for her to appear as I plan to cover Shirou's training and overall growth under Scathach's influence as a mentor first. I am still debating about it she will be something else to him.
So, with that being said, fell free to let me know your insights, tips, whatever.