Disclaimer: I do not own RotSH or F/SN.
It had been a normal day— I wonder what went wrong.
Commanded to do so, my thoughts went over the day. I had woken up, made breakfast including coffee 'as black as her soul' for my girlfriend Tohsaka Rin (meaning, of course, that it had tons of sugar and cream in it), practiced magecraft with her until she got a call from the Clock Tower (Rin did not seem interested from her tone of voice, but knowing her, she was playing her Tsun card), and gone to the library.
Oh, that's where it all went wrong: the library.
Though the library was an old friend to me— I have long gone there to hypothesize new ways to use my magecraft (though magecraft is zealously guarded by organizations all across the world and so things related to it wouldn't be so easily accessible) —, I have to admit that that's where things started to go wrong.
Though I no longer assumed that it would be a deus ex machina and suddenly solve all of my problems with my magecraft, I still couldn't kick the habit.
I had walked amongst the shelves filled with the knowledge of yesteryear and stories, chuckling as I thought about my younger self's foolishness. Though with hindsight I can appreciate turning my nerves into artificial magic circuits for the increase in pain resistance it brought.
As I caught sight of a book on swords and methods to forge them, I had smirked in a way reminiscent of a certain Archer as I palmed the book.
"Well, maybe it's not that much of a loss. Let's see if I can improve my trade." I had said to myself as I flipped through the book, until something, or rather someone, gained my attention from the next aisle over.
"What the hell, man?"
It wasn't much of a call for help in dire need, but rather one that seemed utterly confused on what was happening to them. Despite my battle with my future self, I still found myself unable to deny someone who was clearly in need of assistance, no matter how minor the matter may be.
Perhaps in the future I could curb that quirk of mine, as it tended to lead me into more trouble than it was worth.
For now, as an example...
Walking quickly to the end of the aisle and crossing over to the next, I ended up bumping into the black-haired man, who, from a quick observation, was close to my own age.
"Sorry!" The man blinked as he turned to look at who had bumped into, the book in his hands glowing brightly and now floating free from his clutches.
"Do you need help wi—" I was cut off for two reasons; one was the clear sign of magecraft being performed right before my eyes, the second was the feeling of mana washing over him and it felt like I was drowning in it before darkness took over.
When I came back to consciousness, it felt as though I had hit my head on stone. It didn't even seem that impossible that such a thing happened, given the feel of the floor I found myself on.
"Ugh." I proclaimed, more out of habit than anything else. I must've applied [Reinforcement] instinctually before I actually reached the ground.
The same way I got used to applying [Reinforcement] before meeting with some people during the Holy Grail War and afterwards. With [Reinforcement] though a short fall shouldn't have hurt like that.
The fall itself, I was quick to figure out, must not have been so short.
I got to my feet in an instant and prepared to [Trace] a set of swords, [Kanshou and Bakuya] would do.
But when no-one attacked me in a couple of minutes, I finally released the images from the forefront of my mind. I was no longer a slave to my battle instincts as I woke up from a state of half-consciousness.
It was then that, taking a deep breath through my nose, I realized the air was rich with mana— there was far more of it than I was used to in Fuyuki. It was almost suffocating, the sweet, intoxicating smell.
From my standing position, I could get a good glance at the people on the floor, and I did so in short order. They all seemed to be holding some sort of medieval weaponry, a shield, a sword, a spear, and a bow. The shield, being the first thing I saw, was also the first one I tried to analyze using [Structural Analysis].
ErRor: STrucTure is foReIgn To uNlimIted BlAde woRkS
A sharp pain shot through my skull. For a second it was so intense I couldn't breathe and then it disappeared. By that time my concentration on the spell was gone. It was probably good that my concentration was lost though.
If I was to keep up [Structural Analysis], who knows what could happen.
I've heard the horror stories of course, blood vessels bursting in the brain, heads exploding, people gone crazy— but I've never expected something like that to happen to me outside of Gilgamesh's Ea.
That 'Sword'— if I can even call it that seeing as it predated the concept— was something on an entirely different level from every other weapon that ever existed.
Or at least, that's what I thought.
The presence of the shield in front of me was confounding for it seemed to share the property of being [Unreplicable] with Ea.
And wasn't that a scary thought: that some random weapons would share any properties with Ea. Given an appropriately homicidal wielder, like Gilagmesh, things could go horrifically wrong.
A voice that was distinctly not my own drew my attention to the center of the room. There were many more people there than the other three people I'd originally thought.
The people before me were dressed in robes that reminded me of the Church, but that resemblance was offset by the grand and ostentatious quality they had. This set me further on edge.
I didn't even know they could summon people to them. I didn't get that far with Rin in the study of Magecraft though, I think that is something that seems a little wrong to be honest. Wait, they are not dressed in the traditional garbs of priests and they don't look like someone from the Burial Agency?
I frowned as I considered the possibilities, but kept still. Staying neutral for the moment and not breaking into conflict at a moment's notice seemed to be the right choice, despite the fact that the Church and the Clocktower were not on good terms by any means.
The priests-apparent simply frowned back at me and paid their attention to those with the weapons on hand who seemed to be waking up.
At that point in time, it hadn't occurred to me that I was in another world. That idea, which previously wasn't even a spark, would be brought to full flame by their next words.
"Oh, honorable Heroes! Please, save our world!" One of the priests called out with religious fervor, looking upon them with hope in his eyes.
Yet still, I noticed that the hope seemed to dim, if not be replaced with disgust at the sight of the man with the shield.
"Huh?" Four of the people asked as one.
Taking a glance around at them, I frowned at the 'Heroes'. I wasn't the most worldy of people, but I've never seen them before. Two of them didn't look like they'd finished high school and the others seemed to be in college.
I took note of the weapons in all of their hands, taking care not to use [Structural Analysis] on them. Who knew if the effect of the shield was one off, or if they all possessed the same ability? I didn't want my brain to fry.
Still, I needed to prepare in case this was a convoluted trap. It didn't seem like one, but no one was perfect in telling these things, least of all me.
Knowing what I now know, I'll never let it be said that dating a Second Owner was all sunshine and rainbows, seeing as I'd already had to fight off two mages that were attempting to install themselves as the new Second Owner of the Fuyuki by underhand methods in hopes of trying to figure out the Holy Grail system with her out of the way so there can be no interference.
In the last month alone.
Still, I needed to play stupid, something that Rin joked I had in spades.
So I followed along. "Huh?"
Their world? It made it sound like I'm not even on my Earth anymore.
Wait…. Rin did say that there was someone who could peer into otherworlds, or even send himself and others to them.
Zelretch? Was this his doing? She did say he was off his rocker most of the time, did he do this?
Focus, think on it later. I thought to myself, slowly relaxing as I stared at the group before me, I needed more time and couldn't do that when in battle.
Though, I'm not in battle at the moment.
"You must have many questions, but time is short. You are the chosen Heroes, summoned here by an ancient ritual." He pleaded, with many behind him nodding to his words.
I frowned once more at the words. I wanted to ask if they've heard about the Holy Grail, if the summoning-apparent was related to it, and hoards of other questions— but at the same time I didn't want their attention on me. It seemed as though I was an unknown at the moment, and unknown variables could be the most deadly and throw off well planned plans the most.
"Summoned?" the man with the shield I couldn't analyze asked, which I was thankful for. He served as a distraction as I looked upon my options of swords I could use at the.
Should I use a noble phantasm? Mystic Code? Taiga's shinai…?
Admittedly, the last may have been mostly a joke, but the cursed Shinai was still powerful.
I shook my head to clear my thoughts, taking note of the objects of focus all the while.
The people in question didn't seem to notice or care, not paying attention. The only person moderately interested of the four seemed to already have been declared Public Enemy Number One, if the subdued glares being sent his way was any indication.
"Currently, this world is teetering on the edge of destruction. We pray of you, please, lend us your power!" He spread his arms, smiling at the three other 'heroes', looking upon them as they were the next coming of Christ.
"Man, so much talking."
Only to be severely disappointed by their words, if the crack in his smile was any indication.
I stifled a chuckle, with only a cough to indicate I saw the man in priest's robes visibly deflate. Still, looking at the others, I couldn't help but be put off by their stances.
There was no tension, no shifting in the eyes to their surroundings, nothing to indicate they were on guard, weapons held loosely with inexperienced hands clear to anyone in the room.
They were no heroes, they were kids— barely adults really.
I sighed as I put the one with the shield into that group too, as he too looked around the room with wide eyes of awe and lack of guard.
The priest's words had given me more to work with— since the Grail War, I've studied more about summoning rituals (and experience with them) to know otherwise. This seemed to be no joke and not a trap.
No doubt Rin would be screaming and either choking the life of the priest to know how he and his priests managed to perform Second Magic, or beating the answer out of them.
The thought that they would summon people from another world alone… that would have made her go crazy.
After all, they had spent so much time on trying to recreate the Jeweled Sword Zelretch and take it to him so Rin could become an apprentice of the creator of said sword, Kischur Zelretch Schweinorg.
Otherwise known as the Wizard Marshall and the Kaleidoscope
We had been making progress and Rin felt like we were closing in on the latest breakthrough, when the call came and I was kicked out so she could focus on the deal.
Funding was needed after all, and while I had offered my own vast fortune inherited from my father, Rin refused to take it.
She wanted to build her own family's fortune back up again, no thanks to the slimeball of a priest's meddling.
The fact remains though that these people reached out, plucked random people, children in fact, and brought them to this world as if one would go out shopping. That alone was a scary thought.
Zelretch was known to gaze upon people, sometimes smiling or laughing as he just heard a funny joke. Other times he would stare at people and those people would vanish for a time, only returning some time later, traumatized by whatever event he forced them into.
If they returned at all. (Why my girlfriend wanted to be his apprentice was also beyond me in understanding. As far as I'm concerned, I'd prefer to stay as far away from the man as possible...)
Though while he was the only practitioner of the Second Magic native to my own dimension (as far as I was aware at least), it did not mean he was the only user in all dimensions. And with proof before me now, I was unsure of how to handle the information. Was this Zelretch doing, of that I was unsure, but I severely doubted it.
I doubt a true master of the Kaleidoscope would need the help of others in battle, especially those that don't seem to know anything…
Suddenly, one of the other summons, a black hair kid who didn't look to be out of high school yet, began to examine his sword methodically. It was clear that he never held a sword in his life as he held the blade in an awkward manner, when he kept fumbling with it, almost nicking his hand at multiple points.
A part of me just wanted to snatch the blade from him before he poked out his eye or something.
Is this what Archer felt like whenever he saw me? I suddenly feel like I should apologize to the bastard.
I was quickly kicked out of my musing as the group suddenly took a hostile tone, the one with the sword pointing it at the group with clear indication that he was willing to use it.
If I do see Archer again, I should apologize.
Clearly these kids had no idea what they were doing, and the only one that seemed to be put off by this was the one holding the shield.
"Even if you send us home when the job is done, that's basically just using us as slave labor, you know? You get where we're coming from, right? Keep in mind that depending on your answer we might have to become your enemies." The blonde spear user stated, pushing me off balance at how full of bravado he was. Not just him, but all three of them (the three with offensive weapons) were.
"Ha" I couldn't help but let out a slight chuckle. If Rin kept her cool (which he was doubtful of, considering the implications of the summonings) she would no doubt be biding her time and get more information, and kept an eye on him to keep him from doing something 'Shirou-like'.
Namely throwing himself head first into a problem he had no means of solving.
That guy, he doesn't seem to realize his situation. Summoned to a new dimension without any skills— what is a person to do except not anger the person who summoned them.
Even so… I can sympathize with them.
One of the men in robes spoke up, glancing nervously at the sword. "P-Please, at least have an audience with the king before you do anything rash. You can discuss the details of your compensation there." Muttering, he continued "Yes, yes that'll do" to another robed figure who was opening a great door.
Walking with apparent purpose, the three people with stereotypical weapons moved forwards. I tagged along behind them alongside the man with a shield.
OmegaCodex: Thank you to redskin122004 for redoing / co-writing a rewrite of this story with me! Over the next while, I'll be uploading fixed chapters here.