Kiritsugu sighed as he stared at the young, red haired boy sitting on the grass of their backyard, glaring adorably at a wooden rod in his lap.
"Is he still at it Kiri?" A feminine voice asked, making the spiky, black haired man look up into the red eyes of his wife.
"Yeah… I've only taught him Structural Analysis to satiate his curiosity. With any hope…" Kiritsugu trailed off momentarily, the light in his eyes dying out as he did.
Besides him Irisviel von Einzbern frowned and kneeled next to her husband, wrapping an arm around him softly.
"With any hope he won't be any good and he can avoid the life of a Magus." Kiritsugu muttered, getting a sad but vaguely understanding frown from the white haired homunculus.
"And if he is Kiri? He does have 32 circuits after all." She giggled at the disgruntled look he gave the sky as he stared upwards, not willing to give Irisviel herself said look.
"Then… Teach him I suppose. Make sure that his potential isn't-"
"Ah!" Said boy yelped.
"Shirou? Sweetie? Are you ok?" Irisviel was by his side so fast it was almost as if she had teleported, concernedly checking over the 7 year old boy for any injuries.
"I'm fine Irisviel" He muttered in his depressingly apathetic voice that he had almost completely used in every interaction since he had been adopted "I still can't get over the pain of creating new circuits. You and Kiritsugu really are amazing for doing this so consistently." He looked up, only to tilt his head like a confused puppy at the ashen expression on the woman's face.
"Yes. Just as Kiritsugu told me. To create the connection to magic through magical circuits." He recited, tilting his head once again when Irisviel's left eye twitched spastically for a second before stopping.
"Shirou… Sweetie. Never do that again." She said seriously "What you're doing will not only destroy your body until you won't be able to even move. But it's not even how you correctly use Thaumaturgy. Magic Circuits are already a part of you. Like my love!" She smiled brightly, though it was missed as Shirou looked down at his hands, curling and uncurling them.
"How do I find my circuits?" He asked, the tiniest sliver of emotion seeping into his voice, enough to make Irisviel squeal in excitement.
"Oh that's easy! I'll teach you! Way better than Kiritsugu can apparently. And don't think I don't notice you trying to sneak away mister!"
"I don't know what you're talking about Iri." Kiritsugu said, as if he hadn't just been caught halfway through climbing through a window of their house.
"Uh huh. I'm sure not- THAT WASN'T ACCEPTANCE FOR YOU TO KEEP GOING!" She yelled out, waving her arms around comically before crossing them and pouting, turning back to the child staring at her blankly.
"Can I learn magic or are you going to chase Kiritsugu now?"
"GhK! Don't worry! I shall show you how to do proper Thaumaturgy Shirou! For I am your great and loving mother~."
"… How do I find my Magic Circuits?"
"Well. The initial discovery can be different from person to person. But in a controlled environment the best way is to create your 'activation image' as people call it."
"Mine won't work for you sweetie. Everyone has different images."
"Can I still know?"
"Of course!" She cooed, clapping her hands together "Mine is someone twisting my head until my neck snaps!"
"Are they all like that?" Shirou asked, surprisingly undisturbed despite what a regular child would be.
"Mhm. To a certain degree. To be a Magus is to walk the line of death constantly. So most people's activation images are something that invokes that feeling, or a feeling of power, in them."
"Hmmmm. I… think, I have one. What do I do now?" His eyes were closed as he sat in front of her, looking so adorable she just wanted to wrap him into a hug right here and now.
"Try thinking of that image while imagining this rush of power! Like fwoooooooosh!" She mimed out childishly, waving her arms around like a gust of wind.
"…Like fwooooosh." He mumbled monotonously, breathing in deep.
A gun, much like the model he had seen Kiritsugu cleaning the other day, appeared in his mind. In his mind's eye he could see the hammer of the gun cock back, curiously enough without a bullet to hit, but he knew that it would hit something regardless. The hammer fired.
Line's of green lit up Shirou's skin in an instant, his eyes snapping open to show twin pools of golden amber that seemed more alive in this one moment than Irisviel had ever seen them. The boy breathed out.
And like an unstable deck of cards it all came crashing down. His eyes going from vibrantly alive to glassy and then white as they rolled up. The glowing green lines across his skin disappeared just as quickly as they appeared and with a quiet groan the boy tipped forward and faceplanted into the grass of their backyard.
Now normally Irisviel would have caught Shirou without any hesitation, in fact she'd usually be fretting and panicking over his unconscious body. But none of that occurred, instead all she did was stare blankly at the slowly fading green markings originating from both of the teens wrists up to each elbow. They glowed just as vibrantly as his Magic Circuits had moments prior with only two differences.
The first difference: The sheer complexity of these markings compared to his other, fairly spaced, full-body markings signifying the use of his Magic Circuits at full power.
The second difference: The mystery held within both of the, by now, disappeared marks on her son's arms.
It was undeniable, just like she had seen once and only once on Jubstacheit von Einzbern, Shirou had a Magical Crest. And not a new one either, whichever family he hailed from. It was old.
"I know what I saw Kiri!" Irisviel whined as her husband rested both hands on top of the counter and rested his weight forward.
"I'm not doubting you Iri it's just… There were no other Magus families in this town. I did my research before the war." Both of them grimaced to varying degrees at the reminder of said war "The only Magus families in this town were the Tohsaka and Matou."
"Then… where did Shirou come from?"
"Whoever they are. They obviously expected something if they gave him their entire Magical Crest so young. Or that could not be all of it, in which case I'm even more worried which family he came from."
"…Oh! Ok so you're gonna say I'm wrong-"
"Let me finish Kiri!" She pouted, her arms straight down in front of her, her cheeks puffed up like a chipmunk's and her body bouncing on the balls of her feet with each word.
"Of course Iri. Go ahead." That insufferable smirk of his. She'd show him. Ugh, why did it have to look so good on him though?
"Hmph! Well what if it's not a family recognized by the association! Like an independent family."
"Older than the Tohsaka?" He raised an eyebrow disbelievingly.
"It's not impossible! The association tends to stay away from Asia in general!" Irisviel was working herself up, though the points she made were surprisingly valid "If they cared more about their research rather than the politics of the Clock Tower they could have come here to work on it in secret. And… Oh! And maybe Shirou got the crest so early because of the Holy Grail War? In case of collateral damage or something like that… Yeah! that makes sense!" She nodded to herself after a moment of thought, as if she needed to go over her idea to find any glaring flaws with it despite both of them knowing it was a guess anyways.
"That…makes a surprising amount of sense." Kiritsugu muttered, humming near-silently in thought as he leant on the counter.
"Thanks!...W-Were you making fun of me?" She asked after a moment, her brain catching up to his wording.
"No actually, thinking it over myself. My family did something similar. We chose an island with a mildly powerful leyline but Fuyuki has multiple leylines of varying strength. Even a house not lying on one of them would be able to siphon additional power without detection if done correctly." Kiritsugu mumbled to himself, spinning around to rest his tailbone against the counter and cross his arms.
"Do you think anyone from his family survived?" Iri asked softly, sidling up besides him.
"Unlikely, Shirou was close to the center of the fire." Kiritsugu immediately shot her down "Though his Magic Crest may be the reason why the curse had such a hard time getting close to him."
"Do you think that's why it didn't latch onto you either?" She asked worriedly, her mind swirling with thoughts of waking up one day to feel the Od of her partner necrofied and cursed like the sight of the fire.
"Possibly. They may have been a family focusing on Curses…" The Magus Killer mused, tilting his head back to look at the ceiling for a few seconds.
"Such things are dangerous for adults to deal with… Let alone a child." Motherly worry was seeping into her voice, Kiritsugu could hear it, however he couldn't help but feel the same.
"Until we know for sure we can't be certain…Thank you for correcting my mistake today"
"Anytime Kiri~" She giggled, kissing his cheek "How should we try to look for Shirou's old family?"
"Not afraid they'll try to take him back?"
"I'm his mother now! They'll have to go through me to get to him!" She said impassioned, holding a clenched fist up.
"Right… I'll go out tomorrow and search around." Her husband muttered with a dry look.
"And I can teach Shirou about Thaumaturgy! Properly this time." She gave him a half-serious/half-playful glare that made him sigh in defeat and raise his hands up tiredly.
"I never said I was a good teacher."
"Good! But that doesn't mean you're getting out of teaching him Thaumaturgy either!" All Kiritsugu could do was sigh again.
Golden amber eyes slowly fluttered open to a heat. Not painful, like the heat of the fire he had experienced two weeks ago and dreamt of every night since them. Or overbearing. But rather, uncomfortably hot. To the average person at least.
Comfort was something that while Shirou had been slowly remembering was still a distant notion to the boy, his every waking moment spent with corpses flickering in the corners of his vision and phantom flames licking his skin and crackling in his ears. So the heat he was feeling at the moment was something that he noticed, but otherwise didn't acknowledge or care about.
Slowly sitting up, what registered in his young mind next was the constant, consistent, ringing of metal on metal. A sound which felt oddly soothing to the young boy, a sound that made his toes tingle and his fingers curl. With a small grunt he pushed himself to his feet, looking around for the origin of the clanging.
Spinning slightly on the spot he felt something under his hand. Upon first contact it was smooth and alarmingly cold but in the second it took to complete his spin and realize he was touching something it rapidly heated up. In an instant the object went from incredibly cold to just as hot as the fires from the black sun, the boy swiping his hand off of whatever he had been touching just as quickly.
They leapt from whatever he had been touching, points of incredible heat that showered sparks behind his fingertips and followed it's momentum even as his arm failed to. In a single moment a cyclonic twister of sparks sprung to life around the boy, making him grimace and tense up, placing his arms in front of his face and neck defensively. However the sparks were too bright for the child's eyes and he shut them tightly, feeling a tear well up on instinct as he did so.
After a few seconds he finally opened his eyes again. Watching a series of sparks leap off of a heated sword as… Someone hit it with a hammer. Wherever he looked everything looked slightly… Distorted, blurred almost. Like it couldn't decide if it was the correct material or shading, or had the correct wear and tear. Seeing another series of sparks the boy finally looked directly at the origin of the clanging.
If he had thought it was confusing before looking at what he could only guess was the man hammering was even worse. Colours swirled in and out of focus and their body shape just couldn't seem to settle on something defined, going from a figure of pure muscle that towered over Shirou to a figure almost perfectly even with him in height in less time than it took them to swing the hammer once.
Finally, Shirou's eyes settled on whatever the figure was trying to hammer. And he could make out even less than he could about the figure. Nothing about it stayed consistent. Nothing from it gave any hints as to what it was. Every second it seemed to cycle through hundreds of forms and temperatures. The only thing consistent about its inconsistency was that no matter what form it took, be it katana, longsword, spear or battleaxe, it wasn't complete.
Shirou's instinctual tear rolled down his cheek and fell to the floor.
The next morning, Emiya Residence
"Okay Shirou!" Irisviel started off excitedly, hopping in the air slightly as she did so "Today we're gonna do something really important for your Thaumaturgy"
Shirou blinked a few times before nodding, attempting a weak facsimile of a smile when he noticed the brief look of worry that overcame her features.
"So! In the spare room I set up a ritual that is very common and, in some cases, vital for young Magus like yourself"
"What does it do?"
"Great question!" She congratulated him "Simply put, every person capable of magic has an Element and an Origin that dictates what magic they can use, or that will be strongest for them. Among other things" She tacked on at the end, hoping that her far too perceptive son wouldn't follow up on it.
Luckily for her, he either seemed off his game today, or was too distracted by what she had told him. She hoped it was the latter and continued talking.
"The ritual in the spare room will require that you lie on it for a little bit Shirou. But after that you'll get to know what Magecraft you'll be really good at!"
"Can either of them… can either of them give you dreams?" Shirou asked, making Irisviel trip mid step from where she had been pacing.
"It wasn't like normal. I usually dream of the fire. But after you helped me with my…circuits?" He looked up at her for confirmation, filing away the strange warm feeling that thrummed through his body when she nodded "I had my first ever new dream. I think it was someone making something? They were hitting it with a hammer and it kept creating sparks."
"What was it?" She asked curiously, frowning as his entire demeanor seemed to sink.
"I don't know." It was said in such a gut-wrenching tone, with such a sense of defeat that Irisviel wasn't even able to begin formulating a thought before wrapping him in a hug.
Pressed between her arms and her bosom as he was, Shirou blinked away the excess moisture that had briefly built up in his eyes. The dark, heavy feeling subsiding for a moment as he realized that Irisviel had him in one of those 'hugs' she often spoke about.
Irisviel, meanwhile, gasped quietly when she felt two small arms wrap around her waist.
"Shirou? Are you okay sweetie?"
"I think so. I'm not cut or bruised. Its just feel this heavy feeling, like it's trying to hold me down."
"Shirou. Honey, I think what you're feeling is sadness"
"I think so. Emotions can be tricky sometimes, and you may think you're feeling one thing but it's actually something else."
"Huh." Hearing, if nothing else, that Shirou's tone was lifting she slowly unwrapped her arms from him and felt him do the same.
"Are you ok to do the ritual Shirou? We can always wait until tomorrow if you aren't."
"No I'm fine," Shirou shook his head, and Irisviel cursed the fire for making her adopted son so empty that his body language was almost non-existent "Can we do it today… please?"
"Weeeeeell when you ask like that~" She giggled, standing up and brushing off her knees before beginning to lead him back into the house and to the spare room.
The room was neat, if a little dusty, due to no one really using it. The woman mentally grumbled to herself about how annoying dust was and how she never had to deal with it when living in her family's castle.
In the center of the room was a large and meticulously drawn ritual circle that Shirou couldn't help but be impressed by, his eyes scanning over it looking for anything that he recognized and coming up empty. The sudden realization that his new mother was this skilled in Thaumaturgy hitting him like a freight train, the fact that this was considered one of the simplest rituals in the Moonlit world didn't even occur to him.
"Ok now Shirou! This part's going to be very boring but I need you to just lie down in the middle of this circle and not move ok?" Irisviel began warmly, getting a nod from Shirou as he went to do what's instructed.
"Here?" He asked as he began to crouch down.
"Yep! Right there. So Shirou, what do you think your Element and Origin will be?"
"Is fire one of them?" She faltered at that question, nodding hesitantly "I think it'll be fire then…"
"Why do you think that sweetie?" She hoped it wasn't because of the Grail, it would make sense, but she hoped nonetheless.
"The heat around that weapon, and the sparks…" He mused, missing the way that delicate white eyebrows drew together, thinking about something that he wouldn't have understood anyway.
After that he was fully lying down, preparing himself to be there for a while. Looking over with only his eyes as he heard Irisviel start to mutter an incantation, the lines underneath his body beginning to softly glow.
Meanwhile, across the city, Kiritsugu slowly made his way through the wreckage of the Fuyuki Fire, his eyes and expression blank as he looked around, continually seeing brief flashes of cursed flames and wailing bodies already past the point of death. However unlike the last time he was here, he wasn't trying to save anyone, or atone for a mistake he had made. Instead, this time, he was here to help his son, if it was even possible.
His pace was slow and methodical, as it had been since almost 5:30am this morning when he had arrived at the edge of the disaster zone. Working on a case of starting from the outside of the zone and making his way slowly inwards. So far he had found nothing, keeping his eyes on a swivel as he moved.
However it was when he was about halfway into the disaster zone, when it began to more closely resemble the crater of a bomb than an actual fire, that he noticed something. It had been on the edge of his vision right as he cleared one of the few standing walls that had obviously been a house a scant few weeks ago. It was a color so striking and unique that Kiritsugu was unable to ignore it even if he tried, which he absolutely wasn't in this situation.
Kiritsugu, like other Magus and Spellcasters, was able to sense hints of Magecraft through one of his five senses. Just as Irisviel could sense Magecraft through her sense of hearing, often calling his own Magecraft, especially time manipulation, a 'beautiful symphony that loved to play with and change the timing and rhythm on a whim'. Kiritsugu could sense Magecraft through his sense of sight, an oddity not quite on par with his double Origin but also not exactly that common either. And the colour that he had caught in his periphery was undoubtedly the unique colour, which he had found out as a child no one else could even see, of Magecraft.
Straightening out after his landing he approached the pile of rubble, able to see the wisps of Magecraft loosely clinging to the rubble, but mostly seeping from deep underneath and only seeing the light of day thanks to various cracks in the rubble. With a sigh, Kiritsugu placed down the metallic briefcase he had been holding and began to move rubble, working from the top down to avoid crushing or trapping himself unnecessarily.
Eventually however he found what he was looking for, a trapdoor underneath all of the rubble that the Magecraft was coming off. It seemed that the trapdoor alone had a bounded field over it. It meant that the house was completely unprotected, likely why it was so easily destroyed by the fire, but also that it stayed somewhat protected while also hiding the Magecraft of the family from any prying or wandering eyes. All in all it was rather ingenious, especially if they had set up other small bounded fields or runes on the property to hide or suck up the ambient mana somehow.
'The more I think about this set-up the more I realize that I might need to use it myself on a few safehouses. Especially when me and Iri go to….Focus. Break bounded field, search and ransack, then let yourself get distracted at home'
After ten or so minutes he grunted quietly as he finally cracked the bounded field, opening the trapdoor and taking a moment to extend his senses and search for any traps, magical or otherwise. After assuring himself that there was nothing he grabbed his suitcase and began to make his way down, activating a flashlight once the trapdoor closed on top of him and covered him in darkness.
With only the light to guide him down the curved metal stabbed into the wall acting as a ladder, the Magus Killer continued making his way further and further down. Until during a cursory glance down, he finally saw a floor, breathing out quietly in relief and continuing to make his way down.
Touching his feet down on the floor he raised his flashlight up and looked around, only to blink slowly as the moment he took a step out of the ladder-well and into whatever room was in front of him, mana powered lamps started up all around him. Blinking a few times to adjust his eyes to the light he turned off his flashlight and began to look around, not very surprised to see the unique colour of Magecraft incredibly thick in this workshop which appeared to be a…..forge?
The surprise showed on his face before he shook his head and made his way further into the workshop/blacksmith, keeping a cautious eye out for any additional or spare traps that may still be in here, especially considering this room, almost half the size of his current house, was a Magus Workshop. He noticed that despite the fire and devastation up above ground, this particular workshop was completely untouched, like its own little Magus' paradise away from the world.
A couple tools and pieces of metal were left lying in random places or in disarray but really, Kiritsugu had seen worse from every single one of his brief sights of the creation department at the Clock tower. Moving his way over to the small wall of bookshelves on the far end of the forge-
'Smart, keeps them away from the fire hazards but close enough for quick access'
-Kiritsugu began lightly running his fingers along the shelf of the bookshelf, noting multiple books that seemed to be giving off the same intensity of colour and aura as a bounded field. Finding a fairly thick tomb that didn't give off such a feeling he nimbly plucked it off the bookshelf and held it up to his eyeline, wiping off some dust.
"The art of weaponsmithing, by Karyuin Mura… masa." He read out, blinking in confusion at the name of the author.
"Karyuin Muramasa? Wasn't his name Sengo? Or Senji?" Kiritsugu muttered, placing the book back and taking a moment to look at one of the books that seemed to have some sort of protection placed on it.
Looking at it both with his magic-sensitive eyes, and his sharpened, trained, senses for a few moments he furrowed his eyebrows. It felt more like a protective barrier than anything else, a prevention to damage more than a retaliation to it. It wasn't enough to ease his suspicion of any of the others, but he was at least willing to try and read this one.
Placing a single finger on it he did nothing for a few moments despite the tenseness of his body, nodding to himself a few seconds later and slowly sliding it out of place. Holding it carefully he cracked the leatherbound book open, noting the old and slightly dated Japanese kanji used to write in it.
'How old is this? Some of these words I can only make out due to context…' The assassin thought to himself, reading the first page.
3 Kisaragi, Azuchi-Momoyama Period
After the early passing of my father, Karyuin Muramasa. I have decided that in addition to adding my knowledge to our crest, I will write down all that I know in this book and protect it using the sorcery recently discovered in the city to the North. The crest suffered with the passing of my father so early. Unlike grandfather Senji, father was only able to place three mana points in the crest. I will do my best to pick up the slack where my father unfortunately could not, and shall I fall to an early death as he did. Hopefully both the crest and this journal will be completed to sufficient levels for one lucky descendant to finish our clan's life work.
Kiritsugu felt his eyes widen and his jaw drop involuntarily as the realization began to fight it's way to the front of his mind, the words he had slogged his way through reading slamming into him like one of Archer's swords. The book slipped from numb fingers as black eyes roamed back over the forge with a thousand yard stare as everything finally clicked into place consciously.
"Shirou's family crest comes from Muramasa?"
"Irisviel? You said it's done, are you ok?" Shirou asked, looking at his shell shocked adopted mother, his eyes filling with light from their usual blank state as concern filled his being "Irisviel?"
He shuffled closer together, feeling his hands begin to get clammy and his heart begin to speed up as she just continued to stare at the ritual circle blankly, like she was physically unable to comprehend what it told her.
"Irisviel? I-Iri…?"Still nothing, Shirou's throat and lips suddenly began to feel dry "K-Kaa-san?" Blank red eyes immediately snapped to life and zeroed in on him.
"You called me Kaa-saaaaan!" She cheered happily, wrapping him a gigantic hug which quickly had him flailing around for air.
When she realized and finally let go he fell back and gasped deeply, spluttering a couple times before looking back up at her face.
"A-Are you ok?" He muttered, clearly worried for her.
"Awwwwww! I'm ok Shirou~" She cooed lovingly, clapping her hands together "I was just very surprised is all. Results like yours are… Rare." Her smile strained as she said that, something which confused him.
"Why does your smile look weird now?"
"H-Huh? Weird? You don't like my smile?"
"It looked nice until it stretched… I don't like your stretched smile." He muttered, his words something that Irisviel noted mentally to herself.
"Sorry Shirou. It's just… People with results like yours can be in a lot of danger." She tried to warn him, only getting a blank, slow, blink in response.
"Can I learn my results now, please?" He asked politely, getting a defeated sigh from her.
"Of course sweetie. Your Element and Origin are exactly the same. 'Sword'. Meaning that you're what's called an Incarnation."
"In-carn-ation," She corrected him patiently "You can't talk to anyone except your father and me about this, ok?"
"Because it's dangerous?"
"Why is it dangerous?"
"Ack! Uhhhh, w-well sweetie it's because… Well you're not going to understand everything right off the bat anyways. There's a lot to go over about the Moonlit world. But basically, there's lots of Magus like me, but mean! That will want to really hurt you or experiment on you because you're an incarnation." She said, trying to make her voice scary like she would do with Illya to impart the importance of what she was saying onto him.
Except all she got back was blank eyes and blinks at regular intervals, like a robot. Leading Irisviel to sigh and hope that she had managed to get the danger through to her son.
"However. This also means that certain Magecraft, most of it actually, is going to be impossible for you Shirou. You'll be very good at one or two things, a little good at a couple of others, and incapable of using the rest." She explained to him, watching his face scrunch up as he thought over her words before nodding.
"Then I'll get so good at those things nobody can keep up, then nobody will have to go through something like that fire again." He spoke passionately.
"How do you think that sweetie?" She asked softly.
"I'll get so good at the Thaumaturgy I can use that I'll be able to stop another thing like the fire from happening ever again."
"You don't have to do that sweetie."
"Yes I do." His response was fast, no time for second-thoughts put into it.
"Shirou. What you went through wasn't normal. Things like that don't just happen. Even when you look at Magus families, disasters like the Fuyuki fire are very, very rare." She murmured to himself softly.
"Then I'll stop those ones from happening!" If nothing else, he was determined, but she could already tell that said determination was being sent in a very, very bad direction.
"You can't know about those until after they've happened Shirou."
"But my Thaumaturgy might let me-"
"You are an Incarnation of 'Sword' Shirou. I'm not trying to be mean sweetie but any Magecraft you'll learn won't help you figure these things out before they happen." She hated this, she hated being the stern parent, but this had to be done.
"T-Then I'll find a way!"
"I have to!"
"Because no one else should have to go through that!"
"You're right. But that also doesn't mean that you have to." She countered, watching him begin to get visibly frustrated.
"But I don't mind! I can handle it!"
"And so can others. You don't need to risk your health and your life trying to find disasters before they start Shirou!" The longer this went on the more she began to understand the true extent of the damage done to her son from the fire, and the more that it broke her heart.
"I can't just… Sit back and do nothing!"
"It's not sitting back when you can't interact with it in the first place, Shirou. What about making friends? Having a family?" She tried to persuade him, gently taking both of his hands in both of hers.
Her face, full of fragile hope, fell at the strange flash of emotions that flashed through his face. His small jaw clenching slightly and his hands curling in hers.
"What's wrong with those Shirou? Do you not want to make friends or have a family?" She asked softly, tilting her head down to try and get a better look at his bowed head.
"….n't d'srve 't." He muttered, quiet enough that even with her homunculus body, made better than a regular human's, she couldn't quite hear his words.
"What was that sweetie?"
"I just… I don't want to talk about it."
"Are you sure? If you're angry with me-"
"I'm not. Promise." He tried and failed to give her a smile, a common thread since he had woken up in the hospital.
"Okay…You know there are lots of things you could do with your Magecraft," She muttered softly, noticing that she had caught his attention "You could fight creatures, or other magus that try to hurt people." She noticed he perked up a bit at that, filing that away for later.
"You could even try becoming a Mystic Code creator." She suggested with a joking giggle.
Except while a more conscious part of Shirou was able to tell that she was joking after a few seconds of deliberation, something deep within him thrummed at that idea. Of the idea of being a creator to something he didn't even know.
"What's… A mystic code?" He asked in confusion.
"Oh! I forgot you didn't know what Mystic Codes were. My bad." She giggled, holding a hand up to her mouth as she did so before gaining control of herself a few moments later "Mystic Codes are like… Specially made magic items. Like wands that help cast fire magecraft better or clothes that are extra tough! Like these actually" She said, proudly showing off the jacket she was wearing.
"Can weapons be Mystic Codes too?"
"Yes. Quite a few Mystic Codes are weapons actually. Not the majority, but that's mainly because most Magi prefer to focus on long-ranged combat over closed ranged combat which makes sense but as your father keeps telling me-"
Irisviel's rant slowly began to drown away into white noise as Shirou thought to himself, that feeling inside of him blooming the more he had learnt and thought about Mystic Codes and creating them. It was strange, he hadn't even heard of them before a minute ago and suddenly he wanted, almost more than anything in the world, to try making one. Idly he wondered if other people felt this same burning need for other things in life.
Speaking of burning…Was that weapon from his dre-
Before he could even finish the thought his mind rejectedthe very idea of what he'd been thinking. Every ounce of his body burned hot and froze cold at the same time and his mind seemed to lock down until he consciously got rid of the idea. Searching for some sort of explanation even in his confusion and slight panic.
And while he got nothing concrete, just remembering the inconsistent form of that weapon gave him a general baseline of what had been wrong with that thought. Whatever that weapon was, whatever it was meant to be. It wasn't a Mystic Code. It was above that, in whatever category stood head and shoulders above 'Mystic Code' is where that weapon belonged.
Finally zoning back in he saw Irisviel still going headlong into her rant, somehow still able to wind herself up despite however much time passing since he'd zoned out. Was it rude to zone out when someone was ranting to you? Next to you? He'd apologise regardless.
"Irisviel. Can I learn some Magecraft now, please?" He was polite, because while even he could admit that regular human things seemed odd and foreign to him, he knew that being polite was a good thing.
"Of course Shirou!" She snapped out of her rant to answer excitedly "Let's go outside and you can work on some Structural Grasping ok?"
"Ok" He agreed easily, after all why wouldn't he?
He'd just been told that in terms of Magecraft there'd be very few things he would ever be good at, so that meant that everything he could use, he would have to work on until it became as good as he could possibly get it.
And if some part of him wanted to get good enough at it that he could Structurally Grasp the weapon from his dream to learn more about it, then that didn't need to be said aloud. At least not yet.
Three hours later
"Kiri! How was it? Did you find anything?" Irisviel asked jovially as she hopped over to him, their son behind them panting as he placed a hand on a tree to Structurally Grasp it.
"I found the workshop of his family… it was the only thing on the property protected by a bounded field and it was underground."
"Oooooh. That's really smart. Should we do something similar?" She mumbled, turning on the ball of her foot, raising her hands up and placing the thumb and pointer finger of both hands in a rectangle in front of her eye like a lens "But where would it go?"
"Irisviel." She stilled and slowly turned back to her husband at the tone of his voice "Iri… Shirou comes from the Muramasa clan."
"I- huh?" She gave him a glassy eyed look, both of her arms falling to her sides.
Completing the look her mouth was slightly ajar and after a few moments her head cocked to the side like her neck had trouble supporting it for a moment.
"Yes I just said Muramasa."
"B-But aren't they-"
"Apparently they weren't wiped out, they changed their official family name in the 1700's."
"How do you-"
"They had journals in their workshop, which is also an underground forge."
"...I don't know whether to find it sweet or annoying that you know me so well." She pouted cutely, crossing her arms under her bust.
"Hm. I brought back a couple books and plotted out some land we can purchase so that Shirou can keep his families workshop if he wishes."
"That's surprisingly sweet Kiri," She praised him, uncrossing her arms with a gentle smile "You know the Kiritsugu I first met would already be off hunting down some Dead Apostle or Stray Magus…"
"And the Irisviel I first met wouldn't be such a good mother to an adopted son," He countered, his face not shifting in the slightest as he turned his attention to Shirou, but his eyes warm in the subtlest of manners "But I prefer you this way."
"And so do I. What brought on the change? Wouldn't you find it more 'efficient' to just bring everything from the workshop here?" She said, making air quotes with her fingers.
"If he wants to do that, we can" Kiritsugu replied simply "But… It was in chasing my dream that I ruined his future Iri. I wasn't around much for Illya, and I haven't done well by either of them. I suppose… I suppose I'm just trying to atone for chasing after such a utopian dream so relentlessly."
"You know that neither of them, or me, blame you right Kiri?" She placed a gentle hand on his bicep.
"Neither of them know the truth Iri," He denied with a shake of his head "And who knows what Jubstacheit is telling Illyasviel."
"We'll get her back." His wife said, her voice soft but hard enough that not even Excalibur could pierce through her determination.
"I know we will," He agreed with her, nodding his head minutely "It's just making up for everything that I'm worried about."
"You'll figure something out. That's what your specialty is mr 'problem-solver'~" She giggled, leaning up and kissing his cheek "Now, show me one of those journals I want to know more about Shirou's family!~"
"They're roughly around 500 years old." She immediately stumbled back from him with wide eyes.
"And no one knew about them!?"
"They kept to themselves," He explained, unclipping his suitcase to show a couple books stacked neatly and carefully inside "They treated Magecraft like I do, a tool to achieve what they wanted. So they avoided the Moonlit World and their society as much as possible."
"Do you know what they were trying to achieve?" She asked, placing her hands on her knees as she kneeled down, a blend of excitement and curiosity easily evident in her tone and body language.
"Something to do with a weapon...It was a goal created by the first Muramasa, Senji. And- Iri?" He looked over at her as she suddenly froze from where she had previously been bouncing and buzzing with excitement.
"Kiri… There's something you need to know that Shirou told me."
Hello lovely people of It's been a short minute since I posted almost anything on here. But I recently kicked myself back into the Fate fandom and devoured the entirety of From Fake Dreams in like three days. And then after another month or so of deliberating I finally cracked and wrote this XD Don't have too much to say so I hope you all enjoyed Discord code: ctMzhq3
It's been a short minute since I posted almost anything on here. But I recently kicked myself back into the Fate fandom and devoured the entirety of From Fake Dreams in like three days. And then after another month or so of deliberating I finally cracked and wrote this XD
Don't have too much to say so I hope you all enjoyed
Discord code: ctMzhq3