Was data from the first battle recorded successfully?

Yes, father. One of our artificially constructed familiars were on standby in the city and recorded it all. The combat data is still being interpreted, but we already have a lead on the location of the other Master.

Excellent. This will finally be the year the Fae family prospers! Go! Our family's honor and future lies in your hands!

Come on, Caster. We're paying that Master a visit.

Y- yes, Kito!


As Kazuya slowly regained his bearings, he noticed that he was back at home after the fight last night. Petra or Assassin must've carried him back home… The sun seemed like it was setting; was he unconscious for that long?

But just as Kazuya sat up from the bed, he noticed that his limbs were loosely bound to the sides of the bed… by snakes? It wasn't enough to completely restrict his movement, but for now, Kazuya was stuck lying on his bed. Assassin, still wearing her kunoichi attire, stood in the corner of the room, her tantō clenched tensely in her right hand.

"I was ordered not to harm you." Assassin spoke up. "However, I cannot let you near my Master until I fully examine you."

"Understandable. Where's Petra? Did she get hurt from last night?" Kazuya asked.

"Start with that strange object that gave you the armor." Assassin simply ignored his question, "Do you feel anything different about yourself?" Kazuya simply shrugged. "Nope. Nothing at all."

Assassin narrowed her eyes. "I do not believe you. The amount of mana you were emitting and the magical circuits required to do so is not something that can be accomplished or created in a non-magus human body in one night. There must have been a caveat." However, internally, the kunoichi was perplexed. His body language did not betray his words, despite her interrogation techniques being among the best in the world.

Her captive smiled; "Who said it's something that's mine? What I did last night…it's not my power. Someone gave it to me."

"Through that drone? So there is a possibility you are merely an agent for an enemy faction to attack and manipulate my Master!"

"No chance. I'll come clean; the guy who gave me that power- he's listening in on this conversation right now- wait wait wait!" Assassin had slowly begun to raise her tantō before Kazuya cut her off.

"He's living in the drone somehow, like a little house, I suppose. But he can't talk to me now unless he either, um, 'expends a lot of energy,' or waits till I sleep or fall unconscious. I dream-chatted with him last night; we weren't able to talk for long, but I think I have the jist of what is happening."

Assassin narrowed her eyes; "Then repeat what was said. And do not leave anything out."

"...This isn't a Grail War." Kazuya began to recite what he could remember. "There is no Grail present in the city; the summoning of you and the other servant-" "There is only one other servant?" "-yes, and it's all because of the, uh, Counter Force?"

Assassin gasped as Kazuya's words settled into her mind.

The Counter Force? Then the unnatural corrupted monster from last night… Was that a large enough danger to warrant the summoning of servants as agents of the Counter Force?

Kazuya continued to retell his dream conversation. "But, from what the voice said last night, he's not sure why the Counter Force chose to summon you two specifically. He's as lost as the rest of us; all he knows is that we have to defeat a bunch of things called Pillars to save the world."

A silence fell onto the room, before- "Um, Assassin? What's the Counter Force?" Kazuya asked innocently. Assassin's left eye twitched in response.

"Do you realize what you are proposing? The Counter Force is part of Alaya, the will of humanity that drives mankind's survival. For the Counter Force to be involved… this means that we must face a threat that endangers all of humanity! Two servants, two masters, and a normal human are not enough to-" Assassin abruptly stopped and turned towards the door. As Kazuya followed her gaze, he could faintly hear the sound of footsteps rapidly descending the staircase.

Assassin tutted. "Given the circumstances, I must search for the remaining servant and their master immediately to share this knowledge. And… Kazuya?" As she dispelled the snakes that binded Kazuya's limbs and prepared to leap out the window, she gave a sorrowful glance at him.

"...If the other threats are just like the one last night, then whether you like it or not, you hold mankind's only way of fighting back."

With that, Assassin leaped gracefully into the night as she began her search.


"Hey."

"...hi. How're you feeling?" Petra was nursing a cup of tea as Kazuya walked downstairs and sat next to her on the dinner table.

"Well, I'm alive, for starters." Kazuya warmly smiled, but Petra only gloomily sighed.

It only took a moment for Petra to finally look up. "It should've been me who transformed. I'm the mage chosen by the Counter Force. I'm the one with a contract with a Servant. I have to be responsible with my role; you have nothing."

Kazuya simply leaned closer over the table. "Will my heart, soul, and friends suffice as replacements? Don't forget about that other master and servant Assassin's going out to find too." Strangely, Petra immediately bit her lip after that statement.

"How do you know if the other master will even listen to us? We don't even know if they're one of those selfish dickless types!"

"Oh, they will. If not now, then eventually." Kazuya calmly retorted. "I don't see how almost anyone can just stand by and let humanity be destroyed." Petra sneered at that remark.

"That's actually really stupid. You think those assholes are actually going to do the right thing because it's 'right?' They're only going to do it for themselves, their own lives and magic, and then betray and dissect you when they're through with you."

"Well, they can't all be that bad. Look how you turned out; you seem pretty fine. And who knows, maybe what you're doing right now is just what the Counter Force needs" As Petra sputtered at that complement, Kazuya lifted himself out of his chair and stretched. "Well, I just took a super long nap, so I'm probably good for most of the night. Want help me finish my Castle build?"

Petra sputtered before she shook her head; "Um…no thanks. But, about the drone and those keys. Can I see them?"

Without a word, Kazuya fished the keys out of his pants pocket and slid them across the table. As Petra reached towards the three sets of keys, a small dark portal opened over the table, and out popped the drone.

With that, Kazuya walked over to his living room as if this happened everyday. Even before the mystical items came into contact with Petra's hand, she could already feel immense magical energy radiating from each of them. And judging by how Assassin's presence feels…

"Kazuya, you do realize you are holding the power of three servants on you?"

"Hm?" Kazuya responded from the living as sounds of his hand digging through piles of bricks joined his voice. "Oh. That's neat."

"Neat?" Petra incredulously gasped. "Kazuya, there isn't a single human, alive or dead, that can beat a servant. Assassin? She can snap you in half by breathing on you. That's what my professors told me; you're… you're probably the strongest human on the planet, outside of mages who have magecraft that hacks reality."

"I don't think that's the case." Kazuya looked back and forth between his progress on his castle walls and the reference images he found online. "I just kinda felt slightly different when I transformed. I'm not really sure I'm that powerful, to be honest..."

"...no way. No way. You did not just tell me that the transformations pretty much only let you fight those things and only barely makes you stronger."

"Seems like it." Kazuya was now adding vines and other greenery to the castle wall.

Petra buried her head into her hands, the keys clattering onto the table. " Great. Just great ."

"Don't get so let down; I still had those side guns on my hips right? Maybe the other keys give me some other stuff, like swords or something!" Kazuya now placed the wall next to his incomplete castle and began to work on the other sets of walls.

The table lapsed into a period of silence as Petra fiddled with the drone and Kazuya worked on his build. Then-

" Master. " Assassin's voice pierced Petra's mind. " I have made contact with the other Master. We are at the park about 15 minutes from your residence; he wishes to speak with you. It appears that he already knows about the situation with the Counter Force "

" Screw that. " Petra snapped. " Tell him to come to the other park in the opposite direction. I'm not going to go and step into some trapped area willy nilly. If he refuses, flip him off and come back to us. "

A short pause later, Assassin responded. " He has agreed to your terms. Are you sure about this? To attempt a negotiation might be easier at his desired location- " " Unless the guy's a saint I don't even think the thought of that ever crossed his mind."

" Understood. I will monitor him and his servant as they arrive." And with that, Assassin's presence disappeared.

"Kazuya. I'm heading out." As Petra approached the door, Kazuya quickly stepped between her and the door. "Is this about the mage? Did Assassin find them?"

Petra's grimace was the only confirmation Kazuya received. With that, his eyes perked up. "Great! Let's go meet him-"

"No. You're staying here." Petra shrugged off Kazuya's hand and opened the door. "I can't say for certain whether he'll just try to kill you out right on sight; revealing magecraft to non-mages is the fastest way to get them killed. If his servant is powerful, it'll be better for Assassin to protect one person instead of two." However, Kazuya was undeterred by the ominous statement. "Well, I'm sure he'll make an exception, considering the situation."

Petra's stern gaze still didn't go away. Kazuya sighed. "Alright. I'll let you go on ahead, but I won't be far behind, ok?"


Mochizuki Chiyome perched herself in a nearby tree, as the other Master and his Servant, Caster, from what she heard the master say back at the other park, walked in front of Petra.

The master was dressed in a typical magus fashion, overly elegant and would stick out in a crowd with his dark red coat, brown suit, and black dress shoes. As he parted his blond bangs, Chiyome could already tell that he was of noble mage descent; the way he walked, the aura of hostile intent, and the false smile he so painfully painted on his face exposed his obvious condescending nature on meeting her Master.

On the other hand, Caster was a completely different story. Dressed in what Chiyome assumed to be her Servant attire, consisting of a white double button shirt and skirt, with a softly billowing blue cape, Caster practically hugged her staff and beamed a small smile towards Petra. Strangely, there was no hostile intent within her that Chiyome could detect.

For all intents and purposes, it seemed as if the Counter Force had provided the exact servant that opposed her Master's personality.

"So you are the Master of Assassin." Caster's Master falsely smiled and put his hand out. "It is an honor to meet another one chosen by the Counter Force."

He only received Petra's cold glare in return.

The mage simply withdrew his hand and continued his facade. "Allow me to introduce myself, I am Kito Fae, the 10th head of the Fae family. My servant's name is Caster Artoria. I hope we can work together for the betterment of the world."

Immediately, Chiyome's eyes widened. Just from two words, she could tell that the Master and Servant duo was a far more pressing issue than she thought. If Kito was just some hot shot mage, then she could easily assist her Master in working around that arrogant personality. But to be in a family that is connected to one of the ancient magical races, the one that is responsible for the forging of the Sword of Promised Victory, Excalibur, and its sheath… It is safe to assume that Kito Fae is one of the most talented and skilled mages of the modern era. And with a servant who has some connection to the legendary King of Knights, Arthur Pendragon, Chiyome and her Master must tread very carefully around Kito's pride, or else his and Caster's might will come full force at them-

"Are you serious?" Petra sneered. "I was going to give you a chance, but this is just pathetic."

Kito's face morphed into one of fake-confusion. "What exactly do you mean? The planet might be at risk-"

"But do you really care about that? Here's what I guess is going on; you don't care that the Counter Force needs us right? All you care about is just that you have a cool-ass Caster that you're going to exploit and work to death, and that I'm just some footstool that you're going to steal command seals from. And once you save the world after plundering every scrap of new magic you see, you're going to go back to mommy and daddy, and suck more dick to get to the Root-"

With a flash of his magic circuits, Kito's hand shot out towards Petra's neck- Chiyome instantly leaped over and grasped Kito's hand as Artoria yelped in surprise.

Killing intent was already radiating from Kito's body as his eyes shot a murderous glare at Petra.

"See? You can't stand that I'm right. So long, asshat, I'm not working with you-"

As Petra was about to turn around to leave, Kazuya had walked next to Chiyome during the confrontation and clamped both of his hands on her shoulders and spun her around to face Kito. "Petra, tell Assassin to let go of him."

As she was about to protest, Kazuya's uncharacteristically stern gaze made Petra grimace. As she gave Chiyome a small nod, Kito yanked his hand back from the loosened grip and snarled while Artoria looked anxiously on the situation.

Kazuya then pushed Petra closer to Kito. "Now, I want you to apologize for what you said."

"You've shitting me, Kazuya-" "You were the one to antagonized him, without even getting to know him first. He kinda had the right to get angry after all of that."

"...No. I can tell what type of person he is. He doesn't deserve anything." Petra stubbornly replied, to which Kito scoffed back. "As if I need an apology from a commoner and help from a normal human. Normally I would kill your friend for learning about magecraft, but since you are so adamant to fight against a threat that only I can combat, then I suppose your death will come soon anyway."

"Um, about that…" Kazuya was about to point out the truth when Petra felt a sudden shiver down her spine. It felt like-

Something in Kito's pocket rang as a ball of mana exploded right at their feet! Artoria quickly casted a shielding spell over her Master as Chiyome grabbed Kazuya and Petra and leapt out of the way.

The assailant was the strange beast from last night and began to growl as it stared at the group. Meanwhile, Kito seemed strangely calm and scoffed at the beast.

"That's the threat to humanity? Pathetic. I don't even need any help for this. Caster, make sure they're watching the one time I will display my power."

Kito then began to walk towards the abomination, pulling out and wearing a strange belt as he did so.

Said belt wasn't a buckle that extended around the user like the drone Kazuya used last night; rather, it was a complete belt that Kito had swung around his waist. Grabbing onto a grip inside, Kito pressed a silver half-sphere to his palm; the sphere immediately pulsed with mana as he did so. He then placed the sphere onto a rail on the belt, where a triangular tricolored spearhead emerged and began to spin in the empty slot that made up most of the buckle. A series of runes and magic sigils began to flow out of the left side of the buckle, which in a flash of light, each attached themselves to part of Kito's body and turned into a set of armor!

As the light died down, Chiyome could see the armor's details fully; the armor was entirely black with pulsing blue lines etched around the suit, almost like bolder magic circuits. Protruding from the armor's limbs were ampoules that glowed with blue prana. A visor emitting blue light stared at the monster, who was starting to become more agitated at the appearance of the armored warrior.

Suddenly, Kito squeezed the trigger on his belt. The armor's light instantly switched from blue to green, and with a burst of speed, rushed towards the monster!

The loud clang of metal hitting metal rang throughout the empty park as a large cloud of dust exploded from the point of impact. As Petra and Kazuya gawked at the display of speed, Chiyome was less than impressed.

If she had to guess, Kito's speed was only a match for a Servant with a D in Agility. Enough to appear as blurs in the normal human sight, but almost any other servant could catch him.

If such a level of power was enough to defeat the monster, Chiyome was again confused why the presence of two servants were necessary.

And as if to mock her thoughts, the cloud of dust cleared… to reveal Kito, fist still planted on the monster's chest, who seemed to only budge an inch from the assault.

"Eh?"

Kito soon found himself hurtling through the air as the monster promptly backhanded him, sending him into a nearby tree for his troubles.

"Master?!" Artoria gasped as the monster descended upon her Master, landing blow after blow on the mage, whose counter attacks seemed to be as effective as his first strike.

Meanwhile, Petra cackled. "Good work, hot shot! Need some help now- yah?!"

A portal immediately opened next to Petra's head, and the drone rushed out, aiming for Petra's waist-

As Petra ducked from fear, Kazuya quickly snatched it out of the air, much to the drone's apparent displeasure, as it buzzed and shuddered angrily in his hand. As he pulled out the red key from his pocket with his open hand, Petra grasped the hand with the drone desperately.

"What are you doing? He's scum anyway! Just leave him- Ah!"

Kazuya yanked his hand from Petra's and for a split second, she could see an uncharacteristic look on his face, one of disapproval and sternness.

"Blast!"

"Chiyome! By my command seal, stop-!"

Too late. In a full sprint, Kazuya had already slammed the key into the drone, donned the belt, and without a word, he flipped the horns over.

"Three-Line Barrage! Ei-Ei-Oh!"

As the armor began to form around his body once more, little did Kazuya know, but this battle was the start of a beautiful circle of bonds that would be created in the next few months.


So that is the fighter Beast 1 has chosen…

Heh, he doesn't look like much. I'm gonna enjoy breaking him and his friend.

Not yet, Beryl. Did you already forget what the Alien God wants? The host of Beast 1 must not be harmed until she is fully restored. If Beast 1's essence is disturbed, the Alien God may never gain the necessary power to bleach this pathetic world.

Yeah yeah, but that still leaves that mage, the girl, and their servants. With our powers, they won't be an issue.

...Perhaps. Oh? That's…

The first of the Pillars. Let's see how the host deals with this… Hm? The mage… I see. He has the basic understanding of how to access his special energy, but the power output is just too low.

Well look! He's transforming too! What a dazzling transformation!

What the hell?! That's basically copying our power!

Seems like Beast 1 has decided to close the power gap between us and him using a similar merging method, if you want to call it that.

Should we intervene, Wodime? This will be someone's first kill, whoever it may be.

No. Leave them to it. I have an idea about the host and this fight…