Fate/Defiance

Chapter 32 [Workshop]

By theMadLad

Beta: Old Man of The Mountain, Kira (The Court Jester), Shub Niggurath

Ever since the day he performed his experimental spell, things felt more clear for Icarus.

The trees seemed more vibrant and the sky seemed more blue… but there was a problem.

It didn't seem to be enough.

As if there was still more just outside his senses… more that he just couldn't reach.

It was as frustrating as it was intriguing.

There were more things than just that of course. Like how his mind felt as though it was constantly on overclock, with it being faster and more efficient than ever.

Thoughts that would usually be on pace with his spoken words had changed and become so much quicker, to the point where he could think more to himself in the space of a single step than he could in a whole 10 paces prior to the spell.

It was exhilarating.

Yet, that was not even the tip of the iceberg.

He could even apply it to combat, where he could easily identify and predict an opponent's next movements within the moment they enact them, whether that be through the faint twitch of their muscles or the momentary redirection of their eyes, and then analyze them before reacting instantaneously.

It was a massive help in his endeavors.

His mental abilities jumped by a great degree, enough to fit his own perception of a genius, an individual who could immediately absorb and take in what was thrown their way.

As Icarus had not only gained the ability to accelerate his own thoughts, but also the ability to separate and partition them as well.

His mind could do more than just analyze an answer over an afternoon of thought, now he could dissect it into little pieces while analyzing the smaller parts until he solved the larger whole, all in the span of seconds.

He had not been born a genius… but that didn't stop him from becoming one regardless.

But, it was not all without downsides, as he noticed his head had become increasingly prone to injury. Where before, blows to the head were harsh yet not detrimental, now they seem all the more important.

He took some help to negate this through Pollux, whose culture, thankfully for Icarus, believed that one could build a resistance to head injury through repeated blows.

It was a dangerous line to tip toe, yet he felt it was worth it, as he didn't dare to underestimate the beliefs of 50,000 Spartans in a Greece with only 10 million souls.

Yet, that was not his only issue, as the irritating itch of his eyes often bothered him, not to mention the myriad of possible still unknown side effects that the spell may have left on him.

But even then, Icarus still couldn't help but feel proud of himself, proud of his daring and proud of his results. He may regret not having been born with divine strength, but he did not necessarily need it either.

He wasn't Heracles, who was born with more strength than possible for his form.

He was Icarus, and he had his own path to follow. If he couldn't have greatness handed to him, then he would simply have to grasp it between his hands… so that he could take and become it.


"Icarus." Chiron spoke, addressing the boy after a day of training. They had spent the day mostly training their body, whether that be through flexibility, strength, or endurance.

…Something which caused Icarus to realize that he was far behind.

He could barely even keep up with Jason, never mind the others who were so far ahead of him that it beggared belief.

It was only his months of living in the forest that had his body barely capable of completing the bare minimum of Chiron's brutal initial training.

But even so, he noticed that no matter how far Chiron pushed him… it was never impossible to complete.

"Y-yes." Icarus responded with a stutter of exhaustion from the floor below. He couldn't even stand, but speech was barely easier.

"Well, there is something I want to teach you. I plan to teach this to the others eventually, as while useful, I feel it won't make much difference now… for all except you." Chiron said as his face gained a soft smile the moment he saw Icarus' eyes light up in anticipation.

Chiron held a more human form as he sat down, with his centaur legs replaced with two normal ones. He had found it easier to teach new students with them, as they were easily distracted by his horse appendages.

Icarus struggled to pull himself up to a sitting position on the grass below, but eventually managed it.

"It has to do with what I had told you about prior, specifically Pneuma and Vital Heat." Chiron specified as Icarus listened with full attention.

"But first, I wish to tell you a brief lesson on history, specifically about… humanity." Chiron spoke as he made eye contact with Icarus, "Humans were not always as they are now, I will not get into it too much, but including their bodies or even lifespans, they used to be different, stronger, better. But over time, they have 'degraded' and changed as a… consequence of numerous reasons."

"With this, they have slowly begun losing a part of themselves, of course this isn't just humanity, but the world as a whole. These changes are happening even now, and things which were once one have slowly begun to separate."

He then shook his head, "But the time for them to separate has not yet arrived, as they are currently still linked."

Icarus was confused about how this was relevant, yet listened closely regardless, as Chiron was not one to speak without reason.

"I am sure you remember when I spoke about the psyche, and how it was constrained within the body until death."

Icarus remembered psyche, the strange term for soul that he explained.

"Although it may be constrained within the body, it is not entirely inaccessible." Chiron spoke as he reached out to Icarus' chest, and then tapped it.

Icarus felt a spark of energy spread from Chiron's tap, one that burned its way into his body like an iron rod. He gasped in pain, and then gasped once more in astonishment, as lines of energy spread across his body like patches of circuitry.

He instantly recognized it. The previous fogs of pain were forgotten as the words jumped into his mind.

Magic Circuits!

Then the light faded away, even as he felt them still active, "The Gods refer to them as Magic 'Circuits' and although I am unsure what Circuits are, you can think of them as energy channels for your psyche. The psyche is a higher existence than your body, and these Magic Circuits can also aid in gathering Vital Heat from the Pneuma you breathe, making the process much quicker." Chiron explained, not giving Icarus a moment to catch his breath after the startling revelation.

Icarus, in his rather shocked state, couldn't help but ask the first question that came to his lips, "W-why aren't they glowing anymore while I can still feel them?"

Chiron looked amused, "Because they are a part of your psyche, which is, as I said, trapped within your body. You can see them glow through your skin with such intensity only during their first activation, but don't worry, they are still there."

Icarus was a bit stunned, such a simple answer? …Yet it did make sense.

Then Chiron continued, "Now that you have gotten a feel for them, you should be able to use them freely, but remember it is not as intuitive as Vital Heat, so you may want to have a mental activation to use them. This is important, as your mind is what controls them; if your body is the psyche's prison, then your heart," he tapped Icarus' chest once more, "…is the lock."

"Now, similar to what I spoke of earlier, these Magic Circuits are not entirely separate from your body, as they can pull from the Vital Heat within your body and carry it within themselves. This also makes their link with both your Mind and Psyche more important, as they allow a precision non-existent in the otherwise simple control of Vital Heat." Chiron explained, but Icarus was only half listening… as something else had taken his attention.

"…Why are you glowing, and why do I see your real legs?" Icarus asked with a wide eyed look.

The moment he had taken his attention off the fading lines on his skin and looked at Chiron in front of him, things had changed.

Chiron's normal human legs remained, but Icarus could now suddenly see the centaur legs 'beneath' them, and not only that… Chiron was also glowing, but for some reason Icarus could tell why.

Divinity.

It was his presence. He could see Chiron in a way he had never seen him before.

He could see the immortality clinging to his form, the divinity filling his body, and his metaphysical weight pressing down around him.

It was at this moment Icarus finally realized how powerful Chiron was, and what he truly was.

Not a centaur, but a Divine Spirit shaped like one.

A moment later, Chiron gripped his head and looked into his eyes. Icarus jerked back, but Chiron held him steady as he gazed into his eyes with intrigue and anticipation.

"…Mystic Eyes?!" Chiron yelled out in surprise after seeing a glint of light behind Icarus' golden eyes, but then he paused, "…But for what?"

Mystic Eyes!

Icarus' eyes widened further in shock, he had also just noticed that the familiar irritation in his eyes ever since his spell had also vanished.

Was this why?

"Icarus, aim at those trees and then use your new Circuits to push the Vital Heat from your body into the Magic Circuits connected to your eyes." Chiron spoke with a hint of excitement.

Icarus nodded and turned his head to one of the trees near the clearing where he was sitting and tried his new Circuits for the first time.

But then he realized he needed to activate them once more, to do so, he remembered that in Fate/Stay Night, Shirou Emiya used the hammer of a gun being fired, but Icarus felt that wouldn't work for him.

His mind jumped through numerous possibilities, from flying for the first time to even being punctured by the Stymphalian Birds' feathers.

But he wanted to be symbolic, yet not ominous. If he was going to have to think about it every time, he wanted it to have some meaning.

So he settled on one memory, the one where Heracles punched the fuck out of him.

He couldn't help but smirk as he felt his Magic Circuits activate. That was his first big 'loss,' but even then, he considered it a point of pride. Heracles was arguably the most famous hero in the world in his past life, a legendary demi-god who performed impossible deeds and was rewarded with Godhood.

Yet Icarus forced Heracles to sneak attack him, or else he would have been defeated without laying a finger on his opponent. Without that sneak attack, Heracles would have taken a complete loss.

And even though that was not the outcome, it still signified a reminder that he always wanted to remember every time he activated his Magic Circuits.

—That he could accomplish anything if he believed in himself, that he could even force a figure renowned the world over, even thousands of years later, to sneak attack him just to draw.

That nothing was impossible.

So, as Magical Energy welled in Icarus' eyes, Chiron watched in anticipation as… nothing happened to the tree.

"Huh."

—But that wasn't the case for Icarus.

He could see the soft glow of the tree spell out a formless language in his mind, he watched as the colors danced while the light from them fed knowledge from his eyes directly into his mind.

He could see the breaths of life escaping from the tree, the phantom lingering touches of nearby forest nymphs, their links to a greater entity, and…

His eyes burned.

His mind was overloading, but Icarus was no normal person—he was someone who had already overclocked his mind, this much strain was only the current maximum he could take.

A few drops of blood escaped his vision, but he smiled regardless.

Chiron watched from the side as his momentary outburst abbated. He recalled what Icarus spoke earlier as he watched the faint blood drip from the boy's eyes with worry. He knew Icarus had not only seen his true legs, but a glowing light from him, and judging by the reaction on Icarus face at the time, it was likely not a simple light.

"Well, what did you see?" Chiron asked with interest.

"…I am not sure, information? Connections? Maybe even a nymph somewhere along the line?" Icarus murmured a reply.

"Huh." Chiron replied, he was not very informed about Mystic Eyes as they were incredibly rare, with only the Gorgon of the Shapeless Isles' legendary petrification coming to mind.

"…And I can't really turn it off, just make it… less intense." Icarus finished while rubbing his eyes in discomfort.

"Well, just be careful when you use them, we will speak about this some other time, allow me to heal you." Chiron replied as he took a moment to heal Icarus' eyes, which weren't in too much pain after a few seconds.

Icarus continued rubbing his eyes as he felt the irritation disappear, meanwhile Chiron addressed his thoughts, "It seems you have some strange Mystic Eyes, ones which lack a direct purpose. Maybe, they see what is supposed to be unseen? …Or perhaps they can uncover metaphysical properties?"

It was only a preliminary speculation, so in the end, he simply shook his head and left it for another time. He wanted to find out a bit more about them before making any conclusion.

"Anyways, Icarus." Chiron spoke as Icarus looked over at him with a questioning glance, "I will continue telling you my original purpose for pulling you aside."

Icarus raised his brow, remembering that he never found out why Chiron told him about Magic Circuits.

"Besides unexpectedly having Mystic Eyes, there is another reason I showed you Magic Circuits. While they can help in generating Vital Heat, there is a secondary and larger purpose I showed them to you for. Specifically, that they can also transfer information."

Magic Circuits were not nearly as useful as they will be in the future, but as a trade-off, they were hardly needed. This was the Age of the Gods, magecraft did not exist, and everything was magic.

Icarus could recall from his memories of the franchise that Magic Circuits still needed a Thaumaturgical Foundation to function, and currently… none existed. Magecraft would not work in the first place… at least until Solomon if he remembered correctly.

"Let me show you an example." Chiron grabbed a stick and held it in front of him, clear for Icarus to see, before he placed it at a balance on his palm and spoke, "στροφή!" (turn)

The stick tilted to the right and promptly fell over after losing balance. Chiron looked towards Icarus and explained, "There I simply used a Divine Word to direct it, but if I use my Magic Circuits in tandem with the spell to transfer the information I wish it to have… στροφή!" This time, lines of circuitry appeared on the stick, and then it spun, keeping perfect balance as it spun a circle on his palm, "I conveyed the balance and direction I wanted it to have while it spun… and this was the result, just keep in mind, that you must touch the object for this to work."

Icarus was confounded, completely floored. For anyone else, it was a neat trick, but for Icarus… it was game changing. "...So much potential." He couldn't help but mutter, drawing a light chuckle from his teacher.

—And then his next words floored Icarus.

"You are not the first person to make wings and use them to fly." Chiron spoke, interrupting his thoughts with a surprising revelation.

"...What?" Icarus asked in shock, who the hell stole his feat?!

"Circe, the Falcon Witch, also has a pair of Falcon Wings sprouting from her back, wings which are fully functional." Chiron explained, causing Icarus to sputter at the unfairness of the world. Chiron seemed amused before he looked at Icarus with a reassuring smile, "But, she is one of the greatest mages ever born, and is not only the daughter of Helios and a minor Goddess of Sorcery herself, but also a favored disciple of Hecate, The Goddess of Magic."

Then, just like that—he felt better. He was still the first human to fly, without a mount or some kind of divine treasure BS, that he knew of!

He felt smug even.

Chiron could even see it on his face, he could practically read Icarus' thoughts of, 'Heh, she was all that and I still did the same while homeless in the woods!'

Chiron didn't mind though, as it was something worthy of such smugness, so he only kept a smile on his face while feeling pride in his new student.

"But, what I wish to tell you is that unlike your wings that are difficult to use and control… her's are no different from the real thing." Chiron informed, hoping to push Icarus towards greater heights in his pursuit of invention, "And Magic Circuits were crucial in doing so."

Icarus paused there, momentarily looking down at his hands which held various attachments and instruments used to control the wings… which were admittedly, a bitch.

It was something extremely cumbersome to deal with.

"You already have done so much with those difficult and inaccurate controls, imagine what you could do by controlling them with just your mind… and with two free hands as well." Chirons smirked as he saw the awe being directed at him from Icarus.

"Think about it." Chiron finished before he walked off, leaving Icarus to his thoughts.

…And think he did.


Some time later, Icarus sat alone, away from any other campers as some of them glanced over at him from time to time.

A few of them had already finished their new cabins, while those that hadn't were almost done. They had used the pine trees in the area, which were really good materials to build with.

Like… surprisingly good.

But Icarus hadn't even started.

They watched him as he used both his hands at the same time to mash two different materials in two different bowls into small grains the size of sand.

"…Finally done." Icarus spoke out loud as he wiped the sweat from his brow.

He then stood up, before walking over to a tree and slicing it down with one of his wings.

Those watching were confused. Because, why didn't he do that earlier? …Why was he starting just now after playing with rocks?

They thought that he was pretty weird.

This was only exemplified after watching Icarus not use the wood to build things like walls or a foundation for his cabin… but instead, to form small wooden rectangles that he cut out with a bronze feather.

Then, they watched as he picked up the wooden rectangles before he walked over and grabbed the filled bowls of material with his wings. He carried them over to a large pool near his construction site, a place which was filled with seawater after an offering Icarus sent to the sea god with the help of Chiron.

Finally, Icarus dumped the contents of the two bowls onto the ground below, in an area he had already cleared of grass.

Jason couldn't help it anymore and spoke the sentence on the minds of everyone watching, "…What the fuck is he doing?"

"Who knows what goes on in his mind?" Castor replied with a shake of his head, while he had gotten over most of his dislike towards Icarus, he still thought Icarus wasn't all there in the mind—or maybe even a little too there in the mind.

They watched as the boy in question then took the now empty bowls and filled them with water before dumping it into the sandy materials below. Then, he took off his shoes and stomped on them like a toddler playing in the mud.

"…Pollux, did you perhaps hit him too hard during your spars?" Castor asked with a grimace.

Jason shivered as he watched Pollux actually pause to consider it and quickly spoke up with hope, "H-hey I'm sure she didn't hit him too hard."

Then he watched her experimentally punch forward in perfect form, causing the air to ripple as it unintentionally tossed up his hair.

Any hope he had vanished in that instant as he shivered once more.

Meanwhile, Icarus continued to work throughout the day, with Atalanta studying under Chiron, he was free to work without issue.

The wooden frames he had were filled with the muddy mixture he had made, which included sea water, mashed up limestone, and volcanic ash.

The ingredients for Concrete, or more specifically, Roman Concrete.

He had collected the limestone from within Mt. Pelion itself, which was the main rock that could be found on the mountain, while the volcanic ash was a material from Daedalus' workshop that he had taken, although there wasn't too much of it laying around.

After a while he removed the frames, and was left with white wet bricks. He laid the finished bricks out to dry and continued to make more, over and over, until the sun was down.

After finishing the bricks, Icarus started to dig out a foundation for his building, as he also planned to add a concrete floor. Any future archeologists or robbers would have to go through tons of bullshit to enter his workshop without just destroying it outright.

…And he hadn't even added the magic protections yet.

He wished to do more, make more… but he still didn't have the knowledge, nor experience to do better.

So he had to settle for just this.

He was inspired by the shield spell that Chiron had shown him while he was first learning how to make one. The spell was called 'Αἰακός' and was named after Aeacus, the King of the Aegina Island.

It was said that he assisted Poseidon and Apollo in building the walls of Troy.

This is where Icarus made a mistake, one that left him scratching his head. He had originally wanted to 'piggyback' off this legend to make his workshop's walls stronger through 'recreating' the legend while making the wall.

Icarus intended to take the place of Aeacus, with himself 'assisting' in constructing the wall, while at the same time using Poseidon and Apollo's passive authorities to create the bricks, and by proxy, the workshop itself.

This would be through the use of seawater in making the brucks to take the place of Poseidon, and the use of sunlight to dry them to take the place of Apollo.

But there was one 'tiny' problem.

…Apparently evaporation didn't exist during the Age of the Gods.

So, his plan went to shit and was all for nothing. His future knowledge shot him in the foot this time.

Icarus sighed as he racked his head over a solution while staring at the still wet bricks. His thoughts seemed to be running miles a minute, taking apart possible solutions before disposing of them as impractical within seconds.

Then his mind split, as his thoughts separated into two and he thought of a different solution… twice, at the same time.

Mental Partitioning.

And then his thoughts accelerated.

"Hey Jason." Icarus suddenly spoke up loudly, breaking the silence of the area as a blonde haired boy perked up from nearby.

"…Yeah?" Jason responded nervously, not expecting the sudden callout.

"…Where does water go when things dry off?" Icarus asked as one part of his mind focused on asking and the other continued thinking.

Jason looked at his back strangely with a raised brow and a face so grimaced it was as if he asked what color the sky was, "Back underground, you know… where it belongs?"

Seeing Icarus not respond made Jason give a hesitant laugh, "You do know that… right?"

Then it clicked, "Thanks Jason."

"N-No problem?" Jason responded hesitantly with immense confusion as he wondered why Icarus asked such a basic question.

…Wasn't he supposed to be a genius?

Icarus didn't pay attention to any of Jason's thoughts as he had already found his solution. It would end up worse than he intended, but it would probably still work.

That was fine with him, as this place was pretty safe in general due to Chiron's presence. So the defense being a bit worse wasn't much of a problem with him.

Icarus sighed once more as he looked at the wet bricks beside him. Why must things be so difficult? He wished that he could just use the Divine Words for drying and just be done with it… but if he did so, then he would lose the conceptual strength gained through piggybacking off of the walls of Troy.

He needed Aceaus to be involved somehow.

Damn it.

Now he had to use magical mental gymnastics.

Icarus walked up to the still wet brick and carved Aeacus' name into it before placing his finger on it. A moment later, it was glowing with lines of energy. Those watching had their eyes widened in surprise, as Icarus then spoke, "αποπνέω!"

It was a divine word that meant exhale, yet at the same time meant exude.

…And the brick became dry.

Icarus laughed, amused about how it had actually worked, "Fucking magic is so dumb. I love it!"

The others glanced at him as if he had lost his basket and eggs.

—But Icarus didn't care.

Other than helping build the walls of Troy, Aeacus had another legend—that being, that after his death… he became one of the judges of Hades.

Icarus had used his Magic Circuits to help specify the water or moisture within the brick before using the spell, but even then, the real meaning was behind the words.

Similar to Pneuma, which held the meaning of 'breath,' Psyche was a word that also had a special meaning, specifically, it meant 'breath of life.'

By choosing the Divine Word 'αποπνέω' he not only alluded to exhaling that 'breath of life' but also used its other meaning of exude, to specify the removal of water.

Icarus had labeled the brick as 'Aeacus' using it as a symbolic representation of the man. Then by using the spell and the double meanings behind his words to signify the water 'trapped' within the brick as a psyche or soul, he had killed 'Aeacus,' and then in turn, piggybacked off his legend of becoming a judge of the Underworld to send the water back underground.

And in turn, dry the brick.

Icarus sat down and had a laugh about such an overly complicated and pointlessly complex way to dry a fucking brick, all for the sake of having Aeacus tied in someway to his brick wall.

Now he just had to do the same thing to every single brick.

Then he simply had to take the place of Apollo instead of Aeacus in its construction.

Which was easy, he just needed to be artsy.

…And what was artsier than building the first ever concrete brick wall? It was even all white and fancy from the volcanic ash! Icarus laughed as he put the finishing touches to his workshop's walls with only one thought in mind, 'Eat your heart out Romans, you're a thousand years too early to compete with me!'

Literally.


Omake [Poor Achilles]

"Woah, so this was made by Icarus?" Achilles asked with starstruck eyes as he gazed at the white brick structure so juxtaposed against the wooden cabins and forest surrounding it.

"Yes." Chiron responded to the young boy with a chuckle before he grinned as he pointed to the walls, "He actually based it off your grandfather Aeacus' work on the walls of Troy."

"Hehe, really?" Achilles grinned with pride. To think that someone like Icarus would base his work off his grandfather!

His grandfather must have been one impressive guy.

But more than that he was impressed by the building itself, with small white stone blocks that looked so deliberately and perfectly placed, he had never seen such architecture before in his short life!

If he had to describe the feeling that the structure gave him… it would be oddly satisfying.

But more importantly…

"How strong is it?" Achilles asked in earnest.

"Could probably take a hit from Heracles and not falter an inch." Chiron bragged about his student to his other student.

"Oh! Amazing!" Achilles fanboyed, excitedly cheering with Chiron's references to his other legendary students, "Let me try!"

Chiron grabbed him before shaking his head with a soft smile, "It's time for training, and don't go damaging it—it's more than just a building, it might even become part of our culture itself. Such a thing is… priceless."

"Aw…" Achilles whined as his shoulders fell.

Chiron soon brought him over for training, failing to notice Achilles looking towards the building with determination.

He was definitely going to punch it!

…But little did he know that the building had been forced to take on aspects of Aeacus legend, which Icarus had to deal with specifically because of his magical gymnastics.

Because he could not replace Aeacus' 'part' in the workshop's construction, a portion of the wall of Troy's legend, that would otherwise be irrelevant, had been kept, specifically a prophecy made by Apollo.

That one day, Aeacus' descendants would destroy the walls of Troy.

So, when little Achilles snuck out that night to punch the wall as nothing more than playful curiosity mixed with childish determination… he didn't account for himself being the building's perfect conceptual weakness, and as such, when his fist caved in the wall, he couldn't help but break out into a cold sweat.

…And when the building as a whole crumbled around the hole, he couldn't help but remember Chiron's earlier words.

—That the building was priceless.

He shit himself in fear.

B-But at least he was stronger than Heracles!

…Unfortunately, Chiron beat that notion out of him the next day.

Poor Achilles.


If you like my stories, please support me on P_atreon, at P_ atrè /theMadLad, where you can find one advanced chapter early right now!

Author's Notes

Hey.

How you doing?

Me? Not so well, but eh, it's getting better.

Sorry for the lack of well… anything. I have been having a tough time, but like in the wise words of Johnathan Wick:

I'm thinkin' i'm back!

Thanks to everyone who reached out, might take me a while to catch up to everything, but I am alive! Expect more updates soon, and I will be replying to all the PM's and such soon, sorry for the wait.

Join the discord at, /AMyqBN2