Hiiiiiii~ Another chapter is here!
Sorry about the late update, the latest chapter was a b*tch to write and i had to stop myself from writing as it was already the word count of nearly two chapters.
Anyways, thank you to my newest patrons: Mr. Narrator, Blair, James Aviles, Parley, Bryan, Jeremy Hernandez, Cole Kurimski and JG. Y'all rock!
Author NimtheWriter out!
Beta read by Shigiya, Fluffy Slayer
The revelation of what they just witnessed shook every single Princess Knight to the core.
Vault was an acclaimed general and fighter known for his combat prowess and leadership skills, having led armies through countless battles without ever losing once to Olga's evil demonic spawns. One of the few individuals they considered an equal, a paragon who could stand among them as a Shield member and trusted ally.
"Impossible!" Alicia shouted, her sentiment shared by her peers. Prim by her side gasped at the shocking revelation.
Maia couldn't believe her ears, "K-Kaguya, did y-you make a mistake?" The revelation had put her mind in complete disarray, thousands of thoughts flashing by the second. Her breathing had become ragged and her general presence exuded pure disbelief. Did she mean that only Vault died? Or was it his entire group? 'Wait… she also said that Castle Discordia was destroyed…'
Kaguya shook her head, plagued by doubts of her own, but the moths were connected to her religion's patron, with the voice inside her assuring her that there was no misunderstanding — which turned her legs into jelly. She nearly fell until Celestine came to her aid and made sure she was okay.
"There… there is no mistake I'm afraid. My deity has confirmed it."
"Had she decided to kill herself with Vault as a last-ditch effort?" Prim asked.
"No," Celestine denied that possibility immediately. "Olga is still alive, I can sense it. If she had died then I would have known firsthand."
"That damnable Olga Discordia!" Claudia slammed her armored fists against the table, nearly splitting into two with her strength. "She must have gotten wind of Vault's assault and set up traps within her domain. How despicable! To use her own castle as bait… she truly deserves the title of Dark Queen."
"Shame, it would have given me great joy to salvage what remained of her weapon collection and valuables." While saddened at the loss, Luu-Luu did feel remorse for Vault's death as well as the Kuroinu in general — but the destruction of a castle holding centuries' worth of valuable artifacts was far more heartbreaking. She envisioned building a new halberd for herself using some of the materials from Olga's throne. Given its mystical composition , she feared that not even Celestine could replicate the materials. "Maybe I can send some of my soldiers to scavenge the ruins?" She whispered quietly, thinking up on ways to scavenge the area.
"No… No, it wasn't Olga. She had no part in their deaths." Kaguya's announcement silenced everyone in the room, the furious Claudia was now confused. Wondering who else could have done such a thing.
"Has the southern Kingdom, Furusutāj, decided to aid the Queen? I heard they use a renowned mercenary group that is composed of demihumans called the White Wolves. They said that the group was similar to the Kuroinu. Even if Olga isn't seen in a good light by the demihumans, she still possesses vast amounts of riches that could have swayed them regardless of their feelings." Pondering over the possibilities, Claudia knew it wasn't as clear-cut as it appeared to be. "There is also Nidavellir that is more likely to come to her aid, but they haven't been involved in this conflict for a century."
"It has to be one of them," Alicia sneered in anger, her disgust grew by the second at the notion that these powers would so brazenly fraternize with their worst enemy. "Those opportunistic scoundrels would aid both sides, hoping to see us kill each other so that they can invade our lands."
As everyone was coming up with various theories for this tragic outcome, Kaguya called for their attention once again. "It… it was neither Olga nor any of the other kingdoms that resulted in Vault's death…"
Maia who heard this got a bad feeling in her guts. A foggy figure she parted ways with came to her mind. No, it couldn't be him, there had to be some mistake!
To further prove her point, the priestess casted a few spells on the moth who flew to the center of the table, causing a cloud to encompass its body. "What will be shown through this spell are but a few memory fragments of the moth."
Luu-Luu frowned in response. "You and your weird magic. I will never get over how messed up it is that you can manipulate these things. Kinda reminds me of those disgusting insect freaks that pissed me off. Are you sure you're not related to that Insect God Cult that tried to kill me not too long ago?"
Kaguya frowned, clearly not appreciating Luu-Luu's words as a scowl was almost present on her face. "Please do not associate my patron deity with those heathens. We couldn't be any more different, their existence only stains our name and nothing more."
The halfling just waved her hand without care.
"If you say so, though, I would prefer you keep these critters away from me and my kingdom. Or else they'll have to answer to my hammer, and Gaius especially hates them with a passion after almost being eaten alive."
Kaguya gave her a side-eyed glance, "Duly noted." There wasn't an ounce of emotion as her tone returned to its former state.
"This is not the time or place for such petty confrontation, both of you." The Goddess Reborn chastised them, knowing the halfling's rather eccentric nature wouldn't mix well with Kaguya's devotion to her goddess and goal. They had secretly been at odds for longer than the dispute between Maia and Alicia.
"It's starting!" Prim exclaimed, watching as a faint image of a blackened sky became visible, followed by an array of dead forest trees. Seeing through the moth's eyes, it wasn't long before a large dark castle belonging to none other than Olga came into view.
Though some Princess Knights were less than pleased with what they were seeing.
"Kaguya, I do not wish to cause further strife nor accuse a fellow comrade — but why haven't you ever disclosed this with us? The ability to spy on the Queen would have given us the upper hand in this war." Thinking about the time, data, and resources they could have saved with this technique if the priestess hadn't kept it secret outraged the blonde immensely. Prim nodded her head, agreeing with the blonde as she also believed this powerful spying tool could have been a golden opportunity to turn the tide of the war.
"I understand your feelings, Alicia. But please understand that I don't hold control over the children of my patron deity to the extent you're thinking of. The matter related to Vault's assault on Olga's territory was a monumental event that gave me permission to employ all the resources within my temple — including this particular moth that was gifted to me by my god just to help Celestine. On a normal occasion, I wouldn't have been able to use such a thing let alone spy on the Dark Queen across such a vast distance." Hearing her explanation calmed Alicia down before she sat back and observed the scene.
Sure enough, everyone recognised Olga's castle but what was more intriguing were the hail of arrows and fire flying through the sky before killing many of the demons and elves stationed on the walls and entrance.
Leading the army was none other than Vault, valiantly slashing through the horde with little trouble.
"Hey, why are there orcs within his army?" Luu-Luu spoke out, noticing this weird detail.
"Maybe Vault had Kin enslave some of the Queen's demons to use as cannon fodder against her. An ingenious tactic to increase one's chance at victory without squandering manpower on the battlefield."
"Whatever you say, Claudia. But I still don't like it. Those things give me the chills every time I'm close to one. I just want to bash their faces into meat paste with my hammer."
The more they witnessed the battle, the more they grew impressed by how the Kuroinu were easily crushing through the enemy defenses. With Kin employing the mages in the rearguard to launch countless spells and attacks that burned any and all obstacles in their way.
"Humph, those dark elves deserved getting burned alive. In fact, they deserve a much more painful death!" Alicia voiced out, enjoying the sight of her lifelong enemies burning under the fiery flames with swords piercing their flesh. Prim who sat next to her didn't feel that comfortable with the scene presented in front of her, a rather haunting image of slaughter she wasn't familiar with seeing regularly. It made her sick, enough to avert her eyes slightly.
Maia's heart meanwhile was beating loudly like a drum. So far, she was worried that Kin would backstab and kill Vault before allying himself with the Dark Queen. It was already established to her understanding that this man couldn't be trusted, yet as she thought of that, the words of the men she left in Geofu resurfaced in her mind.
'...I don't know how to explain this, but be wary of the people close to you. Those you consider as friends or family may not have the best of intentions. They may hurt you worse than what the Dark Queen could ever do…'
'...I'm not talking about Kin or Hicks… those two were just pawns — like the rest of us...'
What Leoric said the day she left Luu-Luu's kingdom held another meaning within them.
As she was lost in her thoughts, the others continued to witness Olga's side losing ground and retreating back to the castle with Vault chasing them down like a bull engrossed in a maniacal laugh. The moth was attracted to the heat, so it flew closer and closer, giving them a better image of everything.
"Something about this seems. I read through the reports that Olga has an powerful barrier around her castle that is considered impenetrable, does she not?" Prim asked the others, seeing how easily Vault and the rest managed to advance without any hindrance.
"Yes, Olga should have a barrier set up… something about this is not adding up." Even Celestine could spot the irregularity with this situation. Having faced Olga countless times, she knew that her former friend would never be so careless or weak enough to actually dismiss the barrier in such a crucial battle. This presented only two possibilities, either Olga really had fallen so low that keeping up a self sufficient barrier was beyond her ability… or something — someone — prevented her from doing so. Celestine was inclined to believe the latter.
"Everything is going smoothly so far, so what went wrong?" Claudia asked, analyzing each action of both parties yet seeing no signs that led her to believe that Vault and the castle would end up getting destroyed.
As Vault infiltrated the castle, minutes passed yet nothing much happened aside from the mercenary group killing off any remnants of Olga's forces, having completely taken over the outer area without much issue.
"As expected from Vault, truly a genius strategist and commander." Alicia commented, possibly complimenting one of the few men in her life for the first time. She herself tried on multiple occasions to siege Castle Discordia but failed again and again. So to see a man like Vault doing it in front of her eyes made it impossible for her to dismiss his achievements. How could such a man ever fall? There must have been a communication error with Kaguya and those creatures, surely Olga must have been captured by now and they were heading home.
Maia just stared silently, her face showing no sign of joy like many of the Princess Knights. A part of her wanted to believe that Kaguya was wrong and that Vault survived, as she herself was having a hard time to accept such a reality. So putting her feelings and confusion aside — the redhead patiently watched the scene with a grim face.
Soon, they saw everyone cheering out of nowhere, "Looks like Vault must have captured the Queen by now." Luu-Luu said, paying close attention to another thing entirely. Just for a split second, she noticed a particular dagger near the entrance. It was so small and insignificant to the vision as a whole, but for someone like her it stole all of her attention instantly. And it looked like some of the Kuroinu goons on the battlefield noticed it as well.
"Damnit, why is it always during battles that the most interesting weapons appear?"
A few seconds later, they all witnessed a single arrow bursting out of nowhere and killing one of the Kuroinu men near the entrances.
"Reinforcements!" They shouted, surprised to see the projectile appear out of nowhere.
"It must be Nidavellir!"
"More arrows are raining down from the sky!"
It was like a repeat of the previous scene with Vault attacking Olga's forces. But this time, they were the ones in the losing end. There were fewer arrows, but each shot never missed once and some shots even killed multiple targets! No matter how much they tried to run, these things would hunt them down like bloodthirsty hounds and pierce their heads.
"What… what is this!?" Their shocked states grew more pronounced when they witnessed weirdly shaped arrows descending from the sky and blowing up large areas within less than a second. What was supposed to be a mage's strongest spell was now happening dozens of times across the field.
But then the most unexpected thing happened that made Maia's eyes widen. A hooded figure with their face nearly obscured, though she didn't even need that physical clue to know his identity as she witnessed him holding two familiar black and white dao swords.
"It really was you… Emiya."
She saw him move at speeds she hadn't seen since their last true duel, ruthlessly murdering everything and everyone who stood in his way. There were no wasted movements on his part, even the hundreds of Kuroinu men around him couldn't hit the man no matter how hard they tried. He was like a killing machine, a grim reaper who harvested their souls within the blazing field around him.
"Why… why would you do this?" That was all she could ask herself after seeing his actions. Emiya wasn't allied with Olga, she was certain of it and refused to accept such a thing in the first place. He had many occasions where he could have killed her easily without anyone knowing — but he didn't.
Luu-Luu nearly jumped out of her seat when she saw the swords. Having seen them countless times in her dreams and the many blueprints she created just to attempt at replicating them with little to no success. "Kanshou and Bakuya! My babies!"
"You know him!?" Even Alicia couldn't believe her eyes. If Vault could be described as a juggernaut warrior crushing his enemies with a single swing, Then this man was nothing short of a complete monster. It made her question just how could someone achieve such speed and power when even she struggled to attain such a level with Celestine's blessing powering her. Furthermore, she felt like she knew this person, the little she could see of his lower face sounded alarm bells inside her mind.
Prim was more certain of his identity as she had spent more time together. Just his lower face for her was enough. But she instead felt an extra emotion other than horror when watching the massacre. When Vault killed the demons and dark elves, there was nothing but disgust and wariness filling her being. Now, watching someone who could be none other than Archer showing off his prowess against an entire army of Kuroinu and demons just looked very mesmerizing.
Like how she would always gaze at Alicia's training from the darkness, the inexplicably strong desire that boiled inside her made her unconsciously grin. He just looked so… amazing.
Not once did she ask herself why he was killing the Kuroinu. In the end, her eyes were completely entranced by his movement and viciousness.
"What power!" Now it was Claudia's turn to be amazed, yet she couldn't hide the sorrow of seeing their alliance's strongest ally get destroyed so easily. "This man's fighting ability exceeds that of a Knight… how is this even possible?"
Unfortunately, the scene didn't last long as he rushed inside the castle, which soon got engulfed in a giant explosion of fire and destruction that forced the moth to retreat, thus ending the vision abruptly. The clouds dissipated as the moth landed back onto Kaguya's finger.
"I have never seen the usage of such forms of magic." Kaguya mentioned, "I cannot deduce if it's indeed a blessing or just a spell. Such speed and strength is not humanely achievable without external help of some kind. Not to mention those swords, they must be some kind of artifacts."
Claudia agreed, "Celestine, have you any idea on what kind of magic… this… Celestine?"
Turning around, she was shocked to find her long time friend looking at the scene, frozen from shock. A single tear streamed down her face as she uttered a single name.
She couldn't believe it… everything started to become more clear.
'Was this… the cause of your hanging?'
All thoughts about Vault and the Kuroinu vanished from her mind, replaced with the memory of Shirou smiling in his last moment at the gallows.
For a few hours, Olga had been traveling as a so-called 'prisoner'. Walking across the desolated and toxic lands that could easily kill a regular human if the proper potions weren't taken beforehand. She and Chloe on the other hand had long since grown accustomed to such an environment.
Looking in front of her, she carefully gazed at the white haired man who rescued her from Vault's clutches and the Kuroinu's plan of creating a cuntry.
They hadn't talked a lot the entire time, even if she tried to start a conversation he would either give her a short dismissive answer or not give one at all — always wearing a frown on his face, deep in thought. Chloe was placed over his shoulders, tied and gagged like a true prisoner.
His action during their introduction had sent her well beyond the point of anger, to which she lashed out at him feverishly. But just like the first instance, it always ended up with a resounding slap to the cheeks. Olga lost count after Chloe's 58th attempt.
And if she was being honest, it was getting a bit embarrassing to watch her bodyguard get taken down so easily.
In the end, even Archer lost his patience and resolutely tied her up to be carried along like a sack of potatoes.
Initially she struggled and resisted proactively, but gradually after a handful of failed attempts at struggling, she resigned herself to her fate and let Archer carry her.
He never bothered to bind Olga as well, allowing her to freely follow him without having a rope or anything of such sorts wrapped around her arms like she expected when he called her his prisoner. While she wasn't expecting such conduct, she wasn't one to turn down an advantage like this.
'He must be directly associated with Celestine, or else he wouldn't have given me so much freedom.'
Soon, they reached a small clearing where Archer decided to set up camp before casually dropping Chloe to the ground. Jolted awake from her daze with a face full of dirt once again, she couldn't help but hatefully glare at the man. If looks could kill then he would have died a hundred times in less than a second.
"You only have yourself to blame for this turn of events. If you were more cooperative like your Queen here then I wouldn't have been forced to resort to string you up." Moving past the glaring blonde dark elf, Archer started setting up a fire with the bundles of twigs and dead branches lying around them. "It's late, we'll continue our journey tomorrow. In the dead of night, the chances of encountering a group of wild demons is too risky."
Truthfully, he just wanted to rest and recover. His right hand was still in a completely devastated state, susceptible to bleeding if he moved it too much. With blurry vision and fatigue settling down on him like a ton of bricks, it was a miracle that he was able to carry the restrained Chloe for so long without collapsing. He had the intention to bind Olga as well but realized the Queen didn't harbor any ill intent so far, which he would take under advisement for the time being as he continued keeping a watchful eye on the Dark Elf.
After the fire was lit, he sat down on the ground and leaned against a tree. The relief he felt was a godsend, unfortunately it was short lived as he had to keep watch on these two and any other possible threats.
"What?" Archer asked, wondering why she wasn't sitting down.
Olga frowned, looking at him incredulously. "You can't expect me to sit down on the ground and stain myself."
Hearing those words made his eyes roll, "Well too bad, your majesty. I don't exactly have a golden throne on me for you to use." Although sarcastic, he was capable of tracing something simple like a chair but he was not willing to waste any of his Magical Energy.
"This is humiliating!"
"Says the woman who lost to a group of humans who should have been an easier opponent to deal with compared to the Seven Shields while also nearly getting raped by them. Yeah, sitting on the ground outweighs everything you've gone through so far."
Never had Olga had the urge to punch someone in the face like the man in front of her… except for Vault and Kin. Though she didn't show any anger on her face, making sure to keep all of her emotions under control.
"Is it possible for you to free Chloe? She's been bound ever since we've found you." She said while gazing at the blonde girl worming her way next to her and away from Archer. The man nearly chuckled from the scene but couldn't due to his burning lungs.
"If I do that, she'll just attack me and I'll be forced to slap her down… again." The girl resembled the kind of people who were far too stubborn for their own good and never learned their lessons, no matter how many times they get pushed down.
"She won't, you have my word."
"What word? I barely even know you nor do I care about knowing you."
"You…" No, he was intentionally trying to make her angry. "I don't feel safe without my protector by my side."
"You aren't meant to, again, prisoner and all. It's pretty simple logic."
"Why even take me as a prisoner?" She couldn't help but ask, "because I was certain anyone working under Celestine desired my death. Let me guess, that naïve goddess couldn't bear to kill me so she'll have me locked up in a dungeon until I can 'come back to my senses'. Humph, as expected of her, naive till the end… she'll be the sole reason her kingdom falls in the future." Archer noticed enough traces of bitterness and indignation in her voice to know that the relationship between them wasn't so black and white as many were led to believe.
"Okay, first off. Again, I'm not associated with Celestine in the least bit. We haven't talked or met each other even once." In the physical world, that part was left unsaid. That statement surprised Olga for a bit until she remembered the scene of the sword plunging into the earth and decimating the entire valley.
"Then you're either under the command of one of the many gods who support her or one of her sister's champions or something."
Oh? Celestine had sisters? That was news to him. Every text he'd read so far never gave such indication at any point. Still, he trusted Olga's words far more than the texts written by a bunch of fanatics who were blinded by their beliefs, delusioned to create a story influenced by their bias. Not to mention, Olga had no reason to make up lies to him within this conversation.
"Again, no. I'm not associated with any of the gods of this world, or her sisters. My sole mission was to kill Vault and keep the human population safe. Nothing more, nothing less." The Counter Force wasn't an entity originating from this world so he wasn't lying. "I'm not even from Eostia."
"I know," Olga said, knowing some details of his origins as she tried to research his past before. Yet everything he mentioned so far made no sense to her, if he wanted to keep the humans safe then why spare her? "Don't you hate me? Despise my very existence for the atrocities I've committed?" She wasn't blind to her actions and knew many wouldn't hesitate a second to decapitate her head if given the opportunity.
Archer couldn't help but smirk,
"Heh, so you want me to kill you?" Chloe tried to stand in front of her Queen but couldn't remain still for long before falling to the ground.
"As for your question, no, I don't hate you… not even a little bit." Olga couldn't hide her shock when he said that. "Many see you as a monster but not me, you aren't even close to one. You're nothing more than a nuisance to me."
Putting aside his past life and many of the most vile enemies he fought, now there was a true monster lurking within this world. In a state of sleep which could end hopefully later than sooner. Everything Olga had done, taking into account every life she had taken directly and indirectly with her orders still couldn't come close to what he had done and let alone the Beast lurking around. Even after the event that nearly killed Maia and Brynn, never once did he come to hate Olga.
All this time, only emotion was associated with her; indifference. He acknowledged her actions but couldn't be bothered to feel any sort of anger or injustice for everyone she killed. That part of him slowly withered away when he became a Counter Guardian.
"Believe what you want, I don't care." A bit of drowsiness was beginning to take over his mind which he forcefully pushed it away. "Plus I went to so much trouble to save you back then, the least you can be is grateful. Killing you right now wouldn't make sense after everything I've done."
"I've killed tens of thousands."
"Wow, that's very impressive. Want me to hand you a medal or something? Or a pat on the head?" His tone couldn't be any more dead. Archer didn't bother bringing up his own kill count as there were multiple reasons. He didn't remember himself, there was no reason to do so and this wasn't some form of twisted competition where the biggest killer won. "The way I see it, you're nothing more than a pitiful woman who threw a temper tantrum and decided to take out her anger on humans as a whole for the actions of a few. I gather you were rejected by your own people, how sad is that? You think of yourself as a merciless Queen your people need. I believe they call that a necessary evil? How naïve and laughable. In the end, you were less of a danger than Vault. How can I hate you when you're not even worth that much?"
Olga gritted her teeth, her hands twitching with the desire to fire her strongest spell at him. But even now, she couldn't bring herself to do that as she feared that it wouldn't be enough to take him down.
Surprisingly, Chloe managed to break free from her restraints. "You don't have any idea what my Queen has sacrificed for her people! You humans destroy everything you touch!" She was about to attack him again, but this time, Olga stopped her. "M-My Queen?"
The raven haired elf shook her head. "Don't do it, it's not worth it."
"Hoo, are you going to try and control your subordinates again? From what I've seen, she'll go against your orders at any moment in some stupid belief that she has any chance of hurting me." Archer said mockingly, opening his arms and taunting Chloe further. "Come on, I'm completely open here without any weapons in hand. In fact, here," he threw the stiletto dagger at her feet. "Take it, you can't attack someone like me without a weapon, right? Come, show me just how much you despise humans."
Each word just further pushed her over the edge, she'd never felt the desire to stab someone's face a thousand times more than this man in front of her.
"Or perhaps, you're afraid that you'll lose to me like what happened with Vault. In the end, you couldn't protect her even once in your life. A stupid child who doesn't realize just how weak she truly is."
That comment opened the floodgates, releasing all the pent up rage boiling inside her. "You fucking bastaaard…" before she could rush at him again, Olga casted a spell on her, making the girl fall unconscious into her arms. She then glared at Archer.
"That was unnecessary."
"Perhaps, but it's just amusing to watch how easily she can get triggered. An easy target is fun to play with. It was incredibly easy to see that she had a personal vendetta against humans. Most likely she suffered at the hands of some human nobles or slavers."
She nodded her head, "Chloe was a slave, treated miserably by her own father who wanted to sell her off as a sex slave."
"Ah, I see. So she's a half human." It wasn't hard for him to discern that given how common such cases were from what he had learned so far. "I guess I can understand her disgust for humans."
"Your kind is a disease that needs to be burned away." Olga didn't hesitate to follow up, frowning as she still kept standing the entire time.
"Risky to say such things in front of your rescuer. But then again, you are free to believe whatever you want, it makes no difference to me."
He was also trying to distract himself from his weakened state, forcing himself to not fall asleep with them around, especially now that he wanted to get to the real reason why he decided to take Olga with him.
Right now, his mission was to search for the shard and destroy it before it could fully recover. But his biggest problem was locating the damn thing. His search could take months, or even decades if the shard was able to evade him so meticulously. He couldn't allow that, so Archer had to devise a method to corner the shard — by making sure it couldn't recover swiftly.
"Given the effort I've devoted to rescuing you when I didn't need to, the least you can do is tell me all you know about the Insect God Cult." Knowing Olga, she would supposedly have ample knowledge about this hidden cult. No amount of research would give him the answer he sought, not to mention he only got wind of it thanks to that blabbering old man and that insect freak who was killed by Brynn. So instead of wasting time and stubbornly trying to accomplish everything on his own — it was better to follow the old man's advice and enlist the help of others as a compromise.
Olga stepped back, looking at him dreadfully.
"Don't worry, I'm not aligned with them. I'm just asking what you know about these people given they're the next targets I'll have to deal with soon and I would prefer not getting caught by surprise."
"Deal with those disgusting insects… " Like how he dealt with the Kuroinu? She hated that cult and Kaguya as much as humanity as a whole. One could even argue that they represented the worst aspect of their species. Urgh, just thinking about them made her nauseous. "Just who are you? Why go so far?"
He wasn't working for Celestine, nor did he care that much about the humans given he kept her alive and wasn't even from this land. He killed the Kuroinu which would make him a bigger enemy to the seven kingdoms than herself… all of this for what? And he was definitely a human now that she has gotten a closer look, a man on top of that, so the giants were not an option at all.
"That is none of your concern, just tell me everything you know and in return, I'll keep you safe from all manners of danger, be it human or demonic. Until you've found shelter that is."
She grew silent, pondering his words for a few seconds. "I want to negotiate something first."
Archer raised his eyebrow.
"I don't think you're in a position to negotiate anything for the matter. But, I'm willing to hear you out if you give me the information."
She sighed in relief at his words, "Alright, I will tell you everything I know about not only the Insect God Cult but every single individual and parties associated with the Kuroinu, but in exchange, you need to drop me and Chloe off to Celestine. Not her little Princess Knights, but Celestine herself." She wanted to mention Nidavellir, but with how rocky their relationship was at the moment and how they didn't bother to send reinforcements — she suspected treason on their side. Maybe they sided with the Kuroinu and would kill her once she got there, but Celestine would never in a million years ever do such a thing. Strangely enough, being with her was her safest bet… more than her own former allies.
"Eh?" That actually confused Archer quite a bit. He expected both parties to be sworn enemies given how they tried to kill each other for centuries. Even then Olga mentioned Celestine would most likely imprison her.
Seeing his face, the woman smirked a little. "Don't underestimate my importance among Celestine and the elven race in general. I have ways to keep myself safe within enemy territory." She said, unconsciously puffing her chest which nearly made her breast pop out of that flimsy armor.
"Even your kind doesn't seem to understand the concept of armor…" Archer commented, eye twitching at seeing that armor atrocity. The Queen was basically standing in a bikini with what she wore. What was that even supposed to protect?
"Excuse me?" Olga wasn't happy with his comment, looking a bit offended. "I'll have you know this armor was made with dragon scales and enchanted by magic itself. Not even the sharpest sword in Eostia can pierce it."
"Your front is literally fully exposed, woman!"
"Hya!" To further prove his point, he threw a small pebble which perfectly got in between her large chest. "You!" Her ears flushed red with embarrassment and anger.
No wonder Chloe couldn't hold herself back against this man. He was so pestiferous!
"See? If that was an arrow you would be dead. Is there truly no sane person in this continent who wears a real armor instead of things like these which will get your raped at one point or another in the future? If there was some sort of force field around you or your flesh was as strong as steel then I would've understood your apparel."
"L-Let's change the subject!"
"Hm, not even denying? Suit yourself."
Going back to her previous decision, either she was arrogant and overestimating her own worth or Celestine was truly that naïve. Either way, it was a small matter.
"Fine, before we start… are you really going to remain standing the entire night?"
Even though she started to look embarrassed, her legs were sore and she hadn't walked so far for many years, so her body wasn't used to it.
"If you continue this, I'll be inclined to believe that you want to sit on my lap." He said with the same grin on his face.
"What!? Stop being delusional! I can sit wherever I want, this entire territory is my domain!" To prove her point, she sat straight down on the cold dirt, causing goosebumps to appear across her body from the uncomfortable feeling. "There, now stop smirking!"
"Hehehehe, let's see how long you can keep this up, oh great Queen of the Dark Elves." Just to spite her further, he projected a large blanket which covered him and gave an extra layer of comfort while the fire kept him warm. "If you want one, all you have to do is just ask nicely — then I'll consider it."
Olga started to shiver from the cold, she was nearing her breaking point to ask for one but her pride wouldn't permit letting this man humiliate her like this any further.
"I hate you, I hope you die an agonizing death!" She sneered, cursing herself for her rather open armor which barely covered her body. Even her cape was long gone and burned due to the explosion.
"Join the club, you're not the only one."
Not far away from where Archer and Olga were, two people trudged through the dead wasteland. Carrying large bags filled with herbs that held healing properties and medicine which they handed to any unfortunate soul they met on the road.
They were tired, having walked for an entire day with little rest in between. Having sensed a great conflict in the distance, they decided to travel the road bordering Feoh and the Dark Lands in search of any travelers that would need their aid. So far, they were lucky to find a handful of dark elves escaping the land and offered them food and water for their journey.
"Do you think we should set up camp here? If I remember correctly, there is a waterfall not far away from here where we can rest and bathe ourselves." The blonde leading spoke in a monotonous voice, barely showing any emotion. But it was clear that she was worried about her partner behind who wasn't as physically fit for long distance travels after staying in one place for so long.
"That… that's a good idea, haa… haa…" she spoke quietly, her clothes drenched with sweat. "I-I heard from one of the passing travelers that a white haired man rushed across those trees not that long ago. D-Do you think that it's him?" She asked, hoping to meet him again.
The blonde elf couldn't help but reveal a small smile on her face as she saw the excited expression of her dark elf friend.
"Oh Grace, is it just me or has time truly made you enamored with Archer?"
Then again, she wasn't one to talk.
The next 5 chapters of Snafu, Harry Potter and my 3 other Fate fics (Fate Coiling Sword with 3 chapters, A Fake Familiar Reborn with 3 chapters and To love a sword having 4 chapters) are already available on my P treon. With 4 more Broly chapters at /NimtheWriter. Also, I post monthly commissioned arts on each story, already posted a few on an Archer's Promise, Broly and Snafu.