Hiiiiii~ Another chapter is here!

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Next update is Fate Coiling Sword.

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Author NimtheWriter out!

Beta read by Shigiya, Paragon of Awesomeness and Maglad.


Beta read by Shigiya, Paragon of Awesomeness and Maglad

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-Rias Gremory's Home-

"Well… I guess I just wanted to spend some time alone with you. Just the two of us."

In hindsight, he probably should've seen this coming. His red haired Master didn't really put much effort into hiding her infatuation for him, especially with how often she tends to get in his personal space.

"I thought you were going to answer me truthfully. While I can clearly see that this is intended to be a date… what brought this on now of all times?"

He was curious, but he already had an idea on what Rias was doing, he just wanted to hear it straight from her own mouth.

She just smiled, "Why are you even acting like you're confused? You already know it, don't you? But if you want to play coy, fine. You can see it as a late celebration of me getting granted freedom at last from the engagement. Riser was my worst nightmare before the Rating Game. That arrogant, lecherous, fiery piece of shit was a constant source of stress and worry for me… But now, I no longer have to worry about him. The weight of status has become far more bearable now that I can make my own choices. Heh, I'm almost tempted to count this as a miracle."

Her smile would have fooled a once foolish boy striving to become a hero, but now, he saw that there was more than met the eyes. Having been observant enough to know his Master had come a long way since his arrival in this world. The impression of a young spoiled heiress having faded to some degree to seeing the girl treat her peerage like family. An older sister figure to some and a maternal one to a few.

Yet she still pouted and whined at being told to get out of bed, demanding his attention like she was starved for affection every hour of every day.

What a familiar yet strange experience she had given him.

"Even the Devil should get a miracle every once in a while." He said with a smirk, "but something tells me that is not the only reason for this little dinner date of yours."

It would be false to say the redhead before him was in a calm state of mind, how could she be after his recent battle and the discovery that he wasn't as invincible as she would have liked to imagine. Truthfully, not that he was going to admit it, Archer was glad she learned that lesson.

'Getting to know one another, she can't be any more obvious than that.' The lack of her regular attire, now replaced with a rather revealing piece of lingerie, the room in a self-evident display of her intentions for the night. Not to mention that twenty pounds of rose petals don't just materialize from thin air for a simple conversation.

He was just having trouble with holding back from making a comment on most if not all of it being from the takeout place across the street, along with evident lack of experience on how she behaved normally — something that was normal in his opinion given it was most likely her first time.

"So, you want to join me for the night and become my confidant?"

Archer let out a small chuckle, wanting to sigh at first but finding everything more amusing than anything else. "I have already been playing that role ever since I became your Servant. Not like I have anything better to do, and I do believe it's the least I can do after the great amount of effort you must have put into your cooking. Reheated, right?"

Alright, so he still made one comment on the food. Just the one.

"A-Archer!" The Gremory princess blushed as crimson as her hair. She had noticed his eyes looking at the table when he said so, and knew he'd noticed she had to outsource dinner in a rush. "It's just the backup! Really! I had a proper dinner in the oven, but then I realized it wouldn't be done on time—!"

"—I don't mind. The sentiment behind the gesture is what truly matters, and I appreciate the effort you put into creating this meal for us." He offered her a warm smile, hoping to alleviate her embarrassment and let her know that her efforts had not gone unnoticed or unappreciated.

"Anyway, did I mention I am planning on recruiting someone as a new Pawn?" She asked while looking at him, then opened her mouth to take another forkful of food. "I have to admit, some of my memories from last night are… a little hazy."

"I believe you did. I will admit, there is no particular name that pops out in my mind, and at best, I already know it can't be students like Murayama, Aika or Katase. Perhaps a student from the freshmen classes could be a possible candidate, but I highly doubt it. So who is this person?"

As soon as he said that, Rias's smile grew slightly brighter for a brief second before freezing up as she seemed to recall an important detail. "Well, you see…" she trailed off, contemplating her words carefully. "The person I am considering for my pawn has some… unique sets of conditions that I need to fulfill to have her join."

Archer nodded in understanding, suspecting from the beginning that there was more to the story. From his Master's previous comments on the topic, he could tell that she was still a bit naive, thinking that anyone would accept the power granted by a Devil in exchange for just a few benefits like financial gain and personal magic power. Then again, pretty much every member of her Peerage was someone she rescued in a manner or another during the lowest point of their lives, so most likely, she'd finally run into someone who'd experienced a relatively normal childhood and was in a good enough position to try and negotiate with her, demanding something beyond mere security in exchange for joining her as a reincarnated Devil. Yet, that in itself only made his curiosity grow stronger.

"Strange, l don't recall there being someone like that in any of my classes. So it should be a first-year student, then?"

"Nope, you have indeed taught and spoken to her on multiple occasions." He didn't like where this was going, the way Rias phrased it made it obvious that it was a single person and regardless of how much he tried to come up with a name — it was all blank. There weren't many students who seemed to hold any value strength-wise, let alone holders of any kind of Sacred Gears for Rias to try turning them into Devils that he knew of.

No… perhaps it wasn't a student to begin with.

"It isn't a teacher, just so you know." Rias quickly added, a statement that made him stop down that train of thoughts and secretly sigh in relief. He met the school's staff, and all of them are just normal humans who don't deserve to be dragged into the world of the supernatural. "You can't seriously think I would force an elderly person onto my peerage, right? Even if the Riser situation were to be still ongoing, I wouldn't be that desperate."

True, at that point he would have actively tried to convince her that one of the leftovers in the Perverted Trio was a better option.

"Good to know, then who is it?" He asked, not having any desire to continue this little game and wanting to directly know the answer.

His Master grinned before slowly whispering, "Abe Kiyome. "

"The light brown-haired girl who barely talks in class? Should have known." Archer remarked, surprise evident in his tone. "Ah, I believe I see it now. You've mentioned her in passing before about being from a known family of beast tamers, correct?"

"Indeed, so I'd honestly say she's quite the steal as a Pawn," Rias confirmed. "Believe it or not, she's the one who actually approached me in the beginning. At first, we started to talk and have normal conversations, stuff like homework and so on. She already knows my identity as a Devil and has hinted that she's curious to see every member of my peerage and get to know them. I recently brought up the topic of her possibly joining my peerage if she's interested, and she didn't outright deny it. She just said that she wasn't against the idea but needed a bit more time to think about it, but her demeanor made me believe she genuinely wants to join!"

Archer raised an eyebrow at Rias's explanation. The answer Kiyome gave, it was one of the most generic answers one could give when trying to politely turn someone down on any kind of offer. He didn't know if he should point that out or just keep quiet. But as he mulled it over, he realized something. Rias never actually went through the same effort as Sona to acquire the members in her group. From everything he learned so far, they basically landed on her lap through extremely lucky scenarios, or most likely, her brother arranging for them to do so from the shadows.

Rias was present when each of them were at their lowest point. There was no bargaining required, and it always seemed to work out well for everyone involved. Did he find that unfair? Yes, absolutely. It was an illusion of choice. It reminded him far too much of the way in which Alaya roped him into becoming a Counter Guardian, and he genuinely did not like the parallels very much, even if Rias was an incomparably kinder Master than Humanity's Will to Survive. In fact, he made his opinion on it clear to the group on many occasions.

But he was glad to see and know that Rias never actually did it with malicious intent, always caring for everyone in her peerage, striving for everyone's sake. It only made him much more wary about her brother, though, as he felt the older devil truly lived up to his moniker as Lucifer.

A part of him was indeed proud that Rias actually tried, for possibly the first time, to go through such a procedure, putting in some effort and giving the other party a genuine choice in their future. But still, he couldn't bring himself to ever accept the existence of the Evil Pieces system. It reminded him too much of his own circumstances, bound for eternity and unable to be set free unless they wanted to turn into hideous monsters and die. A form of slavery, in a sense. In the end, it wasn't his problem to deal with, merely something that he kept up with, with no intentions of interfering.

"I certainly hope you won't ask me to reinforce your Evil Pieces again. You better not try to use that as an excuse to have your brother constantly give you another Mutation Piece." he said with a teasing tone, causing Rias to pout and gently wave her hand in denial.

"Oh come on! Don't bring up such an old story to embarrass me, Archer! I was just trying to experiment, and if it had worked, then imagine the kind of advantage we would've had!"

"Even if my abilities by some unexplainable miracle managed to enhance the concept of reincarnation and increase the value of the piece, that same effect would have dissipated with time, and who knows what kind of side effects it would have had," he replied calmly, his tone carrying a hint of amusement.

The girl sighed, shaking her head. "Hah, why are we talking about my previous mistakes after such a wonderful night!" She waved her hands around erratically, causing Archer to suppress a grin and chuckle softly at the sight. "Are you doing this on purpose, Archer?"

"I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about," he replied, his expression innocent but his eyes gleaming with mischief.

Seeing him continue to act clueless, yet putting in extremely little effort to actually act it out, Rias rolled her eyes and decided to leave the matter for another time. They continued to talk with each other, covering various topics ranging from her past to stories about each of her peerage members, and sharing little anecdotes of past requests she received from being summoned. It was a relaxing atmosphere, the initial nerves and morning-after embarrassment she felt slowly dissipating away as she became completely open with her patiently attentive Servant.

"You know, I'm still having a hard time believing that I am free from my wedding engagement with Riser," she confessed as they enjoyed each other's company in silence, the doors to the balcony open as they gazed at the night sky. Despite her telling him to relax, Archer decided to prepare some tea to help with her digestion and any cramps. "Humph, what am I even saying? We barely did anything, and you were the one who actually defeated Riser with a single shot."

The man listened as she continued to talk. "Even though I know I'm the one who suggested defeating him like that to show the Underworld who you truly are, I still feel like it was a cheap shot, like I took advantage of you and discarded all of the training we had."

She heard the servant hum gently, "I think we've spoken about this before, haven't we? I want to remind you again that I am your Servant, and you are my Master. By the very nature of our contract, I am tasked to aid you with your duties. It's not only limited to me having to deal with other servants, but any kind of threat, and by no means does that make your training less important. You and everyone in the peerage have made substantial progress, and it will help in future scenarios where I might not be able to protect all of you, or even any of you. Thanks to that training, we'll be able to handle ourselves easily and thus keep our lives. I am proud of you."

He went silent for a moment, wanting Rias to digest his words and hear the sincerity within them.

"Yes, you have changed and grown stronger compared to when we first met, you just haven't noticed it yet. Don't be too hard on yourself. I trust you could have handled Riser even if I wasn't here in the first place, but I really wish you would have just let me do all the work to keep your growth a secret to be unveiled whenever you need it the most."

So he said, but the redhead still couldn't agree with him. In her mind, he was just trying to be nice to her using such forms of encouragement, and it made her feel slightly more pathetic than anything else. Still, it continued to nag her how he was so stubborn on looking at their relationship as just master and servant. After all, she stopped looking at him as her Servant a long time ago. Last night was just another step in their relationship.

"You say you trust me, but is that really the truth?"

"Hm?" she got a confused side glance from the white-haired man, who waited for her to elaborate.

"Till this day, you still never told me your name. You keep it hidden from us and always are vague about your past. I've seen a lot about your past, and I know it was a painful life, so I just want to have you trust us and support you in any way I can, Archer."

Again with his name, he resisted the urge to massage his temples after remembering a similar case having happened with Akeno. So as to not perpetuate this troublesome claim once and for all. "You misunderstand my intentions, master. I never actually tried to hide anything from you; that was never my intention. In fact, it doesn't matter to know all of this. My name, my past, all of these details are just useless information for you. It wouldn't change anything and might just be a source of stress before anything else."

Unlike with Akeno, he spotted the frown on his Master's face and knew immediately the kind of retort she would give. "But before you start getting angry with me again, I'll agree with you that perhaps it's not so wrong that you know my name, at the very least. And there, just so you know, I am not hiding my past or any of its details, because you'll see them through your own eyes through our connection anyway. Also, I want to remind you that my memories are very foggy. I barely recall anything concrete about the time I was alive — and that is the truth."

"Still," she hesitated, finishing her breakfast, moving the little table aside and tucking her knees against her chest. "I just want to get to know you better, you're not just a Servant in my eyes."

"…Fine." He bowed slightly with one hand over his chest and the other by his side, looking more formal than anything else.

"I was summoned to you as Archer, a Servant of the Bow from another world. My past is a bit hazy, but I will answer any questions you may have about the rare moments that I do remember, to the best of my ability. As for my name, I am known as Heroic Spirit EMIYA, formerly a third-class Magus proficient in archery and sword fighting. I believe you've already seen my stats and Magecraft to get an idea of what I can do. There… are you satisfied now?"

He looked at the girl before him, at first stunned and speechless at his introduction. Frozen in her spot, her eyes widened, and a silent atmosphere encompassed them for the following seconds. It was a very similar sight to what happened with Akeno, and he really hoped that she wouldn't start shouti—

"—Aha! I knew you were Japanese this entire time!" Ouch, his poor ears rang as if having experienced an attack from a banshee. He showed a helpless smile as Rias jumped from the sofa and grabbed him by the collar before trying to shake him back and forth with her meager strength, with little to no success.

"Both Akeno and I spent months scavenging through the oldest history books trying to find a figure related to Christianity and famous for using a bow. At one point I even thought you were genuinely a saint and were just keeping it a secret for me because you were afraid of what I would think about you! If it weren't for the Dream cycles then I would have even labeled you as the actual Devil from another world due to your sadistic tendencies during that hellish training you put us through! Hold on a moment…"

She squinted at him for a minute.

"… Japanese… with a holy shroud, so related to Christianity." She stood still, recalling the many hours worth of time invested just to find a clue about this man's identity in her spare time." You bastard… I even suspected you to be Amakusa Shirou… made sense given that as a samurai you would be gifted with both the sword and bow. But I had to reject that idea given at no point was a shroud ever mentioned in his legend."

"Heh," He was tempted, very tempted, to let her think he was indeed a famous historical figure. But… Well, he already told her his name and stating that it was a joke wouldn't be for the best. She was his Master and would continue to watch his life through the dream cycle, so as fun as it might be to leave it be, he knew better than to tease his Master too much.

"Hm, sorry to disappoint you Master at not being a figure like Amakusa Shirou, compared to him my legend is basically non-existent and the chances of you finding anything similar in this world is highly unlikely." Especially when EMIYA was an entity established into the future, and he hoped this world didn't have a being similar to Alaya. That aside from the fact of his nature as a Counter Guardian. "Unlike Sona, you drew a rather obscure Heroic Spirit with no fame."

"How devastating, I don't know if I will ever be able to recover from that." She joked, having calmed down considerably.

He smiled softly at her, watching her study his expression for any sign that he was joking before apparently deciding that he was telling the truth, and letting him go.

"Emiya… Emiya…" She hopped off the bed and went to reach her smartphone, promptly doing a search for the name. "I… why can't I find any references to your name? You still are a figure with enough fame to be added into the Throne of Heroes, so surely there should be an article about your history even if it's very little."

At that, he shrugged, "I told you, you'll find nearly nothing about me. Also, the Throne of Heroes does not operate based on popularity or whether or not my name appears on the internet or not. If at a certain point in time I gained enough fame for my actions, I'll be given a spot upon my death. Whether people of that time continue to remember me or if I fade away with time is none of the Throne's concern." He declared matter-of-factly, then promptly caught her phone before it hit him on the nose.

"Are you lying again?" She asked suspiciously.

"My my, what a troublesome Master I have, to doubt her honest Servant to such a degree is heart wrenching."

"I don't know… you were making the kind of face that makes me think you're deliberately messing with me."

He promptly scoffed, and held the would-be-assault-tool with two fingers. "Well, there you have it. Now both of you know it, you and Akeno can finally get some sleep, yes? And please, for the love of uh… Lucifer, never say my name in front of other Servants. Especially Rider, as Servants, due to our connection to the Throne, have at least rudimentary knowledge of one another. If she were to know my name, she would be able to uncover both my strengths and weaknesses and could easily use it against us. Even if Sona is her Master and your friend, you two are still rivals, so be careful."

That wasn't exactly the reason he was worried about Rider learning his name, as due to his nature as a Counter Guardian, he was a Heroic Spirit without a legend. Not even a Ruler's True Name Discernment skill would be able to reveal his true name. His real concern about Rider learning his name was the familiarity she mentioned upon their little meeting on the rooftop. It'd be better to not feed her more information that might act as some kind of catalyst for uncovering old memories that would only serve to complicate things.

Her mind still in a full-blown chaotic mess, Rias frowned at her Servant's warning. "Of course I won't share such information; it is mine and mine alone. No one is allowed to know it, and much less Sona. It is something that we share and something that I will cherish for the rest of—wait a minute." She stopped mid-way through her speech as her mind started to catch up with his previous words. "What do you mean by BOTH me and Akeno?"

A chill ran up the Servant's spine as, for some reason, he felt a mild sense of danger coming from Rias's glare, clueless as to why she was angry. He answered, "Well, because I also told her my name right before Rider appeared?"

"…"

"…"

"You did what!?" In her anger, Rias' lithe frame managed to push Archer back, and they both fell back on soft fabric of the sofa, with the redhead now straddling him on his waist, still holding his collar with a red face. "Why did she get to know your name first!?"

Did he say something that created a misunderstanding? He wondered why she had such an intense reaction to this simple piece of information. "Uh… because she kept asking? I would have told you as well if you were there, but then Rider appeared."

"…"

As Rias heard that answer, her ahoge and eyelids couldn't stop twitching as she imagined hearing the ghostly, mocking laugh of her Queen echoing in her ears along with suddenly understanding the smug look the raven-haired girl had been giving her this entire time. She knew such a crucial thing about Archer and was most likely gloating about it in secret, laughing at the fact that despite not being his Master, she was in fact closer to him than anyone else. And that made Rias feel an intense surge of jealousy.

Without even thinking, she closed the distance between them and kissed him, a possessive action the man did not offer much resistance to, and she felt more confident about giving it already having happened before. "Well I got your first kiss in this world, so Akeno can't say she beat me when it comes to that milestone."

Archer once again gave her a strange look. "I want to remind you that I am not some naive teenage boy full of hormones who never felt the touch of a woman. I have had my fair share of love interests and adventures in the past, so forgive me if the whole idea of 'first' whatever doesn't hold as much weight to me."

He didn't expect Devil culture would place such emphasis on so many of the same things as humans did, but given how Rias was infatuated with human culture and that of Japan in particular, she most likely held this action in very high regard, compared to other pure-blooded Devils.

So he hoped, at least.

'Something doesn't feel right.' This thought flashed through his mind as he sensed something odd with his Master, looking upwards towards the girl, he found her staring at him rather intensely.

"Is that a challenge?" She whispered, placing a hand on his chest. "Because I am not not backing down from this."

'I should have just kept my mouth shut.'

{Break}

-Sona Sitri's Home-

"How about Thea Teras? It suits your nature and Greek origin. Or if you don't like that, I do also have other names from a list if you are interested. Of course, the decision is fully up to you so don't hesitate to give me your opinion on the matter or if you're dissatisfied with my current list. " Within the student council room, Sona presented a paper filled with a list of names to the servant before her, a task she worked on seriously for the past day, trying to make it as close to her servant's history as possible to have it feel and sound natural for her.

After their initial introduction and the chaos that followed, through sheer willpower she managed to calm down herself and her peerage members. Seeing that the one who mentioned being hungry after revealing her true nature as the monstrous Gorgon remained in her seat with a blatant smirk, one that made it obvious that her previous statement was said as nothing but a joke, a joke that she did not appreciate in the least.

'I still can't believe I summoned the actual Gorgon herself, she looks vastly different from the image I had in mind and those depicted from both human history and what the supernatural World is familiar with.' Another detail that the girl took into account was that in many stories depicting Medusa, she was said to be a devastatingly beautiful woman who was cursed by Athena, as the goddess was jealous of her beauty, condemning her to a cruel life as a monster that devoured people or turned them to stone, hated by all.

The Medusa of her own world, from what she heard, was actually born monstrous from the beginning, she merely possessed the ability to turn into a beautiful woman and was eventually found out. But there were still stories written by the humans that mentioned how she was cursed by the Goddess Athena, who was jealous of her beauty, and plenty of other versions.

'Could it be a similar case with her? Is her current appearance just a ruse while her true form is more monstrous?'

She had so many questions to ask the beautiful woman that was her Servant, but held herself back, they just met and their current relationship wasn't as close as it was with Archer and Rios. Those two bickered with one another so casually all the time, as if they were lifelong friends, and recently he'd been acting more friendly towards her own Queen and kept giving her both lessons with the blade and keeping her company outside school hours on certain days.

Sona honestly didn't know how to feel about that. Or whether she should be impressed that Tsubaki had actually managed to build that much of a rapport with the man, or be worried that her Queen barely had any information to provide about Archer himself. After a certain point, she just kept saying that she had nothing new to report about him, as apparently they would just keep talking about random topics instead of his abilities.

But Sona didn't push her to learn more, as Tsubaki was currently the only member of her peerage who Archer would speak with unless it pertained to business of some kind, and she seemed to be enjoying the time she spent with him. Sona had no desire to strip her Queen of what was clearly becoming a cherished friendship. If she truly wanted to learn more about the man, then there surely was a better way to find out.

"Thea Teras?" Rider repeated the new name for her public persona her Master came up with, "'Goddess' and 'Monster' respectively… It's a rather big giveaway of my true name, Master."

Sona knew that, agreeing with the notion. "Yes, it is rather direct with anyone who is familiar with the Greek language, but according to you, Archer already seems to know your true name, so I did not really find the need to overly complicate it in order to hide that piece of information." Honestly in her opinion the name was also beautiful, shouting 'Rider' the most out of every idea she came up with.

The Thea came after she used her Master's Clairvoyance ability to see Rider's parameters, as well as a brief overview of all her skills. She nearly squealed with joy after discovering the fact that her Servant possessed Divinity! Albeit very low ranked. When she thought back to certain details about Medusa's myth, it certainly made sense.

This adding onto the information provided by Archer about such beings made what little dissatisfaction remained of not summoning Perseus disappear completely.

The Servant picked up some of the papers on the table and came up browsing through the names until she stumbled upon a few that caught her interest. But before she could bring them up, Sona already started to discuss another matter related to her. "By the way, Rider, I have a few ideas of which position is most suited for you within the Academy. But before that just to be more certain, you mentioned or do you have any preferences in particular?"

"You… you want me to become a member of the staff?" she almost couldn't believe the young Devil's word, this turn of events being far too different than anything she experienced in the past.

Even though Servants almost never had any memories from their past summons, she was fairly certain that any Magus in general would have never gone through with such a plan with the Heroic Spirit they had summoned. Given the nature of a Holy Grail War, it was ideal for a Servant to always be next to their Master in spiritual form.

"Exactly! I know you just arrived and are probably still unfamiliar with certain things and how they work around here, but everyone plays a part within the academy, including Rias' own Servant. He is an English teacher for the second and third years of Kuoh Academy, and a very popular teacher. He helps out his fellow colleagues and students with their studies rather masterfully."

Rider could feel her eyebrows twitch at the idea of Archer teaching adolescent kids how to read and speak English. For some reason that notion just felt ridiculous in her opinion. The image did not fit the character she's built around Archer's personality.

"…"

"Do you think I'm lying to you?" Evidently, Sona had noticed her skepticism.

"It's not that, Master. I was just surprised." There was no need to tell her that she indeed was having a hard time believing the bespectacled girl's words, but if she wanted to see the truth with her own eyes, then perhaps going along with Sona's plan was the best way to do that. From what she had seen, there was no time limit or an environment similar to a Holy Grail War. Her Master and also Archer's weren't going for each other's necks, and maintained a harmonious relationship.

"So you're okay with becoming part of the staff? I guarantee you you won't regret it and will even like your time here." She said it with so much certainty that it made Rider curious as to where this girl was getting this confidence from.

"If you say so." Though there was one point she hadn't covered. "Master, you are forgetting about my blindfold."

Even if she didn't care what others thought about her, if she were to walk into a classroom with her blindfold, it would be far too obvious that she was outside the ordinary, and could easily cause some manner of trouble for her Master. Though it seemed she didn't need to worry, as Sona folded her hands with a confident smirk.

"You mentioned that your eyes have the same ability as the Medusa from our world, to turn people into stone, right?"

The Servant nodded her head.

"I must admit, the concept of Mystic Eyes and how they are a form of ability that has appeared on multiple people is very interesting to me. But I digress, it is a matter we'll discuss in the future, which I'll take notes of and learn more about the world of magecraft and thaumaturgy. But about that blindfold, the way you're saying it I suspect you can't control your powers if you look at someone?"

At that, Rider did not agree with her immediately and gently shook her head. "I can control them if I concentrate and focus, but the moment I lose focus or am distracted there is a chance it could activate and cause significant damage." Especially on people with little to no defense against any sort of magecraft, it was far too risky. And fortunately, her master agreed.

"I can see how this could be a problem. The last thing I want is for one of the students to get turned into a statue, let alone a whole classroom. The chaos would be catastrophic, nevermind the loss of life. Plus it would just reflect very poorly on my management skills, to put it lightly."

She pulled a cupboard cabinet and retrieved a small earring, which made Rider tilt her head in confusion.

"I initially wanted to have a master artificer create some glasses for you and even placed an order. But I had made the grave mistake of forgetting to take into account how your magic is different from hours and the glasses could possibly not even work in the first place. Unfortunately, there has been a delay in its construction, and I don't know when it's going to arrive exactly. Luckily I have prepared a plan b just in case, which is this earring. Try it on."

Following her advice, the woman took the small piece of jewelry without any hesitation and attached it to her left earlobe. She sensed a minute spark of demonic energy, similar to Sona's, that quickly covered the upper half of her face. When presented with a mirror, she was slightly surprised to find the earring created the illusion of her bare face and hid the blindfold, even though she was still wearing it.

Though her eye color was off by a couple of shades.

"…"

"It's a temporary solution until the glasses arrive, but I believe this will work just as well…" Sona blinked, then snapped out of it when she realized she had been staring. "And if you'll pardon me for making a personal remark, Rider, it's quite nice to see your full face."

She didn't say anything, finding it slightly interesting but honestly this entire situation felt like a waste of time. She didn't particularly feel she would enjoy being a teacher or any kind of position for that matter.

"As for the kind of position or duties I find would be suitable for me, I don't have any preference. It would be preferable if you would choose something minor that doesn't require too much attention or doesn't require me to do to do much, if something were to happen to you in the middle of the day or you need my assistance, it would be in our best interest that my responsibilities to the school do not hinder my duties to you."

"I understand, and I think I have the perfect position for you in mind."

The Sitri heiress smiled, finally able to get things back to order and focus on matters she'd put on hold for the past few days. Though the matter of finding a way to earn forgiveness from Archer still remained without any progression, she still had her duties as the co-owner of Kuoh to look after first, and so she began flipping through the documents on her desk.

Soon though, one particular piece of dark paper caught her attention. A letter. And Sona had the sinking feeling that the contents would be quite important as she gazed at the sigil of the Grigori that had been stamped on it.

{Break}

-Kuoh Academy-

"What the hell happened to you, Issei?" With his head resting in his arms, the young brown-haired boy struggled to lift his head up as his sleepy eyes came to rest upon his two, at times, awful friends, Matsuda and Motohama, the two other members of the Unpopular Alliance, were gathered around his desk with concerned looks as they gazed at their friend.

"Seriously, you look like you ran a marathon back to back ten times in a row. You look like you've lost some weight, too." Matsuda asked, concerned.

Of course he did, he felt miserable and exhausted, both physically and mentally. "You two don't understand, these past two weeks have been hell. And I guess I pushed myself a bit too far."

Other than the fact that Saji indeed gave him the Shiroinu game — which he finished playing to a hundred percent within a single day, and enjoyed the content thoroughly — his other reason for being this tired was related to that bastard Kiba.

"Just don't mind me, I just need a few hours of sleep and I'll be back to normal."

Why was he asked to help the blonde boy in his swordsmanship training? Wasn't Archer his teacher? Why did he have to run around the field screaming like a banshee because Kiba wanted him to get strong enough one day to support the peerage and for him to also grow strong alongside him? All of these questions he held no answers to other than insults thrown at his peerage members, so better to ignore it for now and rest while he could.

"Let's forget about this bastard and his first world problems," Motohama interjected. "Don't you remember he's part of the Occult Research Club, where he gets to hang out with both of the Two Great Onee-samas, and get up close and personal with their huge boobs!?"

"Oh damn, that's right! Fuck you Issei, you're just trying to show off in front of us about how much fun you had with those girls, saying you've been bangin' 'em so much you're bone tired and bone dry!"

A vein popped upon the boy's temple before he shot up from his seat, no longer feeling tired, and seized his pair of idiot friends by the collar of their shirts. "You fucking assholes! Do you have any idea how badly I want that to be true? But guess what, dipshits, I barely get to spend any time with them at all!" He said in a pathetic voice, holding back tears at the realization that his dreams of one day touching at least one of the Onee-sama's boobs after entering the Occult Research Club was going up in ashes with everything he had seen so far.

At best he had become good friends with Asia, but his entire being just felt completely disgusted at the thought of engaging in any lewd activities with such a pure, kindhearted girl. She was an angel through and through, and someone who genuinely showed care to him from the moment she met him. He couldn't possibly try to take advantage of that.

But unfortunately, that was it, he felt like he barely made any kind of effort or progress with any other girl in the club. Quite the opposite in fact, everyone there just continued to talk with that white-haired bastard, including Kiba.

And the revelation that his King possibly went beyond a certain line with her Servant served as the final nail in the coffin to break his spirits, leaving him with the sensation that his dream of becoming a harem king was dead on arrival. Of course, his initial reaction was that of anger and he even challenged Archer on the matter of having a harem, that he wouldn't lose. But that willpower started to die down rather quickly upon realizing that he had no idea how to proceed with actually making his dream into reality.

'Man, even the requests I get from those pamphlets are mostly just gross muscular and weird dudes with deranged requests involving cosplaying and asking me to bring Koneko along. I never got summoned by a single beautiful lady, while Kiba has a literal massage parlor with those beautiful mature women! It's not fair!'

At least that one old guy who kept requesting him to hang out had lots of cool and rare stuff. But as much as Issei wanted to get a pact, everything the guy had to offer was worth so much that Issei felt like he'd be shafting him if he accepted, and that just wasn't cool.

While he continued to wallow in his despair, his two friends recovered from the initial assault and spoke to each other as if they weren't even hit in the first place "Putting aside why our good pal is behaving so oddly, have either of you heard the news about a new librarian?"

New librarian? Now that was something Issei wanted to know more about, provided said librarian was a sexy beautiful lady, preferably with big boobs. And so, he turned his attention to Motohama, expecting him to give him the full backstory. Thankfully, the boy recognized the look his friend was giving him, and pushed his glasses upwards with a light gleaming off of them.

"Well it's just a rumor right now, and it popped up pretty much out of nowhere, but supposedly we're getting a new librarian after the last one left town to pursue a different career."

"Oh… that's all?" He mumbled, then went back to his seat and rested his head on top of the table, having lost interest on the topic given it most likely was just some old lady who took the post.

"Word has it that the new one is a gorgeous young woman in her late twenties at the oldest.

Oh, now that brought Issei's attention back to the topic being discussed, his interest reignited as soon as the subject of a new pair of boobs for them to admire came up.

Motohama continued. "I feel compelled to remind us all that none of this has been confirmed yet, but supposedly she's a foreigner who came to Kuoh because the position pays well, and life in Kuoh also promises to be on the quiet side… and she's hot enough to be a supermodel. I don't know if that last part is the result of overhyping a new staff member, but we can simply go verify it ourselves."

"If this babe's really that hot, I'm down for a trip to the library! How about you, Issei, you wanna join us to check out our school's new sexy bookworm?" Matsuda asked. Issei eagerly nodded, as this sounded like a great way to take his mind off his lack of progress in building a harem, and also a great way to rekindle the bond with his two best friends.

So with a quick round of positive nods all around, the Perverted Trio were together again. Leaving their homeroom and heading straight for the library, they wanted to at least catch a glimpse of the school's new beauty before the bells rang to start the day.

"What the heck!?" The three boys all shouted together when they reached the library's entrance, and saw that they weren't the only ones with the idea of getting a look at the new faculty member. Standing in the hallway was a whole crowd of other students, all trying to get a peek inside the library without actually going inside.

"…Looks like they weren't just rumors after all," Motohama muttered.

Unable to contain their curiosity, the trio quickly banded together and began pushing through the densely packed crowd, with Issei doing most of the work thanks to his Devil physiology and his recent training. Even so, it felt as if they were packed inside a can of sardines.

"Motohama… are you sure the new librarian is really a chick?" Issei asked as most of the girls around them paid little attention to them or their surroundings, though sometimes still hitting him or his friend in the stomach, disgust evident on their faces upon recognizing them. "It doesn't make sense for all these girls to be here; it feels like we're after a male model instead."

"Don't doubt my information-gathering skills, Issei! I'm certain it's a woman. There were too many rumors about her, and not one of them mentioned anything about the new librarian being a man," the bespectacled boy retorted, his confidence unwavering. They continued on until they finally managed to force their way past the library's doors.

Given Kuoh Academy's status as an elite educational facility, it came as no surprise that the library was gigantic for a pre-college institution. Three floors tall, easily able to fit twice the number of all the students and teachers, with millions of books on a wide variety of subjects.

Issei and Matsuda couldn't help but be awed by the grandiose sight, as this was the first time either of them had ever set foot inside this room.

"There she is!" Motohama exclaimed in a stage whisper, snapping his two friends out of their trance, directing their attention to the person that they came here to see in the first place.

"Woah…"

"I think I'm in love…"

"—!?"

Three reactions played out on the boys' faces as they stared at the librarian, one of which was drastically different from the other two.

The first was pure awe, with Matsuda standing in place, utterly transfixed by the sheer perfection seated behind the reception desk. Bathed in the gentle glow of sunlight streaming through the windows, she appeared almost ethereal.

As for Matsuda, his cheeks had never been anywhere this flushed in all his life. His gaze was fully locked on the beautiful lilac-haired woman. She sat comfortably in her chair, seemingly engrossed in her book. Her attire consisted of a cozy brown sweater and snug pants, yet did little to conceal her captivating figure. Each subtle movement she made seemed to cast a spell over him, drawing him further into her enchanting presence.

"Ei… Eighty eight, fifty-nine, eighty-four…"

"How can a chick look so sexy just from tucking a few strands of hair behind her ear?" Matsuda wondered.

As for Issei, no lecherous desires of any kind had appeared in his eyes upon catching sight of the beautiful new librarian. Instead, pure terror gripped him as he laid eyes on the fearsome woman who tore the whole school apart just two nights ago while apparently trampling Archer with the ease of a freight train going over a particularly solid, yet small, truck that had been in its path.

'What the hell is Rider doing heeeere!?' he screamed within his mind, his face turning pale. He had not been prepared to see Kuoh's other Servant again so soon. Least of all for her to be sitting casually in the library, ignoring all the attention that was being showered on her from girls and boys alike.

"You were right, Motohama! She really is a foreign supermodel! We have been blessed this day, my bros! I might actually spend more time studying with a reason like this to come to the library!" Matsuda grinned, with his other friend being of a very similar mind.

"H-Hey, do you think she'll one day use the women's changing room?"

Motohama sighed. "Sadly, I doubt it, most of the staff never have a reason to. Though I think that with a little luck, I should be able to get a better look at her figure when she uses the girls bathr—"

"—Absolutely not, you idiots!"

Much to their shock, the one who shot down that idea was none other than their close friend and favorite scapegoat, whose greatest love they knew for a fact was big boobs. When they tried to ask what he meant, Issei slapped his hands over their mouths.

"You two want to die!? We can peek at all the other girls all we want, but absolutely not her!"

Sex incarnate with a massive chest she may well be, but just the thought of doing anything that might piss off Rider in the slightest was absolutely terrifying to Issei. Just the other day after class, Archer told the whole peerage that he'd been able to deduce Rider's identity as none other than Medusa — meaning she held the power to turn men to stone with nothing but her gaze! And if she could kick the ass of someone like Archer through multiple concrete walls, Issei couldn't pretend he'd stand a shadow of a chance against her. Archer warned all of them to not do anything stupid around her, giving him in particular a scary glare, and Issei hadn't protested.

As much as his lower head waged war against the very notion of not even trying to get a peek of those wonderful twin peaks of heaven, he also didn't want to die a virgin.

"I knew it! There really is something going on with you and the girls at the Occult Research Club! The Issei we knew would have been leading the charge at the idea of spying on a woman even half as sexy as the goddess before us! What's gotten into you, Issei? You've never been afraid to peek at girls before, not even when it ended with you getting beaten up by the whole Kendo Club!" Motohama exclaimed, his tone filled with betrayal.

Matsuda grit his teeth. "You jackass! You've betrayed the Unpopular Alliance! Admit it, your traitorous ass is having fun acting like some playboy in a clubroom filled with the sexiest girls in our school, and now you're trying to call dibs on the new hottie while we suffer daily from being left with nothing but glar—"

A large tanned hand grabbed the bald pervert's shoulder like iron, and the air suddenly turned cold and sharp. The three boys were left frozen in place by the looming presence of the tall figure behind their friend, the glint from his glasses casting a suffocating feeling upon them.

Motohama turned his head around mechanically, like a rusty machine, sweat trailing down his forehead and knees starting to shake in fear. "T-Tōjo-s-sensei…"

Standing behind was none other than Archer, wearing a simple dark shirt that had the top three buttons left undone with a white tank top and dark jeans — a folder full of freshly marked English assignments along with two thick books held in his other hand.

"The two of you will see me after class for detention, where hopefully you can learn something about being quiet inside of a library." He said with a tone that left no room for either of the boys to form a protest of any kind. Especially Issei who stiffened when he felt the Servant's gaze fall upon him next. "Hyoudou, take these two away before you get one as well."

"Yes sir! Sorry about them! Please don't tell Asia-chan about this!" Not even wasting a single second, Issei grabbed onto his stunned friends' shirt collars and dragged the two away from the library with great speed. Meanwhile, the other students who had also been staring at Rider all swiftly averted their eyes as Archer turned around.

"This isn't a sideshow for all of you to gawk at. Unless you actually have business here, return to your classes before the bell rings, lest you all want detention for being tardy." As soon as he finished his words, the students sprawled about the library's entrance and within the hallway leading to it began rushing back to their classes with equally pale faces. Some of the girls tried to stay behind, but ended up getting forcefully dragged away by their friends.

Archer huffed and walked over to the reception desk where Rider continued to concentrate on her book, fingertip gently gliding along each line on the paper — a detail which made him sigh, but he ignored it. "They'll get used to your presence sooner or later. I had to deal with a similar issue myself at first."

"I honestly don't mind. It was actually amusing to hear some of their conversations, especially that of those three boys, one of whom is in your Master's peerage." She said, no change showing on her face. "He sounds really scared of me."

"Good. That means he has at least some modicum of intelligence inside that skull of his, and took my warning to heart. Of course, witnessing our fight and knowing that you surpass me in raw power by a fair margin also helped to drive the point home for them, I'm sure. At least that served to make them more aware of just how dangerous an enemy Servant can be."

Wanting to steer the topic of conversation to something else, he placed the pair of books he'd been carrying on the desk in front of Rider. "I have to admit, it is a surprise to see you accepted Sona's proposal to work in the academy so easily. I hope you know how to handle it."

"…" The woman closed her book, taking the ones Archer placed on the desk and moving them to a shelf beneath the counter to be properly restocked later. "Do you think me so incapable that I cannot handle even this much?"

"You have yet to demonstrate how you'll do when attempting to blend in with ordinary people of the modern world, or work a job. Forgive me for having concerns."

"So you wish to see more of my capabilities, then? I assure you, Archer, I can be persuasive without resorting to violence, skilled as I am at it. Do you require proof of this as well?"

"If that entails turning me to stone or messing with my mind, then I'll have to pass." He already had enough on his plate, adding Rider to the equation might honestly overwhelm him, especially if she decided to be difficult.

Already he had to be careful with how he talked around her, never knowing if something he did might trigger any latent memories from a prior summoning, let alone one that might be about him.

"Who said I needed to use those sorts of abilities to get the results I seek?" Sitting back down, the woman rested her chin on her palm as she gave him a pointed stare. "I can't say I'm not tempted to find out what you're hiding from me."

"Again with that? I already told you that I've spent much time researching all manner of powerful beings across various cultures. Don't be so surprised that one as widely known as yourself was amongst them."

"And I choose to not believe that. I know there is more to that story that you're not telling me, and I'm sure that you haven't even told your dear Master either."

Emiya rolled his eyes, "Humph, no wonder Sona summoned you. Even without the Pegasus feather to act as a catalyst, her stubbornness alone would have been more than enough to reach out to you, given how compatible you two clearly are."

"You're avoiding the topic, Archer."

The bell rang in the background, this being his cue to return to class and handle the students and also observe Abe Kiyome with closer attention. Remaining here any longer wasn't the best idea, as he'd rather not underestimate Rider's ability to extract information, even if she wasn't the most talkative or charismatic of Servants.

"In any event, it seems that you'll be able to handle your tasks as a librarian without any trouble. I have to admit, the position does suit you rather well — not that my opinion really matters to you in this. I'll handle the students, if you need any help then you can talk to me. We may be destined to go at each other's throats one day, but for now let's keep this alliance alive, Rider."

"It's Med, Med Teras."

Archer was taken aback for a moment, "That's a bit on the nose, isn't it?"

She shrugged, "I was offered the name Thea Teras, and had my own ideas of going by something based on Stheno or Euryale. Surnames weren't exactly common back in my time. We had a few back and forths while looking at other names as well, but in the end I felt comfortable with Med, and you already know my identity… Teras I kept because it suits me."

"Yet that doesn't mean you like it."

"…I'm indifferent."

Archer wanted to ask why she didn't just take a random last name. No, why did Sona have to overthink and overcomplicate what could have been such a simple matter? That girl… sometimes simplicity really worked best.

"It's just a name in the end, something that we have to wear to blend in with the environment of this school. Not like it holds any weight outside of this building." He admitted. "For whatever it's worth, I think it's a good enough name."

Rider stared at him curiously. "…Why did you even come here? Don't tell me you were worried about me?"

"Oh please, you're the last person I need to be worried about. I came here to make sure the students would be alright, not you. Honestly, I should just be happy Sona didn't ask you to be the school's new nurse. The rate of made up or actual self-inflicted injuries would have skyrocketed if that happened." He said while waving his hands and walked out of the library. "That and I wanted to return those two books, nothing more. Also, be careful with whatever Sona gave you to cover your eyes. The illusion doesn't fully track your eye movements, and that earring looks to be on the fragile side."

.

.

.

Their conversation, though short, just reinforced her prior beliefs, Archer knew more than he let on. She failed to come across the other members of Rias Gremory's group in order to question them, not to mention it was very likely for the group to be terrified or even hostile towards her.

Other than that, Archer seemed to blend in with the atmosphere surprisingly well, as she took the opportunity to observe one of his lessons when roaming around in her spiritual form early on in the morning. At moments she almost forgot that he was a Heroic Spirit and not a regular teacher doing his job.

'He's enjoying himself in this.'

It was odd, to say the least. She couldn't relate to his feelings and still believed all of this teacher business to be a waste of time. A distraction from the more important matters at hand and their Masters deliberately putting themselves in danger.

Putting these thoughts to the side, Rider returned to the library and went to retrieve the book she'd previously been reading, only to freeze in her tracks as her fingers came to touch a small oval box on top of the book. "—?"

Rider was quite certain there hadn't been such an item here before, and she certainly wasn't the one who put it there.

Opening the box and unveiling the contents, the purple haired woman was caught off guard as she found herself looking at a pair of glasses that had a faint amount of Magical Energy contained within the lenses. Silently wondering when Archer had managed to slip by her long enough to do this, the smallest of smiles appeared on her face.

"That man… He's not honest at all."

{Break}

-Kuoh Airport-

"Finally, after all these years I'm back home!" Walking out of the airport, a youthful and energetic girl with light chestnut colored hair shouted out loud without reservation for those around her. Her happy and exuberant demeanor drew as many smiles as passing glances from the surrounding people, many of whom seemed to disapprove of what they viewed as someone making a scene, but kept their observations to themselves. Japanese culture was one of minding one's own business while making as little waves as possible.

"Wow, this place has changed so much! Last time I was here there wasn't a garden! Such beauty being here to greet us upon our arrival must be a sign from the Lord that we'll do well here."

"Can't be too sure about that." Said a second voice, one that came from a hooded feminine figure closely following the more excitable of the two, with most of her features hidden aside from a few strands of blue hair escaping the hood. "We must be very careful, we're in the territory of Devils now, after all. One slight misstep, and we might end up having to carve our way out of here through a mob of heathens and sinners."

"You worry too much, Xenovia! Just because this city is Devil territory doesn't mean they're lurking around every corner," the girl replied with enthusiasm, scanning their surroundings with keen interest. "Only the Lord Himself can claim to be truly omnipotent and omnipresent. Even now I feel His gaze upon us, which is why I just know that we'll be totally fine."

The blue haired girl had no wish to disagree with the words themselves, yet couldn't keep herself from giving her partner a look of disapproval. Evidently, Xenovia did not share in her cheery optimism. She too had utter faith that God would guide them to success in their holy mission, but she also had to take into account where they were.

"You shouldn't be so casual about all of this, Irina," Xenovia chided as they walked away from the airport. "We've been entrusted with a sacred task, and we need to focus on that instead of wasting our time acting like tourists and wandering around a town of sinners just to partake in the Devils' temptations."

"But that doesn't mean we can't have some time to ourselves. It's been years since I've been to my old home, and there's also a childhood friend of mine here whom I wanted to take the opportunity to see and catch up with!"

"Hyoudou Issei?" Xenovia guessed, to which her partner nodded energetically. "You should know better than to involve him in our affairs, given he's a normal human with no training of any kind."

"I know, but I'm worried those Devils might have their eyes on him! He probably attends Kuoh Academy now, where the Gremory and Sitri have made their base! May the Lord protect him from their corrupting influences." She started praying, hoping that nothing bad had happened to him.

"Well… I can understand not wanting the Devils to get their claws into him. And perhaps reconnecting with your old friend will help him to see the light of God. Let's just hope we won't have to deal with too many heathens while we're here. Bad enough that a former nun willingly succumbed to their foul temptation by becoming a Devil herself. It's a stain on God's glory." Xenovia remarked.

Yet even that wasn't her foremost concern regarding the Devils. Shortly before they departed for this mission, the woman who raised and trained her had sternly warned them about rumors of a powerful being lurking in the Gremory heiress' shadow. She wasn't sure what that meant exactly, perhaps one of her peerage members wielded a Longinus-class Sacred Gear? Unfortunately, that cryptic warning was all they'd got before they had to depart, so the best she could do going into this would be to keep up her guard.

"We should drop our luggage off at our hotel room before meeting your childhood friend, Irina. Do you still remember where he lives?"

"Yup, it's right next to my old house after all… Or maybe we can just stop by the school? Classes should still be in session. Maybe we could even stay over at his place? I'll be able to protect him from the scheming Devils way more easily in that case!"

Xenovia pondered on her suggestion, as the idea about staying at a stranger's house didn't sit well with her. Though they were on a limited budget, and from what she saw when browsing through a catalog earlier, the hotels in Kuoh weren't exactly cheap. As for going to Kuoh Academy, the Devils there would most definitely sense their holy presence, given that the seals on their weapons barely did anything to conceal their holy aura. And she refused to leave such precious artifacts in their room and risk allowing them to be stolen… But while they'd have to confront the Devils of this land sooner or later, she'd prefer to avoid putting Irina's friend in their sights.

"Fine, we'll head for your friend's house, then the school if he's not there, but stay on your guard."

"Alrigh—Ah!" Without having paid any attention to her surroundings, Irina bumped into a passerby by accident. "I-I'm sorry!"

She immediately apologized to the dark haired woman in all black clothes who was walking alongside another, taller woman with dark blue hair and was dressed in a maroon top with a wide collar showing off her deep cleavage, and a matching miniskirt. While Irina bowed her head and offered a quick prayer to ask for forgiveness, Xenovia sighed at her partner's clumsiness.

"Just watch where you're going, you dumb girl." Snapped the black haired woman, fully focused on her phone as she waved her off rather rudely. But Irina didn't take it into heart, following Xenovia as they made their way into the city to reunite with her childhood friend.

"Hm?"

A few seconds later, the same dark haired woman stopped in her tracks and turned around and stared at the fading figure of the girl who just bumped into her. Violet eyes squinting in suspicion, she couldn't help but mutter.

"A Holy Weapon?"


The next 5 chapters of Snafu, and my other Fate fics (Fate Coiling Sword with 3 chapters, A Fake Familiar Reborn with 3 chapters, Steel Eyed Faker soon to be 3 chapters, Hound having 1 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 commissioned arts on each story, already posted a few on an Archer's Promise, Broly and Snafu.