Disclaimer: I do not own Fate Stay Night or anything from the Lyrical Nanoha franchise.
The Wheel of Fate is fickle. It is engrained deeply into the world, many times unyielding and other times changed by a single pebble.
A boy is born in Fuyuki City and years later reborn within flames. The boy is burned away and the image of a Hero is burned deep into his soul. Emiya Shirou was created on that day.
But he will not be the same Emiya Shirou as we know him.
Fate is changed when Emiya Kiritsugu leaves Fuyuki city. The man is tired and his body weary. He has done what he could to stop the Holy Grail from ever appearing again, but he no longer wishes to remain in this city where he is constantly reminded of his failures, the death of his lover, and the betrayal of his own ideals. So he leaves the city and doesn't return. He takes the little boy that he pulled from the fires that he created far away from the scorched earth that he found him in.
So Emiya Shirou does not grow up in Fuyuki City. He finds solace in the fact that he is leaving behind who he was and that his new life as Emiya Shirou can be finally start.
And yet, despite the change in setting there is no change to the boy's dream. So even in this new city, the boy's ideals stay the same. The boy yearns to be a Hero, to emulate the man that had pulled him out of the fire.
The father leaves constantly in his quest to find the daughter that he promised to return to.
The boy waits and thrives in the new city.
The years pass until Shirou is nine years old.
And so the Wheel of Fate turns down this new path. A distorted boy with the ambition to be a Hero a boy whose fate is normally filled with hardship and trials. His future is filled with swords and battles. On the other side is the cheerful girl that is searching for her niche in life. The role that she will find will eventually take her beyond the stars themselves. The day these two cross is the day where the Fate of several change.
Where will this track of destiny take us?
Let's take a peek, shall we?
Mahou Senki: Lyrical Days
A Mysterious Encounter. A Magus, a Magical Girl, and a Talking Ferret?
A white room without blemishes or dirt, the kind of room that is clean to the point of sterility, that is the kind of room that I woke up in. The clean room filled me with an odd sense of comfort. I looked around. The room was big and I saw a lot of beds filled with different people. Most of them are like me, children that are covered in bandages and hooked up to machines.
But there is no sense of pain or death. The danger is gone. Everyone in this room had been hurt, but now they are healing. These people were safe. I was safe.
I relaxed and let my eyes wander around the room. My sight eventually fell to the window against the wall, or rather what's outside the window. The sky looked so beautiful. My eyes were captivated with the bright blue sky that seemed to go on forever.
It was so different than what I remembered.
It took me a few days, but I eventually recalled what had happened to me.
There had been a terrible fire, one that had consumed the city, or a small part of the city. I had been saved and I was in the hospital recovering.
My parents, my family were gone. They had died in the fire. The situation didn't make sense to me at the time, but there was some part of me that understood. I was alone now. I like to think that I understood that fact quickly, that I absorbed the knowledge a bit faster than the rest of the children that surrounded me.
But after that, when I had accepted the fact that I was alone, when thoughts of what would happen to me filled me with panic and worry, that man came. He came the day my bandages came off. An unkempt man that was dressed in a wrinkled coat. This was the first time I spoke to Emiya Kiritsugu.
"Hello. You must be Shirou."
A smile that seemed to reflect the sunlight streaming through the window. His voice sounded a bit odd, but I thought it was a very kind voice.
This was the man that offered to adopt me. He looked like a man with no future, but it was either him or the orphanage. So when he asked, I decided to go with him. He seemed happy with the choice and messily began to pack up my stuff.
"Ah, I forgot to mention something important. I have to tell you one thing before you come with me. Is that okay?" He turned to me and lightheartedly and said, "Yeah, to start off with. I'm a sorcerer."
He said it in such a serious and exaggerated tone.
Honestly, I was really a child back then. I automatically believed those words. Maybe it was the way he said it or the expression on his face, but I didn't doubt the man for a second. It was that single instant that it happened.
"Wow, you're awesome." I looked up at the amazing man in front of me.
This moment was the catalyst. It was probably as I said those words that my path was set. If I could use magic, I could be like this man who saved me.
Ever since that day I had been that man's son. I even took up his name, Emiya.
Emiya Shirou. Just hearing the sound of that used to bring a smile to my lips. Just the sheer fact that I shared his name brought me joy. This was the man I would chase for the rest of my life.
"Emiya-kun, Wake up!"
The loud shout along with the startling noise of a ruler crashing down on a desk sent Emiya Shirou out of his dream and back into the real world. It also had the side effect of scaring the boy so much that he threw his body backwards much too quickly for his chair to catch and keep on four legs. For a moment, the boy is suspended in the air with a look of horror and surprise on his face.
The moment ends and the chair tips.
The nine year old boy toppled over and even managed to catch the desk behind him with the back of his head. The entire class winced in unison before laughing at the boy's misfortune.
"Ow…" Shirou whined as he rubbed the back of his head. He looked up from his position on the ground and saw his teacher standing over him with an angry expression on her face.
"A…ahahaha… Good morning, Sensei." He laughed sheepishly before resigning himself to the lecture that the teacher was going to give him.
The nine year old found himself standing in the corner of the classroom holding the punishment sign that had the words 'I Slept in Class' on it. He took the time to reflect on the dream he just had. It had been a while since he had dreamed of his first meeting with his adoptive father, or anything else that had to do with Fuyuki City.
"Hmm." Shirou yawned and fiddled with the sign around his neck. "Maybe I need to get a better sleeping schedule."
He had stayed up all night practicing the Reinforcement magic that Kiritsugu had showed him. He had gotten the basics of forging a Magic Circuit for the magic, but he still hadn't succeeded at properly Reinforcing an object.
Shirou felt a sudden weight fall on his shoulders as he recalled his failure. He had been progressing so well lately too. His ability to analyze objects was top notch, if useless from what Kiritsugu had told him, and he had been able to successfully create a magic circuit with nearly a hundred percent success lately. Yet every time he tried to Reinforce an object he seemed to fail. Shirou felt like he was going nowhere lately and that was depressing.
"Shirou!" The boy straightened up at his teacher's voice. "Just because you're in the corner doesn't mean you don't have to pay attention. Now, why don't you tell the class what you plan on being in the future."
Shirou nodded and smiled brightly at his teacher. The nine year old red head knew exactly what he was going to be in the future. His path had been set the day he had been taken in by Kiritsugu, no, it was set the day he had been saved from that fire.
"I'm going to be an Ally of Justice, a Hero." Shirou told the teacher. It was a baseless claim, but the boy said it completely seriously.
The class stayed silent for a moment at the boy's words before the dam broke. The entire class rang out with laughter and even the teacher giggled at the boy's enthusiasm for what they thought was a fictional profession.
"An Ally of Justice? Is he joking?" One of his classmates asked the person next to him.
"I don't think so. Emiya isn't the type to joke around." The girl giggled. "He honestly thinks he can be a super hero."
Shirou paid the laughter no mind and ignored the teacher's words about choosing a serious profession. He was used to the laughter and disbelief from other people. They didn't understand the world that Shirou wanted to live in.
"You should have taken that project seriously, Shirou-san."
Shirou looked up from his lunch to see his normal lunch companions. The three girls, Nanoha Takamachi, Alisa Bannings, and Suzuka Tsukimura were probably the cutest girls in their grade. They had a tendency to hang around each other and all three were pretty popular. Shirou spent a fair amount of time with the trio. Nanoha was his first friend and she had a tendency to drag him with her. The other two girls liked Shirou enough and he quickly became part of their little group.
"Ah, I am taking it seriously Suzuka-san." Shirou responded and clenched a fist tightly. The fires of his passions burned brightly behind him. "I'm going to be a Hero of Justice and save people."
"Ah, what is with our group? First Nanoha doesn't give an answer at all to the assignment then you give this joke of a speech on being a comic book hero." Alisa sighed as she pressed a hand to her forehead.
"I think that Alisa-chan and Suzuka-chan are more amazing for knowing what they want to do." Nanoha sighed and tried to think of what she would do in her future. So far none of the choices that were presented to her seemed right.
"Ah that's right." Shirou nodded and recalled that while most of the class had vague answers for their future or simply put they were undecided both Alisa and Suzuka had concrete answers for their future. "Alisa-san is going to succeed her parents and Suzuka-san is planning to become an engineer, right?"
Suzuka nodded and smiled at the boy. "Yes. I like machines and such so I thought it would be nice to go into engineering."
Shirou looked over to Nanoha who looked to be deep in thought. "What about you, Nanoha. Are you going to take over the Midoriya?" He said referring to the café that the Takamachi owned.
"Yes, that's one option." The girl sighed and stared into the distance. "But I feel like there's something else out there that's more suited for me. I just wish I knew what that thing was."
Shirou took another bite of his lunch box before attempting to reassure the girl. "I'm sure you'll find it eventually." It was unrealistic to find the path you wanted to take at such a young age. Or so Kiritsugu told him whenever he said he wanted to follow in his footsteps.
Suzuka nodded and smiled at the girl. "Yes, you shouldn't take this decision lightly. I'm sure you'll find the path that fits you best." Seeing Shirou agree with her, she turned to the boy and frowned at him in disappointment. "That goes for you too Shirou-san. You shouldn't joke around about your future."
"I'm not joking. I'm going to be a Hero." Shirou retorted with complete confidence. Both Alisa and Suzuka sighed at the boy's stubbornness while Nanoha giggled at all of them.
"Being a hero isn't an occupation you idiot!" Alisa shouted at him. The boy was always so stubborn about things like this. Sure if you ask him to help you with something he'll agree right away, but if you debate the way things worked the boy would dig his heels into the ground.
"Says you." Shirou pouted when he realized that none of the three were taking his future ambition seriously. He really couldn't blame them. They didn't know that people like Kiritsugu were out there saving people. He was chasing after an entirely different world. "There are plenty of Heroes out there."
"Argh, I give up!" Alisa threw her arms in the air. There was no way to convince Shirou when he got like this.
The conversation eventually turned to other subjects and Shirou spent the rest of the lunch period in idle conversation with the girls. Shirou didn't really contribute too much as he was more occupied with his own dreams. The boy somehow completely missed the scuffle Nanoha and Alisa got into until Suzuka asked him to help calm the two down. It eventually degenerated into a three way wrestling match with Shirou valiantly attempting to stop the struggle.
Needless to say, Nanoha won.
"Hurry up Shirou!" Shirou wasn't really sure which of the girls had shouted that, but he quickened his pace just the same.
"I'm coming, I'm coming." Shirou rolled his eyes but smiled as the girls ran ahead of him. He adjusted the strap on a duffle bag to a more comfortable position and jogged after the girls.
The Takamachi family had been kind enough to give him lessons on swordsmanship after school. He would get lessons from Nanoha's older siblings in exchange for helping out at the store every now and then as well as escorting the girls to their cram school lessons.
It was a daily habit and they passed the time with mostly idly chatter. How the school was boring or what homework they had. Sometimes there would be a story about something that happened at school or a problem that some student had.
Today it seemed like the girls wanted to take a short cut through the woods. Shirou had protested lightly stating that it could be dangerous, but it didn't take much for the three girls to convince him. The three girls had a lot of practice with convincing Shirou to do something against his will and had gotten very good at it.
He really needed to learn how to say 'no' one of these days. He did not really mind helping people, but the girls really seemed to take advantage of his easy going nature. His thoughts were broken when he bumped into someone.
"Ack." Shirou looked up to see that Nanoha had stopped in the middle of the path. The girl looked distracted and she was staring at something in the distance. "Nanoha?"
"Didn't you hear that?" Nanoha tilted her head and tried to find the source of the sound.
"Hear what?" Shirou looked around for any noise. He hadn't been paying much attention to their surroundings. Before he could even try to locate the noise, Nanoha had taken off into the woods. "Oi, Nanoha!"
Shirou chased after the girl and cursed as she started edging away from his line of sight. He normally would have no problem keeping up with the girl but weighted down by his kendo bag the boy had a hard time keeping up with her.
"It came from over here!" Nanoha called back to them. She pointed out a small clearing in the woods.
Shirou picked up his pace and silently wished he could just magic himself over there. When he reached the clearing he looked around for any sign of a person hurt or in danger, but the clearing was empty. "Nanoha, I don't see anyone."
"Ah…" Nanoha stepped in front of Shirou and knelt down on the floor. In front of her was a ferret curled up on the ground. Judging from its beat up appearance the thing had been injured somehow. Shirou sighed and mentally yelled at himself for feeling disappointed. It was better if no one was hurt after all.
"N-nanoha, Shirou-san, why did you start running like that?" Both Alisa and Suzuka had caught up to the two of them. At the sight of the wounded animal both of the girls joined Nanoha and started cooing over it. "It's injured. We need to take it a hospital, no a vet."
Shirou sighed as the girls started panicking over what to do with the ferret and took charge. He reached into his kendo bag for some soft material and found an extra shirt that he used it to wrap the ferret in and keep it warm.
As he picked up the ferret and wrapped it in the shirt his hand brushed over the red gem that hung on its collar. A small shock rushed through up Shirou's arm and he paused for a moment. He stared at the animal intently before brushing it off as nothing. "Come on, there should be a vet around here somewhere, right?"
Alisa pulled out her cell phone. Shirou guessed that the girl had a map or something on the thing as she nodded and started running in a direction. "There's one over in this direction." She shouted back to them.
Shirou adjusted his kendo bag before running after him. A stray thought went through his head. Magic was real after all, why couldn't magical animals be real too? He gave the ferret one curious look that quickly shifted over to Nahoha as he recalled her saying she heard something. Maybe there was something special about it after all.
The key to success is both a strong mind and a strong body. Those words were spoken to him by Kiritsugu Emiya.
When Shirou had finally gotten Kiritsugu to agree to teach him magic the first thing they did was exercise. It didn't make much sense to Shirou until later, but the key to using magic was not only studying hard but also having a sturdy body too. Shirou wasn't really sure how their exercises turned into Kendo sparring, but learning swordsmanship had become something of a hobby for the child.
When Kiritsugu first left on one of his many trips, Shirou found himself without a sparring partner. He had tried to join the school's Kendo club, but he felt that the club was too rigid and that the sport based swords style was too gentle for his tastes. So he had looked for any dojo in the area to join. His search had been rather fruitless until he made his displeasure known in class. Nanoha had told him that both her brother and sister practiced a family style and Shirou had immediately latched onto the girl and begged her to ask them to teach him. Oddly enough, they had agreed.
So Shirou spent several days in the week training with one of the Tachamichi family after school. It had started out as Miyuki teaching him, but sometimes Kyouya came in to teach him instead.
It was something that Shirou himself enjoyed. Both Kyouya and Miyuki were extremely good at swordsmanship and in the years that Shirou had been studying under them, not once had he scored a point on either of them.
Shirou gasped for breath as he frantically blocked a flurry of attacks. His hands were covered with sweat and his practice sword grew heavier with every block and every swing. He attempted to twist away from his assailant for a breather but stumbled in mid movement. His opponent was not going to let such a mistake go unpunished..
"You're open!" His teacher called out before applying his own practice sword to Shirou's head.
"Gah!" Shirou fell on the ground and dropped his practice sword in favor of holding his head with his hands. Beneath his hands was the start of a small bruise. If you looked closer you would see several similar bruises on his arms and there was no doubt there were several bruises on the boy's body underneath the protective gear. "Owowow…Not again."
Kyouya sighed but couldn't help the amused smile on his face. When Nanoha had first asked him to train a friend of hers from school, he had been skeptic at best. But Shirou had already learned the basics from Kiritsugu and he was an attentive student, so the training continued. The boy was almost unnaturally determined to become strong but there were moments like this in the middle of training that showed the boy's age. In the middle of battle the boy's focus was unbreakable, but the moment the battle was over the boy had no qualms about complaining, politely of course.
Shirou still had unrealistic dreams of killer sword techniques that could defeat an opponent in a single move.
"I think we've done today Shirou." Kyouya tossed the boy a water bottle and chuckled as Shirou greedily drained the entire thing. "You seem a bit distracted, any reason why?"
Shirou finished his water and shook his head. "It's nothing. I-" Shirou paused in the middle of his statement. What was bothering him? They had dropped the ferret off at a vet and the girls went off to cram school. Then Shirou had left for his lesson from Kyouya, but he couldn't concentrate. There was nothing that should have bothered him and yet here he was, completely distracted from his training.
Kyouya dismissed Shirou for the day and told him to come back when his mind was clearer. Shirou protested but Kyouya was adamant. He slowly made his way back home in a dour mood.
The boy dragged his feet on the road. He didn't really have much to look forward to. Kiritsugu was out on another errand for a few days. He probably had another night spent practicing his Magecraft and failing as usual.
After a short walk artificially made long, he arrived home.
The Emiya residence in Uminari city was a far cry from the traditional estate that Shirou vaguely remembered when Kiritsugu first adopted him. A two story western style house, the Emiya residence was no different than any other house on the block. The only difference between Shirou's home and the rest was the subtle Boundary Field that surrounded the house. It was something that Kiritsugu had built as soon as they moved in. The Boundary Field was a warning system that alerted any of the users if someone entered the area with violent intentions.
"I'm home." Shirou's voice echoed throughout the empty house before he tossed his bag in the corner of the living room. There was no reply of 'Welcome Home' or 'How was your day?' but Shirou never expected an answer. He had grown used to the act of returning to an empty home and even the few times Kiritsugu was home he rarely answered the call back without some prompting.
He gave a brief thought of how his father was doing before turning his attention to the kitchen. He wanted to try a new spin on a recipe and it would require his entire attention if he was to get it right.
The room that Shirou sat in was Spartan at best. The only objects in the room were a single desk covered in papers, Shirou himself and a single pipe. Magecraft was a dangerous practice and at his current level, Shirou couldn't afford any distractions. A single mistake could cripple him for life at best or even kill him at worst.
It was a lesson that Shirou quickly learned. To learn Magecraft is to walk with death.
Shirou placed a hand over the pipe and began.
Focus, clear your thoughts.
Empty your mind.
Slowly forge the magic circuit.
It has to be perfect, or else the nerves that are the materials for the circuit with burn out too early.
A rush of heat invades Shirou's body, almost as if someone shoved a blowtorch into his spine and replaced the blood in his veins with lava. His head grew heavy as he pushed past the pain.
A forced exhale through clenched teeth
The Magic Circuit, the spiritual pipeline that would channel his magical energy, was in place. Shirou had already scanned the pipe with Structural Analysis earlier so he knew exactly where he needed to push his Od into.
Inhale. The oxygen is greedily sucked into the boy's body as he strained to push what little magic he could into the object that he held in his hands. The magical energy would fill in the 'gaps' in the material and strengthen it as well as increase any attributes the object held.
Shirou let out the breath he had been holding and fell backwards onto his back. His breathing was labored and his face flushed with exhaustion. His entire body felt heavy like he had run a marathon but his elation at success overran any pain or exhaustion.
The magus in training struggled back up into a sitting position and looked down at the Reinforced pipe. The feelings of pride and success were quickly dashed when his eyes fell on the pipe.
He had been able to push Od into the pipe, but the pipe hadn't been able to take the amount of magical energy, Prana he reminded himself, that was pushed into it. The pipe had warped and twisted and there were parts of the pipe that were completely fractured.
Shirou just stared at the broken pipe for a moment before falling back onto his back. "Damn…" He felt his eyes grow heavy and Emiya Shirou fell asleep contemplating another failure.
Shirou groaned and slowly roused himself. He opened his eyes and gazed around the room in confusion. The house was empty and Kiritsugu wouldn't be home for another few days. So where was that voice coming from?
Before he could dismiss the voice as something from his dream, it rang out again. 'Hurry, someone come and help!'
Any trace of sleep was brushed aside when Shirou heard that cry. The boy froze and looked around for the source of the voice. It was coming from some where outside!
He ran out of his house as the voice continued to cry out for help, only pausing to grab his wooden practice sword. He ran out into the streets and followed his instinct as the voice echoed in his head. When the voice grew more frantic, Shirou picked up the pace until he reached the source.
"This is…" He had been to this building earlier this afternoon. This was the vet where they had dropped off the ferret Nanoha found. His magical senses were still new but even he could feel the sheer amount of magical energy pulsing out of the building. It was a surprise that no one else had felt something and came to investigate.
"Shirou?" A familiar voice called out from behind him. Shirou spun around and stared at the speaker in complete bewilderment.
"Nanoha? What are you doing here?" It was pretty late at night and there wasn't any reason for the girl to be out here. She was in here pajamas too. But before he could get any answers from the girl the building behind him shuttered as if struck. Both of the children turned around to stare at the building in confusion.
The wall of the building exploded and sent pieces of shrapnel everywhere. Without any hesitation, Shirou immediately threw himself in front of Nanoha to protect her.
When the dust had settled both of them looked up and saw the creator of the explosion. In front of the nine year olds were two things. The first was the ferret they had found and dropped off at the vet. That was fine. He had thought that the animal was a bit different anyways.
It was the other being that was confusing. A black ball of darkness that looked almost like a solid cloud of black cotton with a demonic face on it flew out of the building.
Both of the children stared at the sight of a small rodent being attacked by a magic cloud of darkness for a moment before Shirou snapped out of his shock. "Did… did I just see a magic black fur ball attack a ferret?"
Shirou's question was directed more to the air than anyone, but Nanoha nodded none the less. The girl's shock was quickly replaced with worry and shock as she remembered what was going on.
"Ah, we have to help Ferret-san!" Before he could stop her, Nanoha ran over and picked up the ferret. Shirou swore as he saw the monster dove down for another attack. Shirou darted in front of the two of them and swung his practice sword before the thing could get to them. The strike was a solid one and knocked the monster back. It quickly reoriented itself and roared at the boy that was in its way. The monster rushed at the boy this time much faster than before.
Shirou raised his sword up to block the strike and felt the monster connect with the wooden blade, but the sheer force of the monster's attack sent him flying across the street. He hit the ground and rolled a few feet before stopping.
"Guh…" Shirou struggled to his feet and look down at his practice blade. His strike hadn't done anything? No, his strike simply was too light. He just needed to hit it harder or find a weak point.
The monster roared and decided to destroy the annoying one that struck it first. It spiraled into the sky and dove down to crush the small boy with it's with body.
Shirou saw the thing falling and dove away. The monster shot back into the sky again and attempted to crush the boy several times, only for the boy to dive away before it could strike. Finally it stopped on the ground and shot horizontally at the boy rather than from the sky.
That was just what Shirou was hoping for. The boy rushed forward at the monster to meet the monster's charge. He would meet the monster head on with his strongest strike.
Well, he would have met it if it wasn't for the distraction. A flash of pink light flared out to the side of them. The monster froze at the sight of the light and stopped in mid air. This left Shirou, who was completely committed to his attack, to miss and smash his sword into the ground. The boy tumbled from overextending but quickly rushed back to his feet to stare at the light in amazement.
"What is that…?" He whispered. It felt completely different than the power that was coming out of the monster. The light faded quickly and left Nanoha standing there confused clutching a staff and in a new dress. "Nanoha?"
The monster roared at the new threat that actually posed a danger to it and rose into the air for another charge. It shot down at the girl causing her to flinch. Shirou swore as he realized that he was too far to knock her out of the way or block the strike. "Nanoha!"
A flare of power once again flooded over Shirou's senses as a pink barrier appeared in front of Nanoha. The monster struggled to smash through like it had with Shirou's guard but the barrier held. The rebound of the force threw the monster backwards and caused it to explode into several gooey pieces.
"Eh…" Shirou couldn't believe his eyes. That was definitely magic. Nanoha Takamachi had just used magic. Ridiculously strong magic at that if the shiver that went down his spine meant anything.
Before Shirou could ask her what was going on, he saw something in the corner of his sight. The pieces of the monsters were moving together and reassembling themselves again.
"What does it take to kill this thing?" Shirou pulled his sword up for another strike when something spoke to his side.
"We're not going to kill it. We need to seal it." Shirou looked at the source of the voice and saw the ferret from earlier.
"It… can talk…" Shirou smiled and pointed at it with a triumphant expression on his face. "I knew it, you are a magical animal!"
"His name is Yuuno and this is his staff." Nanoha giggled at Shirou's excitement as she gestured to the staff in her hands.
"Alright, so how do we seal it?" Shirou got to the point. He wanted to ask several questions but he knew his priorities. Beat the monster and then came the cool explanations for what's going on. He didn't possess anywhere near the magical ability to seal something like a monster.
"Nanoha can do it. She just needs some time to figure it out." Yuuno's answer was calm despite the fact that they were fighting a monster at the moment.
Shirou frowned for a moment but quickly came to a decision. "Alright then I'll distract it while she does that."
"No you won't. It's too dangerous." Nanoha was quick to reject his offer but Shirou grinned at her.
"Come on Nanoha. What kind of Hero would I be if I left you to face this thing alone?" After he said that the boy looked down at the wooden practice sword in his hands. The wooden sword was worn and he could see a crack developing from the single hit that the monster had connected with. It wouldn't be enough to fight a monster. He would need something better. A determined expression crossed Shirou's face. "And you're not the only one that can do magic either Nanoha."
"Eh?" Both Nanoha and Yuuno looked at him in confusion.
"Don't worry about it." Shirou waved them off and ran to confront the reforming monster.
Shirou knew that Magecraft in this kind of situation would be suicide. He could barely form a Magic Circuit in an ideal environment let alone a battle situation, but he didn't really have much choice. Shirou braced himself before declaring his aria.
"Trace… On!" Fire flooded into Shirou's veins once more as he hastily formed a Magic Circuit.
He ignored the familiar pain and tried to estimate how much the wooden sword could take without using Structural Analysis for an extended period of time. The blueprint of the practice blade formed in an instant. The shape of the wood, the miniscule cracks that were unseen to the naked eye and even the polish were all mapped out in a single moment. Od flooded through Shirou's crudely constructed Magic Circuit and into the blade itself. The Od rushed into the blade and made it stronger, Reinforcing the structure of the practice sword done to its basic elements.
Finally the intense moment was over and the fire faded from his veins. Shirou shakily looked up to see that the monster had finished reassembling itself. It dove down at him. Well trained instincts sent the boy rolling to the side just in time to dodge the blow. The monster's attack drove a crater into the ground but it quickly shot out of the dust cloud that it created.
Shirou didn't think. He just acted. He tightened his grip on his sword and rushed forward at the monster. It would all come down to this. If he succeeded he would win, if he failed then the sword would break and the monster would kill him. It was simple as that. No other thoughts were necessary.
Shirou jumped up and swung at the monster before it could recover and strike again. The wooden practice sword smashed into the monster and roughly carved through the black substance that it was made of.
Shirou landed on his feet and looked down at his practice sword in amazement. "I can't believe it…" He whispered. A normal wooden sword would have never been able to do that. It would have broken under the pressure of that kind of blow but the wooden practice sword didn't have any new cracks on it. That meant that he had succeeded! He had used proper Magecraft for the first time!
"Shirou, look out!"
The mental celebration that Shirou was planning on having was cut short as the monster roared again and reformed itself. It rocketed down in another rush. Caught off guard, Shirou wasn't able to dodge in time and twisted around to block.
The strike knocked the practice sword backward into Shirou's body and knocked him across the area once more. His aided flight was interrupted by the wall of the animal clinic. He slid down the wall and curled into a ball in pain. The initial strike hadn't been that bad, but hitting the wall had hurt a lot.
"Ugh…" The Magus in training pressed a hand to his and winced when the light pressure caused pain. "That didn't work as well as I hoped."
"Jewel Seed Seal!" Nanoha's voice calling out was a relief to the boy as he had no idea how he was going to keep the thing busy for another second.
Shirou watched in amazement from the wall as the staff that Nanoha held sent pink ribbons made of magic out and wrapped them around the monster. The beast roared one last desperate roar as it struggled against its bonds. Then it froze as the Roman numeral for twenty one lit up between its eyes and it dissolved.
"That…was pretty cool." Shirou admitted to himself. When he heard that Nanoha had to seal it, he had to admit he was expecting worse. A lot of posing and girly backgrounds, not chains of magic and a cool light show.
A small jewel dropped to the ground. Shirou picked himself up and slowly made his way to the jewel and watched as Nanoha poked it with the staff. The jewel glowed for a moment before disappearing into the staff.
"Receipt number twenty one." The staff spoke in a rather mechanical voice as it lit up the Roman numeral to match the number it just spoke.
"The staff talks?" Shirou looked over at the device in curiosity. He knew that magic was out there, but so far all he knew about was Magecraft. He knew that powerful artifacts and Mystic Codes could be enchanted with intelligence but he had never seen one before. He would have asked more questions but a small noise at his feet caused him to look down at the collapsed ferret.
"Yuuno!" Nanoha ran over to the small animal. "Are you ok?"
"I'm fine." Yuuno reassured the girl. "We should get out of here before we're noticed though."
"Ah…" Shirou flinched when he heard sirens approaching the area. Magic was to be kept a secret. That was another lessons that Kiritsugu had taught him. "We should go, like right now."
"Ah…" The staff that Nanoha was holding disappeared along with the new dress she was wearing leaving Nanoha back in her pajamas. "Right, let's run!"
Shirou grabbed Nanoha's wrist and took off. The both of them ran for a while until they entered a park. Since it was so late the entire park was empty. Shirou stopped to catch his breath. The adrenaline from the battle was starting to fade and he could feel his ribs strain when he breathed too deeply.
After catching their breath, the two of them along with Yuuno sat down on a bench to talk.
"Alright." Shirou loomed over Yuuno and resisted the urge to poke him a few times. "So you're magical?"
"Well yes." Yunno paused to get comfortable. "It's a long explanation but first. I am sorry for getting you involved in this."
Shirou waved off his apology. "Don't worry about it. This kind of thing is what I've been training for."
"Oh." Nanoha thought of something and paused to introduce them. "My name is Takamachi Nanoha and this is Emiya Shirou."
Yunno gave a small bow. This looked a little cute since it was a small ferret doing the bowing. "I am Yuuno Scrya. I am glad to make your acquaintance." He introduced himself.
"As for me and that monster." Yuuno paused for a moment to gather his thoughts. "It's my fault. I was the one to find them so I am the one responsible for collecting them again. They are called Jewel Seeds."
Shirou listened intently as the ferret began his explanation. He had learned quickly that not paying attention during important explanations was dangerous. He had fallen asleep during a lecture from Kiritsugu about forming Magic Circuits and when he tried to fill in the blanks by himself… well… let's just say that he learned his lesson.
"My clan and I are archeologists." Yuuno continued, a little nervous at the attention that Shirou was paying him. "It was on a dig that I found them. They are part of an ancient civilization, and particular artifacts of this classification are called Lost Logia. The Jewel Seeds are believed to be capable of granting wishes, but as that creature showed, they can have far different effects."
"So someone wished for that creature?" Nanoha asked as he tilted her head. Who would wish for a giant dust bunny?
"Not exactly. We don't really know what their original purpose was. But they run on desires. So if there is no one around when they activate, their effects are random and unpredictable. So it was decided that it would be best to have them sealed and stored." Yuuno curled up in Nanoha's lap and continued. "Instead they were scattered across this world during transit. I was the one that found them, so I am going to be the one to seal them back up. I just need to rest first. I just need a few days.
"We'll help." Nanoha smiled. "Right Shirou?"
Shirou nodded. "Of course. We can't leave something like the Jewel Seeds out in the open where they can hurt people. Anyways…" Shirou scratched the side of his cheek. "I kinda want to see more of your magic anyways."
"You can't." Yuuno shot to his feet. "It's my responsibility!"
"And you're in no shape for monster hunting." Shirou frowned. It was a little selfish, but he wanted to do this. He wanted to be a Hero. So he wasn't about to accept the ferret's reasons so easily. "We can't just leave them alone. People'll get hurt."
"Right!" Nanoha nodded. Then she remembered something and turned to Shirou. "Ah that's right. Shirou, what did you do earlier when you cut the monster?"
Shirou blinked and then remembered that he had Reinforced his sword. He had done Magecraft!
Yuuno paused in his attempts to persuade these two from doing this and looked at the boy. "That's right. I don't think a wooden sword would have done that much damage to a construct even if it was unstable. You mentioned magic before, but I did not see anything resembling magic."
"Race on. I think." Nanoha tilted her head at the odd English phrase.
"Ah…ahaha…" Shirou laughed nervously before sighing. "It's 'Trace On.' It's my personal aria for Magecraft."
"Magecraft?" Both Nanoha and Yuuno repeated in confusion.
"Yes. I Reinforced the sword with my Magecraft." Shirou nodded. "I am one who uses Magecraft. I am a magus."
"Magus… I didn't know that Earth had magic users." Yuuno stared at the boy curiously before making a decision. "Shirou, would you mind holding Raising Heart."
"Huh?" Shirou blinked when Nanoha handed him the red gem that used to hang around Yuuno's neck. He rolled the gem with his fingers for a moment before he felt something odd. Shirou closed his eyes and felt something tug at him.
"Access Denied, mana levels insufficient." The gem flashed as it chimed back.
"Huh, it didn't work?" Shirou frowned. He didn't really expect the thing to work, but he couldn't say he hadn't hoped that he could use the staff too. Still, he wasn't too disappointed. He wasn't a proper magus so he didn't have Magic Circuits to channel magic.
"Raising Heart requires a certain amount of magic energy to activate. If the user's magical stores don't match a certain level then it will deny the user access." Yuuno yawned and curled into a ball. "Even at its lowest levels you would probably be drained after a week or so of constantly feeding it mana. You do have magic just not a lot of it." That was interesting. He wondered if this planet had adapted to lower magic levels and created magic from that.
"So Nanoha has a lot of mana then?" Shirou stared at the girl. She didn't seem like a magus like Kiristugu, but then again this was a different type of magic. Maybe it required a different type of mana.
"Master Shirou's magical level rating is inconclusive, this unit places it at Rank D-. Master Nanoha's magical level rated at rank A." The device lit up as it ranked the both of them.
"Rank?" Shirou wondered what that meant exactly.
"E through S plus." Yuuno mumbled. "D is below average and A rank is something like one in one thousand on Mid-Childa. That's just magical level. Most people can't really use it right even if they have enough magical energy."
Yuuno's words sunk into Shirou's mind and he realized a harsh truth. "Huh, so I'm a failure at magic, huh." Shirou muttered to himself.
"Incorrect. Master simply does not match the magical threshold needed to activate this device. Magical pathways are unused but properly formed. Activation of pathways recommended to raise magical threshold." The device replied to Shirou's muttering. He looked down at the gem in confusion.
"Magical pathways…?" Shirou repeated. The statement sunk into the boy's mind immediately and he had to suppress the urge to start shaking the device and demand it explain what it meant.
"I think we should go home." Nanoha lifted a now sleeping Yuuno carefully. "We can talk about this later."
"Right..." Shirou didn't want to leave just yet, but his ribs still hurt and he was too tired to think straight. He got to his feet and winced at the pain he felt in his chest. He pressed a hand to it and found that the pressure didn't hurt it anymore. He would have to be careful on his way home, but he should be fine.
"Are you okay?" Nanoha frowned at his pained expression. "That monster hit you pretty hard."
Shirou tried to reassure her, but he moved too quickly and winced at the spike of pain that shot through his chest. "Don't worry about it. I'll be a little sore tomorrow but this isn't anything worse than when I spar with your brother." That was a blatant lie. Kouya never hurt Shirou this badly once during their spars.
"If you say so." Nanoha didn't seem convinced but let it go. "Then I'll see you tomorrow Shirou."
Shirou nodded and started his long painful walk back to his house. It was only after a few painful steps that Shirou realized a big problem.
"Where am I?"
He had no idea where he was.
AN: Mahou Senki: Lyrical Days is now its own story. Partial credit for the title of this piece goes to 123 a-z as he's the one that came up with the Mahou Senki part.
The Magical Chronicles of Emiya Shirou will be split into several parts. Most of them following along the path of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha and all its sequels. Lyrical Days which will follow the scramble for the Jewel Seeds. The War of the Night Sky, which follows the Book of Darkness incident. And Heaven's Feel which will follow the Holy Grail War.
What comes after that if I even get to it will be determined in the future.
This is revised version of chapter one with a bit better grammar and some minor fixes. All of the chapters will have gone through some minor editing like this.