This chapter was long time coming. I would have updated it sooner, but I thought….real life is a real bitch.
Honestly I am not fully done with this chapter yet. There should still be grammar mistakes and some concept issues I need to go over with Eva-Saiyajin, but I didn't want to leave nothing for Christmas. PLEASE NOTE! I will post a beta'd and fixed version soon as I can, so please pardon the mistakes.
Please enjoy and I promise to work harder on next year as well.
Merry Christmas Everyone!
CH13 Unavoidable Encounter…Flowing Blood Upon the Temple Stair
"I don't understand." Caster muttered for the million times since these past hours.
The Servant of Magic, the Caster class Servants were known for their lack of physical power, but covered it with their wits and knowledge. They could easily gathered information and were second, only to infamous Hassan-i-Sabah, the predetermined Servant Assassin and his legacies in terms of Intel gathering.
She saw this upcoming competition from miles away…In the Grail War, an event where her Master is put to risk is only natural…So she spied on her foes and any x-factors involved with the talent that made her the Servant she is today.
That Saber from the Einzbern family… that one was dangerous, too dangerous.
She needed a pawn… a brute that could face Saber to support her in fight with Saber and perhaps… she had a chance to beat Saber.
That line of thought leaded her to do the unthinkable and unexpected thing.
She, Medea, the Witch of Betray and servant of Caster class had summoned a Servant for herself.
A servant summoned another servant.
That never happened before in the history of Holy Grail of War.
However, against the odds, she did it.
She should be praised.
She should be complimented.
The clever princess of far long gone land has done the deed that hidden by veil of rules and regulation and summoned the Servant of Dagger for herself.
While the thought of used her status as a magus was clever… the grail did not give her the intended killer of the night, but a fake hero…. a nameless swordsman as a Servant.
Oh so, clever Medea…
Oh so, beautiful Medea was very unhappy…
Nevertheless, she attained and achieved all the necessary condition to be the most informed and alerted of all competing parties. With no Assassin, the Old Man of the Mountain as her enemy, she did not have any opponent in the terms of information gathering. After all, there were no Servants of any class being more suited than she was, for information gathering. In addition, she was the only one who knew that there was no real Assassin in this war. Therefore, while others needed to stay alert for any danger from behind, she could be at ease.
Oh clever Medea.
She had spies all around the city from the peak of the mountain and down to the lowest sewer of the city. Her eyes and ears were the innocent birds in the sky to the crawling rodents on the ground. Her eyes were hidden on the surface of the building. Her ears were planted in the wall of the homes.
There was no blind spot for her…
There were no surprises for her…
So… It was infuriating that she did not understand what she was looking at, now.
The Servant of the Spell and Craft was hiding deep within the boundary field of her workshop within the concealed room of the Ryudo temple.
Next to her was her Master on his knee in front of a small reading table, reading a textbook about his next lesson, illuminated by a candle.
"Is there something interesting going on?" Kuzuki Souichirou asked without turning to face her.
"Nothing Souichirou-sama. There are some unwanted guests and I had my pet to drive them away." Caster replied, as she was looking a floating magic ball surrounded by spell circle of ages far beyond modern man in front of her.
This glass ball was her peeping…*cough* a spying tool for the Holy Grail war.
Through this glass ball from age of gods, Caster was able to identify the Masters of Rider, Lancer, and Saber. While the identities of the Servants themselves were still unknown, she managed to locate several of their home bases.
Einzberns had their boundary field forest and their pitiful castle. Caster could easily break their field and even bombard the castle from long distance with long-range artillery spells. Saber might not die from it, but the Masters were all so very squishy.
As for the Lancer and his Master, they had hidden themselves in a remote hotel building. She traced them somewhere in the city, but the Lancer seemed to be more than a brute as he cleverly concealed his location with what seemed to be the Original Runes.
Not bad for a… dog?
For some reason Caster felt that calling him that… a barking dog with no grace.
Now as for Rider and her Master, their home base was in an old mansion in the middle of a residential area. The house seemed protected by boundary field, not of defensive, but a highly effective alarm system.
While the terms of offensive ward and spell work were not very aggressive. She knew that there were many… many well trained killers and assassin guarding the mansion and all the houses from a block away.
Each of assassins and fighters were all trained killers and skilled enough to kill a fully-grown military trained soldier…with not a single peep or noise in a middle of a messy cafeteria. (With a poison or well-placed pressure point.)
There were watching the place 24/7 with hourly rotation. The only way for her to even found that out was to feel for the life force from the hidden guards…They leaked no killing intent or presence, but a living being was an living being…with a right spell she could see them.
She could wager her left arm that she could easily overpower the defense and perhaps even infiltrate undetected if she put more effort into it.
The Servant of the Steed might be too much for frontal confrontation, but she sure, a mass bombing of firebomb spells would do some good. It would be expensive in term of prana usage, but seeing how…powerful of a fighter the Rider's Master was…An overkill was a good kill.
She saw how effective the human fought the Lancer's Master….
Those two were magus by all right, yet they fought nothing like it. They were brutal and effective in terms of physical skill and refused to use any magic as offensive weapon, but only to reinforce their limbs for fist-to-fist combat.
What a pair of brutes….
Caster might be the greatest magus in the world right now, but she was not stupid enough to think she could confront them as normal squashy magic users… because they were way too much of an Anti-Magi for her liking.
Normally she would use some complex, indirect ways to kill the Rider's Master, but she could not…Not by lack of effort mind you, but she was ordered not too…The first serious order from Souichirou-sama…it might as have been an order from Command Seal.
She could still remember it like yesterday.
"Souichirou-sama…I have wiped their memories as you asked…" Caster said as she closed the sliding door. In front of her was her master in the middle of the temple's prayer room. The room was surrounded by status of Buddha's , temple guardians, and Jizous.
Kuzuki Souichirou was on a Lotus position with his eyes closed and back straight.
"And their health?" her Master asked as he was opened his eyes.
For the last few weeks, she had been locating and capturing spies and stalkers of her beloved Master. All stalkers are dressed as normal civilians and conducted in inauspicious ways. However, in her spirit form she managed to see the rats following her Master easily.
She wanted to kill them for even daring to trail her Master with clear hostile intent…. however, her Master had a different idea.
"Let them go… Wipe their memory of our location and order them to go back to their base… after they return report to me" was her master idea…,no, order.
"The spies were sent from a mansion in the resident area far from the center of the city…. Under the family name Emiya. The mansion is owned by Magus. There is an active alarm and detection boundary field around the house and there are many hidden guards around the home." Caster informed.
"…So he is here to hunt me down…how persistent…how dedicated." He droned with no emotion.
"…Emiya Shirou…A member of my old division and he was commissioned as my vice-captain of the Punishment Force. He was my successor in training, and most likely already successes me to the position of taichou…Hmmm…he is now the Jugodaime(15th)."
"Kuzuki-sama…are they the enemy you mention about?"
"Yes…I am a deserter of the OATB….I hold many sensitive information of Yami and its darkness within the darkness…It is only natural that they seek my head."
Caster suddenly kneed to her Master and her cape swayed and flapped by her movements.
"As long as I, Caster breathes a single breathe!...You will be safe Souichirou-sama…"
"For my first act, I'll rid of this Emiya Shirou and…"
"Emiya will come to me…and I will face him when he does."
"…A martial artist will do what a martial artist must…and so will Emiya…For before he became the Keigun he is and forever will be God Hand, Hongou Akira's disciple and Kyouraku Shunsui's apprentice…He has too much sense of honor for an assassin….and he will face me. Until then do not harm him."
"But what if he attacks?"
"…Then I'll end him."
However even after that, a few days later it was revealed that Emiya Shirou was a Master! Imagine her surprise when he suddenly brought out his army of assassins to attack the recently arrived Master of Lancer.
She then tried to convince her Master to get rid Rider's Master immediately, however, his answer was no.
She tried her best, but there was no convincing him.
Then the Servant of Magic asked him this.
"Are you hesitating because he used to be your direct subordinate?"
This was a good question considering a captain and lieutenant held special bonds to work. The sense of comradely was important after all…At least that was what she 'think' it was. After all, she never had any experience in…comradely…Only cheaters and backstabbers who dumps you after using you or finding another woman.
Nevertheless, Souichirou-sama was not like other men.
Anyway, her Master may be cold and stoic, but he is a deep and compassionate man deep inside. After all, he held that Issei brat in high regard.
However, her Master's answer was surprising.
"No…Emiya and I are never close at all. Normally a captain of the Onmitsu Ansatsu Tokushu Butai trains his or her own successors as disciples. However, Emiya and I were nothing like that. We were simply commander and his underling. I taught him basic assassination…and he made his own assassination technique out of it. I point and ordered…and he obeyed and killed…He requested for high priority and difficult missions and I approved…"
He turned to Caster.
"So I have no problem killing him…only that I like to see something."
"To see something?"
"…I like to see if I can prevent a young man who has no paths from becoming a simple murderer…"
(Flash back over)
And here we are…they were attacking us.
From her magic orb, she could see that the Rider has obvious advantage in term of physical strength as Assassin's Strength was only at Rank-C and the Halberd welding girl was pushing and throwing him back in direct exchange blows.
Assassin was no slouch, but he was a flawed Servant who was more like a Saber class with none of their advantage such as Magic Resistance, high healing factor, and extra power boost.
To make matter worse Assassin lacks Presence Concealments despite being the 5th Servant of the Daggers.
"It would have been better to kill the Master instead of fighting Rider…If all fails we could capture him instead of killing him."
Her Master could not complain if the Emiya boy breaks into her temple…In this case it was self-defense.
"For now, I'll leave it to my pet to deal with these pests. Please be at ease Souichiru-sama." Said Medea as she continued to observe from the distance as Assassin, Sasaki Kojirou and Rider clashed once more, causing gales to flare and sparks to fly.
(Battle by the gate)
Sasaki Kojirou, the false hero that made from unconfirmed legends of swordsmen all over the history who decided to use the name Sasaki Kojirou was having a time of his life.
He was a fake servant so he could not even get his wish granted. He was summoned by another Servant so the chance of him wishing before being killed off was slim. Adding salts to the wound he was bounded to the gate of the temple and the land itself instead of a living, breathing master…. Of course that did not stop Caster from having her three Command Seal, two already spent to command him to stay and protect the gate at all cost.
Therefore, his only joy… only relief from his grief as nobody that was bounded to be used and thrown aside could be only found in battle…and he received his relief in a form of red haired maiden with a frightening halberd.
Kojirou slid back by the sheer force of the swing. It was clear that he was no match for her physical strength and insane speed.
He prided himself in his godly sword skill, but skill did not always overcome might. Humanity was weaker than all the god's creature and the inhuman beasts and monsters once terrorized the man to the corner of their homes.
In order to fight back against the might of the being that out strips their physical power…mankind adapted by creating tools…and techniques.
By creating skills and techniques, humanity gained an upper hand against sheer brute might.
However, life demanded balance and to be an ultimate warrior he or she must have both might that reaches high heaven and skill to part the sea… Both quality that Rider had over Assassin's by folds.
Rider twirled her halberd over her head and swung down to cleave the Assassin's head off. Unfortunately, she only cut off bit of his long purple hairs and drew no blood. Rider didn't paused as she turned the bottom of her halberd toward Assassin and thrust at him, but the samurai used his extraordinary long sword to parry aside the blunt end of the halberd. However, Rider simply turned the thrust into a swing as she swung at Halberd against the Notachi and sent the Assassin sliding backward.
"…Light…Your guard is light." Commented Rider as she got back into ready stance.
"Perhaps…But my blade is by all mean not as harmless as you believe!" said Kojirou as he dashed forward in blinding speed only a true warrior of bloody battlefield could produce and stepped into Rider's guard. Fearlessly he ducked a swing from the halberd and performed five sharper than light swings to score a solid blow against Rider.
"This Sasaki is by all mean no paper tiger! Take this!"
CLANK! CLANK! CLANK! CLANK! CLANK!
However, Rider was not known to be the War God for no reason. In term of known legends and the boost that comes with it, Rider out matched Assassin once again.
The two of them exchanged furious slashes and thrusts that no living, save a handful can imitate. From below, the black cladded master of Rider watched on silently…still not moving from his spot.
"It's not time yet." He muttered as he pulled on his shelve to look at a black digital watch…time clicking away.
With the sound of metal clashing and echoing across the sky, Archer and Lancer landed on their knee. The two heroes spun around immediately and dashed forward to perform deadly dance of blade and metal as they sang the song of war.
CLANK! POW WHOOSH! Voosh! CLANK! KLANK! KANG! WHOOSH! DODGE! DUCK! STAB! BLOCK! CLANK!
Lancer, the most agile Servant took control of the pace, but Archer simply used Lancer's pace as his own as he led the blue Servant on into his rhythm. Pace and speed did not matters when you dictated the point of blow and baits.
Archer's fighting style was reckless and dumb, but it was just enough to keep up with heroes with better physical stats than he does. Unlike Assassin in many miles away in the mountain, Archer compensates for his lack of power not with grace and skill, but to bring the enemy closer to his open guard to slice them off when they least expect…In a way, Archer was a better Assassin than Sasaki Kojirou.
"DON'T GET AHEAD OF YOURSELF! TAKE THIS!" Lancer shouted as he burst into rapid thrusts of red lances. Archer was forced into defense as he used all the twists and turns with his fancy Mind's Eye to think of the most logical and capable plan to nullify Lancer's Attacks. Archer's twin swords flashed against the air as it blocked the incoming thrusts. The twin sword, a work of finest craftsmen, but it fell apart only after few blows. However soon they were replaced with an identical copy to block another lethal blow.
'This guy is fast as ever…I might need to pull out the long range weapons to turn this table around.'
'Chi-! This guy has some really annoying fighting style! At least Rider was straight forward with power to power and speed to speed…this guy…it feels as if he is leading me on. I need to break the rhythm to take complete control of the fight.' Lancer thought, as he slashed with his spear alongside Archer's inner thigh, but Archer took a step back and nearly took his arm off with a swipe. Nevertheless, Lancer was far faster than the bowman was as he somehow managed to pull back and spun his lance in front of him to force Archer away unless he wanted to be shred into pieces.
Compared to Rider whose strength rivaled his own, Archer was rather…weak. However, at the same time Archer is rather clever and uses a rather unorthodox fighting method. It seems all Servants in this war have some unexpected or unorthodox fighting method. Archer with sword…and Rider with a mean unarmed skill…What's next?
"Tsk! Petty tricks." Lancer scolded as he swung his red spear around him once and settled the cursed lance around his back, held by his left hand. Lancer's stance was losse but with the man's skill, he could whip his red lance to attack anytime.
"Archer! You call yourself a hero! Even if you are a simple bowman, but do you not bare the pride of a hero?" questioned the Proud Son of the Light, but the tanned skinned hero only smirked.
"Petty tricks indeed. (Takes an open guardless stance)Nevertheless, what does that make of so call hero who falls for it? A fool? Or a foolish hero? A pride is only an illusion. I have no need for such things."
"Kouzakashi!(How conceited!) By end of tonight! You will learn to shut your mouth! Take this!"
"Fine by me!"
Lancer charged at Archer with a slash from above, but Archer used his twin swords…that he broke a lot of time already into an X-block over his head. The two weapons clashed with sparks flying and ringing metal echoing against the night air. The two warriors were still, but their body tensed to overpower one another.
Lancer's red eyes bore down against Archer's grey eyes. He was clearly the physically stronger of the two, but Archer's eyes didn't lost its spark…But there was something missing…
"Not bad for an Archer…However, your swords lack spirit! Show me something more or you will shame the title of Three Knight Class! If you are not up for it, then bring out your bow!"
"Humph! Unfortunately I am a man who lacks pride in his steel." Archer jumped back from the power struggle and threw his swords at Lancer. However, Lancer ducked and rolled to avoid the Yin-Yang blades.
"HAH! YOU MISSED!"
"I am not so sure about that."
The attraction power of this twin Daos allowed the blades to circle around the Servant of Spear as it aimed for the back of his neck.
"Huh? More petty tricks? No matter how many you have! No jokes will bring me down!"
As expected Lancer knocked the spinning disks out of the air with his mighty lance, but he grinded his teeth and narrowed his eyes in annoyance as the swords continued to stay afloat and Archer had another set of the swords in his hands.
"Kisama…Just how many of those thing do you have?"
"How many?...As much as I need." Replied Archer as he throw some more into the mix….Sometimes he loved his cheating power.
Fire…The settlement area was burning…The homes…Many homes are flattened and on fire.
People…. Many people either were dead from the fire or crushed by the falling house and chunk of steels and earth. There were no safe place for the people…For they were in the middle of a clash between the the 'Most Superb Servant' and the 'Strongest Servant.'
Saber clinched her teeth as she jumped back to avoid a red mail box that turned black with red veins from smashing her into the wall. The King of Knights turned back to see her oldest knight on his feet with a clunk of concrete connected by a tough metal rode in his hand….a souvenir from the concrete wall he broke.
"GGUUAAAHHHH! AAAAARRRTTTTTTTTHHHHHUUUURRR RRR!" roared the black paladin as he dashed forward with all the grace of a wild beast, but swung and reacted like an expert as he exchanged blows with Saber…with a slab of concrete and metal as his Rank-D Noble Phantasm.
His Knight of Honor: A Knight Does Not Fall Empty Handed came through for him to make anything in his hand into a legendary weapon. His Personal skill, Absolute Armed Mastery allowed him to fight unlike any Berserkers in history of the Holy Grail War.
His blows enhanced by his Mad Enhancement, but all the skill of a Knight Class…Truly this Servant could be considered a perfect Servant.
All the power of a knight… None of its weakness such as honor.
To some kind of Masters, it might be a good thing since honor of a knight can get in the efficiency Magus wanted.
The black miasma covered him prevents his opponent from seeing his appearance clearly, but it also conceals his movement in the dark. To Saber who fought him before it was not very effective, but the minor effect is all that matters.
SHHUU-WOOSH! VOOSH! CLANK! CLANK!
Saber lived up to her class as she valiantly fought against Berserker. The resident area was a poor area to fight, but Berserker was not giving her much of a choice. The rampaging Servant was causing such a noise and explosions that she is sure the supervisor of this war is bring in much resource to hide the war from public…But the delicate works could not start unless one of them retreats…And once again, Lancelot was not making it easy for anyone.
The slab of concrete in his hand was sliced off by Saber's mighty slash. Her invisible sword was out matching the cluster of dirt easily. However, Berserker was not about to quit as he slammed his armored foot into Saber's chest and sent her flying.
"AAAGGGHHHHHH!" Arutria yelled out as she slammed into the wall.
"GGGUUUAUAAAHHH!" This time Berserker charge forth and body slammed her into the wall and into the house.
CLASH! CLANK! BOOM!
The very foundation of the house shook by the force of their fight.
Saber found herself on top of a toppled couch in a living room. Her hair was a slight mess and her armors dent, but she was only bleeding from minor wounds…Cloogg….Oh yeah, she was stomp kicked in the chest…that hurts too.
"Lancelot! Stop! There are innocent people here! Please let us fight elsewhere!...(GWAAAHHHHHH!) Tsk! MASTER OF BERSERKER! WE MUST RELOCATE!" she yelled out. However, Berserker did not care as he picked up the undamaged TV in the corner of the room and lift it over his head.
'…Oh you are kidding me.' She thought as a Television Phantasm knocked her out of the house.
Saber landed on her feel like a cat, but her eyes widen as she sensed Lancelot was right above her in the sky.
She immediately blasted forth a torrent of wind from her Invisible Air to knock the mad knight way with power of physics, magic, and a bit of power of annoyance.
Berserker landed on the ground outside of the house. The ground below him was cracked and broken, but the Servant of the madness was not even scratched. The Knight shook off the dirt by shaking himself like a wet dog and got up to his feet. (Sound of metal footstep from the side)The mad Servant turned to Saber who managed to jump on top of a lamppost.
"GAAHAHAHAH!" The mad knight roared as he ran toward her, but she quickly jumped over his head and landed on a parked car. Saber then jumped off the car to the other side, shifted her blade underneath it to release a burst of compressed air to lift the car, and sent it spinning toward her knight.
As the spinning wonders of science came at him, Lancelot didn't even pause as he jumped into the car by smashing into its side window and in slow motion and acrobat motion not even the craziest stuntmen will perform, the knight fell out of the other side and tugged the car door with him.
Below him, the King of Knight raised her sword to block a pitch-black car door with red veins from bashing her face in. She clashed with the makeshift shield few times. Until she had to block a few hits from a lump of metal junk that Lancelot picked up from the fight.
Saber flooded her invisible sword with her prana and performed a full spin slash, which carried more power than normal and aimed it to tear into the black knight's car door/shield. Saber felt her wind covered sword slice into the metal door as the Rank-A++ Noble Phantasm slice into the mere Rank-D make-shift Phantasm. However, she didn't expect the crippled shield to glow red and Lancelot body slamming her with his shield.
A large explosion of fire erupted in the middle of their battlefield as Berserker decided to break another one of his false Noble Phantasm into an unstable bomb. While Saber has an absurdly high Magic Resistance skill, not even she can shake off a point-blank suicide bomb attack with Rank-D, now Rank-C Broken Phantasm twice. The Kishioh jumped out of the field of fire while clinching her arm and survey the area around her…it was disastrous…
Death…Death were everywhere.
The homes were caught on fire and the streets were destroyed. The war was meant to be a secret, but this level of destruction was overwhelming. Unlike with Kiritsugu from 4th war, there was no preparation for civilian evacuation. No wait…She can still save…
'Saber…I order you with the power of the Command Seal to appear before me. Berserker and his master is nowhere there now…So come back now.'
"Ilyasviel! I can still…" but she was cut off as her body was covered by curtain of red lights and soon she was gone…Not a trace of her remain, but the burning living area.
As soon as Saber was forced to retreat, a certain Servant of Madness crawled out of the disaster zone by punching away burning debris.
Behind him a figure appeared. Her purple hair and light violet eyes shined in the red fire around her.
"Hahh…Hahha…" Her breath was hard and her body trembled by the strain of feeding her Servant. She had plenty of prana in reserve to feed her Servant, but the amount of energy he drained at once was staggering.
Reaching into her circuit, she hamper down the flow of prana…the Od in her body to the bond between them and lessened the flow. As soon as she did this, the Berserker let out a whine as it turned to her. Nevertheless, the Servant was actually hurt from its crazy ass Kamikaze attack that proved his status as Berserker and he was not in full power to cause her trouble…At least not too much trouble.
"I am sorry, but for now we need to stay low…There might be other Servants here soon." Sakura said as she watched her Servant fade into the nothingness and turned toward her 'home.' She still had school tomorrow and she needed to prepare for chore and daily work…
"I wonder how Maiya-san is right now…I hope she managed to finish her homework in time for class…" Sakura muttered as she walked away from the scene of battle…Not even batter an eyelash toward the destruction and guaranteed death her Servant and the Saber caused on that night.
"…I wonder if I can be excused on my homework…But Shirou-sama did say to enjoy the school and do well on it." Maiya muttered as she watched from the top of a building to observe the clash between Archer and Lancer.
Her data regarding Lancer was correct considering who given her the first hand data, but this Archer was somewhat…Strange.
She was no skilled magus nor is she a powerful Master class fighter, but from what she could see the Archer's physical performance was …impressive, but not inhumane. His speed, strength, and reaction were superb, a skill worthy of even the highest warriors of Yami. However, this was not what she was expecting. She was expecting physical feat that is unachievable in any human standards or perhaps a certain skill set that was crazy as the Lancer's speed.
From what she heard and saw, Lancer's speed was not something even a member of One Shadow Nine Fists can copy. However, this Archer's skills…Only crazy thing about it were his 'Bait and Strike' strategy that was insane to the core. Who was crazy enough to expose their vital area to bait their enemy in every single one of the combination? A single gamble was one thing, but every single time? He was nuts!
Maiya rolled her finger around her green hair and combed the stray hairs over her ear. From her vintage point, she watched as Lancer nearly stabbing the red clad Servant in his stomach, but missed by an inch and gotten counter with a slash to his head. Fortunately, for him, he ducked just in time to disengage to try again.
"So close…" muttered the silent assassin as she continued to watch.
With just a bit of luck Lancer could kill Archer as far as she can see. While Archer seemed to be using his fighting style with all its danger in mind, but it did not mean a master could not make a mistake. A single misfortune or a mistake could kill Archer and Lancer seems like a hero with skills to do it!
The whole reason she didn't get down there by scaling the wall or used her wall climbing kits to jump there and kill the twin tailed Master was that a Servant of Archer class can remain masterless for an entire week or at least 5 days depending on the level of the Independent Action skill. Therefore, even if she kills the Tohsaka girl, there was a chance Archer would find another Master.
Currently the location of Lancer's Master was unknown so she was a no go, but the Tohsaka girl seemed like a too much good of a prey to let go…Oh why did she summoned an Archer Class Servant? Why not a Berserker? They ran out of fuel fast without a Master near them at all times.
…Perhaps she could make an opening for Lancer to take advantage of? Maybe something, like… An assassin's dagger in the twin tail's stomach perhaps? She would make it a no vital hit and maybe it would distract Archer enough for Lancer to kill him.
Yes…She could work with that….And oh look. She had a small squad of assassins as back-up and a nice shinobi tools to help out…This was nothing like what a honorable Yami member should do, but she was not a normal Yami…She is a Onmitsu Ansatsu Tokushu Butai…Her path lies in the darkness.
From far away from middle of Shinto area and the far out west area where expensive western houses were located…In the top of the Mt. Ryudou was another epic battle of inhuman skill.
Assassin clashed his long sword against the mighty halberd of Lu Bu. The sheer force of the swing caused his footing to be unbalanced, but the samurai easily regain his stance to block a second swing to his chest.
Rider on the other hand calmly and steadily took control of the exchange by delivering far more powerful blows, without hesitation, as she was confident in her weapon skill to outpace and out maneuver the purple haired man.
'There is no end to this…I need to be faster.' Thought Assassin as he suddenly increased the tempo to his movement as he rapidly swung his swords in clean cut combination from a beheading strike, wrist cutting strike, chest thrust, shoulder cut, finger cut, hip, thigh, and even feet. The light reflection off his sword was rapidly changing to demonstrate the sheer speed he possessed.
Rider in order to countered this spun her halberd in front of her to pick up the wind and used the spinning blade and shaft of her pole arm and the dust that was flying everywhere as a cover to protect herself. Sparks flew whenever the metal weapons clashed and during the rapid block and attacked Rider took a gamble to strike down Kojirou.
Kojirou was weaker than she…was. Nevertheless, his mastery with his sword was real so in an instant of weakness he could strike her down with skill alone… So she needed to remove the factor that makes him so dangerous…The fatal weakness of weapon users…disarming weapon in the middle of battle.
In the middle of her spinning defense, Rider silently stopped her spinning and swung the halberd for a wide slash that would cause her to have a long delay before she can retract her weapon into defensive position. As she feared, Assassin managed to duck from the wide power swing, spun around in near parallel position in his mid-dodge, and came in for a bisecting slash.
In a moment Rider blocked the blade strike with danto, a half-drawn short sword in Chinese deign that was hidden in her sash. This weapon was no Noble Phantasm, but it served its purpose as it saved her life.
"…Always…armed." Said Rider as she let go of the half drawn sword and clinched her hands into a claw hand position.
Rider burst into action, the silent Rider of the Red Steed did an easy high front kick on Assassin's hand to knock the long sword out of his hand. In quick succession, she dug into his guard and jabbed her hand in sword hand position to the stomach.
However, Assassin managed to dodge the unarmed attack by side stepping from her charge. What he did not expected was Rider suddenly to switch the tempo of her marital art technique by switching her style from one kenpo to another.
From the moment, her sword hand strike failed Rider switched from one of the five animal forms of Ng Ga Kuan (Five Animal Family), the branch of Tiger, which represents power and strength and into the evasive and tricky Snake form.
Rider's footwork was flawless as her Personal Skill: Chinese martial Art was Rank A+, because despite not knowing every branch of the Chinese martial art in her life. However, her status as a War God of the China's Warning era made her famous and the status of War god comes with all mastery of combat in Chinese culture that would associate with her.
So Rider lived up the songs of her legend by burying her knee into Assassin's stomach and in a swift motion of elbow strike to the chest, palm to the face, backhand knuckle blow to the chin, a body blow to the rip, three finger thrust into soft spot of the Assassin's stomach, and a shoulder bash to the entire body.
Assassin let out a cough as he slammed into stairway and rolled down the stair for a bit. However to do him credit Assassin immediately got into a seiza position into his roll and raised his arms up in a cross guard to prepare for any strike.
Japanese was one of rare nation with martial art skill where one can defend himself in a sitting position. Seiza was a position Japanese may frequently sit in and in war time, it was not surprising for a person of importance to fend off assassination while he is sitting down.
Assassin, Sasaki Kojirou as expecting managed to crunch low from lower ground and got into a defensive stance. One good thing is that she is still on the low ground and he on the higher layer of the stairway.
Rider watched this with her eyes slightly widen.
"…I thought…The beating would have knocked…you out…My mistake."
"But…it is useless….When unarmed…I can't be beaten by normal heroes…let alone…a fake."
Sasaki's eyes widen at that. Assassin's eye narrowed as he controlled his breathing in a second.
"So…You figured it out?" he asked with neutral tone, but one can hear the subtle hint of bitterness of the fact.
"I…Don't know much of other heroes…Even within the knowledge of the Throne of Hero…I didn't pay attention…So while I don't recall a heroic spirit recorded among us as Sasaki Kojirou…However…"
Rider pointed to her ear. Under the veil of her red hair was a modern device. A commonly used electionic device for wireless communication called Bluetooth.
"…My master called…" said Rider without a single twitch in her expression.
Assassin raised his eyebrow at the…explanation.
"He know about you as a fictional character…A figure who has no support of being real in his land's history…Only an echo… in a tale of another samurai…But most importantly… he said 'Wrap it up Ryo…I will be arriving at the temple now.' …So I need to go up now…"
"What? What are you talking about? You master is right there and he has not spoken since the beginning of our battle!" said Assassin as he looked slightly puzzled. He might not be a proper Servant, but he has the major knowledge of the modern world…While these…technology is a mystery to him, but to tell someone something through listening device requires mouth to move and to make sound…and that man in armored stealth clothes as not said a single thing.
"…Not my Master." Rider said and the moment she said that a faint sound of buzzing in the air. As seconds passed by the sound was more like 'whup! Whup! Whup!...' A sound of winds being cut could be heard.
Assassin, who was staring at Rider below him, saw a glimpse of some black object heading toward the mountain from the city.
His knowledge of modern way is accurate to a point and…if he recalls correctly that is a vehicle modern men created called…Helicopter.
Rider pointed toward the incoming helicopter that sailed pass the two servants and headed toward the peak of the temple.
"That is my Master."
In the cold dark sky of Fuyuki, a large camouflaged twin rotter helicopter sailed toward the peak of the Mt. Ryuudou. The camouflaged aircraft was steady in the air as it displayed their black and green paint jobs, which hide it well in the dark sky, but the red and white Japanese flag and the JSDF logo on the tail indicated that this is a military aircraft.
The vehicle in question was a Boeing CH-47 Chinoo, an American twin-engine, tandem rotor heavy-lift helicopter. This was an old beauty with a top speed of 170 knots (196 mph, 315 km/h) and it was faster than contemporary utility and attack helicopters of the 1960s. The CH-47 was one of the few aircraft of that era that was still in production and front line service, with over 1,179 built to date. Its primary roles include troop movement, artillery emplacement and battlefield resupply. It had a wide loading ramp at the rear of the fuselage and three external-cargo hooks.
Now one would wonder why was there a military transport aircraft in such place in the middle of the night…The answer was one thing…They have a cargo to drop off.
Within the cargo of the helicopter, there were several men in Yami Ichibantai Keigun uniforms standing in attention. Nine people in total and each man were in black stealth outfit and they each were armed to the very fiber of their underwear, as they were equipped with visible weapons such as a quiver of arrows and a bow on the back to concealed kunai in their sandal and shurikens in their belt.
In the middle of these war prepared men was a figure who was sitting down on the seat attached to the cargo space wall…. This person was without a doubt Emiya Shirou…Emiya Shirou, the leader of the Onmitsu Ansatsu Tokushu Butai, Rider master who should be standing on the stairway of the Mt. Ryuudou.
"I am at the temple now Rider. Finish off Assassin and report to me. I'll hold our position and set up our base in the temple ground itself."
'…I understand' was her reply.
Shirou put away his cellphone and picked up the metal played straw hat that has been part of his trademark uniform for some time. He let out a sigh of relief, donned the concealing headware, and looked at his men, who were staring at him with emotionless, but attentive look.
'Like looking at a walking corpse.' Thought Shirou as he eased his breathing. He soon stood up and all men on the helicopter straighten up even more. "Men…" His face under the veiled hat was perfectly hidden and no one saw his mouth moved as he addressed them.
"The target is within the temple…All personals are to alert of any magecraft or supernatural event once we get out of this aircraft. We will proceed with plan-B6 'Honno-ji.'"
"Our goal is not only killing Kuzuki Shouichirou, but also eliminating any magus within the temple. There is a servant, but Rider is dealing with him. Our blow must be swift and I will remind you…No witness."
Lone son of Emiya opened the hatch on the aircraft and was hit by the blunt wrath of the cold wind. However, Shirou's expression showed no sign of discomfort by the wind as he gazed down to the land. For a second there he saw his Servant Rider below fighting the samurai she reported as Sasaki Kojirou.
The moment Shirou heard that name, he informed his Servant through her Bluetooth all he knows about the samurai such as his tale of rivalry between Musashi and his so called famed sword skill Tsubame Gaeshi.
It didn't took him long to figure out that this hero could not be real. While he might not be a first class magus, but his understanding of the Holy Grail War and its Servant summoning system indicates that all Heroic Spirits has more base to their legend than a simple tale told by mouth. Some legends simply have more solid foundation of their existence.
Sasaki Kojirou had no foundation beside the tale of Musashi…There was a chance that the Samurai Rider was fighting was not a real Sasaki Kojirou…Whether that information would affect the tide of the battle was unknown, but regardless of that, he told his servant anyway.
While running into the Servant Assassin was not in the plan, but it did not matter. He sent out Rider with his body double. A man with great skill in creating false face to imitated him perfectly to a degree for a good reason.
Rider and his fake were to attract the attention of the magus who might or might not be part of the Grail War and in worst case attract the Servant. While the major threat was facing his strongest warrior, he and his group of assassins can…drop by the temple…Like now.
The helicopter passed by the top of the temple and in that moment, while being over at least 30 meter above the ground…The ninjas all jumped off the plane and fell toward the earth like rocks.
Each ninjas didn't let out a single noise as they fell. The winds were like a rough wall against their whipping clothes and their uniforms slapped on to their flesh. However, the ninjas simply waited…and without a word, they spread their arms and legs and review that they all had a Flying Squirrel like strong fabric connected from their arm to their ankles.
The speed of their decent decreased and like circling vultures, they circled around the temple in lazy fashion….
TAK! TAK! TAK! TAK! TAK! TAK! TAK! TAK!
…Until they all landed on the roof of the main temple. Some land on their feet, some on all four like beasts, another barely made a silent roll to reduce impact, and another even landed with a mid-air flip.
All ninjas, total of nine including their leader Shirou narrowed their eyes…This whole plan was made to avoid any traps the mountain might hold. Even a half-ass magus with half a brain would set eyes and traps all around the wood and the stairway. It was most logical after all. There was no element of surprise going into the temple by land…So they concluded that their security could not cover over 30 meter of sky above their temple.
Even if the very air space around the temple or the structure itself was protected and watched. There was no way they could react to their invasion as fast as they could if they went through the staircase or the woods…So the moment all the ninjas stood on their feet they all pulled out a bow and an arrow from their back and notched the projectiles. One of the ninjas however didn't do so and pulled out a wooden container and spilled the content of the roof top. Without hesitation he pulled out a match stick and ignited the match…and dropped it on the spilled liquid from before…and the fire erupted on the roof top.
The red and orange flame licked the air as it spread fast across the flammable solution spilled on the roof. Nevertheless, this was not enough…For their mission this small flame was only the spark to a great tragedy.
"All in the glory and the honor of the Yami…We, the Dagger and the Poison of the Yami shall once again…bath in the blood and dishonor." Muttered Shirou as he put his arrow in the flame…and pulled it out as its edge was on fire.
He then set his fire arrow on his bow, took aim without even setting himself in proper form, and fired without even looking…And the bright arrow stuck the frail sliding door of the temple…and set it ablaze.
The ninjas all stuck their arrows into the flame and pulled them out as soon as they were burning steadily. Without words they fired the flaming arrows all over the temple building from the monastery, living courters, the kitchen, the shed on the back, the training hall, the house owned by the Ryuudou family, and even the parts of the temple that held library, prayer room, and the place of offering and luck.
The Yami's assassins assaulted the exotic and ancient looking temple of the Ryuudou family mercilessly and the flaming arrows were heartless as they ate through the wooden gates and floor. The flames licked away the woods and paper doors as the temple were ignited with large flame.
Shirou lowered his personal long bow as he watched with his stoned masked of empathy…. His heart closed to all thought of shame and guilt as he and his men set the temple on fire…All on his order and strategy…For this was the truth of Operation Honno-ji…To burn down the temple in hopes of killing all witnesses as the Holy Grail War demands and hopefully killing the magus here. However, they were not hopeful that the fire would kill their main target. After all, former captain Kuzuki who survived the destruction of the Maggots' Nest would not die in an arson attack.
BOOOM! BOOM! BAZZZIII!
Suddenly out of nowhere, a thundercloud gathered outside the temple. In unnatural swiftness, the dark cloud gathered and unleashed a torrent of heavy rain. The falling tears of heaven banished the roaring tongues of fire in unnatural speed. It seems as if the rain was overpowering the fire to such ease that fire of this magnitude couldn't even resist it for a minute…it was too fast.
All the ninjas suddenly surrounded me in a circle with their weapons drawn. Shirou turned to the voice and saw the sight of his former captain in his dirty green suit…But he was not alone…
Kuzuki Souichirou, the 14th head of the Punishment Force and a fugitive of the Yami of crime of desertion and being a high risk element that can't be released unless proper measures has been taken.
He was standing on the other side of the roof with his ever present dull and emotionless eyes. Around him was a peculiar sight as it seems as his old commander gained the service of the dead's as he was now guarded by a group of Skelton welding a sword of some kind.
From first glance there are at least a dozen of them in the roof, but with Shirou's eagle eye he could see the movements below…30…no roughly around 40 are on the ground, but there are more in building and he can see at least three entrance where the walking bones are coming out of.
"That is more resources than I thought." Muttered Shirou as he balled his fist. The warriors he brought with him tensed as they realized that their ambush is being countered faster than expected and the enemies were regrouping too fast.
Shirou quickly took action as he pulled out another arrow from his container and took aim in split seconds. He fired his arrow at the glasses wearing former assassin, but an invisible wall in front of his target foiled his attempt.
Shirou immediately jumped back as he dodged a blast of sharp wind that cut up the roof he was standing on a second ago and quickly looked up.
From above there was a woman flying above. He could tell it was a woman by her long elegant dress and cloak that was opened like a wing on a bat. The woman above was pointing her hand at him and was holding a staff on the other…The woman was a magus no doubt.
"You who dares to enter Souichirou-sama's home…You who dared to threaten him…Do not think you will leave this temple alive." Said the woman in clear voice that could be heard clearly, as if she was saying in front of them.
Shirou was now in a small pinch. He expected a Servant, but not this…He only expected one Servants of either Assassin or a Caster…But not both. Could it be he is mistaken?...No…
The woman slowly flew down, but her body was still tense like a coiled spring. Should she need to, she would unleash her craft at them with no regard to the destruction. She seemed to be full of energy, most likely she was the one responsible for the 'gas leaks.'
Shirou narrowed his eyes…His eyes were special, it always have been special. HE could see details like no other and he could feel/see the traces of ki or prana when they were used. Therefore, it was no brainer for this 3rd rate magus to 'see' the faint trace of connection between the cloaked woman and the suit wearing teacher.
"I'll be damned…This is truly unexpected…I would never have known that there are two servants…." Shirou said.
"As you know…Not every mission plan and Intel is perfect." Droned the teacher.
"I realize that…When I met you at the school, I felt a gaze of someone powerful watching me…Barely restraining itself to strike me down…I thought it might be the Magus you worked alongside in this Grail War…But my eyes do not fool me…You ARE the Master…And that servant behind you…and the one outside…They are ultimately serving you aren't they?"
"…I have nothing to do with Assassin." Said Kuzuki with his icy gaze locked on to Shirou.
"But that Caster is your Servant right? Now that you are together like this…I can feel the faint connection of energy between you…and another bound between her and Assassin outside…"
"Oh? You already recognized her by her class? I was under the impression the war only started today? How did you figure It out?" Kuzuki asked, not even bothered by the fact Shirou already know about Caster's class.
"I met the Knight Classes…and she (Pointing at the hooded woman)is no warrior. And that only leaves Caster as Assassin is outside and my Servant is Rider."
"…I see…You are perceptive as ever and your eyes are sharper than blades…But your heart…Have they blackened to the allow you to kill all the innocent people in this temple?"
"I don't need to hear that from the former taichou of the Keigun. I have done what my mission required. I smoked you out, killed any potential person that might have been Assassin's Master, who is clearly not what I expected, and I caused a reason for your body to be missing as all the residence in the Ryuudouji is killed in an accidental fire." Shirou said .
"Well…it was supposed to anyway." Shirou said as he stared the rain, which was washing away his arson.
"I felt that you are not fit to be a hand of Onmitsu Ansatsu Tokushu Butai…That is all." Kuzuki said as he readjusted his glasses.
"Enough word…Former captain of the Yami's Onmitsu Ansatsu Tokushu Butai, Kuzuki Shouichirou! You are hereby to accept your punishment of deserting the Keigun according to our law…Your punishment is death."
"…I hereby accept…But I will not hand it over easily."
Shirou narrowed his eyes. From his uniform, he pulled out a rolled up scroll.
"I have a solution for that as well."
As soon as the helicopter sailed passed her Rider stared deeply at the Assassin.
"What is your master? But that means…."
"Someone bypassed you, the protection, and now in the heart of your Master's home….it is finished." Said Rider as she got into a fighting stance.
"My mission…is now almost complete…Last portion of my mission…Elimination of the enemy Servant."
Assassin tsk'ed as he raised his hand and his sword reappeared.
"Don't you get ahead of yourself now…This as long as I draw breath. This Gate of Ryuudouji will be remained closed!"
Rider stared at the determined Assassin and frowned. She leaned her finger to her Bluetooth as in confusion and narrowed her eyes.
"…A trick…Two Servants…"
She then turned to Assassin.
"You are a decoy as well…"
"Perhaps…I am simply a gate keeper of the temple…I see nothing beyond and only the person before it. My intension for a fair duel has nothing to do with my Master."
"…Then you must not have any regret when I slay you in a moment…Since I need to reach my master now." Said Rider as she too raised her hand and her famed halberd reappeared. She wordlessly dashed forward with her pole arm and took a swing at the Samurai. Kojirou didn't even block the swing and insisted on dodging the superior power blows.
Rider's hand blurred as she kicked up a notch to finish off Assassin as soon as she could…A second more her Master insisting on not calling her with his Command Seal and be near another Servant was dangerous. Caster or not.
Assassin was no longer pulling any punches as he jumped back to reach a large, spacy stair step to get enough room for a three consecutive, consistent strike.
'My ground here is perfect…and my arm is good enough to perform the Hiken.' Thought Assassin as he turned around to expose his back to Rider.
His normal slow grace that he displayed whenever he unleashed his move was no longer there. Rider was too aggressive for a formal swordplay as she was demanding blood.
Assassin raised his sword to his side and held it with both his hands.
The hairs on Rider's head stood up.
"Tsubame-!" before he could perform his three direction slash, instant moment his hand was stales…He peeked to his sword and was amazed with a sight of Rider's Halberd locking his long sword by putting the katana's blade into the gaps of space between the three set of the halberd's blades.
The God Force was a Chinese Halberd. It had one spear in the middle and two crescent moon blades on the two side. Then the three blades were fused together in a way that they can unlock and lock themselves to form five different forms of the combat ways.
If one observed the weapon carefully, there were several gaps of small space between the intersections, which could fit a blade into it. There was actually a famous event where War God, Lu Bu solidified herself as a famous archer by shooting an arrow from far distance to hit right between the gaps of space. Her deed actually managed to stop the Yuan Shu, also known as Enjutsu Koro from fighting Liu Bei/Ryubi Gentoku from fighting one another.
While this was no archery, Rider swung her halberd faster than Assassin's swing and locked the long sword into its gaps…preventing the samurai from unleashing his one and only Noble Phantasm…The famed Tsubame Gaeshi…the Swallow Return was…
…Sealed before it was even able to be glimpse upon.
Rider knocked the katana from Assassin hand with a mighty tug, which caused her to let go of her halberd as well. Assassin's stance was not in fighting stance, but a ready stance for a specific technique…He was in no shape to confront Rider in close range, let alone jump away to keep away from her.
"…The end." Muttered Rider as she pulled her hand back.
In a flash Rider dashed in with her hands in a shape of a tiger's jaw and launched it toward the Assassin's neck in order to break it, however…
"Naïve!" shout Kojirou as he suddenly took a quick step back to create a small space between them that didn't exist before…That small distance made in a single step given Kojirou some room to move…and to see an attack coming.
To see and attack was to know it was coming…To know was to be able to counter it…
And Countered he did.
Assassin grabbed her incoming right hand with his own. He grabbed the claw hand strike by the wrist with his left and grabbed her arm by the elbow with his right. He pivoted his hip to turn and leaned Rider's weight on his back and shoulder.
"?!" Rider was caught off guard.
"Sasaki Ryu! Kawa Nage Gaeshi!(Sasaki Style! River Throw Reversal!)" shouted Kojirou as he performed a judo styled redirection shoulder throw on Rider whose eyes were widen as she lament herself for such foolish mistake…How could she forget that Japan is the home of Judo…No…Not Judo…Jujitsu…the Art of Grapple, Throw, and submission.
For Rider she was suspended in the air for a second…In a second later she will hit the ground and she will be under Assassin's mercy unless she do something…
Therefore, she decided to do something.
With speed that rivals the striking jaw of a viper, Rider grabbed the Samurai's Haori by back of its collar with her left hand and held on tight. She turn turned her momentum to push away from Assassin's shoulder area, which was the focus of his power and flow to throw her. The moment his target moved the movement caused the Assassin to lose the grip just slightly. The tug from the back of his collar combined how the cloth choked him was more than enough of a distraction.
"…Hebi no Ja( Jaw of the Snake)…" Like the name implied Rider in her mid-throw thrust her right hand in jaw like form and slammed it right into the Samurai's throat.
"KAH-AH!" let out Assassin as Rider's hand smashed into his throat. His trachea burned as the claw hand intended to tear out his throat, trachea and perhaps the entire esophagus and all. Fortunately, Rider was in a bad position to initiate a strike, so her blow was not a killing blow, despite its perfect landing. Her lack of solid ground negated much needed power behind her blow, but fortunately, she was free from the Samurai's jujitsu gripe and was on the ground on her own feet.
Rider's emotionless gaze narrowed as she spring into action as Assassin was still stunt by the throat blow. She went into a chain of punch of kicks, which are like a scene from a Chinese Kung Fu movie, and Assassin could not break free from her combination.
Punch to the guts, palm to the chin, kick to the thigh, elbow to the chest, chop to the shoulder, a knee to the stomach, and jab to the joint.
Rider beat Assassin like a punching bag as she displayed her mastery of her homeland's world famous martial arts. As she did with Lancer, Rider's Mastery of the Chinese Amrtial Art made her the single most powerful hand to hand user in the entire war. She alone will never fail to defeat an opponent in a fist fight.
"…Heavenly Leg: Collapsing Ground, Destruction of the Founding."
Rider jumped up and spun in mid-air to perform a spinning round-house kick to Kojirou's body and in an instant dropped low to swipe kick to knock the samurai off balance. Kojirou barely managed to block the spin kick with his forearms in a cross block and neatly jumped to avoid the swipe kick. But in mid-jump he was powerless to stop Rider from using her low to the ground position to get into a mule kick position and with her back turned to him, she unleashed a from low to high back kick which slammed him in the chest hard.
Truly a technique to 'Remove the foundation and the collapse of the formation.' Rider effectively removed the firm surface for Assassin to maneuver and put him above, in the tender mercy of the air.
"Lone bird of the sky…Doomed to be hunted…"
Rider's kick was not over as the moment she kicked up to his chest, she jumped off the ground using her arms alone in a push up form. Her hand jump from ground zero was so powerful that it left small crater on the stone stairway and her vertical jump in her position was surprisingly high above the ground.
Rider wordlessly kicked Kojirou again in the chest and this time Kojirou was sent upward. She kicked again and Servant Assassin was knocked further into the air. With a hint of curiosity Rider kept up with her insane momentum and kicked again…and again…and again in her mid-flight position as both she and Assassin was high in the air. Rider's red hairs wiped around as she straighten herself out in mid-air with a mid-air spin and with a burst of Prana Burst from her feet she managed to get right behind Assassin who was coughing up blood from the brutal kicks to his chest and the blow to the neck.
"…This is over." She said tonelessly as she delivered the final kick to the head and watched as her final blow sent the Samurai Servant toward the thick forest next to the stairway…if one recalls, the Mt. Ryuudou has a natural barrier of energy that is very harmful to Servants. Within the woods of the mountain, a Servant will lose all the peak of their powers and will be rendered weak and unstable.
Not even a Servant with Rank-A Magic Resistance or a Caster Class of highest order could withstand the overwhelming effect of the mountain. This is after all one of the major reason the Caster of the current war established her Workshop in the temple…it is a natural fort against spiritual beings.
The moment Assassin was smashed into the trees and dirt of the holy mountain, he felt the pain of every fiber of his being burned and pricked by thousand needles in agonizing slow manner. The pain didn't came from the beating he took, but from the every air of the forest he is now in the middle of. The mountain's natural power slammed into him, crushing and grinding his very being, for he was a spirit and spirits were purified in this mountain.
"Hahh!...Gahhh…" Assassin groaned out as he fell down to his knee. He grabbed his chest and his body in pain, but there was nothing he could do. If there were Servant with Magic Resistance, he or she might suffered from rank drop, but still able to move. However, for Kojirou, who does not possess Magic Resistance and was not even a proper Servant was feeling all the negative impact the mountain can do to a Servant.
Sasaki Kojirou grabbed onto his knee to push himself up. His body was like being pierced slowly with rusty needles that can cover his entire being, but the proud samurai was not about to throw the towel yet. "Hahh…Ahhaa….This pain…This is…" Assassin groaned out, but he was too weak.
Sasaki Kojirou is a man of superb skill with sword…his skill could even allow him to fight other Servant valiantly…But all his skill will do him no good when he faces a wall that no skill can overcome.
Assassin, who was under unimaginable pain looked up toward the direction he was kicked too and saw Servant Rider staring down at him from above…Her expression was still cold and unmoving.
"F-Finish me…" groan Assassin.
Rider nodded as she raised her halberd to throw it, but suddenly she tensed as she was sensing something he cannot sense. She sharply turned to the temple above and in a moment she banished her weapon and dashed up the stair, not even looking back at Assassin.
"W-Wait!" the Assassin groaned out, but the very sound of it was dry and pitiful. He tried to move back toward the gate as his the Command Seal used on him to 'Defend the Gate' urged him to move his limb, but every movement was like trying to ripe out his own flesh. "At this rate…I will…" contempt Assassin, but his thoughts were cut off by a sound of winds blowing behind him and a crunching sound of leaves being stepped on.
Assassin turned around to see the black stealth uniform wearing man he thought it was Rider's Master. The man was still wearing a large black straw hat and its veil covered his face. The man removed the hat to reveal the face of Emiya Shirou.
"…You are not Rider's Master." Said Assassin as the man nodded.
"That I am not. I am the practice of ancient Ninjutsu, and my code name given for my mission of Senmen(Thousand Face). As you can see…(He raised the straw hat to cover his face for a second and removed it. Underneath it was a face of a 50 years old mid-age man with glasses and bald spot.) …I can be anyone I wish to be."
"A deceitful trick of Shinobi." Accused Assassin.
"Truth…But we shinobis, basked in the darkness, so it means little to us. We are assassins and my school of art has long mastered the art of appearance imitation." Said the man as he covered his face again and to reveal a face of a brown haired, plain looking Japanese school girl.
Assassin was silent. By all mean, the samurai was not interested in tales of assassin, but he needed to stall for time to figure out a way to get out of the mountain's influence.
"If you wish to get to the stairway…I advise you to give up."
"How unfortunate samurai…I have no intention of letting you live." Said the man of thousand face as he retracted a hidden knife from somewhere in his arm as he is now armed with two kunais. He threw his knives with no hesitation at the weakened Assassin in intent to kill the Servant on his own.
Under normal circumstances a human attacking a Servant with mundane weapons will not work, but there are certain facts that need to be considered.
The idea that normal weapons can't hurt Servant was not true. That speculation exists because Servant's natural sturdiness made normal non-conceptual weapons or non-holy weapons' attack useless. Even without that the Servants are too skilled to let mundane weapons toe ven reach them.
However if the Servant in question was so weakened with intense combat…If that Servant was in a circumstance that their inhumane physical stats are suffering to the point to dropping it closer to normal man…if they are in constant pain and is exhausted to the point of collapsing…. If they are being ripped from inside out by the very ground they are standing on…If they are not facing a normal everyday man and are facing a martial artist who practices the ancient ways much like when the Heroes were alive and were mere mortal…A knife to the chest was a damn good way to kill a Servant.
Assassin, who was feeling as if he had thousands of worms inside of him, eating him from the soft guts to the outside world resist the urge to cry out in pain as he blocked the incoming knives with his arms. He blocked an incoming dagger with his arm, but his spiritually made body was pierced by the mundane weapon, a clear sign that he was unwell and not as powerful as he should be.
The human was dashing around the Servant with more knives. He carefully throw the daggers towards Assassin's legs, but the Servant took few step back to avoid the knives. The human came into close range and managed to slice at Assassin's guards with ease, as the Servant was unarmed against the knives.
Normally he could overpower any humans despite possessing the worst stats among the seven Servants, but as he is suffering from the power of the mountain…It was a losing battle. His body ached from being in the woods, but his wounds against the Rider were being agitated and worsen by the excessive physical activities.
The man of many faces pulled out a tanto from his side and aim toward the Samurai's stomach, which were not protected by any armor, saved for the purple haori and male kimono he wore. But the samurai blocked the incoming attack by grabbing the hands on the tanto. The short blade barely reached his stomach.
"…How conceited…You dare to face me Shinobi?"
"Now is the perfect timing…While we fight in the purifying ground of this mountain…A Heroic Spirits of your level is perfectly killable by a modern warrior."
"Such arrogance!" shout Assassin as he pushed against his attacker.
"Do not get conceited your coward!" Sasaki roared as he gripped the tanto with all his remaining strength to push it away from him. "I may have fallen far, but I don't need to hear it from a shinobi!"
"You who is someone bounded by witchcraft!" shout the assassin as he doubled his effort to drive the sword into the Servant's stomach.
"You who lives in pool of shame and possess not even a shard of honor!" barked back Assassin, but the pain he was under intensified by his active movement and it caused his strength and wane at the worst moment.
The Tanto managed to sink into his stomach. Assassin choked out a glob of blood as his strength waned even further.
"Kch…How I wish Rider-dono finished me off properly…But even if she wants to…She would be mad to enter these woods to kill me…"
"Still seeking those 'honorable' death? You samurai are helpless fools, no matter the age or era."
"As if…A mere hired killer…UNDERSTAND THE WAY OF THE BUSHIDO!" shouted out Assassin as he grabbed Senmen's uniform by the neck and pulled him closer. In his other hand, it glowed as his long sword, Monohoshizao that was once knocked out of his hand by Rider, now reappeared. The Servant didn't hesitate to impale the ninja in his grip and pulled the surprised assassin close to him to drive the blade deeper into the man.
"Ugh!...You…Still possessed enough power…To summon your blade?" choked out Senmen.
"While you are no ideal companion for my journey to Yomi(Underworld) once more…I will take what I can get." Said Sasaki Kojirou as he spent the last bit of his strength to summon the sword. He tried to bring the sword, which was still inside of his enemy's stomach down to rip him apart, but he ninja had another idea.
Assassin saw a cylinder barrel of metal contraption being pointed at his chest.
"To this lowly assassin…firearm is a fair deal," said the man as he pulled the trigger on his silencers pistol and with rapid bang, bang, bang, he punched three small holes in Assassin's robe and the said hole was now spilling out red bloods as it soaked into his fancy purple garb.
"Y-You…" choked out Assassin, but he held back as the wound on his chest and stomach forced out another glob of blood.
"I grant you no honorable death…Samurai…fade into nothing like how all your kind vanished by the power of firearm…Like those of the Sengoku era…and like those of the Meji era…" the Man of Thousand Face said, as Assassin started to faded into purple light and his form shattered slowly into the air.
The Servant Assassin was dying, scattering into pieces in front of him and along with the sword in his guts. It started from the Samurai's side. It faded from the left side of his body as his left arms, legs and even face started to fade.
"Y-You…I'll never forgive you…You who tarnished my only wish…You will took my life, which only seek death in honorable combat…You who made my duel with Rider-dono meaningless…Y-You…" choked out Assassin as his arms went limp as his left arm was almost gone and he was no longer standing on his leg, but suspended by his determination.
"You speak of honor to a masked killer…You are clearly wasting your breath…" said the ninja as he clenched his sword wound on his stomach…Luckily nothing important was hit, and he will be fine with the right treatment.
"…Mark my word…You will…suffer the divine punishment for…such travesty…" groaned out Sasaki Kojirou as his chest area and the right side started to fade as will, but his head was only partly gone. His right leg hell off and turned into sparkling purple lights and only bits of upper body, head, and arm remained.
"…Meaningless words for us Keigun…If we believed in such thing, we would have been perished years ago." Said Senmen as he raised his gun, which clashed with the ideology of Yami as a whole.
But a mere assassin know no honor…Any tool that gets the job done is their will…
"Result is more important than honor." finished the man as he pulled the trigger, blasting a hole in Kojirou's face and making him turn into dying purple lights in an instant.
…The Holy Grail War…Suffered its first causality.