Crawling to the Dawn – Chapter 1

Crawling to the Dawn

a Fate series fanfiction written by The Overlord Bear

Summary: Shirou Emiya ends up summoning a certain treacherous Knight of the Round Table as his Servant for the Fifth Holy Grail War, and said Servant is a somewhat sane Berserker to boot…a Berserker who then ends up wanting to smack some sense into him and a bunch of other people.


WARNING: MATURE CONTENT!


Chapter 1: E-Rank Luck


When Shirou Emiya found himself spotted by a spear-wielding man in a blue bodysuit, a twin-bladed man in red and gray, and, even more surprisingly, Rin Tohsaka…well…

Shirou Emiya froze.

“RUN, YOU IDIOT!”

That shout from the normally cold school idol snapped Shirou out of his shock, though, and so he ran.

But when he ran, his mind had locked on a path which he probably wouldn’t have thought of if Tohsaka hadn’t shouted at him.

Said path was a path which went past Tohsaka, and he found himself running with luck as the rushing spearman got blocked by the tanned and white-haired man.

But then he paused, just as he landed a step outside of the school gate.

Would Tohsaka be safe there?

Shirou took a look behind him, worried for the school idol whom he had a crush on. Her bodyguard, that tanned and white-haired man with the twin blades, seemed to be doing a decent job at protecting her, but that spearman didn’t look like an easy opponent either.

“JUST GET OUT OF HERE ALREADY!”

Suddenly, Shirou heard her shout again, and when he looked at her, he found her looking towards him. And although her face and figure looked pretty distant from where he was, Shirou was certain that she wasn’t amused.

And again, Shirou ran, running away from the school and towards his house.

The trip back to his house felt like a lucky one, too, as he didn’t catch that spearman trailing anywhere behind him. Perhaps the layout of the neighborhood confused him?

Oh well, what mattered was that he got himself inside the Emiya residence and hidden inside his shed as quickly as possible. Enter gate, lock gate, run to shed, open shed door – Wait, the Bounded Field, someone got in –

And then he found himself flying…crashing into his shed, breaking the rusty metal doors as well.

Everything seemed to spin as his senses tried to pick up what was going on around him. Pain seared through his body as he lay and groaned on an unhinged piece of metal.

Had the spearman chased him? Why would he chase him? Were Tohsaka and her bodyguard after him?

“You know…your little lady friend’s right: You’re an idiot.”

Shirou then remembered his thoughts about that fight in the schoolyard being something he probably wasn’t supposed to see.

Indeed, Shirou agreed with the spearman, whose face was now growing clearer in his vision. Slow responses had made him an easier target, and it made him angry.

Really, his powerlessness made him angry. It was like the fire all over again.

It reminded him that his efforts still weren’t enough.

Would they ever be, though, now that a spear pierced his chest?

“Sorry, kid,” he heard the spearman say, “But rules are rules.”

“No…”

“Huh?”

Well, he wasn’t going to let it stay that way.

“I’m not…going to die…like this…”

“Well, you’re done already, kid, so don’t – Wait, what are you doing?”

He could feel resistance going against his resistance, a force that was growing stronger against him in fractions of seconds, but Shirou wasn’t going to let that spear stay inside him. A part of him was ringing, saying that it was stupid, but the redhead wasn’t going to follow that part.

Shirou was angry, and if it would keep him alive, then he’d live with it. After that, he needed to fight…to get stronger…to protect others.

But the slowness of the removal was getting to him even more. The spearman was grunting as well, ticked off by Shirou’s efforts.

The growing difficulty of the struggle then caused Shirou’s mind to scream in pain, but he didn’t let that be voiced by his mouth…and why could he, when all he could let out now was something that sounded closer to a croak than a scream?

Still, his mind screamed for strength, for more power.

“Stop strug – What the – ”

And then there was a burst of wind and light, followed by a clash of metal, which then led to the removal of the red spear from Shirou’s chest.

After that, Shirou blacked out.


“Well…it appears that he is awake.”

Shirou tried to open his eyes, but the sudden brightness had him closing them until they adjusted.

Eventually, his eyes were able to recognize three faces under the light bulb of a room inside his house.

One face, the most familiar, was that of Rin Tohsaka, the raven-haired and aqua-eyed school idol who currently wore even more emotions on her face than he usually saw her display at school.

“Are you okay, Emiya-kun?” she asked, her surprisingly concerned voice warming his heart.

“Do you even need to ask that, Rin?” interrupted the low voice of her bodyguard, who stood beside rather than kneel like his charge did, face covered in shadow under the light bulb. With that, annoyance for the man quickly grew within Shirou.

“Have some respect, Archer!” Tohsaka shouted. “He almost died!”

“And we’re gonna kill him later,” the man named Archer answered with disturbing seriousness.

“Not on my watch, you fools.”

At that, Shirou turned to the third face…which was completely covered by a horned helmet.

The redhead wasn’t sure about whether he should feel worried or reassured.

“Nice job with the cool line, Mr. Knight Wannabe,” Archer snarked.

“Is that the sound of wild dog I hear?” the helmet-wearing person shot back with a light voice. “Milady, will you keep your dog muzzled?”

“Yeah, right.”

“Pfft, hahaha!”

Archer groaned at Tohsaka’s laughter, and he put a hand to his face, muttering.

Meanwhile, Shirou sat up to watch the strange but humorous scene…and speaking of strange…

“What happened?” he couldn’t help asking.

Everyone quieted at that, faces now uniform in seriousness…except for the helmed person, probably, whose facial expression was clearly unreadable.

“You died,” Archer then broke the quiet.

“Archer!” Tohsaka then stood up with indignation. “He did not die! His Command Spells were still active when I managed to start healing him!”

“Heh…I was just joking,” Archer looked away with a scoff and a smirk.

“Well, that’s a definitely a bad joke, then!” the angry girl shot back, and then she looked towards the unfortunate butt of the joke. “Just ignore him, Emiya,” she said. “He’s always like that.”

“Ugh…” the tall and tanned man groaned with a palm to his face, “Yeah, just ignore the chain of mistakes you made tonight…”

And then the fully armored one shook with a chuckle that quickly turned into a laugh.

Said laugh made Tohsaka freeze, while Archer let out a loud sigh.

Meanwhile, Shirou wasn’t sure about how to react to all that. His question still wasn’t answered as much as he needed, but the oddness of the circumstances he was in made him feel like he was in uncharted territory.

After all, it wasn’t everyday that he met two imposing figures with combat outfits and Rin Tohsaka with mood swings and Magecraft skills.

“Argh, enough already!” Rin then shouted, fists in front of herself. “Can you two Servants just shut your mouths for a while!?”

“Yeah, yeah…”

“As you wish, milady~”

The reactions of the two beings she called Servants still didn’t please Tohsaka, but it was enough for her to be able to put some focus on Shirou.

“Okay, if your Servant over here,” she pointed to the fully armored Servant, “Weren’t keeping watch over me and Archer, then we would have left you behind.”

“As if,” Archer jibed.

“Shut up, Archer!” Tohsaka shouted back for some moments before turning her focus back to Shirou. “But since Archer and I were spotted after Lancer retreated and before I healed you, well…”

“Milady…” the armored Servant then followed with a mischievous tone as Tohsaka trailed off into sudden and awkward silence, “You can always say that you fancy him.”

Wait, what?

“Are you saying that…Tohsaka has a crush on me?”

Well, as Shirou then went to process that very surprising implication…

“Oh dear,” Archer then expressed, clear worry on his face as he alternated his focus between Tohsaka and the other Servant.

As for Tohsaka…well, she was starting to look like a kettle reaching boiling point.

The sight caused Shirou to feel mixed emotions, indeed.

The oddly behaving school idol then let out a very deep and very loud breath, and then she stomped away with an “I hate you all…”

Meanwhile, Archer let out a sigh and shook his head.

“I guess I’ll leave the whole explanation thing to you, then,” the tanned man told the armored Servant. “This is really a lot for me to take in, honestly…”

And then he walked away, following the stressed-out girl.

With that, a still confused Shirou was left with the armored Servant.

“So…who are you?” the redhead then asked, standing up…and finding out that he was actually taller than his still imposing acquaintance.

Really, it was an odd feeling.

“You may call me…Berserker,” the Servant said with his youthful-sounding voice.

“‘Berserker’?” Shirou parroted. “You mean like those wild fighters? Don’t they look a little more…”

“Unclothed?” Berserker followed. “Well, my Servant Class doesn’t necessarily make me have the appearance of such fighters, but I do have the skills and traits to be reminiscent of one.”

“Huh, is that so…? Well, what do you mean by ‘Servant,’ then?”

“Would you like the basic explanation or the detailed explanation?”

“Uhh…just the basics first, please.”

“Well, in that case, I am a summoned spirit – one among seven – whose purpose is, as the title clearly implies, to serve a Master – which is you in our case – in a war for a wish-granting cup known as the Holy Grail. With that, it is called the ‘Holy Grail War.'”

Even though that wasn’t that complex of an explanation, Shirou still couldn’t believe what he was hearing.

Indeed, he felt more disbelief than when he first found out about Magecraft from Kiritsugu!

“What…?” was what the shocked redhead managed to utter in response.

“Feel free to ask more questions, Master,” Berserker replied with a deep and dramatic bow, a bow that reminded Shirou of knights and medieval nobility. “I shall make sure that you understand what we are going through, all for the sake of our victory.”

“Uhh…thanks…” Shirou replied, but he still felt nervousness, so… “But can you take off your helmet first? You look really sc – ”

Suddenly, he felt a chill as he met the facing helmet of his Servant. Shirou couldn’t see his eyes, but he had a strong feeling that what Berserker was emitting was murderous intent.

“Be careful with your words, Master,” the even more frightening Servant told Shirou. “You should remember that our relationship still has boundaries.”

“O-Okay…” the frightened Master couldn’t help saying. “A-Anyway…you’re saying that we’re in a fight to the death which would end with the winner’s wish being granted?”

“Hm, you’re quite perceptive, Master,” Berserker replied, quickly back with his relaxed voice, something which made him even more frightening to Shirou. “It is indeed a fight to the death for a cup which can grant any wish your heart desires. I can feel your sadness, Master, but that is how it goes.”

“So you’re saying that if it goes into the wrong hands…”

“Then much wrong will happen, indeed.”

Now that was something which sent Shirou into deep seriousness. His decision in regards to that was something he took little time with, too.

“I’ll have to make sure that no one evil gets it, then,” he said, a resolute face towards Berserker.

“A good course of action and a good heart you have, Master,” the Servant replied, one hand stretched out, as if asking for a handshake. “I believe that this is the start of a beautiful friendship, too.”

Shirou then accepted that hand, beginning to put trust into his Servant…though of course, he reminded himself to not to violate the boundaries of their relationship.

After that, the redheaded magus then realized that there were important questions that he still needed answers for.

“Say, how were you summoned?” he asked Berserker. “I don’t remember summoning you, see…”

“I heard your wish for power, and I answered it,” Berserker answered. “I also found your struggle against Lancer admirable.”

“‘Lancer’?” Shirou wondered as he tried to piece together what his Servant meant. “Are you talking about that guy with the blue suit and the red spear?”

“Yes, that was Lancer, who, of course, wields a spear as his main weapon. And speaking of his spear, your survival from being stabbed in the chest with it is something awe-inspiring.”

At the mention of being stabbed in the chest, Shirou winced as he begun to remember the pain said moment caused him.

“Tohsaka healed me, right?” the redhead then tried to recount. “But…aren’t we supposed to be enemies?”

From what Berserker told him, the Holy Grail War was a fight to the death between seven Master-Servant pairs…so why did Tohsaka heal him?

A sigh from Berserker was the beginning of the answer to those questions.

“She has a crush on you, Master,” the armored Servant answered. “You witnessed how that fact was revealed, too.”

“Huh…I hadn’t really been able to imagine Tohsaka liking me that way…” Shirou mused, “But then again, I hadn’t been able to imagine Tohsaka not being as calm as she usually is at school, let alone her being a magus…It’s really surprising…”

And Shirou couldn’t even think of a possible reason for the school idol’s crush on him. He was just the school’s brownie, after all, and such interest from someone as popular and talented as Rin Tohsaka felt like a little too much of a reward for someone like him…even though he really had a crush on her.

Shirou honestly thought that she deserved better.

“We should form an alliance with her, then,” Berserker then suggested.

“Huh?”

“An alliance, Master. Have you not expected the formation of alliances in war?”

“Oh, an alliance…” Shirou trailed off. “But her Archer doesn’t seem like he’d be up for one…”

“Worry not, then, Master,” Berserker assured, “For she has her Command Spells.”

“Command Spells?”

“Do you see that tattoo on your hand?”

At that question, Shirou then went to look at his hands…and then he found a tattoo on the back of his left hand. The tattoo reminded him of a sword, too.

“That is your set of three Command Spells, Master,” the armored Servant then explained. “It signifies that you are a Master, and each one of them allows you to give an order that your Servant cannot refuse…unless you give a very broad order. You only need to put your mind to it and utter your order as you utilize one, and with all that, you should remember to use them wisely.”

“I see…so Tohsaka would be able to keep Archer in line, then?”

“Correct, Master. We need not worry so much if she ever decides to form an alliance with us…and even if Archer would be somehow able to attempt harm on us, I am confident that we would be able to defeat him.”

“Really?” Shirou asked with a brightened look. “I’m glad, then…and I may not be as talented at Magecraft as Tohsaka probably is, but I’ll do my best to help you, Berserker!”

“Well, I appreciate your support, Master,” Berserker answered with another one of his dramatic bows. “And of course, I shall be your sword!”

“Thank you…oh, and, uh…just call me Shirou,” the Master added. “It feels weird being called ‘Master,’ you know.”

“Very well then…Shirou,” the Servant complied, going back to straight standing position. “Now, we should – ”

Suddenly, there was a distant crash, followed by a shout.

“The garden!” Shirou then exclaimed as he started running from the dining room, his Servant audibly following with weighty metal armor.

And by the time the owner of the house and his battle partner arrived at the source of the noise…

“It appears that they were trying to leave us behind for some reason,” Berserker declared.

“I swear, this is the worst day of my life!” a red-faced Rin Tohsaka screamed as she sat in an awkward seiza position, while her hands held her skirt down.

As for Archer, he was lying on top of a fallen tree branch, surrounded by scattered leaves and some broken roof tiles, all while staring towards the night sky with a sigh of resignation.

“Talk about my E-Rank Luck,” said the tanned servant with white hair and a red shroud.

“I will kill you if you say another word, Archer!” Tohsaka shouted, right before she slowly took a deep breath…

And then she went and spat a stream of expletives.

Shirou thought about leaving her be, but he felt like it would be unbecoming of him to just leave her there.

And besides, she liked him, right? He should say something that would help improve her mood…

“Uhh…would you like some tea, Tohsaka?”

The girl then stopped mid-curse, and then she slowly turned her piercing eyes towards the boy who presented the offer.

Shirou felt a shudder as his eyes locked with those eyes, but he maintained his gaze with determination.

“You know what…I’d like that,” Tohsaka answered, and then she stood up and walked back to the house, dusting her skirt and straightening her clothes as she did so. Her posture looked somewhat mechanical, though…

Oh, and “mechanical” wasn’t exactly how Shirou would’ve described it, but the other option wasn’t something which he considered polite enough.

“You want some tea as well?” Shirou also offered to Archer. He disliked the guy, sure, but it felt rude to not show some courtesy to someone whom Tohsaka considers important…usually.

“I can make my own, thanks,” Tohsaka’s Servant answered, not meeting eyes with Shirou.

“Okay, so, Berse – ”

“I am not thirsty, but I thank you for the offer, Shirou,” Berserker interrupted, but his tone wasn’t really that painful to hear.

“Oh, okay. Just for me and Tohsaka, then.”

The redhead ended up having a blush when he realized how that sounded, but he shook his head, remembering Tohsaka’s current mood.

With that, Shirou went to prepare some tea. He also decided to go out on a limb and brew Earl Grey tea, thinking that it felt suitably fancy for the wealthy girl with a Western-style house.

And while he was working on the tea, he took some time to look at Berserker, who was just standing nearby.

“Are you sure you don’t want some tea?” Shirou asked. He didn’t want to make Berserker feel out of place, after all.

“Normal meals are merely trivial for Servants, Shirou,” Berserker answered. “So worry not about such things when it comes to your Servant.”

“Okay, then.”

And then Shirou looked at Tohsaka…who had her face down on the dining table.

He hoped that she hadn’t fallen asleep, for it would be a waste of tea if that were the case.

Fortunately, by the time Shirou went to serve the tea, she raised her head to look at him when he called her.

“I made some Earl Grey,” he told her, setting the tray of teapot and teacups down. “I hope it’s to your liking.”

Tohsaka then took a cup as Shirou sat down and also took a cup.

Their teatime looked serene…well, almost.

See, behind Shirou was a completely armored figure with a horned helmet, and peeking out from a nearby corridor was a tall and tanned man with white hair.

If the circumstances were different, then Shirou would have found the scene funny. But right now, he was feeling uneasy.

And hey, they hadn’t even gotten to the action-packed deathmatches yet!

Well, there was that recent one with Lancer, but that was more of a pathetic attempt at escaping the spear-wielding combatant than a two-sided fight to the death.

Now that thought ticked Shirou off again. Sure, he had a Servant who was, at least, stronger than him, but he wasn’t going to let himself be a burden for Berserker.

Hmm, maybe Berserker can train him sometime…?

“So,” Tohsaka suddenly cut in, setting down her teacup with a serious expression, “Do you know what you’ve gotten yourself into, Emiya-kun?”

“It’s the Holy Grail War,” Shirou answered, recounting what Berserker told him. “It’s a fight between seven pairs of Masters and Servants, all for a wish-granting cup. Berserker told me about it.”

“Yes, I did,” Berserker confirmed, nodding. “I also told him about the Command Spells. And…hm, it seems like you have already used one, Lady Tohsaka.”

That comment caused Shirou to look at Tohsaka’s hands, but when he noticed that she didn’t have her marks on the back of her left hand, said left hand had already covered the back of her other hand.

Upon looking up, Shirou then noticed that Tohsaka’s was blushing, grimacing, and trying to look away.

Also, he heard a snort from behind him.

“It was an emergency,” the Master with two Command Spells then said, looking at Shirou with force that presented a “Don’t even try to ask further” declaration.

“Yeah, it was an emergency, alright…” Archer’s quiet but still audible mutter sounded.

“Emiya-kun, refill my cup, please,” said the snarked girl who now had a calmer tone, closed eyes, and a more dangerous smile.

Of course, Shirou went and did as she ordered without any question.

Also, the school brownie understood the Student Council President a little better now…

“Thank you, Emiya-kun,” Tohsaka said once she got her refilled teacup. With that, she carefully drank all of its contents, though there was that almost unnoticeable trembling of her arm, which stilled as she drank more and more of the tea. “Now, where was I…?” she said as she put her teacup down again. “Ah, yes, I was going to ask…Your Servant is a Berserker? Are you joking, Emiya-kun?”

“Huh? Is there something wrong?” a puzzled Shirou asked.

“Berserkers have a Skill called ‘Mad Enhancement,’ kid,” Archer answered, walking towards Tohsaka’s side. “What Rin’s saying here is that your Servant probably has a weak form of it, hence the sanity.”

“I would advise you to not speak of me so lowly.”

Suddenly, there was Berserker, who responded with that intimidating aura again. He was still standing on the same spot, which was behind Shirou, but the armored Servant’s Master could feel that aura he first felt upon attempting to ask him to remove his helm.

And judging from the other Master-Servant pair’s tension in their body language, they felt it as well.

“Alright, now that’s definitely a Berserker you have there…” Tohsaka remarked with a cautious expression. “Now, I’d like to ask: How much do you know about Magecraft, Emiya-kun?”

Now that was a reason for dread. Especially when said reason was presented by a very good liar of a school idol.

“And here comes the kicker…” Archer also offhandedly commented, causing further dread within Shirou.

Okay…Reinforcement and Projection still counted for something, right?

“I know Reinforcement and Projection,” Shirou then tried to say with confidence.

“And?” Tohsaka pressed, eyebrows raised.

“And, uhh…”

He was that readable, wasn’t he?

Shirou ended up awkwardly laughing.

“That’s all you know, huh?” Archer added with that annoying tone of his. “Heh, you’re really easy to read. And let me take a wild guess: You don’t even have your Magic Circuits open yet.”

Now that got Shirou thinking about whether he had been with Magic Circuits or not. Kiritsugu didn’t say anything, and, of course, Tohsaka doesn’t know as well.

Still, he didn’t want to lose even more face!

“Uhh…I try to make Magic Circuits from my nerves?” Shirou ended up saying. That counted for something, right? Maybe it was even more amazing than the norm, right?

Archer’s facepalm seemed to be a big no, though…and he probably knew more than Shirou, as much as the redheaded third-rate hated to admit it.

Now, back to the girl whom Issei disliked very much. She was now looking at Shirou with an open and hanging jaw, eyes widened like she had just discovered a fly floating in an almost properly prepared bowl of soup that was served to her.

Maybe that fly was also very big. And very many.

“What?” Tohsaka then uttered, her intonation carrying heavy amounts of disbelief. “Making Magic Circuits from your nerves?”

Was that impressive or what?

Hmm…judging from how Tohsaka suddenly served herself tea while still keeping her eyes on him…

“Do you have a death wish, Emiya-kun?” she coldly asked after drinking her third cup of tea.

Yup, definitely not impressed. If only Kiritsugu had taught him more…

“My dad didn’t teach me a lot, actually…” Shirou replied, looking down and rubbing the back of his head.

“Why do I like this guy, again?” Tohsaka muttered as she went to rub the bridge of her nose.

“I’m sorry…” the third-rate magus ended up saying. He really had gone and set his expectations a little too high.

“Would you still be willing to train him, though?”

Suddenly, there was Berserker, stepping forward with that question.

Indeed, the armored Servant’s appearance seemed less frightening and more empowering now.

“Are you serious?”

Still, Tohsaka was looking pretty offended.

“A downgraded Servant with a third-rate magus of a Master,” she continued, “Asking for Magecraft training from a potential enemy?”

“We would like to ask for an alliance as well,” Berserker replied, unfazed by said potential enemy’s words. “Besides, it appears that you and Shirou here have similar senses of justice. His wish is to simply keep the Grail from nefarious hands, and if your wish is not a wicked one, then rest assured that you will have our support.”

“But don’t you have a wish of your own?” Tohsaka shot, one eyebrow raised with suspicion.

“Well…I have none,” Berserker answered. “Unless you count being…a more honorable knight a wish that the Grail can grant.”

What followed was an exchange of silence. If the helmet-wearing Servant had, at least, his eyes exposed, then it would have seemed more like a staring contest.

The apparent staring contest ended when Tohsaka closed her eyes with crossed arms and a resigned sigh.

“I’d probably regret it if I tried to kill him after what you did, you crazy Berserker…” the female Master grumbled. “Still,” she continued more audibly, setting her eyes on the negotiating Servant’s covered face, “I’ll be honest: I don’t believe your words about your wish.”

“Believe what you want, then,” Berserker replied, raising his arms up to shrug. “I’ll even be willing to give you and your Archer a fight whenever and wherever you wish, Lady Tohsaka, but that would be very bothersome for your crush here, no?”

Shirou agreed with that, and he gave Tohsaka a begging look. It felt somewhat off-putting, guilt-tripping her like that, but if she decided to go over things peacefully, then it would assure him that she really wasn’t that bad of a person.

“Alright, then,” Tohsaka answered, releasing another sigh. “I’ll bite. But if we ever catch you attempting to backstab, then we won’t hesitate to kill you.”

That was a worrying declaration, but still…

“So you’re still up for an alliance, Tohsaka?” Shirou asked with a mixture of worry and hope.

“Yes, Emiya-kun,” she answered with a soft smile, which then turned into a hard frown as she faced Berserker. “It’s just that I’m more worried about your Servant. Masters aren’t the only ones with wishes they want to grant, you see.”

“Again, believe what you want, Lady Tohsaka,” Berserker told her. Said reminder also earned a scoff from Archer.

“Says the guy who hides his face under a creepy helmet,” the tall and tanned man also snarked.

Shirou then gave a worried look to his Servant. Berserker was silent, and his body language didn’t show clear signs of being offended. Still, his silence felt off-putting.

“Don’t worry, Berserker,” the redhead told his Servant. “I’m sure you have some good in you.”

Shirou also ignored the scoffs he heard from his new allies.

Berserker turned to look at Shirou, but the former was still silent. It made the latter worry some more, but fortunately, the Servant broke the silence.

“Thank you…Shirou,” Berserker said, his speech sounding more noticeably slower. “I shall…strive to serve you better,” he also followed up with a knee to the floor, a hand to the chest, and his face aimed towards the floor.

Also, Berserker seemed to be trembling. It made Shirou concerned, so he put a hand on his Servant’s shoulder.

The trembling stilled, and then a deep breath was heard from the helmed Servant.

“Worry not…Shirou,” Berserker said. “Worry not.”

“Well, if you know what you got yourself into now,” Tohsaka declared as she started standing up, “Then I’ll be making myself comfortable in one of your guest rooms. Archer will stay here with you.”

“Are you sure about this, Rin?” the mentioned Servant asked, uncertainty showing on his face.

“Don’t worry, Archer,” the female Master replied as she walked away with a waving hand, which was the one with her two remaining Command Spells and the other faded and used-up mark. “I’m sure you can handle both of them. And I can always call you with a Command Spell if things go too crazy.”

Archer looked at her like he wanted to say something more, but he eventually loosened up and turned around.

“Alright, then,” Tohsaka’s Servant said, turning his head a little over his shoulder. “I’ll make sure you have a good batch of the kid’s clothes for you to wear the next morning, then, Rin.”

And then Archer and the other Master-Servant pair rolled aside Tohsaka shot a dark Gandr bullet behind her.

And then she opened her eyes and revealed her teeth, forming the grinning face that reminded Shirou of Issei Ryuudou’s rants about Rin Tohsaka.

“Why, I thank you for the reminder, Archer,” she said, venomous sarcasm dripping from her words. “I’ll make sure to make you work extra harder along with Emiya-kun over there.”

Now that didn’t sound very promising. Especially since Archer seemed to experience sudden failure with his attempt at a grin.

“Berserker, I think I’ll go get some sleep now…” Shirou said as part of his attempt to sneak away and prepare himself for the pain he was set to go through during the next day.

Also, the next day was a Sunday, which meant no classes.

Tohsaka won’t let him escape, then.

“Go get your rest, Emiya-kun~” the third-rate magus’s new Magecraft mentor told him with a sing-song tone that probably had a mental cackle hidden underneath it. “You’ll need a lot of it.”

“And I’ll be keeping watch over you, kid,” the new Magecraft mentor’s tall accomplice added.

“Do as Lady Tohsaka says, Master,” Berserker also told Shirou, and then he separated from his Master, stood up, and walked away. “I shall be keeping watch as well.”

That response from the strangely behaving armored Servant didn’t really put Shirou at ease, though. Archer’s suspicious look didn’t help, too.

Still, Shirou stood up to go to his bedroom and get some rest, for the day he had been through had been more tiring than he expected during the morning.

But the worry remained, for he knew that he hadn’t gone deep into the Holy Grail War yet.


Author’s Note: I remember noting down the premise for this during the previous uni semester, followed by starting up the writing for this in between writing Wandering Weiss, working on other Tobby works, and, of course, real life responsibilities. I haven’t really gone through the light novel nor the anime of Fate/Apocrypha, though, but I did some research on the Servant called Saber of Red in canon with the help of the TYPE-MOON Wikia, which I’ll certainly be referring to more in the future for the continued writing of this fanfic. If there are readers among you who are knowledgeable and willing enough, though, then I’ll welcome help from you peeps as well.

And with that, honest constructive feedback is highly encouraged and will be highly appreciated!


Next Chapter: Rude Awakening

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