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!
Previous Chapter: Rude Awakening
First Chapter: E-Rank Luck
Chapter 3: Broken Pride
Illyasviel von Einzbern blinked, breaking out of another length of distant staring out into the Japanese woods where her hideout for the Fifth Holy Grail War was situated.
“What do you wish to do for today?” her blonde Servant asked, standing by as Illya sat on the steps to the great front doors of the castle.
If she were honest, she would have told Saber that she wanted to see her Papa, but Illya didn’t want her Servant to know that.
After all, she noticed how this figure named King Arthur (and yes, it was also a surprise for Illya’s more learning self to be reminded about how that pretty woman from years ago was actually King Arthur) wore a frown on her face whenever Kiritsugu Emiya was mentioned.
In fact, Saber had been very discouraging of Illya’s interest in Kiritsugu Emiya, which was worsened when Illya told Saber of how her Papa managed to return Saber’s catalyst and Noble Phantasm, Avalon, back to the Einzberns years ago.
In all honesty, even though she thanked Saber for saving her from the wolves – both literal and figurative – after she managed to summon her, and even though she knew of Saber’s tragic past, Illya still very much disliked her Servant’s overprotective streak. Saber didn’t understand that her Papa didn’t forget her daughter, and that even if that stupid old man Acht kept them apart, her Papa would still do whatever it took to get whatever they could save of their family together again, even if the dumb old man’s yapping all the way from Germany never stopped. And even though Mama was gone, Illya felt like she was always with them, kindness never stopping its flow down the generations…
And to top it all off, Saber talked as if she knew what her previous Master had done during the previous War. The Einzberns knew that Servants were simply copies of their legends, copies which shouldn’t retain memories of previous summonings and Wars.
Saber didn’t seem like she knew that fact, but if she did, then she probably considered it trivial.
Still, that Overseer, Kirei Kotomine, knew her Papa.
“I knew your father, young Lady Einzbern. I was also a Master in the previous War, after all. He was quite an interesting man, even though I was defeated by him.”
That was part of what the priest said, and even though it was clear that he was hiding something suspicious (She managed to see traces of a smile similar to Old Man Acht’s usual smiles after she revealed more about her heritage), he was Illya’s only accessible lead on her father so far.
“If it would be a better course of action,” Saber continued, noticing Illya’s doubtful expression, “I would suggest – ”
“Sella,” Illya decided to call.
“Yes, Lady Illyasviel?” one of the two homunculus maids responded, stepping forward with her hard face.
“Carry me, please,” Illya requested. “You’re going to carry me somewhere.”
“As you wish,” Sella obeyed without much question, though she did have a raised eyebrow at Illya.
“Illya, what are you doing?” Saber asked, suspicion up on her face already as she hunched forward.
“Leysritt,” the little Master then called next.
“What are your orders, Lady Illyasviel?” the homunculus maid with a cold and robotic tone asked in return, stepping forward as well.
“Do keep Saber distracted…and get running now, Sella.”
And so went Illyasviel von Einzbern’s escape for the day.
She also hoped that Saber would understand…especially after Illya saw that dream the previous night.
“So, explain yourselves.”
Silence reigned in response to the petulant English teacher’s order. Archer also wasn’t there to help keep her quiet either, though he was currently in the room, but in spirit form.
Shirou felt irritation at the guy when he found out that Archer excused himself to change his clothes, only to come back in spirit form.
To make matters worse, even Tohsaka backed the guy up!
“Oh, he likes running off on his own after work to relax. It tends to be irritating, I know.”
Despite the backhanded help which Archer groaned at, Tohsaka still managed to cover for her Servant.
Still, Shirou knew that he had a lot of fault in the current day’s chaos. Fuji-nee and Sakura weren’t supposed to know about the Grail War, after all, and Shirou got them in danger because of him and his Servant.
Speaking of Shirou’s Servant, though, she was sitting beside him, slouching forward, one cheek supported by an arm on the low table they were all sitting around.
Berserker was also glaring, particularly at Taiga and Shirou.
Well, he would deal with his Servant later, then. For now, he needed to defuse this situation further…
“I’m sorry for my friend’s behavior!” Shirou then said, going on all fours and keeping his eyes aimed at the ground. “She’s – ow – She’s one of the old man’s friends and I just met her last night!”
The regretful Master of Berserker also ignored the kicking coming from his side.
“Really, Shirou?” he then heard Fuji-nee’s doubting voice. “Then why did I find her sleeping beside you naked?”
To be honest, Shirou didn’t know either. Still…
“I don’t know! I just met her last night!”
…Berserker’s kicking aside, this was for their safety.
“Hey, is that any way to treat your host, Buzzer-chan?” Fuji-nee then called out, giving Shirou a sigh of relief while his older sister figure also let out a sigh that seemed to sound like “Kiri, what sort of friends have you been making…?”
If Fuji-nee did say that, then Shirou would’ve called her out on that as well.
“Alright, fine…” Berserker then declared, not even bothering to make eye contact, “I’m sorry for trashing the place and forgetting to warn this guy over here about my attitude…and I’m sorry for that attitude when someone interrupts my sleep, which I was having in the room next door.”
“I am very very sorry for my friend’s behavior!” Shirou repeated with a shout. “Please, Fuji-nee, have mercy! We still have other guests!”
And so, Shirou spent some more time enduring kicks and nervousness.
“Alright, Shirou…but still, what is Ms. Tohsaka doing here so early in the morning?”
Fortunately, Fuji-nee had a very soft spot for him…but unfortunately, there was still the question of Tohsaka’s presence.
“Oh, I wanted to confess to Emiya-kun here, which I did, but since it was late, he offered me to stay here. I didn’t know that he had a visitor sleeping next to his room, though…”
Tohsaka was having fun with this, wasn’t she?
“…But if there’s anything good about him, it’s that he’s very loyal. With that, I’m sure that he would never ever intend to cheat on me.”
That was quite some cover, indeed, but Shirou couldn’t help feeling embarrassed.
Oh, and Berserker was also snickering. Archer also seemed to snickering along, too, and it echoed.
Well, as long as Tohsaka didn’t have any nefarious plans for the Grail, then he wouldn’t mind owing her that much.
“Okay, shocking news aside, you can sit back up now, Shirou.”
Shirou followed Fuji-nee, and then he met a sad face, which was also looking away.
“I guess I have to accept that my little brother is growing up now…Time flies, indeed!”
The redhead could only laugh awkwardly at that.
Meanwhile, Sakura had the sort of sad expression that was actually concerning. She was just looking at the faces of the people around her, not saying much, but then…
“W-We should eat the food Archer-san prepared for us, then…” Sakura said, looking down.
“Oh, yeah, I forgot about that!” Fuji-nee then shouted, causing Shirou to worry more for her.
Shirou worried even more when Fuji-nee and Berserker – whom Shirou had to remember to call “Sammo” (which was a mispronunciation by Sakura that Berserker rolled with) for secrecy’s sake – dominated the table and ate all the food.
It should also be noted that Archer prepared a meal that was a borderline buffet, taking pretty much all of the ingredients from Shirou’s kitchen to cook what was probably brunch already, considering the time of day.
“Would my wallet be able to handle the next days, then…?” Shirou asked himself.
And again, he hadn’t even had a proper deathmatch with another Master-Servant pair yet.
On a day that was supposed to be one relaxing visit to her Senpai’s place and a precious reprieve from her vile house, Sakura Matou was feeling very tense.
Taiga-sensei was already a given source of tension, being someone Sakura was used to as long as she didn’t pry too deep into the Matou family affairs.
But then all those expectations of having a day with less tension in her life crumbled when she checked on her Senpai, who certainly hadn’t been sleeping in his shed again the previous night.
That deviation from the usual brought along the fact that he was certainly a Master in the Fifth Holy Grail War, and that he had a Berserker as a Servant.
If she could express herself enough without too much consequence, then she would have cried on the spot back then.
“Hey, you jackass, leave some for the others!”
“Alright, you Tiger, I’ll leave a bunch for this little lady over here!”
Now, though, her Senpai’s Berserker simply weirded her out.
Well, as long as Senpai’s Command Spell held, then perhaps interacting with her some more wouldn’t hurt.
The next person who brought her tension was her older sister, who somehow still cared for her –
“But why did she leave you alone for such a long time?”
– who somehow still wanted to care for her –
“What if that cover story she used for herself and Senpai actually had some truth in it?”
– whom Sakura still had conflicting feelings about somehow.
Still, she had to admit that her older sister’s Servant was a good cook, among other admirable things about him.
And sure, he looked like a jaded man, but Sakura could see that he cared for others very much.
If he weren’t, then why would he have bothered, without even consulting his Master, to fix her Senpai’s house in the first place, taking all the burden while letting the others recover?
“Aren’t you going to eat, Sakura?”
“Oh! S-Senpai…uhm…I’ll be eating, don’t worry…”
Oh well, it could’ve been worse.
And so, Sakura went on to eat the brunch her older sister’s Archer cooked.
“Would you like some…Tohsaka-san?”
Maybe the hope she could hold on to was larger than she thought as well.
Meanwhile, Arturia Pendragon was not having a good day.
“WILL YOU CEASE YOUR SWINGING!?”
The homunculus maid bent on distracting her with halberd swings was just a small part of that.
And so, as the re-summoned Servant Saber swung against Leysritt’s halberd with Invisible Air, she stomped out of the Einzbern Castle in Fuyuki with clothes that were most certainly included by Illya to make her give in to unreasonable demands.
Indeed, Saber knew the importance of disguise, especially with her inability to enter spirit form, but she knew that her Master was clearly out to get her because of how short the outfit was.
To be more specific, Illya’s stock of disguise clothes for Saber consisted only of maid outfits.
Now, Saber would have more easily accepted such disguises only if the skirts were of more acceptable length.
With that, every swing of Invisible Air was an addition to Saber’s aggravation.
Eventually, she realized that she could actually keep Leysritt distracted enough for her to escape.
And then she ran with the help of Prana Burst.
Fortunately, she could do that without much concern for public attention in the forest.
Still, she felt her broken pride breaking into smaller and smaller pieces.
But if it weren’t Illya, who once had Irisviel as her mother, Saber would have given up already.
When Sella returned to the Einzbern Castle, trying to catch her breath after doing some Reinforced running, she was met with the sight of a broken wall beyond the open doors of the castle.
That pile of stone also had Leysritt breaking out of it when Sella approached it.
Suddenly, that rushing bullet of wind and prana which came out of the forest made more sense to Sella.
Anyway, it was time to deliver the Lady Einzbern’s new set of orders to her mostly emotionless partner, while the Servant Saber was now allowed to find Lady Illyasviel unimpeded.
“LEYSRITT, STOP SWINGING! IT’S ME, SELLA!”
“Oh. I. Am very. Sorry.”
Of course, there was the usual trouble with her partner.
As for Kirei Kotomine, he saw the rising chances of a good day. And it wasn’t like the rising of the sun every morning, either.
To be more exact, the rising was more akin to a rocket accelerating into outer space and the great beyond, which was pretty much a gigantic void filled with deadly gas and debris.
But then again, Kirei Kotomine enjoyed such realizations, especially when other people were going through it.
“So will you show me where Papa and my Onii-chan lives?”
The point of the matter, though, is that certain plans of his were coming to fruition.
He saw an opportunity when the Einzbern homunculus in front of him declared himself to be Kiritsugu Emiya’s daughter.
Indeed, it was such a surprise, finding out that the man whom he once thought empty even had a child with that Grail vessel from the Fourth War!
And even more surprising was the child’s hero-worship towards her father!
He did not let it show back then, though, but once he returned to his quarters, knowing that the Einzbern Master had left far enough after she registered for the War, he laughed the loudest he had ever laughed in his life.
Kirei knew of the misery which plagued Kiritsugu Emiya until his death, and considering such a curse, he found it enough for the man already. He also knew that the older Emiya had died, leaving his rescued and adopted son, Shirou, one of the orphans from the Great Fuyuki Fire, orphaned yet again.
But it seemed that Kiritsugu Emiya had more remaining family than Kirei thought…and then there was Lancer’s interesting bits of information regarding the adopted Emiya boy and his Servant.
Rin hadn’t even taken the Emiya boy to the Kotomine Church yet, but with this opportunity presented to him by the young Einzbern lady…
“Perhaps a friendly visit would be in order, then.”
…he would certainly take this opportunity to cause misery.
Berserker Mordred, going by the nickname “Sammo” (She would rather be called “Sir Mo” than those insulting nicknames, but “Sammo” wasn’t too bad an alternative either), wondered if she could withdraw that contract with the World.
Said contract was formed by a desperate plea from a thoroughly humiliated “son” of King Arthur, but beggars couldn’t be choosers.
Now, she was in a Holy Grail War, a Servant among seven with Masters of their own, and she would win it to be able to get the chance to challenge the sword of appointment!
“Emiya-kun, what are we going to do now?”
Times like these, though, made her wonder about whether she could withdraw that damn contract.
What made it worse was the fact that she went overcautious and overconfident after realizing that she did gain a second chance.
Convincing the Archer who clearly had beef against her dumb Master? Easy. The other Servant had more murderous intent on the guy than she did back then, but she just needed to remind him about the existence of her wish and the interests of his Master.
Trying to spend precious moments feeling detached from the stuffiness of her hard armor and her sticky underwear in the room right next to her Master’s by sleeping naked? Big mistake. Or maybe that Tiger was a special kind of dumb who had no sense of privacy.
And because of that, Mordred was now forced to feel abdominal pain akin to the pain associated with a woman’s lunatic cycle.
Frankly, it was humiliating.
Yes, the incident proved how Mordred could use the Tohsaka witch’s ego against her, but still, it was humiliating.
Mordred also wondered if the World was just her mother casting an illusion on her.
Yeah, that seemed more plausible.
But then again, her mother certainly wouldn’t have known about such advanced technology, and even if she did, then that would still prove that Mordred had traveled through time and space to fight in a Holy Grail War in the far future and in some foreign country.
And so, along with not risking killing herself by draining her measly mana to break out of his Command Spell, she settled on spending her post-meal rest (which also included a protest for the surprising lack of her Master’s surprisingly good food) by rhythmically kicking her Master’s leg as she leaned on a wall until he came to his senses and released her from his damn restraints.
She swung her foot back and forth between the wall and his leg, swinging it like a restricted sort of pendulum.
Even though she was downgraded and couldn’t use Mad Enhancement without risking torturous pain at the moment, she could still fight.
After all, brute force wasn’t the only thing one had to have in order to start a rebellion.
“Emiya-kun, I honestly find you pitiful right now.”
Mordred hated agreeing with the gullible yet dangerous witch, but her goody-two-shoes Master was a doormat, and it meant that she could still get him steering towards the fulfillment of her wish.
Failed deception and accursed luck be damned as well!
“…I need to buy food?” was what ended up coming out of the dumb Master’s mouth.
“Very pitiful…” the witch repeated with added emphasis, a clearly mocking smile on her face.
“Can we talk about this later, then?” the dumb Master then begged in a whisper, referring to the close calls he had been causing because of those two non-participants, who were currently washing dishes. “Sakura and Fuji-nee might hear us…”
A sigh was shared in response to that.
“Alright, later, then,” the witch agreed. “I’ll have Archer keep watch on you as well, to make sure you shut your mouth as much as it should and keep your end of the bargain.”
“Alright…” the redheaded fool complied with a hanging head. “I’ll go help Sakura and Fuji-nee with the dishes and all, then…”
That wasn’t somewhere Mordred was going to next, though.
Really, that Sakura girl was nice, but Mordred had had enough of that pesky Tiger, and that Archer should just follow his Master’s orders more strictly.
“I’ll just stand by the gate outside, then,” the restrained Berserker declared, but not too loudly, of course, still seeing some importance in her Master and their allies, but requiring some space for her to breathe and think better. “Call me if you need me, my stupid Master.”
And his lack of retort to that further solidified his pitiful image in her eyes.
Indeed, Mordred felt that, in hindsight, she shouldn’t have even bothered holding back her cockiness in the first place.
Now, time to head out and stand by for a while…walk through halls, open the door, unlock the gate, and…
“Pardon our intrusion, but this young lady here wishes to seek the owner of this house.”
…there was a little girl and a priest.
There was also a shout that sounded eerily familiar…
“Oh no, she’s coming!” the little girl exclaimed, looking at random directions in fear until she settled on Mordred. “Hide me, please!”
Mordred, despite her infamous past and deep-seated resentment, still valued the ideals of a knight.
And so, another guest intruded into the Emiya Residence.
Well, to be exact, they hid in the shed. Mordred wanted to relax, this Illya girl needed to hide, and the shed killed two birds with one stone.
The Knight of Treachery, as part of said relaxation, also kicked the rusted doors aside to bounce off the walls of the residence yard as if they were soccer balls.
She didn’t care if she made noise! She deserved to relax, and she won’t let anyone get in her way!
“You look like a cool girl, Miss!” the Illya girl then declared with a bright smile on her face.
“If you weren’t a young lady, I would’ve killed you for calling me that,” Mordred answered, eyes closed as she lied down on the shed where her dumb Master ended up summoning her.
“Eh? You don’t like being called ‘cool’?”
“I don’t like being called a girl, little lady.”
“Ehhh? Because we’re weak? No way! Mama was cool, and so am I!”
Mordred knew the evolution of the term “cool” through the knowledge she obtained from the Grail for the sake of fitting into the time and place she was summoned in, but she kept silent…mostly because she didn’t want to show herself blushing at the praise.
Now, it was time to appreciate this precious relaxation time some more before it ended up shattered yet again.
As for Rin, she decided to take relief in her physical distance from her dumb partners-in-crime, her face only showing sharpened eyes and a hard frown high above crossed arms because of Emiya-kun’s idiocy that was also making her more of an idiot.
And now that she thought about it some more, Rin was feeling dumber for having overlooked Emiya-kun and his Servant when she got back to his house…and trying to consider the possibility of Archer following her without her permission while she was out wasn’t helping her as much as she expected, because either way, they still overlooked the damn naked Berserker sleeping beside her dumb Master up until his daily visitors found out about them.
Now, Rin hoped that things won’t go any worse today. She already had her feelings forced out, her pride torn apart and stomped on, and her intelligence further mocked by all of that.
Hopefully, she wasn’t forgetting anything else now…
“Why, if it isn’t Rin. I have been trying to call you recently, but you have not been answering. Have you been indulging yourself with that boy over there?”
…Oh wait, there was Kirei.
Well, at least today could still be called another day in the life of Rin Tohsaka…
Author’s Note: It’s been about a year, and the rising Follow and Favorite numbers, along with some concerned messages, have gotten me amazed and apologetic. Whoop-dee-doo~
So yeah, I apologize for this long-ass wait. It’s hard to explain in full detail not updating for so long, but the explanation I can give involves focusing on IRL stuff – particularly school – and video games mixed with procrastinating due to my flawed mindset of wanting to get things done and get gratified very very quickly. I did manage to get through terms of interesting subjects – which included Creative Writing Workshops, Intermediate Japanese, and Basic Street Dance – with decent grades, and I did manage to post some other content along the way, but I think my sense of chilling out rusted along the way there, thus once again leading me up to what I now call “Graduating Year Blues,” because all my graduating years before involved me running into hard slumps that made me think of dropping out of school and deluding myself about avoiding being a bum. Thank God Almighty very much that those times also had me going through powerful recoveries, though, all of which involved consultation with very dear people and the undeserved but still given blessings by God Almighty, and this year seems to be going by that pattern as well. Thank God Almighty very much again, indeed, and now, I shall be chilling out with this sort of work and tuning out the too heavy academic stuff some more…
Now, with that small-scaled explanation wall out of the way, I would like to give you peeps tuned into this work of mine lots of thanks! Would I continue to make my update frequency surprising? Maybe less so, considering how I need to focus on more manageable work than break myself down over academic stuff I’d rather tune out…and besides, I have managed to pass subjects despite not having focused so much on certain material while going through them…At least my uni seems to acknowledge that one student can only learn so much…but I digress.
So, what’s coming up for this piece of work, then? Well, perhaps this chapter says a lot about that already, so there.
Now, y’all better hit me up with some honest constructive feedback, yo!
Next Chapter: And There Was Much Rejoicing?