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: Unleashed
First Chapter: E-Rank Luck
Chapter 6: Sunday Stakeout
It was a silent Sunday at the Emiya Residence.
Well, that was what Taiga Fujimura thought as she woke up, yawning as she sat up and noticed the dim orange light along with the cold conditioned air.
She slid the window open slightly as she checked her surroundings, too, and she found that the sun was already setting.
Strange was how she was sleeping in the middle of the day, but stranger was how she…
“Huh…How’d I fall asleep again?”
As she tried to remember how she fell asleep, she kept drawing a blank.
If she were a more typical person, she would’ve just went on with her day, keeping the questions to herself and then forgetting those as well.
The thing, though, is that she was the heiress to a yakuza group.
And so, Taiga had narrowed eyes and a hand underneath her chin, now in a moment her social circle would consider rare.
“I’m a little too forgetful today…”
Oh, and she was aware of how flaky she could be. She felt like it was just a natural part of her, though, as did her freeloading habits. With so much energy, the world would be out to keep her from destroying it, right? And with how much energy she had, why not take advantage of someone so kind and willing to make and serve good food, right?
But then there was this, gaps in memory – gaps replaced by headaches and dizziness – which felt like things she should expect from someone drugged so much.
With those suspicions, Taiga then went out to walk around the house.
Doors were opened, eyes roved around, lights were switched, hands threw stuff around, and feet zigzagged their way.
Oh, and of course, she checked the fridge.
“THERE’S NOTHING IN THE FRIDGE!” she also shouted. “WHERE ARE YOU, SHIROU?”
And then she picked up on a trace of memory which may lead her to solving the mystery of the memory gaps.
Said trace was another student of hers, one who had a scandalous casual outfit, one very unlike her appearance and reputation in school.
And so, Taiga Fujimura left the Emiya Residence to look for her dear little brother figure and that two-faced temptress, roaring and running and red-eyed.
But first, she had to go back to her house to get a ride and a weapon…
Today was a very unlucky day for Shinji Matou.
So far, the cocky heir of one of the Holy Grail War’s Founding Families had found himself in a string of strange accidents…though there was no such thing as an accident when it came to having a good time, especially with his dear followers. He knew he was responsible for them, after all, and any damage they would acquire would be his fault, no questions asked.
Of course, he could argue if there were people and/or things who clearly had more fault than he would have, but still, people were stupid more often than not, so he would have to expect being on the losing side most of the time. He wasn’t the pessimistic sort, though, only realistic, so he still would argue for himself if he could see a good enough chance.
Now, today’s arguments started with his dear…sister…leaving the house earlier than usual. Not like he didn’t expect her to run off to that dumb Emiya’s place on a daily basis, but she had some responsibilities as a younger sister for her older brother, and there were also more urgent ones which could happen without warning.
And so, Shinji left the house grumbling and stomping about being unable to confront her sister, especially since he had to go on another scheduled date that morning. At least it was something to look forward to, especially since the girl he was going out with reminded him of his…bodyguard.
The girl wasn’t really on the level of his bodyguard, though, which was more a fortune to him, since although she tended to have a thick sci-fi novel on her person, she looked at him whenever he talked, and she was also of the opinion that her female peers were all dumb bimbos who were easily hooked by money, property, and popularity. She also tended to give him a raised eyebrow, though, but he didn’t mind, because he wasn’t in the mood for easy catches at the moment.
Of course, her tall height and stunning curves covered by her sweater and jeans made her a top option instantly when he caught her sitting on a park bench during last night’s…stroll. Her short hair and her framed glasses also made her look more mature, and since he was also frustrated by the fact that he could only watch and not interact, let alone touch, with his bodyguard more personally, Shinji decided to switch from silence to conversation.
He ended up getting some cynical philosophical spiel or something when he asked about why she was sitting on a park bench so late at night, though, but she accepted when he asked her to hang out with him at a cafe the morning after for some “enlightening conversations about how the world is dumber than it thinks.” Shinji didn’t really say it was a date, though, but she didn’t need to know that.
After all, he had a way to help get it to the really good parts real smoothly. And if his bodyguard wasn’t up for it, then hey, he could always wait for the girl to lead herself into a good spot for it, considering how her cynical ass had a habit of walking into dangerous places during dangerous times.
The thing, though, is that he wasn’t able to reach that part after a certain accident at the cafe.
See, they were sitting by an outside table at the cafe they went to, which was the girl’s favorite hangout spot when she was hungry in the middle of what she called her “danger strolls,” and things were going pretty well. He learned that she liked sitting outside whenever it was winter, as she liked the cold for reasons of edginess, and he learned that she liked her coffee black, which gave Shinji ideas about how he would give her a really good time later on.
Now, just as the waitress went out of the cafe proper to deliver their orders of blueberry cheesecake and black coffee, some random little girl rushed by, knocking the waitress to their table and spilling their orders all over.
If Shinji had held his temper, he and his date would’ve gotten their orders again for free, but Shinji found some room to argue, telling the waitress off for her lack of reflexes.
That just had to make his date tell him off, express her desire to go home, and then go home without waiting for him to respond.
Shinji wanted to rush after his date and teach her a lesson about disrespecting him, but he was suddenly knocked down by some blonde maid with an outfit so skimpy that he could see her flashing white panties.
All that left him confused, but by the time he got back to his senses, Shinji found himself in a very infuriating situation.
Oh, he would’ve spent some time teaching the waitress, who was the closest he could reach at that time, but the cafe proper was filled with people, and the manager was a buff but polite man whom Shinji decided to be polite to, since the guy looked like a muscle-brained dumbass who would kill if shouted at, even while bowing.
And so, Shinji decided to just take another stroll, walking on sidewalks, crossing roads, and standing within empty alleys as he tried to relax for the rest of the day.
And then he bumped into a certain someone, all while he turned a corner on a Miyama Town street, some time after the lights on the sides went on…
…and it was a certain someone he hadn’t seen since the morning.
He gave her a grin, then.
“Well, hey there, Sakura,” he also told her. “How’s Emiya doing today?”
As usual, she looked at him with widened eyes, a trembling form, and some backward steps.
“Real dumb on you again?” he continued, giving her a frown. “Haven’t you even tried to ask him to give you some? He’s so stupid and self-loathing that he’ll do anything you want, especially with a little force, you know?”
“B-But…” she tried to reply, but it only trailed off, the whites of her eyes encroaching on her purples as she froze in place.
“Hmm…maybe he’s rubbing off on you now…” he told her as he grabbed a trembling arm. “But that’s nothing new. I guess that’s more reason for me to ask you to stay away from him, no?”
More trembling was what he received.
“Why do I even ask you to open your mouth?” Shinji then continued, sighing. “Oh yeah, there is that…so I guess you don’t need to speak so much as long as you do as I say, at least…”
And so, the older brother pulled his dear younger sister along, an invisible bodyguard watching over them as they went back to their house.
Well, that sounded like someone who was in a delusion. Who even bothered using such formal words these days?
Oh wait, there was him when a girl liked it fancy…well, just in the beginning, if it was any consolation.
But that aside, it probably wasn’t someone worth noticing, and his impatience was growing, especially considering the thought of his jumpy younger sister not giving him more of the attention he deserved.
So with that, he groaned as he continued pulling.
“I SAID ‘HALT,’ YOU IGNORANT DOG!”
By the time he heard that shout and comprehended what was carried by that, a rush of air and a clang of steel had the hairs on his skin standing straight.
Because of that, Shinji turned around, teeth gritted and sister unhanded (though he knew she would stay in place, all because she knew her place), to face whoever was daring to attack him.
But before he could get a good look at his adversary, there was another rush of air, one which touched his cheek and did a little digging upon it as he adjusted his stance.
The smell of iron was something he could not deny after that, but before he could even raise his hand to check, an approaching glint had him stepping back and then falling on his rear.
As embarrassing as it was to hear himself let out an unflattering yelp, he had enough sense to dodge something rushing towards his face, after all.
Aww, she cared for him.
“Get out of the way, Sakura!” he then shouted at her.
But before he could find out more about how Sakura responded, among other things, Shinji’s vision was covered by stars.
After that, all of his senses suddenly went out.
“‘I shall take what you mongrels call your ‘sweet time,” he says…I swear, if I could shove this spear up his ass, then I would do it gladly, gay jokes be damned…”
Yet again, it was an irritating day for Cu Chulainn, the Lancer of the Fifth Holy Grail War, and another one of Kirei Kotomine’s Servants after aforementioned current Master stole him and his former Master’s Command Spells.
Well, getting stolen from his former Master wasn’t so much of a problem, although he did feel bad about missing out on having some fun action with such a feisty pretty lady…and if he could, he would also scream at his former teacher and show that girl off to her cold and sadistic ass.
But still, a life of misfortune had Cu feeling numbness in the face of death and other irreversibly horrible things more easily. Even in this life, misfortune was his best friend, which left him with the only thing that made him feel alive: battle. In particular: steel against steel, limb against limb, blood against blood.
Yes, he had not found himself in much physical battle recently, and while battles of the mind and spirit had their appeal, they easily bored him if they were not accompanied by battles of the body, especially one where his very own was involved.
And such was why Cu hated being assigned to surveillance roles. Today had him assigned to a mission which had higher chances of him going into battle with other fighters, but still, he had to watch how it would all go first.
There was also the possibility of that golden egomaniac arriving faster than he thought, since the guy had quite a preference for sudden and dramatic entrances, along with also having no hesitation to kill anyone who interrupts his speeches.
With that, Cu decided to just think of how there was still a fight that was going to occur in his mission today, a fight which he would enjoy every last second of. And he wasn’t a coward, which meant that he would be happier if he went up against bigger and more numerous opponents!
Now, he just had to find his Master’s charge, a lass of a Master who had that swordsman Archer…
“Who goes there!?”
And then he just had to be sensed even while in spirit form.
But as Cu stopped, he didn’t find it as bad as he expected.
After all, he could sense quite a large amount of prana coming from his soon-to-be opponents…
“Well, today isn’t as boring as I thought!” Cu declared as he revealed himself. “Let’s not waste so much time on chit-chat, though,” he added, two hands on his spear as he bent down and pointed forward with his battle stance. “Just give me the names you wish to be called by, lasses, and I shall tell you what I wish to be called by. Then, we shall fight.”
“Saber,” declared the blonde-haired and green-eyed Servant covered by a silver-armored blue dress. She was also holding the air like it was a sword behind her, but it wasn’t as weird as an Archer wielding swords, so he found himself with less confusion.
“Illyasviel von Einzbern,” curtsied the white-haired and red-eyed little girl in purple winter clothing, cossack included. Cu already knew who she was thanks to his Master, but this was the first time he faced her in person and in battle, so it was still like a first meeting to him.
And with his bloodlust, starting off hot made it all the more enjoyable to him.
So he charged first in response, and then…
…he drove the figurative point along with the literal one further in.
The thing, though, is that he didn’t get a single ring and push of clashing steel in response.
It was at that moment when the Lancer then realized that his targets were gone, as they had ran right past him.
“HEY, GET BACK HERE!” Lancer then screamed, now running in pursuit.
Indeed, he should have worded that introduction better.
Meanwhile, a sinister force went by with a revving engine, one which haunted the Miyama Town streets even before and when it was parked by the gate of the Emiya Residence.
There was no further sign of danger, though, only that force and its noise growing more and more distant.
And so, Sella frontflipped back out of the bush she and her partner were hiding in, landing with a three-point stance on the street beyond a wall of the house they broke into.
Meanwhile, Leysritt simply jumped up and forward, landing on her two feet.
The other maid yelped as she dodged back from the blade of the absent-minded maid’s halberd, though.
“Leysritt, watch where you are going!” Sella scolded with a hushed growl and a raised fist.
“Oh. I. Apologize.” Leysritt replied, face still as blank as usual.
The sterner maid simply sighed at such a response yet again, and then she put her hands back to her sides, head turning left and right as she checked where they were.
“Well, we checked the boy’s house, and we triggered an alarm…” Sella then noted to herself with a whisper, “…but for some reason, no one was inside…well, except for that strange woman…”
“Where. Could they. Be?” Leysritt asked, asking the main question the duo had in mind at the moment.
“Lady Illyasviel still certainly has that foresight beneath that eccentricity of hers, at least…” Sella noted with another sigh and then a frown, “…but this is worrying…Our Lady’s adoptive brother may have been dragged away by that probable Berserker and the Tohsaka girl…”
“The Tohsaka. Witch.”
“If you did not have that speech defect of yours, I would have asked if you turned into Lady Illyasviel…” Sella muttered, “While I consider the girl a valid concern, as we are in a Grail War, the way our Lady refers to the Tohsaka girl is just…reminiscent of a jealous schoolgirl.”
“Back to. The mission.”
Sella grumbled at that one-upping, and then cleared her throat.
“Leysritt, go regroup with Lady Illyasviel,” she ordered. “I shall search for Master Shirou.”
“Lady. Illyasviel. Has competition. It seems.”
Sella wanted to groan and even yell at that Lady Illyasviel-inspired piece of stupidity, but for the sake of her sanity, she did not dare dignify it with even a semblance of a verbal response.
After all, whether or not one had a good argument in defense, uptight people like her would be assaulted with needles to the emotions…and Lady Illyasviel had gained great skill with needles and more…
“Hmm…Do you think Lancer would look good in a butler’s suit?” Illyasviel von Einzbern asked her Servant as they ran through the Miyama Town streets.
“Master, now is not the time for such whimsical matters,” Saber then declared with a flat expression. “We are attempting to find and confront my ‘son’ as soon as possible. Also, we are attempting to escape an angered Servant.”
“Well, at the very least, he’s not a Berserker!” Illya replied. “He still looks like a mad dog, though, but still, he’s also really handsome!”
“WHY DON’T YOU FACE MY SPEAR IF YOU’RE GOING TO GOSSIP ABOUT ME!?” the latest subject of discussion screamed from behind them.
“You had us halt on our tracks back there all for the sake of heckling him…” Saber grumbled as they made a turn. “Are you trying to act more like your appearance than your age, Master?”
“I’m trying to act like both, Saber!” the Master replied with a wide grin. “It gives me a very unique charm, you know?”
“IF I WERE SOMEONE MORE DISHONORABLE, THEN I WOULD DO IT WORSE THAN YOUR TRICKERY AND BLAST YOU ALL DOWN WITH MY NOBLE PHANTASM RIGHT THIS INSTANT!”
“He sounds like he’s quite whipped, don’t you think?” Illya asked, still grinning.
“Just have him distracted, Illyasviel…” Saber went with a roll of the eyes.
“Now, what makes you think that you can beat my speed?” their pursuer suddenly went, stopping the opposing pair as he stood with a grin right in front of them. “And I have Protection from Arrows, lass,” he added, eyeing the shining birds above the two females. “They won’t even make a wound on me.”
“Who said that I was aiming to wound you?” the little Master asked with a smirk.
And then a flock of glowing birds launched from invisibility, charging to explode and create a concrete dust smokescreen around Lancer.
“Saber, roof-hopping time,” the Master went, taking off jumping on to her Servant’s shoulders.
“Finally, back to more seriousness…” Saber sighed, jumping away with her Master.
Unsaid, though, was Illya leaving some of those shining birds around the smoke…and smoke wasn’t the only thing they would be making this time.
It should also be noted that they were not divebombing rockets, but stationary traps.
“OKAY, THAT’S IT!”
But by the time Lancer had gotten himself out of the smoke, Illya had already escaped with a mad laugh and a sighing Servant.
Mordred heard explosions in the distance.
There was a blindfolded and chain-wielding woman in black and purple between her and that jealous girl, though, that girl with the disgusting brother Mordred and her hostages trashed. Clearly, the blindfolded woman was a Servant, and considering how she showed up after the brother was knocked out…
The jealous girl was starting to seem more and more like that witch the Berserker was teamed up with, then, though shyer…but then again, demure women led to the kingdom’s downfall, and all she needed was a well-intentioned man or two.
Such a traitorous bunch she was surrounded by, indeed. Very much like the knight named Mordred, the Knight of Treachery.
Still, that did not matter to the Berserker much, for all that mattered to her right now was to find and fight her Father.
“GET OUT OF THE WAY!”
Her instincts were roaring even louder after she heard those explosions, too, so she rushed past the blindfolded Servant, shoulder in front before spinning, all done with a warped yell.
The blindfolded Servant jumped away from that charge, and that was enough for Mordred to get back into place and run forward to the source of that booming sound.
So did Mordred shout, paying no attention to her dumb Master and his twisted lover screaming behind her. Neither did she pay attention to the arrow which whizzed past her sometime after, an arrow which caused another explosion in another distance, which she never saw because she had turned to the side and entered another street.
And even though she heard that extra explosion she had avoided, she never went back to it, even though she knew that it likely came from that witch’s Servant.
After all, she knew that her Father was already nearby, especially as she felt her blood boil like a liquid inferno…
It was time for the King to reclaim what was rightfully his.
He need not say that with his own mouth, nor even his throat. His presence already said that enough, and anyone who could not recognize that would only be dirt under his feet.
Meanwhile, that mongrel of a companion had already gone ahead, but it was not much of a concern.
After all, she would be able to hold her own, especially with that fiery spirit he loved so much about her.
If she failed, then she would just be another disappointment who did herself the honor of erasing herself from the earth she does not deserve.
But that was just an impossibility considered possible by the delusional, unless it were a comedy commenting on the idiocy that is disrespecting the King. Failure shall not happen in reality. She was his, after all, and defeat shall not come upon her as long as he walked the earth.
Was he worried about how long he would take walking to his bride, though? Of course not. The whole world was his, and the whole world went according to his will. If his bride were tired by the time he arrived, then he would stand in between her and the mongrels against her, kill all those mongrels, and then take her away to his sanctuary, where he would heal her and prime her for high bliss with him.
Yes, all shall go according to his will…
And then he saw his mongrel companion up ahead, facing…an imitation of his bride?
“My, what a disgraceful greeting.”
And so, the King unloaded a wall from his treasury.
Author’s Note: At first, I thought of Arturia and Illya fighting Cu here, but then I remembered that Arturia and Illya are looking for Mordred and company, so I went to revise it that way. Also, big special thanks to aliesterus for helping me realize more about the crazy potential this Illya here has. Cackles be happening, alright~
Oh, and I get the feeling that with how flaky Taiga is in canon, it’s easy to forget that she’s a yakuza heiress as well. So yeah, why not flesh that out with the rest of her flakiness we all know and love?
Now, I would like to send special thanks to Ice 88 and FiendLurcher for helping me think about Archer’s character better. I also recommend reading the latter’s “Eye of the Mind,” although I don’t have any upcoming scenes showing Archer swinging and throwing his swords around with a lot of detail yet. That piece also helped me think about Cu’s character better, too!
Ah, and I had fun working Shinji’s and Gil’s parts up~
And now, I’d like to remind y’all about honest constructive feedback yet again~ You know what to do, yo!
Next Chapter: Splits and Strokes