Crawling to the Dawn – Chapter 7

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: Sunday Stakeout

First Chapter: E-Rank Luck


Chapter 7: Splits and Strokes


“FAAAAAAAAAAAATHERRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!”

“Sakura!”

Shirou rushed in front of her, spreading his arms wide against the blindfolded Servant and the enraged Servant.

“I won’t let you hurt her!” Shirou shouted.

“What the hell are you doing, you idiot!?” Tohsaka shouted behind him. Strangely, though, he didn’t hear Archer say anything to back her up.

Still, Shirou didn’t care if they were going to stop him. He had to protect Sakura.

“She isn’t even a Master or anything!” he told his allies. “She’s just an innocent!”

The Servant – Rider, as Shinji called her – looked surprised at that, mouth open and then teeth gritting as her hands tensed on her chain. Still, she didn’t say a word, and she didn’t move away from where from she was, not even attacking…though she seemed to be looking past Shirou?

The young man looked over his shoulder. Sakura was looking back with eyes so widened and whitened, the purples and blacks seemed more like dots.

She stepped back slowly, her mouth open and her lips trembling.

“…S-S-Sen…Senpai…” Sakura let out, her breathing starting to quicken, and then…

“I am the bone of my sword.”

…she froze with a shout.

“NII-SAN!”

For a moment, and within the edge of his vision, Shirou had spotted Archer firing…a sword?

A gust then sent Shirou rolling over and away. His eyes closed and his ears rang as an explosion also occurred right near them

He did stop upon the legs of someone, though when he opened his eyes…

Well…there was quite a sight.

A shrill scream pierced Shirou’s ears, louder than the ringing caused by the explosion, right as he felt his head sliding off a little and then smacked off with the rest of his body.

“WHAT THE HELL, ARCHER!?” Rin Tohsaka roared. “YOU DECIDE TO UNLEASH THAT OVERKILL, AND THEN YOU HUMILIATE ME LIKE THIS!?”

Archer didn’t say anything.

“IT CERTAINLY ISN’T! IT’S ONE OF YOUR WORST, AND WORST OF ALL, YOU ALMOST KILLED SHIROU AND MY SISTER!”

Wait, what?

For a while, Shirou thought that his ears were still ringing.

“Rin…” Archer sighed, his low and quiet voice already audible.

Shirou opened his eyes, but he still held the back of his head with one hand, sitting up to look at everyone else with him.

First he saw was Sakura, who was in the arms of Rider, whose embracing hold seemed…protective?

Turning to the right, Shirou saw a crater, chips and chunks of concrete around it, while dust and smoke floated, their scents prominent in his nose. A short distance away, there was a burnt and mangled body around some embers. Shirou didn’t need to guess much to know whose it was.

And then he turned to the left, where Tohsaka was, fists clenched by her sides and shoulders hunching up as she looked down at the ground in front of Archer.

Meanwhile, Archer was also looking away, and Shirou saw him just in time to see his bow vanish.

Still, there was that one question left unanswered:

“Uhh…What just happened?”

It was quite a surprise to learn that Tohsaka and Sakura were actually sisters, but still, Shirou didn’t know why Archer fired an exploding arrow (sword?) like that. Weren’t they allies, or did Archer have more hate than they all thought?

“It didn’t go exactly as I planned,” Archer answered, looking down at Shirou, “But at the very least, I took out one obstacle.”

Archer’s sharp and stony look had Shirou feeling a pit in his stomach, which had him understanding how this Servant of the Bow certainly was a good fit with his Master.

Though at the moment, said Master was going purple with fury, and she had the back of her right hand raised.

“Don’t ever hurt, let alone kill, Shirou, my sister, and anyone precious to them, Archer. Not even accidentally.”

Shirou’s eyes widened at that, though Archer closed his.

One mark on the back of Rin’s right hand glowed and then faded, leaving only one clear red mark on her round set of Command Spells…which also made Shirou curious about what happened to the first one, though it was probably not a good time to ask about that yet.

“Why…?”

Shirou then turned his head to the aforementioned sister, whose eyes were down and hidden beneath her bangs. Her embraced form was trembling, fists also clenched in front of her chest.

“Why are you so kind to me now…Nee-san…?”

The puzzled Master of Berserker, stuck in confusion, could only look back and forth.

When he looked at the girl who was confirmed to be Sakura’s older sister, he saw closed eyes and gritting teeth accompanying the downward look and the clenched fists. She wasn’t trembling, but she let out a deep and quiet breath.

At that moment, what stood out in Shirou’s mind were the startling similarities Archer and Sakura shared with Tohsaka. In particular, they were all masked and broken, and that realization made him feel more sober.

Why wouldn’t he, when he could see how they reminded him of himself as well?

“Rider.”

Shirou’s attention then got pulled by Sakura’s call, which was directed towards the Servant in purple, whose blindfolded gaze was now focused on her Master.

“Yes, Sakura?” Rider answered, further confirming Shirou’s knowledge about the connection between the supposed innocent and the deadly spirit.

“Take me back home…please,” Sakura ordered, eyes hidden by the shadows her fringe made again.

Shirou blinked, remembering his concern and curiosity.

“As you wish,” Rider complied, nodding once before tensing her legs.

“Sakura!” Shirou called as he got up, but it was already too late, as the purple Master-Servant team had already jumped up and away.

“Emiya-kun.”

At Tohsaka’s call, Shirou turned around, finding himself face to face with an icy gaze.

“Stay behind me,” she told him. “I don’t want you being a dumbass right now.”

Soon enough, she was already passing him by, Archer walking behind her as well.

Shirou could only follow, unable to make a coherent sentence after all that.


“SABER!”

“Saber?” said the blonde Servant as her sword met spear. “Now that is quite a flattering greeting.”

And that was when the grazed Cu Chulainn realized that he was facing a different Servant.

“Huh?”

She was blonde, and she certainly had a striking resemblance with the Saber he was seeking to get revenge on, but that was only when he set aside the redder and grayer outfit he saw this different Servant in.

“Perhaps you had met my father?” the different Servant then asked.

“I’m looking for a woman, though,” Lancer replied, bent forward some steps away. “She does look like you, too.”

“You dare?” the other Servant growled, lifting her sword to point its tip at him.

Lancer noticed how his new opponent had a strange red glow in her glaring eyes.

“Well, the both of you are women,” Cu answered, though with a raised eyebrow. “And I don’t underestimate a woman with a weapon. Spent more than enough days under the tutelage of one, you know?”

And then there was a charging Servant wearing a horned helmet.

Lancer realized that he had faced this Servant before.

“Wait, you’re that redhead’s Servant!?” Lancer shouted, parrying sword swings and dodging body checks. “The Berserker!?”

“You mean one of those traitors?” Berserker responded, still swinging and charging. “If you mean that I need them living for me to be able to win the Grail, then yes, I am that fool’s Servant! And you did not even let me have a chance to face Father!”

Still, the Servant in the blue bodysuit grinned.

“Well, this is gonna be fun, then!” Lancer then declared with a backflip, landing with the thought that if this one was here, then that Archer and the Tohsaka lass were also likely to be running right behind and close by. And again, his Master won’t be getting in the way of this one. “My day has been made once again!”

Thus, Cu Chulainn charged and clashed once again.

“Though I’m confused; did you just call that female Saber ‘Father?'”

The Hound of Culann noticed how the Berserker in front of him seemed to embrace her madness than more than seeming like she was being forced by it. He knew bloodlust when he saw it, as he had his own, but this one seemed more like one that would also dare to discard some honor just to get hits in…and he seemed to have hit whatever honor she had left and kept deep within.

And indeed, the close kicks and punches showed that she…Wait, where was her sword?

Lancer then jumped back again, as while he could be safe from a falling sword, he would not be safe from a caught and swung one.

Still, even as he dodged that one, he felt some new nicks on his person because of that.

“You’re acting a little too smart for a Berserker, lass,” Lancer then told her with a curious smile.

“Mayhaps you are just a dumb dog, Lancer,” she then replied, using that same mockingly formal tone she used on him before. “And keep on calling me ‘lass.’ You shall find yourself losing some precious jewelry cut by cut the more you do so.”

“I’m not even insulting you!” Cu Chulainn yelled as he dodged a terrifyingly fast set of walking one-handed swings. “I’m not even into shaming women!”

“THEN PUT THAT PITIFUL SYMBOL OF COMPENSATION TO GOOD USE BY THROWING IT AWAY, DOG!” Berserker roared, giving a mighty two-handed swing from above. “ELSE I SHALL ERASE YOUR SHAME OF AN EXISTENCE!”

Lancer bent back and rolled away from that attack, jumping back up as he spun along with his spear and retaliated.

“DON’T CALL ME A DOG SO MOCKINGLY, WOMAN!” he also screamed. “YOU HAVE NO RESPECT FOR SUCH MIGHTY ANIMALS! AND I AM NOT THAT STUPID!”

“Dogs over masculinity?” Berserker then questioned, even tilting her head putting a finger underneath her chin. “You have a queer sense of priority.”

“Don’t make me try to kill you, lass,” Lancer then responded with a twitching eye on his opponent and a tightening grip on his spear. “I can fight a woman, but I will never kill one. Don’t try to make me feel worse about this.”

“THEN DON’T EVEN CALL ME A WOMAN!” she roared with a charge. “WE SHALL FIGHT LIKE MEN!”

And so, Lancer and Berserker went back into close-range madness. The former found his own spear gripped by the latter again and again as she took time to slide in some kicks. He also found himself even more insulted by how he was being repeatedly hit by a sword thrown to and caught from the sky.

“I can’t even close in with you getting up on my face!” he complained, which still earned him a bunch of sword swings to parry and dodge.

He was also starting to feel a little more inadequate again, especially with how he could feel the raging muscle growing even more raging within the Berserker’s attacks.

“I would’ve spared your life on my way to my Father had you not insulted me like such, you foolish dog!” Berserker yelled as she continued swinging and charging. “Had you not been in my way, I would not have fought you in the first place!”

“WHAT!?” Lancer exclaimed.

Yet again, he was feeling his pride broken even more by how stupid he was…but then again, Cu Chulainn wasn’t someone who would just stay down.

And since he was told to fight Berserker and Archer (who still hadn’t arrived for some reason) to the death, he wasn’t just going to step aside and let another great fight away from him. Besides, as a warrior, verbal insults here and there were still fair game to an extent, and so far, they were at an affordable enough price to pay for a decent fight.

“Alright, then, lass!” he declared with yet another backflip away. “I guess I’ll have to get more serious,” he added with a smirk after he landed.

He bent down, tensing as his red spear glowed.

“Witness this pitiful symbol of compensation put to good use, Berserker!” Lancer declared, right as he saw Berserker’s helmet dissolve once again. “GAE – “

“My, what a disgraceful greeting.”

Suddenly, Lancer found himself facing a wall of…various weaponry?

“You make the dog look like a worthy existence…Manikin.”

“Lancer, retreat,” Kotomine’s voice rang within said Servant’s mind. “Let the King have his time.”

Lancer growled, but he still complied…especially when he felt a heavier aura of murderous intent from behind that wall of weapons.

At the very least, Lancer was probably going to get some fulfillment for his wish to have that golden egomaniac taken down a notch.

And then he ran past Saber and the Einzbern Master.

“AH, DAMN IT ALL!” the retreating Lancer roared once again.


The sky darkened, and a red pillar of light cut through the darkness in the distance.

“Sella,” Leysritt noted. “We have. Found them.”

Meanwhile, Sella, unlike her more emotionless partner, looked upon the light with dread.

That dread was further reinforced by the loud burst that cut into the nature and property in the pillar’s range.

“Lady Illyasviel!” the more expressive maid shouted as she rushed and jumped ahead, Leysritt following right behind.

Unknown to them, another glow of red was following them through the streets, a beastly growl both human and mechanical hidden beneath the sound of the explosion…


“Are you…Are you insulting me?”

This Manikin dared to ask that? Certainly, it was quite an imitation, then. It bore the features of his bride, but it perverted those features into a crude and honorless form. And the sounds it made…it sounded lower than a mongrel.

“Silence,” the King said, right as he rained more weapons upon that…thing. He would say more, but it would be even more insulting to himself than to that thing for him to assume that it could understand what he would say.

And then the rain of weapons split two ways, revealing the original standing beside the Manikin and ahead of the latest Cup.

The King bared a great grin, then.

“Saber,” he declared, savoring the sound of her name on his tongue. “I shall kill that Manikin.”

As much as he did not want to dirty his hands doing so, the King did not want to have his bride dirty her own hands, so –

“No.”

That was his bride’s answer in an instant, and the Manikin looked offended with how it moved with a step back and an arm over its chest.

Good, it knew its true value, then: nothing.

“Why are you – ” the Manikin tried to say, but…

“We were simply going to have negotiations with you,” said the bride, sword pulled back as she glared at the King, “But how fortunate: I have a chance to prove myself to you once again, Mordred.”

“Huh, is that the Archer you were talking about, Saber?” said the Cup behind the King’s bride. “Hmm…yeah, he definitely looks crazy.”

“You…”

“Ah, yeah, I’m the little lady Master of your ‘Father,’ Mordred! My name is Illyasviel von Einzbern! And that golden guy over there is your ‘Father’s’ creepy lovesick stalker!”

“ENOUGH!”

And then there was another rain of weapons, which all those deluded insignificants managed to avoid.

“You dare make me sully my treasures?” the King growled. “And you dare to have my bride in between you as well…”

“Do you wish for negotiations first?” his bride asked the Manikin. “Or do you wish for us to fight together against this fool?”

And then the Manikin was gone in a flash of prana past him. Soon enough, the King heard it right behind him.

“I know you have Avalon with you, Father!” it shouted, its weapon glowing bright red with force.

“Mordred!” he then heard his bride shout, and the King could feel a familiar glowing force now. “Do not dare!”

“Oh, I shall dare, Father!”

The King had no words for the insulting plan he was now witnessing nearing execution. So insulted was he that he tried to draw out Ea, but…

CLARENT BLOOD ARTHUR!”

…he was too late as the reckless piece of dirt he faced struck him down, his bride following suit right behind him.


Mordred felt herself near death once again, this time because of her own blade and not her Father’s. If there was any improvement to be seen there, then she was certainly more insane than she already was.

Still, she felt her energy returning to her. Soon enough, she was pulled up into standing position by that King in blue, but Mordred slapped the hand away as quickly as she could.

“Make up your mind, Father,” she told the King in blue. “Kill me, or let me kill you.” Mordred still wished to change the past, but if she could kill her Father in the process, then she would very much like that as well. Past, present, and future, Mordred shall kill and resurrect to her liking. Otherwise, she would rather die than face such duplicity, but the only thing holding her back was how everyone else seemed to have her life in their hands, and they all decided to have her live on and on and on.

“No, Mordred,” she heard that foolish King say. “We shall settle this like the knights we are.”

And there it was again. Mordred knew that Father did not like excessive destruction, but Father would also have to kill a fool like her for being so reckless. Still, Father not only used that scabbard as shield, but also used it to heal the Knight of Treachery. Such confusion increased Mordred’s rage.

“One last time, then, Father…” she growled as she let herself fall upon her knees again. “One last time…for I have grown tired of your games…” she added as she hid her face within her helm once again.

There were some moments of silence. Not even that little lady talked.

Still, for a moment, Mordred saw what seemed to be a tinge of regret upon the King’s face. That made the Berserker’s eyes twitch, and –

“Meet us at the Einzbern Castle in the Fuyuki Forest tomorrow night, then,” Father commanded, and then two dolls in black and white accompanied the team away.

Mordred’s fists clenched, but she did not get up from her knees.

What did it truly mean for one to be a King? And did Father really feel worthy to be King all this time?

Suddenly, Mordred’s mind felt clearer than ever. It started as a buzz she didn’t think much of, but then in her pondering, she moved her mind closer to that, and then everything made sense.

She realized that she and her Father were linked to the same bargaining force that brought them to this War.

“Yes…” she said with a small grin. “It appears that I shall become King, then, if Father does not want to be such.”


Rin Tohsaka had expected things to go worse, and go worse they did, as there was a great surge of magical energy up ahead, causing them to cover their fronts with their arms as a great gust of wind and dust blew into their area.

While it sent quite an obvious sign regarding the location of Berserker, it was also a sign of great damage to property.

“Wha…What’s going on…?”

That, and a big drain for the Master. Surprisingly, he could still talk, but other than that, he was on all fours now. Why did she have a crush on him, again?

“Archer, get a hold of him,” Rin ordered.

There was a sigh, but still, Archer appeared and picked Emiya-kun up, putting him under one arm.

“Don’t make too much noise, Emiya-kun,” she continued. “We already have more than enough problems here.”

Other than a sound in between a growl and a groan, the third-rate magus didn’t say anything in response.

“We can probably bet on Berserker being tired out now,” Archer commented as he and his Master ran on.

“Shut up, Archer,” Rin rebuked, but with no blush. “I’m still not over your random assassination plots.”

“Well, alright…”

He still sounded like he wanted to say more, but she wasn’t going to let him. If they can dispose of that crazy Servant, then they would, but she would like to have her hands all over the plan there.

“Prepare the way for the new King!”

Speak of the devil…

“She looks pretty excited,” Archer remarked, while Rin glared.

“Let us return to our quarters and prepare for tomorrow’s journey!” Berserker declared, hands up in the air with a grin so wide. “Also, perhaps you should train my Master, little witch. The energy he has was barely enough, and it is disappointing. Hopefully, though, his opened Circuits would turn him into a better Master, especially with your help.”

“So, wanna stop a random assassination plot?” Archer shot.

Rin, meanwhile, was gritting her teeth, but she still got something out through them. “Let’s just shut up and go home.”

And then there was a groan in the background.

“What the hell…?” Rin also heard her Servant say after he turned around. “Is he…”

There was also a body of gold nearby, its form soiled by blood and rubble.

“Oh, it’s the fool who tried to proposition Father,” Berserker noted, walking forward to give a little kick to the man’s gut. “I heard that he is also called Archer.”

“What?” Rin went. Archer? But she already had that Servant.

“Of course he’s still alive…” he said, going to the man on the ground. “Leave this to me, Rin,” he added, although with a gaze that wasn’t focused on her.

That left Rin with Berserker.

“We’re surrounded by idiots,” Rin complained with a low voice and crossed arms.

“And perhaps all we’re missing now is that Tiger,” Berserker added, grinning as she looked ahead.

“RIN TOHSAKAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!”

And then came the Tiger with a sidecar.

“We forgot somebody, didn’t we?” Archer asked with a flat look, all while the gleaming and revving malevolence came up from behind.

Rin only sighed at that, cracking her knuckles and spreading her limbs out into a battle pose…only to find Fujimura-sensei getting into a bumpy stop thanks to Archer putting the kid to the side with the golden man and stepping in between the approaching tricycle and its targets.

In other words, Archer stopped Fujimura-sensei by letting himself get run over.

Rin then found that oddly familiar…but maybe it was just her imagination.


“You did great, Saber.”

“Thank you, Illya.”

Illya’s team had just returned to the castle in the forest. They weren’t really wounded thanks to Avalon. They even managed to heal Mordred with that sheath.

Still, Saber looked down as she had her hands bunched up by her sides.

“I’m sorry,” Illya said, standing beside Saber with a similar expression. “I made things harder for you by running off and all that,” she added, remembering how the two of them first met the Fifth War’s Berserker.

“You are forgiven, Illya,” Saber responded. “What’s done is done. At the very least, Mordred and I will be able to settle this once and for all. You can even get to know more about your adoptive brother while we do so. Meanwhile, I have to stand firmer.”

“Are you sure about this, though, Saber? I mean, you’re going to have to kill your ‘son’…or daughter. Whatever, just…you get what I mean, right?”

“One of us has to die on the way to the Grail, Illya. Mordred was one of my great knights, I admit, and I will regret killing her, but this is how the Holy Grail War must go. It does not matter whether we get along or not before one of us dies. You should know that much, Illya, especially since you are from one of the Founding Families.”

“Ah…yeah, you’re right…”

“And either way,” Saber continued with a smile, “I am certain that whoever wins between us will obtain the Grail in the end. But before we have to strike each other down as opposing Servants, I would like us to come to terms with our past as…well, ‘father’ and ‘son.'”

“Aww, the King cares!” Illya half-joked, to which the usually serious Saber gave a chuckle, much to the Master’s honest pleasure.

But still, deep within, the Einzbern Master was also having more complicated thoughts.

Illya still remembered her father and his body. She had been lied to by some creature she thought was her mother. Something was wrong with the Greater Grail, and as much as she could, she wasn’t going to let Servants get killed so easily.

But for now, she would go along with this plan to have Saber meet up and battle with Berserker. Illya did want to know her big little brother better, after all…and she was also very interested in the Tohsaka girl who was aiming to claim him…

Illya hadn’t talked much with the Tohsaka girl yet, but her big sister instincts rang alarms when she saw how that hussy stood real close to her stupidly cute brother in the short time they had interacted.

“Sella, Leysritt,” Illya then called, “Prepare the castle for tomorrow’s guests. Saber, be the taste tester. I shall be going to my room to sew.”

“Yes, Lady Illyasviel.”

“Yes. Lady. Illyasviel.”

“I hope it is not another outrageous outfit for me to wear, Master.”

“Oh, don’t worry, Saber…” Illya then said, grinning as she passed by her maids and her Servant, “My new creation is for someone else…”


Meanwhile, Rin Tohsaka sneezed. She and her crush were currently eating dinner slower than the mad monsters by their sides.

“It’s nice to see everyone getting along again,” said the Servant who worked up all the food because the owner of the house couldn’t work well enough for that at the moment. “But then again, there’s going to be a fight tomorrow, and I’ll have to protect a bunch of idiots once again.”

Nobody replied to that, since two of the audience were too busy eating, while the other two couldn’t find any words in retort to that.

It was unbelievable how things had turned out. Berserker, although her pride was wounded, had found her “Father” (and Rin still could not believe that that beautiful girl was actually King Arthur) and made a deal to meet up and fight the day after. Fujimura-sensei, although she was pissed over being kept in the dark, could actually keep a secret, especially since she was actually a yakuza heiress being trained despite being spoiled by her clan.

“Is that a feast I’m smelling?”

And then there was this weird blonde kid who was a man that was probably a Servant, one that got curb-stomped by Berserker’s blast (which its creator somehow managed to unleash and survive despite having such a pitifully weak Master). After Fujimura-sensei went on all fours to apologize to Archer, Rin’s Servant healed the golden guy with some potion that came out of a portal, and then the almost dead guy turned into a sleeping kid.

“I saved you some, kid,” Archer then answered, moving to get the reserved food. “Wouldn’t want these beasts to eat your share.”

Though he was doing something kind, Rin noticed how Archer had a puzzled frown while he did so.

“Oh, thank you!” the kid then said as he took the tray and sat near the television.

Archer’s eyebrow seemed to be attempting liftoff at that.

“It’s a long story,” he rang inside her head as the eyes below those brows met hers.

“Someone you knew in your past life?” she rang back.

“…I guess? It’s amusing, but it’s still weird.”

“Oh yeah, your memory. Just tell me when you remember something important, okay? I don’t want any more unwanted surprises here, Archer. I’m still feeling ticked off by your stunt a while ago. Especially since we still have Sakura and that Einzbern to deal with.”

Archer closed his eyes, nodded, and turned away.

Rin went back to eating her dinner, though still slowly.


Sakura was eating dinner with her adoptive grandfather, that wrinkled worm she was forced to live with for so many years.

“You are very sullen for one who had recently witnessed the destruction of an object of your hatred, Sakura,” the wrinkled worm said, that constant smug grin up on his face as he watched her eat her own cooked food.

Sakura put down her utensils on her plate and finished chewing the food in her mouth.

She turned to give the worm a glare.

“When was the last time someone genuinely cared for you?” she asked him, tone quiet yet frigid.

“Hm?” the worm responded. “Curious about this old man now, hm? Well, if you want an honest answer, then…I have forgotten.”

He still had that smug grin when he said that.

“What a pity, then,” Sakura replied, turning back to her food, though she didn’t continue eating.

Silence passed between the two.

And then Sakura chuckled.

The chuckle then bubbled into laughter.

That was because a great realization had just hit her.

But just to be sure…

“Did you love someone as well, Grandfather?” she asked.

“Love…” he replied, his smug grin vanishing and turning into a flat and empty stare as he looked up to the dark ceiling. “My reason for existence…”

As the strange silence that followed elapsed, Sakura erupted into greater laughter.

All this time, she could’ve had some sort of friendship with the old worm if she had just bothered to ask the right questions. In her desperate attempts to keep a good grip on her sanity, she tried to actually care for rotten people like him and Nii-san. Failing at that for so long and then learning that it could’ve been easier as well made her want to kill somebody.

“Ugh…where the fuck is Shinji, old man?”

Said old man wasn’t answering, staring up like the hollow thing he actually was, so Sakura was the one who looked at Byakuya Matou instead.

“He’s dead, you piece of trash,” she answered, and for a while, she pictured him as Tokiomi Tohsaka.

“Huh?” the dead boy’s father answered, eyes scrunched up while his cheeks were still red from the confusing alcohol. “Well, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. Kid was gonna die with that ego of his, anyway…” And then he turned around, scratching the lower part of his abdomen and the back of his head. “Don’t know why I’m still alive, even…Where the fuck is Kariya, then? Did the bastard run away again…?”

Sakura saw darkness after that, and then she saw red.

“Agh…” the offender croaked with bulging eyes, all while a dark blade lined with red came out of that abdomen and the hand that had been scratching it. “I…for…got…”

He crumpled into the ground.

Sakura’s hollow and reddening eyes looked down on the newly made corpse.

She also didn’t bother to dignify the thing below her with a response more vocal than that.

Turning her eyes to the side, Sakura noticed Rider looking tense.

“You know what a monster is, right, Rider?” the Master asked.

The Servant turned her head away, but she still answered. “Yes…”

“Then don’t be so afraid,” Sakura replied with a smile. “We’re all monsters, after all.”

And then she walked away, taking a deep breath and feeling some tears in her eyes.


Did I not tell you that he will not accept you?”

He will. If I need to work harder or differently, then I shall do it. He shall find me worthy, Mother.

Even if you have his blood, you are simply one of those fools who tried and failed. If I knew that I could, then I would have drawn that sword.”

But you are a witch, of course.

And your father was a young nobody knight before he became King. You, though, are special.”

You are not making as much sense as I believed before, Mother. What do you wish from me? You said I would be able to take Father’s place, and then you tainted my innocence. What do you truly wish for, then?

You already know the answer to that.”

Your nature, then? So you only brought me about to create suffering? Amazing. You have made suffering suffer.

…”

If that is the way you truly wish to live, then know that we have different ways. Goodbye, Mother.


Author’s Note: This madness has returned. Also, I have officially accomplished my thesis. I like to think that my writing quality is really improving now. Anyway, I think I’m beginning to hit the middle of the whole story with this chapter. And man, working the middle is tough. It’s that point in writing a multi-chapter/serial fanfiction where I find myself realizing that one set of deviations in the beginning would certainly lead to a bigger web of deviations. And then there’s how there will be more battle scenes in the future. What madness, indeed. And this piece also has hundreds of faves and follows in FanFiction dot net. I better be prepared for bigger learning experiences, then. Hit me with them feedback shots, yo. Though I still prefer the honest constructive sort, of course.

Oh, and if Sakura’s gonna be crazy edgy, then why not let her be a scary badass about it as well?


Next Chapter: -in the works-

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