Alex and Ruler made their way towards the old church after their little run-in with Mordred.
Ruler was still giving Alex the 'I'm annoyed with you' look, but she seemed to settle down as they got closer.
"Feel anything?" Alex asked.
"No...it appears that all servants have vacated the area." Ruler stated, walking closer. She kneeled down at a corner of the building, lightly touching the corner.
Something was marked there, recently, and it has since been scratched away.
"A rune?" Alex asked, eyebrow raised.
He had been using a lot of his free time to study the runes he had written down. The books he had with him were not very in depth. He still had that small stash he stol-procured from the Matou estate. Though most of it was either way out of his own craft or so far advanced that it was almost useless to him.
It made a bit of sense though, why would a man such as him carry begginers level magecraft books with him.
Luckily there was a couple references to runes here and there. Not much, but it was better than nothing. He'd actually been considering it to be his main craft that he delves into. There wasn't much he could do with Reinforcement as that had been coming along nicely and he could almost fully reinforce himself. Bounded fields were a bit of a headache, but they were also an extension of rune-craft like many other crafts.
He knew that Rin's jewelcraft also had their own unique way to deploy bounded fields so he wasn't too dissuaded that he wouldn't progress in that particular field.
Runes just interested him a lot, they were so versatile and ambiguous. It seemed like you could do anything with them.
So he was a bit interested in the rune that was apparently inscribed here previously.
"Hard to tell, it would be the most logical conclusion based on the ambient mana that seems to be concentrated in this area. " Ruler replied.
"This doesn't seem like a natural spot for mana to gather either, I don't sense any leylines here. No doubt it was probably their caster, or even a master, that set up the field. I don't sense any other traps layed hidden." Alex stated.
Ruler nodded as she pushed open the doors to the church.
The area inside was even more saturated with mana, unnaturally so.
"This feels pleasant." Alex couldn't help but state. He was still a spiritual being, even if he was flesh and blood, he could absorb the mana here to replenish his reserves at a moderately faster rate than in a normal area outside.
Ruler looked around, eyeing every detail. "I smell something…. peculiar."
"Poison." Alex said bluntly.
She looked at him for a moment before nodding. She didn't have much experience with the stuff herself, but she would easily defer judgement to her partner that was much more experienced.
Though Alex knew already, he felt bad about not telling her everything but he didn't know if it was right to. Truthfully, he didn't now how she would react to such news. Though it was clear that she knew that he was hiding quite a bit from their earlier conversation, the fact that she didn't push meant that she was willing to trust him.
"It appears as though I have arrived too late, whatever I was supposed to find here has left." Ruler said mildly annoyed.
She could have arrived during the day….but she thought it prevalent that she keep the war activities, even scouting, to the night time. And then there was the issues of what happened the previous night….She took a small glance at Alex.
"Sorry...." He replied meekly. He knew that it was his fault, he asked selfishly to deal with the issue of his daughter and Ruler didn't feel safe going alone.
"Its fine, we will figure something out." She said with a sigh. "For now…..we should make our way to the battlefield that will erupt soon."
The duo left the church and started to make their way out of the city. Ruler had a general idea of where the fighting would take place tonight, thankfully...the destruction would be contained away from civilization.
"Sir, our scouts have picked up large movement coming from the direction of the enemies headquarters."
Inside the 'throne room', the Yggdamillennia family and their servants were gathered around. A large screen was suspended in air as it displayed multiple angles that viewed through the eyes of their scout golems.
Lancer gripped the armrest of his chair tightly as a cracking sound was heard. "It seems we were are once again on the reacting side."
It was…not what he had hoped but its not like he placed all his hopes on a flimsy plan. Contingencies upon contingencies, no plan survived first contact with the enemy.
It was a disadvantage, not being able to set the battlefield to their choosing, but the one the enemy had chose was not all that detrimental to them. It was harder than he initially thought to lead these…..men. Of course the homunculi and magi were quite ready to defer to his judgement when Darnic bowed his head. But the other servants….its not like they were disobedient, but it was hard to control those who carved their names into legend. They all had their own ideas on what was the right course of action, and for the most part they had the experience and knowledge to back it up. Unfortunately, it sometimes ran counterproductive to the Impaler's own plans sometimes. He was still trying to draw strategy around the whole situation with Siegfried.
"What is the status on Archer" Lancer asked his 'master'.
"The report we received indicates that Assassin was most likely killed by Saber of Red. It also appears as though Saber of Red may not participate in this battle due to their master suffering injuries." Darnic stated.
"Did Archer just watch the battle?" Lancer asked.
"No, he took the opportunity to try and take out Saber's Master….but there was interference by the Red Archer and King Arthur."
The room got quieter as they all stared, waiting for him to continue explaining.
"It is likely that Ruler declared Assassin to be in violation of the rules and such, her servant was within his rights to Aid Saber of Red to deal with them. But…..Archer also gave me some concerning information as well." Darnic said.
"Oh, what causes you concern?" Lancer asked.
"Saber of Red revealed herself."
"Isn't that good news as we should know her identity? Also I did not think that Saber of Red was a female, her noble phantasm that hid it away was superb." Lancer stated.
"Archer stated that her features had many similarities to Ruler's Servant, he believes them to be related and that the knight is actually Mordred."
"Isn't this good news, aren't they supposed to hate each other?" Rider spoke up.
"That's what I would have assumed had Archer not explained. He said that it appeared as though Arthur was only moments away from pointing his blade at him if the glare he received was any indication."
"oh….OH, that's not good. I guess we should know better than most that legends are sometimes wrong. If they actually did have a good relationship then...Archer just tried to attack his daughter…." Rider stated.
If Lancer wasn't trying to keep his composure for moral's sake, he may have face palmed at the reveal. It appeared as though they had just gotten into that enigma's bad graces, more so than previously.
They still had no idea about his Noble phantasms he had been displaying thus far. A small part of him was even questioning if the man was truly King Arthur and that Excalibur wasn't just another weapon he happened to acquire somewhere. Though Archer's information squashed that thought.
He didn't have any free time to regret any past mistakes his side had made, they weren't exactly out of the fight and still had a good opportunity to win. He was confidant in matching any other servants in battle, even if he technically couldn't hurt one of them but Archer would be there to support him.
He stood up, hushing any murmurs among those present. "Sound the alarms and activate all golems. We are riding into battle."
A small smile came over the servants. Even if the odds were so far in their disfavor that they had no hope of winning, they would gladly ride into battle. It was their nature as warriors to relish the challenge.
Even their Berserker was oddly excited, though her speech couldn't mirror it, she let out a grunt of acknowledgement. It was mildly amusing to the others that their berserk was actually the least battle hardened among the front-line fighters.
Atalanta surveyed the battlefield.
She was a fair distance away, nothing that couldn't be covered in a few moments by a servants speed, but it was enough to give her time to respond and to have a good vantage point.
Her 'master' had relayed their plans, frankly she was astonished at what had occurred. She wasn't completely in the dark about their Assassin's noble phantasm, but to actually see it was a bit breathtaking.
She smiled a bit as she looked up into the air, a small dot indicating what was their new fortress, floating in the sky.
The hanging Gardens of Babylon, they called it.
Basically, a magical flying fortress that gives Assassin access to magic from the age of gods. Not that she didn't have that already, being a demigod herself, but it was amplified. It was her territory for she was not just a normal Assassin, she possessed a rare summon under dual class. She had the benefits of both a caster and Assassin.
She quickly looked back at the battlefield, she could see the Black faction's troops marching forward to meet their own.
Though theirs were a bit lacking, all things considered. Merely Dragon Tooth warriors, but there was a lot. Quantity over quality they went with. It appeared their opponents did the opposite. For their thousands of dragon tooth warriors they deployed, they were matched by several hundred homunculi and golems respectively.
A servant could deal with any of these individual threats with ease, yet at the same time they had to be dealt with.
While a few homunculi wouldn't give her trouble, they were much sturdier than a normal human and if they swarmed her, they could potentially do her damage. She could easily deal with them with a noble phantasm, but that required prana that couldn't be used against another servant.
Though she was still a be skeptical about her current supply of prana. It felt a bit…odd. The amount she received never went past what a normal human should have to supply….but it never seemed to run out. Like someone was making sure to give her a steady stream when theoretically, they could give her a river. She wasn't complaining, it was just another odd occurrence she mentally filed away for now.
It didn't take long for the two sides to begin clashing, the homunculi were relatively skilled, though they were designed to be so. One of them could take out a dozen or so Dragon tooth warriors under the right conditions, but the amount that just swarmed the army made them have to be cautious.
The golems also began to sweep through the ranks, they were harder for the warriors to deal with, but they too would eventually fall if enough jumped on them.
No servant had yet to make a move, both sides just watching the ensuing conflict and waiting for an opportune time.
That was until a shout suddenly echoed across the plaines. It was familiar to almost everyone, causing Atalanta to face palm in her hiding spot.
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