Alright, sorry for the late chapter, t his past weekend was brutal for work. I had mandatory overtime both days and then i came back in on Monday at the normal time. Thankfully it was a short day so i could get this chapter out earlier.
Anyways, the plot is progressing as deviations are occuring now and things should really start to change in the next couple chapters. I finally have an ending for this arc that i'm comfortable with so it helps me iron out a few details.
On a side note, do you guys need a 'cheat sheet' for a list of the characters in the war and such? I honestly have to double check to make sure label them correctly. This arc has the most characters so far so tell me what you guys think.
"No, seriously. What. The. Fu-"
A hand clad in a metal gauntlet reached over and smacked him on the back of the head.
"OWW!?" The green haired rider squeaked out.
"What do you mean 'ow'. Your body is immune to almost any damage." The lioness replied.
"I can still feel you know...." He said, looking betrayed.
"Achilles..." She said as her expression turned more serious.
He let out a sigh as his goofy smile also went away. She saw him reach down and touch the spot he had just been cut on his chest, less than an hour ago. The blood was still fresh, but his body was healing at an extraordinary rate. He should be back to full health in a few hours.
"You let your emotions cloud your judgment again." She said softly. Her usual cold tone was gone as she looked at him.
She was more than aware of his legend. The deeds he performed in life had overshadowed her own and made him the face of the Greek heroes along with a few others. She also knew of his faults. How all the bad turn of events was the result of him losing control and doing something he normally wouldn't.
When he dragged Hector's body behind his chariot, he did it out of anger and it set in motion his own death at the retaliation of the gods for being so dishonorable. He didn't lose his rationale like a berserker, no, he essentially tunnel-visions whatever is gathering his attention. He forgets about the consequences of his actions and only wants to follow his heart and not use his head.
"I was taken by surprise and almost lost without even showing my full strength." He said, staring off into the night sky. "Those chains….did something to me while they held me. My divinity was being drained away while they strengthened themselves."
"Are you back to normal?" She asked.
"Yeah, it was only temporary."
"Come, the others are waiting for our report about the fight." She said as she ushered him inside the church that their faction was using as their base.
"Rider." Karna acknowledged as the duo walked inside.
"Lancer." He nodded in response.
"What news on our Saber?" Archer suddenly asked as she stood next to Achilles.
"Still no luck. It appears as though both Saber and his Master are unwilling to work alongside us." The priest stepped forward.
"That is a large loss on our side if Saber and his master do not coordinate with us." Atalanta stated.
"Yes, but we don't have the free strength to force them into submission. As long as they are still on our side then it is enough for now." The priest replied. "The more immediate concern...is the servant that Ruler summoned."
They all became quiet at his statement as they too watched the fight that occurred through long distance scrying.
"I wish to hear your thoughts Rider." Karna spoke up. He was anticipating a rematch with the servant.
Achilles let out a sigh as he felt a hand on his shoulder. He turned to see Atalanta giving him a nod.
"He's strong. Almost took me by surprise and finished me off. Being with Ruler he should know all our strengths and weaknesses." Rider stated.
"What of his Noble Phantasms?" The priest asked.
"His holy blade is the most obvious. Excalibur really does live up to its reputation, it was able to cleanly cut through my Andreias Amarantos." It's what gave Achilles his near invulnerability, the weakness being his heel and things containing divinity.
It was hard to take a moment in the middle of battle to admire the blade, any warrior who saw it would have the same reaction, it was the most beautiful blade in existence.
"Based on that weapon alone we can assume he did not lie about his identity since there are none others that could possibly wield that sacred blade." The priest stated.
"That just makes it all the more confusing. Why would the king of knights possess those noble phantasms, especially the Rho Aias that he used to block my spear." Achilles stated.
"Regardless, we need to act with caution for now on. We lost Berserker and almost lost Rider as well. Our enemies have proven themselves capable." Atalanta said.
"Anything more you would like to add Rider?" The priest asked.
"My instincts are telling me that he was still holding back." He said with a frown.
Karna smiled as he turned away. "I will be nearby if my assistance is required." A moment later he astralized and vanished.
"Hard to get a read on that guy….." Rider said as he watched his ally leave. "So…..whats the plan for now?"
"We wait for Semiramis to complete the construction of her noble phantasm, then we begin our attack." The priest replied. "For now I would suggest staying out of trouble so we're at full strength when we begin our assault."
The duo nodded as they too left the church.
"I don't trust him." Rider said as they got far enough away.
"Agreed, but we already swore our loyalty and our masters have deemed him a substitute for their orders. It's not like it makes much of a difference as long as I get my wish." Atalanta replied. "I shall patrol the town, in the meantime, just rest for now while you recover."
"You're the boss, sis." He said with a smile.
She sighed as she too astralized a moment later.
"It really is a nice wish you have sis.....but we both know it will never come to pass." There was a bit of sadness in his voice as he stared up into the sky.
Alex looked his own body over a few times. It was perhaps one of the few drawbacks to having a flesh body. His healing rate couldn't match up to a servants. Servants and Heroic spirits were spiritual beings, they recovered much quicker than a flesh body. Though his own existence was beyond that of a normal human, it would still take him a day to full recover whereas a normal servant would probably be good in a couple hours.
"You keep looking at me every few seconds, something you want to ask?" Alex said towards his master.
"I don't recall King Arthur having such weapons in his arsenal, and I'm not able to use my ability to peer into your status." Ruler replied.
"What weapons are you talking about?"
"How about that giant blade that caused a mini-earthquake when it hit the ground?"
"Doesn't ring a bell."
"You're teasing me..."
"Whatever gave you that idea?" Alex said with a wide grin
She huffed as she kicked him in the shin.
He just stared at her for a moment while she stood there uncomfortably.
"You forgot I was wearing steel grieves....did you hurt your foot?"
"I did not."
"Are you sure?"
He stared at her with a knowing smile while she tried her best to keep a frown on her face that kept twitching upwards ever so slightly.
"Truly I am blessed with such a cute little sister."
She finally smiled a bit as she looked at him, it was a bit odd how easily she was accepting their newfound relationship as 'siblings'. She hadn't lied when she said that she always wanted an older one as she was the oldest of her family before she left. It was refreshing in a sense. Before she joined the war, she always made sure to take care of her younger brothers and sisters. And even when she joined the war, while she was usually being protected by the knights around her…..she was always the pillar that held everything together. She accepted that role and never detest it. But that didn't mean she couldn't appreciate the opposite that was occurring right now.
She basked in the strange but warm feeling for a bit until her expression finally turned serious.
"I'm not naive…." She suddenly said.
Alex looked at her, he could guess what she was thinking. He was an unknown to her still, he had shown things that did not make sense and made her a bit nervous. If he decided he wanted the grail...she couldn't stop him.
"You're still skeptical about me."
She looked a little embarrassed but didn't refute.
"What do you want to know? Keep in mind there are a few things I'm not allowed to talk about."
"Do you truly not have a wish?" It was the forefront of her skepticism at the moment. Rulers needed to be neutral and if he was acting as her 'herald' then he too needed to abide by those rules.
She looked at him, her existence as a saint allowed her to pick up on things like lies more easily than a normal person.
"I do have a wish, its just not something that can be granted by the grail." Alex replied.
"Does it have to do with the person you mentioned in this war?"
"What is your wish Arthur?" She asked.
"I was raised by Merlin, while I can attribute the feelings of love towards her, she could never be my mother. For awhile I stayed with my brother Kay and his Father, but even they kept me at a certain distance, though they tried their best to hide it. Kay for all his faults was atleast trying to be an older brother to me even if we didn't share blood."
"When I pulled the sword from the stone, he started to distance himself as well. As the years progressed, he was no longer Kay, my brother, but Kay, My knight. My uncle tried to overthrow me, and I had to kill him. My marriage was but a sham and was loveless. My sister was a witch of the worst kind who hated me for reasons beyond my control. She stole my DNA to create our daughter who I refused to acknowledge out of spite towards her mother. We eventually ended up killing one another on a bloody hill."
He didn't speak anymore as she sat there to ponder what he said. It took a few moments for her eyes to widen a little in realization.
She realized he just shared something very personal with her as she now understood what he wanted. It was understandable how the grail would be unable to grant his wish, her fears were alleviated as she stared at him.
Though it was a burden off her chest…..she felt sadness as she thought about it. It was a hard feeling to understand for her, she had want he wanted in life yet she easily gave it up in her call to arms. It was something that most people took for granted until it was wrest away from them. She never found out what became of her own once she marched off into battle at God's command. It made her feel guilty at the thought that she so easily gave it up when he wanted it so dearly.
It made more sense with regards to the happiness he showed when they played along as siblings.
It was a simple wish, yet so complicated at the same time.
There was a commotion going on at Yggdmillennia castle.
Homunculi were armed and seen running around in squads with Magi directing them everywhere. Golems were brought forth and sent out to scout with other constructs to give them a view of the surroundings.
A woman was on the castle balcony looking very angry as she waved a whip around. She was the master of Rider, part of the reason why the castle was in such an uproar.
"We must find them before they get too far." Darnic stated, a very clear amount of anger present in his otherwise monotone voice.
The servants had been mobilized as they started to track a certain duo through the forest.
There was a recording of Rider escaping the castle with a Homunculis and they were heading in the direction of a certain Saint and Knight.
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