Saber was currently sitting with Shirou, the latter of which was fully healed, thanks to a devil of all things. These 'devils' had told them the basics about themselves and if what they said was true…they really aren't much different than humans.
Good and bad is not divided by race.
"I think they want to talk to us" Shirou said while holding Sabers hand.
"We owe them a conversation at the very least." She replied.
The couple walked over to join the devils.
"So what happens now?" Shirou asked the group.
"Well that depends on the decision you make" Ichigo said.
"The truth is, I want you two to join us." Ichigo said taking out a chess set that was missing several pieces.
"Explain" Saber said with hesitation.
" We're from another world, that world is still in the age of gods. " Ichigo said to catch their attention.
"And I would like you both to hear our stories"
"You could have forced this decision on us when we were weakened." Saber replied immediately after hearing the story.
"I don't want minions, I don't want servants or retainers. I want Comrades, friends….family. " Ichigo said sincerely to the couple.
The last part caused the duo to twitch. Family it wasn't a foreign word but it was one they did not have much chance to say in their lives.
Shirou was the first to break from his thoughts, " You'll excuse me if this is a little…much and hard to take in, your race isn't known for their honesty even when taking into account that legends aren't always accurate, this makes me a bit nervous".
Ichigo thought for a moment before taking out Zangetsu from its scabbard and handed it over to Shirou.
Ichigo had been keeping Zangetsu in its sealed state since he came to this world.
"I heard you can read the history of weapons" Ichigo said as he pushed Zangetsu towards the would be hero.
Shirou grabbed hold of the blade and peared into its essence.
He saw it, he saw it all. This was not just a sword, it was alive in of itself and it was apart of Ichigo. He was essentially holding Ichigo's soul.
He looked inside and saw both Zangetsu and the old man. He saw all the memories the sword held which in turn meant he saw all of Ichigo's memories.
He saw how Zangetsu was remade again and again until he now held its final form. But its essence always stayed the same.
"I never thought I would see a blade as beautiful as Excalibur." He said with tears running down his cheek.
Shirou looked over to see Saber's shocked expression, he could guess her thoughts. This pitch blade black held by a devil was as beautiful as her Excalibur?
"Zangetsu" Shirou said.
"It was forged from ichigo's soul"
"It had taken many forms over ichigo's life"
"but no matter what, its essence never changed."
"...It is a blade created to protect" Shirou said as he handed Zangetsu back to Ichigo.
"I would like to join your peerage" Shirou added in.
This elicited an even more shocked expression from Saber.
She knew her lover well, his one goal in life was to be a hero. She would quite literally travel to hell and back with him but she had to make sure this is wasn't some kind of ploy.
Saber looked over to Ichigo and started to speak "When two warriors cross blades..."
"Their hearts are laid bare" Ichigo finished her sentence.
"I wish to have a spar Ichigo." Saber declared.
"Very well saber." Ichigo agreed.
They two warriors created some distance between themselves. And they both drew their blades.
"I have had a few titles in my life, devil being a rather new one."
"If you don't mind I would like to redo introductions as I see myself" He said towards Sabers.
He didn't see a reaction, so he continued.
"Kurosaki Ichigo, Substitute Shinigami"
"Thank you for the honor Kurosaki Ichigo, I would like to reciprocate." Saber said.
"Artoria Pendragon, Former King of Camelot" She declared in kind.
A moment passed before both warriors charged.
A black blade met a blade clad in wind.
Clangs could be heard resounding throughout the silent city.
The fight wasn't a particularly high level one, Saber had barely any prana and ichigo was holding back substantially.
Neither warrior was trying to mortally wound the other, so their blades continued to meet.
This continued for several minutes before they both created distance once again.
"I'm sorry for doubting one with such a pure heart Kurosaki Ichigo. Shirou was right, your blade was made to protect, and I'm honored to have Excalibur compared to it."
"I would like to finish this spar with one final blow" She said as the wind was slowly removed from around the sword.
Excalibur emerged in all its glory.
"I'll respond with the strongest attack I can muster in my current state" Ichigo said.
They both mimicked the same movement, They brought their blades above their heads, ready to slash downward.
On one end globes of yellow light began to emerge from the ground and gather around Excalibur.
On the other end, a pillar of reiatsu shot to the sky and bathed Zangetsu in a blue glow.
They brought their blades down at the same time.
Two blades of light met, one of blue and one of gold. Neither could gain on the other. They were too evenly matched, the only place the blades could go was up.
The two blades cut through the night and for a brief moment, it turned into daytime.
Saber smiled towards her new comrade. "I would like to join you as well, if you would have me"
As they rejoined the group, Saber got a thorough explanation of what she was joining.
"Before we do this, you both need to know whats going to happen." Yoruichi was the one to speak.
Zelretch had seen enough parallel worlds to understand how Alaya would react to their little plan and decided to give them a hand.
"We're going to reincarnate Shirou first, and Alaya will start to rage. Shirou was meant to follow the path of Archer and become her Counter Guardian. This will also cause her to focus on us and she will pull you back to the throne immediately"
"We're going to use that to pull one over on her"
"While a portal is open to the Throne to pull you back in, we're going to reincarnate you so that you can pull your other self from the Throne and fully integrate, otherwise the reincarnation will fail."
"I feel like Zelretch is doing this all for his own amusement" Shirou could only sign.
Saber could read between the lines in what was said.
"Shes going to come after us and by extension, you all." She said towards to group.
Yoruichi could only laugh in response. "We're stealing her counter guardian and heroic spirit right from her Throne of Heroes, of course she's going to come at us hard."
"Trust your new comrades" Rukia said, putting a hand on the equally petite Saber.
"Alright take up positions, Orihime, stay by both of them with your shield active." Ichigo said.
Shirou took a deep breath before pushing the three pawns into himself.
Just as then went in, his connection with Saber broke and a portal opened up behind her. Right as she saw the portal, she pushed the knight piece into her chest.
Just as the piece went inside, ethereal chains shot from her and into the portal. They were searching for her other parts, her entire soul needed to be present for the reincarnation to proceed.
"Somethings wrong" Saber said panicking.
"Something on the other side locked down my true body, I can't pull myself back here."
Ichigo looked at the rest of the group.
"The requirements to enter the Throne of Heroes is to be a spirit, to have died, and to have had a legend where many people remember you right?" He asked.
"What are you thinking Ichigo..." Yoruichi couldn't finish before the substitute Shinigami smiled and
Pulled out the jeweled Dagger, It shined brightly as Ichigo forced himself into the Throne of Heroes.
Zelretch had told the group about the Throne of Heroes. It was an amalgamation of dimensions all connected to a central "plaza" to put it into simple terms. Each hero had their own domain that was a mini dimension. They could all leave and enter their own dimensions at will and enter the "plaza" to interact with other people in the throne.
Ichigo knew where he was, it was Avalon.
He could see the two figures int he distance, clearly waiting for his arrival.
"Well well well, this is a first, someone dared to intrude on MY domain. And i sense the magic of that insufferable vampire around you." The little girl said with arrogance.
"Alaya I presume" Ichigo said.
"Merely a more active part" She responded.
Alaya was the living embodiment of a concept, she did not have a body herself so she could only make one if the situation called for it. This portion of herself governed the Throne of Heroes and it took on more human aspects as a result.
"You took one of my belongings and tried to steal another" She said with clear anger in her voice.
Saber was currently bound on the ground by the will of the Throne itself, and by extension, Alaya's will.
"She's under my protection now, as is Shirou. " Ichigo declared while drawing Zangetsu.
"Do you not realize where you are? You are in the middle of enemy territory, boy" She said as hundreds of portals opened behind her.
All manner of heroic spirits walked through.
"We have an intruder, and he's trying to steal one of my heroes" Alaya said to the Heroic spirits present.
Alaya was the collective unconscious of mankind, heroic spirits were like her toys, and someone dared to try to steal from her. While they weren't her counter guardians where she could fully control them like slaves, she did have some amount of influence over them.
"Who ever removes this intruder will have 50 years unabated in the living world. Alaya declared to all the heroes present.
The first one to step up was a familiar spear user.
He was wearing blue skin-tight suite, and wielded a red spear that oozed bloodlust.
"Cu Chulainn, Dog of Ulster" The spear user said before taking a fighting stance.
"Kurosaki Ichigo, Shinigami" Ichigo replied. Eliciting a murmur among the heroes and a surprised expression on Alaya's face.
The Cursed spear met the Zanpakutō.
Cu Chulainn was at his strongest, when summoned they had only a portion of their full powers, but here he could go all out. And yet, this boy was matching him with ease. Alaya called him an intruder, so clearly that meant he was not a heroic spirit. Cu Chulainn could only smile widely.
The fight continued for dozens of minutes, everyone would clearly see the Young Shinigami matching the Dog of Ulster with ease. One of the fastest heroes in the throne was being toyed with.
The spear never drew blood, it only came close because the boy had only decided to dodge by a hairs breath.
Cu Chulainn suddenly erupted in a laughter as he gained some distance.
"I know when I'm beat kid, but I'll give you my strongest attack" Cu Chulainn said as his spear erupted in a torrent of power and bloodlust.
He jumped into the air and yelled , "GÁE BOLG" while throwing the spear towards Ichigo.
The spear that reverses causality.
Time seemed to slow down as Ichigo moved his sword into both hands.
It began to glow and a familiar pressure erupted from within him, his reiatsu shot to the sky and the pressure of his soul weighed down on everyone present.
"Cast off your fear and cleave the Heavens, ZANGETSU" He roared as his single blade separated into two. His large Khyber in the right hand and his Trench knife in his left.
He overlapped both in the path of the spear.
They world split, Ichigo released his reiatsu in an attempt to push back the spear, and the spear radiated energy as it went for Ichigo's heart.
Red and blue fought for domination.
Finally, the spear could no longer keep up, it was pushed back by the force of Ichigo's blades and flung into the distance.
The only sound that was heard was that of the cursed spear falling from the air and impaling the ground.
The boy had deflected the legendary spear and was only pushed back half a step.
Alaya knew what was happening outside the throne with regards to Shirou and Saber. She contemplated sending in her Counter Guardians to deal with these meddlers, but she had no idea how strong they were.
She only had one other option available, she couldn't just send Heroic Spirits into the living world at her leisure, this would provoke Gaia into responding. And Not only that, Heroic spirits didn't always listen to her and those ones especially used during the last Holy Grail War liked to break the rules.
No, she only had one option.
She had one ace available, a….certain Heroic spirit that still had a small connection to the living world due to being there recently, a certain spirit that she only had to point in a general direction and he would attack relentlessly.
"Seems like she's finally making her move " Rukia said as three portals opened up, one each in front of her, Yoruichi , and Tier.
In front of Yoruichi, a hulking monstrosity appeared, easily towering over the flash goddess, but no fear was seen in her eyes. She was excited.
A similar monster appeared in front of Rukia and Tier, both of whom could only feel a bit of excitement as well.
When a Heroic Spirit is brought into the living world from the Throne of Heroes, its only a "copy" of the spirit in question and with only a portion of its original power.
They knew who this Heroic Spirit was. They each were facing the legendary Demi-god in combat.
Short chapter due to time constraints. I called it part one because the 10th chapter was not supposed to end there. I just really am strapped for time today.
I really wanted to explore these fights scenes, so far up to this point, most of the fights were explained in about a paragraph. As the first major fight i need time to really articulate and get my thoughts out.
I don't want to over hype, just wanted everyone to understand why i'm being a bit cautious with my release for this next part.
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