Fate/Stay Night Zero
By Demon Eyes
Disclaimer: Characters and other familiar events belong to Type-Moon.
“You are welcome Sakura but what are you going to do now? I am afraid that telling you the time and location is all I can do.” Rider had come to tell Sakura they were going to fight Saber and her master again. A little while after she was summoned into this world, Rider found that Sakura could see her. She confronted the girl about it but didn’t get much since Sakura knew little or nothing of the Grail war. That little conversation was what started the chain of events that followed the two females of the Matou house.
They started out small but surely got closer and in no time, they knew almost everything about each other. Rider knew of the true Sakura and in turn she told Sakura of her life story before all that was going on. Both had had a hard life so far and Rider got a strange sense of protectiveness towards the bruised girl. She knew of what her master Shinji did to Sakura during some nights and others during the day when they were alone. She knew all this yet was powerless to do anything about it. By the time she entered Sakura’s life, her wounds were already deep and no one would be able to save her. That was not true though. Rider had listened very clearly to Sakura’s life story and she knew that there was hope for her. In fact there were two people that could save her but she was sure only one of them could succeed.
Rider knew that she was useless when it came to the troubled girl’s heart but she did whatever she could to make her pull through all the troubles. She and Sakura started spending more time together in the absence of Shinji and slowly but surely, Sakura’s smile came back to her – not the emotionless smile that she had been giving but the real smile. Shinji however didn’t notice this fact or more so when Sakura lost the smile at first. Sakura wasn’t much troubled though by his ignorance of the pain he was causing her. Now she had someone she could talk to and elevate some pain that was caused to her. Rider was there and that made a big difference - one so big in fact that she wasn’t pained by her brother’s deeds as much as she was before.
She had gotten used to Rider’s presence that her life had started to piece back together no matter how little those pieces were. Now that peace that she had gotten was about to come to an end just like many other happy things do. She was going to go and face Saber the rumoured most powerful servant. Rider had told her of the Holy Grail and everything else connected to it. This of course was no news to her. She had known about everything from the time she was brought to her new home. Her grand father Zouken told her everything as he did whatever he did to her. She had to endure multitudes of pain just for the sake of the same famed Holy Grail. This was the only truth that she and her grand father only knew. No one else knew of this fact. She had kept it from Rider too. This was the reason that she knew that Rider would not survive a battle with Saber especially for the fact that Saber had the master that she did.
Sakura goes up to her bedroom when her brother and Rider left to what would be their death match. She is tired from everything she had done during the day. As if her brother thought this to be his last day, he had kept her busy all the night before and then he did it again in the morning. Sakura was too worn out both physically and emotionally to go to school so she had stayed home. Shinji didn’t know that she had stayed and he might have found out some time at school as he came back during noon and he had punished her. The consequences were severe but she would live. She kept on living through the hell that she was in now but she knew not of why she struggled to survive so much.
That wasn’t true though, she knew why she didn’t want to give into the pain. Sakura wanted to have revenge on the person that brought this life onto her. The person she had trusted and loved more than anything once - the person that was facing Rider and her brother in battle right about now. It is this that is making her unsettled. She didn’t want to lose the new family that she had. Shinji might not have been the proper brother to her and she may have not known Rider for long enough but they were family. She loves them no less and she doesn’t want them to die tonight. She is pacing her room trying to think of what to do. After some time of prying her brain for some answers, she stops and her hair that have started turning a little silver go back to its normal colour.
She snaps her fingers as if to get someone’s attention and as if to answer her call, the shadows of the room that was shrouded in darkness, come to life. From within that black mass, a figure begins to slowly but surely emerge. It goes onto one knee in front of the one that summoned it but says nothing. Sakura doesn’t take notice of this or she doesn’t care as she goes straight to the reason why the being is here. “I want you to go to where Rider and my brother have gone and watch what is going on. Do not make your presence known just watch and report back. I will tell you what to do and when to do it, understood?” The figure just blends back into the shadows without a word or anything to show it understood but Sakura knows it has understood her perfectly. She can’t do anything if she doesn’t know what is going on so she may as well see what is happening at first.
She goes to lay into her bed and relax while she watches what is happening through the mind of the figure she has sent out. It is good time too to get some rest and let her physical wounds from only hours before heal a little. Just a few seconds passes in silence which is broken by the mind message she receives from her partner. It was like she is there seeing what is happening on the roof top of the trade centre building. She smiles a little as she watches Rider so gracefully guide her mythical beast through the sky. She watches a little longer but when she sees that Rider’s target is not moving at all, she snaps to attention. If Saber was to be defeated, that would mean her master would be disqualified from the war. That won’t do however as she wants to be the one to bring shame to that person.
Sakura doesn’t know what is wrong with Saber or why her master is so weak seeing as she is already defeated and being ready to be killed but she doesn’t want them to be knocked out of the game just yet. She has very nice presents for them later on – yes, very nice presents indeed. She sits up from her lying position and suddenly her appearance changes. The pink and white blouse and skirt she is wearing are shed in a way that isn’t human and are replaced by a dress that is so dark, the only thing that you can see in the lighting of the room are the glowing red lines on it. Her hair turns completely silver and her eyes crimson red. Tattoos in black ink grew on one side of her neck and half way up her cheek. “Get Saber and her master out of there now. Take them to the Tohsaka mansion and come back straight away.” She then turns back to normal.
Sakura doesn’t know why but her grand father had asked her to change when she gave orders to her partner. After that was done, she returned back to her normal self and went into her blankets to sleep. Perhaps if she sleeps now, her brother will spare her just this night. She is really worn out and tomorrow she wants to go make her sempai his breakfast. He might have known how to cook really well seeing as he is almost as good as her but she wants to cook for him none the less. Fujimura-sensei will be there too and she always complains when her sempai cooks that he makes little meals. The thought of the ever active sensei brings a smile to her face and that helps her drift off into slumber.
A figure could be seen running through the woods. I was getting dark and the sun had just moved behind the horizon. Horses could be heard crying in the distance not far behind the figure. Lights accompanied the horse cries and a voice shouted out, “there she is, get her. Burn the witch to the stakes.” The men who were riding the horses were closing in on the figure but the one they were chasing used the trees to her advantage. It ducked and cornered in the shallow spaces where horses would have a hard time reaching. This tact was not to last however as the figure’s followers were many in numbers and used that to their advantage.
“We got you now witch. This time we shall cut off your feet to make sure you don’t escape as easily as you did. Quite the trouble you gave us there but this is the end. You two men hold her down and you get the rope and tie her securely this time.” The man who looked to be the leader shouted out his orders which were followed quickly. The three men approached the figure that we knew now to be female. She still struggled to back up but gave up hope when her back hit the leg of one horse. It looked like this was the end for her. She still didn’t give up hope though as she shouted out for anyone to save her.
The men stopped suddenly, shocked by her scream. After a few silent seconds of not even a cry of other forest creatures, the men all but broke out in laughter. One of them said, “Shout all you want witch. Where do you think we are? No one will hear you and even if they did, we are the royal forces. No one is stupid enough to go against the King’s orders. Isn’t that right captain sir?” He turned to his leader who was correcting himself from the laughter also. “That’s right witch. The only thing that will save you is fire.” He burst out in laughter again at his comment and the rest joined in. The three men had finished their tasks and now they were pacing the hooded figure they called a witch on one if the carts they had.
When the horses started up again this time not in the rash that they were in before, one of the solders gasped and shouted, “Captain Sir, look over there. There is something flashing over there.” The captain looked to their left where the knight had pointed and indeed there was a light there. The light however was no ordinary one. It was a very bright light more bright than the sun itself. It was pure white light and it looked like it was coming their way. Just as the captain had concluded of its movement, there came a sound like the screeching of a million insects. The soldiers were overcome by panic now having seen it as well. There had been a rumour going around the city that people had seen a white ghost in this forest. They were just rumours though but the knights that were in the forest right now were being witnesses to the rumours coming true.
The front horse had just lifted its front legs to start for the fastest run of its life when the light reached them. By the time the horse’s foot touched ground, the cart that had been carrying their hostage was already detached from the horse pulling it. The people that were following behind the said cart had their gazes in the air to where that same piece of wood had been knocked. It came crashing down and they had to move to avoid being hit by it. At the captains orders to check their prisoner after the light was out of sight, “Sir, the witch I not here. “ The cart was empty and all the men were ordered to search the surrounding area for her.
“Ah! You’re finally awake I see. Good timing too since you are in time for a meal. I was out to get some food before so you are lucky I have enough.” The witch who had been chased by the village knights was now in what looked like a hut to her. It was so crumpled but enough to support more than one person though by the looks of it, only one person was using it. It was only normal to come to the conclusion that the woman who was sitting in front of her was the occupant of this warm place. The female runaway had not been in a warm place for...she didn’t even know for how long. She had been on the run almost her whole life.
She decided by now that she might have travelled all over the world and had never found a place she could call home. Sometimes she had a little taste of peace whenever she entered a new town or village or city but some how the citizens always discovered her identity. They always came to one conclusion – her death. After escaping death’s jaws countless times already, she always finds herself in another. This time she was sure it was the last time she got away but she was somehow saved by this woman who sat regally on a log in front of a burning fire. She had very long hair that she saw reached the woman’s feet and more so. It was strange mixture of rose and light purple which matched her eyes. Her eyes that strangely had square pupils could be considered unnatural but who was she to talk about unnatural? Besides, the strange eyes only served to heighten her beautiful features.
The runaway then remembered her predicament and got a little afraid. “Why...Why did you save me? You are not going to turn me in yourself for the reward that is out for my capture, are you?” The rose haired woman stopped the stirring she had been doing on her hot pot and blinked at the hooded figure. There came silence between the two with one just staring and the other only growing more uneasy. After what seemed a painful eternity to the witch who had come to the conclusion that she was right, her saviour spoke up in that smooth voice of hers. “Why would I do that? I don’t think that if I were that kind of person I would be keeping you so free like this.” She gestured to the hooded woman and we see that she had been untied and was free from the bindings that had so roughly held her helpless.
The former prisoner looked down to the floor a little ashamed that she had come to conclusions that easily. “I am very sorry but I have not had it easy for a while...” She trailed off then she thought to thank her saviour seeing as she was now certain she wasn’t being played. “Thank you very much kind Miss. I don’t have anything but I will repay you some how.” This was the first time that she had been in good graces with another person. Well, not the only one but the first one to be nice to her knowing about her life. She had come into contact with a few nice folks but as soon as they found out about her true self, they always shunned her and in some cases, it was they themselves that called the guards to howl her away. She didn’t blame them though. She never blamed anyone. She had power that came with her strangeness but she never used it to her advantage.
“You don’t have to repay me but if you are determined, then tell me about yourself. My name is Medusa by the way but you may call me Rider if you prefer.” The beautiful woman who was now placing food in two bowls handing one to her visitor in the process, spoke up. The ‘witch’ took the bowl of the deliciously smelling food into her palms and struggled to keep her saliva from powering from her mouth before answering. She had gone three straight days without any food having been on the run. Her host sensed her thoughts somehow however and saved her the pain she was sure she was going to have to go through. “Oh, I’m so sorry. You must be very hungry. Please, eat first and fill your stomach then you can tell me all about it if you still want to.” She followed that with a laugh that sounded almost as beautiful as she knew the Goddess of Sound Freya would.
It hadn’t taken her long to finish eating and she had managed to empty three more bowls of delicious food. Medusa seemed to find her eating manners funny as she had stopped to watch her eat and laugh to herself for reasons known only to her. This was confirmed when the castaway found her still on her first bowl after all that time. She decided to tell the tale that no one knew except her passed on parents. “Thank you again for your kindness again Miss Medusa. The meal was the best I’ve ever eaten.” It was true she found, that the food she had just consumed was like no other she had ever tasted. “It would be rude of me not to pay you back with what you want. My parents named me Medea but...”She was cut off by a sudden awed burst from her host. “You are Medea the witch? Oh my...I can’t believe this. You are Medea and you are here in my home. I don’t believe it.”
The hooded woman, who had introduced herself as Caster, was getting a little worried now. Perhaps she had been a little quick to assume that this beautiful woman would be any different from the others. Now that she thought about it, her rescuer didn’t know anything about her except that she was a woman in need of help. This was the end for her. She was going to be handed in and lit on fire. Medusa came closer to her all of a sudden and she closed her eyes in defeat. Where she thought that she would be tied up again and carried out, she was surprised when she felt her hood being pulled back. In a flash of movement so fast to see, she reached for her hood to replace it but the woman right in front of her was a little faster.
Medea felt her arm held back steady fast by one of Medusa’s and she looked sideways away from the woman in horror. “NO! Don’t look at me. Please don’t look at my face, I beg of you.” She closed her eyes as she felt them start to release the pain that was suddenly awakened by this event. Apart from her parents, who had ordered her never to show her face to anyone else, this was the first time she had showed it. Well, she hadn’t showed it by herself instead she was forced. ‘I am so sorry mama, papa, I have disobeyed you.’ She cried to herself. “What are you talking about?” She felt gentle but strong fingers take hold her chin and slowly turn her to face Medusa.
“I didn’t believe it but now I do. Medea, the rumoured witch who stole beauty from a thousand young girls and made it her own through witchcraft, is here in my home.” Medea closed her eyes at that. It looked like those rumours, the horrible rumours, had reached the ends of the world. She was fated to lead an unhappy life that was for truth now. “Do not worry though Medea, I don’t believe those rumours. Well, the beauty-stealing part but I believe the beauty that you have now.” Medea slowly opened her eyes and looked into Medusa’s. The woman was studying her face very carefully but Medea wasn’t disturbed by this action. It was perhaps the reason that Medusa had a very gentle smile on her face as she looked to her temple, ears, neck and everywhere.
Medusa was more than stunned by her guest’s appearance. As if the beauty itself was not enough, Medea had very elegant hair and elfish ears that went perfectly well with her face. The ears had been pierced three times each and two of the places had beautiful small round jewels in them while the lowest pierce held a golden round ring in it. Her eyes were of the same colour as her hair which was a beautifully smooth light blue colour that is on the verge of blending in with green. “You are very beautiful Medea that the goddesses themselves would be jealous.” It might have seemed like a stretch but to Medea who was looking into Medusa’s face knew it was very sincere. This fact made her a little embarrassed and colour came to her cheeks.
Medusa saw that and thought that she might have evaded her guest’s space a little more than usual so she pulled back and returned to her previous seat by the fire. She motioned for Medea to join her in the warmth and after Medea was comfortable, Rider bid her to continue her tale. “Please continue where you left off. I am sorry that I interrupted you but you are quite famous so I had to make sure. Perhaps I will tell you my story after you do, to give you something in return.” Medea smiled a real smile this time and smiled even more when she saw the appreciative smile she was given in return. She reached to put back her hood but a look from Medusa stopped her and she dropped it. It wouldn’t matter now anyway seeing that she had already seen it. “As I was saying, my parents named me Medea but after some time they nicknamed me Caster when...”
“…ter. Caster. CASTER.” Caster is woken up from her sleep by someone shaking her shoulder. She opens her eyes to find her master Kuzuki Souichirou-sensei kneeling by her futon. She shakes off her dream and gets up a little to sit up. “What is it Souichirou-sama?” She asks her ever emotionless master. She knows though of the reasons why he is always like that. In fact, once or three times he has showed a little emotion on his still face. Caster knows that she is probably the only one who has ever seen that side of him. “I was watching Saber and Rider’s fight as you proposed but something happened.” Caster gets up from bed at this and stands up. She still has her hood on so all she does is materialise her feet protection and she is ready.
“What do you mean? What happened?” She hopes that Rider doesn’t get defeated. She had asked her master to wake her before the match started but it looks like he had forgotten. “Rider was about to deliver the final blow to Saber but Saber was not moving. She could not build up enough mana to counter. I don’t know if it was really the lack of mana but that was what it looked to be the problem. Rider was about to defeat her when she was saved.” Souichirou’s face here shows one of those rare emotions and he looks to be confused by what he had seen. He pauses long enough to worry Caster so she asks him what was troubling him.
“They were saved by another Saber.” Caster is totally shocked by this turn of events. She has been sure she knows all the seven masters and their servants so who was this other Saber?! Isn’t it impossible to summon the same servant in the same time?! There was only one spirit so it was totally impossible. “What do you mean another Saber rescued them? Are you sure you saw the right person?” Souichirou just gives her a stare however and that gets her worried but it is still impossible. “This Saber was different from the first one. Where the original has blue garments and silver amour, this one had black ones and black armour that had red strings in them. Where the first one had green eyes and blonde hair, this one had silver eyes with slightly lighter blonde hair.”
Her master could get to details if he wanted, couldn’t he? Well, those were the qualities of a good teacher and he was certainly a good teacher. This however is not settling well with her. She is glad that Rider was very gallant in her battle but now her plans have very wide holes in them. She will need a lot of time to remove them but time is not what she has in amounts. Instead of filling in the holes, she is just going to cover them up instead. It looks like she has to cancel her confrontation with Lancer and his master in two days’ time for she has much work to do. “This is very problematic indeed.” She goes to get her vision ball from the sitting room and bring it back with her to her bed room when she has her master ask what she has just thought of. “Does this mean our plans have been affected?” She doesn’t answer him as it is a rhetorical question.
“Erg, my head.” I wake up to the familiar surroundings of my living room ceiling. After some adjustments, I am reminded of where I was before this major migraine. Oh God, Saber. “Saber, are you there? Saber.” The shouting makes my head hurt even worse. If that wasn’t bad enough, I feel my chest setting on fire from the out burst. I can’t think of what to hold to ease its pain so I place one hand on my head and the other to my chest where I was tore through. Surprisingly the opened flesh I thought I would feel there was as it always was. I ripped open my blouse to be certain and in fact that the wound was not even there. The only indication that it was there was the pain shooting through the inside. Saber must have healed me. That is one of her special ability of healing her master automatically. It was very bad though so she must have done it herself seeing as my clothes were changed !?
Blood rushes to my cheeks when I find that all my clothes were changed for me. I am snapped to attention by my other house occupant who was now coming in from the kitchen. “Your old clothes were stained with blood so I took the liberty of changing them. The wound was deep but Avalon can heal any kind of injury so it was taken care of.” ‘Avalon’? Ah! It must be one of her Nobel Phantasms. She gives me pills that I put in the kitchen for emergences like this and I take them with some water she brought with time in no time. I wait to see if these pills do work as fast as the adverts say but nothing happens. This is enough time though to make me remember those last scary seconds of our battle with Shinji and Rider.
“Saber, what happened to you back there? You were just standing here while Rider came in for the finish. Just as I thought – Gilgamesh did something to you when he took you the last time, didn’t he?” I try to sound as serious as I can so that Saber might answer me truthfully. I am certain now that something happened to her. I will know what they did to my servant tonight at all costs. Saber looks to come to my understanding as she lowers her eyes in what she thinks is shame and tell me what happened. “When I was still bound by Gilgamesh, he told me that they had corrupted my magic circuit but I didn’t know what he meant then. I though he had stopped my mana flow after I tried to summon Excalibur and failing, but during the battle with Rider, I knew what was really wrong.”
“The mana still flows but where I had complete control over it, now it moves in completely different ways. I command it to do one thing, yet it does the other. In simple terms, I can’t control my mana even a little well now.” Okay, this has officially turned bad. I was counting on Saber’s control she had on mana and now that has been taken away from me. This is turning ugly. I have ready many books and yet I don’t remember ever coming across any subject concerning this case. It sounds like it has a solution though and I will find it. The best candidate would be the one who caused this problem to begin with but I somehow doubt Gilgamesh knows how to reverse it. This leaves just the option of going to the wisest at mana subjects and knows more about servants. This leaves me with only one other person I know. He happens to be the master of the trouble causer though; Kotomine Kirei but I would make a deal with the devil himself to save my Saber.
“I am very sorry master. I have dishonoured you in the face of battle. I am terribly sorry.” Saber bows even more and apologies. Strangely though, what makes me mad is not what she thinks but the act of apology itself. “Stop it Saber. You didn’t know what was really wrong with you. I should’ve not set up the fight without making sure that you were one hundred percent okay.” I stand up and go to her. She lifts her head to meet my gaze and I give her a warm smile that I pray would set her mind at ease. I bring up one of my hands and place it on her cheek. I caress her smooth skin again and I am struck more how she could keep it in that state with what she does. “Don’t worry about it anymore Saber. Tomorrow I will go see someone about a way to get you back to your self again. This will be taken care of in no time.”
She nods in understanding which feels strange with my palm still on her cheek. I look into her eyes and I find that to be a very big mistake. I get lost in those marine eyes of hers and by some strange force – Curse you Newton – I find myself being pulled toward her face. Saber just blinks though and this makes the force even more powerful. After what seemed like a light year, which I would compare to a normal year, I was saved by my officially now best friend – Saber’s stomach. Just in the nick of time before my nose was touching Saber’s her stomach signalled that it was high time it got the attention it so deserved. I pulled away like a hand from a flame and with a face that would put American dolls to shame, went into the kitchen to prepare yet another meal for my personal black hole.
To be continued...