The clink of silver, tear drop earrings against concrete decorated with an elaborate Jewish star signaled my triumphant escapade. Retrieving those jewels was no easy task, but the reward would be worthwhile should this summoning go well. Samantha sucked in a breath, extending her hand over the crimson artwork
"My will shall create thy body and thy sword shall create my fate-"
The incantation was short and sweet. Her fingers flexed from the burning sensation as the faded seals on her hand embedded into the shape similar to a snow flake. Clouds of blue steam puffed against the corners of the basement walls. The lengths of her hair swayed across the rise of her lips. A stunningly handsome man, fitted in royal blue spandex tights emerged shoulders clad in silver armor, and stood lazily before her. The accuracy in the artwork from the books she read was astonishing. There was no mistaking that cocky grin that emerged across his pale skin.
"Heh, you sure are candy to the eyes, lil' Lady. Lancer-class Servant, Cu Chulainn, who do I owe the pleasure of my summoning to?" He skillfully spun his crimson spear, and rounded the tip of Gae Bolg's blade in between her emerald eyes. Her unflinching composure elicited an amused chuckle from the spearman.
"Samantha greeted the hero with a stern stare. She knew the risk that followed summoning a Heroic Spirit. They are proud warriors, capable of inhuman speeds and strengths accompanied by skills and weaponry of other worlds and magic. If they were to find their summoner unworthy of them, that person's death was a given, and she refused to give her Familiar the privilege.
"Samantha E Veria, but I prefer Sam," Her index finger taps the surface of the cool blade, casually swaying it to the side, "I also take spears to the face a challenge, and I'd rather not kill the Servant I personally summoned."
"Hoh', Impressive. You seem little and just a pretty face- but you have fight in you. I like it," His spear disappeared in strange flurries of blue, his ruby eyes glinting in the candle light, "Guess I should take the lil lady more seriously then, eh?"
Sam pulled the black locks of hair over her shoulder to fiddle with the ends. Her outwardly sigh escaped, signaling her failure of hiding her disappointment that her Lancer was already underestimating her competence. Servant's had their own individual personalities and his was rather playful, and casual when not fighting, and downright flirty. She was aware of his quirks when choosing him, of course, but didn't think he'd be so dismissive right off the bat. Still, that hardy grin, and the laid back attitude was exactly what she was looking for so she wouldn't complain,
"You sure will. There is more to me than a short height and dazzling looks," She crossed her arms behind her head in an indolent lean and shrugged, "Can you sense my ability at all, or does the concealing of my skill intercept even you?" It was a legitimate question. She was a Spiritual Warriors, which have the capability of masking their power levels to the point of mere mundane limits. Though, the connection between Servant and Master might override that, hence her curiosity.
"Lancer placed his fist onto his hip at the question, "Nah, but what reason would I have, anyway?"
Tracking the raise of his curious eyebrows, Sam released the limitations on her energy in a shot of wind. His eyes skewered her, and his lips formed in a straight line. He was caught off guard, and she found it lovely. Heroic Spirits were powerful beings, but warriors of the Spirit Arts had their own skill sets to be admired just the same.
His laugh that followed was rich, light, and full of interest, "Interesting indeed. That's not magecraft, is it?"
He was correct in his assumption. Spirit Arts is all about the power aligned with the user's soul and the pure or dark energy that surrounds it. It's a supernatural gift that requires strenuous mental and physical training. Something Samantha had taken years to master from an early age. Magecraft, on the other hand, almost taboo in correlation with Spirit Arts. Each had their own ideals and laws that completely differed from one another. A Heroic Spirit would be considered a tool to a straight Magus, while a Spirit user would value the Servant above all else. Sam blurred the lines of both and while she respected her spirit, she would still utilize him as necessary.
"Well, now that the introductions are done. It's time to discuss the important matters," She released the straight strands of hair and rested her hands on top of her waste. "Since you answered my summons-" He waved his hand, dismissively at the remark, resulting in her pause,
"I didn't answer you call, sweetheart."
Her eyebrows furrowed together, "What?"
"Yeah, strange thing. Me appearing here is a mystery, and I am missing the update. I have memories I don't suppose I should, and something feels off about my physique. What did you do, little Master?"
"A long, "uh" escaped. Her attention shifted to the boiler that hummed in the undercroft. Had she made a mistake somewhere in the summons? She rolled back the events that led up to this point, and nothing stood out. She followed the instruction given by the Spirit Council to a T. No, this was a flawless summons. So why did he feel otherwise?
"Nothing out of the ordinary. Let's talk in the living room." She replied, already in route to the stairs. "Then we can figure it out."
Lancer broke down in a series of flurries and appeared in a humbly put together common room. Grey walls void of frames, and three sofas in a square lounged at the back right corner of the home. Sprawling out on the long center purple couch, Lancer listened to the pattering of foot steps of the lady Master trailing behind him. He snatched a throw pillow and fluffed it behind his head. These were rather comfortable.
Samantha's eyebrows rose at the Servant outstretched on her sofa. Well, at least he knew how to make himself at home. She pat her rear and pulled her skirt to settle on the plush cushions to the right of him. Her boots crossed over another as she attempted to approach their awkward situation, "Alrighty, tell me everything you do know."
Listening to him recount what his memories served him, had her head spinning with fluster. Cu Chulainn was part of three Grail Wars across separate alternate universes, and a strange timeline that came after he had been defeated by true Assassin. Each story he told was almost an exact replica of the novels located in her bookshelf upstairs. Her head shook side to side, it was impossible for such an occurrence. Now he is stating he has no knowledge of her world aside from their language? There is a disconnect he feels in his own skin? The disbelief must of stained her expression, because he broke off his explanation every now and then to make sure she was getting it. Oh she understood perfectly well the puzzling information that was spilling from his mouth.
Pulling at the sleeves of her striped sweater, she mentally went over what she knew of the Nasuverse, trying to figure out the cause of such an abnormality. Admittedly, she did not expect him to be the Cu Chulainn from the actual fate series. Weren't those books only fiction? She was under the impression she'd be summoning well, the Heroic Spirit from modern day Irish legends. Which, that's who he was, wasn't he? According to his rebuttal, he remembers his past in just the amount of detail as the folktales depicted.
Her only conclusion were that those stories were real and have happened outside of her universe. The theory of different timelines and worlds was a proven theory to some, and this depiction of folklore that was aggressively studying her was proof of that, wasn't he? Well, despite what he remembered, he needed to understand that her universe was vastly different from his own. The Ages of Gods never ended here, and thus there were abundant changes. Needless to say, there were plentiful strange occurrences going on, and this is another she'd have to add to the list.
The status of his body is what felt more peculiar, though. What could his "disconnect" be?
"Well, you are here, and there is a Grail War to fight. I can give you the details you are missing, but I need you cooperation in this, however strange it may be." The silence was short, as it was broken by an exasperated sigh leaving the Irishman. She followed his gaze that drifted to the kitchen behind them. There was a small window above a double sink, and she spied the descending moon. She returned her focus to him, because there was little time left for negotiation. The sun would rise in just a few short hours, and there were things Sam wanted to do as soon as possible to get the ball rolling, "You will fight, won't you? Isn't it in your warriors blood to never deny a challenge before you?"
Lancer pushed off the cushion strolled over to Sam with nonchalance. His towering figure leaned over to evade her personal space, and she didn't so much as twitch, "Tch, you got some nerve, questioning me. I kind of like it, though." He winked, and followed suit with a toothy grin. He leaned over, his hot breath tickling her nose, "Tell me, what is your wish?"
She met him with an earnest stare. Sam expected this question would arise, and it was the one thing he would either agree with, or completely shut her down for,/
"I have no wish, besides keeping another hell out of my world. A lot is at stake here for my Country. We don't need a damn wish granting piece of tupperware. There is enough magic, monsters, and legends to have something this powerful be brought into the mesh." She pushed the bulk of his chest to stand and meet his gaze. She was ready for any sort of resistance for what she was to admit next. "So I want to destroy the Grail." And the leylines soon after, but that was not necessary information, since he might be gone by then.
"Lancer took a step back and folded his arms behind his head with a thoughtful frown, "You realize Heroic Spirits depend on the Holy Grail to be summoned into the Era, right? That we desire the Grail too, right?"
"This woman was spewing something ridiculous. She was lucky he did not strike her down where she stood. No Heroic Spirit would go along with destroying the Grail. Especially if they had their own wish. Lancer had no interest in the Grail, not along any path he remembered himself in, nor this one. Good fights was all he aimed for, but lacked entirely thanks to tedious matters. He had no luck in any war he was part of, and this struck a different level of nonsense. Still, it was rather laughable and riveting that someone would enter the Holy Grail War just to end it. There was something to be admired in the stupidity of her plan.
Her fists clenched at her sides. She knew exactly what the Heroic Spirits wanted. They were not the problem- what their existence meant was. That reason was exactly why she could not allow this to continue. Humans were fickle beings, selfish and careless, but they were no longer the only fully sentient beings in the world. There were powerful Spirits, Demons, and Supernatural creatures that could take advantage of the idiotic methods of Magi and their Grail. As a Spiritual Warrior it was her job to stop such foolishness. Now, if only there was a way to get him on board with that.
"Lancer, I summoned you specifically for a reason. You don't wish for the Grail, you just want to fight, right?" He chuckled, the humor spreading across his face at her question. She assumed that meant she was right, "You will get to do that side by side. Therefor, your wish is already granted by being here. So who cares what I do with the Grail when we win?"
There was intensity in her stare, and fight in her words. "When we win, huh?" She already assumed victory, at least she seemed to have trust in his ability.
However, there was still so little that Lancer understood about this universe he was summoned in. Had he gotten the update he desperately missed, maybe it would have helped him comprehend her resolve. Even so, her assumptions were correct. He had no good reason to trample on her wish, however nonsensical it may be. "You realize your goal is a stretch, hell, almost a foolish endeavor, eh?"
"I know. But even if there is a possibility, however slight, I have to take it and run with it." She crossed her arms over the heft of her chest, "Lancer, you already know something is amiss. I worry that this Grail is not what it seems, and even if it is- I can't allow Demons or other underworld creatures to get hold of it. It would bring nothing but disaster." She drew out a long breath, then continued on. Her serious tone unwavering, "Listen, you're exactly what I need. Someone reliable, powerful, and you counteract my skills with your own. I know you've had rough luck, but I will I be different. I believe in you, so don't fight me on this."
He let out a long sigh of a defeat. It would definitely be entertaining to follow along and see where this led him. There would be no fun fighting her here and attempting to find another Master, anyway. Not like he would have. In the end, he couldn't imagine betraying his Master so suddenly. So until she deemed herself unworthy of his loyalty, he would go with her plan.. and given his history, he felt he probably lucked out, here. He really was a stickler for beautiful women. He practically laughed at himself. That will never change, he guessed.
"Quit it, girly, you're making me melt with that stare of yours." Lancer outstretched his hand, "While I appreciate your little speech, your empowering personality already convinced me. Let's do this then, ya?"
Those gems of green lit up, the smack of their hands meeting together echoing across her home. Lancer suppressed a chuckle at the way she beamed. Her composure had snapped liked a twig, but the triumphant smile was what tugged at him the most./p
"You won't regret it, Lancer. Thank you." She kept the roughness of his hands in the silkiness of her own for a second longer before her entire grasp stiffened. Her attention whipped to the patio doors behind the rear couch and let his hand drop as she wandered over to it.
Parting the silky, violet curtains, she peered through the glass. A splurge of magic spun around her, engulfing the blanket of hair that covered her left side into a pony tail held together by a stringy, purple bow. "Lancer, there is a demon stalking the perimeter. I want you to watch me defeat it."
Lancer rest his palm on his waste. By all appearances, everything seemed to be fine. With senses sharper than a blade, nothing seemed out of the ordinary. He thought he would easily be able to discern any shift that presented danger for them. It looked as if an unseen force was about to make its move, though, so he would watch to see exactly what she going on about.
Sam slid the door open and stepped into the large yard that extended deep into the hills surrounding her home. She knelt into the blades of grass with open palms, and everything around her crystallized. The ice spread along string and web that crisscrossed, engulfing the entire structure of her house. The frozen threads gleamed like silver underneath the moonlight. Lancer formed next to her, mouth stunned open. The strands of web were not visible to the eye, even to him, until she had froze them in place.
Sam stood upright, caking four to her sword "Miroku!"
Instantaneously in front of her, a long, thick blade, emerged from the skies above that she quickly grasps the handle of. The sword seemed too large for the petite woman, but she lifted it with ease. Her eyes shifted to Lancer only for a second, and to his bewilderment, she inhumanly lunged into the sky. She worked the gleaming web away, shattering it like glass with the weapon. Lancer was awestruck, as she landed like a feather into the fragmented pile of ice.
Shiny bold eyes, then, lurked in the darkness behind her. The air swayed around them, and a screech whistled through the waving leaves of the trees. The eyes broke through the atmosphere, and in the haze of black smog, broke free a fuzzy, all black demon. It was six foot long, with three bent legs on both sides of its irregular, double squared shape. Dark ooze dripped the line one would assume its mouth, and backside. The creature reeked of death, and it sprung in zig zags through the air with a strange cackle.
Sam twirled on her toes and cleanly sliced the beast in half. It's broken cry never finished. With a sizzling crack, the halved pieces of the body broke down before turning to ash and disappearing into the night breeze.
Lancer scratched at the back of his nape. Surrounding this woman was a level of energy that almost matched his own. Despite clearly having magical circuits and copious amounts of mana, what she did was nothing he knew a Magus capable of. There were so spells, or circuit use involved in her gracious movements.
In that moment, so many questions raced through his mind. Who was Samantha E Veria? For what purpose really did she have for destroying the Grail? These mysteries had him suspicious. There was something amiss about himself. If his intuition told him anything, there was a dark aura surrounding this new war. And if that were true, then he figured he was in for one hell of a ride.