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Fate Coiling Sword

Simple actions and choices from the past have the power to alter the future being recognition. Shirou found himself discovering a small trinket of no value to many. But to his ignorance, this item changed the course of his fate beyond anything he thought possible. A twisted fate which coiled itself into another reality, one where Shirou would embark to find his answer.

NimtheWriter · Anime & Comics
Not enough ratings
26 Chs

Chapter 19: Surprise!

Beta read by Shigiya and Darklord331

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-Fuyuki, Emiya Residence-

How and why it happened, Shirou had little to no clue. The happenings of last night barely made sense to him, from the summoning to the presence of the blindfolded woman who appeared before him—completely throwing off any and all knowledge he had of the war into disorder.

'The fifth war should have been decades away… how is it possible for a Servant to get summoned now?'

Beings of great power are feared and revered from their heroic tales and tragedies recorded within human history. Holding power unattainable by any Magi from the common era, where facing a Servant equaled a death sentence by all practicality. The thought of someone like that alone had goosebumps spread all over his skin. The uncertainty and lack of knowledge that accompanied doing nothing to help.

Stopping by a corner of the street with no one around and making sure that the coast was clear, Shirou took the first step and spoke quietly, "R-Rider?" He called out to her, not certain whether she truly was following him or not.

"..." Just like before, the tall woman appeared before him with the same blindfold and tight-fitting clothes, which made it hard for Shirou to look at her without blushing, with that choker on her neck. She did not speak, merely making her presence known and waiting patiently for his orders.

'Why did I call her again?' Having no idea where to start, having countless questions roaming inside his head and waiting to be answered. But just trying to speak in front of her felt weird, a subtle pressure bearing down on his shoulders, so faint but noticeable. "R-Right… you're really a Servant?"

Never had Emiya Shirou desired to punch himself in the face by uttering such a stupid question where he already knew the answer.

Tired, ever since this morning, his eyes barely stayed open along with his sunken eyes. At first, he wanted to blame the stress getting to him but soon found that even his body felt weak — almost drained.

"..." She nodded, not saying a word.

'I can barely get a read on her.' The blindfold just made it harder to harvest any kind of facial signs or cues to guess what she was thinking. This woman gave him the sensation of being judged the entire time despite having not done anything at all. In the end, Shirou sighed and decided to come clean.

"Couldn't you have just stayed back home? I'm just going to school, so there is no need to accompany me there as it's safe." He seriously doubted any Magus was crazy enough or full-on psycho to attack the school in broad daylight and risked regular people getting involved. "Nobody even knows that I'm a Magus there."

"... It's still dangerous." She said, making him sigh with the whole ordeal.

"Hah, listen, I don't want you to take this the wrong way… but I'm not sure how to deal with you." He said honestly, not willing to lie for a matter that he was at fault. "I… I don't know how or why the summoning circle activated, it hasn't even been that long since the last Grail War, so I was not exactly planning to go out for a full-on death battle against several Magi and Servants."

His recent track records were bad enough, but still good enough for him to only encounter some monsters and a scary lady whose first still left some phantom pain all around his body that still hurts just to think about to this day.

"...I see,"

"But," he spoke further. "I still plan on taking this matter seriously, this includes your summoning. I may not know the details, but if you are here then that means other Servants could have been or will be summoned in the near future." And that meant the possibility for the Grail War to commence far earlier than he would have preferred. The haunting memory of the fire and screams of those who called out for help as they burned alive, the acrid smell filling his lungs, and the black moon that hung over them… Just the slight chance of having a similar tragedy occur once more sickened him to no end. Whether or not he overthought the whole ordeal or not mattered little, for he vowed to himself never to let such a tragedy repeat again. "Can you tell if another Servant has been summoned or not?"

Rider shook her head.

That was going to be a hurdle as if walking through a fog blindly and waiting for them to show up first. From his understanding of Servants, regular bullets were basically useless on them — those things made up most of his arsenal. 'I'll need to think about this carefully.'

"Another piece of information I want to tell you… I have no interest in the Grail. I don't need it to help me achieve my dreams, thus I won't be pursuing it. I know you won't like or even agree with what I'm saying, but if possible I'd like to avoid any needless death and stop the Masters from killing each other." Who could he contact to give him more information about the Holy Grail War? Kiritsugu rarely spoke about his past related to the war, avoiding to answer some of his questions or even outright telling him to not delve any deeper than necessary.

"..."

Again, Rider did not say anything, merely… 'staring?' at him with that blank face. Angered, furious, disappointed, or even disgusted, he had no clue what she felt at this moment. It certainly wasn't a positive attitude, given Heroic Spirits themselves had a wish they hoped to achieve. "Do you have a wish?"

"..."

"You don't need to tell me anything, I'm not trying to find out about the details. But if possible, I'll help you accomplish them in some way, no matter how absurd that sounds, I'll help you." He could figure something out, no, he had to figure out a solution and start planning his next move earlier.

"We'll see."

{Break}

They didn't speak much afterward, Rider returning to her spiritual form as he arrived at school. Trying to convince her any further proved fruitless as she continued to mention how it was safer for him if she was tagging along.

"You seem tired, Emiya." Back in the student council room, Issei found himself at a loss when gazing at the half-asleep redhead. "First you got injured badly enough to have most of your body covered in bandages, why you wanted to keep that a secret from others is beyond me. Then you start acting weird by constantly monitoring your phone, even in class and now you come here in such a state. If I didn't know better, then I'd assume you're doing errands for the yakuza."

The only reply he got from the boy was the sound of his snoring.

"You see, this is why I told you to stay away from Tohsaka Rin, who knows what kind of drug she slipped in your food to avoid having her dirty secret leaked in public. You know what she did this morning? Waltz through the halls with that facade of hers, all prim and perfect which everyone gobbles up so easily. I asked her to pass on some papers I got from the teacher to her class and she had the audacity to mention how I must have been too tired to do it myself and oh so 'graciously' mentioned how I should take a break in front of everyone! Hurgh, it makes my blood boil how they keep believing that witch!"

Shirou scratched his nose in his sleep.

"By the way, Emiya, I heard rumors about Shinji which are not pleasant. He keeps being clingy with some of the archery club girls, getting too much in their personal space. Heard he got nearly punched in the face by Mitsuzuri — so be careful around him." Issei said while pushing his glasses back, taking a pondering pose while looking at the window. "Speaking of Mitsuzuri, what's going on between you two? I swear she intentionally stops by the Council room for the most benign reasons and is always peeking inside, looking for someone."

"Mmmm… Fuji-nee… don't go into the… kitch….en…"

"Quite the dream you're having there, Emiya. I should have brought my camera and taken a picture, I wouldn't have used it to blackmail you or anything nefarious like a certain witch would have done — but seeing your reaction would have been worth it." The bespectacled boy chuckled at his friend's cringing face, most likely having a nightmare related to the kitchen stuff he kept whispering about. "It would have been better if you would just listen to me earlier on and go to the infirmary, I can't exactly pick you up and take you there without creating some weird rumors around us… again."

Shiver!

A creeping feeling of dread soon washed over him as he got closer to Shirou, about to wake him up for classes. "What?" Issei looked around, his heart beating loudly with a cold sensation spreading across his skin. Prior to anything in the past, this was the first time he experienced such a phenomenon… instantly hated it. "Is this room haunted?"

Absurd, he regularly frequented this room, and never did such an event occur. His head slowly turned to the sleeping redhead… and it all started to make sense. The constant injuries, the weird behavior, and the lack of energy… it could only mean one thing.

"He might be haunted by some spi—" His words got cut by the sound of the bell ringing, loud enough to wake Shirou. "Finally awake?"

"Issei? Ah, did I fall asleep!? I promised the film club to come over and help them fix their projector!"

"Oi, stop being everyone's janitor for crying out loud, wait… not even a janitor would go this far in most cases. Hah… why am I the one getting the headaches and stress dealing with your generosity to the student population? Like, I get that you love to help out people, but there should be a limit, Emiya. Besides, I already told the club president that you won't be coming and to file a request to the school teachers to hire a professional to handle their small problem. I swear, even the school is taking advantage of you with how they don't need to hire anyone to do your work." The monk-in-training sighed while massaging his head, having mostly put the thought about the previous sensation at the back of his head as they walked back to class. "I'm not above asking the school board to start paying you a decent salary at this rate."

Seeing his friend in such a state, Shirou chuckled and patted the boy's back. "Don't get too worked up for minor affairs like these. I don't mind helping out others and there is no need to have the school start paying me. I'm financially stable for now and am just doing it for fun."

"That's why I'm worried, you shouldn't be doing such things for fun. Go get another hobby, like sleeping a few more hours for a change."

"I can ask you the same thing, Issei, the last time I spoke with your father, he mentioned you kept studying late hours every day for a while."

The dark blue-haired boy flinched, "I told him to keep it a secret…"

"He's worried about you overworking just as you are for me. By the way, what was all that talk about Shinji?"

Issei blinked surprisedly, "You were awake the whole time?"

"Eh, I did fall asleep but managed to hear what you were saying before that. Anyways, it's been a while since I last saw him or even talked to him, he keeps running away from me and is generally hard to find." Shirou said, yawning with the need to sleep emerging again, though this one wasn't as bad as before.

"Then just like I said, he keeps hanging around the archery club people when you're not around. At first, he was just quietly sitting and watching them train, but now he's approaching some of the girls. Then he started asking about the club procedure and requirements to accept a new member. I was suspicious of his behavior and looked into the details and thought I may have found the reason behind his actions." For a split second, Shirou imagined his friend roaming around the school with those detective trench coats, hiding within the shadows and tailing Shinji the whole time. "You can probably already guess the main drive to his action."

"Don't tell me… is he going after Mitsuzuri now!?" Not that surprising, Shinji ran after most girls and wasn't just obsessed behind the school idol alone.

"I don't think so, perhaps he tried to join the club through her and managed to offend the girl somehow. Anywho, I found out that Tohsaka Rin has been hanging around the." Issei spoke, raising his glasses back with the light reflecting off of the lens. "He has been chasing her for quite a while, so maybe he's getting impatient and is resorting to a bolder approach. In the end, I can't say much aside from random guesses on his motives, I can try to talk to him directly though I suspect he'll just scream at me and tell me to buzz off."

Shirou sincerely hoped that Shinji wouldn't start creating some baseless rumors about him and Sakura. Given the latter would soon attend this school, he feared that the boy might start taking more drastic measures to get revenge for what he did to him.

But she was still his sister, so whether or not he was willing to go that far remained to be seen. Shirou hoped that his former friend was not going to take that path.

As for the reason why Shinji hung out around the archery club more often, he would make sure to watch him and look thoroughly into his intentions involving Rin and Ayako. 'The worst that can happen is him blurting out anything related to the existence of Magi and magecraft to the others with Rin around of all people could lead to a disaster.

"All right, thanks for the information, I'll look it up and see what he's planning so you can leave everything to me."

"Just don't get into any more trouble Emiya, I hope I won't have to push you around in a wheelchair in the future."

Shirou laughed, "Even if it happens, I know you'll help me without a thought."

"Humph, it seems I've been too nice to you lately, I can blame no one but myself and the teachings imparted on me by my father."

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(An few hours later)

The midday sun bathed the school rooftop in a warm and inviting glow, casting elongated shadows that danced playfully across the concrete surface. Shirou, who usually hung out with Issei again for lunch, had retreated to this serene haven, a brief respite from the chaos that so often defined his life. Seated with his legs crossed, he leaned against a short parapet, the cool breeze tousling his hair as he surveyed the lively campus below.

Laughter and chatter drifted up to him, a distant symphony of adolescent enthusiasm that contrasted the tranquility of his current moment.

"Thank god this place is empty today,"

Clutched in his hands was a bento box, an intricately designed vessel of culinary delight. Sakura's meticulous attention to detail was evident in every lovingly prepared dish, each ingredient carefully chosen and arranged to form a feast for both the eyes and the palate. With a sense of awe, he undid the ornate clasp and lifted the lid, revealing various colors and textures that hinted at the culinary treasures within. The aroma wafting from the box was a harmonious blend of savory and sweet, a fragrant promise of the delectable experience that awaited him.

A soft smile graced his lips as he contemplated the contents, his heart swelling with a mixture of gratitude and contentment. The act of someone else taking the time to cook for him, to craft a meal with such thoughtfulness and care, was a gesture that touched a chord deep within his being. At a rare moment in his life, he felt a wave of warmth, a genuine connection to the simple joys of everyday life. As he picked up the first set of chopsticks, a sense of anticipation fluttered in his chest, an excitement that mirrored the fluttering of cherry blossom petals in the spring breeze.

"Hah… why am I getting so moved by something like this?" He said, resting his forehead on his palms and stopping these trains of thoughts coming at him in waves. "It's not the first time she made something for me, yet here I am, acting as if it was my first time."

He took a bite of his meal, further impressed by how good Sakura turned out to be as a cook. At this rate, her skills were basically at his level with a clear rate of improvement that surpassed his.

A few seconds passed till he realized that Rider was by his side this whole time. "Uh, Rider," he called out softly, and as if summoned by his thoughts, the striking woman appeared standing beside him.

"..."

Probably for the best if he started to get used to her silent demeanor, a woman of few words which turned out to be a new experience for him. If he were to describe Taige then she'd be the complete opposite and most of the people he knew were equally outgoing aside from Sakura. Going back to the matter at hand, "Trace, on."

A single command followed by an identical box forming within his palms along with a pair of chopsticks. Carefully picking up the pieces and organizing them in an acceptable display, he handed them over to the quiet Servant.

"It feels uncomfortable eating by myself while you are here just watching me," Shirou insisted, a smile playing on his lips. "Here, grab a bite, I'm sure you'll like it."

Rider tilted her head slightly, her blindfolded gaze fixed on the bento box. "Master, I do not require sustenance as humans do. My existence is sustained by your magical energy alone." She said with a monotone voice, an answer that Shirou did not accept.

His smile faded, a flicker of concern crossing his features. "I find that a bit... weird and sad, to be honest. But I don't care. You should experience this, even just once." He insisted, "I feel that you're too tense, this place is secluded and I'm not likely to be attacked by any Master or Servants. So why not just relax and enjoy some quiet time? And I feel like a jerk if I kept you standing there all day without helping you out in any way possible. Also, Sakura is an amazing cook when it comes to Japanese cuisine, and I'm sure you'll enjoy it."

Rider did not budge, remaining silent for the following few seconds. "Master, I appreciate your sentiment, but it is a waste of time."

Shirou sighed, wondering why she was being so stubborn on a small matter like this. Nevertheless, with his voice resolute he continued to push it forward. "Rider, just try it, it won't hurt you. Trust me. I don't know if you ever tried Japanese cuisine, and I can tell for certain that it won't disappoint you."

"You are more tired."

Bringing forth the matter of his lack of energy, he saw how she tried to give him more reasons to just eat the food by himself. "It doesn't matter, I always get tired or injured with my activities — I'll be fine tomorrow."

"...You won't give up, will you?"

"I'm willing to skip class for this."

Rider sighed softly, her resolve waning as she finally relented — only for him to stop this silly charade. With a resigned expression, she picked up a pair of chopsticks and took a bite. Shirou's smile came back, maybe after the whole atmosphere between them became less tense, he could ask what she liked and prepare her a meal daily. "So, how is it?"

"...good," she said before disappearing before his eyes, turning into her spiritual form and leaving behind a few wisps of blue light.

"Rider? You only had a single bite," this time, she did not answer him or even came forth no matter how many times he tried to call her out. She was still there, he could feel it and, in the end, moved on. It wasn't much, both talking to her and trying to establish a friendly relationship proved to be more difficult due to her quiet and somewhat detached self.

Ring!

"Hm?" His phone buzzed, the vibration interrupting his contemplative silence on the rooftop. He pulled the device from his pocket, his eyebrows raising in surprise as he saw the caller ID. A familiar name that brought a mixture of emotions – amusement, intrigue, and a touch of confusion. He swiped to answer, the curiosity evident in his voice. "Luvia-san!"

A melodious laughter echoed through the line. "Ah, is that joy I hear from the other side? You must be very lonely to be this excited to hear my voice, Sherou."

Shirou couldn't help but chuckle. "Well, I suppose I'm always up for a surprise."

Luvia's laughter grew heartier. "Oh, don't pretend you're not thrilled to hear from me. I can practically hear your excitement."

Shirou's smile widened. "Alright, alright, you got me. I've missed your unique charm." He said sarcastically with a touch of honesty, Luvia was a fun person to converse with. Different from Issei and Sakura, each having their own unique charm and feel.

Luvia's tone turned mockingly affectionate. "Of course you have. You must've been yearning for someone to keep you in check. Also, what did I tell you about calling me Luvia-san or even Edelfelt like you were saying before?"

Shirou laughed, a warm sound that filled the air. "You know me too well, Luvia."

The blonde heiress on the other end chuckled. "Indeed, I do and that sounded better, don't you think so as well? So, how about bringing me up to date with your latest advancement in your craft?"

Shirou's voice took on a somber note. "Oh, it's going terribly. It's… it's just not the same when I'm by myself, I did make some progress, that I won't deny."

Luvia hummed, pondering over his words. "While I do find it flattering that a few days exchanging notes with me had such an impact on you, Sherou. But normally, our crafts are very different by nature and long joint exchanging notes could negatively impact our progress. Not to mention, most of the time all we've done is a few sessions of sparring and sharing with you basic knowledge. My absence would not have affected you negatively to that extent."

He couldn't deny her words, "I know, but still, the results just speak for themselves. I don't exactly have a teacher or another Magus who can help me get better. I know a few people, but having them involved in my life and possibly causing them more harm does not sit well with me."

Luvia's laughter tinkled like wind chimes. "Oh, Sherou, you always know how to entertain me. Being a Magus is dancing with death itself, you care for them but do not forget about this important fact. The longer you hesitate and don't actively push yourself to seek external help, the bigger the obstacles you'll face will become. Just look at ancient Magi families, our success does not stem from a single generation and instead happens with the joint effort and research of countless generations which keep pushing our craft to a new height. A lone Magus, a beginner no less, will never get anywhere without someone to guide them and not blindly fall into a dark pit. You need that push, our meeting was too short to have any long-term effect."

As thought about this issue, Sakura and Rin's face emerged in his mind followed by Bazett. While the latter and he started off on the wrong foot and as enemies — but their last interaction did make him feel that they moved on and started anew.

Shirou's tone softened, a touch of honesty seeping in. "It's going to be tough."

"Such things happen, you can't walk the path of a Magus and expect it to be smooth sailing. But I'm certain you'll manage to find a solution." Luvia's voice held sympathy. "You know, finding out your origin and element can provide clarity and direction. You should look into it. While my relationship with Tohsaka may not be the best, I can admit that she is not an unreasonable person who won't help you out if you make a good enough offer. She is much more soft-hearted than some of the other… extreme people I know — but don't ever tell her I said that or I will show you how well I perfected my German Suplex."

"And I don't doubt you for a second," Shirou said with a chill running up his spine at the thought of 'sparing' with Luvia again. "I'm aware of what you advised, but I'm not even sure where to start. And besides, Rin doesn't know about my identity as a Magus."

Luvia's amusement returned, this time directed at Rin. "Ah, dear Rin, always acting so knowledgeable yet so blind at the same time. But fear not, I can take care of it. I'll come to Japan and unravel your mysteries."

Shirou's response was unexpected. "Actually, how about I prepare a room for you in my house? It would be easier."

Luvia hesitated, caught off guard by his suggestion. "Well, that's certainly a straightforward approach."

Shirou's tone remained earnest. "I value your help and company, Luvia, and I'd prefer you to be comfortable."

I see, anyways, there is a reason behind my call." Her tone shifted once again to a more serious tone. "There have been some unexpected changes with the environment inside the Clocktower. And I fear you might get involved soon."

"Can you elaborate?" Shirou asked, with genuine curiosity in his voice.

Luvia's tone grew solemn. "Well… I myself don't know much to give you an exact answer, but there has been an increasing number of people gaining a keen interest in Fuyuki according to my intelligence. And knowing the history of that place, you must know what I'm hinting at."

"The Holy Grail War," so it was true after all, the war was going to start earlier than expected and people knew about this.

"Precisely, that's why I'm going to extend a similar offer to you, come over to London and I'll give you a place to stay. You are a beginner Magus with no other mastery of other types of crafts aside from the basics. Staying there is just asking for trouble, at least here, I can find you a suitable teacher. Tohsaka will be participating and has prepared for this event years in advance and will pose a major danger to you if she is determined to win this war. While she is nowhere near as capable as me, she is still leagues above you and that is just her. The presence of a Heroic Spirit is no different to suicide."

Shirou considered her words carefully. "I appreciate your concern, Luvia. But I can't hide from this event. I have to face it head-on."

"What?" The Edelfelt heir was certain Shirou would see reason and accept her offer. "Do you have a plan?"

"Um, not really." He said while scratching the back of his head.

"...are you serious?" Her frustration was evident. "And what exactly are you risking your life for?"

Shirou's reply was firm, his determination unwavering. "I can't let the tragedies of the past repeat themselves. Whether I'm capable enough or not, I won't stop trying." His eyes went over to the side where Rider disappeared to before. "I'm already involved with this — so I can't escape even if I wanted to."

"Elaborate." She ordered, having a bad feeling about what he said.

"Well…"

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Crash!

"Sherou, senkin idiootti!" Within the pristine room belonging to Luvia, a phone impacted the wall hard enough to break it into several pieces. On the other side, Luvia palmed her face after hearing Shirou's last words. "Clown!"

"Yes, milady." Her ever-faithful butler appeared right as she called him with a respectful bow.

"Prepare the jet, we are leaving for Japan at this instant." That boy was going to get himself killed, he was way over his head and Luvia just couldn't sit to the side knowing the fate awaiting him.

Though instead of accepting her orders, Clown hesitated. "My lady, there is still the matter concerning Castle Adra. Your sister has been looking into the matter a lot recently, she might make a move if you ignore it."

"..."

The blonde stopped in her steps, recalling that planned event in particular. Damn it, this was going to be tricky.

"Get me another phone, I have some calls to make."

{Break}

"She sounded mad." Walking back to his house, Shirou shook his head remembering the last conversation with Luvia. It was better to tell her the truth as he trusted the woman and had no reason to hide such a matter from her.

'That wasn't a wise decision, Master.' To his surprise, Rider spoke of her own volition for the first time, though her voice sounded within his mind rather than his ears.

"Rider? How are you…"

'Such matters should be kept as a secret, it's not wise to share too much.' She continued to speak, ignoring his confused state at how she managed to do that.

"I know what you're trying to say, but you can trust her. She helped me in the past multiple times when she could have easily ignored me for nothing in return. And I had to agree with her on the matter of dealing with this whole problem by myself when I'm still practicing to become better with my magecraft. Also, I didn't want to lie to her."

'...'

After that, she stopped asking him questions. Going back to being her silent self again. The walk back to his house continued with a silent atmosphere accompanying him. He wondered if Sakura had returned from her classes, if not, then he'd prepare dinner for everyone today. And most of his exhaustion from this morning had disappeared, so a nightly patrol was also planned.

"Hm?" Though as he approached his neighborhood, his eyes caught the presence of a person standing in front of the gates. Wearing a similar suit as last time but now has a plaster covering her left arm. He was stunned, not believing to meet her again after the last time.

The woman turned around, short magenta hair swaying the wind from the action, as she gave him a slight nod. "Happy to meet you again, Shirou Emiya, I have some matters to discuss with you."

He gulped, did she somehow find out about his status as a Master?

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The next 5 chapters of Snafu, and my other Fate fics (Fate Coiling Sword with 3 chapters, A Fake Familiar Reborn with 3 chapters, Steel Eyed Faker soon to be 3 chapters, Hound having 1 and To love a sword having 4 chapters) are already available on my P@treon. With 4 more Broly chapters at /NimtheWriter. Also, I post commissioned arts on each story, already posted a few on an Archer's Promise, Broly and Snafu.