[NW] Shirō Emiya ⚔ Grand Faker


Jan 24, 2013
Basic Information

Name: Shirō Emiya
Alias: Hero of Justice, Grand Faker
Gender: Male
Age: Nineteen
Clan: Surgebinder - Phantasm
Alignment: Lawful Good

Looks: Shirō is a vibrant, warm young man of average height and mesomorphic build, short, spiky auburn hair, golden brown eyes, and naturally fair skin. Shirō's most prevalent trait is his Chakra, which is infused with the Prana of a Radiant Surgebinder, naturally appearing in the form of an azurian energy, with encapsulating silver stars glittering throughout, indicative of his just nature, and unshakable belief in the righteousness of his actions. Finally, Shirō's body, especially when Chakra is surging throughout it, can be seen covered in a circuit-like tattoo pattern, with a greenish hue. This is thanks to a unique full-body Summoning Tattoo, which allows him to perform a unique, Taijutsu orientated variation of the Summoning Jutsu with Summoning Animals he is contracted to.

In regards to attire, Shirō's typically wears an outfit he refers to as the "Garb of the Red Plains". Consisting of a black body armor made from a sturdy kevlar-like material, which is composed of a black tight and sleeveless shirt with sliver accents that outline his muscles, and a silver plate on his collar, which connect to a pair of black pants that have two black straps on his thighs, and another two strapped around his shins separate from each other. Attached to these are small compact pouches that contain the tools of his trade, as a defender of the peace, and, to him, a true Hero of Justice. He wears black, silver plated shoes, which appear to be attached to his pants. Additionally he dons a form of shroud/ mantle, which is essentially a single crimson sleeve, or brassard, which is worn on his left arm, leaving his right arm completely exposed. The brassard is tied around the right portion of his torso with a white aiguillette, a form of ceremonial braid, and tied with an agemaki knot, giving it an undeniably noble air. Additionally, Shirō wears a crimson fauld-like skirt, which is held in place with a plain white sash, tied with another agemaki knot. To top his outfit off, he wears a crimson headband which is tied in a haphazard knot on the right side of his head, leaving the two ends to dance with the breeze as he readies a shot. This headband is primarily used to keep his hair from disrupting his vision, such as interrupting his aim as he takes aim with his bow.

Other times he can be seen wearing a modified version of the Red Plains Garb, which he refers to as the "Limited/ Zero Over". This version loses the black kevlar vest, while retaining the crimson sleeve, instead opting to don a more traditional cloak, the exterior of which has a vibrant white color, while the interior sports an intricate pattern of deep, eye-catching azurian, pale and golden flowers. This cloak is worn directly off-the-shoulder, and can be removed at a moments notice, specifically in the heat of battle. Typically hidden beneath the cloak is at least one katana Shirō uses to employ Kenjutsu. He also wears a pair of "Suneate" and "Haidate" over his pants, which are reinforced metal shin and thigh guards, to which is attached his aforementioned katana. Atop the left Haidate he wears a leather tool holster, similar to the one on his Red Plains Garb, containing various tools and supplementary items.

Personality: Despite facing a nigh-insurmountable trauma early in his life, Shirō is a kind, compassionate and very empathetic person. He never hesitates to enter dangerous situations if it means saving someone, especially for someone he cares about. This desire to help others is his most prevalent personality trait, but he can also be untrusting, and even jealous of others, when given enough reason. In his darkest moments, his desire to protect someone can erode, leaving it a hollow shell of it's former purpose, betraying his own beliefs, and killing countless people in the pursuit to save just one life. Despite these traits, to most anyone he meets, he is typically respectful, and more than willing to offer support. He is also a very stubborn and driven individual, as evident by the pursuit of his goal to become a true "Hero of Justice", which can make him come across as unbelievably stubborn.

Rank, Birth, Affiliation & Jutsu Information

Ninja Rank: Jōnin
Health & Chakra: 160 & 2000

Place of Birth: Unknown
Ninja World Clan: Knights Radiant
Home Landmark: Avalon

Primary Specialties: Kenjutsu & Tracking
Secondary Specialties: Advanced Kenjutsu
Extra Specialties: Chakra Lifeline & Renewal Taekwondo

Elemental Ninjutsu

Kaito's Taijutsu
Medical Ninjutsu
Sound Ninjutsu


M. Wolf Contract & Arts
Griffin Contract & Arts

Renewal Taekwondo

Rhythm Element
Entropy Element

History & Background Information

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Chapter 1: Wrought Iron ⚔ Unknown Origins

–––––– It's hot... What happened? I went to bed, closed my eyes, and said goodnight. The next thing I knew, my world turned red...

Mom woke me up before the loud noises did... It was bright, even though it was night time... Dad held me tight as we ran through a burning hallway. I heard mom's voice behind us, but then it suddenly stopped. We made it outside, then paused to catch our breaths. Dad told me I should be fine here by myself. He patted me on the head, and told me to wait here. I nodded, and did as I was told... But it wasn't much different outside. My eyes were hurting because everything was red. That's why I closed them and ran... I wanted to go to a place that wasn't hot... When I looked back, my house wasn't there any more. I probably got punished because I didn't do what I was told... I cried as I walked for ages. I had to go back to my house to wait, but I didn't know where my house was anymore. I raised my head which I'd kept hidden with my hands... And, finally, I confronted the scene.

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Chapter 2: Tempering ⚔ Hell's Kiln

Fire... Fire as far as the eye could see... Flames that carried the stench of death to the ends of the Earth... Sounds of screaming and cries of those engulfed in the flames fading out, one by one... The unbearable sensation of flames licking at the body, while the inhuman temperature forced even the most resilient of people to fall and succumb... These were the first memories of Shirō's life he could vividly recall. Anything he is or was was almost completely lost to him in that fire, before he was surrounded by this endless, infernal maelstrom. Not his family. Not his friends. Nothing. He couldn't recall anything before this moment... The skies above were cloudy, darkened, and yet lit with the horrifying light of the world around him set ablaze. His home had been engulfed in red, the cause of which was completely unknown to him, but whatever it was, he reluctantly resigned himself to death as he forced his way through Hell... The smell of burnt flesh and scorched homes and erased lives filled the air with a repugnant odor that brought tears to the child... The weak cries of countless people dying, yet there was nothing he could do to help... He was unable to do anything but walk passed strangers as they lay dying... Arms reached out for his hand, only to evaporate into ash, leaving behind burns, scars, and the stench of death behind. Shirō cradled his head, covered his ears, and simply kept walking. For hours he limped through a sea of dead, blank faces as they burned away before his eyes. He had no idea why he kept going however. What could possibly be waiting for him over the next grim horizon that wasn't yet more of this tragedy? And yet, despite not knowing what lay before him, he continued walking, for the alternative was to simply curl up, and be consumed by the flames... He couldn't let it end like that. He couldn't... Not after walking passed so many in need, yet beyond saving all the same... Despite his best efforts to escape the destruction, eventually it was too much for him and his legs gave out. Shirō didn't even have the strength to cry out for help any more, so he stared into the sky above as he waited for the end to come... Debris started to bury him, as the fear of death began to sink in. That's when he saw it. An arm, tearing through the rubble, and a face orbiting above his own. It was a face streaming with tears, yet, the face had no semblance of fear, or pain, or loss. In fact, the tears were not borne of a negative emotion, or feelings, but from pure joy. He was happy. Why? The unknown figure cried out, in equal parts joy and gratitude, stating that he, not the mortally wounded child, had been saved. Shirō wondered what that meant... That the unknown man had been the one that was saved, and not the child who had been pulled from the jaws of death at the eleventh hour. As he did, his vision began to fade, doing his best to memorize the face of the man who had become his savior, and forget the sight of the flames around them, as they both fell from the young man's sight. Darkness gripped Shirō, before a blinding flash of light shone through the darkness, with unconsciousness following soon after.

When he finally came to, Shirō found himself lying in a hospital bed staring at a blank tiled ceiling. He had been saved from the clutches of the disaster that nearly claimed his life, yet he soon learned from one of the medical staff tending to him was the only survivor found within the flames. The lone survivor of an event which quickly came to be known as "The Great Fire". Despite this, the Ward he was being treated in had many other children, all seemingly injured by the event, left equally as scarred, or orphaned by their guardian's passing in the flames, and only survived due to their distance from the catastrophe. Hours passed as Shirō looked vacantly out of a nearby window, still processing the fact he had survived where no others did. And while the world outside was free from the sights and sounds of the flames, these experiences had been permanently scarred into his very existence. He couldn't help but see them in the world around him, flashing passed like an illusion layered atop reality. Before long, the man who saved him came by, quietly conversing with a nurse who had been attending his ward all day, before approaching Shirō, and introduced himself as Kiritsugu Emiya. Once he did, he got straight to the point of his visit, stating that Shirō's home was completely destroyed, and everyone he knew was probably gone. Shirō was also informed that he only had two real options open to him. He could take his chances in an orphanage that had offered to shelter children affected by the event, or be taken in by the man who saved him. Shirō turned his head to the side, still reeling from the events which had just taken place for him, and yet, upon looking at the man who had saved his life, and appeared to be rather direct where others spoke in hushed whispers, Shirō couldn't help but admire Kiritsugu, seemingly forgetting about the horrors he had witnessed altogether, even if only briefly. Taking a closer look at him, and pondering whether or not he could trust a stranger, Shirō contemplated his future. In the end, Shirō rationalized it in the sense that Kiritsugu wasn't a complete stranger. He risked his life within the flames, just so he could save someone, anyone, and that person happened to be Shirō. It wasn't much, but if that was the kind of man Kiritsugu was, selflessly heading into dangerous, life threatening situations without any hesitation, reservations or second thoughts, and being so happy that he managed to save someone,e even one person, Shirō was more than ready to place his trust in him. He raised his hand, pointing at the worn-down, scruffy-looking man in the black suit. Kiritsugu couldn't help but smile, almost bursting into tears, overjoyed at the mere thought that this young man would choose to go with him. Exactly why he was so happy at his choice, or even why Kiritsugu braved that hellscape in the first place, Shirō didn't know, nor did he care really. He owed Kiritsugu his life, so he had already made up his mind. As he began to collect Shirō's possessions, Kiritsugu stopped, believing it was only fair to tell Shirō something he had to know. He revealed to Shirō that he was a highly skilled assassin, who mainly targeted Shinobi of a specific variety, earning him the moniker of "Magus Killer". There were some who might try to hurt him to get to Kiritsugu, so he thought it only fair to bring it up. And yet, despite this being a massive factor in Kiritsugu's life, namely how he made his way in the world, Shirō still didn't care. Even if it meant his life would be put in danger by simple proximity to Kiritsugu, he would still go with him. And thus, the long and harrowing life of Shirō Emiya truly began...

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Chapter 3: Quenching ⚔ A Heroes Wish

Because of his father's rather unorthodox line of work, Shirō didn't experience a "typical" childhood. Where other children grew up in warm, loving environments, along with the assuring nature of a school life, friends, and the like, Shirō was raised in a world filled with warfare. He and Kiritsugu wandered from one war zone to another, hired as mercenaries and performing such tasks as taking out hostile leaders of radical factions, or providing immediate relief and first aid to civilians in battlefields, while doing their best to, generally, keep the peace. Despite Kiritsugu's blatant refusal to be called as such, Shirō couldn't help but think of him as a "Hero of Justice", despite knowing the reality of their situation. That they were, for all intents and purposes, hired killers, but in his own way, Kiritsugu was doing what he could to save as many lives as possible, by ending the least amount possible. However, along with their less "heroic" efforts, Kiritsugu spent a considerable amount of time pondering the nature of war itself. He was convinced that, with enough power, or a true "miracle", they could end all war and conflict permanently. It was one such lead that almost lead to them to their deaths, but yielded the object of the crestfallen assassin's desire. They had heard rumor of a once-prominent clan of highly powerful Shinobi who could perform what could be considered a "miracle", giving form to illusion; the Kurama Clan. Their sleuthing lead them to a small Village in the outskirts of the Land of Fire, however, upon their arrival to the outer reaches of the Village, they bore witness to a grand calamity, on the same scale of the Great Fire which claimed Shirō's home. A great darkness was quickly encroaching upon the Village, as people screamed out in pain and fear for their lives. As Kiritsugu grabbed Shirō by the arm, and urged the young man there was nothing they could do, Shirō watched as a glimmering light in the distance stood in defiance of the darkness, before engulfing, and negating it entirely. There was only one word that could be used to describe such a feat. It was a "miracle". Kiritsugu was stunned in place, wondering if it could be true. Had he finally found his means to save the world? Shirō on the other hand took no time to ponder such things, instead barreling through a crowd of panicked people that had fled from the destruction. He couldn't help but feel a need to help, perhaps out of guilt that he had survived his own personal traumatic event when countless others didn't. It wasn't fair. Not on him, and not on them. So he rushed towards the origin of the unfortunate event. If he could save someone, anyone, just one person, he could call that a victory, even if his conscience would forever be haunted by that day. Despite his best efforts, it seemed those caught up in the darkness were gone with no hope of aid, and those who weren't had already evacuated... While he wasn't distraught that there wasn't anyone to save, and was even relieved that those who could escape had, Shirō cursed his inability to do anything but play spectator to a catastrophic event once more.

Eventually he made it to the edge of the area affected by the unknown force, finding only a colossal crater which spanned several hundred meters, and had swallowed up a considerable portion of the Village. There was virtually nothing left, no homes, structures, nothing. Whatever it was, it indiscriminately destroyed everything it touched, leaving nothing behind. As he stared out over another tragedy he was unable to stop, Shirō was startled by the sound of chiming bells, as something was dropped on the ground not too far from him. Further along the outer rim of the crater sat a little girl in her house which had been partially engulfed by the destruction it seemed. As she sat on her floor, which leant over the precipice of the crater, she too was lost for words as she stared out at the destruction, but soon made eye-contact with Shirō, showing little to no reaction or emotion at the event which had just transpired. As the two looked at each other, seemingly equally dumbfounded at their circumstances, Shirō heard a loud creaking before watching in horror as the ceiling above the girl began to give way. Without hesitation, he rushed to save her, but he knew there was no way he was going to make it. He wished with all his heart that he could make it, despite knowing how hopeless it was, then, as if by magic, or divine intervention, the debris became slowed, then suspended in the air, giving Shirō enough time to grab the girl, then leap out of the way. While Shirō was initially confused at what had happened, Kiritsugu, who had followed Shirō to ensure his safety, and urge him to leave, had seen everything. Upon witnessing the strange phenomena, he knew... Their journey was over. They had finally found their "miracle"... While Shirō assured the girl she was safe now, and she quickly lost consciousness, Kiritsugu searched the girls house, finding the corpses of who he assumed were her family. He gave them a proper burial on their homes grounds, before leaving the Village with the girl. On their way back to the Emiya residence, Kiritsugu explained to Shirō what had just occurred. The girl, Miyu, was one of a long line of Kurama Clan prodigies whose abilities as children were so powerful they could warp reality on a scale equal to a God. In essence, any wish made upon one of these "prodigies" would come true, even if not directly or explicitly asked. This gave rise to a secretive branch within the Kurama, who kept their newborn children safe, and secluded from the world, raised in secret until their powers vanished. To achieve this goal of protecting their children from the wants and desires of others, the children were raised in secluded households, wreathed in Fūinjutsu that effectively shut the inside from the outside in any and all senses, creating an environment where no ones wishes could reach the children but that of their parents. However, when that darkness partially destroyed Miyu's home, she was no longer safeguarded from the desires of others, bombarded with the wishes and desires of those instilled with fear and mortal dread. Miyu did all she knew when these wishes, which collectively created an ultimate desire to live, made their way to her, attacking and negating the encroaching darkness, saving the people in the process. The two Emiya simply could not have arrived at a more opportune moment, being able to witness the girls powers in action, and spirit her away before prying eyes came looking for the source of the light that fought off the darkness...

As the girl had no where to live, Miyu was adopted into the Emiya family, however, the reason behind Kiritsugu's generosity was simply to keep his "wish granter" as close as possible. For the next several months he isolated himself within his study, pouring over countless academic and hypothetical notes, texts, etc. Even though they had the means to grant their wish, there were countless variables to consider before they even attempted to utilize "it" to achieve peace. As time passed, Kiritsugu grew more and more frustrated, struggling to devise the specifics on how to most efficiently utilize Miyu, as pushing her too hard without the "perfect wish" would waste her potential, potentially even kill her, leaving him without the means to achieve his goal. While Kiritsugu spent months separated from the two, only making light conversation to Shirō when he brought him meals, or when the latter did his best to keep his father's study clean, Shirō spent his time bonding with Miyu, or to be more precise, initially spent his days being followed by Miyu. Though she initially began as a very cold, emotionless being, she quickly grasped the concept of "fun", asking Shirō to play with her, and when he had chores to perform, she would offer to lend him a hand, if she could. Naturally this desire to help Shirō was borne from a most selfish motivation, for if Shirō's chores were done, this meant he had more free time to play with her. She couldn't help but see Shirō as her older brother, to which he was originally reticent to reciprocate, but eventually relented, slowly thinking of her as his little sister, just as he thought of Kiritsugu as his father. As time went on, Shirō saw Miyu as less of a wish granting device, and more akin to an actual sibling, so, as Miyu's sixth birthday grew nearer, he asked Kiritsugu if they were going to have a birthday party. To Shirō's surprise, Kiritsugu grew furious at the thought, showing visible anger at the young man's request, explaining that the "Child of God" becomes less powerful the older they become, and thus, eventually lose their capacity for wish-granting, which was rumored within the cult to be around the age of six, going so far as to hypothesize that she could lose her immense powers the moment she turned six years old, leaving them with a useless, regular girl. To Kiritsugu, they had an obligation to take care of "that thing", providing clothes and food, so long as it doesn't cause any changes to "it". She was nothing more than a means to an end, and Kiritsugu ordered Shirō to not grow attached. Not long after this Kiritsugu fell ill, and eventually succumbed to unknown injuries, which were the unfortunate result of a battle which he refused to share the specifics of with Shirō, no matter how hard, or many times he asked about. It was a secret he took to his grave. Despite his father's orders, Shirō was unable to reconcile Kiritsugu's wish to use Miyu simply as a tool for world peace, instead struggling to see her as anything less than his little sister.

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Chapter 4: Rending ⚔ Shattered Ideals

After Kiritsugu's death Shirō soon learned the extent of the repercussions from his actions realizing that, due to her abilities, Miyu, much like he himself was, couldn't be raised like a normal child, so she was confined to the Emiya residence. To give her as close to a normal life as he could Shirō bought her textbooks for her education, but it could never match the real thing, no matter how hard he tried. As the years passed Miyu slowly began to "come out of her shell" as it were, acting like a normal person, leading Shirō to believe in Kiritsugu's words. That the older a "Child of God" becomes, the weaker their powers become, and thus, the more "human" they become in return. While this thought made Shirō happy that, one day, Miyu may be able to experience life as a regular person, for now, it was still too dangerous to expose her to the outside world, and the wishes therein, regardless of their nature. One incident was all it would take, one slip up, one accidental wish, and she would most likely never be seen again. So as Shirō worked odd jobs, occasionally fulfilling contracts from his and Kiritsugu's old contacts, Miyu slowly became more "human", showing more personality, emotion, empathy, and all other capacities that one could use to define a "human" with, with each passing day. As he thought back to the child he had saved that fateful day, and then looked at the girl she had become, Shirō couldn't help but feel like these were the best days of his life. This feeling of family was finally solidified one fateful night, when Shirō and Miyu gazed up at the stars, an act Kiritsugu would do from time to time, and was one of his fondest moments with the old man before his passing. Initially confused, Miyu asked what purpose of staring at the sky achieved, as the movement of constellations and the stars were nothing more than Physics, and didn't hold any more meaning than that. This was to be expected when the only real interaction Miyu had with them was through an advanced physics book Shirō gave her the subject, which was very analytical and to-the-point. As Shirō explained why people look up to the sky, and wish upon stars, he asked her if there was any wish in particular she wanted granted, to which she closed her eyes, and, for the first time in her life, Miyu made a wish for herself. Not for her family's wealth and well-being, not for mortal masses crying out for a savior, not for a selfish desire for world peace. No. A wish that was all her own. She wished with everything she had, that she and Shirō were true siblings, but exclaimed that such a thing could never happen. As an ominous breeze swept through the Emiya residence, that purest of wishes was granted, not by distant lights shining in the sky, but Miyu's own power, which had seemingly long since faded. As Miyu's eyes, which from birth had been a radiant scarlet, changed to a more muted golden brown, Shirō corrected her, asking how it could not happen. From that moment on, whether by his own volition, or the compulsion of a wish beyond his knowledge, understanding or control, Shirō truly treated, and thought of Miyu as his sister. As he did, things slowly changed. He started preparing her for attendance at an actual school, not just books on subjects she consumed without context, then he slowly started taking her out with him on errands, then on pleasant walks through town, before finally asking her if there was somewhere she wanted to go. Her answer was instant, and absolute. The ocean. She had seen pictures, and read countless books which told of the sea, but she wanted to see it for herself. To see where the sky and the sea met on the horizon, to experience the oceans breeze, to hear the lashing of waves, and the smell of fresh, sea-salt air. Shirō quickly realized that there was no way he could talk her out of it, so they began preparations for their trip to the ocean. There was just one stop they had to make first...

As they left the Emiya residence properly for the first time, Shirō took Miyu on a slight detour, back to her "family's" home. If they truly were going to be siblings, there would have to be no more secrets between them. He'd tell her, then they could start over, as a true family. As they arrived at the ruined home, Shirō showed Miyu the graves Kiritsugu made for her mother and father, before explaining that, originally, the only reason they saved her was to utilize her powers to achieve a miracle, a wish that would have, more than likely, resulted in her death. As he began to tell her this wasn't the case anymore, he was interrupted by laughter, and scornful rejections of his excuses. As the pair turned to see the source of the chilling amusement, they were met with the sight of multiple individuals surrounding, and menacingly approaching them. They called Shirō a liar who was full of nothing but deceit and excuses. He wanted a wish granted at any cost, and that's all there was to it. Shirō immediately became defensive, asking who they were, and why they were here. While one exclaimed that, while it's contents were almost completely expired, the "vessel" was intact, another of the mysterious group extolled one of their comrades for having the wherewithal to place a barrier around the last sighted area their target was seen in, which had been triggered by the pairs return. Shirō immediately realized they were after Miyu, pulling out the only thing in his possession that could act as a weapon; a simple tape measure. It was all he had on him considering this was supposed to be a simple outing to the beach, and even then, a tape measure was out of the ordinary on such a trip... Using his Chakra to reinforce the common tool, he stood his ground, and told Miyu to run, but as they were surrounded, she had no where to go, and thus froze up. While Shirō did his best to fend off these strange assailants, using his common workplace tool as a shoddy excuse for a weapon, employing improvised Kenjutsu to try and get the upper hand through the element of surprise, he was effortlessly overwhelmed and left for dead, his usefulness as a mere postman expired, while Miyu was swiftly subdued and abducted. Hours, or perhaps days pass before Shirō began to regain consciousness, his mind thinking about that day, he called out for Kiritsugu, but in place of his father, there was an unknown priest sat idly in a corner, reading what appeared to be a book of scriptures. As Shirō rose from the bed, the priest regretted to inform him that he was not his father, but he advised against getting up, stating that his injuries were severe, and he wasn't a particularly skilled medic. Unnecessary movements could end his life here and now, and he'd only have himself to blame. Shirō didn't care, putting his blood-stained, shredded clothes on over the bandages that were apparently keeping him together. As he began to shuffle out of the room, the priest, only introducing himself as Kotomine, asked Shirō what he intended to do, as Shirō curtly responded that he was going to save his sister, no matter the cost. Kotomine chuckled to himself, finding the boy's statement rather amusing, but could tell there was no lie behind them. The priest saw Shirō off with 3 things. The first, a warning. If he were to pursue this matter any further, he would probably die, and if not, would most certainly be changed forever, in more than one sense. The second, a pair of collapsible swords, or perhaps daggers to be more precise, in the shape of crosses. Odd that a priest would use the weapons of a thief, but Shirō took them with little question, seeing as he was otherwise unarmed. The final thing was the one Shirō appreciated the most; a location where they were most likely keeping Miyu. With this information, Shirō curtly thanked the Priest, then made a beeline straight for them, however, on arrival, he couldn't even get a foot in the door. Multiple figures were stationed outside, and upon Shirō's approach, raised some uniquely designed, and incredibly powerful weapons on him. Shirō took note of the weapons these figures carried, noting how they all had distinct characteristics and features, while also possessing powerful effects, well beyond what could be logically achieved via Chakra alone. After a second defeat, this time seemingly at the hands of his previous antagonists underlings, nothing more than common thugs, and seemingly being used as a training dummy, it put his position clearly in perspective as Shirō was dragged away and dismissed him once more, this time not even bothering to go as far as leaving him in a critical condition like last time. It was as though he was nothing but dirt beneath their feet...

Hopelessly defeated, Shirō returned home and found a friend, Sakura Matou, strolling past his home at the same time, her face red as a rose from the chill of the winter night's air. When he asked what she was doing here, to which she casually noted she was on her way home after buying some groceries, stating that it truly was a coincidence that they ran into one another. Feeling awkward leaving the young woman out in the cold, he invited her in, to which she politely, and rather happily accepted, offering her groceries as ingredients for dinner. While Shirō's fresh wounds hadn't even begun to truly heal, Sakura didn't truly make mention of them, instead taking the lions share of the preparation and cooking with little resistance from her injured friend, and senpai. As they were preparing the meal, Shirō caught a glimpse of Sakura slicing vegetables, only to be reminded about Miyu, when she used to volunteer to help him with dinner, before grimacing. This compelled Sakura to ask if he was okay, but he said he was fine. Even with things as dire as they were, Shirō couldn't help but appreciate Sakura's attempt to brighten his day, even if she didn't know it was as dark as it was. He considered her one of his best friends... As they sat down to enjoy dinner, they made idle chatter about general topics, Shirō had to make more than a few saves before mentioning anything about Miyu, or his current predicament. And as the night slowly came to an end, Shirō saw Sakura out, thanking her for the meal, but she shrugged it off, saying it was nothing for her senpai, and that she was thankful for his company. Shirō said that she was welcome to come back any time, but, surprisingly, Sakura's response was silence. Before he could ask what was wrong, Sakura responded that, while she was happy for their time together, and that she was truly happy, and thankful for the invitation, this would most likely be the last time either saw one another. While he thought she was just being shy, she reiterated her statement, ensuring him that she wanted nothing more than to be with him, but it wasn't to be. Unless... Looking at the wounds on his body, Sakura erupted, confessing her feelings, and asking him to forget everything, and run away with her. Shirō was initially stunned at the confession, but when he pressed her, and asked why, she revealed a small, heavily bandaged weapon, that looked more like a simple handle, than anything else. She says she was sent here to kill him as a member, and future head of the Matou Clan, for his meddling in affairs he knew nothing of. But... If he asked it of her... She would abandon everything, and leave with him. They could escape and never fear being hunted down, for the weapon she held was one of the strongest in the world, the weapon of a great King, Gilgamesh. With it, they could live a happy life together. Shirō refused, stating that if she knew about his situation, then she knew why he was fighting, and that would save his sister at any cost. If Sakura was truly on their side, he would have to kill her too. Silence descended upon the pair, and just as Sakura was about to speak up, laughter echoed throughout the front garden of the Emiya household, barely halted by the falling snow. It was Sakura's brother, Shinji. Since the pair decided to remain silent, he made it clear that he was sent to "finish" the job if Sakura didn't, and lo and behold, here she was, shirking her family duty, and offering an out to their enemy. Shinji couldn't contain his excitement, as it meant he had authorization not only to kill Emiya, buit Sakura too, and take her place within their Clan. Sakura held the bandaged weapon before her, threatening to use it, but Shinji just laughed. As she tore the bandages away, revealing a small handle of what was, presumably, a much larger blade, Sakura gave one final warning, before flooding the handle with her Chakra. But where she expected a startling reaction, instead she was met with nothing. Was it a misfire? The sheer joy on Shinji's face at this idea drove him over the edge, stating that she was given a fake. There was no way she would be trusted with such a powerful weapon, especially when she wasn't even fully trusted to kill one swarming fly. Shinji then pulled an ornate dagger out from his back pocket, and stated that this was how it was done, as his body underwent a horrific transformation, the blade fusing with him as it's black ribbon spiraled out into numerous tendrils. In an instant he formed an extending arm that reached out to Sakura, while Shirō leapt, reaching out for Sakura to try and pull her to safety, but it was too late. As his hand touched her chest, Shinji called out a name, "Zabaniya", before the upper portion of Sakura's torso was blown open, leaving nothing behind. Shirō's eyes stared in disbelief as one of his only friends left int he world was effortlessly, and mercilessly murdered. Shinji retracted his dagger-like arm, and slowly began to approach, but Shirō, overwhelmed with disbelief and grief, simply fell to his knees. Shinji stood over him, remarking that he hadn't had enough fun yet. Punching Shirō through his front door, and into his living room, the situation finally hit him. He couldn't save anyone if he was dead, so he ran. Shinji looked down at Sakura, then the weapon she had been given. He picked it up and tried to activate it, but just as with Sakura's attempt, nothing happened. In response he tossed it off into the distance, remarking that it was merely a piece of trash. He then closed his eyes, took a deep breath, then screamed to Emiya that he was coming for him, ready or not. Shirō on the other hand made his way for the workshop at the back of the house's residence. While the Emiya household itself wasn't a exactly a stockpile of weapons, despite his, and Kiritsugu's job as mercenaries, the workshop had some objects that could be used for self-defense, and if needed, murder. If he was to make it out of this alive, he needed to get a grip of something, literally, and most likely use it to kill Shinji. It was the first time such a thought had crossed Shirō's mind, to kill another person in cold blood... But if it meant he could save Miyu, he would gladly bear that burden. Kiritsugu's wish to save all of humanity from war, strife, death, it meant nothing to Shirō now. All that mattered was Miyu... As Shinji barrelled through the house, following a faint trail of blood, he eventually caught up to him in a hallway which looked out over the back yard. As Shinji rushed Shirō, he pulled out one of the priests blades, barely scratching the monstrosity that Shinji had become, before leaping through one of the window panes, and into the back yard. Shinji stared in disbelief, not that Shirō had injured him, but that he was so intent on delaying the inevitable. Why fight when it was so much easier to give up and die, like Sakura had? Shinji leapt on Shirō, and began brutalizing him, ripping his flesh open, and breaking bones, before casually tossing him through the wall of his workshop. As Shinji stated that Shirō and Sakura were just the first in a long line of people he would have to kill, he would give Shirō the honor of letting him say his last words, a courtesy he didn't extent to his "traitorous sister". Shirō opted to ask what it felt like to murder his own sister, to which Shinji screamed that it was better than a hundred orgasms, before tossing Shirō against some old stacked boxes. As Shinji pulled back for the final blow, Shirō picked up the only thing within arms reach, the blade Sakura had held previously, which had been thrown in here by Shinji in his earlier dismissal of it as a dud. Shirō agreed... It wasn't anything special, but it was something... And, if this was it, if he was going down, well, he was going down fighting. As Shinji's tendril-like arm swiped at Shirō for the last time, Shirō's Chakra flooded the weapon in his panicked, desperate rush to fight back, before a blinding flash of light formed, and within it, Shinji found his arm cut to ribbons. Struggling to come to terms with what just happened, Shinji stared in disbelief as Shirō stood, not covered in countless injuries, but clad in an unknown outfit, wielding not one, but two short blades, one black, one white, as a white cape billowed in the winds, casually draped over his shoulders. Feeling like he had been given the means to fight on an even playing field, Shirō initiated his counterattack. Shinji stared in disbelief, asking who in the hell did he think he was, while Shirō swiftly shed the white cloak, and pressed Shinji directly. Pulling a concealed dagger from his person, Shinji cried out for Emiya to stay back as he threw it with murderous intent, before Shirō felt his momentum stop, one of his blades tangled up by one of the tendril-like appendages he had previously cut. Pulling out another dagger, Shinji decried that his limbs could move, even if you cut them off, but before he could even finish his sentence, Shirō let go of the blade, and drove his fist into the monster of an elder sibling, breaking bone, and sending teeth flying, while Shinji was sent back out into the yard. Shirō swiftly followed suit, both blades held confidently in his hands. Shinji, still reeling from his struck face, he became more frustrated as Shirō approached, crying out that Shirō thought he was better than him, simply because he managed to activate a dud "Phantasm". Shirō didn't care about anything like that, but stated non-nonchalantly that Shinji wasn't suited to be an Assassin, like all his weapons seemed to imply. Too big a mouth... This drove Shinji off the deep end, causing a startling transformation as his body became enveloped in his tendrils. Shirō began carving through Shinji's new form, all the while Shinji kept screaming expletives, and crying that he was stronger. Shirō found that, upon their destruction, he could somehow "create" a new pair of his blades, seemingly on instinct, and with no perceivable limit, so he used this new realization to his advantage, overwhelming Shinji with a barrage of slashes and ranged strikes, using the curved marital blades as though they were boomerangs, all while carving him up, and reducing his engorged form down to a screaming pile of flesh. This was it, then end of the road for Shinji... Holding his hand out, Shirō instinctively manifested a bow, much like he had for the blades, and wound up for the final blow, claiming that he'd blow Shinji away. But something felt off though... Shinji had grown uncharacteristically quiet. Before Shirō let his shot loose, Sakura's scarf, picked up by the winds, had blown into his line of sight, and reminded him of something. As he slowly un-nocked the arrow from his bow, he then swiftly turned the blade behind him, and thrust it straight into Shinji's abdomen. Shirō turned around, and faced Shinji as he drove the arrow further into his abdomen, while the latter looked on, horrified, asking how he knew. Shinji had said it himself, his arms could act independently, even if they were cut off. That monstrosity was nothing more than a puppet, a diversion from the puppeteer, and Shinji's true attack, a cowardly strike from behind. As Shirō's arrow evaporated into nothingness, Shinji fell helplessly to the ground below, and began crawling, begging for his life, the desperate act punctuated with the trail of blood, and displaced snow he left in his wake. He didn't want to die... Shirō replied with a dry tone that Sakura probably thought the same thing. As Shinji began to bargain for his life, stating that he'd tell Shirō anything he wanted to know, Shirō casually responded that it didn't matter if he knew or not. He was going to kill save Miyu, regardless of whether he knew everything about these people or not, even if he had to kill to do so. Before Shinji could beg further, he found a single swift slice carve through his neck, ending his life in an instant. With Shinji dead, Shirō instinctively deactivated whatever this newfound power was, the seemingly powerful clothes he had been wearing up until this point disappearing into the aether from whence they came, returning his clothes, and his body back to the state they were in when he first picked up the unknown blade that facilitated his victory. Shinji's body did the same, undoing the monstrous transformation, and returning him to the posh attire he sported when he first showed up at the Emiya residence. Thinking it foolish to remain in the open standing above the corpse of a man he just killed, Shirō carried Shinji's body back into his home, and placed it alongside Sakura's. He couldn't even bring himself to shed a tear as he stared down at his lost friend, rationalizing his apathetic reaction as something natural in his circumstances. He had grown accustomed to losing everything, so why would he get upset now...? Before he set out, he dug graves for the siblings, grabbed what supplies he could from his home, including Shinji's dagger, and vowed to return with Miyu, or not at all.

The people precious to him were gone. He had thrown away his ideals. His pride. He had thrown away his bare self... And in the process, Shirō became empty. After losing everything, his goal became clear. From that point on, Shirō initiated an all-out war with the unknown faction, starting with the building the priest tipped him off about. His return prompted his previous assailants to burst into laughter, mocking him for his persistence, however, this soon ended when one mentioned that someone had been dispatched to "take care of the brother". Jovial outbursts soon fell to silence, as Shirō casually pulled out the scarred blades, before instantly donning the outfit he wore when he defeated Shinji in another vibrant flash of energy. Silence changed to a collective startled gasp, before every last one of them responded in kind, pulling their mysterious, unique weapons, and all undergoing some change in appearance, from their attire, to their physical presence. The tension in the air was so palpable, so thick, that Emiya felt that, if he was so inclined, he could carve it up, and feed it to these miscreants, garnished with their previous words, and mockery of his condition and skill. Moments passed as silence was all that filled the streets of the backwoods town they had seemingly taken refuge in, before the peace and tranquility of the nameless urban setting was utterly shattered. Cacophonous sounds of weapons breaking and bending from under the force from one another. Explosions of force, generated by these unknown weapons with such ease, one felt like they could rule the very world with just one of them. As the battle raged on, Emiya found himself gaining ground on his foes, pressing them further and further. In response, they splintered, some fleeing in fear, others making a strategic retreat to call on reinforcements. It wasn't long before Shirō had fought the majority of them off, and breached the building they had been fighting around, only to find it almost completely empty, save for a few more of the mysterious weapons they all employed. Seeing the power held within just one of these weapons, and the place now abandoned by it's former occupants, Shirō took the weapons, believing that if they were to fall into the wrong hands, the blood of countless souls would be on his. There was going to be enough blood on his hands by the time this was all over, so the blood of innocents was something he wasn't keen on collecting... With his only lead a bust, Shirō doggedly hunted down the ones who fled, from one corner of the Ninja World to the other, each time defeating them and taking the weapons they wielded. Some reluctantly handed them over after a long, drawn-out, hard won fight, others fought to their last breath, claiming this power was all their own. As he continued his one-man war, Shirō soon came across more competent wielders of the weapons known as "Noble Phantasms". One man, bombastically introducing himself as Atrum Galliasta, was clad in dark purple robes, and fired all manner of elemental-based projectiles, and employed supplementary abilities such as freedom of movement in the air, and sealing scripts with such ease, he made masters look like mere students, but Shirō soon ended his life with one well-placed shot from his bow, claiming the staff for himself. Another man, who wielded a rather unorthodox weapon, a nail attached to a chain and solid metal ring, fought with guerilla style tactics, aiming to impale Emiya in an attempt to manipulate his own actions, was also eventually bested, this time with a blind-spot attack, using his curved short-blades as projectiles to pierce the mans back as he was about to activate some form of Dōjutsu. Once again, Shirō progressed as another opponent fell, claiming the unknown mans "Noble Phantasm" for his own. Unbeknownst to him, Shirō had been covertly stalked, his actions, abilities, fighting style, etc, witnessed by other members of this opposing faction. Soon word got around, and Emiya's fights became far harder from that point forward, as all of his moves and tricks became common knowledge to his opponents. He was also beginning to turn heads within the higher ups. Their "minor nuisance" was beginning to become more and more aggravating with each passing day, and fight fought. They all agreed, Shirō's next fight wouldn't be with some common fighter; it was time to introduce Shirō to one of their more "successful" servants. And so it was that Emiya came face to face with Kayneth El-Melloi Archibald, noted scholar, and world renowned bastard. Despite his noble, borderline polite outward appearance, Kayneth was no joke, his personality in combat reflecting his true nature as a ruthless tactician, who would use any sly trick in the book to win. Taunt after taunt, all the while being more than aware of Shirō's entire repertoire, Shirō had his first true taste of combat with a Noble Phantasm wielder. Kayneth wielded a crimson red spear, while his body itself was wreathed and enveloped in a liquid metal that was fully under his control. This made close combat, Shirō's preferred venue, much harder, as the arrogant foe hid behind the perfect shield and spear, wrapping the mercurial metal around Emiya's blades as he swung, and directed it to flay him as he retreated. Shirō was running out of options, time and stamina. If he was going to win, it would need to be soon, but nothing he tried seemed to work. Kayneth seemed to know his every move before he even made it... If that was indeed the case, then the answer was simple. Do something not even he knew about. After several brief exchanges, all the while receiving countless slashes from Kayneth's ultimate shield, Shirō threw his blades as he advanced. Kayneth chided Emiya for his lack of creativity, catching the blades with his liquid defense effortlessly, but failed to see the new blade Shirō created in response, one with a far longer blade than his usual dual blades, driving the "over-edged" sword into the bottom of the pommel of the suspended first blade, and thus straight into and through Kayneth. The nobles eyes widened, before looking down to see himself ran through. As he fell to the ground, he spat his dying words out with a curse, exclaiming Emiya would never win. That the Fallen would rise... Shirō ignored the comments, took the spear, and left, leaving the snobbish bastard to rot for the crows... As he left Kayneth's body, and reverted back to his natural form, Shirō began to feel a dreaded weight, a pressure on his form. Until now, it had been a mildly distracting sensation, but now it was actively plaguing him. It seemed as though, the more people he fought, the worse he began to feel. Now, after every fight he was left with an unbearable pain, initially chalking it up to fatigue due to the seemingly growing difficulty of the fights, and then injuries sustained within those fights, eventually he realized that this wasn't the case. Suddenly his body showed signs of decay and necrosis, almost like a severe case of frostbite. His skin became scarred, and darkened, while his hair and eyes lost their color. Soon the answer was clear; these Noble Phantasms were killing their users. Only Shirō had come to this conclusion due to the fact he was the one waging drawn-out consecutive fights with others users, taking his opponents Phantasms for his own, evidently saving them from this fate, if they weren't dispatched before retrieval. The thought of abandoning their usage had crossed his mind more than once, but without their power, he would never save Miyu. He recalled his prior words; saving Miyu at any cost. So with his body slowly decaying, but his convictions stronger than ever, he forged ahead.
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At this point his faceless adversary had reached the extent of their patience. They would wipe Emiya out once and for all, with nothing less than absolute, unstoppable power. And so Shirō came face to face with the man called Zachary Ainsworth, once the former head of the Ainsworth family, now nothing but a puppet for the new head, and one behind the shadowy attack on Miyu's home all those years ago. While initially he appeared unarmed, as he began his relentless assault, Shirō quickly realized he wielded a Noble Phantasm that was cloaked in an aura of wind that rendered it invisible to the naked eye. Zachary's style was pure, endless rage, swinging his unknown weapon at Shirō without end, with the latter being at quite the disadvantage due to his inability to see the weapon coming at him, nor know it's shape, dimensions, etc. Adopting a more ranged approach, using his bow to strike at Zachary from afar, it wasn't long before Emiya made a sizable stride towards victory, completely blowing off one of Zachary's arms. Yet, despite such a grievous injury, Zachary persisted, and eventually unveiled his weapon, shedding it's cloaking aura, revealing a golden brilliance that rivaled the sun itself. Shirō knew just by looking at it that it was no mere sword. This was a weapon that transcended natural laws, bolstering courage, rallying strength, and guaranteeing it's wielder's triumph with it's presence alone. Emiya watched in horror as Zachary pulled back and flooded the blade with Chakra, it's overflowing essence filling the world around them with endless glimmering lights, all of which could be said to have contained the hopes and dreams of the wielder's victory. Then, as he called out the name of this blade, Zachary swung it at Emiya, unleashing a torrent of light directly at his target. Seemingly victorious, Zachary inadvertently dropped the blade, Excalibur, and cried out in pain as his arm had been twisted and distorted by the arc of his swing, and the sheer strength of the attack it unleashed. But it mattered not, his for was vanquished, and he could return to his master, pleased that the thorn in their side had been removed permanently... Or so he thought, until Shirō cried out from above, giving Zachary some parting advice, before ending his life with an overcharged shot from his bow; "Sorry, but that sword wasn't meant to be swung with a single hand!!" Zachary's attack was fired flawlessly, but due to only being swung with one arm, the attack's trajectory was affected, barely missing Emiya, grazing him and burning his right side, before exploding into a pillar of light, which Emiya managed to avoid by leaping above Zachary, leading to his final shot. The recoil from his own attack sent Emiya soaring back, only coming to a stop after slamming into a nearby tree, the shock of which caused Emiya to revert back to his natural state, and send his Noble Phantasms flying out of reach. Gasping for air, Shirō then heard a faint sound as Zachary got up from that last attack, using the glowing blade as a means of supporting himself, like a crutch. Crying out that this must be some kind of joke, before exclaiming that he would play this game with Zachary to the bitter end. Zachary's drained, yet strangely relieved expression became visible, as his helmet and armor shattered, leaving Emiya with the parting words that he'd leave Darius to him.

Although he was initially stunned, clueless as to what Zachary meant, Shirō eventually hobbled his way over to his opponent's corpse, and found a letter that was addressed to him. It detailed the Ainsworth's plans to use Miyu as a tool to destroy the world as they knew it, remaking it in their own image of perfection, as well as other information, such their remaining numbers, capabilities and locations of importance. Darius Ainsworth, current head of the family, had learned the existence of, and eventually became fanatical for a splinter group from a long forgotten Clan; The Fallen, defectors of the Knights Radiant of the Surgebinders. To seek this power, he staged a coup within the Ainsworth Clan, now ruling it with an iron fist. He had sought a Child of God, like Miyu, to use her power to emulate, and in a few rare cases, create true Noble Phantasms, legendary weapons utilized by Surgebinders that were imbued with powers that echoed throughout time, and whose essence was crystallized in legends and myth. It was then their intention to use Miyu to mass-produce these weapons, and create their own Surgebinder army, wielding these "False Phantasms" while flooding their bodies with counterfeit Prana, the energy of the Throne. However, as they were mere fakes, they usually resulted in severe damage to those who wielded them, and the fact anyone managed to use them at all was a resounding success. This explained Shirō's condition then, as he had been inadvertently tapping into the Throne this entire time. Every time he used a Noble Phantasm, along with everyone else who used these forgeries, their bodies were flooded with the mysterious energy from the Throne as it attempted to convert them into Surgebinders, albeit in a less conventional manner than had been achieved in the past of the Clan. An uninitiated, regular "human", with no ties to the Surgebinders or previous interaction with Prana, who had been forcing that power upon themselves in dire, stressful, even life-or-death situations? He was all lucky the effects were as mitigated as they were, for even if they were forgeries, their powers were certainly real, thus, so was the danger. Apparently Darius was just as outraged at this development, as there had been fewer successes than even he had anticipated, leading to a push for mass distribution, using quantity to find quality, then working with what they had, and leaving the rest to die, their bodies eroded by their False Phantasms. From there, they would assault two key locations related to the Radiants; Avalon, home of the Knight's Radiant, and the Throne, the seat of power for the Surgebinders themselves. Once they held dominion over the Throne, they would use their manufactured Surgebinders to ally with the existing Fallen, and forcefully bring the world under their rule, and if not, they would dominate the world in spite of them. As Shirō read over what remained, a slow clapping began to echo throughout the now silent battlefield, before abruptly erupting into uproarious applause. Unknown figures began to appear seemingly out of thin air, with an unknown, yet familiar crackling of energy. It took him a moment before he realized it was the same energy that was emitted when someone activated their Phantasm, meaning these people were most likely the "successful" recruits. A few faces were familiar, some being present for Miyu's abduction, but there were far more numbers present for this apparent ambush. Shirō quickly moved to arm himself, but then realized that his blades had flown off as a result of his last attack against Zachary, leaving him defenseless. As he prepared for the worst, a voice made itself heard through the standing ovation, as a tall man with jagged, harsh features, and flowing slicked back dark hair approached, introducing himself as Darius Ainsworth, the man Emiya was evidently dead-set on killing through sheer stress alone. As he approached, not a single modicum of fear or trepidation came from him, approaching so casually, one would think they were close friends. As he did, he picked up one of Emiya's blades, and inspected it thoroughly, remarking at how they believed Miyu had failed to capture the essence of the sword of the King of Heroes, so they used the failed blade as a way to test Sakura's loyalties. Sending her off with a simple mission, and believing the weapon she had to be a dud, Darius now saw that the weapon was intentionally forged to fail to activate in anyone's hands but Shirō's. A way for Miyu to protect her dear brother, even if not directly, or with any guarantee of success. As for the identity of it's base legend or myth, not even Darius could ascertain the weapons true name, nor gleam any real identifiers from it's design. The white wave-patterned blade was seemingly nothing more than a short sword designed for Shirō's use, as was the black turtle-shell designed blade that was casually sticking out of the ground not but a few feet from both he and Shirō. Identity, aside, it mattered little if they couldn't use this Phantasm, for they had their trump card. When Miyu's deceit was discovered, she was "politely persuaded" into giving form to the King of Heroes' blade, and that power stood between him and his sister. But, of course, to face that almighty of powers, he would have to fight his way through what remained of the Ainsworths' rather extensive, and nowhere near diminished numbers. Zachary was a loss, true, but he was also a traitor who rebelled against Darius' ideals. Was his loss enough to set their plans back? No. Not really... As Darius tossed Shirō the white blade, one of his underlings placed their hand on his person as that same energy cackled across Darius' body, sending him elsewhere, most likely to Miyu. As he disappeared into thin air, he provided Emiya with a few parting words, wishing to see him again. After all, it would be such a shame to see one as talented as he in the art of avoiding death, fall to such simple legends, referring to the entourage he had arrived with. As Shirō grasped the fragile, heavily fractured blade in his hand, he cautiously looked all of his would-be opponents over, hesitating in using any Noble Phantasms further. He was truly stuck... If he didn't fight back, he was definitely dead. If he used his Noble Phantasms, he would certainly die eventually. Clutching the blade with a heavy heart, knowing that it was the result of his sisters wish for his well being, Shirō casually sauntered over to the black blade, barely managing to pull it from it's sunken resting place within the ground. Despite his earlier hesitation, his mind had long since been made up. He was going to save Miyu. As he looked the menacing group of Phantasm wielders over, he sighed, then asked if they could just get this over with... The resulting battle took several hours to reach a conclusion, with Shirō literally dragging himself out of yet another near-death experience. Regardless of his condition, all that mattered was that he was victorious, and he finally had a name, face, and location to direct his unbridled wrath at. He just had to... Rest his eyes first...

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Chapter 4½: Convergence ⚔ One's Justice

Waking up once more in that barren room, with that same false Priest watching over him, feigning interest in a book of holy words, Shirō experienced a most alien sensation; concern. It had been quite some time since anyone had truly shown concern for his well-being, and the Priest was quick to comment on Shirō's condition, repeating to the young man how he had warned him what awaited him within the world he was seemingly so recklessly eager to throw himself into. Shirō shrugged off the comments, just as he had the last time he saw the Priest, but instead of heading straight for the door, this time he took his time to gather his thoughts. He reined in his distrusting tone, and planned his words carefully, quizzing the Priest on who he was, how he knew so much regarding these events, and why he apparently cared so much, yet did so little, only bothering to save the life of one individual, that individual being someone who didn't care for their own well-being any more in the first place. Kotomine curbed a scowl, and suppressed a condescending chuckle, before recounting his experiences and accounts of an event that was all-too-familiar to Shirō. Flames and fire. Death and destruction. While he said he was not there to experience it firsthand, Kirei was the Priest in charge of the Church, and Orphanage that provided shelter for the children left without families and homes after the "Great Fire". Shirō, being a survivor of that event, could have easily ended up in his care, and, while he did not truly know him, Kotomine felt some semblance of responsibility for the young man due to this connection. Continuing, he then alluded to some secretive history between himself, or at the bare minimum, knowledge of Kiritsugu Emiya, or to be more specific, the Assassin known as the "Magus Killer". This was through his mentioning that the followers of Darius, and indeed Darius himself, were simply following their own brand of justice, and Shirō's wish to save Miyu ran in direct opposition to that justice. To the Ainsworth head, the world had become a corrupt and failing place, trapped in a vicious cycle, with each new rotation providing diminishing returns. The world would, eventually, decay into nothingness, but not if they did something about it. If they could bring the world under their rule, they could use the power of Prana to bestow upon the world a unique form of immortality, achieved through an artifact known as the "Holy Grail". They would share this power with the whole world, while killing the least amount of people necessary in order to save the everyone else. The second that rationalization left the Priests' mouth, Shirō understood. This was Kiritsugu's mentality, his ideals themselves, staring back at him, haunting him, as though Kiritsugu himself had been brought back, and uttered the words himself... Shirō remembered Kiritsugu's last words pertaining to Miyu, how he pleaded Shirō to utilize Miyu to save the world, and felt a wave of guilt wash over him. Kotomine asked Shirō, knowing this, could he continue down this path? Darius Ainsworth had seemingly inherited Kiritsugu's wish in Shirō's stead, when he had rejected them in order to preserve just one life. Kiritsugu Emiya's justice lived on, even though he did not. Could Shirō cut down his fathers ideals, potentially dooming the world itself, all for the sake of one person? Would he, or perhaps even could he, become a "Villain"? Shirō rapidly became more and more visibly uncomfortable with each passing moment, showing great anxiety and distress at the revival of his father's wish. Kirei pressed him further, stating that, whether he stood by and watched, or directly opposed them, Shirō would have to face the reality; His ideals, and the justice he shouldered would crumble into pieces, and fall. Shirō took a moment contemplating in silence, before he gave his final answer. The destruction Darius caused all those years ago in Miyu's home... Their reckless usage and abandonment of life, regardless of whose it was... The way they treated even their own kin... If that was their kind of justice, then he would gladly shoulder the mantle of "Villain". Kotomine could only let out a hearty laugh, and told Shirō that, if that was truly how he felt, then by all means, he should go and save his sister. With words like those, he was more than ready to bear the burden that comes with them, so there was nothing he could say to talk him out of it. Unlike his previous encounter with the Priest however, seeing as this felt like the eye of the storm, the last resting point before the final boss, Emiya took the priests previous advice, and let his body recover as much as it could. There was no way he could save Miyu when bandages were the only thing keeping him together. But the moment he felt confident in moving, he was out the door, and off to the final venue, a sacred site said to be the intersection point for numerous ley-lines within the Ninja World; Mount Enzō.

While the journey to Mt. Enzō was almost entirely uneventful, there were still a few enemies within, all of which seemed to be leagues above the masses that Shirō fought on his path to this point. He was so close... Shirō forgot all meaning of the word "restraint", crushing them all with an iron resolve, and gradually waning strength, but eventually he found it; a great cavern contained within the heart of Enzō, said to be the resting place of a Dragon. The ceiling rose above one's head to meet the sky, yet no opening to gaze upon it, as a plateau gradually raised from out of the earth towards the far end of the cavern. A bright blue light emanated from atop the plateau, and there was only one figure standing between Emiya and that light. Darius... Once more, upon seeing the young man, Darius could do nothing but applaud the youth for his resolve in the face of unbeatable odds, and congratulating him on avoiding death yet again. But that luck had finally ran out, now that he dared to enter this most sacred of places, hellbent on destroying years of work and planning. Shirō shrugged off the unhinged man's words, and simply responded with three of his own; "Give Miyu back." His tone was that of one who had walked a long road of hardships, fought countless battles, and demanded their reward. He didn't care about Darius or his plans, life or death, humanity's salvation, power, Phantasms Noble or False, Prana, or even the Holy Grail itself. He was here for one reason alone. When Darius began to raise his hands in an attempt to calm Emiya, Shirō responded in kind, pulling out the two broken, rent, and worn down blades, aiming them straight at Darius. Witnessing the virtually destroyed blades once more, Darius couldn't help but ask Shirō who he thought those blades legends were forged from. As Emiya responded that it didn't matter, as Darius couldn't help but don a crooked smile, stating that perhaps Shirō was right. After all, he didn't matter, so naturally anything that fit him so perfectly, like a well made glove, was equally just as valuable. Shirō was worthless, but Miyu? She was a glove that just didn't quite fit him. She had value, a place in this world, and now, thanks to Darius, a purpose. She was going to be the miracle this world needed to stave off annihilation. To throw all of that away, just for some misplaced sense of petty sentimentality? That made him the worst kind of evil within this world... Shirō had had enough. He calmly walked towards Darius, his face contorted into a violent scowl. As he did, Shirō recounted the untold story of the Kurama Clan's secret; the Children of God. They had kept records, from the first generation that displayed this power, all the way down to Miyu's. The Children of God could grant any wish... But what would a family who controls all of that power wish for? Was he even aware? No, of course not. He cared not for the family, nor their story. He only cared that his wish could be realized, so Shirō informed him. They simply wished for their children to grow up happy and healthy. They could have easily wished for wealth, or prosperity, like Shirō and Kiritsugu initially expected the family to have, just as they once sought to do, but no. All they ever asked for was what any parent would've wanted for their children. And there was not a single exception, not one, in more than four hundred years. Shirō was staring Darius eye-to-eye, mere inches from him, his blades shaking violently within his hands. He could have easily taken a swing, but instead, he declared; "If that's what you consider evil... Then I will gladly bear the burden of all the evils in this world!!". As he began to climb the incline that lead to the top of the plateau, he called back to him that it was over. His wish would never be granted. His "army" was beaten, scattered and had been relieved of their Phantasms, so when he took Miyu, the Ainsworths would be left with nothing. Darius started to walk away, but not before he spat out a snide retort; "Oh, I wouldn't say I have nothing..." Shirō showed no concern for the barely veiled threat, and instead continued his climb to the top of Mount Enzō's heart. As he crested over the horizon of the climb, he saw her. Miyu was laying atop a stone slab, surrounded by dozen of sealing formulae, all of which seemed to draw their power from the earth itself. For the first time in months, covered in countless wounds, wielding the idealized form of her wish in each hand, which were just as worse for wear as he was, she saw him. Miyu's eyes began to swell and tear up, as her expression slowly deteriorated from stoic silence to one of pure sadness. Even though she wished with all her heart that Shirō would save her, to see him there and then, in that state, it broke her heart... She asked him why he would go through all of this for a mere tool. He had said it himself back at her family home; He and Kiritsugu had sought her out, and took her in, all to use her power to achieve a miracle. What these people were doing... It was no different from their intentions, so why? Shirō didn't even have to think about his answer. The response was instant and sincere; "It goes without saying... It's because I'm your older brother. So I have to protect my little sister, don't I?" He stated that it had been one mistake after another with him. That he hadn't been much of a brother up until that point. And this could just be another in that long list of mistakes... But as he approached her, taking her hand in his, and made a wish of his own. He wished that she would find a place where she wouldn't have to suffer any longer. That she would meet kind people, and make lots of friends who she could laugh with... That she could find a warm, small share of happiness she could call her own. Miyu's face turned from one of mixed distress and sadness to one of sheer shock, as tears endlessly flowed from her. Light spilled forth from her body, and began to accumulate in the cavern above them both, illuminating the dark room with hope. Being very taxing for her, Miyu called out for Shirō one last time, before she fell unconscious, as Shirō stared up at the infinite spectrum of color that spilled forth from Miyu, and converged above their heads. His appreciation was short-lived, as he soon heard footsteps approaching from the entrance. Sighing at the prospect of one last fight, he turned to face them, and was met with the distant sight of a young woman clad in golden armor. This must be Darius' "trump card", the apparent "King of Heroes" Darius was so keen on recreating... Leaving Miyu to fulfill his wish, Shirō descended from the plateau, and approached his foe, broken blades in hand. As soon as he was certain she was within earshot, he apologized, stating that his little sister was working her hardest at the moment... Could she wait just a little while longer? The young woman, with hair as golden as the armor hugging her form, responded that she could not. Instead, she returned his apologies with her own, stating that his wish would never allow his wish to be granted. A mere "Faker" who managed to slip his way into affairs he had no right to would never seize a miracle such as that. Then in an instant, and with the only indicator being a flash of light too fast to follow, Shirō felt a sudden pain in both his arms. It was as though they arms had been blasted back by some kind of force, but he would soon realize things were far worse than he initially realized. Looking down, he saw the remains of his dual blades, both irrevocably destroyed, and his arms torn asunder along with them...
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The woman, introducing herself as Angelica Ainsworth, would never allow a counterfeiter like Shirō seize such a selfish wish, especially when it spat in the face of everything Darius had wished to achieve. His was a noble goal, and now, there was nothing the Faker standing before her could do to stop them, after all, Phantasms, whether they be Noble or False, are worthless when destroyed. Shirō looked down at the shattered fragments of his blades, and felt a hollow sensation sear through his body. There was simply something about these swords that resonated with him. He couldn't explain it... So to watch them be destroyed so casually, and effortlessly... It filled him with a boundless sense of loss. Angelica on the other hand now saw Shirō as less than nothing. How one such as this managed to survive countless activations with a defective Phantasm, she had no clue, nor did she want one. Instead she made her final attack, to dispatch him once and for all, seem as unimportant to her as the act of manually breathing. As a ripple-like distortion in the air appeared with a golden light, numerous blades were suspended in mid-air, poised to strike. Shirō simply continued to stare at the shards with disbelief, feeling the sensation rise from the pit of his stomach to overwhelm him entirely. Angelica stated that this was the power of the King of Heroes. Regardless of their origin, whether their legend was from the Eastern shores of Tobusekai, or the vast expanse that was the main land, whether they were recorded as heroes, or scorned as villains, this Noble Phantasm bestowed upon it's wielder the power to summon forth all Noble Phantasms in existence, even if the original blade was but a mere "fake". She praised Shirō, now a mere flesh and blood human without a Phantasm, for not running at the sight of her power, but his reluctance to run, to her, was also the epitome of foolishness. He didn't stand a chance with his False Phantasm, so without them he was as good as dead already. With a flick of her fingers, she waved Shirō off, firing all of the suspended weapons at him, with the same speed and ferocity she used to destroy Shirō's blades. Unable to stand by any further, Shirō, feeling some urge to fight back swell up from within, channeled Chakra into his hands. He didn't even know what he was doing, but as a familiar, crisp, crackling energy manifested itself within his palms, producing a shade of Chakra he himself had never witnessed, Shirō felt a name call out to him from deep within. As he instinctively slashed at the incoming weapons, he molded the Chakra into a shape, the first shape that came to mind, and felt both weight and purchase, as he slashed through, and deflected Angelica's weapons. As he did, he roared his weapon's true names, revealing their nature, and identity to all; "Kanshō - Bakuya!!" Angelica, who had begun to approach Miyu, attempting to prevent Emiya's wish from being granted, was stunned to see Shirō fend off her attacks. Swords in hand, Shirō's previously sunken face seemed renewed, even as his body burned much more alarmingly than previous. Scars began to grow, and stretch, overtaking his left arm, and the left side of his face, while his hair lost yet more of it's color. But it didn't matter to him how he looked, or felt. Even if he wasn't as strong as she, he didn't have to win... He just had to run out the clock. So as he pointed the pristine pale blade, Bakuya, at his foe, he declared; "What was that about a mere flesh and blood human? You're slow on the uptake 'King of Heroes'. What you're facing is a true imitation of a Heroic Spirit!!" At the mere mention of that term, Angelica exploded, unleashing a barrage at Shirō, as he in turn manifested a number of blades that orbited himself, and fought off the encroaching blades, as he made the first true move, advancing on Angelica's position. Angelica showed no quarter, unleashing a virtual torrent of weapons on Shirō, each one being swiped away with a great deal of effort on Shirō's part, but the fact he could keep up with, or interact with them at all infuriated her to no end. As Emiya made it within striking range of the Ainsworth's trump card, he leapt into the air, spinning violently as he descended. Angelica, disgusted that a mere Faker like him could dare get so close, and that she had been resorted to exerting physical force, grabbed one of the blades suspended near her head, and pulled it out, directly wielding it as the two clashed. Sparks flew, though clearly not in the romantic sense, as the two vehemently struggled to overthrow the other. Angelica's face was twisted into a disgusted scowl, while Shirō, although struggling, seemed to have the upper hand, forcing Angelica's body to start to buckle. In an act of desperation, she generated a portal in front of her, beneath Shirō, and shot a colossal blade from it, forcing Shirō to push off from her. Continuing her frantic assault, she positioned portals all around Shirō and let loose another volley of weapons, the force from which caused a violent explosion to occur, leading her to believe he was vaporized. Moments later, she saw a silhouette in the air above where she had released her weapons. Shirō had a reddish-purple energy emanating from his hand in the shape of a blooming flower with seven petals. Staring Angelica in the face, Shirō called out the name of another weapon, as though he had been using it for his entire life; "Rho Aias!!" His face continuously burning from exertion, Shirō was falling back to the ground, but not nearly quick enough to prevent another barrage from Angelica, forcing him to cower behind the shield of energy, but with each blade bouncing off it's lustrous face, the petals of Rho Aias withered, and the shield shrunk. As he landed Shirō essentially had a buckler left to defend with, and Angelica had repositioned those golden gates of hers once more, surrounding him. Once more, Angelica released a wave of weapons at Shirō, the former of which grit their teeth, leapt a few feet into the air, and shielded as much of himself as he could. Broken, beaten and weary, Shirō lay in a crater formed by Angelica's Noble Phantasms, cursing her cowering behind such an unfair power. Angelica stated that he should be dead on his feet now, but the rate at which he was able to produce his own Noble Phantasms, combined with his increasing endurance, speed and strength made it increasingly probable that he was overcoming the negative effects associated with Broken Phantasms, and becoming a true "Surgebinder". If this carried on, he wouldn't be a threat to just her, but also Darius, the Ainsworths, and their plans as a whole. He could not be allowed to live a second more. Seeing the fear and worry in Angelica's expression, Shirō felt as though it would only be fair to put his life on the line, so his sister could live hers in peace. Tearing his shredded jacket from his bloodied form, once more Shirō heard a voice call out to him, this time not with a mere name, but something that felt more profound to him. Raising his left hand, aiming it at Angelica, and steadying it with his right, Shirō let that voice wash over him, and began to chant aloud, as his Chakra surged. Angelica, seeing the true threat he now posed, created a number of portals that far exceeded her previous efforts, and began releasing Noble Phantasms at Shirō as though they were automated firearms. As he saw the weapons, sheathed in a golden aura bear down on him, Shirō braced himself, before experiencing a profound relief at the sight of his Rho Aias suddenly appearing, seemingly manifested by some reflex in an attempt to allow him to complete his chant. His opponent, watching as the weapons more effortlessly bounced off the floral aegis, decided to switch tactics, creating portals all around Shirō as she advanced on his position. The portals shot out a number of intricate and ornate chains, all of which swarmed Shirō, and seemed to drain the energy from him, but he kept his Chakra flowing, and his mouth running, in spite of the obviously powerful attempt to restrain him. As Angelica reached Shirō she generated another portal behind her head and pulled forth a colossal broadsword, bringing it down with all her might. Shirō, on the other hand, smirked, and finished the final verse of his chant.

体は剣で出来ている。Karada wa tsurugi de dekiteiru.
「 I am the bone of my sword. 」

血潮は鉄で、心は硝子。Chishio wa tetsu de kokoro wa garasu.
「 Steel is my body and fire is my blood. 」

幾たびの戦場を越えて不敗。Ikutabi no senjou wo koete fuhai.
「 I have created over a thousand blades. 」

たった一度の敗走もなく、Tada ichido no haisou mo naku,
「 Unaware of the beginning, 」

たった一度の勝利もなし。 Tada ichido no shouri mo nashi.
「 Nor aware of the end. 」

遺子はまた独り、剣の丘で細氷を。Ishi wa mata hitori, tsurugi no oka de saihyō wo kudaku.
「 Withstood pain to create inconsistent weapons, thus my hands will never hold anything. 」

けれど、 この生涯はいまだ果てず。Keredo, kono shōgai wa imada hatezu.
「 Yet, my flame never ends. 」

偽りの体は、それでも剣で出来ていた。Itsuwari no karada wa soredemo tsurugi de dekite ita.
「 My whole life was still Unlimited Blade Works. 」

Angelica's blade plunged straight into the earth with no resistance whatsoever, and Shirō was nowhere to be seen. The world around her had changed as well. It was odd, the world seemed devoid of color, or life. Muted. Silent, in both sound and sight, the only thing in motion being the dust from Angelica's attack. She stared in disbelief, unsure of what had just happened. Then, out of nowhere, Shirō began to speak, not from before her, but from a hilltop some several meters away. The collective with the individual... Reality with fantasy... Switching the outside with the inside... Overwriting the world with one's own... The innermost thaumaturgy; Reality Marble. A skill only possessed by the most skilled Surgebinders in history. How Shirō manged, not only to simply perform it, but maintain it, when he wasn't even truly a "Surgebinder". Truly, it was a miracle... Shirō asked what she made of it. The land itself slowly started to become clear, color came with a rush of chilling wind, and the falling of snow. The land they stood upon was not the rocky terrain of a cave hidden within a sacred mountain, but an endless field of snow covered in blades. It was a world encompassing an infinite number of swords... But to Shirō himself, they felt more like graves. As the winds picked up, Shirō apologized once more to Angelica, asking her to keep him company until his blades run out, so his sister could finish granting him his selfish wish. Angelica, though seething at this development, accommodated his wish stating that, for a Fake like himself, who seemed to revel in the act of imitating so many, she would gladly send him to the bottom of those graves. For the first time in a long time, Shirō smiled, then began a suicidal sprint directly for her. Their battle shook the entire world, blades clashed, causing violent quakes, but now that Shirō existed within a world where the swords he had seemingly been drawing upon this entire time, he had the advantage. While Angelica had to withdraw her blades from wherever they were stored, Shirō's were ready and waiting to counter her. The two clashed, striking at one another, back and forth, Shirō advancing with reckless abandon, and Angelica abandoning all composure to unleash feral barrages at him in an attempt to overwhelm him. She would prove, by the end of this fight, that she was stronger. Blades soaked the drab blue world in a golden light, the heat from the thrown weapons burning the blanket of snow that slept on the ground, and melted the falling flakes with extreme prejudice. Angelica was rapidly spinning out of control, creating a veritable wall of golden portals, and unleashing everything she had, but Shirō always seemed to be one step ahead, one blade more prepared. If she didn't do something soon, she would lose... The Ainsworths would lose... He would claim the power of the King of Heroes for himself!! As Angelica contemplated the stakes, Shirō seized this opportunity, summoning a number of blades and attacking, not Angelica, but the portals she so heavily relied on. As he did, he grabbed one blade, and leapt for her, aiming for her right arm, attempting to carve it clean off. Instead, just like when Shirō seemingly completely avoided Angelica's attack, he too found his strike finding no resistance, carving cleanly through the air, as a golden shimmer enveloped Angelica at the point where the contact should have been. Shirō then watched as one of Angelica's portals appeared beneath him, causing him to fall through another placed high above their battlefield. He had fallen right into her trap, and she had him right where she wanted him... Raising her arm above her head, and aiming it directly at Shirō, she claimed that playtime was over, before calling out the names of her own weapons of note; "Come forth, Ig-Alima, Sul-Sagana!!" As if on cue, two gigantic blades, one seemingly carved from the earth itself, and the other shaped like a dragons wing wreathed in flames appeared above Shirō, threatening to crush him with their sheer scale. Shirō, stunned by their size, but filled with a desire to persevere, called out to that voice within him, asking, pleading for the strength to win, but when no voice made itself known, he grit his teeth, clenched his hands, and decided he would be doing this one alone then. Looking over the blades, he could empathize with their design, the very core of their creation, just like he had with Kanshō and Bakuya, Rho Aias, and every blade he had used up until this point. Reaching his arm out, he flooded his Network with Chakra, and willed himself to copy such a powerful blade. His body, though collapsing under the sheer force of his own determination, acquiesced, causing a massive shape to take form extending from his hand, which he proceeded to throw at the falling Ig-Alima. Then, using the flat side of the hunk of earth as a foothold, Shirō ran up to face the second monstrosity, recreating his previous feat, and projecting a copy of Sul-Sagana. The resulting shock wave scattered the snow, while the heat from the latter blades collision caused a massive heat spike to melt most of the snow within the Marble, as the four blades careened into the earth. Angelica, speechless at Shirō's sheer tenacity, realized that she would now be crushed, as the debris had been sent flying by the violent collision of the blades, forcing her to retreat to a safe distance. The endless plains of snow and swords were now filled with a violent inferno, and Shirō barely managed to escape the resulting explosion from the fall of the four divine blades. As he landed, steadying himself after the violent tumble, he realized he was running out of time. Gasping for air, he took a moment to compose his thoughts. Angelica on the other hand seemed unfazed by the interaction, claiming that Shirō's very existence was a threat to the final legend the Ainsworths wished to have written for humanity, referring to Darius' wish. Above all else, it was his abhorrent self-destructive conviction that threatened them the most, and must be torn to pieces... As she spoke, the winds seemed to pick up around her, the flames being drawn to her like moths in an ironic twist. From a portal at her feet, she brought forth her last resort, a weapon reserved for only the most deserving of death. While Shirō wasn't a foe worthy of this honor, he must be eradicated at any cost, thus, this one time, Angelica brought forth this weapon, and aimed it at trash. As it sprung to life, segmented portions of the blade blade shining with a vibrant red light, they began to spin, as Angelica initiated her own chant. She offered this single strike as a ceremony of their separation, how Heaven and Earth would become divided, and nothingness would celebrate it's creation. That the Sword of Rupture, Ea, would tear this profane world asunder, and there was never any other outcome to this battle. She finished by commandingly telling Emiya to behold; "Enuma Elish!!" Shirō looked on, completely overwhelmed, believing he was not worthy of such an attack, and thinking it quite unfair that she would go to such lengths... He looked at the blade just as he had with so many before it, looking to find some connection, some aspect of it he could understand, but there was nothing. His attempts were equivalent to trying to watch a television, but the screen was nothing but black and white static... And there was no such sword within this world that could stand equal to that one, nor could it possibly respond in kind to the strike to come... So... Instead... Uncouth as it may be, he decided to pay her back with every weapon he had in stock!! Raising his hand above his head, and gathering every last scrap of Chakra he had left, swords began to fall at his feet. At first it seemed as though it were a joke, but in the distance, beneath a rapidly eclipsing moon, a torrential downpour of blades quickly began to envelop the horizon, gaining distance with such speed and ferocity, it almost made Angelica fear for her safety. Almost... As the blades passed Emiya, cutting the wind itself with such vehemence that it made the entire world howl, Angelica swung her arm down, releasing a crimson wave of violently rotating energy, interspersed with swirls of black and white. As the ocean of blades clashed with the swirling vortex of death itself, both Shirō and Angelica put their everything behind this final clash, with screams that drowned out everything else.
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Angelica claimed that, no matter how many blades he piled together, he would never win. It was futile, he would never be able to stand up to the strongest blade in the world. Regardless, Shirō began to push, harder and harder, as the moon continued to disappear behind a vast shadow, an indicator that his time was running out... Or, perhaps... Shirō stopped his howling, taking a more reserved, defeated tone. He acknowledged that she was right. There were times when one thing could effortlessly outweigh everything else... He fell to the ground, as the moon completely vanished, and Angelica's attack engulfed him. He watched helplessly as he was bathed in the red energy wave of Angelica's attack, surrounded by the fragmented remains of the sea of blades he had the audacity to believe he could defeat her with. It couldn't have been known to the two of them, but back within the cavern of Mt. Enzō, at that exact moment, Shirō's wish was realized, and Miyu vanished into thin air. Back within the Reality Marble the entire dimension around them started to crumble and deteriorate, causing the fabric of reality around the pair to unravel, tearing apart the seams of the universe, forcing Shirō to look out into an endless black void of creation... Staring at the very concept of nothingness directly, seemingly the raw core of the universe itself, Shirō's mind was consumed with just one thought...
For one fleeting moment, Shirō allowed himself to envision a life that could never happen. One where he spent every day basking in the happiness of one person. But it looked like he would have to be happy in the knowledge that his wish would be granted...

Shirō's world then abruptly cut to black, as he was swept up in the tide of Enuma Elish.​

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Chapter 5: Reforging ⚔ Hero Creation ᴱˣ

Shirō watched as the last tattered remnants of his Reality Marble evaporated, leaving him suspended through an endless black vacuum. An alien sensation enveloped Shirō's senses, almost like he was floating, or perhaps falling. Falling out of the very world itself...? Despite the urgency that that thought implied, he felt no fear for his life. In fact, on the contrary he was happy, content even. He felt as though he had done the best he could, and if this truly was the end, well, at least he had saved one person... He may not have turned out to be the "Hero of Justice" he always wanted to be, but at the very least, he was Miyu's her,. So he was content in drifting through whatever limbo this place was. As he let out a labored, exhausted sigh of relief that it was finally over, Shirō closed his eyes, and let his mind wander. While it wasn't as dramatic as they tell of in stories, he thought back to his life, letting images of everyone and everything important to him fly by. He thought of Miyu, and Kiritsugu. He thought about his home, and how there were still some dishes waiting to be cleaned after that fateful dinner... He thought about the many people he had fought, saved, and killed in this drawn out war for one person. He regretted letting Darius go, and thought about Angelica, and how she was nowhere to be seen. If she had escaped his Marble, she and Darius would no doubt regroup with what little forces they had left, and try again... He thought of Sakura, and how he felt responsible for her fate... As he felt a pang of guilt strike his chest, something else flashed into his mind. A bright, warm light that shone like the sun. At first, he thought this was the dreaded "light" one sees upon the moment of their death, and shied away from it, but soon it became clear that this wasn't some image within his mind, but a radiant light that shone in the vast vacuum around him. It's presence was like that of the sun itself, indescribably warm, and comforting, though in more than a metaphorical sense, as it felt as thought it was healing his wounds, and erasing the pain flooding his senses. While he wasn't particularly tense to begin with, the light brought with it a feeling of relief, so Shirō let go, and drifted off into a state of complete torpor. Shirō remained in this near comatose state, until he was awakened with an unexpectedly polite introduction.

"Greetings young man with body from swords forged, mind from steel cast, and soul within ice encased."

Despite the mild-mannered voice, and it's polite salutations, Shirō, still on edge from his battle with Angelica, leapt to attention, ready to fight, much to the surprise and amusement of the stranger, who noted that Shirō's recovery was truly remarkable. As the guarded hero grimaced, clutching some of his bandaged wounds which had opened up due to the speed and ferocity with which he had stood up, he took in his surroundings, yet had no words to describe them. He and this stranger were stood upon a majestic structure, seemingly carved from white marble, with intricate pillars of stone. Behind him was a majestic throne made from the same material as the structure around them, and where he had evidently been sitting previously, as indicated by the faintest traces of blood on it's otherwise flawless surface. However, despite it's simple, yet divine splendor, the architecture was not as startling as the venue for this apparent seat of state for one so regal and majestic to deserve such a breathtaking throne. Looking around, Shirō noticed the various forms and sizes of debris that hung in the air around them, as though there were no gravity to tether it to whatever this structure was, while in all directions, the mass of rock this throne was situated atop of clearly came to an abrupt end, leaving Shirō to stare out into eternity in any and all directions. A most macabre thought crossed his mind; perhaps the endless void between dimensions he believed he was trapped within wasn't so bad after all... He felt as though, at any second, the breath would be robbed from him, and he would be left to suffer just as cold and lonely a death as he would have in the aftermath of the fight at Mt. Enzō. But that begged the question of why he wasn't subject to this lack of gravity. Why neither he, nor the figure before him, were not suffocating, as it indeed appear as though they were suspended in the vacuum of space. Despite the debris hanging in the air, which seemed to indicate some level of destruction in the world around them, there were parts of this structure that appeared pristine, as though once it's creation was complete, it's magnificence was not despoiled by another step, nor besmirched by the presence of another being. Until now... Much to his dismay, the more he tried to analyze, break down, or comprehend the nature of his current predicament, the structure upon which he stood, the slightest indicator of the figure stood before him, for every potential answer he thought of, there were twice as many questions raised, and it was rapidly becoming more of a hassle than it was worth to simply ask this strangers about, well, everything. With a basic grasp of the situation, and believing he was no longer in danger, he gave the cloaked figure his undivided attention.

Shirō was initially briefed as to how he wound up in this strangers care. As both Darius' exit, and Angelica's means of arrival at Mt. Enzō were facilitated using Prana, and the Throne itself as a means of transportation, their activities could be sensed, and thus monitored by other Surgebinders. However, as these were mere blips, no one truly knew what was happening beneath the sacred site, so nothing was done, at least for the start of the encounter anyway. A more startling indicator of interesting events occurring was when Shirō used his Prana to force his way into the Throne, Angelica in tow, and establish a Reality Marble there. That most certainly turned a few heads, leading to a number of individuals from the Fallen making their way there to see what was occurring. They couldn't enter the Reality Marble themselves, so instead they decided to wait within the heart of Enzō instead, where it had been activated, and thus would spit the pair back out when they were done. Luckily for him, Shirō's Reality Marble was destroyed just shy of it's limit, so he wasn't cast back out to the real world. For a brief spell, he was lost somewhere in-between, but eventually he was sent to the Throne itself. Luckily for him, Prana, and the Throne itself, naturally induce a form of "stasis", which kept him from succumbing to his wounds, giving a certain someone the time necessary to heal him. When Shirō asked who healed him, he was told that all would be revealed in time, but for now, there were other matters to discuss. Namely, his body's state. When Shirō began to refer to the scarred portions of his body, and the whitened streaks in his hair, he was cut-off mid sentence, as that was not what the stranger was referring to. From the moment Shirō raised that blade against Shinji, part of him became a Surgebinder, but due to the flawed nature of the creation, he would never have truly become one with it. It was clear from his physical condition that he would not have lasted much longer with their use. However, now, after being bathed in "true" Prana from within the Throne itself, he was a proper Surgebinder. The stranger thought it only fair to inform Shirō of this change, as there were many benefits, and detriments from undergoing the change into one who wields Prana in it's fullest state, as the change was made without his consent. Shirō didn't see it as much as a problem as the stranger thought, stating that he was still himself, so there wasn't an issue. Instead, he thanked the stranger in his saviors place, for it was obvious that, without their help, he wouldn't be alive. The stranger chuckled to himself in an unsurprising, lighthearted tone, stating that he would have expected no less from Shirō. As he did, the stranger pulled back his hood, revealing warm, gentle face, with striking pale white hair that shined all the colors of a rainbow in the light. The stranger finally introduced himself as simply "Merlin", and began to describe in great detail the history of the Surgebinders, as well as their more current events, before trailing off to speak of the monument upon which the pair were currently conversing. He almost spoke in riddles, giving hints, and half-truths as to it's creation, purpose, etc. It's name was Ars Paulina, and apparently acted somewhat like a Reality Marble, but not quite, and it's purpose was to merely observe, as was Merlin's sacred duty, handed down to him by one Merlin preferred not to mention, almost out of shame. Shirō could sense there was something holding Merlin back, so he didn't press any further, believing that if Merlin truly wished for his help, he would ask in his own time. Merlin finally returned to the reason why Shirō was here, and not simply within the care of the Knight's Radiant back in the Throne, or Avalon. Someone had assaulted Ars Paulina, and stolen a particularly powerful set of artifacts, one of which was still in the bumbling magus' possession. He sought Shirō's help to try and recover them, seeing an outsider with an infallible moral compass such as his the best choice. Merlin couldn't simply leave Ars Paulina, as he had been charged with protecting it, and as a sworn observer, he was forbidden from interfering in the affairs of "humans". His usage of the word "human" as though it did not apply to him did not slip by unnoticed, but since Merlin seemed in trouble, and didn't appear to be a villain of any kind, Shirō let it pass, and offered to help. Merlin, overcome with relief, and joy, enthusiastically thanked the young man, and offered to get him properly trained, so as to take full advantage of the Prana that now coursed through his body.

During the course of his training, Merlin took a particular interest in Shirō's Noble Phantasms, asking him to let him have a proper look at them. Though Shirō found this request to be a bit odd, as it seemingly implied that the sworn observer had taken more than a passing interest in his endeavors, he did so, handing over both Kanshō and Bakuya. As Merlin looked both blades over with enthusiasm, his expression seemed to imply some level of confusion, or misunderstanding at them. As Merlin asked Shirō if there were others that he could look at, Shirō gave a puzzled look, then acquiesced, summoning forth several new pairs for the odd man to inspect. When the same look appeared on Merlin's face, Shirō finally asked what was wrong, to which Merlin simply stated that he probably wouldn't be able to understand the complexities of his hypothesis. However, if he had to know, Merlin had suspected something about the blades Shirō's sister had created for him, yet none of these blades seemed to align with his thoughts regarding them, to which Shirō casually responded that those weren't the ones Miyu made. The original pair that Miyu created for him were destroyed by Angelica's first barrage. Merlin looked at Shirō, dumbfounded, then immediately felt a bead of sweat roll down his forehead, forgetting such an important, yet simple detail from that encounter. Shirō added that, though he couldn't quite explain it, when he held his hand out, and thought of the twin blade's, his Chakra molds to their shape, and gives them form. Merlin brushed that explanation off, stating he wasn't capable of a feat of that level, as it approached one of the most advanced forms of Ninjutsu to exist, and Shirō, no offense, wasn't quite adept enough to achieve such a feat. Shirō wanted to counter with the fact that he wasn't particularly versed in Prana, yet still managed to create an entire pocket dimension within another dimension, and transport himself, and an opponent there, as well as maintain it until he was almost killed, but he didn't want to interrupt and insult him, so he instead opted to simply ask what Merlin was getting at. He took a breath and, in as plain terms as he could, explained to Shirō that there was something off about those "False Phantasms" he used. As evident by the fact Shirō could now produce them at will, without them, regardless of the method, something about that coincidence felt off. Even Darius had picked up on that fact, to the point that he brought it up to Shirō when they met beneath Mt. Enzō, stating that they "fit him like a glove". It was far more than mere coincidence that allowed Shirō to produce the sameweapons, from his dual blades, to that shield of his, and even the two "Divine Constructs" summoned forth by Angelica. Miyu had to have done more than simply make a weapon that only Shirō could use... Shirō then recalled that he could hear a faint voice, guiding him in his fight with Angelica. He felt as though that was what allowed him to summon Kanshō and Bakuya himself, when the "originals" were destroyed, or create the Rho Aias, and made him aware of terms such as "Heroic Spirits" and "Reality Marbles". Those weren't his words. Merlin was fixated in place, staring at Shirō, unable to speak or move out of realization. Then, he finally broke the silence; "It all makes sense now..." As Shirō motioned to speak, Merlin continued, stating that it was nigh impossible for someone unversed in Prana to do all the things Shirō apparently did. This went beyond mere "imitation" and "forgery". There had to be a reason why he could have done all the things he did without instantly dying, and there it was. When Shirō asked what he meant, as he didn't quite follow, Merlin finally elaborated. Miyu's "wish", to create a weapon only "Shirō Emiya" could use, and would grant him the power to save her? It went beyond a mere restriction on the weapon itself. It was baked into the very core of it's existence. The reason why only Shirō could use those False Phantasms? It was because they were his Phantasms, or, more specifically, imitations of Noble Phantasms from some version of his future self. Merlin didn't think it possible, but a Child of God could bend reality to that extent, even if it was unintentional. Layer that atop the fact that the Throne exists outside of the laws of Time and Space within the "real World", and it wasn't impossible. No matter how minute, that possibility was the key to understanding Shirō's evolution in such a small span of time. As Shirō tried to grasp the situation, Merlin spoke frankly;

"You can't, or actually, couldn't summon Noble Phantasms, or project a Reality Marble, so Miyu's wish made it so you were granted the power of a version of you that could. Every time you fought with those imitations, your body was being invaded by the very concept of your future self. Your own "ideal" if you will. It's a miracle you weren't completely consumed by it, and changed beyond repair or recognition, or more likely, killed, or even worse, completely erased due to the conceptual paradox within your very existence."

As Shirō's world began to unravel, Merlin comforted him, stating that this was no longer the case. Miraculously, due to repeated exposure to that "ideal", the power of his future self had been adopted by his current self, even if in only some small capacity. This was clear from Shirō's own projections of the dual blades, as they lacked any trace of that future "ideal" of his. The power was all his to do with as he wished. It was doubtful he could project another Reality Marble in his current state, or even again for that matter, but he did face the harsh reality of that ideal, and come away stronger because of it. It was at this point that Merlin let slip that he was glad it was a version of Shirō that seemed to embody his "justice", rather than another ideal he may have possessed, as they would have no doubt been more aggressive in their attempts to achieve victory, resulting in Shirō's death. As Shirō pressed him what he meant by that, Merlin stated that this wasn't something unique to him, but Shirō was a microcosm for it. He could have been the poster child for wildly differing alternate versions of himself... Shirō was still unclear, so Merlin elaborated, stating that many choices in one's life defines who they are, or rather, end up becoming. Kill or save? Forgive and forget, or hold a grudge to the end of your days? Love them or leave them? Paper or plastic? Merlin then provided examples from what he could gleam from Shirō's past. One of the starkest changes could have occurred during the event that saw him adopted by Kiritsugu Emiya. If the "Magus Killer" didn't offer to adopt the youth, or if Shirō didn't wish to go with him, he would have ended up in the care of Kirei Kotomine via the Church, and grown up as a man of the faith, and, eventually a dog of the Church. An executioner who would slaughter without mercy, and would be compelled to kill anything that was seen as profane, or heretical. This "ideal", Shirō Kotomine, would embody his "judgement" rather than his justice, and would have eventually sought out a "miracle" like Miyu to save humanity from itself, but not quite in the same capacity that Kiritsugu had. His ideal in tandem with a thirst for power would corrupt him, resulting in a flawed wish that would have probably ended humanity. A more recent example would have occurred if Shirō was incapable of saving Miyu, resulting in her death. As a result of this, he would be consumed by grief, and a thirst for revenge, not just upon Darius, or the Ainsworths, but all of humanity. As Shirō confidently stated to Darius' face, he would gladly bear "all the evils in the world", he had no idea how close he was to embodying that exact sentiment... He would have wished upon Miyu's corpse to become an avatar of destruction, Angra Mainyu, who would destroy the world for the destruction's own sake, as recompense for her death. Then finally there was the version of himself that he was familiar with, a being known only to the world as "EMIYA", a guardian of the world who fell from the path of "true justice" to preserve the world as a whole. Ironically, this version most closely represented Kiritsugu's justice, which Shirō had abandoned for Miyu's sake. His life is that of a nameless soldier, fighting for the greater good, sacrificing the few to save the many, when and where he could. In his youth he sought out, and forged a contract with the Radiants, but soon became apathetic to their ways, fell from grace, and lost the respect of the Radiant's leader, and was cast out as a Divergent who sought justice in his own way. This last alternate version, or "alter" of Shirō's was especially worrying, as it was one that could still wing up being a reality, which is what spurred Merlin to action, despite his vow of observation. It was his hope that his intervention would prevent Shirō from experiencing the dark life of a tool, wielded for the sake of humanity, and instead gave him the tools to pursue his true purpose; that of the perfect "Hero of Justice", who would save everyone, no matter what obstacles got in his way. For the first time since he awoke, Shirō saw Merlin not as a stranger to be cautious of, nor a bumbling fool who tripped over their own tongue, or some distant omniscient being charged with the sacred task of observing humanity, or even a surrogate teacher in the ways of Prana, but someone he could call a "friend". And so, with a bond of mutual trust in one another, Shirō and Merlin resumed the former's training, as the dark forces that sought the destruction of the world order would not simply wait for them to finish their friendly chat. Shirō had a lot of training to get through, and not a lot of time to get through it, so things would only get more difficult from this point on.

To be continued...

Other Information


Primary Specialties: As one who prefers a blade over other conventional forms of combat, Shirō is well-versed in the art of Kenjutsu. As a Kenjutsu specialist, Shirō's Non-Elemental Kenjutsu have an increased Range, allowing them to reach 1 Range further than normal.
In tandem with this, Shirō is an Increased Tracking Specialist, and possesses heightened senses, which allow him to more easily keep up with his enemies movements, especially
in the heat of combat. This applies a 1.5x modifier to his tracking capabilities.

Secondary Specialty: In tandem with his overall increased effectiveness in Kenjutsu, Shirō
took his skills with the blade one step further, training with the reclusive Samurai of the
Iron Peninsula, and became an Advanced Kenjutsu Specialist. This allows him to utilize
the unique Kenjutsu techniques of Samurai, and more specifically, their Iaidō.

Extra Specialties: Due to the infusion of Prana into his Chakra Network, Shirō possesses
higher Chakra reserves than normal. This "Chakra Lifeline" grants Shirō an additional
25% to his reserves, increasing his base Chakra levels from 1600 to 2000 Chakra.
Finally, Shirō is one of few practitioners of a unique fighting style known as Renewal Taekwondo, and one of even fewer who specialize in it. This, along with the numerous applications for the style, grant him a passive +20 damage to leg-based Taijutsu.​

Surgebinder: Shirō's conversion from a regular human with no Kekkei Genkai, or Hidden Ability, to a Knight Radiant of the Surgebinder Clan affords him several beneficial and detrimental effects due, to the passive influence of Prana. These passives as stated within the Clan's submission, are as follows;
"Once a Surgebinder is initiated into the clan, their body essentially becomes an "open doorway" for the ethereal energy. This means that Prana energy will constantly enter and exist within their Chakra systems and any quantity of foreign Chakra or energy inserted into their bodies will immediately be transported to the Throne before they can take effect. Chakra inserted into their bodies for the use of illusions will be absorbed before their induction time is complete, meaning the Genjutsu never occurs. However this also means Surgebinders will be incapable of having a Curse Mark or using Sage Mode. It will also become impossible for others to heal them through medical Ninjutsu or transfer Chakra to them. If an ally or opponent tries to absorb the Chakra of a Surgebinder into their own body, they will instead absorb this ambient Prana energy and be frozen internally."

Signature Techniques
Projection Magecraft ᴬ⁺: Undoubtedly Shirō's favored technique when it comes to direct combat, through the Summoning Jutsu, he creates and molds Space-Time portals to fit the shape of weapons from a distant Land, and pulling them through the portals in an instant. Utilizing this technique, Shirō can summon forth a virtually endless series of weapons, his preferred being a pair of dual blades with a Yin-Yang leitmotif. He also tends to draw forth his bow, as well as countless other weapons from this infinite arsenal, all of which he has a basic understanding of how to utilize in combat.
(Kingusugureivu ♕ Busōko) Kingsglaive ♔ Armiger Arsenal
Type: Supplementary/ Offensive/ Defensive
Rank: B-Rank
Range: Short (Portal Creation/ Orbit) Short - Long (Projectile)
Chakra: 20 (Activation) 5 (Per Turn Active)
Damage: 5 - 40 (Depending on the severity of an injury)
Description: The user starts by performing the Seal of Confrontation, drawing blood, channeling Chakra into their hand(s) and performs the Summoning Jutsu for a "Pact" they have with a distant, isolate Land engulfed in boundless armaments. However, instead of Summoning the weapons themselves, the user creates small Space/ Time Portals (similar to the kind formed in "(Doton: Nentsuchi Otoshi) – Earth Release: Sticky Earth Drop"), after which they use Shape Manipulation to mould the shape of these portals, making their general shape identical to that of the weapon the user wishes to Summon. This is done due to the sheer scope of the available arsenal, requiring the user to shape the portal to take the same shape as the visualized weapon, with only that weapon capable of "fitting" through that portal, like cutting a key for a lock. Since these portals are composed entirely of the user's Chakra, they are practically weightless, and their positioning can be controlled by the user at will, allowing the user complete control over their "arsenal" in this state. The number of Portals the user can maintain at any given time is limited to a max of 8, with the user able to freely manipulate the number of portals active at no additional cost. Because of it's massive scope, the user can draw from a virtually infinite arsenal, summoning different styles of weapons from the same type of weapon (For example, in regards to summoning a sword, one has options such as a long-sword, broadsword, rapier, falchion, katana, ninjato, etc, for this one type of weapon, with this example applying to all forms of weapon types). Once the user has selected and summoned their weapons, and have their "arsenal" orbiting their person, they can start to utilize these weapons in combat. Once the portals are directly interacted with, the corresponding weapon is automatically pulled through whether that's into the user's hand, or to deflect incoming projectiles, etc. In the case of the user directly wielding the weapon, this allows them to use the weapon as though they were physically carrying and transporting it, however, as soon as the weapons leave the user's hand/ control, or leave a Short Range radius of the user, the Summoning is immediately undone, reverts the weapon to it's previous state, and returns to orbiting the user with the rest of their arsenal. The only exceptions to this rule are projectiles utilized by ranged weaponry, for example arrows fired from a bow, which are naturally unaffected by this limited range. Finally the user can change the weapons they have with this technique by "visualizing" a different weapon and moulding the portal to fit that weapon, allowing them to switch between various weapons for radical changes in their combat style, however this can only be done on weapons that are not being directly interacted with.

Note: This Jutsu can remain active so long as the user has the Chakra to sustain it. Once deactivated, this technique cannot be used for 2 turns.
Note: Can only be taught by Iᴍᴘᴇяғᴇᴄᴛ.

Gates of Babylon ᴱˣ⁺⁺⁺: Living up to his moniker as a Faker, after his fight with the "King of Heroes", Shirō found a way to imitate his prized method of attack. By utilizing the Summoning Jutsu, Shirō creates ripple-like portals in the air, from which he suspends, then fires basic weapons as projectiles with speed and accuracy that far surpasses modern automatic firearms. While this doesn't truly align with his natural fighting style, nor who he is at his core, Shirō utilizes this technique more favorably when engaged in ranged battles, and simply to spite the true owner of the technique.
(Kingusugureivu ♗ Jūko) Kingsglaive ♘ Arquebus Arsenal
Type: Offensive/ Supplementary
Rank: B-Rank
Range: Short (Portal Creation) Mid (Portal Orbit) Long (Projectile)
Chakra: 20 (Activation) 5 (Per turn active)
Damage: 5 - 40 (Depending on the severity of an injury)
Description: The user starts by performing the Seal of Confrontation, drawing blood, channeling Chakra into their hand(s) and performs the Summoning Jutsu for a "Pact" they have with a distant, isolate Land engulfed in boundless armaments. However, instead of Summoning the weapons themselves, they create small Space/ Time Portals (similar to the kind formed in "(Doton: Nentsuchi Otoshi) – Earth Release: Sticky Earth Drop"), after which they use Shape Manipulation to mould these portals into flat ripple-like distortions in the air. Being composed entirely of the user's Chakra, the portals are weightless, and key characteristics such as the positioning, distance, angle, etc of the portals can be controlled by the user at will, granting them complete control over their arsenal. Unlike with the aforementioned technique however, the portals created for this technique are far less complex and intricate, making their creation easier, allowing the user to create more as a result. The user can create and maintain up to a max of 20 portals, and is able to freely manipulate the number of portals active at will, at no additional cost. Just like with Armiger Arsenal, the user can draw from the virtually infinite arsenal that the Land provides. The portals that the user creates are linked directly to the Land, but don't select specific weapons to arm the user with. Instead the Arquebus Arsenal allows the user to draw from any kind of weapon, usually at random, partially pulling that weapon through the portal, before suspending it in place, then, at the user's command, usually with some kind of gesture or a surge in their Chakra, the portal the weapon is suspended from contracts sharply, firing the chosen weapon at the user's designated target with great speed and precision. Due to the forced contraction of Space-Time firing the weapons like projectiles, the portals emit both a bright flash, and a loud explosive sound, clearly telegraphing which portals are firing. Once this is performed, the portal then selects a new weapon, and repeats this process for as long as the user wishes, or is able to sustain it. Finally, once the weapons have made contact with something tangible, they automatically start to disappear, however this is a slow process than the almost instant reaction the "Armiger Arsenal" possesses, taking 2 turns to slowly "fade away".

Note: This Jutsu can remain active so long as the user has the Chakra to sustain it. Once deactivated, this technique cannot be used for 2 turns.
Note: Can only be taught by Iᴍᴘᴇяғᴇᴄᴛ.

Minds Eye of the Hawk ᴱˣ: During his training with the Samurai of the Iron Peninsula, Shirō achieved a mental state known as Nothingness (Mukou ( 無空 ). He achieved this by stumbling across a series of written texts within Otohime Monastery known as the The Book of Five Rings (Go Rin no Sho ( 五輪書 ). This teaching specifically came from a chapter known as the Book of the Void, which equates the concept of nothingness to complete oneness with everything, achieving completion through emptying ones self of everything. This manifests as a form of heightened clarity in combat, making him detached from everything, and thus attuned to everything, granting him overwhelming evasive capabilities.
(Migatte no GokuiChō hon'nō) Mastery of Self-MovementUltra Instinct
Type: Supplementary/ Defensive
Rank: N/A
Range: Short
Chakra: N/A
Damage: N/A
Description: An advanced Taijutsu art, based on the martial art of "(Mushin) Empty Mind", a mental state where the body reflexively reacts without the need of having any specific input from the practitioner, resulting in such refined levels of instinct and intuition to a level where they can respond to any threat without the need for thought. This is achieved via an intense level of training, wherein one is endlessly bombarded with incredibly fast, yet weak strikes, until they eventually grasp the concept of "self-movement", where each part of the body seemingly acts independently of the user's own will. It teaches one to abandon the practice of "thinking before moving", and simply initiate "moving without thinking". This is incredibly useful, as messages from the brain can only move through the nervous system to one's body parts so fast, subsequently losing precious time in combat that add up with every consecutive movement and action. This technique does not increase, or grant any kind of additional boost to the user's movement, tracking or reaction speed in any sense. Instead, it is akin to an automated defensive stance that allows the user to effectively negate any incoming physical attack that they can, visually or otherwise, register, without actually thinking about performing the actions. The body moves, almost as if on it's own accord, to respond to incoming attacks, and attempts to negate, redirect, or counter them in the most logical manner, before proceeding to intercept the next attack. A perfect idiom to describe this stance is "The lights are on, but no one is home", as the user is clearly responding to external threats, yet doesn't always seem entirely "present". One of the many benefits to this technique is that it is purely physical, and, by it's very nature, requires little to no input from the user themselves, especially in regards to their Chakra flow. As their body is reacting instinctively, rather than with directed motions and a proper input from the user themselves, they're free to use their heads to perform other actions, such as analysing attack patterns, potential weak points, and formulate and initiate proper counter attacks, etc. There are significant drawbacks to this technique as well however as, by it's very nature, it can only allow the user's body to react to actions and attacks that they can witness. This means the user cannot use this technique against attacks faster than they can track or logically register due to speed, but also attacks of a deceptive nature, or attack the user in some unregisterable manner, such as attacks that cannot be physically seen, like "Frog Kumite", or attacks that strike outside the user's field of vision. However, in the case of techniques that are directly applied via physical actions, such as in the case of a Shinobi driving a Rasengan into the body of their opponent, the user can divert this incoming threat by redirecting the physical motions of the opponent's strike, "countering" the Rasengan without making physical contact with it, or even ending the technique. [SUP][ ][/SUP] Finally, entering into this stance does not constitute the usage of one of the user's 3 Jutsu per turn, however, if this technique is used to defend against another Jutsu, every instance of a successfully defended technique does consume one of the user's allotted Jutsu from their next turn. When used to defend against freeform actions and movements, no Jutsu slots are consumed. This can, in most cases, force a stalemate in close-quarters combat centric fights, as neither party gains any ground, or inflicts damage upon the other.

Note: Can only be used for a max of 3 turns, and user must wait 3 turns between usages.
Note: Can only be taught by Iᴍᴘᴇяғᴇᴄᴛ, and can only be used by Biographies with a Taijutsu specialty.

Magic Circuits: Shirō possesses a very unique and powerful Nintaijutsu technique, which requires the user to cover their entire body with tattoo's before they can utilize it. When Chakra courses through his body these tattoo's appear similar to a circuit-like pattern across his body. Using this full-body Summoning Tattoo as a proxy for his own physical actions, Shirō is able to partially utilize his Summoning Animals for close-quarters combat. The technique also has uses outside of Taijutsu, allowing it's user to perform various forms of supplemental actions, all with the same speed and ease of use that the Summoning Jutsu allows.
(Nintaijutsu: Sentō Shōkan no Jutsu) Ninja Body Art: Combat Summoner Technique
Offensive/ Defensive/ Supplementary
Rank: B-Rank
Range: Short - Mid (Depending on the size of the Summon)
Chakra: 20 - 40 (Depending on the Rank of the Summon)
Damage: 40 - 80 (Depending on the Rank of the Summon)
Description: Created by a Summoning Jutsu savant known as the Sentō Shōkan (Combat Summoner) with the specific goal of allowing the user to combine both the Summoning Jutsu and Taijutsu together, he was able to create a new form of Close Quarters Combat. In the simplest terms, the Combat Summoner technique takes the basic concept of the Summoning Jutsu and allows them to be performed in conjunction with Taijutsu. As this Jutsu has its roots set in the Summoning Jutsu, this Jutsu requires it's user to fulfill similar conditions as the Summoning Jutsu, with minor differences which are explained below. This Jutsu is primarily responsible for introducing and explaining the concept of "Combat Summoning", and acting as a reference for derived techniques, all of which will logically fall under the category of Nintaijutsu. There are 2 key aspects to the Combat Summoner technique, the first of which is the alteration to and general application of the user's Summoning Tattoo('s). Instead of being a small, easily concealed Tattoo which is utilized for instant Summoning without Hand Seals, the Tattoo is applied to the entirety of the users body. Because of this it functions like an active map of the user's body for the Summoning Technique itself, with each part of the user's body being linked to a corresponding part of their Summoning Animal's body through their Tattoo's. This allows the user to Summon the corresponding body part of their Summon by activating the Tattoo('s) located on that specific body part. The second aspect is the actual application of the technique in battle. The regular Summoning Jutsu works by signing a Contract with a specific Animal in blood, then sacrificing a small portion of blood each time the user wishes to use the Summoning Jutsu, by wiping blood on their Tattoo, then applying both Chakra and pressure to a surface via direct contact. This technique's Summoning steps are almost identical, with the only real difference being a more direct approach to the "Contact" portion. Logically the user must still apply both blood and Chakra to their Tattoo's, and make contact with a surface, the surface mainly being considered the opponent's body, before the Combat Summoning actually occurs.

The following is an example of how this Jutsu would work within a standard combat scenario; A signer of the Toad Contract performs the D-Rank Taijutsu technique "(Kodzuku) Punch" with their left fist which connects with their target, while also meeting the conditions for the Summoning Jutsu. As they channel Chakra through the Tattoo on their left arm, which also has the necessary blood wiped across it, they become able to "Summon" the left arm of their Summoning Animal to reinforce their attack, which for the purposes of this example is the B-Rank Summon, Gamatatsu. Gamatatsu's fist then almost instantly "materializes" in the area surrounding the user's left arm, similar in appearance and function to how users of the Mangekyō Sharingan can partially manifest their Susano'o's arm, appearing in the area surrounding the user, but not "overlapping" it. This means that any harmful Jutsu that the user may have active will not affect the Summoned fist, as they would not be able to make direct contact, unless the harmful Jutsu has an extended range. Gamatatsu's fist also attacks the target, following the same general speed, trajectory, etc as the users attack, creating a two pronged attack, one being the D-Rank (20 Damage) punch the user threw, and the other being the B-Rank (40 Damage) Combat Summoner punch from Gamatatsu, resulting in a total of 60 damage, should both punches successfully land without interference. Upon the completion of the attack, whether either attack was successful or not, Gamatatsu's arm disappears as quickly as it appeared, leaving the user to plan their next attack accordingly.

Note: The Combat Summoner Tattoo's are designed and applied by the user at their own discretion, requiring the user to post this Jutsu in the "Other" portion, and describe the appearance of their Tattoo's within the "Appearance" portion, of any Biography that wishes to use this Jutsu.
Note: Although the damage of this technique is taken directly from the Rank of the chosen Summon, unique effects and abilities for any Summons utilized with this technique must also be taken into consideration, whether they be a result of that Summon's Biology, or some passive ability they possess.
Note: Due to the unique method of Summoning that the Combat Summoner Jutsu utilizes, the partial Summoning method employed by the Combat Summoner Jutsu does not affect the Regular Summoning Jutsu Method. This is because the Combat Summoning method relies solely on the actions and Chakra of the user for it's activation, and thus doesn't conflict with it. However, any Animal that has been Summoned using the Regular Method, and subsequently used up their summoning time, cannot be Summoned via the Combat Summoner Method. This is because when Animals are Summoned using the Regular Method, they expend their own Chakra to maintain the Summoning, and once they run out of Chakra, typically around 4 turns later, they become unavailable to be Summoned afterwords. The Combat Summoner Method adheres to this restriction because it's based on the Summoning Animal, not the method of Summoning.
Note: Can only be taught by Iᴍᴘᴇяғᴇᴄᴛ.

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Scientific Ninja Tools & Custom Technology
(Yoko) Beautiful Child: Utilizing his old contacts from his times spent as a freelancer with Kiritsugu, Shirō commissioned the creation of a specialized rifle, one that fit both close quartered and ranged combat. The end result was a Barrett M82A1 known as "Yoko", which he bestowed the name (Chì Mògàn ( 赤 莫干 ) Dry Blood Moon, in honor of the blacksmiths that created
Kanshō & Bakuya, the dual blades which he came to claim as his signature weapons, Gān Jiàng & Mò Yé.
Yoko | Yoko
Type: Offensive/Supplementary
Rank: S
Range: Short-Long
Chakra: N/A (20)
Damage: 80 (40 and -5 to the user)
Description: Yoko is a large Heavy Ballistic Siege Rifle, looking very similar to a Barret .50cal sniper.
This Heavy Sniper Rifle is carried around often slung on the back of a user, or summoned from a scroll if desired. The rifle itself uses large ballistic ammo that has been specially crafted from Hangurian ore for extra damage. Yoko has two firing modes, Standard Rifling or quick eject cartridge, a custom made style. When in regular firing mode, the user can use the bi-pod attached for a steady shot, or those with extreme strength can hold the rifle steady enough to accurately target shots. While in regular Firing mode, ammunition is shot out from a 6 round chamber one at a time with comparable speed to Lightning Jutsu. This mode requires no Chakra on behalf of the user, activating like a regular gun. The extended silencer on the barrel muffles sound, outside of Mid Range, meaning that when fired only the shot can be heard in short and Mid Range. In the quick eject mode, Ammunition can be launched out of the holding chamber into the users hand. These cartridges then require 20 Chakra from the user to activate to fire off the bullet in the users hand. Doing so causes only 40 damage however and also deals 5 damage to the user for the explosion going off in the users hand.

Note: Can be fired up to 6 times in total. Only one shot can be fired per turn, including the quick eject mode, counting as a Jutsu per turn when used.
Note: Quick Eject shells can only reach within short range.

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Assassin's Arsenal: To go with his specialized sniper rifle, Shirō also adopted some of Kiritsugu's weapons, and tactics utilized with them. This arsenal consists of three guns, one assault rifle, and two submachine guns, which fire rounds of Chakra. The first is a semi-automatic rifle, a Walther WA2000, one of less than 200 ever made, making it an incredibly rare collectors piece outside of combat. The second and third are a pair compact submachine guns, Calico M950's, which sport an iconic design.
(Asashin Heiki) - Assassin's Arsenal
Type: Tool
Rank: A
Range: Short - Long
Chakra: 30 (-30 to recharge)
Damage: 60
Description: The Assassin's Arsenal is a set of 3 guns: an assault rifle and a pair of semi-automatic pistols. These guns are capable of firing Jutsu Bullets. The user can release up to 5 bullets freeform per turn, dealing a collective 20 damage. The user is also able to release Fire Jutsu Bullets at A rank power once per turn, only usable every two turns. This can be done via single fire or three round bursts from his Chakra rifle or by firing his pistols, creating bursts up to 3 meters large.

Note: The two pistols can fire 5 freeform bullets per turn to deal 20 damage. These bullets are made of raw Chakra and are of similar width to fingers.
Note: These pistols are also able to release up to 2 Projectile/Streaming Jutsu per turn and up to 5 in total before having to recharge Chakra cartridges. During the recharge periods, the user must spend 30 Chakra to recharge the clips in which neither of the guns can be used.

Mirror Drones x2: A pair of Scientific Ninja Tools, Mirror Drones are offensive instruments with extreme speed and range, which Shirō utilizes as reconnaissance, distraction and general interference tools. He always carries two with him, in the off-chance one were to be discovered, destroyed, or otherwise be unavailable.
(Mikagami Dorōn) - Mirror Drone
Type: Tool
Rank: A
Range: Short - Long
Chakra: 30 Initial Cost (-10 per turn)
Damage: N/A
Description: This Scientific Ninja Tool is a disk-shaped drone that can be controlled remotely with Chakra to fly and attack. The user can have up to four drones which he can use to fire Jutsu Bullets from that are strong enough to render a target unconscious and move at comparable speed to Lightning Jutsu. These drones are able to be used up to long range, or one landmark adjacent to the user's location.

Note: User can only have 2 max. Cyborg bios can have up to 4, either counting as 1 slot.
Note: Once deployed, Mirror Drones last up to 8 turns before their battery dies, requiring a break of the same amount of time before they can be used. Cyborg bios have double the using time for half the charging time ( only 4 turns to recharge battery).

False Phantasm - Gáe Buidhe: On his travels through the Ninja World, Shirō came into possession of a spear forged with a unique ore from the Eastern Continent of Tobusekai. On contact with foreign entities, it siphons off Chakra, restoring a portion to the user, and utilizes the rest to activate an "Anti-Sealing" effect, making it an invaluable tool against Fūinjutsu techniques.
(Senzo Sentan) – Ancestral Edge
Type: Artifact
Rank: A-Rank
Range: N/A
Chakra: N/A (+25 per strike)
Damage: N/A
Description: The Ancestral Edge is a five foot spear forged from steel and imbued with a mysterious orange ore from Tobusekai, the Eastern Continent. The spear predates the Hangurian Freehold, although is thought to have come after the Sage of Six Paths spread Chakra throughout the world. Unlike traditional and conventional spears, the Ancestral Edge does not cut bone or rend flesh; instead its blunt strikes siphons the essence of that which it hits. In simple terms, the spear drains Chakra from those it comes in contact with, barring the wielder. A single strike, a moment of contact, drains 50 Chakra from the victim and returns 25 Chakra to the user. The 25 Chakra that is not returned to the user is stored within the spear, which is slowly stored up within the spear in order to access its fullest potential: the ability of nullification. Once the wielder has successfully stored 25 Chakra within the spear, the spear can release an invisible pulse of Chakra up to the end of Mid-Range from the user’s position. This invisible pulse of Chakra, traveling at thrice the user’s speed, has the potential to nullify all Fūinjutsu up to, and including, S-Rank for two turns. The spear is remarkably durable, being able to sustain itself from A-Rank attacks. The spear can survive a single S-Rank attack, but after which its defenses will be nullified; this leaves it vulnerable to mere free form damage. The spear’s Chakra reserves are drained at a rate of 25 per turn outside of battle.

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