Ever since Jalter had been summoned to Chaldea, she had always kept her distance from everyone. The staff, almost all the other Servants, the NPCs, or Craft Essences as they were labeled as, and even her Master, Gudao. The only two she got close to was her original self, Jeanne D’ Arc, and another alter by the name of Salter, Saber/Arturia Alter. She associated with them but she never opened up to either one of them.
She would do her job and help whenever she was asked to but she simply remained to herself whatever she wasn’t needed. Most of the inhabitants of Chaldea had asked her why she doesn’t open up more but she never gave them an answer, leading them to make assumptions and guesses. Most had agreed it was likely due to her being Jeanne’s opposite.
They could think whatever they wanted but none of them could guess the true reason. Despite what Chaldea’s records stated, she had memories of before she was summoned to Chaldea. Memories that didn’t even involve Chaldea in any way.
Before she found herself fighting to destroy humanity in the Singularity of Orleans, she remembers a war. A Holy Grail War on the Moon.
At first, she thought the Master that summoned her was a hopeless idiot that got him dragged into this war, mostly due to him staring off into space as she dealt with the enemy that had attacked him. However, this impression did not last long. Before the final fight at the end of the first week, she had come to understand her Master. He was just like her. She saw the same vengeful flames in him that she felt.
She wouldn't find out what was driving his desire for revenge or who he sought vengeance for or against until the 5th week of the war when he had almost died but was saved by some strange ability he never told her about. He was smart enough to know that she wanted to know what it was and so they began to open up to each other.
She told him her true name. How she was a theoretical servant that shouldn't exist. A simple shadow of a real Heroic Spirit. After she had done so, her master simply stated they weren't happy with her calling herself a shadow. Even if it was true, he didn't view her as such and asked her to not think herself as such. She was surprised by her Master's kindness.
He didn't like the two names she said he could call her by. So, he ended up calling her Joan instead. She was a bit embarrassed at first when he called her by that name but she fell in love with the name.
By the final week of the war, her master finally told her his intentions for the grail. The truth was, he had none. The grail wasn't what he was fighting to get but, rather, the chance to reach the Moon Cell was why he fought so much. He tried to explain what had happened but she found it more confusing than it being an explanation. He ended summarizing it as the Moon Cell had gone back on a deal they had made and now he wanted to take revenge for that betrayal as well as avenge all the Masters that got killed in this war. That was all she needed to hear to convince her to make sure they won, no matter what. She had no wish either so the only thing she wanted was to help her Master complete their vengeance. Even if it would end up being the end for both of them.
After defeating the final master as well as a man who guarded the Moon Cell itself, her Master began to mess with the Moon Cell and soon enough, began what he had called the 'Meltdown' process. The screens displaying all the floors where they had explored and fought quickly were filled with red as they all began to burn. Even the area around the Moon Cell itself began to burn as flames started engulfing the place.
However, for some reason, her Master wasn't smiling. She didn't understand why as he sounded so sure about wanting to do this. Yet, he didn't look happy. She ended up asking him.
"Why aren't you happy? The Moon Cell is going to burn and everyone who died will be avenged. This is what you wanted right?"
He turned to her unable to look her in the eyes as he said those two words before pressing a button on the console.
She watched as the Moon Cell, despite its Meltdown, began to glow as she could only guess he had activated the Grail. She just looked towards him.
"What did you do!? You said you didn't have a wish, remember! What did you wish for!?"
She wanted to know what he did and why she could feel herself being pulled away as he simply raised his hands with the 3 commands seals he never used during the war still on it.
"Joan, by my command seals, I give you my final 3 commands. Leave the Moon Cell, help any person you deem worthy of your help, and...never call yourself someone else's shadow!"
She felt the three commands seals take effect as the force that was pulling her got stronger as she saw herself disappearing. She just looked at him as tears began to fill her eyes.
"I thought you said we would die together alongside the Moon Cell! Was that just a lie!?"
He just smiled.
"Thank you, Joan, for everything. May whatever Master you end up with being better than I could ever be."
All she could do as she disappeared from the Moon Cell was call his name.
That was the last she ever saw of her one and only Master. She didn't know how she ended up in the Singularity she first found Chaldea in nor how she ended up encountering them multiple times before she finally got summoned by them but regardless, she was here. According to the records, she shouldn't exist outside of Chaldea as she wasn't a proper heroic spirit but she couldn't help but feel that was wrong. Her Master did something. She just needed to find out what he had used the grail for.
She felt tears rolling down her cheeks as she finished reminiscing on what happened. She just muttered to herself.
"Damn you. Forcing me to live with these moments and feelings while you're dead. How can I find someone else better than you when you were perfect to me."
She quickly wiped away her tears as she heard a knock on the door She tried to compose herself as she got up to open it as she was met with her current master on the other side of the door.
"Good Afternoon Jalter."
She was wondering what his Master had wanted but she quickly remembered that they were going to try and summon Hessian Lobo and she said she would be there to make sure they didn't attack Gudao.
"Sorry, I got lost in thought."
"It's fine. Though if may ask, are you ok? Your eyes look a bit red as if you were crying."
She turned away as she grabbed her weapons sitting beside her bed.
"Trust me, Master, I'm okay."
He sighed in defeat as she walked out of her room and proceeded to follow him to the summoning room. She knew this shouldn't take to long. Once they were finished, she could go back to her room and be alone. As great of a Master Gudao had been, he couldn't replace who Hakuno was to her. She knew she should try and move on but something kept her from doing so. As much as she knew he was likely gone, she still held onto some fragment of hope he would find her. Unbeknownst to her, that fragment of hope would finally be proven true.
The Master and Servant enter the summoning room where 3 other Servants and the former Demi Servant Mash were all waiting as they look at the two enterings. She knew the 3 other servants well. They were Avenger class Servants, like herself. Edmond Dantes, the King of the Cavern, Gorgon, Medusa’s monstrous self, and Angra Mainyu, the original Avenger, had been there waiting for her and Gudao to arrive. Mash went over to Gudao and they started talking as he went over to start preparing the summoning circle.
Ever since Gudao had returned from the Shinjuku Pseudo-Singularity, he has been trying to summon the Avenger he had encountered there, Hessian Lobo. Originally, they would have a few Berserkers on standby when it came to summoning Avengers or certain wild servants. However, after an incident when she was originally summoned, they had decided to simply use Avengers. Even then, they rarely were needed. Angra Mainyu appeared during one of their daily summons and Gorgon was on decent grounds with her Master from the last time they saw her during the Babylonia Singularity before she got summoned to Chaldea.
Lobo, on the other hand, was likely going to be difficult if and when he managed to summon him. The events that had transpired during the Pseudo-Singularity had not gone well for the Avenger. Despite the dangers, he still wanted to summon the Avenger despite the beast's hatred towards all humans. Plus, they could always use another Avenger in Chaldea. Avengers was the 2nd fewest servants in Chaldea, only beaten out by Rulers servants who totaled in 3. They use to be 3rd but that was no longer the case due to Mash, being the only Shielder servant, losing her status as a Demi-Servant.
“You don't seem to be in a good mood. Then again, when are you ever in a good mood.”
She glanced over to see Dantes looking at her. She just stared back not responding. She didn't hate Dantes, per se, but they barely got along with each other. Perhaps it was because they were the first 2 Avengers summoned to Chaldea. She didn't know why other than she just couldn't stand him. The only reason she even tolerated him was because of her Master.
He looked away as the Gudao had finally finished talking with Mash and was ready to start the summoning ritual. She was used to how this goes from seeing it happen so many times. She simply stood by, having her sword at the ready, as the ritual began as the room was filled with light. Within a few moments, the bright light began to dim as a figure began to become visible and it wasn’t long before she recognized the servant as the one the Gudao was trying to summon.
‘Well, here he is. Hope you know what you're doing' She stood ready to draw her sword on the chance that Lobo lunged at the Masters.
The Beast stared at her Master and Mash for a few moments before finally submitting and lowering his head. The tension that had once filled the room start to vanish as the Gudao and Mash pet the Avenger without any retaliation from the Beast. Mainyu, Gorgon, and Edmond walked over to the 3 as conversations started.
She kept her distance as she watches from afar before deciding to head back to her room. They had the situation handled. She hoped she could spend the rest of the day to herself reminiscing as she had been. Even if the was no point in thinking of a Master she'll never see again, it was one of the few things that gave her any kind of happiness.
However, as she turns to leave the room, she notices the summoning circle was still active for some reason. Usually, once a summoning had been complete, the circle would deactivate. Yet here it was still active. She couldn't help but stare at it as she suddenly got a strange feeling about it. Soon enough, the Gudao and Mash also noticed the still active summoning circle.
"Senpai, you didn't accidentally leave an extra Saint Quartz in the circle when we summoned did you?"
"No. You know I'm careful when it comes to setting up the summoning ritual. I still remember that one time that ended in disaster."
"Don't be so harsh on yourself. That was 1 time and that was just after the summoning ritual had been changed to use one less quartz. That wasn't your fault."
As they were confused about what was going on, her mind quickly flashed an image of the flames surrounding her former Master that to burn SERAPH and Moon Cell. As if she could feel what was coming, she gave her Master a loud warning.
"Both of you get down now!"
As soon as she said that a pillar of flame shot out of the summoning circle. Hessian quickly grabbed the two as Lobo jumped back away from the circle as the flames filled the Summoning Circle area and filled the room with intense heat. As quickly as the pillar of flame had appeared, it began to dissipate and a figure began to become visible.
"Ummm, ok maybe I'm not one to talk but I have to ask: What is that thing?"
She could hear Mainyu comment behind her. None of the people in this room should know what this yet she knew exactly what this being was. She had first seen it during the near-death incident during the 5th round of the Moon Cell Holy Grail war her former Master experience trying to protect her. She thought he was dead only for him to enter a state he told her was called Dead Face.
That fragment of hope she still had told her this had to be her former Master but she refused to believe it. Her former Master was gone. She believed without a doubt that he had burned away alongside the Moon Cell and SERAPH. Plus, he told her he encountered other Dead Faces before. This was likely another Dead Face that got sent here by mistake. It wasn’t her former Master.
She quickly pulls her sword out of its sheath, ready to simply strike this thing down. If Gudao complained afterward, she'll just tell him she could sense it was dangerous and hope he would leave it at that. However, just as she was about to strike the Dead Face down it spoke a single word that froze her in place.
As she heard that name she felt like time froze around her. She stared at the Dead Face standing in front of her unable to strike it. She could hear the Dantes yelling behind her but she wasn't listening to what was being said. She was too focused on being in front of her. It should have been impossible for anyone else to know that name for her except for her former Master and herself.
The Dead Face form began to disappear as she looked at the man’s face and her sword arm fell to her side as he looked back at her. That smile of his was all he could muster before he collapsed. She dropped her sword as she grabbed him before lowering to the floor with him as she looked at him in shock. She couldn't believe it but there was no mistaking it was him.
She had so many questions running through her head. How did he manage to get here? What happened on the Moon Cell? All those questions took a back seat compared to her worry about him. Whatever had happened, it drained him as she could barely feel any mana left within him. He needed to be looked at by Nightingale. She could hear Gudao come up behind her as he sounded a bit shock.
"Wait, he looks like Hakuno but somethings off. And why did he call you 'Joan', Jalter?"
Gudao was looking at her confused about what just happened. She didn't know where to begin or how to explain it. Even if she did, what were the chances he would believe her? As far as Chaldea knew, she never existed before the Orleans Singularity. Why would anyone believe her if she told them she was summoned to the Moon Cell. Thankfully, he realized there were pressing matters than her connection to this person as he turned to Mash.
"Mash, go find Nightingale, we'll take him to a spare room."
Mash nodded as she left the room as he turned back to her.
"Look, I don't mind waiting for answers. Let's just make sure he's alright first."
That was something they could both agree on. Even if she did tell him the truth about the Moon Cell and who this Hakuno was, she had no idea about how he got here. He shouldn't have been able to escape yet somehow he did. Regardless, she picked Hakuno up and followed Gudao. As she passed by Dantes, she sensed him staring at her but she didn't stop to give him attention. He didn't need to know who this man was right now. He can yell at her later for all she cared. Her only concern, at the moment, was Hakuno.
Clarification for next chapter:
Hakuno (Victor of the Moon CE): The Hakuno that remembers the Extella Zero Grail War and events of Extella. Usually accompanied by Nero, Tamamo, and Altera.
Hakunon (Another Ending CE): The Hakuno that remembers the events of the CCC Incident. Usually accompanied by Gilgamesh (Archer), Gilgamesh (Caster), Enkidu and Gilgamesh (Kid)
Longest. Chapter. Yet.
I didn't realize how long this would end up being. I had intended to have some bits for at the end but, considering how long of a read this already is, I figured it would be best for me to save it for later.
Instead, enjoy a Servant/Master profile for HAKUNO at the end of the chapter.
He remembered how it all happened. How the Hakuno Kishinami of his world died. Of how she failed to defeat Twice and Saver and caused the Moon Cell to fall into turmoil.
By the time the Moon Cell salvaged her body, it was beyond repair and so it had to start from scratch. It knew only Hakuno Kishinami could defeat Twice, destroy the Chakravartin, and restart its systems. So, using data from all the dead hackers from the Grail War and frame data of Hakuno Kishinami, it created him, HAKUNO Kishinami, a Dead Face of Hakuno Kishinami.
The Moon Cell knew well enough simply recreating Hakuno Kishinami wouldn't be enough. So, for the next 1000 years, he was forced to watch the Hakuno Kishinami of different timelines in order to recreate their personality. He had watched the original Moon Cell holy grail war, the events that took place on the Far Side of the Moon, the Grail war of the Extella timeline where two Kishinamis existed, and the wars that took place afterward within the new realm of SERAPH. Every single moment, every single battle, and every single death that the Moon Cell predicted he had to watch.
For 1000 years, he was forced to watch all of this. Watch different versions of himself fight, suffer, and even die. All the while, he couldn't do a damn thing but watch. That was his existence for 1000 years. Bearing witness to every single Hakuno existence all the while the Moon Cell tried to make him think that he was them. The only solace he got was the occasional endings where certain versions of himself got good endings but those were few and far between. To him, his existence was hell.
While this did help him to develop beyond the simple hate Dead Faces experience, he never truly became Hakuno Kishinami. When the 1000 years had ended and Moon Cell was running low on time, it offered him a deal. If he defeated Twice and destroyed Chakravartin, the Moon Cell would grant him any wish he desired.
He didn't want a wish nor did he need it. The only thing he wanted was death. So, he made his side of the deal clear: He defeated Twice and destroyed Chakravartin and Moon Cell would delete him after he was done. The Moon Cell accepted though he found it odd that it took a moment before accepting the deal, and sent him back into SERAPH.
From there, it was simple, the "War" began, he ended up being saved by Nero, and, with the help of Rin and Rani, they made their way through the floors and reached the place where Twice and the Chakravartin were. With the help of Leo, Gawain, and Rin, they defeated Twice and destroyed Chakravartin. Soon enough, Moon Cell was reactivated and everything turned white as it resets. He expected to be deleted and finally be able to rest.
How his expectations were incorrect. The Moon Cell didn’t delete him. It told him it decided he was too valuable of an asset to simply delete. So, it would keep him in storage until he was needed. This ticked him off. They had a deal yet the Moon Cell was the one going back on the deal. A supercomputer far advanced than anything mankind can create and it was the to be greedy. Yet, there was nothing he could do.
He had no idea how long he was stuck in the storage area. Days? Months? Years? It felt like an eternity to him. He couldn't escape. He couldn't die. All he could do is think and reminisce on memories that weren't even his own. He did what he did in order to be free from what he was forced to witness yet he was back where he had started. Remembering the other versions of Hakuno Kishinami and all they went through all the while he couldn't do anything to help.
One day, as he was thinking about how the Moon Cell betrayed him he said those words out loud, not expecting anything to hear him.
“I swear, if I ever get out of this place and if I was given a chance to, I will destroy the Moon Cell.”
He didn’t know how he would but he would find a way to make the Moon Cell pay. He wasn't expecting anyone to answer his declaration, yet it as answered. The storage room he had been in glowed as he began to open his eyes inside an area he remembered well. The area where Hakuno Kishinami first meets their servant during the Holy Grail war. He had no idea how or why he was here but a voice quickly got his attention.
“Hey, can you stop being zoned out and answer if you’re my Master or not? I already killed the thing attacking you so it’s now or never on answering the question.”
He looked at the woman however it was not any of the servants that had been previously summoned he had seen from the memories of all the versions of Hakuno Kishinami
The woman resembled the Servant the Moon Cell classified as Top Ruler, Jeanne D' Arc, however, she was different. Her armor was black, her flag holds a dragon-like symbol, and her sword was black as well. Her hair was whitish gray rather than the golden color the Jeanne in the memories had. He didn't know who the servant was but, rather than taking any more time, he just nods his head to her question.
"Good. Try not to zone out again otherwise, we aren't going to get along. You can call me Avenger."
It didn't take him long to realize what had happened. Somehow, he had ended up back in the Moon Cell Holy Grail war. He didn't know who and how he got here nor how he managed to summon an Avenger but he was glad to get the opportunity.
If he could win, he would be able to get his revenge on the Moon Cell. He just had to figure out how he was going to do it. Luckily, he still had access to the Moon Cell as an admin. He didn't know why but he was glad to have it. Whatever force helped him escape was looking out for him even if he didn't know who it could be. So, over the next 3 weeks, in between everything that was going on, he would research into the Moon Cell trying to find something that could be used against it.
On the night before the Elimination Battle of Week 3, he had found his answer. The Moon Cell had a Meltdown protocol. In the event the Moon Cell had gone rogue, the Meltdown protocol would burn the Moon Cell and SERAPH completely. It could only be activated by those with certain permissions but he quickly learned he had those permissions.
Avenger had to stop thinking so lowly of him by the time the First Round had ended. She said he thought he was just some fool that got lucky but she now sees something in his eyes that has gotten her invested in his success. She had assured him that she would follow orders and he didn't need to waste his commands seals to make her do anything that other heroic spirits would consider dishonorable.
The moment of truth came when Rin and Rani's servants were fighting. He remembered this moment. Whoever he chose would stick with them and the other would become his opponent during the 6th round of the War. The problem was, regardless of who he saved, they would likely try and stop him from destroying the Moon Cell.
While they could help him, he didn't trust either one after they had used him in order to settle the stalemate their two servants had created. He could and would have saved both of them but, rather than telling him about what they really were, they lead him on until the 6th floor where he was forced to choose one of them. He hated both of them for it.
So, he made the hardest decision. He chose not to save either one of them. In his mind, it was a bit of karma for what they did. He was worried Avenger would not trust him for doing so, yet, she reacted the complete opposite. She saw what he did as a necessary action. If anything, she would have lost respect for him had he saved one of the two. The two lost their servants and were deleted. Both of then now unable to stop him.
Then came the 5th round, his memories were the most prominent of this round for what was to come. Li Shuwen would use his ability to sneak attack Avenger. Without Rani or Rin, they had no means of undoing an attack from Assassin. The first time around, they managed to fend him off without getting hit.
The second time around they weren't so fortunate. Assassin had caught Avenger off guard. If Assasin landed the hit, they were finished. However, after the first encounter, he thought of whether Dead Face was still something he could use or not. He hadn't gotten a chance to try it out but it was now or never.
Right as Assassin went to strike Avenger, he got in front of her and took the hit for her. Julius believes he was good as dead and called off Assassin as the two left Avenger and himself, who was on the ground. He could see Avenger had discarded her tough facade as she desperately called out for him to hold on. However, that changed once she saw him transform into Dead Face stabilizing what had been damaged before he blacked out. He had awoken in the medical room and after Sakura, the Medical AI, had left the two, Avenger wanted answers. So, the two talked, telling each other about who they are.
Turns out he was right about Avenger being related to Jeanne D' Arc when they first met. However, when she called herself nothing more than a shadow, he got frustrated. She wasn't Jeanne's shadow. To him, she was Avenger. The person who had stood by his side through all these battles and all the bad decisions he had made. He told her to never think herself of that before he went on to explain who and what he was.
Afterward, Avenger offered nicknames but he decided to call her Joan instead of the ones she offers, like Jeanne Alter or Jalter. She seemed a bit embarrassed when he called her that, which only make him want to call her by Joan more. She gave in and accepted the nickname. Soon enough, they defeated Julius and Assassin as well as their opponent of the 6th round.
With the last fights soon to arrive, he told Joan his plan. He told her how he had no wish other than wanting to destroy the Moon Cell. He started going into details about what had happened only for Joan to give him a look of confusion so he dumbed it down for it.
“Basically, I made a deal with the Moon Cell and the Moon Cell betrayed the deal. Now, I just want to destroy the Moon Cell.”
Joan looked at him as he finished explaining as she smiles as if something that was bothering her was finally answered.
"So that's why your eyes are so full of vengeful flames. I've been wondering about it ever since the 1st round. If that's your plan then I want to be right beside you as we burn alongside the Moon Cell."
He was glad she was on with the plan. He was going to leave it at that until she brought up something that caused him to rethink his plan.
"While this might be the only chance I'll have to be a Servant, I'm glad we'll get to end on such a note."
Admittedly, he was confused. What did she mean by that?
“What do you mean this is your only chance to be a servant?”
Joan looked at him like she thought he knew already.
“Well, remember how I told you I theoretically shouldn’t exist. I didn’t just mean as a person. I also meant as a servant. I shouldn’t exist as I do. I don’t know what happened to caused me to be here but I doubt I will get the same chance twice.”
He simply left the conversation alone as the two never talked about it for the rest of the week. If Joan died alongside him, she’ll never appear again? He was more than contempt with dying yet, after spending all these weeks with her, he wasn’t happy with the idea of Joan no longer existing. He did research that night to see if it was possible to make someone a servant using the Grail.
According to the Moon Cell, it was very much possible. He looked at Joan, who as deep in slumber, as he thought of what she said. She had told him she was just a shadow of a great heroic spirit. He hated himself for what he was going to do but she deserved better than simply dying alongside someone simply because they are too obsessed with revenge as well as avenging everyone who died during the war.
So, he finally knew what he would wish for. He simply got reminded of how the Hakuno he was made from couldn't keep her promise to be with Nero when she died. He had help made sure that she got the chance to fulfill that promise in the end and, once she did, she was at peace. Now here he was, not keeping his promise to die alongside Joan. He truly had come full circle as he simply thought to himself.
'At least the cycle will end once the Moon Cell is destroyed. It won't be like last time.'
Soon enough, the moment had arrived. They had defeated Leo and Twice. As he stared down the Moon Cell, he activated the Meltdown protocol as flames began to appear all around them. He could see the other floors beginning to burn as well as the Moon Cell was trying to figure out what was going on. It had not expected him to have the admin access permissions.
Joan was distracted as well and so he began to type out his wish to the Grail remotely as he stared down at his wish all he could do is give a frown. He would likely not see Joan again. Joan had taken notice of him as she asked what was wrong.
"Why aren't you happy? The Moon Cell is going to burn and everyone who died will be avenged. This is what you wanted right?"
He simply turned towards her, knowing she would never forgive him for doing this. The Servant he had come to fight with, survive, and even agreed to die to and the final moments they would have would be of his betrayal. All he could do is muster those two words.
He activated the grail as he could see the shock in Joan’s eyes as she looked at him.
"What did you do!? You said you didn't have a wish, remember! What did you wish for!?"
He could tell that his wish was starting to take effect as he could see her slowly fading but he knew she could stave it off if he didn't do anything. He slowly raised his hand up, still having the 3 command seals from the war as he used them. Not to save or help Joan defeat a servant, but to force her to leave.
"Joan, by my command seals, I give you my final 3 commands. Leave the Moon Cell, help any person you deem worthy of your help, and...never call yourself someone else's shadow!"
With those words, he felt the command seals on his hand activate and Joan starting to fade faster due to the effects. He watched as tears rolled down her cheeks as he felt the weight of what he just did. She just looked at him pleading for some answer.
"I thought you said we would die together alongside the Moon Cell! Was that just a lie!?"
He wished he had enough time to tell her everything. That he did plan to die alongside her but wanted better for her than simply dying with him. All he could do is smile, as he didn't have time to explain himself.
"Thank you, Joan, for everything. May whatever Master you end up with being better than I could ever be."
With those words, Joan tried to reach out to him as she faded, calling his name.
He turned back towards the Moon Cell. Joan was gone. The only thing left in this place was her voice echoing his name. There was no one left except for the two of them. Him, a creation of the Moon Cell, and it, his creator.
The Moon Cell had finally accessed the hud he was using and was offering him anything to deactivate the Meltdown protocol. He was disgusted. The Moon Cell, the god of SERAPH, was begging for its existence. Did it offer mercy to those who begged to live? No. Why should he offer mercy when it never offered mercy to anyone who wanted it? It had forced him for 1000 years to be someone he could never be because that person died and he was made from their corpse. It had this coming for a long time.
He hastens the Meltdown protocol, causing the flames to rise higher and burn faster. The Moon Cell went silent. Did it give up or was it trying to find some way to deactivate the protocol itself? He stood in silence as he watched the lower floors begin to burn away completely. It wouldn't be long before it was over. However, Moon Cell had one final offer.
In front of him, appeared a ring inside a cube. One look at the ring and he immediately knew what it was. It was the Regalia. The symbol of the Ruler of the Moon Cell. Whoever possessed it, had control of all of Moon Cell. Why was the Moon Cell offering this to him? It must have known he had no desire to rule the Moon Cell.
Then, he remembered a conversation he had with Joan back during Week 5 when he first explained who he was. He was talking to her about the Extella timeline and was in the middle of explaining the Regalia.
“Wait so whoever has this ring controls the entire Moon Cell?”
She had asked him while he was explaining it to her.
“Yep. It the reason why this war is even happening or, at least, it would be in that timeline. It’s to name a Ruler or Sovereign for the Moon Cell.”
She looked at him before relaxing again.
“Well, I have no desire to become a Queen and I know you don’t care for ruling either.”
He chuckled. Seems she has learned a lot about him without him noticing.
"True. Still, think it would nice on you if you wore it."
That comment caused Joan to blush and immediately comment back as well as a pillow was thrown at him.
“Don’t say such things you jerk.”
He could only laugh and, soon enough, she joined him in the laughter. One of the few times he felt something beyond hatred, a desire for revenge, or anything negative. He had felt like he was alive. Was that it? Was the Moon Cell really trying to appease his interest in Joan by offering the ring to him?
This threw his hatred off the edge as he proceeded to push the Protocol into high gear. Joan was gone. He accepted this fact. Yet, The Moon Cell believed it could get away with appealing to an idea that he had with her. The Moon Cell was a fool with the powers of a god. It didn't deserve to exist.
Within moments it was done, the Moon Cell deactivated due to the heat as the box keeping the ring in place disappeared and the ring began to fall into the flames. He caught it before it reached the flames as he decided to take a look at it. The ring's gem was the color of dark purple and had the shape of a dragon head, likely to symbolize Joan's color scheme and symbol. He holds the ring in his hand as he watched the world around him begin to crumble.
He knew this was the end. This was what he had fought and bled for. Yet, as the flames began to take him he couldn’t help of Joan. He can’t help but think he had fallen for her and the final thing he did was lie to her. He felt satisfaction from watching the Moon Cell beg for mercy and, finally, getting what it deserved yet he also felt horrible for what he did. Yet, couldn't help but feel for Joan the same way Hakuno had felt for Nero.
It all amalgamated into him feeling tired as the flames took him completely. His Dead Face activated by instincts as it tried to keep him from being harmed by the flames. It wouldn’t last long. The final battle had taken a lot out of him and he didn’t have much mana left to maintain the form. It did give him a few moments more as he sighed.
"I hope where you end up at, Joan, you're happy. I just wish I could be there with you."
He couldn't see anything beyond the flames at this point. He knew, within moments, his Dead Face would give out and he would burn to a crisp. However, it seems the world had other plans. He felt the energy coming from the hand holding the Regalia in it as he felt himself teleport away.
The next thing he knew, he was in a room. The flames that had surrounded him got teleporting along with him, causing a pillar of flames to appear around him. Soon enough, the flame dissipates as he began to look around the room. He didn't have long. He could feel himself beginning to consciousness from the lack of energy and the burns he had gotten.
"Ummm, ok maybe I'm not one to talk but I have to ask: What is that thing?"
He looked in the direction the noise was coming from. He saw a couple of figures all together protecting two people behind them. He could see one of them had commands seals. He was likely a master yet he's never seen this place before nor any of those servants. He looked to whatever was coming towards him and he froze as he saw her.
He recognized her. The same servant who fought alongside him. The same servant he almost died trying to protect. The same servant he lied to. He knew it was her. However, he knew there was a chance she might not remember him. How long as it been since she last saw him? He could tell she knew what he was as he was still in Dead Face form but there was a chance she didn’t remember nor believed him.
As she raised her sword up and was getting ready to strike him down, he quickly ran through what few options he had. He couldn’t run, his Dead Face form couldn’t last much longer. He had no mana to try and stun her. He only had one option and it would be pure luck if it worked or not. He didn’t have much of a choice in the matter. As she began to bring her sword down on him he weakly spoke the name they would only know.
Her sword stops mere inches away from him as she stared at him. All he could do is smile internally. It was her. It had to be. If she had forgotten about him, then she would have killed him but the look in her eyes told him she still remembered and cared about him. He heard a different person speak behind her.
“Jalter, what are you doing? Quit messing around and kill that thing.”
He could tell she couldn’t hear what he was saying. He felt his Dead Face deactivating as his vision starting to go dark. He let out a weak laugh and smile, hearing her sword drop to her side. Then his vision went black as he collapses only hearing a sword being dropped to the ground as he felt someone catch him, likely it being Joan. He had no idea who anyone else in the room he was in was or if he could even trust them. It didn't matter to him. He kept his hand holding the Regalia closed, not wanting it to fall into anyone else's hands before he felt his consciousness slip.
Name: HAKUNO Kishinami
Avenger (Skill) A+: Due to being a Dead Face, he carries the hatred and grudges of all the Masters who died during the Moon Cell Grail War.
Oblivion Correction C: His Hatred for the Moon Cell will never cease, however, it can be quelled whenever he is around those he is close to.
Self-Replenishment (Magic) EX: While it should be a lower rank, the regalia he stole from the Moon Cell causes his mana recovery to be higher.
Magics of the Dead B: Access to a wide variety of magic due to being a Dead Face. During combat, he uses a randomizer to choose skills so what boosts he gets is random.
Duplicate Hologram C: Can create a doppelganger to evade an attack. Magic he learned from Rani to trick Dan during the events of Last Encore.
Dead Face EX: A skill that allows HAKUNO to survive lethal attacks as well as grants regen while he maintains the state.
Dead Face Blitz: Simple but effective, he activates Dead Face before blitzing at the enemy with a flurry of attacks before finishing with a single strike to the heart. Has a low chance of inflicting death status.
Incineration of the Moon: A last ditch effort NP. Using the regalia, he teleports anyone close to his proximity to the Moon Cell before he activates the Meltdown process inflicting everyone, along with himself, with heavy burn damage. Due to how dangerous it can be to allies, he prefers not to use it.
Main: Joan (Jeanne Alter)
Side Servants: (To be Announced)
Jalter was standing outside the room they were treating her former Master. Gudao and Mash were also inside watching Nightingale do her work. They offered her to come inside as well but she declined the offer. As much as she would have nothing more than be next to HAKUNO, she needed space to think about everything.
The first question on her mind was how he had gotten here, to begin with. He had used the wish from the Moon Cell to allow her to escape and become a proper servant. So the Holy Grail was off the table. No one could have helped him escaped. Herself and HAKUNO were the last two people in SERAPH once Twice and Saver had been defeated. So a Third Party was likely not the answer.
She tried to remember if there was anything HAKUNO told her in those timelines he had memories of that could have helped him escape. He told her a lot she never could completely understand but there has to be something she remembers that could explain how he managed to get here. She really wished she had tried harder to understand all of it but, to her, it sounded like techno talk and she didn't understand nor care about it until now.
However, as she was trying to remember, a voice interrupted her concentration.
“So, care to explain what that was all about?”
She looks up only to see Edmond standing on the other side of the hallway look at her. She did not want to try and explain any of this to him. If it was Gorgon or Mainyu, she would at least try to explain it since they were more level headed. Edmond, on the other hand, would likely try and kill HAKUNO if she told him.
"I have no idea what you are talking about."
Right as she finished that sentence Edmond first punched the wall right next to her head as he was standing right in front of her.
"Don't play stupid, Jalter. I know you're hiding something. It's not the fact that you two seem to know each other. It's the fact that neither Hakuno, the servants that stay near him, Hakunon, and Gilgamesh seems to know who this version of themselves is and, yet, you somehow do. So you either tell me who this mystery Hakuno is or I'll deal with him like any other threat."
She didn’t hesitate to draw her sword and give a warning slash as Edmond backed off, the two staring at each other. He was going over the line. HAKUNO’s appearing out of nowhere might have been abnormal but that doesn’t mean he’s some threat. All she could feel was her sword beginning to ignite with flames as Edmond looked ready for a fight. This would only lead to more trouble, she knew that, but she wasn’t going to let him hurt HAKUNO.
Luckily, Jeanne and Amakusa Shirou had been walking down the hallway and saw the two.
"Jalter, Edmond, what are you two doing?"
The two quickly got in between her and Edmond with Jeanne trying to calm her down while Amakusa did the same for Edmond. Edmond still held his stance before sighing and walking down the hallway until he was out of sight.
"I'll go talk to him, why don't you two talk."
And with those words, Amakusa went off in the direction Edmond had gone leaving Jeanne and herself alone. Soon enough, Jeanne turned to her.
“Jalter what in the Lord’s name is going on? I heard what happened in the summoning room. How do you know this Hakuno when no one else who knows about Hakuno and Hakunon knows about him?”
Joan sighed. She didn’t know where to begin or how to properly explain it all to anyone. Right before she could say something the door she had been standing next to open as 3 people walk out.
Gudao, Mash, and a woman by the name of Nightingale.
Nightingale didn't stay long as she walked passed her and Jeanne, returning to the medical room. With her being a Berserker, she is obsessed with doing her job as a nurse. That just left her Master and the former Demi-Servant as they looked at her as she had yet to resheathe her sword.
"Hey, is everything alright? We heard yelling. Did something happen?"
Gudao and Mash were looking at them a bit worried. She didn't want to cause more infighting amongst servants that, likely, already exist. Jeanne, on the other hand, seems to not think about that part.
“Edmond seems to distrust this 'Hakuno' that came here. He was threatening Jalter he would kill him if she didn’t talk.”
Joan groaned internally. Why did her other self have to be so honest? Gudao didn’t need to know about everything. Though maybe that was what made her and Jeanne so different. Mash looked a bit confused by this.
"Huh? That seems over the top. Sure, we had our own distrust, at first, but he doesn't seem evil. I mean, he and you seem to have something going on Jalter."
Joan simply looked away. She was hoping she wasn't blushing or wasn't blushing bad enough for them to notice as Gudao cleared his throat.
"Look, whenever he wakes up and you two are ready to talk, let me know. I'm going to go talk to Edmond and try to get him to chill because threatening to kill someone is a bit over the line. Mash you should probably let Da Vinci know about what happened if she doesn't already know."
She looked back at her master and nodded before they walked off in separate directions with Gudao heading in the direction Edmond and Amakusa had gone and Mash going off to Da Vinci's workshop, leaving her and Jeanne alone, once again. Before she could say anything to Jeanne, Jeanne had grabbed her hand and started for the door the two and Nightingale had come from. Joan stopped before they could go in.
"You really have to tell them about Edmond? I didn't want this to come back and end up getting him involved."
She just wanted her former Master to stay safe. This wasn't the Moon Cell. He wasn't, for the most part, guaranteed safety from Masters and Servants sneaking attacking him outside of the final fight of each week like it was during the War. Edmond could trick him and have him killed and she wouldn't even know. Jeanne grabbed her arm, returning Joan from her mental worry to reality.
"Jalter I've never seen you this worried before. I haven't seen you care this much about someone, even more than Gudao. Just who is this Hakuno and why is it no one else knows who he is beside you?"
Jeanne was not going to leave the subject alone. All Joan could do is sigh internally and show her. At least with Jeanne, she won't try and kill her HAKUNO. If there was anyone she could trust, it was her.
Joan walked to the door as she turned to Jeanne signaling her to follow. She would tell her but not out in the open. A part of her was against letting Jeanne get close to HAKUNO but she shoved those thoughts to the back of her head. Jeanne wouldn’t do anything like that. Even if she did, Joan would be ready to stop her.
Da Vinci was starting to get annoyed with Chaldea's systems. They were perfectly fine this morning then this whole situation about a new Hakuno happened and now the systems were bugging out. At least, she thought they were bugging out. If they weren't, then she had no idea how what she was seeing could even be.
Chaldea's systems recognized this new Hakuno as both a Servant and a Master. He wasn't contracted to Gudao yet he wasn't in any threat of disappearing from lack of mana. So where were they getting mana from? As for the servant part, she couldn't see any of his parameters, skill, nor noble phantasm. It was as if something had removed that info from Chaldea's systems.
Then there was the other issue, relating to Jalter's records. They were mostly unphased except for the fact that the note that had her only existing within Chaldea's records had changed to recorded on the Throne of Heroes. At first, she thought this was a glitch yet when she tried to fix it, the records defaulted themselves back to her being recorded on the Throne of Heroes when she shouldn't be. She wasn't a proper Heroic Spirit so why was the system saying she was.
She was pinching the bridge of her nose from all this frustration when Mash walked in.
"Hello, Da Vinci."
Mash simply looked at her before forgetting to say whatever she was going to say for something else.
"I take it you already know."
"Yeah, I know about the whole situation. I've been trying to fix Chaldea's systems. They're either messed up or these changes make no sense."
"What do you mean?"
"Well, this new Hakuno that got here in that pillar of fire is both a Master and a Servant."
Mash came over to look at the monitor Da Vinci was looking at and stared at the part of his record stating both things.
"That doesn't make sense."
"My thoughts exactly. He should have lost his ability to control servants when he came here yet he didn't. It doesn't help that something is blocking my access from seeing the rest of his records. Then there is Jalter being label as a proper Heroic Spirit by default now."
Mash simply blinked as she took everything in before replying.
"Maybe the Jalter thing has something to do with who this Hakuno is and what he did. She seems to know him even though that shouldn't be the case."
"Maybe, still it is just odd that something has managed to hack Chaldea's systems and restrict such things."
"Can you break it?"
"I can try but I doubt I will be able to do anything. Whoever did this either knew Chaldea's systems or has more advanced tech than we do."
Mash simply nodded as she did whatever she could to help Da Vinci. She didn't think this Hakuno was an enemy but something was clearly different than the other two Hakunos that had come to Chaldea. She wondered how they all were reacting to hearing the news about this new and mysterious Hakuno.
Hakuno had no idea what Nero was trying so hard to figure out. Ever since Edmond Dantes, then Jeanne and Amasaku had come to ask himself and Hakunon if they knew whoever this new 'Hakuno', Nero has been acting odder than usual.
When they brought up some weird ability he was cloaked in Nero's face looked a bit shocked but she simply stated she thought it was something else but it wasn't and that she had no idea who this person was. He could tell she was lying but why?
Tamamo could tell as well. During lunch, Tamamo simply stared at her most of the time until Nero finally asked.
"What is it, Caster? You've been staring at me this whole time? Have you finally acknowledged my beauty compare to yours?"
"Don't act like you don't know what you have been doing. What are you hiding?"
Even Hakunon, the 3 versions of Gilgamesh that hung around her, and Enkidu were curious about this. Hakunon probably figured out something's been off about Nero. It's not like her to lie about things. Tamamo, sure, but never Nero. Nero sighed as she looked at them.
"I may know who this Hakuno is. However, he isn't really like you or Hakunon."
He just looked at her.
"What do you mean?"
"He may look like you but he lacks both yours and Hakunon's spirit. This is because he isn't really you two. He was created from the Hakuno of that world?"
"Nero, can you please just tell us exactly what you mean?"
Nero was silent for a moment as if to prepare herself before she finally said those words.
"Hakuno, he was created using the corpse of the Hakuno who died in his world."
Joan walked into the room where HAKUNO was staying in. It was a simple plain room. There were a few chairs but she didn't take a seat immediately as she simply stared at her former master, who was still unconscious, resting in the bed.
She could feel something was off about him though. Whether that was a side effect from being brought to Chaldea or something else, she didn't know. She sat down in a chair as Jeanne sat in another across from her as she started looking at HAKUNO.
“He really does look like Hakuno but is it really them?”
She didn’t need to answer. Regardless of what had happened, he was a Hakuno, her Hakuno. Why else would she just be standing outside the room? Jeanne just kept looking at him as they sat in silence for a few moments before She got tired of the silence.
"So, you going to ask anything?"
She didn't understand what was making Jeanne so silent. Just a moment ago, she was prying her for some explanation to what was going on and now she is completely silent. Jeanne stared at her former Master for a couple of moments before turning back to Joan with a face of confusion.
“Jalter, if you do know him, then tell me: what is he?”
This made her tilt her head at Jeanne. The hell was she talking about? HAKUNO was a mage. Sure, his existence is an odd one but he was still a mage. So why was Jeanne acting like she couldn’t detect that or was she detecting something else? She decided to simply answer the question.
“He is a mage. Why are you acting so weird about it?”
She didn’t understand what Jeanne was going on about. Her former Master, while unique in some ways, was still human, as far as she could tell. Jeanne looks back at HAKUNO before turning back to her.
"Jalter he isn't. Whenever I look at him, the skill that allows me to see a servant's true identity activates but it doesn't show me anything when I am looking at him. He can't be a mage but I don't think he is a servant either."
She could only look at her. No words can express how confused she was. Jeanne's True Name Discernment shouldn't be going off from looking at HAKUNO yet it was. Dead Face might have increase HAKUNO's strength and speed while making him harder to kill but that was something he had to activate. So it couldn't be that causing it. She looked at Jeanne with the expression that she had no idea what Jeanne is talking about.
"Look, maybe you should just tell me how you two know each other. Maybe we can figure out what is going on from there."
Jeanne looks as curious as she was confused. She had been waiting for her to ask this. She wasn't sure if Jeanne was going to like the answer but, regardless, it was the truth.
“Well….remember how I can’t exist outside Chaldea due to being only something Giles created with the grail?”
Jeanne simply nodded. They both knew the details about her existence. Or at least, her existence here in Chaldea.
"Truth is, I, somehow, got summon one time before all this happened. I was summoned and he was-"
before she could finish the door to the room open as the two jumped up readying their weapons only to get a good look at the person who had to enter the room. Salter, who was eating a burger at the moment.
Salter had her mouth full as she spoke. The two sighed as they lowered their weapons. How did Salter manage to find out about where they were? She knew it was probably Gudao or someone who spilled the beans but she didn’t want to blame anyone completely. She simply looked at Salter.
"What are you doing here? Also, finish eating before you speak, you'll end up choking one of these days."
Salter just shrugged as she finished eating as she looked at HAKUNO.
"Wanted to see what was all the commotion about. A lot of rumors going around about you two Jalter or should I say 'Joa-'."
Salter didn't get to finish what she was saying before she had her blade to Salter's throat. She simply gave the Alter Artoria a death glare.
"If you or anyone else besides him call me by that name, I will burn you alive. Do I make myself clear? He's the only one who gets to call me by that name."
Salter clearly didn't care as she stared back at her, knowing she had just struck a nerve. Before anything could happen, Jeanne split the two up.
"Both of you calm down. Salter, you interrupted us. Jalter was about to explain who this guy is so unless you want to stay and hear the story, could you kindly leave?"
Jeanne playing peacekeeper between the two of them. She didn't truly hate Salter but she also didn't like her. Perhaps because, unlike her, she existed as a possible version of Artoria. Salter simply sat in one of the still empty chairs of the room as she takes another bite of her food. She and Jeanne sat back down as she decided to quickly sum it up.
"Look, to sum it up, I got summoned for a Grail War on the Moon, before all this stuff with Chaldea and Grand Order happened, and he was my Master.”
Silence fell in the room as the two looked at her. That silence was quickly broken by Salter who started choking on her food but quickly recovering, thanks to having a drink with her, as she coughs a bit before looking at her.
“Jalter that was a horrible joke. Maybe being a comedian isn’t the best idea of a side job.”
Salter looked at her like she was joking but only saw a serious look from Her. Jeanne and Salter quickly realized she wasn't kidding.
"I don't know how he got here. The last time I saw him, he sent me off while he burned the Moon Cell. Chaldea thinks I only exist thanks to Giles but that isn't true. The issue is, I don't know what he used his wish for, how he knew I would end up getting summoned again, or how he managed to get here."
Jeanne and Salter looked at her in disbelief. Could the Chaldea systems be wrong about something like this? It didn't seem likely but she didn't know what other possibilities it could be.
"Well, maybe it has something to do with whatever he's holding in his left hand."
Jeanne and herself looked at her before looking HAKUNO and noticed his clenched left hand. She knew he didn't have a habit of sleeping with his hands close. It was a stupid detail to pick up on but it was something she noticed.
She gave Salter and Jeanne a look as she walked over to the bed where HAKUNO was resting in as she tried to pry the hand open to no avail. He was stronger than he was before. She thought back to what Jeanne mention before about her True Name Discernment reacting to HAKUNO. He couldn't be, could he?
"Wow, guess you got weaker Jalter."
She ignored her. She doubts any one of them could get his hand to open. Nightingale probably noticed it as well and tried to pry open his hand. If he had such a grip on whatever it was he was holding, it was probably important.
She could hear Jeanne and Salter starting to argue about something but before she could turn her focus to see what they were arguing about, from the corner of her eye, she saw her former Master eyes begin to open a little as he looks at her.
She could tell he was barely able to stay conscious. He was suffering from mana exhaustion but he had enough energy to look at her and smile. She couldn’t tell if he thought this was real or a dream but he didn’t seem phased either way. It was probably best to get Jeanne and Salter to leave so he could rest. She turns back to Jeanne and Salter.
"Look, just keep this to yourselves for now. Once he wakes up and we talk to Gudao, the 4 of us can discuss things."
Jeanne and Salter looked at her. She hoped this would be enough for them to drop the subject, for today, and leave. She didn't think HAKUNO would have many issues dealing with them. The two nodded as Salter leaves and Jeanne looks at her.
"You wanna go grab something Jalter? We can still grab dinner from the cafeteria."
Jeanne knew Jalter was likely not going to leave. Whatever the reason was, Jalter was trying to get the 2 to leave. While Salter was oblivious to it, she wasn't but she knew Jalter wouldn't try anything. Jalter simply shakes her head and Jeanne proceeds to leave but looked back one last time at her Alter self.
“If I may ask, is he really Hakuno?”
Jeanne wasn’t going to tell anyone but she was hoping to at least get that one confusion cleared up. Jalter, surprisingly complied.
"It's complicated. The best short answer I can give is yes and no. As I said, once we got things situated with Gudao, he can discuss it with you two. He's better at explaining it than I can ever hope to be."
Jeanne nodded as she closed the door. Truth was, she was surprised. What did Jalter mean by yes and no? She knew about the Hakunos or rather Hakuno and Hakunon. She had memories of helping Hakuno trying to save Altera. If what Jalter said was true, then why did he feel so different than the Hakuno and Hakunon that were in Chaldea? Why did he feel so...dead?
She gave a few moments after Jeanne left the room before she went over to the door and locked it and turn the lights off. It might have been a bit early to sleep and she could go grab food but she didn't care. She went back over to her former Master, who had already fallen back to sleep.
The bed was big enough for two people, thankfully, so laid down next to him as wrapped her arms around him. Gudao had been kind to her and vice versa but neither he nor anyone in Chaldea could never replace who HAKUNO is to her. He was her one true Master.
Her mind began to think of what to do and how she would go about getting Chaldea to trust HAKUNO enough to allow him to help them as well as let her go back to being his Servant. Those thoughts stop as she felt his right arm wrapped around her. They would figure this out together. They always did. She needed to rest and let him recover. She closed her eyes and fell asleep smiling, knowing she had HAKUNO with her once again.
HAKUNO slowly began to wake up. His mind was still a bit hazy of what had happened. The last thing he remembered was arriving at some place and seeing Joan. He had faded in and out of consciousness a few times.
One of those times he had saw what he had presumed to be a servant as well as the two people from when he first arrived. Then he remembered seeing Joan again as well as 2 other people. He immediately realized one of the two was Jeanne while the other looked similar to Artoria.
He stared at the ceiling as he let his mind fully awake and, once it was, he started to fully remember what happened. The regalia had somehow gotten him to the place Joan was at and he blacked out due to Dead Face having used so much mana to keep him from burning to ash in the Moon Cell.
Before he could think about anything else, something in the corner of his eyes catches his attention. He looked over to find Joan sleeping next to him. They had slept together a few times during the Grail war. During the last 2 weeks was when they were the closest they had been since they first met. So he shouldn't be bothered by her being there.
Except, his mind flashed back to seeing that Master. He wasn't sure if he were the only master in this place but, if he was, then he knew he was the one Joan served now. She was no longer his.
Thankfully, a trick he used to get out of her arms back during the Grail war still worked as she shifted, moving her arms so he could sit up. He was still wearing his school outfit but he noticed his school uniform shirt was burnt. He took it off, the shirt he kept under it still in perfect shape. He simply tossed the burnt shirt to the side.
There was a small part of him that would miss it but he didn't mind. If anything, he was glad it got burned that badly. All it did was serve as a reminder of what the Moon Cell had done. Still, he decided to keep it. If nothing else, it’ll act as a simple reminder but he wasn't going to wear it again. He was done being a puppet for the Moon Cell.
As he was thinking of what he should do, a knock came from the door. Joan stirred in her sleep, muttering something, but doesn't wake up. He couldn't but smiles but quickly shook the thoughts he had in his head. He needed to let go. He wasn't her Master anymore. She probably just doing this because she thinks she owes him something.
He got up and walked to the door, unlocking it, and opening it to see the woman he had seen one of the times he had regained consciousness. She looked surprised to see him.
"Oh, you're up already? Seems I was right about your ability to heal and regain mana at an abnormal rate."
He didn't know how to respond. He was well aware of how his Dead Face could heal any wound. From simple stab wounds to having a chunk of his side being destroyed. He didn't stay on those memories for long. While he may have healed, he could still feel the pain from when those incidents happened.
"Yeah, I'm good now. I would like to ask if the Master that was here yesterday is up? It's probably best I meet with him as soon as I can."
He needed to apologize for appearing so suddenly and clear up any misunderstanding that might have happened. However, the woman simply looked at him with a mixture of shock and confusion.
“I didn’t notice you regaining consciousness. I can check to see if he is up. If you don’t mind waiting here though, Chaldea is a large place and, more often than not, people get lost within the halls.”
He simply nodded and took her word for it. He had no idea what this place was like or the people who inhabited it. Hopefully, once he got done explaining his story, Joan's Master could explain to him where he was and what was going on.
As she left to check on the Joan's Master, he sat down and opened his hand he had been using to hold the regalia. A clear indent had been left from how tight his grip had been but the ring was still there. He had no how the ring had brought him here but it was the only thing that could have done so. The last thing that remained of the Moon Cell had saved him.
All he could do was glare at it. He should just destroy it. It may have saved him but it was still part of the Moon Cell. Plus, if any mage managed to get their hands on it, they could find a way to modify it or use it to gain access to the knowledge they shouldn't have.
At the same time, it was something that, if he could use, would be helpful. The complete authority of the SERAPH wasn't something he could simply toss away. He had no desire to rule but having high-level access was still something he could use.
“Too dangerous to leave alone but too valuable to destroy.”
He put it in his pocket for now. He’ll discuss it with Joan, once things settled down. She might not be his servant anymore but the regalia belonged to her as much as it did to him. They were both the victors of the Moon Cell Grail War.
He got up as he stepped outside the room, opting to wait for the woman to return. He should probably ask for her name. Then again, he had no idea if he would stay here for long. Joan's Master or whoever runs this place might demand that he leave. He wouldn't hold it against them if they didn't trust him. He was to focus on thinking of possible scenarios that he almost didn't hear talking down the hall.
"Oh hey, you're awake. I thought you would be out for another day or so."
He looked over at the woman as well as the Joan's Master and the girl he saw him with when he ended up here were walking down to the hall to him.
"It's nice to see you're all right. As Gudao said, we didn't think you would wake so quickly, much less be up and moving around."
He must have been in bad shape, from their perspective, when he arrived. Dead Face made recovery fast for him but, to them, they had no idea about it. He was going to ask for their names but the Gudao cut him off.
"So, quick question: you're Hakuno Kishinami right?"
This stopped all other thoughts in his head. They knew him or knew of him? How? Where exactly did he end up? He quickly calmed himself and decided to play along. If this was all a trick by the Moon Cell, he would figure it out.
"How do you know my name?"
He was waiting to see their reaction. If they tried to act like they didn't know him then he would know something was up. He doubts Joan would risk his life by telling them unless they used a command seal on her to make her talk. If he did, they might have issues but, luckily, that didn't seem the case.
"Guess that clears up that question. Still, your different from the other two Hakuno Kishinamis that are here."
"Wait, the other two?"
"Yeah, I imagine you're thoughts are the same as mine when they both told me their stories yet are suppose to be the same person."
So, there were two other Hakunos in this place? Gudao said they had told him their stories so perhaps he could clarify which timelines they are from.
"Did they say anything of interest?"
Ok, maybe that wouldn't work. Perhaps he could figure it out by the servants that might hang around them.
"Sorry, let me phrase it better. What servants are close to them?"
"Oh well, they go by Hakuno and Hakunon. Hakuno usually hangs around a Saber name Nero, a Caster name Tamamo, and another Saber name Altera."
He sighed quickly realizing the world Hakuno was from. The Extella timeline. The same timeline he told to Joan when he brought up the regalia. He doubts he would get along with him.
"Ok, and Hakunon?"
"Hangs out with Archer Gilgamesh, Caster Gilgamesh, Archer's Kid self and a Lancer name Enkidu. Though, why do you ask?"
He simply pinched the bridge of his nose. All the different Hakunos that could end up here and it's the Extella timeline and the CCC timeline where Hakuno had Gilgamesh as their servant. Still, at least Hakuno was known here. One less thing he would have to explain.
"I was just curious to hear what kind of servants they usually have around them."
"Oh ok. I imagine you have as many questions as I do about you."
That's an understatement but he didn't say that out loud and just nodded.
"I apologize for my abnormal appearance. I didn't intend to end up here."
"Wait, you didn't intend to? Where did you intend to go then?"
He wasn't sure how to properly answer it. Death wasn't exactly a great answer for him to give and, while he did want to see Joan again, he didn't intend to actually come here. As he was trying to come up with an answer, however, a voice he remembered was heard.
"I don't actually believe it. It really is you, Performer!"
He turned just in to be met by Nero tackling him to the ground and hugging him. He was very thankful Joan was still asleep because, otherwise, this would look very bad. Gudao, Mash, and Nightingale simply blinked as they looked confused at him.
"Performer? Nero, why did you call Hakuno that?"
He could hear someone else calling down the hallway. A voice he very much knew because it was his voice. Nero got off him as he got up to see Tamamo, Altera, what he could guess was the 3 Gilgameshs Gudao had said, Enkidu, but in front of all of them were two people he both recognize. They were both Hakuno Kishinami. One was male and the other female. What he had guessed was Hakunon spoke first.
"Nero wasn't kidding. He really does look like you Hakuno."
Gudao simply looked at all of them clearly confused by the whole thing as she turned to ask Nero something.
"Ummmm...did I miss something? I thought you didn't know Nero."
"I apologize for lying but I didn't want to say definitely till I saw him for myself."
"Right, look let's just all go to breakfast and we can all get caught up on what is going on."
Maybe that is for the best. Though, he wasn't exactly happy with Nero doing what she did. She knew he wasn't the Hakuno she knew in that timeline so why was she acting like he was. Still, he could go for something considering he hadn't eaten since before his fight with both Leo and Twice. While he technically didn't have to eat, thanks to Dead Face, he still did simply because it felt weird not to.
They all ended up heading to the cafeteria as he stuck near Gudao and Mash, preferring not to be near his other selves or their servants. Gudao did look at him as they walked.
"Btw, what do you prefer to be called. We got Hakuno and Hakunon so it would get confusing if I called you Hakuno."
"I just go by HAKUNO."
"Right, I'll keep it in mind."
As they walked, he simply thought about Joan. She wasn't going to be happy when she woke up and saw he wasn't there. Hopefully, she will realize he has gone to talk with Gudao and catch up to them. She wouldn't be happy with him but he needed to get this done and figure out what he was going to do next, even if that was likely something he would end up doing without her.
HAKUNO sit sat at a table along as the other ate breakfast. Gudao and the others had tried to get him to get something but right now he needed to make sure he knew what he was going to say. Everyone, aside from Mash and Gudao, knew about what happened during his and Nero's quest to restore the Moon Cell.
What they didn't know was what happened afterward. Something they would all want to know considering, as far as Nero's story goes, he should be gone. He shouldn't be here and yet he was. He looked up as Nero was finishing telling Gudao and Mash the first part of his story as Gudao simply looked at him.
"So that formed you appeared in with all that fire, that was your Dead Face powers?"
Nero looked at him.
"That was something I was wondering, Performer. Why was it you appeared here surrounded by flames? There wasn't any when you destroyed Charavarktin. In fact, how are you even here to begin with? The Moon Cell was supposed to delete you after you destroyed Charavarktin."
Hakuno simply looked at him.
"More than that, how does Jalter know you? Jeanne is one thing but Jalter only exists here in Chaldea so how can you two know each other?"
He was about to say something but Mash stepped in.
"Actually, that might not be the case."
Everyone aside from himself looked at Mash as Gudao asked her.
"What do you mean by that?"
"Well when I went to let Da Vinci know about what happened, his appearance caused what she believed was an error with Jalter's servant data, saying she was an actual heroic spirit instead of just a servant held in records at Chaldea. Maybe he and Jalter met and he did something that caused the discrepancy to happen."
They all looked at him and all he could do is smile.
"Well, something like that. First though, to answer Nero's question about how I can be here if the Moon Cell was supposed to delete me. Truth is, it didn't."
"That deal I made with the Moon Cell, it went back on its end. Said I was too valuable to simply delete so it left me in some space until I was needed."
Everyone looked shocked at him. To the Hakuno and Hakunon, the idea of the Moon Cell not deleting a version of them must be crazy considering what it tried to do to them. Regardless, he continued.
"So, I spent who knows how long in there until one day I ended up getting so sick of being trapped that I said I would destroy the Moon Cell if I was given a chance. What I didn't expect was a doorway to open and going through it lead me to another timeline. I ended up in another Moon Cell Grail War. The difference was, I didn't end up with Nero, Tamamo, or Nameless."
Gudao seemed to get where this was going.
"You summoned Jalter."
"Yeah. Not sure how but she was there when I came to and she asked if I was her master. We went through the war as usual."
Hakunon looked at him.
"How did you destroy the Moon Cell?"
"Well, that part was easier than you think. While no timeline showed a way to destroy the Moon Cell, I did some research and found out an emergency plan in the event the Moon Cell went rogue. A Meltdown process. It could only be activated by the highest level of access which, somehow, I had. I didn't know how I had the level of accessed I did but I went with it."
Everyone remained silent as he continued telling the story.
"Eventually, Joan and I told each other the truth about ourselves. She found out what I was and I found out what she was. It was at that time she wanted me to call her by Jeanne Alter or Jalter but I didn't like the idea of referring her like a shadow or inverse of Jeanne so I simply called her Joan instead. During the final week, I told her about my plan to destroy the Moon Cell and she was all for it. She was kinda excited about it."
Hakuno probably could tell there was something off when he was speaking and figured out things must have not gone as planned.
"I take it things didn't go as plan."
"No, everything worked out. The flames were the result of the meltdown. I had no plans on escaping I just got here by accident."
Mash looked at him.
"So how does this factor in the part of Jalter being suddenly classified as a heroic spirit? I thought you knew how that happened."
"I did. As I said, everything would have gone as me and Jalter dying in the Moon Cell but, after I told her my plan and she agreed to it, she told me she wasn't a proper Heroic spirit and she shouldn't exist. She didn't know how she managed to get summon but she said she wouldn't get the same chance twice. I...hated the idea of my own revenge getting her one chance at being a heroic spirit ruined so I ended up doing some research that night and found that it's possible to use the grail to make a person a heroic spirit. At least, the Moon Cell's powers could. So, I ended up using the grail to make her a heroic spirit and used my 3 commands seals to make sure she got out of the Moon Cell before it collapses."
Everyone looked a bit shocked at him. Gudao and Mash were both speechless but Gudao managed to talk.
"So, Jalter is here because of you? How? We meet her in Orleans as someone made by Caster Giles so how could the Chaldea systems be wrong?"
He just shrugged. Whether they choose to believe it or not, it was the truth. He was too focused on memories when Nameless ended up coming to the table and must have overheard what Gudao has said.
"Yet, the Jalter that ended appearing during the counterfeit servant incident was an Avenger while the one that appeared during Orleans and several times before the incident was a Ruler."
Gilgamesh looked at Nameless.
"What are you trying to say, faker? Also shouldn't you be hanging out with those other servants you end up hanging out with?"
He had no idea what Gilgamesh was even but Hakunon clearly did as she was giving him a stare like he did something he wasn't supposed to.
"I'm simply saying that the system might have mistaken Avenger Jalter for Ruler Jalter and that was why she was marked as only in Chaldea's records. I imagine HAKUNO's appearance was what caused the system to check itself an realize the problem and resolve it."
It took the table to think about it. It would make sense if what he was being told was true, the system would simply see it as nothing more than a change in class not a difference between Joans. The issue was, however, that Joan seemed to have been here for a while. They sound like whatever this counterfeit servant incident happened a while ago but he and Joan left only minutes between each other. How long had Joan been by herself?
Mash seemed to get the idea Archer was throwing out and agreed with it.
"That's one of the two things Da Vinci was confused about clarified."
He just looked at her.
"What's the other issue?"
"Well, Chaldea's records have you both as a potential Master as well as a Servant. But I think that might just be because of the Dead Face thing."
Gudao looked at her.
"Wait, he can be a Master?"
"According to Chaldea's records. Da Vinci couldn't look much into his profile due to something locking off the data. We thought it was a bug like the Jalter thing but since that isn't a bug then it's likely something hacked Chaldea and made sure access to HAKUNO's records were locked beyond some basic stuff. Why do you ask?"
Gudao took Mash and walked away from the table to talk in private for a few minutes, leaving the rest of them at the table as Hakuno and Hakunon both looked at him with both seeming to have the same question as Hakunon spook.
"So, who did you choose to save?"
He didn't even need to ask what they were talking about. They wanted to know who he saved between Rani and Rin. He sighed as he looked at the two. He would have to lie and hope they fall for it. Considering it's a coin flip he figured they wouldn't have much of an issue with who he picked.
"I choose to save Rani. Figured she would be nice to have as an ally in case I needed any help when it came to dealing with Moon Cell's systems."
"Wow that's a bit odd but guess since you ended up saving Rin during your time with Nero I guess it came to wanting to do the other to even things out."
He simply nodded. That wasn't the reason he would do so nor was it true but he simply agreed with the statement to lower suspicious. Thankfully, they didn't get much of a chance to talk as Gudao and Mash came back over as Gudao looked at him.
"Say, HAKUNO. What do you plan to do now?"
He just shrugged once more.
"No idea really. As far as I know, I'm stuck here not that I want to go back to the timeline I came from. I didn't plan on surviving the entire meltdown of Moon Cell. Why?"
"Well, why not become a Master at Chaldea. It'd be nice to have another Master beside myself. We could even get you and Jalter back together."
Those last words were the last thing he wanted. A part of him wanted nothing more to have Joan back as his servant but he couldn't accept the deal. He got up as everyone looked confused at him.
"While I'm ok with the idea of helping you out since I have nothing else to do, that last part I have to decline."
"H-huh? Why? Don't you want to have Jalter as your servant once again?"
“Do you really think Joan deserves a master that lied and tricked her at the end of their war? She answered your summonings so she at least considers you two kind enough to help. She deserves better than the failure of a master who betrayed her in the name of their own vengeance.”
All of them were quiet considering what he just said. They were staring in his directions but realized they were staring at someone behind him. He turned to see Joan standing there behind her as he figured she had heard that last part meaning he wouldn't have to tell her later. He simply started speaking.
"Oh, morning Joan. How are-"
He didn't get to finish as she slapped him across the face.
Phew. The first chapter written mostly without using the original chapter. Took a bit longer to do but, hopefully, the wait was worth it.
Joan was not in a good mood. She had finally gotten her former Master back and got to sleep next to him, only to wake up and find him missing. It didn't take long to realize he probably went to discuss things with Gudao.
It shouldn't be that surprising that he's already awake and walking around fine, she saw him get back up from worse, however, it didn't mean she liked the idea of him being up already. He was likely not completely recharged on mana and, if Edmond attacked as he had threatened to yesterday, he wouldn't last long in a fight.
She was too focused on thinking as she was walking down the hallway that she bumped into someone. She shook her head as she looked up to see Jeanne. A part of her was thankful it was Jeanne she ran into. At least she won't try and start a fight over that.
"Sorry about that Jeanne. Was lost in thought."
She simply got up on her own. She didn't feel like having a conversation with her atm. She just wanted to find HAKUNO. Of course, Jeanne stopped her as she walked past her.
"Wait a sec, Jalter. Is everything ok? Did you not sleep well?"
She didn't know how to answer Jeanne's question. She slept pretty well. In fact, she felt like she could honestly say that she had the best sleep since she arrived in Chaldea. Maybe it was because she had grown accustomed to sleeping with HAKUNO during the Grail War but she felt it was better if she didn't tell Jeanne that.
"I'm fine. Have you seen Gudao this morning?"
She knew where he was but she wanted to make sure if Jeanne had seen him, that she saw HAKUNO with them as well.
"No, but he’s probably in the cafeteria. I was heading there myself if you wanna come with me."
She sighed. She was heading in that direction anyway so why not walk with Jeanne?
"Fine. I was heading there anyway. HAKUNO wasn't in his room but he's not stupid enough to wonder a place he has no idea about so I guess Gudao must have come by and they went there to talk."
At least, that was where she hoped he was. She was sure her Master wouldn't try anything but she couldn't be completely sure. If it wasn't him then she feared Edmond might have gotten to him but she shoved that thought away. She looked back at Jeanne who is a bit surprised about HAKUNO being awake already.
“You really think he’s already healed? Nightingale likely patched him up but it sounded like he was badly hurt.”
It was a weird idea to think about. He shouldn’t be fine after a day with the burns he had but she knew he survived worse.
“He’s been through wore. Once we get things cleared up with Gudao, if he feels like it, we can go somewhere to talk. Heck, even Salter can come.”
She found it hard to believe she would even think about bringing along Salter but a part of her didn’t mind. She really hopes HAKUNO being back doesn’t change her too much. She can already tell Jeanne is trying to not laugh.
“Sure, we can do that. If I knew this HAKUNO would affect you in such a way I might have tried to bring him here sooner.”
She groaned as they reached the cafeteria. There were still a good number of servants still eating as she saw Gudao, Mash, and HAKUNO talking at one of the tables, along with Hakuno and Hakunon and the servants that hang around them. From what she could tell, they were simply talking.
‘At least I don’t have to worry about Gudao trying to have him killed.’ is what she thought as she looked at Jeanne.
"Hey, mind getting our food? I'm going to go check and see how things are going."
Jeanne simply nodded as she went off to get their food as she headed over to the table where the group was sitting at. As she approached she notices the conversation going quiet as HAKUNO got up and her master and Mash seemed shocked about something. She assumed it was him telling them his story but what Mash said next didn't add up if that was what he was doing.
"H-huh? Why? Don't you want to have Jalter as your servant once again?"
She didn’t know what they had been talking about but it involved her. She thought about Mash words but before she could think much about it HAKUNO made a response.
"Do you really think Joan deserves a master that lied and tricked her at the end of their war? She answered your summonings so she at least considers you two kind enough to help. She deserves better than the failure of a master who betrayed her in the name of their own vengeance."
She simply stopped as she stared at HAKUNO. She didn't have time to think about why she felt furious but she was. She walked and stood behind HAKUNO as Gudao, Mash, and the others saw her but were frightened. They could probably tell she was upset. It took a moment for HAKUNO to notice someone was behind him. He turned and looked at her.
"Oh, morning Joan. How are-"
She didn’t let him finish as she slapped him. A part of her felt bad for doing so but she was too upset to care at the moment. She saw Mash, Gudao, and the rest just stared in shock before Nero and Tamamo got up and looked ready to attack her. Why would they? They have Hakuno so why do they care about HAKUNO?
“J-Jalter?! What was that for?”
Gudao was going to say more and looked ready to get up and try to stop her but HAKUNO made a hand gesture towards them to calm down as he turned back and looked at her.
“I guess you heard that last bit huh. Look, Joan I-”
She just hugged him before he can say anything else. This catches everyone, even HAKUNO, off guard but she needed this.
When she was first summoned to Chaldea, the only thing she could remember from her time during the Moon Cell was his image. She didn’t remember who he was or why he felt important to her. It wasn’t until the events of the Camelot Singularity that she remembered everything. She tried to forget him and move on but she couldn’t. Now, he was back and he thought she hated him. All she could say to that thought was one thing.
“You’re an idiot HAKUNO. You really think what you did back then somehow made everything you did for me during the war mean nothing?”
She knew he was trying to come up with some counter-argument but she wasn’t going to give him the chance.
“No. Don’t try to argue and just listen. You went out of your way to give me a chance to be a proper Servant. You could have just destroyed the Moon Cell and let me fade away but you didn’t. It wouldn’t be fair if I was upset about you doing that when you did what you did for me. Also, since you told me I couldn’t call myself ‘that’, I think it’s only fair that you can’t call yourself a failure.”
She couldn't understand why he would consider himself one. He had done and survived things that would leave other Masters dead or broken. He may have regretted some actions but that didn't make him stop from carrying out his vengeance while never fully giving in to it. He stood tall while others would have crumbled from it. He was no failure and never will be.
After she had finished everyone was quiet. Gudao, Mash, Hakuno, Hakunon, and all their friends stared in shock and silence as HAKUNO looked at her before finally letting out a chuckle. It was all she needed to hear to know she got through to him. Gudao was the one to break the silence.
"Wait, what did he tell you not to call yourself?"
Gudao looked curious at them. She should probably tell them before they misunderstand. However, as she goes to try and say it, she finds herself unable to speak the actual words. Luckily, HAKUNO took the time to explain.
“Basically, I disliked it whenever she referred to herself as Jeanne’s shadow so, right after I use the Moon Cell wish to make her a servant and used my Command Seals to send her away, I used one of them to make it so she couldn’t refer to herself as one. It’s stupid, I know, but she was more than that and I hated when she saw herself that way.”
Mash was the one to speak up, likely knowing more since she was a Demi-Servant.
"Ok, but why can't she call herself that now. At least, I'm assuming that's what you are trying to do Jalter. Those commands shouldn't affect her anymore since your connection was broken right?"
She was right. She shouldn't be under those effects anymore, right? She thought back to her original summoning here at Chaldea and how Gudao and Mash mentioned he had been trying for months to summon her but she never came only for her mind to think even further back to the 2nd of the 3 final commands HAKUNO gave her, ‘travel the timelines and answer any Masters you deem worthy of helping'.
She heard their summoning but never felt compelled to answer them till she had considered him worthy. The command seals effects couldn't have been around for that long. Unless...
She quickly looked down at the hand where she remembered HAKUNO’s commands seals had been during the war. As she did, she couldn’t do anything but stare at his hand as she saw the command seals she knew was used during her final moments in Moon Cell back on his hand. HAKUNO saw her looking as he brought up his hand and look as Gudao, Mash, and the others also saw the command seals.
They all stared in silence with none of them saying a word. She knew Gudao command seals recharged but that was thanks to Chaldea. HAKUNO shouldn’t be able to restore command seals.
"Huh...weird. I'm pretty sure these should be gone by now. Mash you mentioned earlier the records marked me as Master as well as a servant right?"
"Yes, it even had a command seal symbol for you but how can you be contracted to any servant?"
She didn't even have time to ask about the whole being a servant as well as a Master thing. The moment HAKUNO brought it up, her mind flashed back to when Jeanne had mentioned about her abilities going off while looking at him but not showing anything for him. She knew both Chaldea's records and Jeanne couldn't be wrong about it but how. Just as she started to try and figure things out she heard a voice behind her.
"Oh, there you two are. We were wondering where Hakuno and Hakunon were since they didn't come to eat breakfast with us as usual."
She turned as to see Rin, Rani, and Leo walking towards them. She knew they were all former opponents of Hakuno and she even fought Leo during the final fight with Gawain. HAKUNO turned and stared at them as they looked shocked. Rani being curious about who he was decided to ask.
"Wait Hakuno? But there's two of you."
HAKUNO was just silent as she could sense something was off. Gudao was about to introduce HAKUNO but he grabbed her hand and walked past the three leaving the cafeteria. She could hear Jeanne follwing behind them. She didn't know what was going on with HAKUNO nor did she know what to do other than let him take her where he was going. That was if he knew where he was going.
With that, the last of the old story I wrote over 2 months ago is done. Everything that comes around from now on is all fresh for me.
Whooo backstory time. Time to learn how HAKUNO 'let' Rin and Rani die. You'll see why I put '' between let.
HAKUNO could not stand to be near Rin nor Rani. To Hakuno and Hakunon, him leaving with Joan would be seen as weird but he doesn't care. They must never find out what he was forced to do. None of them must ever find out what he did.
After a few minutes of walking in a direction, he finally slowed down as he wasn't sure where the room he was staying in. He turned to Joan who would know which way to take. She has been for longer than he has, from what Gudao has mentioned.
"Joan, what way is the room we were staying in at?"
She was silent for a moment before she looked at him.
"Still worried about what you had to do to them huh? I thought I told you to stop thinking about what you did was wrong. It was a war ad you did what you had to in order to win."
Before he could respond, a girl he immediately recognized as Jeanne caught up to them and took a moment to catch her breath before looking at the two.
"Jalter, HAKUNO, what happened? I come back with mine and Jalter's food and you two went off."
Joan looked at her.
"Sorry, Jeanne. Something just came up and HAKUNO and I decided to get away from all of them."
"So I ask again: what happened?"
Joan sighed as she looked at her.
"Can you go find Salter and meet us in the Rayshift room in a few minutes? I promise we'll explain everything once we're in Shinjuku."
"Jalter, are you sure that is wise taking him to a singularity? He just woke up from how badly he was."
"He can handle himself. Trust me."
Jeanne took a moment to think about it before giving in as she went off to find Salter, who he could only assume was Arturia Alter, as Joan lead him back to the room he was staying in as he sat in one of the chairs in the room. His mind quickly fading back to the fight between Rani and Rin.
He was still dealing with having to kill Alice once more, a cyber ghost who's life was cut short due to mages using her for 'research' purposes. The one person he always felt bad about dying. Even after 1000 years and having to watch as Nero killed her as a monster, it still felt painful to do.
He and Joan, who he was still referring to as Avenger, were standing outside the multimedia room. He already knew who would come out and, after a few minutes, Julius walked out and walked off not really regarding him as Avenger made a comment.
"Tsst. Asshole. I can't see how you find him to be a broken person."
"You'll find out in time Avenger. Come on, we don't wanna miss the show."
He walked in as Avenger followed and closed the door behind him as they looked through the room. seats along the two sides with a projector in the middle projecting onto the screen. He walked over and simply touched the thing as the projector began to work. He turned to Avenger who has materialized.
"Take a seat."
She just smirked as she sat own as well as he did as they watched Rin and Rani's servants fight. He knew them both. Lancer Cu Chulainn and Berserker Lu Bu. Both had been servants Hakuno would fight during the 6th round depending on who they choose to save and both ended up fighting for Hakuno during the Extella timeline. Avenger seemed to enjoy the spectacle.
While something like was against the rules, he was pretty sure he had already broken the rules by knowing what was going to happen before they actually happened as well as having a servant outside the normal 7 classes. Combined that with the fact it was rules created by a backstabbing being, he could not care less if he broke them or not.
Avenger decided to give her thoughts on who would win.
"Well, Rin likely has this. Both servants are equal but Rani is more of a computer than human. Rin, meanwhile, has creativity on her side. Still, if you know how this ends then why bother coming to watch?"
"Trust me, it doesn't end that way."
Avenger looked confused at me as the screen started to get heated as Rani began her self destruct sequence catching Rin and Avenger off guard as Avenger just blinked.
"Wait, hold up. She's going to blow herself up."
"Yep. Around this time, the servant I'm with would bring up how, at the cost of 2 commands seals, I could save one of them. However, I didn't come here to save them. I always wondered what would happen if I allowed Rani to detonate herself."
"Then why do you have this worried face if you know what will happen?"
The truth was, he didn't. Never, in any timeline, had a Hakuno let both Rin and Rani die. Sure, in theory, the most it would do is meltdown the arena but the bomb itself was meant to destroy the Moon Cell. The bomb might do more damage and ruin his only chance of getting revenge against the Moon Cell. The issue was, if he went to help Rin, she would survive and he would have to deal with Rin, at some point.
The situation was damned if he did do anything and damned if he didn't do anything. He went and save Rin, Rani would survive and Rin would end up stopping him from getting his revenge. If he didn't save them, they might possibly cost him his revenge by damaging and ceasing the war.
As he was quickly trying to decide what to do, he looked up for a moment only to realize everything was frozen. The room they were in was a bit gray as the projector was stuck on a single frame. Avenger looked around as she looked confused.
"Ummm did this happen during your time or?"
He didn't have a chance to respond as a screen came up in front of them both and a message was readable with a message.
At this moment, the entire Moon Cell is frozen. You may do whatever you believe is necessary. The Moon Cell will believe the two Masters took themselves out and won't suspect you.
It was a simple message without any way to reply. Below the message was a button that was label 'transport to the arena?'. He could tell that the button would take both him and Avenger to where Rin and Rani are. He looked at Avenger.
"Hey, you do what you need to do. I won't hold it against you if you have to get your hands dirty. If anything, I would be mad if you tried to save them."
He just smiled at her. Avenger, as blunt as she was, seem to approve what he was thinking of doing. He simply pressed the button as the two were quickly taken to the arena as both Rin and Rani, along with their servants, were frozen. Time was staying still as the message had said.
He had learned from all the time watching Rani how to use her item creation skill as she called forth the rifle he used during his fight with Dan back with Nero. He looked at both Rin and Rani before he aimed at Rani first, on the chance that time did resume, he would at least take the worst of the two out first. Avenger simply watched as he took a deep breath before pulling the trigger as he fired at Rani's head.
Rani didn't react to the bullet hitting her. He could only guess the moment time resume they would both die instantly. Both their servants and the Moon Cell would be confused as to what happened. He moved to shoot at Rin but couldn't help but hesitate. Rin the first person he met back during, what he dubbed, the Last Encore timeline. She saved him and helped him but she never told him the truth.
Neither did Rani but he could only guess that was Rin's plan. Rather than him trying to find a way for them to win, Rin came up with a plan that would lead to only one of them being saved. That was what ticked him off the most. Despite every that had happened even if he was Hakuno, they were still fighting over him. He was done with it as he dematerialized the gun causing Avenger to look at him.
"You aren't going to shoot her?"
"A simple bullet to the head is too good for her. It needs to be slow and painful."
He started walking over to Rin as he materialized the Vorpal Sword. He had managed to make modifications to it so it didn't shatter on one hit as well as was more effective on draconic beings rather than the simple Jabberwocky. One he was standing before her, he sighed before looking at her and driving the sword through her before pulling it back out and walking back over to Avenger.
He expected her to hate him for being so excessive but she was grinning.
"So, there is a vindictive side to you. Here I thought you were the silent fury type."
HAKUNO looked back up at Joan who was looking at him a bit worried but he smiled.
"I take it they are all here."
"Yeah...sorry I didn't get a chance to warn you about that."
"It's fine. At least I can be prepared on the chance I encounter anyone else or if I run into them again. Come on, we said we would meet Jeanne and Salter at the Rayshift room to go to this Shinjuku place. What's it like there anyways?"
She just smiled as she got up to lead the way.
"Trust me, you're going to love it. Also, we're getting you a new outfit. No offense but I'm kinda tired of the school thing."
That was enough to get him to chuckle as his mood started to lighten up.
"To be fair, I am as well."
Joan lead HAKUNO to the Rayshift room. She didn't understand much about how it all worked nor did she really ever care to learn. So long as it worked as it is supposed to, she wouldn't worry much about it.
As she enters the room with HAKUNO, she saw Jeanne and Salter waiting for them as Salter turns to them.
"You two took your sweet time. Then again, I didn't think he would be up so soon."
She was about to dismiss Salter's comment but HAKUNO responded to her.
"I take it that you're Arturia Alter. Nice to meet a friend of Joan."
They both said at the same time.
"We are not friends!"
The two just stared at each other before looking away and not saying anything as HAKUNO walked over to Jeanne, who was working on getting the Rayshift ready to go. HAKUNO just looked at Jeanne.
“Sorry, we’re used to Gudao, Mash, Da Vinci setting this up for us. I doubt you would be able to figure it out.”
She just looks over at the two.
“Oh trust me, Jeanne. You would be surprised at how much he actually knows about this stuff.”
Jeanne looked at her and then at HAKUNO before letting at the Rayshift monitor as he got to work as Jeanne walked over to her.
“Are you absolutely sure this is wise? He’s only recovered for a day and you are wanting to take him to Shinjuku of all places. Why not London, if you wanna take him somewhere that’s a bit modern?”
“He’ll be fine.”
“How can you be so sure?”
She took a moment, realizing she was going to have to tell Jeanne a bit about HAKUNO if Jeanne was going to trust her about this, and her mind flashed to the incident to the 5th Round.
While Li Shuwen hadn’t been summoned as an Assassin when he came to Chaldea, he still made comments about his time as an Assassin servant whenever he was around Hakuno or Hakunon. Jeanne would be well aware of what happened to them.
“Remember how, during Hakuno and Hakunon’s Holy Grail War, Li Shuwen would mess with their servant’s magic circuits with his fists?”
“Yeah. Why? Did that happen to you?”
“Almost. HAKUNO took the hit for me. He would have died from it but, thanks to Dead Face, he survived and was up within a few hours.”
Jeanne just blinked as she wasn’t sure how to take that. She was well aware of how strong Li Shuwen was, even without his spear, so that should be enough to get her to stop worrying about HAKUNO.
Just as they finished talking, HAKUNO managed to get the Rayshift ready.
“Right, that should do it. You mention something about Shinjuku, right Joan?”
“Yeah Shinjuku, 1999 A.D. Should be labeled as a Pseudo-Singularity.”
He took a moment before finding it.
“Got it. You all ready to go?”
She turned to Salter and Jeanne as neither one commented on it so she assumed they were good to go as she turned back to him.
HAKUNO nodded as he activated the Rayshift and, in a bright flash and a few moments, they were standing on a sidewalk of one of the areas in Shinjuku. HAKUNO looked around in amazement.
“Huh...so this is what a real city looks like. I guess that’s why you wanted to come here right, Joan?”
He turned to look at her as she blinks. She forgot she still had her outfit from when she and Salter were first here, back when the Singularity had first appeared, and she was wearing the same outfit from then as HAKUNO looked a bit confused. She looked away.
“Don’t ask, it’s a long story.”
Salter just looked at him and smirked.
“Not really, she got jealous of what I was wearing and decided to go get herself something casual and she ended up with that.”
Jeanne simply let the two argue as she walked over to him as she looked at him.
“You don’t happen to know why it is my abilities that should only react to servants are reacting to you, would you?”
“Oh, you mean your True Name Discernment?”
“You know the name?”
“You served as a servant for the body of Hakuno/Hakunon that were helping Altera trying to get the Regalia so they could free her. I know about you before I meant Joan so I more or less knew she was somehow related to you.”
Jeanne just blinked once more as HAKUNO didn’t seem phased by what he said. Salter had picked up on the conversation and stopped fighting with her as HAKUNO continued.
“From what Mash said, I’m apparently both a Master and a Servant. Not really sure how and they aren’t sure either. All my stats and stuff as a Servant are being blocked off so not even the records of me can be seen.”
“Both a Master and Servant?”
This was the first time Joan was hearing about this but it does explain why Jeanne was having her ability activating when she was looking at HAKUNO. Still, what happened to cause that change? He wasn’t one when she was with him in the Moon Cell.
Salter just looked between the two of them.
“Well, we’re in Shinjuku. So, how about you or him fill us in on what exactly is the story behind all of this?”
She sighed, knowing that there was no way to get out of this now. The least they could do is explain as they were heading to a shop for HAKUNO.
“Come on then, HAKUNO and I can explain as we’re going to a clothes shop. I’m tired of his get up from having to look at it for 7 weeks. He’s not the school type like Hakuno and Hakunon is.”
HAKUNO went over to her as she started to walk ahead of everyone as Jeanne and Salter followed behind with Salter looking at her.
“Fine but I’m helping. Your taste in clothes is terrible.”
“Oh, like you’re any better.”
“I believe my tastes are more decent than yours, going by your outfit.”
HAKUNO looked back at Jeanne.
“Are they always like this?”
“This is actually tamer than they usually are.”
“They usually would have called each other names, by this point. I think you have some weird effect on Joan that makes her nicer.”
Joan heard that last part but she didn’t really comment on it. As HAKUNO started telling the two about his story she couldn’t help but think why HAKUNO had such an effect on her.
Jeanne wasn’t wrong on the ‘tamer’ comment. She usually would start calling Salter ‘Ice Bitch’ or something, yet, she didn’t feel right to do so. She didn’t hold her words back during the Moon Cell but usually, she talked about people who were HAKUNO’s enemies.
Maybe HAKUNO did end up making her nicer than she had thought and being back with him was amplifying that effect. So long as she kept feeling nice and happy, she wouldn’t mind being more calm about things. Maybe she and Salter could be friends now that HAKUNO was here.
HAKUNO simply watched as Salter and Joan were arguing about what outfit. In all his time he spent with Joan, he never thought he would see her arguing over clothes.
He found himself just trying not to chuckle while Jeanne simply smiled as she looked at him.
“I’ll be completely honest with you. I never thought I would ever see Jalter like this. Being somewhat happy and normal.”
“Guess it’s just an effect I have. I imagine you’ve seen how Nero, Tamamo, Nameless, Gilgamesh, and Altera react when they are around Hakuno and Hakunon.”
She just nodded. He knew the effects and changes they all experience when they are around Hakuno and Hakunon. The war showed who they really were and their respective servants fell for them.
“Still, are you alright? I didn’t see what happened earlier. I just saw you leaving with Joan so suddenly.”
“I’m fine. Just still recovering mentally is all. Ended up in Chaldea and hearing about what had happened is a lot to take in.”
“If you need to talk about it, I don’t mind listening. I imagine it’s a lot, especially considering what you’ve been through.”
He just nodded as Joan came over and started dragging him over to the changing room as he just smirked at her.
“Guess you and Salter finally decided on something? I was beginning to wonder if you would ever stop arguing.”
“Sorry. We have a differing in taste.”
He chuckled as they got to the changing room as she tossed him the outfit they had picked out before closing the door for him as he began getting changed.
It took him a few minutes as he could hear them waiting outside. As he finished, he looked into the mirror the changing room had as he looked at the outfit.
He was wearing just black clothes. A black t-shirt, pants, and boots. It felt better than what he had been wearing, which felt odd likely due to how long he had been wearing the same clothes.
He pulled out the regalia from the pocket of his old clothes as he just looked at it.
He hadn’t gotten a chance to tell Joan about it or how it was the reason he was here, to begin with. With only Salter and Jeanne around, he might have the chance to tell her about it and ask her what they should do with it.
While Salter would not have any idea about it and Joan having limited information on it, Jeanne would likely understand what it is and can do. There would be no risk telling them.
Before he could think anymore on the subject, he heard knocking on the door with Joan’s voice followed suit.
“Hey, are you almost done in there?”
He kept the regalia in his hand as he walked out as the three of them looked at him. Joan simply smiling.
“Told you he would be fine in black Salter.”
“I’m a bit surprised. I’ve never been able to picture either Hakuno nor Hakunon in such an outfit yet he can someone rock the look.”
“Because he isn’t like Hakuno and Hakunon. Thought you would have been smart enough to realize that after hearing about him.”
The two were about to start arguing but Jeanne got them to stop as she looked at him.
“I think you look nice.”
“Right well I think it’s time I brought something up. I suppose you 3 noticed I was holding onto something when I first arrived right?”
Salter looked at him.
“Oh yeah, Joan tried to pry your hand open but she couldn’t. What exactly were you holding onto anyways?”
“Well, when I said I didn’t have any idea of how I got here I might have been lying a little bit. I have an idea of how I got here just not sure why it brought me here.”
The 3 of them simply looked at him as he opened his hand and showed them the regalia.
“Jeanne, if you remember do remember Hakuno then I imagine this would be familiar looking to you.”
Jeanne looked at the ring for a moment but quickly understood what it was as her face turned from curiosity to surprise.
“How did you get this? I thought you said you destroyed the Moon Cell.”
“I did. The Moon Cell tried to bargain to get me to stop the meltdown. This was the final thing it tried to use against me.”
“Why would it use the Regalia as a means to get you to stop the meltdown? I don’t think it would be foolish enough to give someone trying to destroy it a means to control it.”
As soon as Jeanne said Regalia, Joan’s face flushed with red as she looked away as Salter just gave her a look.
“What? You know something Jalter?”
Joan didn’t turn to talk as she kept looking away.
“HAKUNO please don’t tell me it heard our conversation that night.”
He knew what conversation she was talking about. It was the only thing he could think of that would explain the Moon Cell using the Regalia as a bargaining chip.
“It’s the best explanation I can think of as to why.”
Both Jeanne and Salter looked confused before Salter started smirking.
“Did you say something embarrassing that night, Jalter? I’m quite curious about that conversation.”
“We are not talking about it. It was something he said and that was it.”
“Then why are you so flustered?”
“I will burn you alive, Salter!”
Jeanne ignores them as she looked at the regalia over and whispered to him, though Salter and Joan were too busy to notice, so the two wouldn’t hear them.
“I take it the ring is meant for Jalter and you? The design and gem color matches Jalter.”
“Yeah, I was going to ask her what to do with it as I’m conflicted about simply destroying it or keeping it in case I ever need to have it. I can ask her later about it, it’s not too important. At least, I hope not.”
She just nodded as he put away the ring before going back into the room and changing back. Once Salter and Joan cooled down, they bought the clothes and left.
He had no idea how time worked between singularities and real-world time but Salter suggested they had to her old base, which happens to be under a burger restaurant, and grabbing something to eat before they headed back to Chaldea.
Joan warned him the place would smell bad but he doubted he would notice it much. He followed along as the 3 lead the way.
They walked towards the base, not really talking much. He mostly just answered questions Jeanne and Salter had about himself but they got interrupted as some gang looking guy stepped in front of them and they soon found themselves surrounded.
“Well, what do we have here? 3 lovely ladies and some guy. Must be our lucky day.”
He could already tell they were going to be trouble but before he could do anything he felt something metal bash against the back of his head as he fell to the ground.
He was still conscious but he had trouble hearing what was being said. He let the guy who hit him get past him before he slowly started getting back up and it seemed none of the gang members noticed. They were all focused on Joan, Jeanne, and Salter.
Joan, however, noticed him getting up and smirked as she looked at him. Seemingly knowing what he needed to know before he dealt with these guys, told him what he needed to hear as his hearing was starting to come back.
“Don’t worry about holding back against these people. Nobody will miss them.”
The ruffians quickly realized she was talking to someone else. They turned towards him as he started raising his hand towards his face.
“Good, they’ve pissed me off anyways.”
Joan got Jeanne and Salter away from the group of Ruffians and away from him as he activated his Dead Face and stared down the Ruffians for a moment before the fighting began.
Joan wanted to come to Shinjuku for a multitude of reasons. They could have gone to any other singularity to talk but she preferred they come to this one.
Firstly, this was the one place she actually enjoyed. As bad as it looked, it was good enough for her. Secondly, she figured it would be the best place for getting HAKUNO a new outfit. Something he would likely prefer than whatever Chaldea had.
However, there was one other reason for them coming here to talk. One reason she didn’t tell Salter or Jeanne. After everything HAKUNO had been through, she knew he needed to let off some steam and what better place than a place like Shinjuku. A place where fools were a dime a dozen.
The moment that goon hit HAKUNO in the back of the head, she knew the group that had surrounded them had sealed their fate. It didn’t take long before HAKUNO started getting up. She just smiled and looked at him.
“Don’t worry about holding back against these people. Nobody will miss them.”
She watched as his eyes met hers and looked at her for a moment before smiling.
“Good, they’ve pissed me off anyways.”
She grabbed Salter and Jeanne and got away from the goons surrounding them as she turned back and watched HAKUNO turn into his Dead Face form. This was the first time Salter and Jeanne would be witnessing this.
They wanted to know what Dead Face did and now they would see it.
The goon that hit HAKUNO before took another swing only for him to catch the pipe he used before. He crushed the metal pipe in his hand before grabbing the guy and punching him so hard he went flying.
The rest of the goons looked at him as they began charging at him and he stood ready to fight them off. Jeanne looked ready to go and help but Joan put her arm up and smiled.
“Don’t worry, he can handle a few thugs.”
“Are you sure? I mean, you saw how he was yesterday.”
“This was the other reason I wanted to bring him here.”
“What do you mean Jalter?”
“He needed something to take his anger out on. Seeing Hakuno, Hakunon, Rin, Rani, and Leo again wasn't something he took well.”
She didn’t say anything as to why. While HAKUNO had issues with them, aside from Leo, HAKUNO just hated everything in general. He had mentioned it was due to being a Dead Face and, while being around Joan helped deal with that hate, it never got rid of it.
The only thing she could blame was the Moon Cell for allowing him to have that hatred. Maybe if it had removed that part, it might have gotten the Hakuno it wanted. Instead, it got a being that hated it.
She simply watched as HAKUNO dismantled the entire gang that had berated them. From the expression on Salter's face, if they had popcorn she would be eating it right now. She probably would be eating some as well.
As the gang numbers started to dwindle down to less than a few left, a roar came from one of the alleyways. The three of them knew what it was from the roar alone and from what she and Salter had to deal with when this singularity first formed.
The ones that were still conscious quickly got to their feet and started to run away. It was clear that the Chimera that was coming wasn’t theirs. Salter and Jeanne both got up and looked ready to go as the Chimera came out of the alleyway and stared at HAKUNO.
She stopped the two as Jeanne looked at her.
“Jalter, goons are one thing but a Chimera? You really think HAKUNO can handle one?”
“Let’s just say he has something to take down creatures like that.”
Salter and Jeanne both looked confused as they turned their attention back to HAKUNO. HAKUNO held his arm to the side as a cube manifested before quickly turning into a sword. She had only seen him use it one other time, aside from him using it on Rin when he killed her and Rani.
Still, both Jeanne and Chaldea’s systems said HAKUNO was considered a servant. She wasn’t sure herself but, if there was any time to test it, now seemed like a good time. She simply watched as her mind went back to a conversation they had soon after HAKUNO had killed Rin and Rani.
She was still learning about HAKUNO back then and she didn’t know about what he could do and, after seeing him summon weapons, she was a bit curious to learn more about him. As they were killing enemy programs during the 4th round, she finally decided to ask him about it.
“So, what exactly was that you did during the whole ‘situation’.”
“What exactly do you mean?”
“The rifle and sword you crated out of those weird cubes that appeared in your hand?”
“Oh, you mean the item creation. It’s a skill I picked up.”
“Ok, I have to at least know why it is you seemingly know everything that is going to happen. I’m sorry if I'm being a bit intrusive but, after you having the thing to deal with Caster’s monster and what you said back when we were watching Rin and Rani fight, it’s really bugging me how you somehow know these things.”
HAKUNO was silent for a few moments before sighing and giving in, somewhat, as he turned towards her.
“Let’s just say...I’ve been through this.”
It took her a moment to try and get what he meant by that but, once she did, she was a bit surprised.
“So. you’re saying you’ve been stuck in a cycle? That you’ve gone through this war before?”
“In a way, yes. Look, I’m sorry about being secretive about this stuff. I just wanna focus on getting to the end of this war.”
She just stared at him.
“To be fair, I haven’t much talked about myself. Tell you what, we get through this week and try and open up during next week.”
HAKUNO looked ready to agree but quickly stopped himself as he looked like he remembered something. She simply stared at him confused.
“Nothing, you don’t have to tell me it doesn’t bother me that much. I trust you enough that I don’t need to know your history. I’m pretty sure you sticking by me after what I did is proof enough of your loyalty.”
“I thought I told you, I would have been mad if you did save one of them. Maybe I’m a bad judge of character but I think, if you were the one in the situation, neither one would try and save you. They seem like the selfish type of person. You, on the other hand, have reasons for not saving them. I may not know what those reasons are but I know you have them.”
HAKUNO just smiled at her.
“Thanks, Avenger. Now, we should be almost to the place where Ronnie and Vlad III initially appears. Usually, I would just observe them and not attack but…”
He didn’t need to say anything else as she just grinned. HAKUNO wanted to try and fight them early and she was more than up for it. If nothing else, it would be good practice for her. She simply followed HAKUNO as they made their way to the area he had mentioned.
She came back to reality as the Chimera charged at HAKUNO only for HAKUNO to sidestep it and quickly bring the sword down on its neck. Just as the blade got close to the neck, the blade itself glowed faintly as it seemingly cut through the neck without any trouble.
HAKUNO had told her that the sword was called the Vorpal Blade back when he told her about what he was. It was only meant to be used against the Jabberwocky, the beast Caster had summoned during the 3rd round, but HAKUNO had modified his version to work on dragons and beasts at a lower chance of the decapitation effect activating.
It was a small cost, but it was more than worth it if it meant he could have it work on other things rather than a single being. Jeanne and Salter just stared as the Chimera fell to the ground and went dead as the head rolled on the ground before both disappeared. HAKUNO looked back at them.
“Right, with that out of the way, should we get to the Roost or whatever your base is called Salter.”
Salter took a moment before she snapped out of her shock and nodded, trying to put up a facade that she wasn’t shocked. She started back walking towards her place as HAKUNO followed. She and Jeanne were behind him as she waited for Jeanne to snapped back into reality. It was clear Jeanne had questions but was willing to wait till they got to Salter’s place before asking.
She couldn’t help but stare at HAKUNO as they walked. Over her time in Chaldea, once she remembered HAKUNO, she realized how different HAKUNO was to Hakuno and Hakunon and, knowing everything HAKUNO had been through, she was glad she was summoned by him and not by Hakuno or Hakunon.
I am so sorry for the hiatus for this chapter. I had a general idea of what I wanted but wasn't sure how to put it into words. I am also trying to get a new chapter for everything out before adding two new stories so be on the lookout for those when they come out.
“HAKUNO did what!?”
Hakuno and Hakunon looked at each other before looking at Rin, Rani, and Leo. After HAKUNO and Jalter left suddenly, the three were curious as to why there was a third Hakuno in Chaldea and why they felt so different compared to Hakuno and Hakunon.
Luckily, it was relatively easy to explain since all three seem to retain some memories of HAKUNO, so they didn’t need to explain HAKUNO whole history. Though, it was when they got to HAKUNO ending up in another Grail War and summoning Jalter was where their memories of it faded.
So, the two told their dead self’s story from the 2nd Grail War forward and when they got to the part where HAKUNO destroyed the Moon Cell was what ended up surprising the three the most. Rin was the most shocked by hearing what HAKUNO did.
Rani and Leo were also shocked but more curious than anything.
“So, HAKUNO ended up destroying the Moon Cell? How did he manage to do that?”
Hakunon spoke up.
“Apparently, he ended up with admin access that allowed him to cause the Moon Cell to meltdown. He said he wasn’t sure how he ended up with it.”
“But how? I doubt the Moon Cell would be that foolish to give or allow someone that would have issues with it something that could be used against itself.”
“We don’t know. If he does know, he didn’t tell us what.”
Rin just looked at the two Hakunos.
“Doesn’t that concern either one of you? The idea of another version of you, one that died I might add, keeping secrets?”
Hakuno and herself just looked at each other before looking back at Rin and shrugging with Hakuno deciding to talk.
“Relax Rin. HAKUNO probably has his reasons for keeping whatever he is keeping from us. Even if he’s a version of us who died and came back, he’s still us.”
“You two don’t know him as Rani, and I did. I guess Nero never told you two in on how he barely had any emotions aside from hate. Sure, he had some capacity to feel such things as empathy and other emotions, but he was a Dead Face. A wraith. You know, kinda like what Jack is but, rather than a bunch of children spirits, he was made from the regrets of all the people who made it to the Angelica Cage but got defeated by Twice.”
The two of them didn’t know how to respond. Before they could at least try, Leo asked them another question.
“Did he say which one he ended up saving during his war with Jalter?”
“He said he saved Rani. Said he chose her to help deal with the Moon Cell systems. We just guessed he wanted to try and balance things out since he saved Rin during the events Nero had told us about.”
“Would make sense, she did have the means to blow up the Moon Cell, but then he wouldn’t have needed the admin access to cause the Moon Cell to meltdown.”
“What are you thinking then, Leo?”
Everyone was looking at Leo who was thinking.
“While it would be possible to say he forgot and mix who he saved, I doubt he would have forgotten something like that. Plus, I doubt, even if he saved Rani, she would allow Hakuno to destroy the whole Moon Cell. If she did, you think HAKUNO would have brought up what happened to her.”
Rin just looked at Leo more confused.
“Then what? He had to have saved one of us, right?”
Hakuno and Hakunon both knew the answer to that, but neither one wants to bring it up. Hakunon was the one to cave in explaining.
“No, he didn’t have to. We choose to save one of you two because of what you both had done for us but, if HAKUNO knew you, both would end up causing trouble for his plan to take down the Moon Cell.”
Rani finished what Hakunon was getting at.
“Then he would have let us go out as it was intended, with me self-destructing blowing up and taking Rin with me. The issue with that answer is, the explosion would have caused the arena to a meltdown which would begin corrupting SERAPH. I doubt the Moon Cell would have been able to continue the war, hence why I tried to go through with it.”
Rin just looked between Rani and Hakunon.
“So, no matter what, his revenge would have been stopped or had someone blocking the way. If that’s the case, what did he not tell you guys?”
Hakunon had one idea, but she didn’t like it. The moment she looked at Hakuno, it was clear he had the same if not similar idea but was in the same boat as her. She still felt like she needed to ask him if it was true or not.
“You don’t think he...”
“He seemed intent on getting revenge on the Moon Cell. He and Jalter were willing to die to see it burn.”
“But they were our friends.”
“‘Our’ friends. From what Rin and Rani and HAKUNO told us, the original Hakunon from that world likely never faced Rin or Rani. They both got stuck in a stalemate during Round 6. If HAKUNO’s only meeting with them ended up in a way that is viewed as a betrayal...”
As they were talking to each other, they left Rin, Rani, and Leo out. This ended up getting Rin annoyed as she stopped the two and looked at both.
“Alright, what are you two going on about? Do you know what HAKUNO did or not?”
The two of them just looked at each other. They needed to tell them. If this were the case, Edmond might not have been wrong about the fact that HAKUNO is dangerous. Before they could say they thought they had, the door leaving the cafeteria opened as Nero, and Kid Gil both came in a rush.
“Predator, Hakunon, you must come quick!”
Everyone turned towards them as Hakuno looked confused.
“Nero? What’s wrong?”
“HAKUNO is in Shinjuku fighting off some thugs.”
They all looked concerned and even more confused as to what happened. Before they could ask Kid Gil clarified.
“By fighting, I think Nero means wiping the floor with them. He does not even have Jalter, Salter, or Jeanne fight them. He’s fighting them himself.”
Hakunon just sighed as she was trying to wrap her head around what was going on. She just looked at the two.
“Just take us to where you guys see this, rather than trying to explain what happened.”
Both Kid Gil and Nero nodded as they lead to the Observation Room. There, they saw Da Vinci, Gudao, Mash, and the rest of the servants that hangs around them watching a screen. When they all looked, they saw Hakuno, but he had activated what they could guess his Dead Face powers and was one siding the thugs.
Before long the thugs that were still conscious quickly got up and started running. They thought HAKUNO had scared them off, but he wasn’t what they were running from. Soon enough, a Chimera came out from an alleyway. There was worry amongst everyone, but that quickly vanished as HAKUNO materialized a sword that looked all too familiar for Hakuno, Hakunon, Rin, Rani, and the servants who were with them and, with one slashed, decapitated the Chimera.
Rin was very confused.
“Ok, how does he have the Vorpal Blade? It should have been destroyed when he used it against the Jabberwocky.”
Hakunon and Hakuno knew it couldn’t be the same Vorpal Blade. Its effect should only work on the Jabberwocky, yet it worked on the Chimera.
They needed answers. HAKUNO hadn’t given them the whole story, for whatever reason. The issue was how they would go about it. They doubt he would be honest about it if they confronted him about it.
Gudao looked back as he saw them as he looked like he had an idea.
“Hey Leo, you know where your brother and Dan would be?”
Leo, just looked at him.
“It shouldn’t be too hard to find them. Why do you ask?”
Hakuno and Hakunon were both just as curious about why Gudao wanted to know where Julius and Dan would be. He didn’t respond as he watches the monitor as Salter, Jeanne, Jalter, and HAKUNO walked to Salter’s old base. Whatever Gudao was planning, they had a bad feeling that it wouldn’t be right.
HAKUNO didn't know why, but these burgers at Salter's base were good. Maybe it had to do with him barely ever eating real food and having only eaten food within the Moon Cell. Still, he couldn't help but stuff his face while Joan gave him a bit of a weird look.
Apparently, the Roost, as it was called, was what Gudao and the other servants used as a base while they solved the singularity here. It was a nice place though he was a bit curious about something.
"So, if all servants that were summoned to Shinjuku had their own territories, where is your base, Jalter?"
Joan looked a bit embarrassed.
"Oh, it's around."
Salter decided to ruin the surprise and spoil what happened.
"She burned her place to the ground."
Jalter just looked at her.
"Hey, I thought I was going to die. Figured I would try and take EMIYA Alter with me."
"Yes, and even then, you couldn't properly die or kill EMIYA Alter. How does a Heroic Spirit somehow fail at a suicide plan, twice."
"Oh, you wanna go, Ice Queen? I'll burn you to a crisp."
While seeing these two go at it would be a good bit of entertainment, what he heard did concern him a bit.
"What do you mean she almost died twice during you guys fixing this place? And EMIYA Alter?"
Joan looked at him.
"It's nothing to worry about. I'm still here, aren't I?"
While he couldn't really argue, it did make him question how good of a Master Gudao was. Sure, he had saved all of human history, but there was more to doing so than just being lucky or having lots of servants.
"As for EMIYA Alter, he's guys a jerk version of that Nameless guy you mentioned. He's here too, but he goes by EMIYA but also goes by Nameless. It honestly gets confusing."
"I guess anything can happen."
"Yeah, like finding out that a version of us killed his friends."
He hadn't even been paying attention, nor had anyone else been. He turned to see Hakuno, Hakunon, Nero, and Tamamo were standing at the entrance. Hakuno looked angry while Hakunon was a bit concerned. He knew there was no point trying to lie when it was clear at least his other selves would have figured it out.
"To start with, Hakuno never met the two when she went through the war. They ended up stuck fighting each other on the 6th floor. She never had their assistance or support. Though, Nero would already know that, considering she was her servant at the time."
Hakuno just stared at him.
"But you must have at least seen them as friends when they helped you all those times, right?"
He couldn't help but start laughing at the statement. Rin and Rani? His friends? That was honestly the funniest thing he heard. It makes him wonder just how much Nero altered or kept to herself when she told them about him.
"They were only interest in seeing themselves free. Rin and Rani realized I was their best chance at saving them, so they both sent their clones to help me get to the 6th floor. All the while, they kept me in the dark about all of this. Only when I was within reach of saving both of them did they explain how only one could be saved. I'm sure Rin was the one to come up with the whole thing and got Rani to go along with it. Regardless, I was a tool for them. I might have thought them as decent people, but when I found that was what they helped me for, I realized how vile they were."
Nero looked a bit concerned at how he had this pent up anger against Rin and Rani for what they did. Anger, he never told her about.
"Why didn't you talk to me about this before we fought Leo and Gawain?"
"It doesn't matter. When I got my second chance, I wasn't going to let anything stop me from getting revenge. When the 3rd round came, and Rin and Rani were fighting, I sat to watch how it would end. Of course, had I allowed Rani to self destruct, it would have caused the war to likely end. The same person who got me out of the storage stopped time within SERAPH and gave me the means to take care of both Rin and Rani. To get revenge, I had to kill them both. So I did."
Hakunon just looked about as shocked and angry as Hakuno but still tried to appeal to what humanity he had.
"Do you regret doing it?"
"No. I would have had to do eventually. I knew the two enough to where, regardless of who I saved and brought with me to the end, I would have to kill Rin and Rani anyways. Neither one would have allowed the Moon Cell to be destroyed. Plus, I got a bit of payback for what they had done to me before."
Hakuno walked over to him and grabbed him by the collar of his shirt and just looked at HAKUNO with pure rage.
"How can you stand here and call yourself HAKUNO when you went and did something like that? You think the Hakuno from your world would want what you have done to be her legacy?"
He grabbed Hakuno and shoved him into the table.
"You don't know a damn thing about her. She didn't have Rin or Rani to back her up? The only person she had was Nero, and even then, that was not enough when they faced Saver. Nero died, and she had the guilt of not being strong enough. You had Rin and Rani as well as Tamamo and Nero. Don't claim you know anything about her or me because you don't and never could."
Hakuno sighed, closing his eyes. He thought that was him giving up on the argument. Though, the words that came next was all he got to hear before everything went down.
He wasn't sure what he was referring to until the sound of a gunshot was heard. He didn't have time to react as he felt a bullet going through his head and sending him collapsing into the ground. They all must have known this wouldn't be enough to kill him, but they probably didn't care. They all likely saw him as a monster. So, as he slowly stood up with Joan all but holding herself back from incinerating all of the, he decided to stop trying to be the kind-hearted girl who died all those years ago. He could never be her. All he was was a corpse created by the Moon Cell based on her.
He was HAKUNO no longer, all that remained was a Dead Face.
All hell is about to break loose in the city known as hell.