Upon the Fall of King Arthur at the Battle of Camlann, Prince Gwydre Pendragon, eldest surviving son of King Arthur was supposed to claim the throne of Camelot. Instead, the coward fled from his duty and his younger sister, Princess Ambrosia, who was still a child, was forced to take over as the leader of the Britain.
- Merlin Emrys
I didn’t even make it to school before I ran into another Servant. Hades, I didn’t even make into town proper before I encountered her.
The woman is youngish. Not as young as me and clearly has some age to her, but I wouldn’t say that she is more than thirty. Not early or mid-twenties, but late twenties. While most of her body is concealed by her armour, I do get a good look at her face.
She has blonde hair like Father did, the golden locks falling down to her shoulders and no further. Her features aren’t beautiful, but they are rugged and pleasant to look at. In a veteran warrior sort of way. Her hard blue eyes are alert and on the lookout for trouble.
And her clothing is most unusual as well, consisting of only Western armour. She is wearing a chainmail tunic that comes down to the knees, but is parted at the groin to allow for leg movement.
Beneath that, I can vaguely make out a red tunic. On her legs and feet, there is a pair of brown leggings and metal plate boots. Her outfit is completed by the metal armour plates on her right arm, the plate gauntlets and the red cloak that is wrapped around her shoulders and goes down to her ankles.
A wooden round shield with a metal rim and boss is strapped to her right wrist while there is a sword sheathed on the right of her waist and dagger on the left side. Another sword is sheathed in the scabbard strapped to her back.
But out of all of there, what interests me the most is the crest on her cloak, the white dragon.
The crest of Albion House of Pendragon.
I doubt very few people would recognise the crest. Everything to do with the Forbidden Isles and its Fallen Kingdom are, well, forbidden. It is kind of in the name. But Dad got me a few texts regarding that particular subject once I found out about my birth father and kept pestering him. And my dreams are very informative.
I don’t see the harm in it. I’m already breaking other laws such as practicing a forbidden form of magic, using Holy magic and keeping four highly sort after artefacts of immense power hidden away within me. Why not break another?
But there is only one person who this Servant could be with that particular crest. Queen Ambrosia Pendragon, daughter of King Arthur Pendragon and Queen Gwenevere Pendragon, the Last Monarch of Camelot and the Fallen Ruler of Albion.
Oh, this is just so perfect. Just so, so perfect.
Ever since I found out about Sir Galahad de Luc being my birth father and the artefacts within me, I always wanted to become a Knight of the Round Table. Arguably, I can lay claim to being one due to inheriting the title from Father, but it wouldn’t be the real thing and would be technically incorrect. That is because you can’t become a Knight of the Round Table via inheritance. That particular honour can only be earned by merit.
But with the Queen herself here, I can finally make my dreams come true. I can pledge my service to her and help her rebuild the Kingdom of Camelot and the Knights of the Round Table. And then she would lead us to glorious victory over the tyrannical rule of the Magical Affairs and liberate the Nine Earths.
I can’t let this perfect opportunity slip through my fingers. I can’t.
“Your Majesty!” I shout as I run towards her.
The Queen freezes and she turns superhumanly fast to come about to face me. In a single swift motion, the knight draws the sword on her back.
I realise too late that while I am excited beyond belief to see the Queen of Camelot, the Queen herself does not have the same feelings towards me. More likely is that she is wary of anyone who could recognise her. And for good reason.
I begin to come to a halt, but the Queen is already in motion. I doubt she had such superhuman abilities in the past and such skills are the result of being a Servant. I only have time to open my mouth before she runs me through with her sword.
I gape at her as I vaguely note that the blood stains will be hard to get out and the tear hard to fix up. I might just end up having to get rid of this kimono entirely. But I ought to focus on my Queen first before worrying about that stuff.
I try to speak again, but I don’t get the chance before she swings her shield into the side of my head. With such strong force behind it, the metal rim of the shield smashes into flesh and caves in the skull, making the world go black for me.
I blink as I looking at the stone gateway standing before me. As I feel a presence behind me, I turn to face it. Before I can fully, I find myself waking.
I wake to the sound of Shiraishi’s voice.
Shiraishi? How long has it been?
Umm, five seconds? Why are not you dead? Should that not have killed you? You did just get stabbed in the chest by a sword and a shield did just crush your head right.
I don’t reply straight away, instead noting that the Queen is getting away. I can’t let that happen. I still haven’t formally pledged my service to her yet.
While I might be able to keep up with her and track her down, I can’t take the risk that my Queen might escape. So I pull out three Shikigami dolls and, I quickly create three bird-like Shikigami for the purpose of tracking down the Queen for me.
The birds take the form of a sparrowhawk with one being white, another black and the third grey. I give them the instructions to keep track of my Queen and off they go.
Hiro, what was that? And how are you still alive?
Technically speaking, magic is a perfectly valid answer. What I fail to mention to Shiraishi is that it is because of two different forms of magic that are both highly illegal.
Time to get moving I decide as I Reinforce my body so I can be fast enough to catch up with my Queen. Using my sparrowhawk-Shikigami to stay alert of her location, I set off in pursuit of the Queen of Camelot.
Fortunately for me, the Queen isn’t heading into the town and is instead sticking to the outskirts. Something I am thankful for as I would rather keep things discreet and on the down low.
I scramble though the undergrowth, cursing that fact that I never paid attention to the limited parkour lessons that Dad attempted to give me. I never figured that they would come in handy and now I am paying in my neglect as I attempt to chase a physically superior target.
At least my Queen seems to be equally bad at traversing this terrain as I am. Rather pretend to be subtle and quiet in her movements like I am, she is barraging through everything in her path and leaving an easily followed trail. I don’t even need my sparrowhawk-Shikigami to track her down.
Eventually I corner my Queen at the very edge of the town’s borders, in the middle of a forest. The woman is pounding away at an invisible barrier that is clearly preventing her from going any further.
Given how she reacted to me last time, I decide that I should prepare a little before approaching my Queen. With my body already Reinforced, there is only one thing for me to do.
“My Body is Unbreakable Steel,” I chant, using the Chant to summon Durandal, another of the Three Holy Blades, “Durandal.”
The blade forms in my hand as I stride towards Queen Ambrosia Pendragon. Whereas Joyeuse focuses on my attacks, Durandal, the indestructible sword of enduring, renders me impossible to physically harm.
Hearing my Chant, my Queen spins around to face me. Despite her battle posture, her eyes widen as recognises me. It must be shocking for her. After all, she killed mere minutes ago and here I am, no worse for the wear other than the tears in my clothing and blood on chest, head and kimono.
“Who are you?” demands the Queen, “How can you still draw breath?”
Thank you Holy Grail and the Three Holy Blades for having Attributive Languages that I instinctively know. Durandal and Joyeuse grant me knowledge of Old Frankish while the Holy Grails gives me an understanding of both Latin and Hebrew. In this case, Curtana is the most useful as it allows me to understand Common Brittonic, the language which my Queen is speaking to me right now.
As for who I am, there are three different answers that I can give. I am Hiro Oshiro, the Onmyouji that lives amongst the mundanes. I am Dune Griffin, the adopted son who practices limited Magic and is hidden away from the rest of the Worlds.
And I am Amr de Luc, the son of Sir Galahad who desires to be a Knight of the Round Table like my father and grandfather before me. I believe that identity of mine is the most relevant here and that is how I shall answer my Queen.
“I am Amr de Luc,” I answer my Queen, using Common Brittonic like she is, “Son of Sir Galahad and grandson of Sir Lancelot. And as for how I still breathe, my Father placed the Holy Grail within me when I was still a newborn.”
I can’t help, but feel a small bit of pride and satisfaction at the mixture of shock that my Queen is showing.
“Sir-” my Queen starts before stopping as her shock turns to joy and relief, “Sir Galahad still lives?”
I wince. No, he does not. How do I explain to my Queen that the last of her original Knights of the Round Table died almost one and a half decades ago?
It turns out that my reaction is enough for my Queen to piece together what happened as her shoulders slump and the excitement drains how of her.
“He does not,” I tell her and the excitement truly leaves my Queen, “But I do my Queen-dono and I am more than willing to pledge my services to you.”
“I see,” replies my Queen, “And what can you do Amr?”
By Avalon! This is my chance!
“I am a competent self-trained Onmyodo,” I say, my words coming out of my mouth rapidly, “I have also received the most basic of training in Reinforcement and Analysis magic. Beyond that, I have the Holy Grail and the Three Holy Blades hidden away within me. I am also a reasonable good combatant, preferably with swords of the same make as the Three Holy Blades.”
“So you wield magic?” inquires Queen Ambrosia, “And Sir Galahad hid the items that I entrusted to him in you?”
“That is correct my Queen-dono,” I answer eagerly.
“And you are willing to be one of my Knights Amr de Luc?” asks my Queen, “Just as the rest of your family were?”
“Without hesitation,” I reply instantly.
“Normally you would only be a Squire, but in these circumstances, I cannot afford to wait,” says my Queen as she sheathes her sword and draws the one at her side, “As you are willing, I shall skip straight to knighting you as a Knight of a Round Table.”
I let out a gasp of excitement and my Queen smiles down at me.
“I can see that you are eager to serve,” says Queen Ambrosia fondly as I kneel on one knee before her, “Do you, Amr de Luc, son of Sir Galahad de Luc, pledge yourself, body and soul, to the service of the House of Pendragon and the Kingdom of Camelot?”
“I do,” I reply.
“And do you agree to act as is expected of a Knight of the Round Table?” continues my Queen, “With honour and bravery? With courage and loyalty? With honesty and virtue?”
“I do,” I say again.
“Then, I, Queen Ambrosia Pendragon of Camelot, knight you, Amr de Luc as one of my Knights of the Round Table,” finishes my Queen as she taps my left shoulder with her sword followed by my right shoulder, “You may rise Sir Amr de Luc.”
“Thank you my Queen-dono,” I say as I get back to my feet and let Durandal materialise and return to inside me, “It is an honour to serve you.”
Sheathing her sword again, Queen Ambrosia holds out her hand for me and I clasp it firmly. What happens next is something that neither of us were expecting. As we hold the other’s hand firmly, there is a brief glow and I feel a volt of magic flow through my body.
“What was that?” asks my Queen as she looks at me curiously.
“I have no idea,” I admit.
“Regardless of what that was, I know little of my situation beyond the fact that I am in a completely foreign land, I am, was alone, there is a magical barrier preventing me from leaving this town and I am being hunted by soldiers of the Invaders,” says my Queen, “Can you bring me up to speed my Knight?”
“That I can do my Queen-dono,” I promise her, “Shall we go to my home? The place is isolated and highly fortified with my magics.”
“Yes, we shall,” agrees Queen Ambrosia.