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Fate/Beyond the Hollow Lens

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Chapter 21

The Disappearance of Hachi



Arata

 

He sat with Hitomi in silence. Neither dared to speak in fear of awakening Nemissa. She had receded deep into Hitomi’s soul, effectively relinquishing control… of course, Hitomi had no idea what to do. She could control her powers easily as it turned out… all except the power they needed to leave. Further, each movement or sentence by Hitomi caused Nemissa to stir. Hitomi, wanting to enjoy control of her body, opted to sit in silence. Then she laid back. He emulated this, as he had nothing better to do. Without a way to return to reality, they were stuck in this digital landscape until Hitomi was ready to give control back to Nemissa. Then, suddenly, Hitomi spoke, saying “Well… that’s been long enough, no?”. Looking, he asked “What?”. “I think she’s sulked long enough… I understand that she’s sad about her amnesia” Hitomi stated “However, we do have others to worry about… and if that was indication, hope isn’t lost… after all, he sounded like just one part… there have to be others, no?”. Then suddenly, Nemissa took over, saying “Hitomi, you’re a genius! Of course that’s all I have to do! Hunt down his associates! Let’s see…. Wasn’t there a Winpe at one point?”. Nodding and sitting up as Nemissa did, he stated “We helped that guy at the airport defeat it… so there are more out there”. Smiling like she had won grand prize at a fair, Nemissa leapt to her feet and said “Then let’s hurry! Before we lose the trail!”. He stood as Nemissa grabbed his shoulder and initiated the transfer. 



Rin

 

She had noticed it first, then Shirou. Six and Lunch were dismissive but she saw the concern in Spooky’s eyes. Looking at her, she knew what he was silently asking. All she did was nod and walk out. Shirou remained behind, knowing what she was doing. As she left, Kuzunoha stated to her telepathically “A master has been detected. Shall we engage?”. She frowned deeply, asking “Their identity?”. “Uncertain… no one we recognize” Kuzunoha replied “Foreigner for sure though- wait… he has a Comp, different make than Arata’s but unmistakably magical!”. She deepened her frown and asked “What is he doing?”. “He’s… hunting I- Hachi! He’s going after Hachi!” Kuzunoha stated “Your orders, master!?”. Gritting her teeth, she replied “Buy him time to flee”. She pulled out a gem, whispering “Conatradh Shirou ‘Unknown enemy seeking Hachi for unknown purposes, please assist’” followed by infusing it with some prana and dropping it. The gem rolled along the ground towards her intended recipient; Shirou Emiya. She wanted him to alert them of danger and usher them to safety; All except Tatsuya. Even if his arm was injured he was powerful since he was a user of the Third Magic, to such a degree that he was capable of utilizing a servant as though it were his own soul… or perhaps he and the servant were one in the same? She wasn’t sure. Thinking about Tatsuya Suou confused her. It was undeniable he was utilizing True Magic, the Third Magic specifically. However… how he was to achieve the effect he did, summoning an actual god to do battle for him, was unknown to her. With such power, even with an injured arm, he’d be a great asset. “Master, problem… the enemy master… is also a Summoner, like Arata” Kuzunoha relayed “He has summoned a pack of metal hounds with green fire for heads”. Frowning deeper yet, Rin responded “Don’t engage the summoner directly. Find Hachi and try to evacuate… do what you need to in order to get out”. There was no response for several seconds as her footsteps echoed throughout the building until Kuzunoha asked “Does that include deploying my noble phantasm?”. Hesitating, Rin stated “Avoid it if you can but… yes. I’d rather not risk Hachi’s life”. She then felt Kuzunoha leave her side. She sighed, muttering “I need to stop being so soft…”.

 

Tatsuya

 

He left the room with Shirou. Shirou had tagged him and then said “Excuse us, I need to ask Suou-san something”. Once they were down the corridor, he began with “So, whatcha need me for? Curious ‘bout my persona?”. Blinking, Shirou said “Not really… I mean, a bit, but not right now. There’s a situation. One of our team is missing”. “So? Why’s that my business? Maybe he went home” he replied, but Shirou retorted immediately with “Didn’t you notice how no one but Rin noticed?  With all that’s going on, we’re on edge… yet we let this slip by”. He frowned now, realizing the implication. They’d been messed with mentally. “Alright then Emiya. Ya have my attention… who’s the missing kid?” he responded. “He goes by the codename Hachi. Wears a lot of yellow and black… has light brown eyes” Emiya responded, showing an image “He was last with Rin”. Nodding, he took it and said “Understood. I’ll go scouting… I assume you are too?”. After Emiya nodded, he said “Then let’s meet… at… I know, the Gourmaden. You guys seem ta head there a lot”. Nodding, Emiya said “Sure. Just be careful… they got a summoner that’s controlling a servant”. Frowning, he asked “What are those?”. Sighing, Emiya stated “Servants are powerful familiars while summoners summon phantasmals. The latter are creatures too magical to exist in the human world”. Familiars… he’d heard that term before he thought. However he couldn’t waste anymore time so he said “Understood. I’ll be careful. You take care too yeah?” then walked away. Once he was sure he was out of earshot he pulled out his cell and called his brother. It was time to call the calvary in, saying “Hey. It’s time… just took down an avatar… and from what I’ve seen, there’s more of ‘em. I’ve walked into a veritable den of his children”. “Understood… not all of us can respond immediately but some of us will be able to head out immediately. Let me begin the calls… meet the first arrivals in a few hours”. The call hung up and he sighed as he continued, saying “Now then… time ta save Hachi” and began running. 



Arata

 

As they appeared he saw all of them looking concerned. “Everything… alright?” Spooky asked. Frowning, Nemissa stated “Don’t pull the act. It’s not a good look. Ask what ya wanna”. Sighing, Spooky asked “Then… What's the plan? That thing was hard. We threw everything and barely survived. What’s next?”. Frowning deeply, Nemissa said “I get it. It’s dangerous… so maybe-” and then Six said “Don’t even with the ‘Let me handle it alone’ crap. We’re in as deep as you. If it’s not this, then it’s the society…. So what’s the plan?” Staring at Six, Nemissa smirked, stating “Well, well the boy grew some balls… good. Then… we know now that encountering them gives me some power… So, we have that at least… Also, is it just me or do all of these… ‘Monsters’ seem deeply tied with computers?”. Speaking up, Lunch stated “Well… let’s see… maybe it’s cause of this ‘Manitou’ network? I mean… we’re deal’in with someth’in that is fantastical right? Maybe this network is warp’in ‘em”. Frowning, he stated “I can ask Victor about it… let’s grab a piece of Moowis on our way out. It’ll help him”. Looking at him, Spooky asked “Victor…?”. Nodding, he stated “Yeah. Guy that unlocked my Comp and had me do the favor at the warehouse… he’s also the owner of the Gourmaden”. Humming, Spooky responded “Got it. Then… let’s go”. As they began to leave, Six suddenly asked “Hey….. where’s Hachi?”. Eyes wide, he looked around but didn’t see him. In fact he didn’t see Shirou or Tatsuya either. “Where… did they all go? It’s not just Hachi but also Emiya-san and Suou-san”. Frowning, Spooky pulled out a cell and made a call, saying “Hachi, stat-” then eyes wide he said “Sanagi, summon them now! Hachi is under attack!”. Nodding, he pulled out his comp, saying “Sorry guys… we got more work to do”.



Rin

 

She ran forward. Her servant ran next to her, looking equally distressed. They had both felt it extend. Some sort of reality marble was about to be invoked. Though she wasn’t sure if it actually was. Whatever that Moowis thing used earlier, it was similar but not quite… and like that, this felt not quite like a reality marble but something sort of like it. “Master” Kuzunoha stated “I’ve scanned the spell… I believe it is not inherently harmful”. Frowning, before she could ask Kuzunoha they continued “All it is doing is increasing the amount of latent mana in the area. However… based on past experience there is a dangerous side effect”. She sighed, looking away and said “Dammit… what is it?”. “Firstly, any spells used will be greater, potentially leading to unintended consequences…” Kuzunoha responded, then sighed and said “On the other hand… more ‘phantasmals’ might appear. So we are on a time limit… if any manage to get to Hachi first-” and she finished with “He’s dead. He’s a normal human and even if he’s armed, it’s unlikely he’ll get lucky and have only pixies one at a time appear… dammit. We need to hurry!”. Nodding, Kuzunoha suggested “Master… I could go ahead…” but she shook her head, saying “If I die, you’ll vanish leaving him abandoned… so we have to stick together so you can defend me against other servants, if any show up…” with Kuzunoha adding “As well as phantasmals… some of the ones from before were clearly stronger than you… as such I am required irregardless… a terrible conundrum”. Rin didn’t respond… as her gem showed it pointing up and she was down the corridor from the elevator. From her memory, it led to the room they had used before. “C’mon! We’re going up!” she yelled and ran. Kuzunoha dutifully followed her but then said “Master, I sense a-”



Tatsuya

 

As he walked he sensed it. A sort of marked area of magic. He had encountered a few but this one was… different. It was a lot like the one that appeared around Sumaru City in both timelines. “Yet… the effect is different… there’s this stuff increas’in… guess this is somethin’ important ta summoners” he mused as he walked through. He approached the outside and sniffed. He picked up on a few things immediately. First, there were only three humans inside, two of which were definitely not normal. He guessed one was Rin Tohsaka, since she had vanished from the control room when Nemissa jumped into Paradigm X. The other was likely whoever was pursuing Hachi. He guessed that between them… the pursuer was likely the more powerful one. Further, he had a squad of 5 demons with him… and something similar to that ‘Servant’ with him… though it broke off and headed elsewhere. Further he knew where Hachi was, that was the important bit. He channeled Apollo into his legs and leapt, then channeled Apollo and his fire into his arms. With that strength he punched into the walls and tore them open before creating an explosion behind him to send him forward. Skidding to a stop inside, Apollo receded inward as he said “Heh… there we go. Now… let’s get Hachi shall we?” and began to walk deeper in. He could see the room ahead. Summoning Apollo he scowled at the sight of who waited for him. “You again… sheesh… I thought we’d meet again but not this soon” he stated, having Apollo launch a beam of pure nuclear fire. Instantly a snake woman appeared and attempted to deflect the attack with ice magic but Apollo’s blue flame melted through and slammed into the snake woman. Finnegan jumped backwards around the corner as the snake woman slammed into the wall and was practically disassembled into blue particles, starting around her midsection where his attack hit. “Dammit… here I thought we’d never see each other again!” Finnegan yelled. He smirked, saying “Maybe lay off my friend and we won’t”. Finnegan, clicking his tongue, stated “Can’t. Bosses orders. No mercy this time… hey, buy me time! I’ll summon a powerful servant!”. He narrowed his eyes as more than a few appeared… something he’d never seen the kid pull off. Another of those man demons, two more of those flame-headed metal dogs, and a silver red-eyed snake with only the red eye and a horn, and a woman in a white flower-patterned dress appeared. He could tell the demon wearing a black animal hide was stronger… The dogs weren’t that strong but they could be distracting. The silver snake would be trouble but that woman demon in white would be problematic. “Buckle in Apollo… we’re in for the long haul!” he cried as the dogs rushed forward as Apollo ran forward to confront the demons. 



Arata

 

He ran quickly. As he ran Bai was with him. Nemissa flanking him, yelling “Dammit! That kid keeps getting into trouble!”. He responded “Not the time, Nemissa! He’s our coder, he gets nicked we’re done!”. “Master… he’s in that building, second floor!” Bai yelled, pointing. Frowning, he aksed “Can you get us in?”. Nodding, Bai stated “That window… no bars. Open… with a few minutes, I can get us both up!”. “Do it!” he yelled “Jessup and Otokabe are there but who knows how long they’ll be able to hold out!?”. Nodding, Bai grabbed him around the waist and leapt all the way to the open window. With a push he was thrown into the office. A minute later Nemissa landed next to him, tumbling into the wall like he did. Stepping in, Bai stated “Done. Shall we proceed?”. Nodding, he stood and said “Yeah… they’re already pulling on my magic… so they’re fighting”. Nodding, Bai opened the door and walked out with him following. Then they heard the sounds of fighting. Running, they came across it. Across the hall, he saw a certain man crouched over his Comp with a particular magic circle around it. Eyes wide, he knew what it was and he yelled “No! Stop him!” but it was too late. The circle flashed and something emerged from it. He knew immediately what had happened. Finnegan had summoned a ‘servant’ to help him with some fight… likely one of his allies that had left earlier, likely noticing what was wrong. He could only watch as Bai rushed forward to obey him but was simply too late as the figure that appeared from the circle flung itself at Bai violently. The two grappled, denting the steel under them as they pushed. Eyes wide, Bai asked in a scared voice “N-no… you!? How did… how did a mortal have the aptitude to summon YOU!?”. Smirking, the black skinned demon with red veins stated “Hahahaha! It just means my master is a good one! You too are a worthy foe, Bai Suzhen!”. Flinching, Bai demanded “How do you know my name!?”. “I am Ravana, the King of Demons!” The demon, now announcing itself as Ravana, flexed and pushed Bai deep into the floor. Looking up at him, with a sadistic smirk, the demon stated “Of course I’d know… now sorry, little summoner, but die!”. Before either could move, he heard Finnegan say “No… deal with getting the other one… I can handle them” and came out. Turning, Ravana asked “Are you certain, master?”. Nodding, Finnegan said “Yeah. They’re mine”. Laughing, Ravana simply turned, moved away, and began to pry open the door leading to Hachi. 



Rin

 

“Dammit, dammit, dammit! They really did steal my research the bastards!” Rin yelled as Kuzunoha surfed on a giant leaf, carrying her via a hastily made vine from the leaf. However something fired multiple bolts from somewhere, forcing Kuzunoha to grab the end, lifting to block the attack. However, they skid to a stop, Kuzunoha extending the small fox tail that apparated to catch her. “Wh-what!?” Rin exclaimed as she was set down. “I’m sorry master” Kuzunoha said in a low tone “However we are being hunted… being gentle is difficult”. Frowning, she responded “Then don’t! This is a servant battle, right? Then handle me roughly! So long as I’m conscious, then I can fight!”. Frowning herself, Kuzunoha grabbed the other end of the leaf and bent it to face the other hall, making it grow to block a hail of arrows, responding “Understood… apologies ahead of time, Master!” and gasped as the leaf began to wilt from where they landed. Her tail moved to forced Rin to the ground, ducking to avoid arrows. “Begone servant!” Kuzunoha yelled “Don’t you have a master to protect!? You’re being flanked!”. Then, Kuzunoha gasped as something impacted and sent her flying. Rin lashed out with a kick but it was caught. Staring at her was an orange-haired… child? Before she could react he spun and slammed her into the wall. She felt her vision blur and even reinforced there was tremendous pain surging through her body. “Yeah… jus’ sleep princess. Don’t worry, ya ain’t dy’in today but ya can’t be caus’in trouble” the figure said, pointing his arm at her and looked to what she presumed was her servant and said “Same for you missy. Stay where you are and I don’t need to poison your master”. Growling, Kuzunoha asked “Oh? Who is your master!?”. Laughing, the man asked “Who do ya think…?” she heard before she passed out. 




Tatsuya

 

It wasn’t too hard. The big man he’d fought before. He simply channeled Apollo through his legs and arms along with his fire. He dodged the first, second, and third strikes before leaping off the wall, having flame encompass his leg, and kicking that head through a wall. Then he channeled it all through his arm and cut straight through them. No problem… Then the dogs leapt from different sides at him. Apollo appeared and with a single punch that spiraled around it sent both splintering into the walls. Next was the white-dressed woman and the silver snake. The snake moved fast, almost too fast… but a feint had it make a mistake that he exploited by cutting it apart. Then a beam of his nuclear fire sent the woman spiraling into the wall. All of this occurred in a few minutes… he saw what he had heard called Bai rushed forward only to be intercepted by a massive red shadow… huh. He didn’t recall that. Then he heard the man laugh and simply tell the shadow to open the door. Before he could yell he saw Finnegan round the corner and say “With a command spell I summon you… appear and fell my enemy!”. He blinked and summoned Apollo, ready for some sort of mind control but it never came… instead a green-clothed man appeared suddenly and fired a series of crossbow bolts. Apollo surged forth a beam of blue fire that melted the bolts before they hit and forced both to dodge. The green-clothed man he noticed smelled like a ‘servant’ and moved shockingly fast. As he closed in, Apollo's fist grew in size as it zoomed at the man. Despite this they were able to immediately back step and fire a series of bolts. All of them sunk into his Apollo. That wasn’t the worst. He felt the poison in Apollo and gritted his teeth. “Damn… poison huh…?” and reached into his pocket. He took an antidote to heal it but he stopped, noticing the man had vanished. As the poison cleared his system he felt something behind him. He turned, raising his katana just in time to redirect a bolt heading for him. “Hey now… you ain’t that bad. At least more skilled than that girl and her caster servant” the man complimented to which he stated “Thanks… I’ve never met a being quite like you… we’ll see if all the hype is worth it” with a smirk. Frowning, the man stated “Man… I heard from my master about this but… it’s still unbelievable. Real use of the Third Magic… man my master has bad taste”. 



Arata

 

He fell backwards as his servant pulled him down and moved in to attack, only to have her claw deflected by Finnegans arm. She was in her naga state and attacking full force and her eyes shown purple. However it was clear that she and Finnegan fought on even ground. He would help but Finnegan, while Bai was down, had destroyed his katana and broken his gun. He was effectively weaponless. Nemissa stood to the side, holding an arm out and healing Bai Suzhen constantly that kept the stalemate in place, along with Jessups roars providing a dense barrier around Bai’s body. However it was in vain. Finnegan had created a stalemate… except he had Otokaba moving to one side of Ravana spiritually. He was planning to have him use that force to send him flying away. Then turn and use it on Finnegan which Bai could use that opening to deal a grievous injury… but as Otokaba appeared a flash of mana poured out and the doors flung open. Otokaba dissipated and returned to his comp in a flurry of leaves towards it. “Wh-what the!?” Nemissa cried out as Jessup yelled “Wh-what power!? What kinda servant is that!?”. “Master, the door is open! Shall we retrieve the human?” Ravana questioned. “Yeah. Grab him and get your chariot ready. We need to bolt. Hey, Robin Hood! Finale time!” Finnegan responded holding out a hand to them and saying “Sorry, but die! Sgrion smoc!”. He jumped behind cover expecting an attack while Jessup leapt behind Nemissa and roared to give her defense… instead a plume of smoke flew out. He coughed as suddenly he felt Bai grab him and leap out the window. “Wait! We need to-” he began to yell until he heard Bai say “I’m sorry master… but he’s lost for now… we cannot defeat them”. Gritting his teeth, Bai added as he watched Jessup retreat with Nemissa on his back “Even if that Suou character helped without issue… I cannot see him beating Ravana”. Looking ahead he saw the van waiting and the rest as well. He saw the white haired servant that assisted Tohsaka tending to said person in the back. Looking back, he sighed and said “Understood… than Bai? Make sure he gets out too… if he dies, it’s worthless…”. Bai nodded, saying “Understood, master” and vanished. “You… we failed, huh? They got Hachi?” he heard Spooky ask. Turning, he said “Y-yeah… last minute he… he summoned something strong… really strong. Pried open blast doors with no effort and defeated Otokaba as an afterthought…”. “Shit… how can we compete with that?” Six asked as Lunch, thinking, asked “Shit this is all so messed up… she said Ravana right…? Maybe some research will help…”. He simply looked at the building, only noting Nemissa’s sad stare at him. 



Tatsuya

 

“Dammit… get out of my way!” he yelled, swinging his flame-covered sword. It melted two bolts and deflected the other one and the slag from those while burning were easy to alleviate. However his foe proved slippery. Every attack was dodged, even wide ranging ones like maragidyne which launched a large fireball. “I might… need to use Nova Kaiser…” he mumbled, not liking the prospect of using it again so soon. Then he heard the man yell “Robin Hood, finale time!”. He immediately channeled Apollo into his legs and back stepped as the green-clothed man smirked and aimed his crossbow as it began to glow, yelling “It’s been fun but enough games! Yew Bow!”. Holding a hand out he fired a beam of pure blue fire but his eyes widened as the bolt simply thinned until it flew right through his hand and shaved off a part of his shoulder. Clicking their tongue, he heard Robin Hood say “Damn… burned the poison away… oh well, it still is gonna do the job!” and leapt at him. He was confused when something suddenly propelled him forward and he realized the ploy. Something had sprung from the bolt suddenly, sending him forward. Then Robin Hood kicked him right into the ground with enough force to almost make him faint. “Done, master!” he heard Robin Hood yell to which the man responded “Good! Hurry up, we’re going!”. The man stated “Sorry… but you lost” and then vanished. He started to stand but he could already smell them leaving quickly. He knew that attacking them would only hurt Hachi, the point he was there for. “Dammit… I got cocky…” he stated, angry at himself. Then he saw someone appear before him. Bai as he recalled. “Are you hurt?” Bai asked him to which he was about to answer no but Bai stated “Don’t lie… in a minute you will collapse. Let me simply take you to Nemissa for healing”. Blinking, he frowned and asked “How… Do you know?”. “Simple” Bai said, her purple eyes turning green “I have the power of clairvoyance… and I saw your response and subsequent passing out. Now… shall I?”. Frowning, he sighed and before he could answer felt himself slung over Bai’s shoulder. “H-hey!” he yelled “Wh-what-” but was interrupted as Bai responded “I’m a servant. Carrying you is no issue if that’s your concern… and if it’s masculinity, feel at ease that I am not human in the first place” and then sped down the hall, turning and heading elsewhere. As she carried him he got a look at what flung him. A yew tree. Blinking, he muttered “A yew tree….? Is that what his bolt grew….?”.