Thusfar, Nennius had done nothing in the war except stand at his Master's side. The boy seemed agreeable enough, although he was clearly the furthest thing from the leader of this group, and not particularly powerful. For the first time, though, the little guy had given Nennius a new command: he was to stand at the side of Darnic, the mage leading their team. It was a big step, for sure.
Tall, dark, and quiet, he followed along with the situation as best as a mad warrior could be expected to, not saying a word of his own accord. After all, formulating his minimal thoughts into minimal sentences was effort enough when he actually had an interest in or understanding of the situation.
For his part, Nennius didn't seem to react or ready himself at all when Darnic raised his hand. After all, he was a shield, and what else was a shield for? If somebody attacked the guy he was standing beside, they would get themselves killed. He understood how that worked without needing anyone to explain it in detail.
Besides, it sounded like his Master had a shot at getting married, here! Never hurts to be a wingman.
It had certainly been a rough night for the Purple Faction. They had suffered damage, defeats, and losses, and now another one of their enemies was making a show of confidence, calling out for them to mount a defence or be annihilated. It was extraordinary to see things get so heated on the first night of a Holy Grail War, but this was not a story of the ordinary. One had to roll with the punches.
...Still, wasn't there any chance to just put this off and deal with it some other time?
Scarcely a minute after Yamadiya sent up the flare, someone appeared in the glare of the car's headlights. Several someones, in fact. A welcoming party. And boy, did they ever look like a bunch of punks. The Philosopher Kings truly did have all kinds.
Four of them were directly in the road, all crouched or slouching, except for one who held himself off the ground in a cross-legged position, supported by his palms, while his other
pair of arms were crossed at his chest. There were at least a half-dozen more scattered on the roadside, leaning against trees or sitting on branches, and they all seemed to be shirtless or in buttoned-down dress clothes. Perhaps someone in the car could tell, or perhaps they couldn't, but these people were Mixed-Bloods of the Oni Kind."Hooold it!"
The man at the centre of the road called out, raising two of his four arms. The other two, which were supporting his weight off the ground, appeared to be coloured with a slightly different skin tone--most likely taken from another through some savage technique. "Clearly, you know where you are. You know who we are. But listen: there's no need for violence between us on this night. If you turn back and retreat to your Faction's base, we won't pursue you!"
...Judging by the expressions of the other Mixed-Bloods, they didn't think there was much chance of this offer being accepted. In fact, they may have been more interested in fighting. Bloodlust was in the air.
And on top of that, it was impossible that Yamadiya or Jason would fail to detect that there was a Servant nearby, not too much further up the road. They weren't visible from here, but they didn't seem worried about hiding their presence, either."Our Factions may be at war, but we can postpone the conflict a little, no? It seems that both your group and the Red Faction consider us to be the first target for destruction, but aren't you hoping that the Reds'll be more exhausted than you by the time we've been butchered? Retreat now, and if they ask, you can even tell them that you made an advance into our territory! What do you say?"
It certainly seemed like everyone here was more than ready for the offer to be turned down.
And if Jason jumped the gun on the whole monologue and just ploughed into the diplomat with his car? Well, they were ready for that, too.
The Black Faction's Lancer and Assassin had certainly made a mess of the terrain after their opponents had jettisoned them. Quite a racket, too. As the two of them planned to continue their march on the enemy, the forces of Purple were well aware of where they had landed.
Unlike with that other group, it was already clear how powerful and aggressive Lancer and Assassin were. There was no need to send a probing force, and no use in sending someone to warn them away. At this point, the only thing worth doing was beating the pair of them into the dirt.
The one who came for them was huge.
A giant over three meters in height, golden eyes and black skin, covered in white markings. Trees were splintered at his approach through the countryside, caring for nothing in his path except the enemies at the end of it. This Heroic Spirit--for he could have been nothing else--was undoubtedly ancient, in both presence and appearance. Adorned in gold, with a massive axe clutched in each hand, and a crown of black horns and emerald flames on his head.
He wasn't raging or hollering, but there could be little doubt that this was the enemy's Berserker.
On top of that, he wasn't alone. There did not seem to be any other Servant in the area, but rustling and scratching in the distance indicated that a group of something
was following in this Berserker's wake. Perhaps one of the Black Faction's fighters could catch a glimpse of one or two of them as they wove between fallen trees and standing stones. They were definitely humanoid, but whether they were Dead Apostles, Mixed-Bloods, or some new travesty of nature, their manic grins indicated they probably hadn't been informed about the fate of the Santa Maria's crew.
Berserker's approach was far too noisy for him to have been on top of his enemies in an instant, to say nothing of the footsoldiers reinforcing him, who obviously couldn't keep up with his mad dash. He was still a few leaps and bounds short of reaching Assassin and Lancer by the time they could lay eyes on him, but he wasn't one to waste time. Mid-run, the huge warrior raised an arm, and hurled the axe from his left hand with all of his might.
Just from that display, there was no doubt that this was a Servant in possession of top-class physical power, as one of his weapons tore through the air towards Judah's torso.