Interlude: Ohtori Academy.
Tokiha Mai woke up groggily, spurred by the soft chantings of Anthy in the next room reaching her ears. The busty orange haired girl wasn't thinking too clearly at all, so she had to check the bottom bunk first and verify it was empty before going down the upper one, licking her lips in lazy circles as she did so.
"Anthy...?" she called out in a yawn.
She stumbled more than anything else her way to the bedroom's door, applying an ear to it before daring to walk out. She was savvy to Anthy's eccentric and often dangerous hobbies by now. She didn't want to be attacked by Swiss cows or trading bodies with anyone else again.
Mai heard, then, her roommate's soft voice saying something she mildly thought she recognized as a "The body shall be under me... My Fate shall be thy sword..."
Mai blinked to further awareness. "Anthy?" she raised her voice a little. "You haven't brought a boy in, have you?"
Undeterred, the chant continued, growing louder as Mai saw light filtering under the door now, which majorly creeped her out. "If the convocation of the Holy Grail acknowledges this resolve and purpose..."
Mai began bashing a fist on the door. "Dammit, Anthy-chan! Not funny anymore! C-Come on, you'll scare th-the neighbors!"
"Just a minute, Mai-sama!" Anthy's voice gained a cheerful edge for a moment before growing sinister, even somber, again. "Overcome the wheel of restrains, Guardian of Equilibrium...!"
After a loud gasp, Mai went through a quick prayer in her head and pushed the door open. "Anthy! I don't know what you think you're doing, but sto—!"
Then the sound of a deafening explosion filled her ears, and she fell on her butt on the floor, momentarily blinded by an all consuming light that had hurt her eyes. "AH!" she felt around with both hands. "My eyes! I can't see, I can't see! I can't—!" Then her hands found something hard and sturdy on the floor before her, something she idly recognized as a pair of boots right before her eyesight returned enough for her to confirm that yes, she was grabbing a pait of shiny black boots.
Those boots were in the feet of a very, very tall and well muscled man with dark skin and white hair, although he seemed to be still young otherwise. He also wore black pants and shirt, with a long red badass overcoat hanging from his torso. The first thing that struck Mai about him was how handsome and imposing he looked, and that made her lose coherence long enough for him to say, "Are you my Master?"
"Me... Your... Your...?" Mai babbled, managing to recover her presence just in time to notice he wasn't even looking at her, but a smiling Anthy instead. Chu Chu cowered, trembling, before his owner, which Mai knew by now was never a good sign.
"Indeed," Anthy made a refinated curtsy. "An Archer-san, am I correct? I must say I was aiming for a Saber-san, but you should suffice as well?"
The tall and dark stranger smirked oh so manly. "Well, isn't that always the way? Everyone always seems to wish for Sabers, isn't that right?"
He seemed to regard Anthy with some amused curiosity while completely ignoring the baffled Mai even as she wobbled back to her feet.
"Ano..." Mai said. "Excuse me, sir, but I think you have entered an exclusively female dormitory, and, and blown our ceiling up..." And she took hold of a nearby broom with all the courage a string of recent sword duels had given her. "So please be as kind as to get the fuck out of here!"
The tall man stopped her broom swing with a casual blocking of two fingers, making Mai pause in shock. That move had been the one to topple Touga-sempai down! Granted, she had been possessed by Dios at the time, but still...!
"Is this supposed to be a preliminary test of my defense skills, Master?" he asked Anthy, sounding terminally bored all a sudden. "Because I would advice using someone with actual skill for that purpose."
"What...?" Mai's eyebrows danced angrily.
"Oh, no, that's just my husband-to-be, Tokiha Mai-sama," Anthy said good naturedly. "And I am Himemiya Anthy, the Rose Bride. This," she held a terrified and squirming monkey mouse for Archer to see, "is my best friend, Chu Chu."
"I see. Well, I already can see you have better tastes in friends than my former Master," the man nodded. In truth, he was missing Rin already. Something had gone terribly wrong this time, even more than usual, that was. "Well, then, pleased to meet you, Master. You have noticed your boyfriend has breasts, haven't you?"
"I'm a girl!" Mai growled, placing a hand on her well endowed chest. "What kind of prank is this? Who are you and what are you doing here?-!"
"Oh, relax, Mai-sama," Anthy told her. "You had told me you wanted to be in Mahora, hadn't you?"
"Yeah, but what does that have to do with this?"
"Well, this gentleman here is our ticket to Mahora," Anthy pleasantly gestured for the big man.
Mai looked back and forth between them, with a blank face, before curtly telling her friend, "I'm not sleeping with anyone for a scholarship!"
"Ahhh, I see I'll have to explain myself better..."
Archer calmly strode for the kitchen. "Don't mind me. I'll go fix myself something while you go over the usual info dumps. You'll excuse me, but one finds those excruciatingly boring after a few times..."