Keith MacKenzie as one could expect has a very long and complicated list of connections. He prefers to settle matters through connections and manipulation instead of raw force. The full extends of his influence is unknown save for Akasha and Keith himself. The exact number of Keith's supporters and the people working for him are unknown, as well as his partners and even more the people who help Keith's cause without them noticing. It gets many times more complicated with the spiritual world where Keith's convoluted and long list of contracts are exactly the reason why Akasha can't erase him out of existence in an instant. With such massive influence it isn't even surprising when one of Keith's opponents find himself stabbed in the back by his/her dearest friend. Due to the complicated nature of Keith's list of relations the following will only contain the most well-known and important ones.
Keith has a colossal number of minions, ranging from summoned demons to artificial human soldiers. Keith effectively possess his own private army which is more than enough to take over multiple planets. Which he rarely if ever does and considering his forces are spread over about a thousand universes the number gets less impressive. He regularly fights battles in multiple dimensions at once with different opponents and as such he can never focus all of his forces to one location.
The best known servants of Keith. The Homunculi are artificial human-like beings, designed down to the individual cells, enhanced with the advanced science and empowered by magic. As Keith has the Third Magic to control souls, he can even design a whole lot unique soul for the Homunculi. They have many categories and their approximate number reaches billions. They're made in factories that ignore most rules of time and space in rapid rate. In addition each Homunculi can be connected to Keith which he uses to possess his creations from anywhere and anytime.
All Homunculi have a serial number to represent their model series. The number tells the Homunculi's origin of creation(which universe it was made), the type of the Homunculous, the actual model series and at times the sub-category of the model. Exactly in that order. For example the model series Delta-101 M73001C means it was made in the Delta-101 dimension(the Vice verse) and it's a regular foot soldier of Keith.
The most often encountered forces of Keith. The Homunculous Soldiers are probably one of the the cheapest to make Homunculous at Keith's arsenal. They are generally made with the least magic possible to further cheapen their individual cost. Still, about any Homunculous Soldier show outright superhuman capabilities and fighting power. Instead of soldiers they're more like battle machines made to fight. Like almost any Homunculi they're powered by magic, though in times of crisis they can live on different forms of energy. Thanks to the soul imprinting, every Homunculous Soldier comes out with the skills of an elite mercenary (at least). Keith's soldiers also have extremely advanced sensors to be always aware of the battlefield. Their weapons - while highly advanced and often extraordinary and magical in nature - are generally non-lethal to humans despite packing quite great power. They regularly possess weapons with exotic properties to catch their opponents off-guard. The 'M'(for military) letter before the model number indicates that the certain Homunculous in question is a soldier. The Homunculous Soldiers also have a few sub-categories:
Homunculi designed to protect a specific place (usually labs and factories). They are either extremely cheap or expensive and often (unlike other Homunculi) don’t have a real consciousness. They act more like machines. Their powers and scale extremely vary depending on model series. As their name suggest they usually never leave their post. Generally every factory has its own kind of Homunculous Guardian.
Notable Homunculous Guardians:
The most common version of Homunculous Guardians. They are machines remote-controlled by a spiritual thread. Their powers are slightly weaker than a common Homunculous Soldier and they lack any advanced tactical ability and fighting skill. Instead they possess a fine amount of various sensors and their aim is quite precise. The primary objective of the Skiitarii to patrol the area and defeat smaller threats. They leave the rest to their more heavier counterparts and the fixed defenses of the facility.
Very advanced guardian. Unlike regular Homunculi they possess an extremely advanced battle AI instead and their preprogrammed soul only acts as a back-up. The Praetorians usually few in numbers but possess the latest weapons their facility can offer. They have numerous magic-calculating computers and capable of casting spells. They also possess considerable resistance to magic or supernatural attacks. Cause of their few numbers the Praetorians are always equiped with personal teleporters. Some versions can use that even in the middle of combat but generally it's only useful to move around in the facility quickly.
Homunculi turned tank. The Behemotto is a living platform of wide array of weapons. They are assigned to locations of outmost importance. Unlike the Praetorians they usually can't teleport but their weapons can. They have the Multi-Purpose Self-Controlled Mobile Arms(MPSCMA) system which can control multiple floating weapons at will. Each weapon set has an actual soul and they are capable of generating their own magic energy. The Behemotto can link himself with every single arms as well as the local defense mechanism to create a grand circuit of souls. Unlike most guardians, the Behemotto has a soul and real consciousness. They have the tactical and strategical capacity of a Commander-type Homunculous Soldier. The Behemotto himself is heavily armored and rather skilled in magic. It has powerful physical and supernatural shields to act as a final bulwark against the intruders. His impressive toughness and the power of his teleporting weapon systems makes the Behemotto one of the strongest Homunculi to face.
Like their name suggest, the Ambassadors are the spokespersons of Keith. They are the most likely to get possessed by him and the optimal choice to do so. Although with the growing interferences of the Counterforce Keith was forced to develop a new kind of method to transmit his will on the field. He created minds and memories identical to his with the exact same personality Keith possesses. That way Keith can leave his Ambassadors alone and they still do everything as he would. Keith regularly checks the state of mind of those Homunculi as briefly as possible. If he finds any inconsistencies he restores it quickly. That way the Counterforce's interventions decreased drastically.
Other than for being the representations of Keith the Ambassadors are often used as infiltrators. They blend in the society quite adeptly and spy or just gather information constantly. Keith can even made Homunculous imitations of people, replacing them with his own. The Ambassador term in short applies to any social style Homunculi. Special mention goes to the above mentioned Ambassadors who act as Keith's voice. The Homunculous Ambassadors optimal for Keith to possess have the S suffix after the classic model number.
There are more kinds of Homunculi like the Workers, Hivers and Calculators etc. The three mentioned above are the most often encountered categories. All Homunculi bears extreme loyalty to Keith and it's rare for any of them to turn against him. They often share his ideals and aims; sometimes to the extend of fanaticism.
Chimeras, as their name suggest are the mix of two or more species into an amalgamous form of a monster. For example Chimera can be the mix of a dog and a horse. Perhaps, Keith has little to no interest in classic breeds of Chimera. Keith creates Chimera to examine certain attributes of various lifeforms and beings. 99% of the Chimeras never see the light outside their laboratories and die as soon as the experiment concludes. Although some of them prove to be rather useful and Keith
His Chimeras are living mixture of elementals, demons and spells. They can be hardly called a lifeform as they usually lack the concept of life. Of course there are more classical kinds of Chimera at Keith's disposal. They are all the results of Keith's experiments of magic. Only a few percent of those Chimera sees combat and even less of those were made especially for that purpose. If the Homunculi are the acting force of Keith, the Chimera are more like cleaners and specialists. They are made for solely a single special purpose and after they served their purpose, they die.
Black formless floating or crawling blob, one of Keith's most frightening creations. The creature is an unison of numerous minor demons as well as other spirits like elementals. Katara Stygos' "body" is the water of river Styx (from the Underworld) as well as materialized spells like a liquefied form of Gelu Atra, Umbra Maxima and countless curses. The creature cannot be called a lifeform or being but a shapeless mass of both physical and supernatural anomaly. On contact Katara Stygos can break down matter and reform it to his own body. If left unchecked this ability is essentially limitless though the absorption usually takes quite a time (Keith placed a limiter to prevent it from growing too fast). The chimera has a very strong desire to get more and more larger and powerful. The creature can absorb almost anything be it a body, a spell or even the souls of the living. Even Keith can't control Katara Stygos completely though he has specialized methods and precautions to defeat the creature when the situation really gets out of hand. Keith developed this creature against a certain sorcerer and reoccurring enemy, Isaac Smith since it possess an great resistance to casual reality warping (Isaac's trump card). As such Katara Stygos is one of the few Chimera that were designed for combat since the beginning. Keith only calls the creature on rare occasions since it can't hold back and Katara Stygos' very existence draws on the Counterforce's attention if Keith keeps it unsealed.
An experimental breed of Chimera made out of the collective of various Dragon DNA/soulprints. The Draconis Ultima was part of an experiment to create the original Dragon race. The original Dragons are rumored to have powers beyond the True Magics and it piqued his interest. His research failed but the various products of dragon-chimeras proved to be very useful. The Draconis Ultima is the best breed of such Chimeras. It's a semi-spiritual being with unstable form. The chimera contains the combined power of all Dragons known to Keith and has at least 3 heads. Each head have the dominant ability of a certain dragon race and the being can grow additional heads at will. In addition it has the combines all the advantages of the Dragon-like defenses and possesses regeneration down to quantum level. Unless the amalgam of Dragon souls residing inside Draconis Ultima are slain, there's no way to kill the creature. At severe situations the Dragon can combine all the Dragon races' offensive abilities into one head creating a semi-complete version of the original Dragon's ability.
An unstable normally invisible entity made out of incomplete souls. The side-product of the T.E.R.U.M.I. Project. Unlike its predessor though Habatu Gissu has nothing to stabilize its existence on. As such its barely detectable to even spiritual sensors. Only combined high-level spiritual sensors can hope to find this shade-like being. When Habatu Gissu makes contact with a being of choice, it can steal minute-like portion of the being's power. Using that small part Habatu Gissu can copy the said being's abilities and powers and thus stabilize itself in the process. It becomes the exact copy of the chosen creature. The only difference is the power output. Habatu Gissu turns magical power into other kinds of powers required to use the said abilities. When it attempts to copy powerful beings it often results in an inferior copy. Still, Habatu Gissu is excellent for both information gathering and cornering Keith's opponents with their own power. Perhaps there are few ways to defend against Habatu Gissu. For example if one has overwhelming, nearly godly resistance to the supernatural. Also few abilities are have outside sources and thus Habatu Gissu is unable to copy them.
For battles in the outer space, Keith possesses a fleet of considerable size. They are the combination of the best technology/magic and alchemy.
Simple and small spacecraft developed for small-scale conflicts. It has no serious armor, only weak shield and Heaven's Feel based automatic repair. It's weapons are non-lethal and designed to affect large massess with a combination of various sleep and stun effects. Since their small size, they are cheap to send via SLP and in groups can quickly pacify whole countries or ill-equipped fleets. They are perfectly capable of silent atmospheric flight via anti-gravity drives.
Small and light automated machines, imbued with an artificial soul as a pilot. The Drone Fighers are launched from larger ships like relativistic artillery shells. They transform into their figher form in mid-flight. The Drone Fighters are extremely maneuverable and have advanced gravity engines to move as well as in-build teleporters. With the later they can easily appear even inside the unshielded spaceships, destroying it from the inside. All weapons are set to non-lethal to living beings and they have transporter rays to capture the helpless crew.
The smallest Homunculus-piloted spacecrafts. They have limited weapons but advanced engines. They often act as scouts or transports. Their default load-out consist of:
Spaceships with size slightly over the Cruisers. Unlike the later they specialize in combat, especially taking down heavily armored targets. Their primary weapon is either fusion cutters that cut with the concentrated power of a powerful nuke or dimension rippers that distorts space in a line. Both are miraculously non-lethal and designed to avoid living beings with their effect. Their default load-out is:
Medium-sized attack spaceships with multiple roles. They are like smaller battleships, loaded with weapons. Frigates have a specific teleportation system that allows the machine to replace its parts individually. Also it has high-level alchemy that allows the Frigate to change form in the middle of battle or produce newer and newer weapons. As such the Frigates can rapidly prepare for any kind of battle. The Frigates prone to have one very powerful main cannon to overwhelm their opponents as well as hordes of secondary weapons and Drone Fighters. Like any spacecraft of Keith, it can repair itself via Heaven's Feel to its original shape, regardless of damage. Frigates also usually have a hidden SLP generator to quickly escape or flank the enemy.
The large big brothers of the Frigates, the battleships have extreme firepower, speed and toughness. Their shape is highly malleable and changes to the current need. It has the same systems as the Frigate but on a more advanced level. They are fully capable of SLP, although it consumes considerable amount of energy. Instead they usually rely on a new ability which allows them to move 4-dimensionally. They can pass distances faster and even exceed the speed of light while traveling that way. Unless someone can observe the 4th spatial dimension the battleships appear without warning, seemingly out of nothing. The Battleships have the best sorceries and defenses amongst all the other kinds of ships and pose extreme threat.
By his nature Keith MacKenzie founded and joined incredible number of organizations. He rarely remained in them for long and betrayed most of them after using each of them to the fullest. The list is so confusing that probably only a few top spirits and Keith MacKenzie himself knows how many. The following list only mentions the few important factions Keith involved himself with.
The Mage's Association or simply the Association is a community and alliance of magi which is present at almost any Nasuverse world. It's an ancient organization founded about thousand years ago to preserve magic. Ever since then the Association acts as primary group of mages. They recruit any mage with considerable talent and as well regulate and control the actions of other mages. In his original world, Keith joined their ranks at a remarkably young age showing his incredible talent. The main aim of the Association is to keep and improve the knowledge of magic while maintining the masquerade thus keeping the common people outside the world of magic. The later is essential for their own survival. While it sounds simple the Association is a corrupt organization deep down to the core. Power struggles occur regularly behind the surface. The higher ups are especially paranoid and with a reason since no sane mage would miss a chance to backstab them. The Association is in a constant conflict with the Holy Church, an organization led by the Pope to clear anything unnatural and heretic. Since centuries they have made something like a ceasefire treaty but both sides sit on metamorphological barrels full of gunpowder which are about to explode.
The Association has three main branches. Clock Tower, the primary branch located in London. It possess the most power and collects numerous schools of magecraft. In his original world Keith was the member of the Spiritual Evocation Department which researches on the communication with spirits and the methods calling/controlling their power. In the Middle-East somewhere hidden in Egypt there's the branch of Atlas. Atlas is a branch researching on alchemy, a special one which is comparable to super-advanced mathematics and precognition than classic Alchemy. Third, is the Sea of Estray (alternatively known as the Wondering Tomb) a branch spread through Europe. Their alchemists and the mages of Atlas are on especially bad terms. The organization has little to no holds on the Far East though. Their influence is relatively weak over there.
Keith tried to seize power by abusing the greed of the Association's mages. In five years he amassed enough influence to nearly match the Lords. His secret clique had ears everywhere in Clock Tower but ultimately he failed. A string of mistakes after his depart to the Grail War had caused his ultimate downfall. The High Lords quickly dispatched his faction without him knowing(since he had no connections with the outside that time) and had exiled Keith instantly. He instantly became hunted and numerous Enforcers were sent to kill him. To his luck though Keith had acquired Blue Ether and escaped to another dimension before they could get him. Later he came back with incomparably more power and skill. Nowadays he has numerous moles in many Nasuverse dimensions to practice his influence on the Association without anyone knowing.
While unable to trust others, Keith still found the support of few people. They are like contracts for the common business or occasional partners, not actual friends.
She's Keith MacKenzie's greatest benefactor and the one responsible for Keith's Blue Ether. She gave him in exchange of Keith's remainder of belongings. It methamorphologically meant he sewered all his connections with the original world. In some way Keith forsake his whole life in his home dimension to visit countless others. Keith has lost his roots and he would change beyond recognition. According to Yuuko he might even stop being human at one point. In every five years or after using Blue Ether Keith visits Yuuko's house. They have a rather good relation with each other although both know that there will be a time when they must be enemies.
Keith MacKenzie has born as a regular human in . It was in 1920 just after the end of the First World War. He was born into a relatively high class family of Magi, the MacKenzies. It was a new Magus family with Keith being the 3rd generation mage in the line. Regardless, they had high ambitions and surprising influence. The family originates from Scottish emigrants though in their long history the MacKenzies have British,French, German, Irish, Indian, Polish and even South American blood flowing in their veins. For living the MacKenzie family had a long history of tradesmanship and it served as the base of their wealth. In contrast due to their reputation as Magi was weak even if both family heads have worked hard improving their connections in that area.
His mother , Angelina MacKenzie (formerly Angelina Dubois) had died while giving birth to Keith. That situation gave his father, Neil MacKenzie a complicated feeling and created an impassable distance between father and son. He loved his wife deeply and seeing his newborn son always reminded him to the tragedy every day. The young Keith grew up in the care of house maids and other servants while Neil absorbed himself in work to hide his grief. Despite that his father didn't forget to give the best education possible for the young boy. From the reports of maids and a quick test (for magic affinity) he realized that Keith has incredible potential both in terms of intelligence and magic.
For the sake of the MacKenzie family Neil couldn't leave this talent to waste. He called the best private teachers in the country he knew of to educate the young prodigy since the age of 5. Despite his age Keith was surprisingly sharp and learned in an alerting rate. Seeing his progress, Neil had decided it's time to teach him magic. He fought with his uncomfortable feeling and became Keith's personal educator in magecraft. His rarely seen father's presence gave the child incredible motivation and he enjoyed every minute of the courses. Keith studied hard to match his father's expectations, even more...surpass them. Their relationship became closer but it never reached the connection between true father and son. Neil always kept the attitude of teacher and instructor, the image of Angelina was too strong in him.
Realizing that , Neil called his best friend, Alexander Moritas to be Keith's personal educator. Moritas was a former philosophy and psychology professor who surprisingly even fought in the Great War and had meaningful life experience. Neil left the formation of Keith's personality to his care. Moritas was a seriously disillusioned man and Neil thought his influence would make Keith a rational person, with strong grip on the reality and mature enough to succeed the MacKenzie house later. Moritas looked mean and always serious. That and his rough appearance initially scared Keith. Meanwhile Neil made the preparations to enroll Keith to the prestigious . It was the same school where Neil himself had graduated and he knew the principal very well.
Unknown to the public Anser Chevalier only accepted students from Magus bloodlines. Keith’s father thought it would be the best for his son to socialize with his own kind. Initially, the young boy had problems to fit in but Moritas took a great effort to improve him in that area. He tried to make Keith more expressive and confident in himself. At first it they made little progress as Moritas had an apathetic attitude to the boy and the boy feared to even approach him. Though as the time went on he warmed up a little and Keith realized that despite all his bitterness and roughness Moritas is a kind person. Keith had that innate talent to unravel the real face of people which he unintentionally participated since childhood. He knew when his father lied to him or when someone pretended to be someone else. Thanks to Moritas’ guidance and effort by the 3rd year Keith had radically changed. He developed at an incredible rate and his mentality didn’t mirror his age. To Moritas’ suggestion Neil had arranged for Keith to skip two whole classes and jump to the 6th grade next year.
At the same time the Great Depression hit in and Neil had no time to teach his son in magic. Instead he hired Felix Faust, his former mentor to continue Keith’s magic training. Faust was an old mage who had extraordinary talent in the spiritual arts. The young Keith’s talent and sharpness motivated the initially barely interested Faust. His education was more than about the basics of magic and he soon realized that regardless of what he taught Keith could learn it if given some time and practice. The awestruck Felix taught the young boy much more than he originally intended to. At the same time Keith had to deal with the everyday life of his school. He was 2 years younger than his peers. Despite that he still managed to be the top student and it rightfully cited negative feelings from the others. Keith had many enemies at school.
Moritas' somber and downright cynical ideals helped Keith to cope with the situation very well. Moritas’ teachings were about the natural order and cycle of using and being used. Or at least that’s what Moritas believed and made Keith to believe. His personal educator hadn’t realized in time the inherent danger of such teachings. Keith became less and less controllable. He adopted this view on his own way. By the age of 13 he firmly believed everything in this world is like a tool to be used by him or against him. For the young Keith MacKenzie everything became a tool…even people.
All of sudden Keith developed a warped personality. He began to wear facades. Not one, not two but many at once. It was like turning on a switch inside his head, he immediately begun to notice the small signs he tried to ignore until then. Incidentally his self-confidence rose and despite the age difference he started to behave unnaturally mature. As Moritas hoped, he really became more open but his teachings had worked too well. Keith's jaded personality allowed him to make friendships out of practicality, without any real feelings behind. In his last two years at school Keith worked hard on improving his popular view and becoming the central figure. He didn't do that with a special objective in mind, he viewed it more like a training for the future, as his real test of graduation.
Unsurprisingly, he had graduated from Anser Chevalier with top scores. He was only 15 years old at the time but thanks to his father's work and his grades Clock Tower(the London Headquarters of the Mage's Association) welcomed him with open arms. He joined the Spiritual Evocation Department, the same department where his ex-teacher Felix Faust worked. It overlapped well with Keith's specialization of magecraft, namely the communication and control of the spiritual. Also unknown to anyone but his father he had begun to teach his family's secret techniques, the art of dollmaking. If he would manage to learn that skill, Keith can produce relatively accurate replicas of the human body. While it wasn't an exotic skill at that time, the MacKenzies had secretly advanced it to extraordinary levels. They could not only recreate body parts, but the full body and transfer the soul of people inside. It had some errors but the technique neared its completion and Neil hoped his son would manage it.
What slowly awakened in Keith came to full bloom at Clock Tower. On the surface he appeared to be a humble and loyal assistant at the Spiritual Evocation Department but in truth he started to develop his own clique. First, he started with his partners of the same age. His strong personality brought him many acquaintances and he actively tried to deepen his connection network. Perhaps he did not abandon his researches even for a day. He slowly but surely manipulated his collegues to share their experiences and at times even do small jobs for him. Slowly but surely he formed a secret group of mages working under him. Keith always came up with new ideas and since he often showed results - what originally belonged at least partially to others - they peple always eager to listen to him.
Due to his achievements he quickly rose in ranks and became a respected member of his department. The next step was to befriend the department head, Conrad Alphonses. His chance had come in the department head's daughter, Lisa. She was Conrad Alphonses's second daughter and she couldn't inherit the family's magic according to the rules. Still, she was her father's favorite and she often visited the department. Lisa was at the same age as Keith and showed good interest in magic. Keith offered her that he would secretly teach her in the area. Knowing the prodigious fame of the boy she accepted it, unaware of Keith's ulterior motives.
Lisa and Keith secretly became close. Keith used each and every lesson to charm the girl. After just two weeks, Lisa cared less about magic and the lessons were more like secret meetings for the two lovebirds. That was a new experience for Keith. and while he enjoyed the relationship, he never viewed it more than a method to reach the top. Perhaps Keith continued to teach Lisa in magecraft as they were agreed on. Despite her innocent personality Lisa was rather sharp. To his surprise Keith realized he has a talent at teaching and even grew to be proud of Lisa's progress. Still, he used her. Lisa's feelings couldn't breach the underlying hard and calculating surface of Keith. Most of all he wanted one thing from the Alphonses family; the Intrusion magic. It's the most priced magic art of the Alphonses that allows one to literally break into someone's consciousness. There are only rumors but the possibilities and powers of such magic piqued Keith's interest. He asked Lisa to check the scripts at home and search for any kind of clue regarding the Intrusion magic. She gladly complied.
After months of search it became apparent that only Conrad Alphones knew the secret of the Intrusion magic. Keith took increased efforts to be in Conrad's favor. Lisa readily supported him and always . Otherwise they kept the distance by day to avoid suspicion and only met secretly. Conrad finding out their relationship would've been a catastrophic to Keith. Meanwhile Keith took efforts to lure in more and more mages to his grand ploy. From Moritas' teachings he knew well how easily people can be manipulated by greed. Keith offered great results and cheated out founds from a number of rich magus families. He used it all to fuel his own research expenses. He was working on a way to perfect the skill of making human-like puppets, an ability that the MacKenzie family honed for two decades. He visited several alchemists and using his ways and money cheated out crucial pieces of information. From the rest he financed the cost of materials and slowly advanced his own magic workshop. Later the year with some trick Keith officially became the member of the Alchemy department too, accessing confidential research data to make his puppets even better.
Keith knew no stop as he had striven for absolute knowledge. In two years his clique grew into a small faction with complicated connections. Only the faction's innermost members knew about the leader's real identity. The others just served the common aim, Immortality. That was the lie Keith MacKenzie hinted to them. They are searching for immortality and they are about to get results in just the matter of years. The human greed knew no limits and it took great effort for Keith to keep his own faction in control. At the same time Keith finally gained Conrad's favors. Conrad Alphonses, despite coming from the strong lineage of magus family was just an average mage. He had got the title of department head simply out of the power of his family. As Keith later found out, Conrad had an inferiority complex compared to his great ancestors. Keith built on that feeling and presented the same lie of immortality in a different presentation. He revealed the truth about his family and their skill at puppetmaking. He said that without a perfectly safe way to transfer the soul, the perfect puppet body is meaningless and he didn't lie. He needs something as effective as the rumored Intrusion Magic to succeed. Conrad was desperate to surpass his forerunners and prove his right to be the family head. After a month he gave in to greed and agreed to reveal their priced Intrusion Magic.
Conrad revealed the secret about inheriting the Intrusion Magic. The heir attains the magic through the Intrusion Magic itself. They have the magic implanted in their brain the same way Intrusion Magic allows the manipulation of mind. Conrad accepts to implant the knowledge of Intrusion Magic to Keith since he has no other choice. Before they could begun, Keith had made a Mage's contract with Conrad where the later swears to not do anything other than implanting the magic. Keith's fear was very real and the Mage's contract would bind Conrad to keep his word. With he Intrusion Magic Conrad connected his consciousness to Keith and impanted the memory of the magic inside Keith.
"We're done. I finished my end of the deal. It's better if you are serious, kid." Said Conrad inside Keith's mind. Keith had sworn to create a perfect human puppet in 2 years as part of the same contract. "Thank you Mr. Alphonses. You won't be disappointed." Otherwise the Mage's contract would kill him. That was the punishment of anyone who violates such contract. The Intrusion Magic became part of his memory. It felt like he knew this specific magic for decades. The results were already statisfying but Keith wanted more "What, what are you doing?" Conrad asked as he realized the strange disturbances in his own mental world. "Nothing serious. Consider it as a parting gift, Mr. Alphonses." Keith turned his newly acquired Intrusion Magic on Conrad. "No, it's not possible. You can't." What Keith did normally would be impossible since before establishing the connection he hadn't had the Intrusion Magic. It's like violating the time-space. "And what if I can, mister?" Keith declared in gleeful voice. He had already found a loophole to avoid such paradox. What he did was extremely dangerous and reckless but he couldn't resist it. "You little bastard, how dare you to betray me!" Conrad was rightfully angry but the contract bound him and he was helpless to Keith's attempts at Intrusion Magic. " I am just ensuring the project's success Sir. You have no need to worry. No, you won't remember anything about this little scene. I guarantee it. So sit back and watch as I take the accumulated knowledge of the Alphonses family for myself!" Keith proceeded to leech parts of Conrad's memory. He had more than twice as much Magic Circuits as his opponent and Conrad had no way to defend. It all went really smooth.
As Keith finished Conrad collapsed but was still alive. The whole process took long hours and Keith was at the brink of exhaustion but he did it. He stole the huge knowledge of the Alphonses family and defeated Conrad in his own field. The taste of complete victory brought Keith to an euphoric state. "Your blood became thin, Alphonses! All your ancestry and power was meaningless but don't worry. You are my first but not the last victim. Hahahaha!" He finally had taken what he wanted. All he needed just a mere year to perfect the MacKenzies' masterwork, the human puppet. The brainwashed Conrad made Keith his right hand man. He instantly rose to the top of his department at the young age of 17. The event shook Clock Tower since no one had ever attained such rank this young as Keith MacKenzie. He had liven up to his father's expectation and even surpassed them. Although Keith did not care about his father and his foolish dreams anymore.
At the same year he married Lisa Alphonses and officially became part of the family. He did it to reinforce his standing at Clock Tower and earn more supporters. That and Lisa was becoming unsatisfied with the secret meetings. Both were a reason enough to settle that matter as quickly as possible. Everyone guessed it was an arranged marriage and Conrad forced Lisa. No one realized the truth. Meanwhile Keith's small faction secretly grew in numbers. The so-called Immortality Research Alliance have started to show some real influence. His workshop grew into a whole hidden research complex. Keith even allowed machines and other devices modern technologies to accelerate his progress. It's something the pride of the magus would never allow. Generally the mages were hardheaded about the superiority of magic and frowned upon modern science without exception. Keith thought differently and he used everything in his arsenal to further his knowledge.
The following years were just as eventful as the others. With various methods Keith attained more and more secrets and learned newer and newer techniques at Magecraft. His faction secretly had agents in every corner of Clock Tower and beyond. Taking over the Mage's Association were no more an impossible dream. The Immortality Research Alliance led by Keith had borne many great results. About that time was when Keith heard the news of an extraordinary event, the Holy Grail War.
Keith had accidentally heard the news on a rather strange event, the Holy Grail War. The location is at the faraway corner of the east, in Japan. They host the the event in the spiritually rich area of Fuyuki. The Holy Grail War is a secret battle between 7 mages called as Masters who control 7 powerful spiritual beings, the Servants. The Servants are Heroic Spirits, great and powerful heroes of the old ages with strength far surpassing that of the modern magic. They fight for the Holy Grail, a mysterious item which grants any kind of wish. It rose some suspicion in Keith at first so he sent some of his men to investigate it. Eventually he had decided to participate in this event. With the additional information, he quickly found out the real ulterior motive of the War but he joined regardless. If Keith's lucky he may manage to reach Akasha, the origin of everything and the great library of all knowledge, the Akashic Records. The promise of such achievement was all too charming for Keith to miss.
A month before the official date of the 3rd Holy Grail War, Keith summoned his Servant. The summon was premature and he summoned an Assassin, one of the weakest Servants. He did it intentionally and as soon as he got back to London he begun experimenting on his own Servant. Bound by the Command Spell, the Servant could not resist Keith's actions what were close to torture. Keith tried to force the Servant's soul inside a puppet body. He wanted to further his own knowledge at the art of puppetmaking. He had already conducted researches on other spiritual beings, but the Servants were different in scale of power. Despite he could make about perfect human copies and force ghosts or even souls of animals inside those puppet bodies, he still faced numerous failures. It took him 20 days to finally succeed and Keith had managed to put Assassin's soul inside a miniature 10 centimeters high puppet body.
Since he used up so much time he had less to prepare for the rest. Keith asked his wife, Lisa to manage the Immortality Research Alliance until he returns. He set his base in the spiritually superior location of the Ryuudo Temple. Since two years Keith had modified his eyes, to the Mystic Eyes of Intrusion. Whoever looks into Keith's eyes was susceptible to a quick Intrusion Magic. The monks at Ryuudo Temple were the first victims at Fuyuki. After settling down Keith erected numerous Boundary Fields, fixed magic fields for defensive purposes around the temple for precaution. He had begun working on a new spell and until he finishes Keith sent out his Assassin to scout the area. Despite his extremely small size, Assassin retained his special abilities and speed, making him an extremely tough opponent and excellent spy.
After a day Keith called back his Servant to do the finishing touch on his spell.The magic connected Assassin's soul to the spiritually rich area of the Ryuudo Temple, empowering him with huge stock of magic surprises. But more importantly Keith managed to connect Assassin's soul absorption ability with numerous small magic receivers. With those Keith could leach magic directly unnoticed and without harming anyone. He sent out Assassin to cautiously plant those on various citizen. In the matter of three days the badge could leach out a normal human's magic power without him or her noticing it. He needed a huge stack of magic power and relying on his own and the Ryuudo Temple's alone didn't cut it.
From the beginning Keith's primary center of focus had been the Einzberns. According to his information they were the ones responsible for the Grail. If his guess was right, the Eizberns hold extremely valuable information for him. Luckily Assassin have found the Einzbern Master on the third day. The same time Assassin reported about some rumors. The rumors seem to have pointed at the existence of the mysterious seventh master of the War, dubbed as 'Puppet Master'. That certain Puppet Master was Keith of course and it seems his arrival hadn't been as unnoticed as he thought. The news were a little worrisome but Keith knew that his enemies had no chance to suspect anything yet.
On the fourth day Keith ordered Assassin to eliminate the Einzberns' Servant. That was the first time but not the last when Assassin used his ability, Cyber Fantasy. Assassin sneaked on the Eiznberns' Avenger-class Servant and touched the his head unnoticed. The next instant the brain of Avenger turned into gunpowder and exploded immediately. Avanger was out as the first victim of the war. The Eizbern magus quickly took it for the run and Assassin silently trailed him as he was ordered. The defeated Clausenthal von Eiznbern went straight to the family's local base, a castle hidden deep in the forest somewhere outside Fuyuki. Though the Einzbern Castle had thigh magic defenses, Assassin could slip through them without any problem.
Inside the castle Assassin could easily overhear the conversation of the Einzberns about the future of the Grail War. It didn't take long for him to get what his master wants, the location of the Grail. As it turned out the Holy Grail is not something but someone, a homunculous called as Ingridsviel von Einzbern. Assassin directly relayed the new pieces information to Keith and he was indeed satisfied. With this Keith attained the whole details and the secrets of the Grail War plus the location of the Holy Grail; or to be exact the Lesser Grail. The Greater Grail is right bellow him in an underground cavern system. After hearing it all Keith had ordered Assassin to retreat since he got what he wanted. Assaulting the Einzberns could come later.
He chose to lay low until the situation calms down. His reckless action with Assassin inevitably drew the other masters' attention on him. Meanwhile Keith reinforced his defenses around Ryoudo Temple. He set up a number of magic devices and boundary fields to be aware of any intruder. The same time the secondary effect of the magic-leeching badges activated. Keith subtly took control of hundreds of civilians. He gave out subminial messages to control their weakened minds while they still retrain their personality.That way Keith gained swarms of secret spies all around Fuyuki. As a finishing touch he activated the Scrying spell, a magic that combines all the information he gathered from observation, thus generating a radar-like map. From the sixth day, there barely was any event that could avoid the eyes of Keith. In a sense whole Fuyuki city danced around his palms.
It was only a matter of time until Keith found out the identity of every master. He already knew the masters from the three founding families: Clausenthal von Einzbern, Hiruken Matou and Kyo Tohsaka. Amongst them Kyo seemed the most competent. Keith had found it better if he had his guard up against the Tohsaka master and his Archer-class servant. Other than the founding families, the War had 3 masters. Otto Himmelmann, a Nazi officer as Rider's master. He brought his own force of elite soldiers to Fuyuki. He planned to take the grail for the Führer's glory. Keith deemed Himmelmann to be a potential problem in the future. Then Leena Edelfeit, apparently the strongest master. In direct combat Keith doubted he can challenge her, especially with Saber as her Servant. Still, found the last master the most threatening. Risei Kotomine, former magus who turned to the Church just recently. Unlike the other masters the priest took no action yet. That suspicious behavior made Keith wary of Risei's true intentions.
The war had continued on of course. The most active masters were Leena and Himmelmann. It's natural that they faced each other sooner or later. With Assassin hiding in the shadows, Keith could observe their battle in detail. Their battle played a crucial role in his own plan. Judging from their past actions, Keith already had an accurate guess on the winner but for his schemes to work, he had to make sure. The Valkyrie-like Rider and the knightly Saber had engaged in a fierce battle, barely perceivable to even Assassin's eyes. But more than the fighting of Servants, Keith was more interested in the masters.
Statistically speaking, Leena had the overwhelming advantage. Her combat and magic abilities far surpassed Himmelmann's, who could just barely stand to sustain his Rider with magic power. "You fool. I can't believe a weakling like you defeated Caster." Said Leena who were about to explode from anger. "That's quite harsh, dear Fraulein. I admit, as a magus I am less than second-rate but I have the pride as the soldier of the Reich. It took me great deal of effort to participate in this glorious event." Said Himmelmann in a courteous tone as he fixed the silver medal on his chest."Why should I listen to your insensible blabbering." Leena promptly rejected everything that Himmelmann said. "Ah, that hurt a lot Fraulein. Anyways, can we just get along until our Servants finish their business?" Himmelmann's suggestion momentarily shocked her.
From somewhere far away, a Nazi sniper just got to position. He's positioned in a small hill and his scope was already aimed at the Eldelfeit master. That was Himmelman's plan. What he lacked in magic he compensated with well-prepared and elite military forces. Even the best mages can't survive a well-placed 12.7mm bullet to the skull. At least not when they aren't expecting it. Meanwhile Leena stood in one place, unaware of the immediate danger. "Not a chance! You are going to die here and now!" She shouted in irritation. Himmelman smiles. "Then please die!" He raised his hand. The sniper had pulled the trigger at once, releasing the heavy bullet on its deadly route. But before it could reach Leena, something got in the way. Just as Keith suspected, a third Servant appeared.
Archer had parried the bullet just in time thus saving Leena's life. "-" Both Himmelmann and Leena were frozen in place. While he was of the Archer class, the man held an ancient Halberd. One can easily confuse him with Lancer. "How deplorable. Show me your honor as an archer!" Shouted Archer and threw his halberd in an instant. Soon the distant hill literally exploded. Archer destroyed completely the sniper and his surroundings. "Pardon me for the intrusion but I couldn't let such a fine lady to die yet." Said Archer's master in such a casual way. "Master of the Tohsaka family?" Said Leena in surprise. "Don't get any weird ideas. I hate this disgusting man as much as you. Our co-operation is just temporally." Kyo coldly explained."Scheisse!" Cursed Himmelman. His plan had failed. The situation has gotten even more worse.
Things aren't looking well for Himmelmann. "Get them, now!" He shouted. Several soldiers suddenly came out from their hiding place. The same time Himmelmann desperately took it for the run. "No choice..." With a simple flicker Kyo activated his boundary field. Suddenly a flaming serpent-like creature come to life. "Go ahead! He's all yours. I gonna take care of the rest." He said while the fiery snake consumed everyone in its path. Leena nodded and went to chase Himmelmann. By reinforcing his legs, she quickly caught up with the Nazi lieutenant. "This is the end of the line." Shouted Leena. Himmelmann calmly turns."Oh, really?" Rider suddenly appear right above him. Leena sat there frozen. There was no way she could deal with a Servant alone. "Farewell, dear Fraulein." He playfully said as got on the winged horse of Rider. "See you soon!"
Himmelmann got away. Keith's scheme went perfectly. It was time for him to get back to action again.
Chapter V. - Heavens Feel