Part 3: Day 2
It is said that the Holy Grail can grant any wish.
Only one has the right to possess it.
The Holy Grail can only grant one wish for one person.
But seven magi are needed to summon the Holy Grail in this land.
One miracle, seven collaborators.
Well, the point is, it was only a matter of time before a fight broke out over the Holy Grail.
Only one magus will obtain the Holy Grail.
And so, each of them treated the other six, once allies, now as enemies, and a gruesome fight began.
This is the ritual called the Holy Grail War, a competition between magi for the Holy Grail.
The magi chosen by the Holy Grail are called Masters, and each Master receives a powerful familiar called a Servant by the grace of the Holy Grail.
There are two proofs that one is a Master.
Summoning a Servant and making it obey.
And obtaining the three Command Spells that can order the Servant.
The first goes without saying.
Yesterday no, a few hours ago to be exact I summoned Archer to be my Servant.
That leaves only the second.
I must protect to the end this Command Spell that binds the Servant.
For a Master, this is probably the most important thing of all.
This mark with concentrated magical energy is an instantaneous thing, not an eternal one.
It is consumed by use, and as the appearance suggests, it has one use for each strike.
In other words, only three times.
A master who loses all three of their Command Spells will be unable to control their Servant and faces death.
The Command Spell must be guarded as closely as one's life.
It hurts my head to think that I've used one right at the start, but it wasn't completely meaningless, so I'll call it good.
Because it's not unusual for Servants to go against their Masters.
I'm fortunate to have been able to chain him using one Command Spell.
" It's past nine I don't think it's a question of being late any more "
Glancing at the clock, I confirm to myself that I'll be skipping school today.
" My body's so heavy It feels like he's taken over half my body."
I sit up in bed and take a deep breath.
I'm not tired just because I'm not a morning person.
Like Archer said, a Master who has just summoned their Servant cannot function satisfactorily.
I summoned Archer, not Saber."
I can remember clearly.
Well, it's not something I want to remember but even if I don't like it, there's no second chance.
"About a day until my magical energy returns, huh? Then I guess today will just be a test drive."
I slowly climb out of bed.
I fight a bit against the unseasonably warm air and my desire to stay wrapped up in my blanket.
I knock out the desire to go back to sleep in the third second of the match and check myself in the mirror.
Nothing's obviously wrong. Except for the fact that I have only about half the usual magical energy in my body, everything's up to par.
"Well, there shouldn't be any problems."
For now, I want to check the situation.
The Servant I summoned is Archer.
He's a rude guy with no manners to spare for his summoner and Master.
And on top of that, he doesn't know who he is.
Oh, I'm getting a headache already.
" I'll have to live without his Noble Phantasm until his memory returns. Well, there's no way he can use it if he doesn't remember it."
Servants are powerful familiars on their own, but what makes them the most powerful is the fact that they all have one powerful "secret move".
The problem is, Archer says he can't remember what it is.
"Well, it's partly my fault, so we'll have to make do."
That's right. As this is how things ended up, we're both on the same boat.
I hope he sorts out his memories soon, but with the way he's acting right now who knows when that'll be.
Looks like we've got a load of problems ahead
Music: Gentle Everyday
They call him Archer, but his broom skills are top-notch.
He must have felt bad about making such a mess of the living room or he wouldn't have done this.
I should call him admirable or maybe just a nice guy
"The sun's already up. You're pretty loose."
That's not the most polite thing to say the first time you greet a woman in the morning.
I take it back.
This shameless attitude he doesn't deserve any praise at all.
"Morning. You seem pretty relaxed. I see you've made yourself at home here."
"Well, it's the room I spent the night in. I've pretty much figured out where everything is. Oh, since I was cleaning anyway, I cleaned up the kitchen too. I was expecting more mess, but it was rather clean. That's quite impressive considering that you live in a Western-style house by yourself."
I'm getting a headache.
Why is my Servant checking my cleanliness?
They say Servants think only of battles, so maybe this guy's broken somehow
That's it. I need to see a version of this game where the Servants have various specialties like cooking and cleaning and they have to battle it out to see who's the best housekeeper. Fuck, I've seen way too much anime.
"I see, you're not doing well, are you? You seemed well last night, but sleep must have brought up your fatigue.
"Hm, I'll get you a drink, if tea's okay."
So at home in a stranger's house.
Archer stands, takes out a new teacup without a moment's confusion, and pours a fine rose-colored tea.
There are all sorts of things I want to say, but I surprisingly don't feel like interrupting him.
Every aspect of his motion is refined, and you could even say he is being considerate.
" Oh well. It's true that I'm tired, so I guess I'll have a drink."
I take a seat.
He hands me the teacup silently, and I take a sip.
Oh, it's good.
Of course, it's an exotic Chinese tea. It's the best part of my favorite leaf, so I'd get mad if it tasted bad.
In fact, I get mad when someone uses one of my favorites without permission.
I would get mad, but when it's brewed so wonderfully, I'm too happy to complain.
" Hold on. What are you laughing about?"
"Well, I was going to ask what you thought of it, but when you make a face like that, there's no point in asking."
I slam the cup down onto the table.
"Don't waste it. You should enjoy it while it's hot. If I'm distracting you, I'll go."
Now I'm just remembering some anime about a combat butler that a friend told me about.
"Thanks but no thanks. I didn't become a Master just so someone could brew me tea. Besides, there's no need for you to do things without orders."
"I see. Certainly, I did not form a contract with you to brew tea or clean up after you. If that's how you want it, I'll be careful from now on."
"Right. What I need is a powerful familiar.
I've never heard of a Servant who does things around the house, and I've no need of one either."
"Hm? What do you mean, no need?"
"Nothing. Interpret it however you want.
More importantly, do you remember who you are now?"
Archer shakes his head.
Just as I thought, it's bad.
If he can't remember it after one night, it's not going to come back easily. Even if we test various things today, this is still
"All right. I'll work out what to do about your memory.
Well, get ready, Archer. Since you were just summoned, you don't know your way around yet, right? I'll show you around town."
"Get ready? There's no need. If you want to go, we can go right now."
"Hey, you're going to walk around in that? It hardly looks normal, and besides, other Masters would be able to tell you're a Servant right away.
I don't intend to go announcing to everyone that I'm a Master, you know."
"Oh, so that's what you meant.
It's not a problem. Certainly I will need to change, but only when I take form.
Servants are spirits after all. We become spirits when not in battle to reduce the burden on our Masters."
"Oh yeah. You are still a heroic spirit even if you're summoned already. Since it's the Master's magical energy that gives the spirit form, if I cut off that magical energy "
"Naturally, we would return to spirit form.
A Servant in that state is like a guardian spirit. We cannot be observed by anyone except the Master we are connected to by the leyline.
We can still talk though, so it's no problem if we're going scouting."
"Wow, that's really convenient. In that case, it must be hard to search for other Masters."
"Yes. But magi can sense other magi, right? In the same way, Servants can sense other Servants.
If a Servant knows powerful magic, they would be able to sense Servants even from a distance."
Just as Archer says.
A Master is usually a great magus.
A magus with strong magical energy is sensitive to other magical energy.
But as far as I know, no one in this town has magical energy that strong.
"Hmm So, what about you? Can you tell where the other Servants are?"
"Master, have you forgotten my class? Sensing distant enemies isn't a job for a knight."
"Shooting them, however..."
Well, I guess not.
Archer's magical energy isn't that strong.
I expect only the Servant Caster would have enough magical energy to locate enemies from a distance.
"All right. Then, follow me, Archer. I'll show you the world you've been summoned into."
"I don't think it will be that new for me.
But, Master, aren't you forgetting something important?"
"Hm? What do you mean by something important?"
" Geez. You're really not up to par yet. We have yet to exchange the most important part of our contract."
"The most important exchange?"
No, fundamentally, the reward for the Servant is to participate in the Holy Grail War.
There shouldn't be any more exchanges necessary
" You're really not a morning person, are you?"
Archer says so in surprise.
Listening to his sarcastic comment, I realize something.
Come to think of it
He hasn't addressed me by name yet.
"Ah. Crap names."
"I guess you've realized. Well, it's not too late. So Master, what is your name? How should I address you from now on?"
Archer asks sulkily.
Dammit. He is a good person.
Yes, there's no mistake.
After all, there's no meaning to exchanging names.
Servant and Master have a relationship forced upon them by the Command Spell.
For a contract with a normal familiar, the exchange of names has a great deal of meaning, but no such bond is needed between the Master and the Servant.
But still, Archer calls it important.
It's a proof of trust that we shall be fighting alongside each other, even without the Command Spell.
" I'm Tohsaka Rin. You can call me whatever you like."
I answer bluntly, unable to be true to my feelings.
Well, actually, it would probably be easier for me to be addressed in a reserved manner like "you" or "Master", and he'll probably call me that.
But that said
Archer mutters my name to himself.
"I shall call you Rin. Yes, the name suits you well,"
He says something outrageous.
"Rin? What's wrong? You don't look normal."
"S-Shut up! Let's just go! W-We don't have time to relax !"
I turn away and start walking.
I'm vexed. I don't know why, but I am.
Did Archer say that just to make me feel this way?
" It's possible. He'll certainly do that sort of a thing "
Yes, that must be it.
So my face getting hot and my heart pounding, they're all part of his plan.
Be careful, Rin.
You're going to have to work with this crooked guy from now on.
Yeah, what a bastard, trying to be so casual and friendly. The nerve!
Music: Surrounded by Smiling Faces
Miyama City is broadly separated into two sections as well.
This is one of the sections, the Western-style houses, where immigrants from foreign countries live.
And on the other side is the area of old Japanese-style houses, with a mountain behind it.
Both sections are on top of hills, so you could say both are suburbs.
The houses in between these two sections are relatively ordinary.
As a demonstration
This is the crossroads of Miyama City and the hill leading up to the Western-style houses like mine.
On the opposite side, a hill leads up to the Japanese-style houses.
A bridge leads to the neighboring town of Shinto, and the other way leads to the school, shopping district, and even Ryudou Temple up on the mountain.
A few years ago, a big station was built over that side and it has grown rapidly since then.
Even though Miyama City and Shinto are in the same city, you can think of them as totally different places.
If this game makes me do a hot springs update, I quit.
Then again, this half-hearted cold would make the city a poor hot springs resort.
Fuyuki City has a friendly winter and a strange climate that enters spring in April with no changes.
The rapidly developing town started to build tall buildings as if rushed by something, and as a result, it looks very artificial.
Though, that's only in the last ten years.
From what I hear, the big fire here ten years ago pretty much burned down the whole residential district.
These buildings were constructed on the land no one lived on any more.
Music: Whirlpool of Fate 2
"This is Shinto's park. Now that we've seen all the important locations, what are your thoughts?"
I ask Archer who is standing next to me.
I can't see him, of course.
"It's a big park. But is there some reason there's no one here?"
"So it shows, huh? Well, that's because there's a history to this place."
I look around the park.
A park this big and organized should be a playground for kids, even on weekdays.
But there are only a few people here and a desolate feeling runs though the place.
"It was about ten years ago. They say there was a huge fire in this area. It burned for a day until it went out just as it began to rain.
Afterwards, the town was rebuilt, but this place was left as it was.
It was burned to ashes, so they made it into a park."
Archer says nothing.
But even though I can't see him, I can tell that he is feeling something special.
" You seem to have noticed. That's right, this is where the last Holy Grail War ended. I don't know the details, but the last war ended here, and the place has been like this ever since."
"I see. That must be why this place is full of so many grudges."
"Hmm. You can sense those kinds of things?"
"Servants are spirits. We are beings similar to grudges and formed obsessions. Therefore, we are sensitive to such 'remnants' like us. There were places in town with strong regrets, but this place is on a completely different level.
Get used to the phrase, "on a completely different level." In fact, someone should keep a running count. Then we can start a betting pool.
To us, this place is more like a Reality Marble."
Archer brings up an unusual term in a motionless voice.
A boundary field is something applied to an existing area or building to protect oneself from outside enemies.
But it is merely a transformation applied to what already exists.
But a Reality Marble is different.
A Reality Marble is an image that erodes reality.
The imagined world of a magusa boundary field that paints over reality by letting a magus's heart take formThat is what we call a Reality Marble.
In other words, it's a large-ranged magic that distorts, no, remakes the world as the magus wishes
Music: Whirlpool of Fate 2
"Of course. Reality Marble is the taboo of taboos, the secret principle's secret principle. It doesn't make any sense for an Archer to know about it."
"Isn't that right", I ask with my expression.
And then, I sense him sighing heavily next to me.
"Rin, a hero is someone who excels with both magic and weaponry.
It's fine if you want to think that an Archer can only use bows, but please don't take such an optimistic view of the other Servants."
Come to think of it, he's right.
"I-I understand. That was a careless thing to say. I'll be careful from now on, so it's okay, right?"
" Rin, I'm going to be honest. You are excellent, but because of that, you have a habit of underestimating others. You should reform that habit before you grow up."
" ! Y-You're being rather rude !"
R-Reform, that's like training bad habits out of a horse !
"Oh, excuse me. I didn't mean to make it sound like you're a disobedient horse, I just used the word because it suited your image."
"Hey, that's even worseouch!?"
My right arm suddenly hurts.
" Be quiet for a second, Archer."
The Command Spell engraved on my right hand is hurting.
A small warning as if to get my attention.
"Someone's watching us."
"It's difficult. I can't even feel the stare."
" Then, it must be a Master watching."
Music: Whirlpool of Fate 2
I don't know who it is, but if Archer can't sense it, it has to be a Master.
There aren't seven of us yet, but if we wanted to, we could start the fight at any time.
It seems the one watching us wants to battle, but
" The Command Spell reacts to other Command Spells. So that must mean that if you are a Master, you should be able to recognize other Masters when you see them. Then wouldn't that mean you should be able to identify the other Master too?"
"Yes. But a superior magus can conceal their magical energy. Even though Command Spells react to each other, they operate on magical energy. If the Master has closed his Magic Circuit, it will be hard to find him."
" That's troubling. That means we are showing them our location."
"That's right. Well, if I search around my house, I should be able to find something that kills my magical energy, but "
"You don't need it?"
"Right. Because if I don't hide it, they'll come to us, right? It saves us the trouble of going to find them."
Archer takes a deep breath and goes quiet as if he's shocked.
" What? You want to say I shouldn't be overconfident?"
I ask, remembering our previous conversation.
But Archer just says, "That's impossible".
"You're strongest like this.
Yeah, you can let those weaklings follow us about."
He says, trying to hold back his laughter.
"What do you think? This place has a great view, Archer."
" Geez. I pity whoever you go out with someday. You dragged me around all day."
It's okay. Women like that sort of thing.
"Hm? Did you say something, Archer?"
"Just an honest opinion. Oh, this is certainly a nice place. If we had came here to begin with, we wouldn't have had to walk around like we have been."
"What are you talking about? Certainly it's a nice view, but all you can tell from here is the overview of the town. You have to go to the places themselves to know the layout."
"That's not true. My class isn't Archer for nothing. You can't be an archer unless you have good eyesight."
So much for not being able to find distant enemies.
"Is that so? So can you see my house from here, Archer?"
"No, I can't see the neighboring town from here. At most, I can see as far as the bridge. At that range, I can count the number of tiles."
"No way, the tiles on the bridge !?"
That's not just good. His eyesight could match the telescopes you find on these rooftops.
"I'm surprised. You really are Archer."
" Rin. I don't like to think so, but, are you making fun of me?"
"Of course not. I just misunderstood because even though you're called Archer, you don't seem like one."
"That's a troubling claim. I shall question you further on this matter when we get home."
It seems Archer has taken a liking to the view as he falls silent.
He's probably working out the town's layout.
I can't interrupt while he's surveying the battlefield.
I leave Archer's side and move to the edge of the building.
I can see them, but still not see them.
Just like noticing someone is watching me before, but not being able to see the watcher.
"At the very least, there's one person that has his base in Shinto."
I strain my eyes and stare below me.
There are seven Masters in all.
I still don't know who the Masters are nor which Servants they command.
Right now, I assume all the Masters are walking around town collecting information on other Masters.
Suddenly, I feel someone's eyes on me.
There's no reaction from my Command Spell.
I just feel someone's eyes on me.
"From below ?"
I look down.
There are many people walking around on the road.
Among them is a person.
One person is looking up at me as if looking up at the moon.
I can't tell for sure who it is.
I can't tell for sure, but I still know who it is.
What's he doing at this kind of a time?
"Rin. Have you found an enemy?"
Archer calls out to me as if sensing my excitement.
"Nothing. I just saw someone I knew. Just an ordinary person, nothing to do with us."
I answer, unable to hide my irritation, and leave the place where I was standing.
There's no way he could have seen me from the ground.
He must have been looking up at the building by coincidence.
So it doesn't mean I was noticed.
I'm angry that I let him see me acting as a magus.
"So that's pretty much it. Do you have a good idea of the town?"
" Hm? Yeah, I get it. I'll figure out the rest as we go along."
"Then we're done for the day. I'm not up to par either, so let's go home and rest."
"Rin? Why are we hiding?"
"Shut up! Oh, that person is someone I know. I skipped school today, so I don't want to see her."
As I speak, I look at the figure ahead of us.
On the road
There's the well-known first year student,
and a foreigner I don't know.
They are talking about something.
No, it seems the foreigner is talking to Sakura against her wishes.
"Rin? Is the person you know the foreigner?"
"No, I don't know him. There are lots of Western-style houses around here, so he might be visiting one of them."
I say that much, then scold myself for being too soft where that girl is involved.
" Archer, is he human?"
"I don't know. He has form, so he should be human. At the very least, he is not a Servant."
"Right. He's not a Master either, so I guess it's just a minor quarrel."
Still, I know she's not the kind of girl to get into trouble with a guy
"They're going. The girl is walking up the hill.
The man is "
The blond guy goes down the road we came up.
"I don't have any important questions. Your decision not to rush into a battle is the correct one. You should use tonight to recover your magical energy."
"Yes. I will see you tomorrow then. Please make me tea tomorrow morning."
Whatever happened to having no need of a servant who does things around the house?
"Phone, phone "
I dial the number.
And soon, the fake priest picks up.
"Kirei? It's me. I formed a contract with a Servant just yesterday, so register me officially as a Master."
A brief silence.
Kirei's silence has enough pressure to stress you out even over the phone.
Sounds like a fun guy.
" Understood. Now what? You should come and see me at least once. I have something to give you that I received from your parents. They said to give it to you only if you become a Master before you become an adult."
"Oh, you mean Father's will? I already deciphered it and got the item, so it's fine. I'll come and see you if I feel like it. Goodbye."
"Wait, Rin. If you are a Master now"
I hang up, not hearing him out.
Listening to Kirei's lecture while I'm tired won't help me recover my magical energy.
Didn't the *last* update end like this?