The Let's Play Archive

Fate/stay night

by seorin

Part 5: Day 3 part 2

The ghastly air coming from Lancer disappears.
The sound of fleeing footsteps.
…That figure is definitely wearing a school uniform.

"A student…!? Someone was still here!?"
"It seems so. He did save our lives, though."

Archer says calmly.
Well we were certainly saved, but…

"…My mistake. I didn't notice my surroundings because I was preoccupied with Lancer… Hey, Archer, what are you doing?"

"Can't you see? I'm resting since I'm free now."
"You can't do that. What about Lancer?"

"He went after that guy. He saw us, so Lancer probably went to eliminate him."

For an instant.
My thoughts stop.

Music: Premonition of a Storm

"…Follow him, Archer! I'll catch up right away…!"

Archer goes after Lancer immediately.

"…Damn, how stupid of me…!"
I curse my carelessness.
It's the rule of magi to eliminate any witnesses.
…Which is why, if one didn't want to do that, one just had to allow no witnesses. I've done that until now, so why do I have to make a mistake today of all days…!?

Music: Whirlpool of Fate 2

He is staring blankly at the student.

…A smell hits my nose.
The blood on the floor makes clear that it's the smell of death.

"…Follow him, Archer. Lancer will probably go back to his Master. This won't be worth it unless we at least find out what his Master looks like."

Archer goes after Lancer.
I'm left alone with the student lying on the floor.


Ever since I was a child.
Ever since I became the successor of Tohsaka, I've been preparing for something like this.
There's no good or evil for magi.
I've always told myself that this road has only my blood and the blood of others, so…!

It's not too severe, but it's all over when the brain doesn't get any more blood.
No, basically, if his heart were pierced, he should have died instantly.

Yup. That's why when people's hearts stop on the operating table, doctors just give up and go home.

"…But it's amazing he isn't dead yet."
He's still breathing faintly as if to give his last scream.
But that will only last a few more seconds.
He can't heal his own wounds, and I don't have enough power to save him either.

"I have to look at his face. I should at least do that."
I try to touch the head, facing the ground, and realize my fingertips won't move.
…They're trembling.
I wonder why.
I'm used to such things.
I've had to make these kinds of choices many times before.

I've lost many things due to my mistakes and my selfishness.
That's why… I'm ready for a day like this.
So why… why am I so angry at myself?

Music: Stop

A huge smacking sound.
It really feels like I've been hit on the head with a hammer.

"…Stop it. Why does it have to be you?"
I grit my teeth.
Not to suppress my trembling.
I'm really pissed off.
Why is it him?
Why did it have to be him?
I'm not mad at Lancer for killing a witness quickly and perfectly, just as a Servant should do.
I'm just angry at him for staying late at this place, on this day…!

Music: Ever-present Feeling

…There is a way.
I might fail and lose my last resort in the process, but there is still a way.
No, I'll lose my last resort whether I succeed or fail, so the result for me won't change.

It's a mistake.
The fact of his death is already determined.
It's my fault for not noticing the things around me.
It's his fault for unluckily staying late.

"So what, idiot?"
I shake the feeling off and kneel in front of the one who will become a corpse in another second.

Music: Stop

"Well, it can't be helped."
Yes, it can't be helped.
I didn't have the power or skills to revive someone with a damaged heart, damaged blood vessels, and on the verge of brain death on top of that.
That's why I had to make up for my lack of skill with this powerful object.

"It's lucky he was still breathing. If he was completely dead, no amount of magical energy could have revived him."
But since he was still alive…
I just did what I could, and ended up saving his life.

"…It would have been awful if I failed, but since I succeeded, I guess it's all right. Yeah, I feel fulfilled to be honest, so this wasn't such a bad experience."
I'm just bluffing.

"…Let's go. What's done is done. I have to head back before he wakes up."
Yeah, there's no need for me to stay here any longer.
Archer should be following Lancer, so I should go home by myself.

"Oh well."
I've no more use for that pendant.
Sure, it might have a bit of magical energy left in it, but surely less than the ten jewels I have.
What my father intended to leave for me was enough magical energy to win the Holy Grail War.
So now, without magical energy, that thing is meaningless.

"Huh, I have to switch gears.
What am I doing, daydreaming after a battle like that?"

I jump up and brew some tea.
There are so many things to think about.
Most importantly, the Servants.
I have just witnessed a battle between Servants I had previously only understood intellectually.

"Lancer, huh…? I panicked when he almost used his Noble Phantasm, but I would have found out his identity if he had used it…"

The easiest way to beat an enemy Servant is to learn their identity.
Ignoring for the moment the idiot who doesn't even know his own identity, the biggest weak point of a Servant is their "true name".
Discovering the Servant's true name… in other words, figuring out their identity… should let you take a guess at what kind of Noble Phantasm they might have.

A heroic spirit that becomes a Servant never gives out their true identity.
The only ones that know the Servants' identities are the Masters.
There's even a tacit understanding that the Masters hide their Servants' identities while trying to discover the identities of the others.

…This is the fifth Holy Grail War.
The qualities of the Servants are determined by the ranks of the summoned heroic spirits.
It goes without saying that the more famous heroes and the heroes with better weapons are stronger.

But it's difficult to summon such heroic spirits.
To summon a heroic spirit, one must have a connection with them such as a weapon they used during their lives.
Even the Magic Association has a few of such things.
So generally, one will summon a heroic spirit that suits them, like I did.

So that's why Archer is such a bastard....

A Servant's strength is determined by the rank of the heroic spirit.
But it's not that simple as even the most powerful heroic spirits may have a hard time depending on the class they are assigned to.
That is because of the special abilities assigned to each class, the possibility of the weak defeating the strong.

The seven classes each have a different additional ability, and one even has a chance of defeating an opponent of higher rank depending on the ability's affinity.
To take an example, an infamous hero has defeated a great hero four times in the past.
As far as I know, the most powerful Servant is Saber.

It's because they are fighters who fought through the age of myths, when magics were used widely.
Magics that magi use now would probably dissipate just by touching them.
…Anyways, that's why these three classes are considered the basics and the best.

However, the more powerful a Servant becomes, the greater the burden it imposes on the Master.
In the past, Masters who summoned Berserker couldn't control their rampaging Servants, and destroyed themselves by running out of magical energy.
No exceptions.

Music: Tender Scenery

"Welcome back. How did it go?"

"…I'm sorry. I failed. It must be one cautious Master. At the very least, Lancer's Master is not on this side of town."

As I expected.
Lancer was alone and it seems his Master isn't the type to show up for battles personally.

"I see. Well, I guess it won't be that easy."
Yes, there's no way everything will go as I might hope.
So it can't be helped.
Let's consider what happened tonight as a tuition fee for the lessons learned.

"You seem down, Master. Where are your high spirits? Don't tell me you got scared by that one fight. If you so order, I am ready to go battle Lancer again right now."

Archer protests silently that we should do so.
…I see.
I guess I look depressed.

"Of course not. I'm staying in only because I don't want to do anything pointless."

"Hm? Anything pointless…?"
"Well, all the Masters aren't present yet, right? Tonight couldn't be helped, but I wouldn't start fighting before we get the signal. My father told me this is one of the rules of the Holy Grail War."

"…I see, so your father was also a Master."
Archer nods, understanding.

Archer makes a troubled face and starts to ponder something.

"What? Do you have something you want to say?"

"Yeah, there's something I forgot to ask.
Rin, you've been raised since you were small to be a Master and you've accepted that, right? So you've expected to be a Master since the beginning."

"Of course. Well, there certainly are Masters that are suddenly appointed, but I'm different. For the Tohsaka family, the Holy Grail has been our earnest desire for many generations."

"I thought so. So having been raised to become a Master, you must have a purpose.
I forgot to ask about that. I cannot swear my sword to you unless I know my Master's wish.
So Rin, what is your wish?"
"Wish? I don't really have one."

Oh, Archer's making a funny face.

"T-That can't be true! The Holy Grail is an almighty grail that grants wishes. Becoming a Master means obtaining the Holy Grail, so how can you say you have no wish to grant…!?"
Archer is asking with a serious expression.

…Oh, I see.
The Master's wish after obtaining the Holy Grail isn't irrelevant to the Servant.
But it's strange. Father said that Servants have wishes as well, but that is only their wish.
I don't think Archer should be concerned because I don't have any wishes.

"All right, if you don't have a specific wish, why not wish for something ambiguous? Like ruling the world?"
"Why? The world is already mine."

"Hey now, Archer. The world is just another word for the things you value around you, right? That's something I've had since I was born. If you tell me to rule such a world, I already rule it."

Archer looks at me with a troubled expression.
I'm amazed. The guy really is hard-headed.

"Ridiculous. The Holy Grail is a power to grant wishes, a power to obtain the world. Are you saying you're seeking it, yet you have no wish?"
"But ruling the world would be so troublesome and there's no point in wishing for something so pointless. You seem to lack imagination."
"…I don't understand. For what then, do you fight?"

"I fight because there's a battle, Archer. And I'll take whatever I can get. I don't know about this Holy Grail thing, but I can just use it when I find something I want, right? As a human, there are infinite things I might want in life."

"So, you're saying…"
"Yes. I'm fighting to win, Archer."

Archer's shoulders slump.
Maybe he's disappointed in my opinions, but it seems he's finally relaxed.

"…I give up. You're certainly a worthy Master for me."
…I find it hard to deal with that kind of comment, so I wish he'd stop saying such things…

"…Huh. A Servant has no right to choose their Master, but I'll ask for the heck of it. Why am I a worthy Master for you?"

"It goes without saying. You're unmistakably the strongest Master.
No one would be a better Master to serve than you."
"Oh, thanks. It doesn't sound like flattery when you say it."
…I look away because I'm embarrassed.

"Well then, let's take a break. Even if the seventh Master is going to appear, it won't be right nowwait a minute, Rin. What happened to that jewelry of yours?"
"You mean my pendant? Oh, I forgot it. It's out of power, so there's no use for it, right?"

"That's true, but… well, if you say so."
"Yes, it's a memento of my father, but it's not like it's my only memory of him"

"That's no good. You don't have to be that strong, Rin."
So saying,
Archer takes out the pendant I left at school.

"Oh… you went and picked it up for me."

"…Don't forget it again. It only looks right on you, Rin."
As if he's embarrassed, Archer looks away as he hands me the pendant.

"I see. Thanks."
I accept it.
To be honest, I don't know if I should be embarrassed or cool about it.

The pendant is as it was.
…As expected, there's no magical energy left in it.
Empty of magical energy, it's just an expensive but ordinary jewel, and it doesn't hold any power.

But, as Archer would put it.
Even if there's no power left in this pendant, it still has meaning as something my father specifically left for me.
Then… maybe I can just laugh off the fact that I helped that guy by sacrificing my trump card.

Music: Stop

"Hey, wait a sec."

Music: Nightmare

Something clicks in my head.
I wasn't thinking straight back then because of my regret, but thinking about it calmly, I missed something.

He saw us, so it'll be dangerous unless we adjust his memory.
Basically, Lancer prioritized eliminating the witness over his battle with us.
Lancer's thinking probably matches his Master's.
So… if such a Master finds out the guy they killed didn't die, what would he do?

"He wouldn't let the guy keep on living"
I get up from my sofa.
…It's been three hours since then.
I might not make it, but…
After all I did, I have to make it on time!

"…Honestly, you're just taking on unwanted troubles."
Archer has no interest in cooperating.
He was against saving the guy when he was dying, and he's against me going to help him right now.

There's no sight of anyone in this house on the edge of the residential district.
There aren't many houses around it, and there's no one to come and help if something happens here.

My breath is white.
A wind starts to pick up.
It must be quite strong as the clouds start to drift fast.
The supposedly warm wind of Fuyuki sends chills down my spine, making me tremble.

Even if Fuyuki City is considered warm, it's still cold on the hill.

The air around here is frozen.
I strain my ears in the cold atmosphere.
In the frozen feeling, I feel a small sense of an enemy.

"…He's here. The Servant from before…!"
I bite my lip.
His presence is perceptible on the other side of this wall.
Lancer is in the house already and about to kill the same guy again, who has just come home without a clue as to what happened.

"…I'll just have to jump in and beat him. I'll worry about what comes next when it happens!"
Just as I'm about to command Archer to go in.

Music: Stop

A bright white light, like a fallen sun, comes from within the house.

The presence is eclipsed by another presence.
The wave of power of the Servant Lancer is consumed by an even larger wave.
…The instantaneous explosion of ether gives the spiritual being a body, summoned to overpower Lancer.

"No way…"
I can only mutter.
But it's true.
To prove itLancer jumps over the wall and leaps away as if fleeing from this place.

"…Hey, Archer. Is this another one of your hypothetical scenarios?"
"I don't know. But this makes seven. All the Masters are here now, Rin."
Archer answers calmly.
I've lost my normal judgment.
That's why I didn't even consider the obvious event that would follow.

Music: Footsteps of Destruction

Archer has reacted already.
But I couldn't react.
That was my mistake.
The battle ended with that small opening, not lasting even a second.
It might have been only a second for me, but for that Servant, it was an opening that couldn't be ignored.

A sword rushes for me.

"Huh, Archer…?"
Archer pushes me aside and the Servant slashes him.
It happens in an instant.
Archer, who handled Lancer's fury of attacks beautifully, has been taken down with one blow

…Now there's only one remaining.
But this is for the best.
Rather than having Archer die, I would prefer to lose one or two Command Spells…

…No, not even that.
It did nothing.
The swirl of wind that instantly tears apart anything caught within it disappears like a magic trick the instant it touches the Servant.
…Such strong magic resistance.
Mere magical energy from a magus cannot hurt this Servant…!

So, this is it.
She can't be hurt by magic, and I've lost the protection of Archer, so I can't stop this Servant.
I barely managed to avoid one blow, but that's all.
I look up at the night sky.

In it is the figure of cold-hearted Death who is looking down at me as I lay miserably on the ground

Music: Stop

The wind blows.
In between the dark clouds in the spiral sky, the moon shines.
The falling moonlight and the beautiful face…
This is the Servant that drove off Lancer,
defeated my Archer in one strike,
and annulled my magic with no trouble.

The girl's voice is like a bell.
Yes, this voice is like a nightmare right now.
It's only natural.
The more beautiful my enemy is, the more of a nightmare it is as I cannot believe the difference in our strength.

"But this is your end, Master of Archer."

The point of the sword shines brilliantly.

On the verge of death, I understand.
With just one look, without proof…

This is the card I wanted.
The one said to be the strongest of all Servants, the hero of the sword.

I look up at the moon, accepting my death.
There's no time for me to flee or plead for my life.
I will die here and Tohsaka Rin's Holy Grail War will end on the third day.
There is only disgrace and regret, and I will probably vanish bearing a grudge against my enemy.

But still, I don't feel anything.
Something must really be wrong with me.
Even though I'm going to be killed in an instant, I adore her again.
That's right.
If you ask for regrets, that's it.

Video: Fate: Opening (mirror)