Part 106: Shining star / Return home
"Let us rest here, Shirou. You cannot continue in your condition."
"Ye ah. I'm just causing you trouble like this "
I move away from Saber and sit down on the grass.
The wound on my chest is still there.
It's stopped bleeding, but the hole is still there.
" I feel sick "
Even though the pain is gone, I have a hole in my body.
Just looking at it makes me sick and I wonder why I'm alive like this.
It's a bit embarrassing.
"Uhno, it's all right "
"Excuse methis will hurt a bit, but please bear it."
Saber's finger runs across my chest.
I don't know why, but she places her hand over my wound and digs into it
Taking her hand off my chest, Saber looks relieved.
I don't understand at all.
"Saber. What do you mean by sheath? I think you mentioned it before, but could it be your sheath?"
The sheath of the sword Excalibur.
The sheath of her sword is not Invisible Air.
In the legend, the sheath of Excalibur was a Noble Phantasm that makes its possessor immortal.
But she shouldn't have that.
King Arthur died in the battle of Camlann because that sheath was lost.
Saber shouldn't have the sheath right now
Music: Demon Carving (Realta Nua)
"In my body ? What's that supposed to mean? I don't remember anything like that. It's just ridiculous."
"Is that so? It was simple from the beginning. You summoned me, Shirou. It was foolish of me to think it was by chance that I was summoned."
"To summon a heroic spirit, one needs a symbol connected with that spirit. Since you are inexperienced as a magus and uneducated as a Master, you needed a connection that would overcome all those deficiencies.
That was my sheaththe lost sheath of Excalibur."
"Uhwell, that may be true
But why would it be in my body?"
" Kiritsugu probably put it in there.
Emiya Kiritsugu used the sheath of Excalibur as the catalyst to summon me in the last war. The sheath is a Noble Phantasm that heals the possessor's wounds. He must have thought that it would be more useful for him to keep it."
If the Master, who dies easily, has the sheath, they have a better chance of surviving the Holy Grail War."
" Then, Father survived the war because he was like me ?"
"Probably. And after the battle and after I disappeared.
Kiritsugu wandered through the burned field and found a dying child. He had no healing powers, and even if he did, I assume it was too late.
So I believe there was only one way for him to save that child."
I unconsciously place my hand on my chest.
On that day ten years ago
I accepted death, looking up at the sky.
My whole body was burned, and maybe it really was burned to ashes.
When Kiritsugu found a kid barely alive, he had to rely on what he had on hand.
The sheath of the holy sword that protects the life of its possessor.
He must have saved that dying life by implanting the sheath.
" Then, it really is ?"
"Yes. It has been disassembled and lacks its original form, but your body certainly contains the sheath. It is the cause of your healing powers."
Someone saved me at that time.
When I came to, there was no one there and all I found was a rock.
I took the rock home because I thought it was something important, but is it still at my house right now ?
"That was before we made a contract, correct?
The sheath is my Noble Phantasm. It does not exhibit its power as a Noble Phantasm until magical energy is channeled into it. You cannot obtain your immortality unless you make a contract with me."
" Well, I am sure it will protect the possessor's life if any magical energy is in it, but it will be weak. I am sure fusing with the sheath was the only way to save a dying person."
" I see. Um I'm sorry Saber. Your sheath was used for something like this "
"Please do not say such a thing. You are my Master, so it is only natural for you to use what is mine.
AndI was happy when I learned about it. Even though I could not save anybody, I had saved your life."
Her smile is so brilliant that I have to look away.
"Shirou? Does your wound hurt?"
"No, that's not it! Just don't worry about it. There's nothing wrong with you!"
I hide my blushing face and shut my mouth.
There's no pain if I don't speak, but this is really awkward.
"Kiritsugu was correct. He did not betray me."
She says so as if regretting her past.
Music: Ever-present Feeling
"That Holy Grail was not what I sought. No, I did not need the Holy Grail to begin with. Kiritsugu must have known that."
Her murmur sounds more like a confession.
Saber apologizes to a person she cannot apologize to anymore.
And she looks at me to part with the wish she held for so long.
She doesn't say anything.
My heart understands just by being beside her.
Arturia sought the Holy Grail.
A lonely king who needed to believe that ruin was avoidable with the Holy Grail.
A girl who wished for what would happen if she could redo the selection.
"Saber, that's "
" I knew it. I knew I could not redo things.
I knew it, but I still continued to deceive myself."
But this is the end.
Her long battle will finally end
She murmurs that she would still like to be forgiven.
It was a mistaken wish, days that were not to be wished for, but
The weakness was just a passing dream a girl saw.
She doesn't even need to tell me what that means.
She will not hesitate any longer.
And I find that beautiful.
A dark night. From the moment I was captivated by her figure in the moonlightI have loved her.
Regardless of what awaits ahead, there is only one thing to be done.
"Saber. Let's destroy the Holy Grail."
I say so, throwing aside my attachment and my selfishness.
Saber nods in response.
I can't smile back at her.
It takes all I have to suppress my heart, telling me I don't want this.
But stillthere will surely come a day when I can be proud of being trusted like this.
I get up.
Now that I've decided, there's no time to rest.
It's clear what must be done, and the enemy is clear as well.
I bite my lip.
I hate my body, unable to move when it's clear what needs to be done.
"I will get angry if you push yourself too hard.
We will go into battle as soon as your wound heals. This will be our last battle, so let us face it in our best condition."
" Right. We have to prepare and not be impatient."
Where Kotomine went.
How we beat Gilgamesh.
There are many things to think about.
I have to rest for now and prepare myself for later tonight.
The scene before is me is anything but familiar.
My voice shakes.
I don't know what happened.
All I know is that Tohsaka is looking at me, breathing weakly.
Music: Ever-present Feeling
"Hey, Shirou. You're not gonna like this but could you pick up something from the store for me?"
" Oh. You're home at last Geez, I was about to go to sleep, you idiot."
I don't know what she intends.
But she's talking to me normally even though she has a wound that should make even talking difficult.
"Heydon't talk, you idiot ! Damn, I have to stop the bleeding ! Saber, bring me towels, hot water, and a bowl !"
I order Saber in a panic.
Saber nods silently and runs to the bathroom.
"Bandages. Bandages and stypticno, they won't do. Doctor. I have to get a doctor and do something!"
I pull out the first aid kit still in a panic.
" No. I've treated my own wound, so I don't need a doctor.
There's something more important though, right?"
Tohsaka stares at me, breathing hard.
I don't know what she's on about.
But I nod, thinking that I have to listen to her for now.
"It's fine. I can treat my own wounds.
ButI'm sorry. You went off trusting me, but I couldn't protect Ilya."
" Kotomine did this?"
I don't even need to ask since he's the only one left.
But only Saber and I knew that Kotomine was our enemy.
This must've been a complete surprise attack for Tohsaka.
Because the seventh Master happened to be her teacher.
" Don't apologize. Even you wouldn't be able to do anything if you were suddenly attacked. In spite of what you said, you trusted Kotomine."
"Yeah. I guess I was conceited thinking I could do everything myself."
She coughs up blood.
Crap. I can't let her talk.
Look, Shirou. This is my last piece of advice, so listen carefully."
I don't want to hear words like that.
But I nod silently.
She's looking at me seriously with that wound of hers.
I don't know if anyone would be able to stop her.
" First. Kotomine's objective was Ilya. He must've known from the beginning that she was the vessel of the Holy Grail."
"WhaIlya is the Holy Grail !?"
" To be more accurate, her heart is. Magi are people with Magic Circuits, but Ilya is a human made from a Magic Circuit.
I think she will become the vessel to summon the Holy Grail as soon as there is only one Servant left."
"Then, Kotomine took Ilya ?"
It really shouldn't be surprising that the priest ran off with the little girl.
"He took her. But guh ! As long as Saber is still alive, the path won't open. Kotomine won't try to do anything to her."
Lancer isn't an easy Servant to beat either.
He can't match Gilgamesh, but he might be able to at least run away.
I can only hope so. But I can't tell Tohsaka about that right now.
"All right. I'll go save Ilya, so you can depend on me."
" I see. Then, the second thing.
I think Kotomine's at the Ryudou Temple.
That's the best place to summon the Holy Grail.
He'll be out of the church already, so he has to be hiding at that temple."
"Okay. So Kotomine is at Ryudou Temple, right?"
It must be hard for her even to move her neck now.
But Tohsaka gives a slight nod.