Part 110: stay Night (I)
Music: THIS ILLUSION (piano ver.)
Going through the night, Saber and I have reached our final destination.
"Shirou, this is "
Saber sounds tense.
I feel the same way.
As I nod, I can feel sweat dripping down my neck.
The mountain feels like one big living thing.
The wind coming down from the mountain gate is warm, and the shaking trees seem like breathing lungs.
Chills and pressure assail me every time I take a step.
Nothe air really is thick and wet.
" Mana is dense here. This is just like ten years ago. I expect "
The summoning of the Holy Grail has begun or it's already over.
Either way, that must mean that Lancer has fallen to Gilgamesh.
"I'm going to make sure, Saber.
After we reach the top, all that's left is to fight. You take care of Gilgamesh, so I'll take care of his MasterKotomine.
We won't assist each other. We just have to beat one of our opponents."
" Yeah. Leave him to me. You too Saber. Don't let that guy beat you."
" Yes. I will swear on my pride that he will not defeat me. Not as a Servant, but as a heroic spirit, I cannot allow him to beat me."
Saber says so strongly without hesitation or distress.
So there's nothing more to say.
We will go to battle and determine the winner as the last remaining Masters.
Even if in the process
If one of us dies, the other need only defeat their enemy.
Even if I die, if Saber beats Gilgamesh, Kotomine won't be able to obtain the Holy Grail.
At the same time, even if Saber diesif I defeat Kotomine, Gilgamesh won't be able to stay in this world.
So there's no need to help each other.
Our battles have already gone their separate ways.
We go up the stone stairs.
The air gets denser the closer we get to the mountain gate.
Sweat drips down my neck.
Ominous premonitions prick at my skin.
Our strongest opponents await at the end of these stairs.
I really don't care about that.
We go up the stairs.
The mountain gate is approaching.
This is the end.
No matter who wins this battle, Saber will disappear.
The long and short days of battle will end and Saber will vanish from this world.
She's going to return to her proper time.
I can't say I have no regrets.
Losing the one I promised to protect, the one whose happiness I wished for.
I don't know yet how hard it will be.
We are still walking together and I can feel her presence.
I'm not yet ready to lose her.
Even if I knew many days ago.
Even if I knew from the moment we met that there would be a parting at the end.
Saber liked the bath, was satisfied when the food was good, liked the clothes Tohsaka prepared for her, and talked with Fuji-Nee.
She pushed herself, took all the burdens onto her shoulders, and finally collapsedand we shared our warmth in the ruin.
I've been crazy since then.
I couldn't think of anything but Saber, and after my reasons for fighting changed, I realized that I loved Saber.
How can I lose someone like this?
Saber doesn't say anything.
I can't say anything either.
When these stairs end
If we reach the top, there'll be nothing for us to talk about.
Losing Saber and parting with her will happen in the future.
This moment is the only time allotted to us for farewells.
We go up the stairs.
If I don't want to say goodbye, I can just talk to her about meaningless things.
Like going to town again after we go home.
Or what she wants for breakfast tomorrow morning.
Such meaningless things.
But I can't even talk about such things.
If I talk, that'll be our final conversation.
A clear end.
Neither of us can offer a clear farewell.
I stop and turn back to Saber.
Saber is the same always.
A tense stare with a composed expression.
The moment I see it, all kinds of temptation attack me.
Like, let's run away.
Like, if I don't want to lose her, I can go back.
She would accompany me if I wished.
My determination wavers.
That temptation rises in my throat.
But I stop it.
"Let's go. This will be our last battle."
I declare that as a Master just as I always have.
Saber nods silently.
Her eyes are strong-willed as always.
So, I won't have any regrets.
As she believes in me.
I too will believe that my choice is correct.
We start for the mountain gate.
We head into the battle with no return.
I couldn't say anything and I couldn't tell her what I really wanted to tell her.
But I want to believe that this silence was able to tell her my feelings.
This is our final memory of our time together.
Red light fills the mountaintop.
The blowing wind is getting stronger and it seems the source of it is that lightcoming from the back of the grounds.
The red phosphorescence scatters on the wind, and the grounds is too bright for nighttime.
Stagnant air filled with the presence of death.
Like the fire back then.
But it isn't like that.
Within all this red light, something is about to emerge.
From the back of the building.
A black darkness oozing in the bright red.
If this clearing is like a clear lake, that mud is like an oil spill.
Mud that spreads, taints the ground, and does not kill anything it swallows.
It's like a visible curse.
I'm a magus too.
I can sense that the thing only reacts to the human mind and only swallows human bodies.
"You are finally here. I have been waiting for you, Saber."
He is there, within all the rich colors.
Ignoring the blood red and the death-stained black.
The Servant clad in gold is waiting for usno, for Saber in the middle of this place.
"And the time is about right. The Holy Grail has finally moved into action and the void has just opened.
This curse is the contents of the Holy Grail, the Third Element which keeps us Servants in this world.
This is what you splashed me with ten years ago."
Gilgamesh is only looking at Saber.
It goes the same for Saber.
She takes a step forward and points her sword at the knight in front of her.
"Gilgamesh. What do you intend?
What do you wish for with that cursethat thing falsely presented as the Holy Grail?"
"I have told you that I have no wish. I do not care how Kotomine will use the Holy Grail.
For now, my only concern is you."
As if in answer to Saber, the golden knight raises his hand.
At the same time, the air behind him sways like a haze.
The king's treasure, hundreds of Noble Phantasms, are loaded like bullets.
" Yes. The time has finally come. I have been looking forward to this all this time, Saber.
How to pin you down and make you swallow that.
The way you will be unable to stop yourself from going crazy, disgracing yourself, and begging at my feet!"
"Well said. Then you shall have no objections to yourself meeting that exact fate."
Saber steps into range of the many Noble Phantasms.
This isn't a battle I can do anything about.
The battle between Saber and Gilgamesh is something no human can interfere with.
"Heh, that is what I expect of you, Saber.
That strong spirit, even though you know you cannot defeat me. It is indeed suitable to end this party, but"
"I do not want any intrusions. You lowlife, disappear right now if you want to see Kotomine. He is waiting for you at the altar."
Kotomine is waiting.
Her figure tells me
That she is wishing me her best.
Music: Into the Night
"Koto mine !"
My calm mind instantly goes over the limit.
I stop and glare at my enemy.
"Welcome, Emiya Shirou. The last surviving Master."
He smiles sarcastically and opens his arms to welcome me.
This is the site of our battle.
This is the altar of the summoning in this Holy Grail War.
The fight will begin if I move another step.
I don't know what kind of magus Kotomine is, but I assume he'll use some kind of projectile weapon like Tohsaka.
In comparison, I can only punch him.
Even though I have the dagger Tohsaka gave me, it's useless unless I get near him.
Once the fight starts, I'll have to run straight at him and stab his chest.
But first, I have to do something about Ilya
"Hey. Didn't you hear me? I told you to let Ilya down. What's so fun about torturing a kid?"
"I understand your feelings, but I cannot do that. The Holy Grail has appeared, but the void is yet unstable.
My wish will not come true unless she bears this until she dies."
Until she diesthen Ilya is still alive !
" I see. If you have no intention of letting her down, I'll just have to use force.
I'll stop your wishthat black mud, right now."
"This mud is not of my making.
This is the power leaking out of the Holy Grail, the 'colorless power' that should have been omnipotent.
No human power is able to stain it black.
This Holy Grail has been like this from the beginning. Once opened, it will flow out without end and cause a disaster."
"This is the true identity of the Holy Grail.
This thing is filled with every evil, something that curses everything in this world.
No one can control such a thing."
What is he saying?
If that's true, then he became a Master not for a wish, but just to open this up !?
" Kotomine. What's your wish?"
I clench my teeth and glare at the black priest.
The man smiles.
"Well, let's see. If anything, it is for entertainment."
He makes a simple claim as if it's only natural.
"Wh at ?"
Music: Church on the Hill
"Do you not understand? Music, for example. Why do people find music fun, Emiya Shirou?"
"How about a book? Why do you think stories attract people?"
WhyI've never thought about it.
"Yes. You do not even need to think about it. Every entertainment exists to pleasure people. It is amusing because it was made by people."
"Compared to that, entertainment created by people is just secondary.
Yes, music, stories, like, dislike, pity, belief, betrayal, morals, corruption, illusion, truth ! It is all just trash to be discarded.
Such things are mere second-rate trashy entertainment.
What I like to enjoy are people themselves. Such pointless things are not my taste."
"For that, we need to discard excess things such as their lives.
You heard of flashbacks, right? It is like that. People have value only at the moment of their deaths. Using their lifetime to gain momentum, they jump high to dazzle. That flicker is my wish."
"That is the answer to your question.
As you feed on peacefulness.
I live by feeding on this planet's light."
The priest offering a speech with his hands apart is abnormal.
I feel a chill, but not at his speech.
But at the priest himself because he looks like a holy being while he says he wants to enjoy humans.
"Yes, the fire ten years ago wasn't too bad. It was on a small scale, but it was filled with unusual excitement.
These are the only things I wish for.
Such a hell contains an explosion of souls, the best flicker a man can give. You must have experienced that as well, Emiya Shirou.
See? People dying in regret must have touched your heart, did it not?"
Don't talk shit.
That hell can't be contained with just that one sentence.
"Oh, I see."
I concentrate on my feet.
I put my powers into my legs, about to jump forward.
"So, I can kill you !"
I look at the place I was running over.
A sound of burning.
The burning sound is coming from the black mud, stretching out from the lake.
It's like a black carpet.
The mud slashed like a whip, attacking me as I went after Kotomine, and left a mark on the ground.
"I forgot to tell you, but you are already within my range. And to add, this thing is sensitive to living beings.
I do not mind you moving, but you will die if you move carelessly."
I jump to avoid the black mud mercilessly attacking me.
Screw moving carelessly. He's ready to kill me !
I stand up, still keeping watch over the lake.
The distance to Kotomine hasn't changed.
That means this ten meters is as near as he wants me to get.
But that tentacle of mud stretches without limit.
It will come after me if he wants it to, and I'm sure there are more than one
"Heh, don't lie. You can't say that after attacking someone from behind."
He must have remembered what happened with Lancer.
Kotomine laughs as if in admiration.
"Oh, yes. I hated you for that.
There's no need to put this off any longer.
" To be honest, I had hopes for you, Emiya Shirou. I felt some sort of fate when Rin came to the church with you. You cannot know how happy I was when I found out that you were Kiritsugu's son and that you were like him on the inside as well.
The wish that did not come true ten years ago I never expected that I would be able to get my revenge on Emiya Kiritsugu."
The tentacle whips out.
The quivering mud coming from the lake is like a black snake.
I bite my lip.
This is the worst situation as I thought.
The number of snakes continues to increase without end.
I don't know how long I can survive, let alone how I can get close to him
"It is only natural for you to be unable to win.
There is a large difference in the years we have lived. It is a difference you cannot overcome unless you have something major."
The priest raises his hands.
He glares at the heavens as if he is conducting an orchestra.
He releases the black snakes.
Video: Finale: Saber's Battle (mirror)
Music: The Golden King
If the yell is a rip, the sword is like a comet.
It overwhelms the opponent and he hesitates. But she keeps attacking.
The sword keeps moving.
It has destroyed rocks and pierced through walls, but
Every blow is blocked by weapons appearing from behind him.
Escaping danger, the golden knightGilgamesh has another sword in his hand.
It is easy to repel that weapon.
But she cannot block it straight on.
All of the enemy's weapons have unknown abilities.
It would be suicidal to block it without knowing its ability.
"You do not give up, woman. Can you not tell it is futile?"
Gilgamesh shows no fatigue.
For him, this battle is just entertainment.
There must be no fatigue or strain when he knows he is going to win.
But it's different for Saber.
For her, this moment is her only chance of victory.
Before her enemy becomes serious.
She has to defeat Gilgamesh before he takes out Ea or she will be the one defeated.
That is why she has continued to attack without a thought for saving her energy.
She has cornered the enemy like this more than a few times.
But stillshe could never get past his wall of Noble Phantasms.
"It can only be a matter of time. You do not know the Holy Grail. Even I have trouble against it. That kid will not last even a minute."
"You cannot beat me and that kid cannot beat Kotomine.
You have mistaken your roles. If you had gone after the Holy Grail, this battle would have been yours."
The golden knight's eyes are not laughing.
He is serious.
But that is wrong.
For Saber, such a choice would be a mistake.
"Nonsense. This is the correct decision. I will not lose to you, and Shirou will not lose to a corpse such as that.
You have fallen low to hope for a result that has yet to happen."
"Oh. It seems you still have energy to talk impudently."
The number of Noble Phantasms behind Gilgamesh increases.
It is coming.
She grips her holy sword once again.
Actually, there is a way.
There is only one, but there is a way to defeat that golden knight.
But for that
It will not succeed unless several conditions are met.
Even if she defeats Ea, he will be able to defend against her attack if he has energy left. And the method to defeat Ea will remain unknown until she takes a direct hit from it once more.
Take a hit from Ea ? No way. Even with the sheath, I would not be able to get up after being hit.
But there is no other way to win.
It is a matter of how to grasp that slight chance.
Usually, she selects the best choice by instinct and follows that view.
But right now, she cannot even feel it with her instincts.
Probably because the probability of victory is so low and the chance of a comeback is pretty much zero.
For Shirou who abandoned his protection to give her back her sheath
She cannot be defeated here by him.
They move without Gilgamesh touching them and they aim at Saber.
The weapons, whose handles were only visible before, all show blades now and await their master's order.
This is this knight's way of fighting.
From the beginning, Gilgamesh has never been a swordsman.
These Noble Phantasms are produced in the air and become bullets at their master's command.
That is why he is called Archer.
This Servant is an archer with the strongest arrows.
"Do your best to avoid them.
If you do well, you shall only be stabbed in the limbs!"
With one command, the godspeed rain of swords begins.
Each one has fatal power.
She eludes every one of them like a falling leaf!
A sword from the front,
a spear from the left,
a polearm from below and above,
a three-edged sword arcing and attacking from behind,
a swing from a hammer bigger than she is!
She blocks, repels, dodges, and twists her body away from the last attack !
She jumps full force.
Many Noble Phantasms stab into the ground as not to let her escape.
On the other side of the rain of Noble Phantasms
As if to finish off a fleeing enemy, Gilgamesh is pulling out his favorite sword!
She stops her jump.
She lands right away and pours magical energy into her holy sword.
But will it be in time?
Wind roars. The blade of light is revealed and she raises her sword without waiting for the wind to fully unseal.
Video: Finale: Shirou's Battle (mirror)
Music: Church on the Hill
I jump back from the striking tentacle.
I can't feel my right ankle and I can't even tell if it's there, but I jump into the open field in front of me.
I hear a splashing sound right next to me.
The smell of the ground burning forces my dizzy head awake and
"Ha haa, haa, ha"
I breathe hard and look at him so as not to lose in spirit.
Kotomine has not moved at all. He has just watched me run around.
It's saying it's at its limits and it needs rest. It's about to go out on its own if I don't let it rest.
"Kuhha, haa, ha, ah"
I can't do anything.
I can't get near Kotomine nor get through that black mud.
I'm not going to hold back on using the 'projection' magic.
If I can't move forward, I can reproduce Saber's sword again.
It'll surely be able to slice through that black mud and I can go straight for Kotomine.
It's slow compared to Saber's shinai, and it only comes where it's aimed, so it's easy to dodge.
But that's only true when there's only one of them.
I can't deal with tens of mud attacks, the ones that come from behind me the instant I dodge them.
As a result, I can only move around. Even then, mud covers me bit by bit.
"Haaha, ha, ha, ah!"
The parts of my body covered with mud have lost sensation.
The only good thing is that I don't feel any pain, but I won't know if I'm dead or not when that mud covers my whole body.
I'm finished when that happens, and most of allI'll have melted away by then.
"Haaha, ha, ha, ah!"
All I can do is run.
I know it's only a matter of time even if I do, but I have to keep running for now.
I won't have any luck getting near Kotomine while I'm dodging this mud.
I can't get close now. Waiting behind Kotomine is a pool of mud.
If there's any chance of getting near him, it'll be when I do something about this mud
I get up.
I try to get up, but fall again.
The snakes are coming.
Music: Into the Night
" ! Why don't you finish me off?"
"I will soon enough. But just doing that would not be all that fun. You are Kiritsugu's fake, so the debt Kiritsugu owes me from ten years ago shall be returned with your death."
The skin with mud on it is burning.
It feels like acid is slowly seeping through the pores of my skin.
I grit my teeth, bear it, and check on my right ankle.
"I see. I don't care about that, butwhy do you hate Kiritsugu so much? Was it so annoying to you that Kiritsugu destroyed the Holy Grail?"
"It is just hatred for a similar person. Kiritsugu and I were alike, so everything he did got on my nerves. It is the same as the way you feel hatred toward me."
"Whashut up ! Don't you dare say that Kiritsugu is like you !"
I raise my body up with my arms and glare at him.
I don't know what's so funny, but he makes that evil smile.
After all, he was a good enough person to let me go.
He defeated me, the cause of that disaster, but he did not take my life.
You should know that was a mistake.
If he had killed me, those orphans would have been able to lead a peaceful life."
"You should not be able to retort. But it was unpleasant for me as well.
The fact that such a cold-hearted magus left me alive it was unpleasant."
Saber said it too that Kiritsugu was a great magus and that he would do anything to accomplish his goals.
The mistake he made is that he thought this war had ended with the destruction of the Holy Grail.
That is why he did not tell you anything, optimistically thinking that the Holy Grail War was over, and died stained in this curse."
"He was certainly a fool. He let the one who cursed him go and as a result, died within a few years.
Believing that he had accomplished his goal and that the Holy Grail War had ended."
Kiritsugu died because of this guy?
And that peaceful face he had on the night of his death was
"Oh, let me ask you one last question.
What was Kiritsugu's last moment like? Did he give something to you as his son and pass away with satisfaction?
Ha, how foolish can he be.
He accomplished nothing and pushed the responsibility onto you. His passing must have been ridiculous !"
I would expect at least that much spirit."
Kotomine raises his hand toward the waterfall behind him.
What is he thinking?
That is a 'curse' so strong that it's visible.
You could call it magical energy specialized for destroying people.
There is nothing you can do with it as it cannot be reshaped or anything.
Anybody that touches that mud will be stained with a strong "curse" and will be melted as if digested.
In the process.
The pain and fear before death remain as magical energy and become the next "curse" to seek out living people.
So, you die if you touch it.
Anyone who touches it will die unless they can get the mud out of their body.
The priest stuck his hand in that waterfall of mud, but he doesn't stop smiling.
"This is your reward. Die in the same manner as Kiritsugu."
In his hand is a black darkness.
I sense that it is something completely different, and