The Let's Play Archive

Fate/stay night

by seorin

Part 12: Training (Magic Circuit)

Music: Whirlpool of Fate 2

I stretch out and adjust my breathing.
I try to empty my mind.

Shouldn't be hard.

I ignore everything around me and pay attention only to what is inside me.

"Trace, on."
As if to hypnotize myself, I murmur the spell I'm long accustomed to.
No, I really am hypnotizing myself.
As I have no Magic Crest and no knowledge of magic, a spell is only a change to myself.

…Normally, there are no lines in a human body to allow the passage of magical energy.
To artificially change my body to create such a line, I need enough concentration to unify my whole body and every nerve within it.

Magic is a battle with yourself.
For instance, at this very moment, I am inserting a burning steel rod into my backbone.

"...and it hurts oh so good."

This metal rod is the only "Magic Circuit" I can prepare for myself.
When I insert it this deep into my body and connect it to the other nerves, I can finally become a magus.

This is not a metaphor.
In reality, something like a burning tong which cannot be seen or felt is being inserted into my backbone.

I guess that clears that up?

But you cannot become a magus just through effort. It requires born talent and appropriate knowledge.
And of course, I have no talent, and Kiritsugu taught me nothing of magic.
He said something about me having no need of such knowledge.

I still don't know what he meant by that.
But still, it didn't matter to me back then.
I thought that if I could use magic, I could be like him.

But I was not born with talent: no strength of Magic Circuit, no accumulated works of magic handed down for generations.

The work of magic Kiritsugu possessed, the Magic Crest passed down the Emiya family, can only be passed on to a blood relation.
A Magic Crest forces a rejection on those with no blood relation.
So, as an adopted son, I could not receive the Emiya family's Magic Crest.

Well, anyways.
As I don't even know what a Magic Crest is, it doesn't matter if I have one or not.

Next time I go to the movies, I'm just gonna walk right in. If they complain, I'll say, "As I don't even know what a movie ticket is, it doesn't matter if I have one or not." That'll show 'em.

So now, all it comes down to is training what I can do.
If I want to be a magus, I have to learn magic fit to my nature.

To be blunt, magic is a way to release one's magical energy.
You could say that magical energy is my life force.
It is divided into two forms: a large source, "mana", floating around the world, and a small source, "odo", created inside oneself.

That is why superior magi excel at drawing magical energy from the world.
It's like a filter.
A magus turns his body into a filter, sucks up the mana from the world around him, and changes it into something he can use.
This filter is what we call a Magic Circuit.

This is the talent one is born with, and the number of the Magic Circuits within you is determined the moment you are born.
A normal human being does not have many Magic Circuits.
To begin with, there are always very few.
That is why magi pile them up generation after generation, making their children more suitable to use magic.
I hear some families go too far and increase the number of Magic Circuits by selective breeding.

…Well, since I was raised in a normal family, I don't have many Magic Circuits.

So that leaves only one method open to me.
According to Kiritsugu, every person has at least one form of magic they are fit for.
He said something about drawing out magical energy appropriate to their "origin", but I didn't really understand.
All I know for sure is that even I have some magic I can use, and if I train that magic, I may be able to become like Kiritsugu.

That is why I learned only that magic.
That was eight years ago.
After a lot of thought, Kiritsugu finally accepted me as his student.

I guess I had no fear as a child.
Kiritsugu smiled bitterly, putting his hand on the nodding Emiya Shirou.

What I will teach you will bring you conflicts.
That is why you must not use it in front of people, and you must not cease your practice even though it is difficult to learn.
Well, I don't really care if you break that one.
The most important thing is that magic is something you use not for yourself, but for others. If you do that, you may become a magic user, but you will not become a magus

Music: Stop

I'm thinking needlessly.
I feel the iron rod in my backbone slide into place.

"Uh, gah…!"
If I lose control of my breathing now, it would be a fatal mistake. The artificial Magic Circuit will eat away my body and destroy it.
If that happens, I'll die.
I would be only an amateur, failing such an elementary step…

I grind my teeth and resume the connection.
After a battle like walking on needles, the iron rod finally arrives deep within me and fuses with my body.

I feel like I should be censoring this.

…This process took me about an hour.

Yeah, I hear you have to kinda ease into that sort of thing or you might tear something.

After that much time, I'm finally able to make one artificial circuit… one circuit that produces magical energy.

So there's only one magic possible.
Which is…

"Composition, analyze."
Strengthening objects.
It is a magic of "strengthening" that reinforces the object's abilities by understanding the object's structure and channeling magical energy into it.

"Basic structure, alter."
Before me is a metal pipe.

Could this scene get any MORE phallic?

I will channel magical energy into it, perform the simplest magic, and reinforce its durability.

Basically, channeling your magical energy into something other than yourself is like pouring poison into that object.
It is just as the blood of Emiya Shirou is not the blood of the metal pipe. Pumping different blood only accelerates its breakdown, it certainly wouldn't strengthen it.
To prevent that and to turn the poison into a tonic, one must completely understand the structure of the target and channel the magical energy into small open spaces.

"…Composition, reinforce."
…It must be easy for a skilled magus, but for me, who cannot even create sufficient magical energy, it's as hard as hitting a target hundreds of meters away.
The usual target in archery is 27 meters away.
How much harder it is at many times that distance, goes without saying

The heat in my body quickly escapes.
The burning pillar in my backbone disappears, and the lungs stretched to the limit demand air.

Music: Whirlpool of Fate 2

"Ah… dammit, I failed again…"
There's no change in the metal pipe. It seems that the magical energy I poured into it has evaporated into the air.

"…It's hard to improve something that already has form."
The thing I'm attempting is like adding something to an already complete work of art.

Adding to a complete object risks making it less perfect.
Adding unnecessary things will actually decrease the value.
That is why the magic of "strengthening" is simple yet difficult, and only a few magi use it willingly.

…It's not like I use it willingly either, but it can't be helped as this is the only thing I'm good at.
It would be much easier if I could just form something out of clay and use it instead, but a substitute in appearance doesn't have the internal structure to match.

The junk around here is a good example.
When I fail with strengthening magic, I make some substitute objects to practice and to calm down, but they all end up with nothing inside.
I can visualize something's structure easily, so I can make the outside look like the original. But it's empty inside, and of course, it doesn't do anything.

I wipe the sweat off my brow.
Now that I think about it, I realize my whole body is sweating like I've been drenched with a bucket of water.
…But I'm lucky it just ended like this.
That was really bad.
If I'd taken a second longer to recover myself, I would probably have destroyed most of my body.

"…If I improved every time I came closer to death, there might be some hope…"
It's not even that easy.
But it is true that you won't improve your magic if you're scared of death.

The first step of a magus is to accept death.
Kiritsugu said so sadly.
Maybe he meant that he didn't want me to take such a step.

"…Saving someone means not saving someone else. A superhero is really selfish, huh…?"
Kiritsugu said that to me when I told him I wanted to be just like him.
I still don't know what he meant.
But Emiya Shirou has to become a superhero who goes around saving people, just like Emiya Kiritsugu.

'My dream is to become a superhero.'

I remember what Fuji-Nee said during dinner.
I don't think it's embarrassing nor impossible.
It's already determined. Emiya Shirou will succeed Emiya Kiritsugu.

That's why even though I'm inexperienced, I've done everything I can.
I don't know what kind of a person a superhero should be.
So I can only approach it by helping others within the limits of my abilities.

I have aimed straight for that goal for the past five years, but when things just go wrong like this, I do have doubts.
"…Geez, I don't get it, Father.
How can I become a superhero?"

And so comes to a close any actual choices until after we catch up to the Prologue (which should hopefully be soon).