Part 124: First Command Spell
Shirou has the sudden desire to give the man in red a 'fatal blow' of his own.
The person watching Saber from behind that man is someone I know.
I reach out with my left hand and call out.
I don't know who that man in red is.
But I'm sure Saber will attack the person behind the man after she defeats him.
I can't let that happen.
I can't let Saber attack her!
I feel a sharp pain.
One of the marks on my hand disappears.
"That guyhe's "
I'm sure of it.
That's the guy that was fighting Lancer.
Then the girl behind him is
Um, I don't want to believe so, but is it really ?
Music: Footsteps of Destruction
"Are you insane, Shirou? We should have been able to defeat Archer and his Master here. So why did you go so far as to use your Command Spell to stop me !?"
What could I have done?
I don't understand the situation at all.
I stopped Saber only because I didn't want to see her slash at the girl who saved me.
Shirou remembers that Rin saved him, huh? Let's see how long that lasts.
Saber readies the object in her hands again.
In front of her is the red man she could not slay.
"No, don't do it. To be honest, I have no idea what's going on.
But the one you're about to attack is someone I know. I can't let you attack someone I know."
"What are you saying? She is Archer's Master. She is our enemy, so we must defeat her here."
She and the man in red are enemies ?
" I don't care about that.
First of all, I don't even understand this Master thing you're talking about. If you're going to call me Master, you should at least explain to me what this is all about."
"That is true, but "
"Hm. So that's how it is, amateur Master-san?"
She calls out to me with a polite yet harsh voice.
When I turn around, I see the man in red and the girl in her school uniform.
So I wasn't seeing things.
The person with the man in red is definitely "that" Tohsaka Rin.
How should I put this?
Even I can tell that the man behind Tohsaka isn't human.
That thing is not of this world, just like Saber.
Thenif Tohsaka is with him, she's also
"Huh? Oh, you know me? Then this should be easy.
First of all, good evening, Emiya-kun."
I don't know what her intentions are.
But Tohsaka greets me with a big smile.
When she greets me normally like that, I can almost forget about all these strange events and just greet her too.
"A-Are you serious!? This isn't the time for greetings! You're !"
"Yes, I'm a Master as well. In other words, I'm a magus like you. We're similar, so we don't have to hide it, right?"
"Magus? You're a magus, Tohsaka!?"
My eyes widen, and I point at Tohsaka.
I don't know why, but she's
She's looking at me with real irritation
"I see. I get it now. So that's how it is, huh?"
Taking a look at us, she turns to the man behind her.
"Archer. Can you turn into spirit form for a while? I'm pissed right now."
"I don't mind, but what do you mean by pissed?"
"It means what it means. I can't calm down unless I make him realize what kind of a situation he's in. You won't have anything to do until then, so go away. Saber won't be able to lower her sword as long as you're here."
"Man, how difficult. Well, I shall obey if it's an order. If I may warn you, however, what you are about to do is needless."
The man literally disappears.
"T-Tohsaka, that was !"
"Let's talk inside. You don't know anything, right, Emiya-kun? You can rest assured that I'll tell you everything, even if you say you don't want to know."
Saying this, she walks toward the entrance.
"Wait, what are you thinking !?"
I stop her.
She turns, and the smile on her face isn't like the previous one.
Emiya-kun, it's okay to be surprised by sudden turns of events, but it might cost you your life if you don't just accept it.
Incidentally, do you understand that now is one of those times?"
I'll explain things to your Master in return for sparing my life."
" Very well. I do not know what your intentions are, but I shall restrain myself as long as you are helping my Master."
Tohsaka goes through the gate.
" She's really pissed "
I don't know why, though.
I don't know, but
"But still "
She's totally unlike the way she is at school
The hallway suddenly feels like part of a different dimension.
But I can't be a coward forever.
I'm a magus, even if I'm just an amateur.
Tohsaka Rin, a magus just like me, is acting boldly, so I have to act firmly as well.
But I can only work out a few things.
First, about Saber, who's following me.
I'm sure that she's some kind of a familiar, because she calls me Master and I've made a contract with her.
I've heard that a familiar is a kind of assistant.
Most magi transfer a part of their body into something and then summon it as another self.
It is something that assists the magus.
Consequently, it's commonly accepted that small animals are the most suitable as to reduce the burden on the magus.
Saber looks human no matter how you look at her. And she is clearly superior to me, her master.
I don't have the magical energy to control someone like that, and, more than that, I don't have the Magic Circuit to summon a familiar.
So Saber must rather be something else than a familiar.
She said she's a Servant.
I don't know what that is, but I think the man called Lancer and the man in red with Tohsaka were the same thing.
It seems Tohsaka is a magus as well, but I have no idea who she is.
The Emiya family are just outsiders who came to this town in my father's generation.
That's why I didn't know that Tohsaka was a magus, and I'm sure Tohsaka didn't know that I knew magic.
There are several magi in this town that I don't know about.
If Lancer is the familiar of another magus in this town, does that mean I've stuck my head into a conflict between magi?
Music: Surrounded by Smiling Faces
"Wow, it's pretty big. I am not used to this Japanese style. Oh, is that the living room, Emiya-kun?"
Saying so, Tohsaka goes into the living room.
I should stop thinking.
Let's just listen to Tohsaka's story.
It's already past one in the morning.
"Oh, it's so cold! Hey, the windows are all broken."
"I couldn't help it. I was attacked by this Lancer guy. I was desperate."
"Oh, I see. Then were you fighting him alone until you summoned Saber?"
"I didn't fight him. He just beat me up."
"Oh, so you don't try to show off, huh? I see, I see. You're really just as you appear, Emiya-kun."
Tohsaka walks over to the broken window.
Tohsaka takes a piece of the shattered glass, takes a look at it, and
"Minuten vor Schweißen"
She cuts the tip of her finger and puts a drop of her blood onto the glass.
What kind of magic is this?
The shattered glass recombines and restores itself in a matter of seconds.
"Tohsaka, that was "
"It's just a small demonstration. It won't be enough to repay you for saving me, but I have to do at least this much.
Well, I'm sure you would've fixed it even if I hadn't, but that'd just be a waste of magical energy, right? All you'd really have to do is replace the window, but we don't want to talk in this cold, do we?"
But needless to say, her skills are beyond my comprehension.
"No, that's amazing, Tohsaka. I can't do that sort of thing, so I'm glad you fixed it."
"Huh? Of course you'd be able to fix it.
Handling glass is elementary. Restoring glass that broke a few minutes ago is like a simple admission test for school, right?"
"So that's how it is? I was only taught by my father, so I don't even know the basics or the elementary stuff."
Damn. It seems I said something I shouldn't have.
" Wait. Then you're saying you're just an amateur who can't even run his own workshop?"
" ? I don't have a workshop."
Well, I do have that shed as my training area, but I think Tohsaka would get mad if I called that my workshop.
They've just met and yet Shirou already knows she'll get pissed at pretty much anything.
" I'm going to ask, even though it's impossible. Could it be that you don't know how to handle the five main elements, nor how to make a Pass?"
I honestly admit that I don't know.
She's so beautiful usually, so this makes her look pretty frightening now.
"Then what are you, just an amateur?"
"That's not true. I can at least use strengthening magic."
"Strengthening that's an awfully odd magic. So, you can't do anything other than that?"
" Well, to be honest, probably not."
Her glare makes me answer vaguely.
I haven't been playing around.
I know I'm an amateur, but I don't think it matters right now.
"Well, I guess it doesn't make any difference. There's no point in complaining about what's already happened. More importantly, I have to pay back my debt right now."
Tohsaka takes a breath.
Emiya-kun, you don't know what kind of situation you're in right now, correct?"
"I thought so. Well, it was obvious, but I had to make sure, right? It's only putting flab on my mind if I explain it to someone who already gets it."
I think that was a weird phrase but I stay quiet, as I think she'll beat me up if I make fun of her now.
Music: Whirlpool of Fate 2
"To put it bluntly, you have been chosen as a Master.
You have a holy sign on one of your hands, right? On your hand or on your arm. There are personal differences, but there should be three Command Spells engraved. That is the sign of a Master."
"On my hand oh, this."
"The Command Spell enforces unconditional obedience. That mark overrules your Servant's will and makes them obey your command.
There's no spell needed to activate it, and it will be activated when you put your mind to using it.
You'll be killed if you lose all your Command Spells, so be careful."
"What I'll be killed?"
Yes, but that's okay, because you won't die.
"That's right. Masters killing other Masters is fundamental to the Holy Grail War. And the Master that kills the other six Masters is awarded the Holy Grail."
I don't understand what Tohsaka is talking about at all.
Like the part about Masters killing other Masters.
And the part where the winner gets a Holy Grail wait, does she mean THAT Holy Grail !?
Nah, they just got this fancy cup with gold paint on it and they call it the holy grail because they think it's hilarious.
"You still don't understand? To put it simply, you've been dragged into a game. A survival game between the seven Masters, a game called the Holy Grail War. A battle royale that won't end until you kill all other Masters."
Tohsaka Rin states this as if it's the most natural thing in the world.
The phrases I heard swirl in my head.
I have been chosen as a Master.
Tohsaka says she is a Master.
Familiars called Servants.
A battle to the death between magi, called the Holy Grail War.
"Wait. What's that? What are you talking about all of a sudden?"
"I understand how you feel, but I'm just telling you the truth.
Besides, you should understand deep down. Having nearly been killed by that Servant twice, you should know you're in a situation you can't run away from."
Certainly, I was almost killed by that Lancer guy, but
"Oh, that's wrong. In fact, you weren't almost killed, you were actually killed. I'm surprised you're alive again."
Not almost killed, but actually killed.
The wound in my chest.
The escaping blood.
The escaping warmth.
The pure voice I heard amidst all of that
You can't run away just because you don't know anything. But you're prepared, since you're a magus, right? We are beings who kill and are killed."
Tohsaka is in a good mood, maybe because she enjoys watching me be troubled.
Yeah. I'm already prepared.
" You know I was killed by Lancer, Tohsaka?"
I wonder how she knows that fact.
Total time that Shirou remembered it was Rin that saved him: 12 minutes.
She's acting suspiciously.
"That was just a guess. Forget about it, it's trivial."
" It's not trivial.
"But, gee, I just can't remember who."
Music: Whirlpool of Fate 2
"Forget about it! Your main concern should be grasping the situation you're in.
You're one of the seven Masters of the Holy Grail War."
Tohsaka turns her back to me and paces as if she's a teacher or something.
"Look. Every few decades, seven Masters are chosen in this town and are given a Servant.
A Master uses his or her Servant to kill other Masters.
This is the ritual called the Holy Grail War."
"I've also been chosen as a Master.
That's why I made a contract with a Servant, and you made a contract with Saber.
It doesn't seem like you summoned Saber yourself, but Servants are given to Masters by the Holy Grail. So it is possible for an ignorant magus like you to be chosen as a Master."
Tohsaka's explanation is too brief for me to understand.
But there is one thing I do wonder about.
Familiars are things like cats and birds, right? Well, I do hear that some use human ghosts, but Saber has a body. Besides, she doesn't look like a familiar."
I glance at Saber.
Saber is quietly listening to our conversation.
She looks just like a human being.
I don't know her identity, but she's a girl about my age.
"Familiar, huh ? Well, Servants are in that category, but they are on a different level."
Not this again.
"That girl over there is a Ghost Liner, considered to be the strongest of all familiars."
"Ghost Liner ? Then do you mean she really is a ghost?"
"A ghost huh? She's similar, but Saber would kill you if you compared her to one.
Servants are heroes of the past given bodies. Beings surpassing humans, more like spirits."
"Huh? Heroes of the past given bodies?"
"That's right. A legendary hero that was pulled from the past or the present or whenever and given a body.
"Well, it's the role of the Master to summon them, and the Holy Grail does the rest. It's impossible for a magus to give shape to a soul, so we're assisted by a strong Artifact."
"Hold on. So a 'hero of the past' means what !?"
Then she's a heroine from the past too?
Well, it's true that nobody would dress like that now, but still
"That's impossible. I've never heard of any such magic."
"Of course not. This isn't magic. Think of it as a phenomenon created by the Holy Grail. It's impossible to recreate a soul and give it a body without it."
" Recreate a soul? Then a Servant isn't a ghost ?"
"No. Haven't you been taught that all humans, animals or machines that leave any great achievements behind get removed from the ring of reincarnation and sublimate into beings of higher rank?
Heroic spirits are like that. To put it simply, they have been worshipped and made into artificial gods."
"'Ghost Magic' such as supplicating ghosts uses heroic spirits to make miracles happen.
But the Servants are familiars made from the heroic spirits themselves.
So they accompany you in spirit form, but if need be, you can give them form to make them fight."
" Hm. So you mean you can give them form or keep them in spirit form?
That guy that was with you disappeared by turning into spirit form?"
I think you could tell from that battle, but the only ones who can beat these Servants are other Servants, spirits like them."
"Well, we can attack them too if they take form, so we might be able to beat them.
But Servants are all as strong as monsters, right? So we let monsters deal with monsters. The Master usually supports them from behind."
Tohsaka's explanation irritates me for some reason.
She calls them monsters. I don't know about the other Servants, but I don't want her to talk about Saber like that.
"Anyways, someone who becomes a Master must kill all the other Masters using his Servant. Do you understand so far?"
" Technically, yes. But I'm not convinced.
To begin with, who started such a thing and why?"
"That's not something I know about, nor should I answer. You should pose that kind of question to the one overseeing the Holy Grail War.
The one thing I can tell you is that all you can do now is fight, and since Servants are powerful familiars, you should use yours wisely."