Part 126: Another nightMusic: The End of Reminiscence
"Shirou. Is your business here complete?"
"Yeah. I learnt more than enough about the situation I'm in.
About the Holy Grail War, about the Masters, everything."
Her fate is determined by my choice.
" I don't know if I'm good enough for you, but I've decided to fight as a Master.
I'm sorry that I'm only an amateur. Are you still content that I'm your Master?"
"It matters not. You are already my Master. I have already sworn to be your sword."
That scene flashes through my mind.
"You're right. Yeah, I'm relieved that you say so."
I take a deep breath and look at Saber again.
"Then let's shake hands. Let's do our best together, Saber."
I extend my right hand.
I don't care what relationship a Master and his servant should have, nor do I know what I should be doing now.
If this is the way things are going to be, I at least want our first greeting to be in style.
"That is not the case. I was merely surprised by this sudden action."
"But if you lose it, all bets are off."
"I don't get the situation too well, but yes, please."
Saber is really serious, so I nod.
Come to think of it, this is weird.
We're under the winter night sky.
I'm shaking hands with a girl I just met, and we're talking like we're making a contract.
"You two are getting along well. You weren't even talking before, but things have certainly changed. What, you trust Saber now?"
"Um No, that's not it Well, I guess you're right.
I don't know anything about Saber yet, but I'll be with her from now on."
"I see. Then you should be on guard. Since you two are in this war, I won't go easy on you either."
I tilt my head in wonder.
For a brief moment, I don't get what she said.
" Hey now. Do you understand that we're enemies?
I brought you here because you weren't my enemy yet.
But you're one of the Masters now, right? Then I think there's only one thing to do now."
Well, she's right. But
"Why? I don't intend to fight you."
" Man, just as I thought. Geez, it was meaningless to bring you here."
Tohsaka slumps her shoulders.
"What? I thought we promised that you wouldn't talk until I tell you it's okay."
"I know, but we will make no progress like this.
We do not need to find out if our enemy is ready or not. If there are enemies we can defeat easily, we should attack them without holding back."
"Hey, I know that without you having to tell me."
"If you know that, act on it. Or what? Are you going to show him mercy again?
Hm. I don't imagine so, but don't tell me there's a 'special' reason for this."
I just owe him one. I can't fight him fairly until I repay him for that."
" Heh, you sure are difficult. Then I shall be disappearing. Call on me again after you repay him."
No, rather, I just can't see him anymore.
According to Tohsaka, Servants are spirits.
Saber says she cannot turn into spirit form, but I'm sure Tohsaka's Servant can since Tohsaka is a complete Master.
Well, that aside
Music: Surrounded by Smiling Faces
"Hey, Tohsaka. The thing about you 'owing' me do you mean what happened back then?"
"Yeah. No matter what the reason may be, you used your Command Spell to stop Saber. So I have to hold back a bit to balance things out."
" Balance? You worry about weird things, Tohsaka."
"I know. I understand this is just flab on my mind. But I can't help it. I hate owing people."
She turns away.
"But this service is limited. I won't hold back tomorrow, so go and make plans with Saber."
" Hm. So the service is only for today?"
"Yup. Well, I brought you here.
Um, so I'll at least go back to town with you."
Tohsaka starts to walk without looking at us.
I nod to Saber and follow Tohsaka.
There is a forked road ahead of us.
One path leads to the main street going towards the Shinto station, and the other leads to the big bridge leading to Miyama City.
Tohsaka stops at the intersection.
"Tohsaka? Why are you stopping? We should head to the bridge if we're going home, right?"
"No. I'm sorry, but go home by yourself.
I forgot since I've been concerned with you, but I'm busy. I'm already in Shinto, so I'll go look while I'm here."
"Go look you mean for other Masters?"
"Yeah. I don't know about you, but I've been waiting for this time. This night, the start of the battles between seven Masters, the Holy Grail War.
So I can't go home now. Since I couldn't beat Saber, I need to take it out on some other Servant."
Tohsaka's eyes show her determination.
That makes me realize
Tohsaka Rin is a magus.
Her mentality and her knowledge as a magus are complete.
So why ?
"So we'll part here. I've repaid my debt, and it would be troublesome if we stay together any longer. We should part here and become enemies from tomorrow on."
Why does she have this part of her that's unlike a magus?
So things are back to normal now that the explanations are over.
As a Master, I will just be a target to her now.
But still, Tohsaka said those words to me.
For Tohsaka, everything that happened tonight is unnecessary.
'It would be troublesome if we stay together any longer.'
If she's going to say something like that, she should have left us alone from the beginning.
Tohsaka's smart, so she should know that all too well.
But still, she set aside all thoughts of loss or gain and helped me out.
The Tohsaka in front of me is so different from the one at school.
Even when I put it nicely, she's sour, cranky, unapproachable, and so different that I want to scream.
Man, it feels almost like a fraud.
Tohsaka Rin is just how everyone thought she was.
"Huh? What are you saying all of a sudden? I won't go easy on you, even if you flatter me."
I know that.
She won't go easy on me, and that's why she said it'll be a bother if she feels empathy for me.
"I know. But I don't want to be enemies with you if I can help it. I like people like you."
Tohsaka falls silent for some reason.
The silent suburbs
The church at the top of the hill and the silence of the foreigners' cemetery feel surprisingly warm.
"A-Anyway, just run to the church if your Servant ever gets killed. If you do, at least your life will be safe."
"I don't like it, but still, I'll take that advice. It won't happen, though. No matter how I look at it, I'll die before Saber does."
Tohsaka reacts strangely once again.
After letting out a sigh, she glances at Saber.
"All right. I won't give you any more warnings because that'd really be soft.
Just be careful. Even though Saber is strong, it won't matter if her Master gets killed."
She turns her back and starts walking.
As if she's seen a ghost, her feet stop dead in their tracks.
Music: Footsteps of Destruction
A youthful voice echoes through the night.
The melodic tone is unmistakably that of a young girl.
My vision is drawn to the top of the hill.
I don't know when the clouds parted, but a brilliant moon is now shining in the sky.
The shadow is long and grotesque, like a devil in a picture book.
In this gloomy town of shadow-pictures stands a figure that should not be there.
Tohsaka mumbles a word I'm not accustomed to hearing.
Even though I don't know what she means, I can feel the giant's dreadfulness all too well.
That thing is not human.
Thenit is one of the beings called "Servants", just like Saber.
"Good evening, Onii-chan. It's the second time we've met like this."
The girl smiles as she says this.
That innocence sends a chill down my spine.
The girl looks so out of place next to the thing behind her, it feels like I am dreaming.
No, chill is an understatement.
Not just my body, but my mind is frozen as well.
That thing is a monster.
I'm not even staring at it, but its mere presence roots me to the spot.
Tohsaka glares at the monster above her, clicking her tongue.
In her, I see despairand the spirit to not lose to it.
"Archer, this isn't an enemy that can be beaten head on. You should fight it in your unique style."
She murmurs this quietly.
The knight without form replies to her.
"Understood. But what about your defense? You cannot defend against his charge."
"There are three of us. We can manage if all we need to do is defend."
He must have nodded to her words.
The presence behind Tohsaka vanishes instantly.
"Emiya-kun. You can choose whether to run or fight.
But if you can, try to run away."
"Are you done? Can I start now?"
The girl laughs playfully.
She lifts the sides of her skirt and curtsies in a manner quite out of place in such a situation.
Tohsaka's body stiffens, apparently recognizing that name.
She orders the strange shape behind her, as if she's singing.