Part 153: Fall down, your mind
His figure just gets on my nerves.
Archer has saved me twice already.
Caster would've taken my Command Spell without him, and I'm sure I would have died from that rain of light.
But this is different.
I can't forgive him for letting Caster go
"Archer. Why did you let Caster go?"
"It's because now is not the time to fight her. Even if I did attack her, she would have just run away. Don't tell me you did not see her teleport."
That's certainly true.
We wouldn't be able to get Caster if she really wanted to get away.
After all, this is her territory.
It's that witch.
Even if she may have been weak, I'm sure she had at least one or two more tricks left up her sleeve.
"It seems you understand now. If we want to defeat Caster, we have to defeat her Master. Even if she can teleport away, she will eventually disappear if we defeat her Master."
Going after the Master and not the Servant.
That's the correct and the safest approach to the Holy Grail War.
" I know that. But you're going to let her get away?
The incidents in town are all her doing. There will be more victims until we stop Caster. I can't ignore her and let her be."
"I couldn't have stopped her even if I tried." "I know, but you're letting her get away?!"
"Why? It's not something that is harmful to you. Actually, I would like for her to continue.
Caster will keep sucking up magical energy and eventually defeat Berserker. We can defeat Caster after that.
Rin and I can defeat Caster, but not Berserker. I'll let Caster do as she wishes until she defeats Berserker."
I get so pissed off that I want to punch Archer.
"Don't be ridiculous. Tohsaka won't do such a thing."
"You're right. That's why I want Caster to do so as fast as possible. We can't avoid fighting if Rin finds Caster. It would be ideal if Caster can defeat Berserker right before that happens."
"I don't know how many people will be sacrificed, but it should be cheap if Berserker can be defeated.
Humans die anyway. It will not change the ultimate result no matter how they die."
"Caster's too reserved. She should not only take their magical energy, but their lives as well. It'll be easier for me to fight if everybody in this town dies. My Master's too optimistic. If that happens, I'm sure she'll do anything to win."
The knight in red states with a smile.
He says it with delight.
That the people here are only a bother.
If they don't want to die they shouldn't be on a battlefield.
He's saying the same thing Caster said!
"Oh, I think you know that Rin's the type that is concerned with formality. She's great as a magus, but she's not dirty enough as a Master.
I wouldn't be this troubled if she would be more like Caster"
I punch at Archer's face.
Of course, it does not hit as Archer avoids it without trouble.
"What are you doing? I thought we were cooperating."
"Shut up !
I'm not like you. I can't sacrifice people around me to win !"
"I feel the same way, Emiya Shirou. But you cannot save everyone.
For example, the damage will extend beyond this town if Caster obtains the Holy Grail. That goes for Ilyasviel and the other Masters.
As far as I know, you and Rin are the only Masters that will not use the Holy Grail for your own good. Therefore, there will be more victims unless we win the Holy Grail War."
"In that casewe will sacrifice the people in this town for our benefit.
It will be exactly as you want if the damage is reduced as a result."
One cannot save everyone.
Kiritsugu always said that.
So I shouldn't feel anything even if he says sobut it just pisses me off !
This is probably the thing I hate most about Shirou. Even he knows he's being a complete moron, but he carries on despite that.
"You said you do not want to involve innocent people, right?
Then accept it. Nobody can be saved if you try to save everybody.
As Caster said, we are similar, unfortunately. We would have to cooperate if we do not want any victims."
"No ! I won't cooperate with you. I will never accept you !"
"I see. You only trust Rin, after all."
Shirou hurt Archerkins' feelings
"Do not tell me you'll go after Caster."
I ignore him and keep walking.
I'm heading inside the temple.
Since this is Caster's territory, her workshop has to be inside the temple somewhere.
"I can't believe it. You cannot match Caster by yourself. You should stop if you don't want to die."
Archer follows me, as if he has more to say.
"Man, are you going to throw away the life that I've saved?
I don't mind, but at least thank me before you die.
I helped you out of kindness. I won't ask for you to treat me like your savior, but at least thank me like a friend."
Man, he's really getting on my nerves!
"Shut up, I won't feel any friendship towards you! Just go back to Tohsaka's place! I won't ask for your help even if you offer it to me!"
I look away and walk towards the temple again.
"I see. Good thing you don't like me."
A chilling intent to kill comes from behind me.
I jump back as I turn around
At the same time, Archer swings his sword.
Music: Footsteps of Destruction
I back up with wobbling steps.
It's not to run away.
I just don't have any power, so my feet move back to try to keep my body upright.
"I missed, huh? It must have been my mistake in letting out my intent to kill, or it must have been your cleverness in jumping back instantly. Well, I don't care either way."
Archer walks toward me with the sword wet with my blood.
When you shack up with a Servant, lover's quarrels are a terrible thing.
I'll be killed.
I feel that I'll be killed, so I move my feet in desperation.
The temple's exit.
I slowly retreat, trying to make my way to the mountain gate.
He must know this is a fatal wound.
Archer walks toward me without hurry.
My mind's fading.
I don't know what I'm doing.
I don't know why I'm heading to the mountain gate, I don't know why I was attacked. My mind is flowing out along with my blood.
But it comes to an end.
The mountain gate is behind me when I realize.
Even though the steps are somewhere behind me, I can't even turn around.
It's because Archer will slash Emiya Shirou's body in half the moment I turn my back
"This is it. Since you do not have a reason to fight, die here."
He raises his sword.
The white yin sword is raised like a guillotine.
"What ? Reasonto fight ?"
"That's right. It is only hypocrisy for you to fight for someone else and not yourself. You only wish for peace, and not victory.
Such a thing does not exist anywhere in this world."
I oppose Archer's words in my fading consciousness.
But my body and mind are about to disappear.
A big impact.
After that, my body rolls down the stairs.
And I also hear a familiar voice.
"Sa ber ?"
My vision is almost gone.
I try to lift my body up and fall onto the steps.
"Please hold on, Shirou ! You were pushed down the steps with this wound !?"
Is it Saber?
Saber supports my body while she talks with urgency.
But that's bad.
I don't know who it is, but there's another Servant here.
She'll get attacked without being able to defend if she's so worried about me
She must have realized after saying that much.
Saber turns back to the Servant, still supporting me.
"Assassin. Why did you not attack me?"
"That would be too rude. Nobody can pick a flower that only appears for an instant."
Saber tilts her head in wonder, unable to understand her enemy's intention.
"I was charmed by your face. Your fighting face was nice, but your tense face is beautiful as well. I had to admire it."
Is it a kimono?
The traditionally-dressed Servant turns his back.
"Whaare you going to let us go, Assassin?"
"Yes. If you promise to continue this battle someday, I will let you go.
You cannot fight to your satisfaction like this. That is not my wish."
Saber glares at Assassin,
and Assassin stares calmly at Saber.
The breath-taking staredown continues for less than ten seconds.
" I understand, Assassin. I shall settle this match someday."
"That is a good response. I will be waiting, king of knights."
Saber goes down the steps with me in her arms.
I see the knight in red running down from the mountain, determined not to let me go.
Saber says so in wonder.
That he will kill only when he swears to kill.
Then there's no way Archer will let me go.
If he used his sword to kill me
I'm sure he will kill me here no matter what.
The intercepting blade parries Archer's attack and goes for his neck !
"! Assassin, you!"
Music: Premonition of a Storm
Archer twists his body and lands back down.
The knight in red cannot come down the steps, being blocked off by the Servant in a kimono.
"Are you going to get in my way, samurai?"
Archer readies his twin swords and faces Servant Assassin.
Assassin readies his sword as if nothing has happened.
"That is my line. Are you going to get in my way when I have told them I will let them go?"
He says so with delight.
I don't know what he's thinking, but he must really be letting us go
"In any event, my role is to guard this gate. I won't let you through alive, nor will I let you out alive.
I let you go on your way in, but it is a different story on your way out. Your head is not elegant, but I shall accept it for tonight."
His intent to kill leaks out.
Assassin's intent to kill is as sharp as his longsword.
It's not overbearing like the ones Archer and Saber have.
But an enmity sharpened to the extreme is going for the enemy's neck
"Well said. A mere tool of Caster that could not even hurt Saber is going to fight me?"
"That goes for you as well. I sent you to surprise that fox, but I am disappointed that you came back for your own safety."
They only confront each other for a short while.
They attack each other with amazing techniques.
I'm fascinated by the scene.
To be honest, I can't understand Assassin's technique.
Even to my experienced eyes, it's way too fast and too sharp.
To be honest, you could say I admire it.
He is fighting off Assassin's demonic technique with techniques only trained by his will and not his natural talent.
Aww, they still wub each other
Damn, it's natural that he's strong.
Strength unlike Tohsaka or Saber.
All the training he went through because he's not extraordinary
He probably had nothing.
That's why he took the small thing he had, trained it with all his might, and got it to that level
Music: The End of Reminiscence
'Saber's self-healing powers might be flowing into you since you're connected with her.'
Tohsaka's guess might be right as my wound heals faster when Saber's touching me.
Saber demands an explanation once we get to the dojo after treating my wound and getting changed.
I try to tell her all the important things.
How I was controlled by Caster and went to the temple
The relationship between Caster and the coma incidents happening in town
How Archer came and saved me when my Command Spell was about to get taken away
And how Archer tried to kill me in the end.
I'm sure she wants to first organize things in her head since so many things occurred in one night.
" I see. Then Archer let Caster go?"
"Yeah, he let her go. He's the worst guy ever. He's not any different from Caster if he's using Caster to win !"
It pisses me off again now that I recall it.
Damn, I should have punched him in his face back then !
Tried ... failed.
" Saber. Why are you smiling?"
"Well, I just thought it is rare for you to insult someone. I have only been with you for a few days, but I understand that you are not one to insult others."
Now that she mentions it, I contemplate my immature actions for complaining.
" But I can't help it. Archer said things that deserve it. And most of all, he insulted his own Master, Tohsaka."
"Yes. But Shirou, I would like to ask something. Are you angry at Archer's betrayal?
It seems you are not mad at Archer for attacking you."
So the fact that Archer tried to kill me would be "betrayal".
" No. It doesn't mean he betrayed me.
I haven't made any promises with him from the beginning. So I think it's fair even if he attacked me."
"That is true, but Geez, you are a mystery to me."
She says so in utter amazement.
But I think there's some friendliness in her tone.
"I feel the same way as you, Shirou. We cannot let Caster be, but Archer is not cruel."
"Huh ? Wait, what part of our conversation were you listening to?"
"Everything. Based on all that I have heard, I am saying I have the same opinion as you.
And his sword technique is a clear stream. He must not have anything evil in his mind. I believe his dance-like techniques indicate his character."
I like it even less now.
Something's wrong with Saber to praise him.
First of all, Archer's technique is
"Humph. What are you saying? His technique is nothing. He couldn't kill me even when he attacked me by surprise. How can he call himself a Servant like that?"
"It is because you have talent as well, Shirou. You should be able to be as good as Archer if you train for a long time."
I can't object if Saber says so with a face like that.
Anyway, it seems Saber approves of Archer's technique.
I don't know why, but I don't like that fact.
"Saber. You said I have talent, right?"
"Yes. You will be a good fighter if you train for a long time."
" I've decided. Teach me stuff as soon as my wound heals.
Not how to survive, but how to fight."
I hold Saber's hand and stare at her directly in her eyes.
All right. I have no complaints if Saber can teach me.
I won't make the same mistake I made tonight, and it's not like me to keep running away.
Even the alignments are hilariously off, just like a real game of D&D.