Part 160: Archer comes late
Music: Surrounded by Smiling Faces
"Archer ! What are you doing, coming so late!?"
"It is obvious, right? I sensed my master's danger and came here. Well, it seems I was too late. If Saber is here and Rin is safe, everything is over already, right?"
" ! Yes, it's all over already! I'll let you know what happened while you were taking your time, so listen up!"
" Damn. It seems I came at the worst possible time."
The two argue, leaving us aside.
Well, it's just that Tohsaka is yelling at Archer while he's just calmly brushing it off.
"Those two are intimate as I thought. Rin is angry because she trusts Archer, and Archer is silently listening because he must feel sorry."
"I know what you want to say. But why are you telling me that, Saber?"
"Well, you had a difficult face, so I merely explained the situation to you."
"Damn girls, always smiling at me."
"Fine, fine. I won't worry about style next time. Let's say it's good for now.
So. Which Servant was eliminated?"
Archer's expression changes.
His usual ironic composure disappears, and he looks like a cold warrior now.
" Servant Rider was eliminated. I don't know how it happened, but she must have been defeated by Caster."
"By Caster? Then what happened to Caster? Do not tell me she is unwounded."
"I don't know that either. But Rider was defeated in one blow, so I think Caster's unwounded."
I say so, representing the three of us.
" Humph. What a fool. I guess she was just all talk.
I did not think she would be able to win, but getting defeated with one blow? Man, show some spirit to at least kill your enemy as well."
He goes back to his usual manner and insults the now-gone Rider.
"Archer. Rider died protecting her Master. You do not have any right to call her a fool."
"Hah, that's what you have to say? A fool is a fool. If she is to call herself a hero, she should be ashamed that she could not even defeat a single enemy. If she can't do that, she should at least sacrifice her life to kill her enemy."
"How convenient of you. She was defeated without doing anything because she was in a situation where she was not able to do so. Speaking ill of her defeat are you really one to call yourself a hero?"
"Ha. No matter the reason, it makes no difference to the fact that she was defeated badly.
Well, it was certainly my mistake to say anything about a hero. The weak will die no matter what, disregarding the fact that they may be a hero or not.
'Heroes' not fit for this war should be eliminated early on."
"Well said. Then will you fight me, Archer?"
"You? This is surprising. I don't know what got on your nerves, but you're challenging your ally to a fight?
But unfortunately, I am bound by the Command Spell not to fight against you two.
If you challenge me now, I will only be defeated without resistance just like Rideris it your way of the knight to fight such an opponent, Saber?"
The two glare at each other without a word.
"Stop right there, Archer."
Tohsaka's quiet voice puts a stop to it.
Music: Surrounded by Smiling Faces
"This is no time to be fighting with Saber.
Rider is eliminated, and a Master is gone now. But I'm sure there is one more unidentified Master hiding at our school.
Our cooperation continues until 'we defeat the Master hiding at our school'. Or what? Do you want me to use another Command Spell to order you not to fight Saber?"
"You're right. Saber was so adherent to her principles that I got too caught up making fun of her.
I'm sorry, Saber. Please fight me after our cooperation is over."
" No. It seems I was acting too immature. I will ignore your comment in deference to Rin."
Saber takes a step back while glaring at Archer and stands by my side.
Tohsaka moves Archer back as well.
We're still cooperating. It's impossible to do so today, but we can search for Caster's Master at school tomorrow.
We'll just be maintaining the present state, but is that all right with you?"
"Yeah. So what will you do now? Are you going to go to the Ryudou Temple?"
" Of course not. According to Archer, going to the Ryudou Temple is suicidal. If we want to defeat Caster, we'll have to search for her Master first.
Fortunately or not, Caster's Master is coming to school every day. We should let them be and keep them off guard."
I try to think how she came to that conclusion.
Tohsaka knew that there is a Master at our school.
That must be because there's someone there with magical energy other than Shinji.
Since Caster appeared, it must mean the Master at our school is Caster's Master.
Additionally, Caster's Master is coming to school every day for some reason.
It means he or she is coming to school every day defenselessly rather than staying at the Ryudou Temple under Caster's protection.
" So you're going to figure out who the Master is and attack the Master before they get back to the Ryudou Temple?"
"Yup. It seems like Caster's Master doesn't know that we're Masters.
If they knew, they wouldn't come to school, right?"
"Ohyeah, that's true. Then Caster's Master didn't know that Shinji was a Master either?"
" I can't come up with an explanation, but that's likely. But such a stupid thing shouldn't be possible considering how good the Servant is at magic "
Even I, who has no knowledge as a Master, got this far thanks to Saber.
If you have a Servant like Caster, I'm sure you wouldn't do something as dangerous as going outside.
"That's wrong. Your premises are wrong, Rin."
"I don't think Caster's Master has a free will.
No, I believe the Master thinks he has a free will when in fact, he's controlled by Caster. That woman is not someone who would be under someone. She would first control her Master to do whatever she wishes."
"Are you saying Caster's Master is just a puppet?
Either by trickery or removing the memory of being a Master?"
"HmI see, it is interesting to think that the Master is not conscious of the state he or she is in.
Originally, a Servant cannot do something to its Master.
The Servant cannot exist if it kills its Master.
In contrast, the Master has the Command Spell. If the Servant disobeys, the Master can even kill the Servant.
With that being the case, it is safer to trick your Master than to kill him."
But I'm not convinced.
"Really? Caster's doing a lot of evil deeds, right? Can she actually hide it all from her Master?
Wouldn't the Master be more on guard the stronger his Servant is?"
"That is not a problem. She can make convenient excuses if her Master is disgustingly good-natured. Caster's Master may be such a person as well."
"Hey. Why did you look at me when you said that?"
"Well, it's because we have a good example here. The possibility that Caster's Master is stupid is not zero."
"I see. You do have a point, Archer."
Why are you agreeing, Saber?
No matter what kind of a person Caster's Master may be, it's likely that they'll be at school tomorrow.
We'll continue to investigate the school. And we'll attack Caster's Master as soon as we find him or her."
" Well, I think that's the appropriate course of action, but how will we look for the Master?"
"That'll be today's homework. We'll each go home and think about it.
You two are tired anyway, right? I don't want to push you two and have you collapse, so let's call it a day."
"Ehno, I'm not that tired.
It'll still early, sohey, Tohsaka!?"
"Just do as I say. We can't go into school today, and we don't have a clue right now. It's meaningless to stay here, and most of all don't you realize Archer's acting strange !?
Things won't settle down if he stays with you, considering 'it' only happened yesterday!"
"F-Fine. I'll go home, I'll go home, so "
Don't whisper to me from such close range !
"I might get cooties."
" Then I'll see you tomorrow. I don't think it'll happen again, but be careful during the night. I won't forgive you if Caster gets control of you again."
"Ughall right, all right. I'll go home!"
" Hmph. And thanks for your work today. You're acting just a bit like a Master now."
Tohsaka jumps away from me.
"Let's go, Archer! I'm going to seriously inquire about your carelessness after we get home!"
"Oh, as I thought. I was thinking how unabusive you were."
"Hey now. Do I really have to settle things with you once and for all?"
Archer and Tohsaka leave arguing.
"We should go home too. I'm a bit tired, so let's have dinner early today."
"That sounds good. I support that idea, Shirou."
We leave the woods quietly so we won't be seen by anyone.