Part 180: Night training
It's midnight, right when the date changes. I concentrate on my training while looking up at the frozen moon.
Late at night in the shed, Shirou sits, sword in hand
No, it's not because I became a Master.
I'm only copying it.
I'm only imitating that knight in red that I saw at the Ryudou Temple.
I'm imitating his twin swords, his sword technique, and now even his breathing.
Shirou grips his sword even tighter as he begins to think of Archer.
" This is a fake. This isn't what's mine."
I can't help but feel self-hatred.
Emiya Shirou's skills improve just by imitating him.
I know it's not my own power, but I have to rely on it.
It was because of his techniques that I was able to fight off those bone creatures at school,
and it was because of his projected swords that I was able to fend off Kuzuki's attacks.
I know that I can reproduce those swords if I seriously follow the manufacturing process.
" It's falsely similar to strengthening. I just have to put the start and the finish, separate it into exactly eight sections "
Not trace on (sympathy start), but trace on (projection start).
The words are still the same.
There's no need to change the spell if it still works on me.
First of all, I only know and can use one spell to change myself.
I put down the "strengthened" wooden sword.
The left side of my body is still numb.
I was optimistic that it would heal if I rested today, but it wasn't that convenient.
If this is the compensation for magic above my level, duplicating Archer's twin swords, I might destroy myself if I "project" one more time.
Music: The End of Reminiscence
"Shirou? Are you not able to sleep?"
Saber quietly comes inside.
"No, that's not it. This is my daily routine, so don't worry about it."
I must be relaxed, done with my daily routine.
My voice is surprisingly gentle.
"Damn it, I told you not to watch me through the window!"
"Yeah. Even though they're different, it was like having two Fuji-Nees here."
I answer her smile with a smile.
Saber agrees and sits next to me.
"But you are training magic tonight as well? You do not change your routine no matter what happens."
"Huh ? Yeah, it was my father's teaching to do it without a day's rest. Well, that's all he taught me, though."
"Nope. First of all, the one doing the teaching wasn't like a magus.
He was a troublesome adult. He was usually spaced out and clumsy. He said he's going to enjoy what he likes, and he would play around like a child.
You usually couldn't believe him when he called himself a sorcerer."
I can tell that I'm smiling as I tell the story.
About my past.
The five years between the time of the fire and Kiritsugu's death.
Come to think of it, that might have been the best time of my life.
"I see. So you liked him for who he was."
" Yeah. Tohsaka might get angry if she hears it, but I admired him. He was free and not like a magus at all, but he was a true sorcerer to me.
And, well. I couldn't leave him be because he was more immature than I was."
"That one ? Wow, it's rare for you to address somebody like that."
"He is an exception. He was an ancient man. I respected him and loved him. But at the same time, he was the cause of every trouble. It would have been a better age if he were not as mischievous."
" Wow. That's some way to put it. He sounds like a real bad guy."
"He was. Worse still, he was weak against love affairs, or should I say full of love? Well, that led to the downfall that caused him to be confined. But knowing that old man, I am sure he is still casually talking about love."
Is she stunned or smiling?
Saber talks about her past and swallows her words a bit.
And after a brief silence.
"Shirou. What is going on with the left side of your body?"
She questions me with straight eyes about what I didn't want her to know.
So, how is it? From what I see, it seems the trouble is only in half your body."
"Well, it's not as bad as a trouble. It's just numb."
I explain to her how it felt weird from this morning, how it's not affecting my movements, and how it's probably the feedback from last night's projection magic.
"Most of your body is numb, huh? Well, it is natural."
The knight in red is standing at the door.
"We'll have to take it easy tonight, but tomorrow I'll make you numb all over again."
Music: Whirlpool of Fate 2
To her, he's an enemy that assaulted me.
And he's an enemy to me as well.
'Drown in your ideals and die.'
Those words he said before he slashed me would not get out of my head
"What do you want, Archer? We should have a pact not to attack one another. Leave right away if you are to follow your Master's order."
Archer does not answer, but takes another step.
"Stop! You had better be prepared if you are to take another step."
Saber's enmity turns into an intent to kill.
" No, hold on, Saber. He's not willing to fight.
And we can't fight here."
"Hm That is true, but "
"It's fine. So, what do you want, Archer?
Knowing you, you didn't come here just to say hello, right?"
I push Saber aside and confront Archer.
Of course he didn't. It's the midnight male rendezvous they've been hinting at for weeks.
Our mentalities are different, but more than that, I just can't deal with him. I feel a chill running up my spine the instant I see him.
I bet he falls under the category of natural enemy.
"Hey. Get out if you have no business."
" Heh. I heard you did projection, but it really is true, huh? Half your body is numb and your actions are misplaced about seven centimeters inside of you, right?"
Archer's comment is so accurate that it's scary.
"Let me see your body. I might be of some help."
Archer reaches out.
I take my top off and show him my back.
The truth is too much for Saber, but they cannot wait any longer.
Archer silently places his hand on my back.
I feel a small pain.
SensationI feel heat on the numb left side of my body as if needles are picking at it.
" How fortunate for you. I thought it was necrosis, but you only opened up what was closed. This should heal within a few days."
" Something closed opened up?"
"Yes. It seems you have misunderstood, but a Magic Circuit is not something you make each time, but something you reveal. Once you make it, it is something you reveal on the surface or not.
You did not know this, so a circuit that should have been used was neglected and sleeping inside of you.
It is something your master or Rin would not think of. A legitimate magus would never imagine a heretic whose nerves are his Magic Circuit."
"Your numbness is temporary. It is the result of full magical energy flowing into a circuit you have not used before, and it is only 'surprised' right now.
But now, a wind has gone through the neglected section. The nerve will eventually recall its normal function, and the dormant circuit is now activated."
The needles poke my back again.
I feel a definite thumping from my numb body.
" That should do. You should be a better magus when your body heals. At any rate, you're too greedy if you try to make my swords the first time."
Archer lets go.
" Then there is nothing abnormal with Shirou's body?"
It's in his mind. and it's not abnormal, it's just different.
"It was abnormal up to now. No, it is normal for humans to keep such abnormalities asleep inside them. In that regard, Emiya Shirou is already abnormalbut oh well.
Anyway, don't even think about using magic tomorrow. Numbness will be the least of your worries if you burn out the healing nerves."
"You are knowledgeable, Archer."
"I had a similar experience. I had one of my arms taken away when I did it for the first time. That is what it means to learn a new magic."
He turns and tries to leave.
I stop him.
I want to know why he helped me now, after trying to kill me before.
"What? Are you going to ask Saber to fight me?"
"I won't do such a thing. I just want to ask you about what you said before."
"It is just as it sounds. There is nothing to explain."
There's no hesitation.
Archer declares seriously.
Pisses me off so much that my whole vision turns white.
"Then what !?
You claim not to have any ideals, so what are you fighting for?
Servants have an objective, right? Then what's the reason you fight? If you don't have an ideal, what are you fighting for?"
"It is simple. I fight for myself.
Boring ways of the world, justice, ideal
Such vague reasons are meaningless. I fight to fulfill my own desires. There is no other reason."
"Yourselfjust for your own self?"
"Yes. Do as you wish if your desire is an ideal 'not to hurt anybody'. If you want to save others so much, go ahead.
Butonly if it is truly your own desire."
"If you are fighting out of your own will, the resulting crime and punishment are all yours. The ideal requires that you be burdened with them..
But if it is a borrowed intention, the ideal you speak of is only a fantasy."
"You need a reason to fight. But it cannot be an ideal. If you fight for ideals, the only thing you can save are ideals.
There is no way you can save people."
I can't think of any objections.
Archer's words pierce my heart like arrows.
But it goes the same for Saber as well.
"The reason why one fights is a desire to try to save something.
At the very least, that is the case for you, Emiya Shirou. Isn't that right?"
"But salvation brought on by others is not a salvation. The only thing that saves a person is their own will and actions.
A salvation brought on by others is like money.
Once it is used, it will only go on to someone else."
I can't speak.
I have to say he's wrong, so why ?
"That is why your ideal is meaningless.
You can certainly fulfill your wish to 'save someone'. But a wish for you to save yourself does not exist.
You will embrace a borrowed ideal that is not yours, and you will probably pursue it until you die."
There is nothing at the end of helping people. It is a false life that can save neither yourself nor others."
He turns his red back to us and leaves.
I can't think of anything to say.
"Shirou how long have you had that poster?"