Part 185: Caster's attackMusic: Surrounded by Smiling Faces
Right when we start to head home
Tohsaka suddenly asks that question.
I don't even need to answer.
It was fun.
It's like I got thrown in a washing machine and turned around and around.
I feel like my nervousness got washed away along with the dirt.
"So? Was it fun, Shirou?"
"I give up. It's been a long time since I've played this much. Man, you really did take me to so many places."
Um, the more fun it is
The more awkward I get, feeling that such a thing is more than I deserve.
" I see. I don't know what you're thinking about, but honestly tell me it was fun if it was. You're being rude to the one that escorted you."
"Huh ? No, that's not what I meant."
"Yes, that's what you meant. You're unconsciously putting brakes on. Heh, I don't know what happened to you before, but why don't you just forget it if it's so painful?"
My breath stops.
It feels like she stuck a knife into my wound with amazing precision.
"Tohsaka, that's "
"It's not something I care about. Well, I fulfilled my original objective, so it's all your problem now."
With her hair trailing behind her, Tohsaka heads to the hill road.
Not towards the Western-style houses, but to the Japanese-style houses.
I stand there in a daze.
"Shirou, are we not going home? It will rain soon."
"Y-Yeah. Let's go."
Being urged by Saber, I start off.
As soon as I return to my place, I feel something really strange.
Nothing is missing, but a sense of nothing being right assails me.
It's like always, but something important is stripped off.
The thing missing from this place, it's
"The boundary field's gone"
The boundary field my father set up.
The boundary field to notify us of intruders has been cut off by force
" It seems like someone came in here while we were gone I guess it was fortunate we were gone."
My anxiety rising, I begin to run.
There's no time to think.
"Hold on ! The enemy might still be inside !"
Music: Footsteps of Destruction
Fuji-Nee, standing unconscious, and an enemy called Caster.
I hear Saber's voice from behind me.
The two stop when they see Caster.
It must be because Fuji-Nee is held as a hostage.
Caster will cast a spell if Saber or Tohsaka attack her.
It will be faster than anyone here.
Even if Saber charges,
even if Tohsaka casts a spell,
Caster's finger will light up faster than anything.
If Caster would do that, 's face will explode like a tomato.
My mind freezes.
I'm so mad that my vision is about to turn red.
But my mind is objective.
I never knew that you get calm if anger passes a certain level.
"You're too careless, boy. If you are a magus, you should put more care into your boundary field."
I take it like it's happening to someone else.
"How admirable, Caster. Did you come here to surrender yourself?"
"Yes, I have similar business. Well, it will be you people that will be asking for forgiveness."
The voice is enough to create sparks between them.
Tohsaka glares at Caster and does not do anything.
's life will end if she moves.
If Tohsaka's going to move, I'll Tohsaka before Caster will.
"I have no business with you. I'm concerned with this boy."
"Hey, do you still remember the offer I made?"
The event at the temple
Caster told Archer and me to be her subordinates.
" ! Didn't you learn from previous experience !?"
That's surprising. Archer told Tohsaka about it, huh?
"Learn from previous experience? Yes, I usually would not be interested in someone who refused already. But that depends on the person, little lady."
Caster's watching me.
As if saying she's not interested in Tohsaka.
"You are very interesting, boy. This is the fifth Holy Grail War, but I don't think a case like you has existed before.
It's easy to kill you. But you're a valuable sample, so I would like to obtain you alive if possible.
Do you understand? I am doing such an inelegant thing because I want you to be on my side alive."
"I came here disobeying my master. I value you that much, so can you not trust my enthusiasm?"
"Don't say ridiculous things ! You're just doing whatever you like without obeying your Master!"
"Oh, are you jealous? But I'm sorry. I'm not interested in you. You seem to be a strong magus, but you are far from being able to match me. I do not want complete omnipotence, but an incomplete unique ability.
In that regard, this boy is ideal. He is an amateur magus and it will be easy to control him."
" How troubling. You should not need to think about it.
Nobody other than me will obtain the Holy Grail. This town is already mine. No matter how strong Saber may be, she cannot defeat me as I have infinite magical energy."
Saber's presence moves.
She's ready to fight. She will charge at Caster if she sees an opening.
"Hah. I am telling you it is useless.
Look, the one here is only my shadow.
The source of my power is everybody in this town. It is like having a thousand Masters.
Do you understand what that means?"
We are soul-eaters to begin with. We can get unlimited magical energy if we suck magical energy called 'life' from our Masters.
I can even use your great Noble Phantasm as many times as I want."
An unlimited source of energy.
Magical energy she sucks out of everybody in this town.
That's why she's going to win?
She's saying she's invincible because she controls innocent people like ?
It's the same.
She is saying she will laugh on top of others' sacrifices
The firing hammer rises.
Heat returns to my calm mind.
"Now, let me hear your answer, Emiya Shirou.
You have no chance of winning. Will you, along with Saber, obey me?"
" Did you not hear me? I told you to come under my control."
"Shut up. Let go of Fuji-Nee."
There's nothing else.
I have nothing to give to her.
A gritting sound.
Caster grits her teeth in annoyance and sighs as if to calm herself down.
" All right, so the negotiation is denied? Only one Master can obtain the Holy Grail. So you have no intention of cooperating with another Master?"
"I don't care about the Holy Grail. I just won't cooperate with you."
"I see. I must really be hated."
There's no sarcasm in her voice.
There's only anger.
" This is really disappointing. I really did like you.
I could have shared the Holy Grail with you if you had cooperated with me."
"That's none of your concern. I decided to fight so that I can stop people like you. The Holy Grail has nothing to do with this.
Just let Fuji-Nee go."
Taking my stare full of enmity, Caster
Laughs for some reason.
"Oh, did I get on your nerves? But it's your fault. You said something that totally went against what you believe in."
My throat clogs up.
I didn't say anything against what I believe in.
"The Holy Grail has nothing to do with this? Fufu, is that really so? You are a victim of the Holy Grail.
The moment you say the Holy Grail has nothing to do with thisproves that you detest the Holy Grail."
At that instant
My mind freezes.
I don't understand anything since my mind's frozen.
Not even Tohsaka, who's watching me with worry. Not even Saber, who looks down painfully.
Not even the nausea that fills me up.
"I know, Emiya Shirou. The previous war was ten years ago, right? You lost everything at that time. You were left alone in the fire and all you could do was wait for death. And Emiya Kiritsugu found you at that time.
So you're not a real child of this house.
But you were forced to become a magus and you've suffered all this time, right?"
" No way. Emiya-kun, is that "
"Yes. The Holy Grail is an enemy you have to detest. It's ironic that you've entered this war."
"I understand how you feel. Everyone has to curse something if their happiness is taken away unreasonably.
Yes, I like the past you carry, Emiya Shirou."
"You are qualified to take revenge. You have the right to obtain the Holy Grail and to settle what happened ten years ago. That's why I considered having you on my side."
I don't want to fight. Battles are stupid, right? If the Holy Grail has infinite wealth, it should not run out no matter how much we split it.
Then can you not share the Holy Grail with those you trust?"
She's probably not telling a lie.
Caster must seriously think so.
"Take revenge, Emiya Shirou.
The Holy Grail is practically in my hands already. It will be easy to make your wish come true."
"That is nonsense, Caster ! The Holy Grail will not appear until there is only one Servant left. Do not insult my Master with such talk !"
"No, there are ways to obtain the Holy Grail without fighting, Saber. Even if it may be impossible for other Servants, I, as Caster, can see the trick of the Holy Grail.
Yes, if you, the one with enormous magical energy output, will help me, it should be possible to summon the Holy Grail right now."
It creates a crack in Saber's resolve.
It's because Saber feels that Caster is telling the truth.
"This is your final warning, boy.
You want to avoid needless battles, right? Then obey me. I shall give you the Holy Grail if you give me Saber and cooperate with me."
The final negotiation.
Saber is perplexed.
It's because avoidable battles should be avoided, and it will be best if the Holy Grail can be obtained that way.