Part 188: Withdrawal / Tohsaka Rin (VI)
My breath is ragged.
I don't know where we ran, but the familiar Western-style mansion is before me.
"This way, Shirou ! Are you conscious? Can you walk?"
"You can lay Fujimura-Sensei there. Hey, are you listening to me, Shirou!? It's safe here, so let go of her !"
Someone takes away the person in my arms.
The important weight disappears.
At the same time, my body becomes heavy.
The light body turns into iron, and I fall, unable to keep myself up.
I hear someone's voice.
My body is heavy and hot.
I imagine turning red.
Does it get this hot when you put steel in fire to make a sword?
The heat gradually goes away as time passes.
"I can't heal this wound. You can't fight with this wound, butyou're not a Master anymore, so there's no reason for you to fight anyway."
A calm voice, unlike before.
The person that brought me here to treat my wound
"This is it. You don't have to fight anymore, Shirou."
Says those words.
"I see. So Saber got taken away."
That's the only response Archer gave.
His master, Tohsaka Rin, simply stated the facts, but he states it even more matter-of-factly.
" That's all? There are two Servants under Caster now. Don't you have anything else to say?"
"I cannot think of a way to beat her at the moment. But we should consider it fortunate that we know her Noble Phantasm now.
Break the contract between the Servant and the Master, huh? We should be able to do better if we know that ahead of time."
"That is true.
But you sure sound uninterested, Archer. Weren't you supporting Saber?"
"I don't think I ever showed interest in her. What makes you think so, Rin?"
"Let's see. Would woman's intuition be a good enough reason?"
"No. You are not of an age to be called a woman. First of all, you do not have enough charm.
You lack elegance as well.
And most of allyes, this is fatal your charm is hard to understand."
"Heh. I see. You're finally back to par now."
She smiles pleasantly.
Archer has to be like this.
An unemotional person isn't the partner Rin trusts.
Her partner has to always be composed and has to speak cynically against anyone.
Rin knows that is the kindness of this knight.
Speaking cynically is like indirectly telling others to fix that part of them.
"That was a surprise attack. I am weak against unexpected things, like you are."
"Heh, shut up. So, here's the next proof.
You provoked Saber after the incident with Rider.
That wasn't like you at all.
I realized after I looked at it from a different angle. You were scolding Saber back then, right?"
"Oh, am I right? I thought so. I don't know if you knew her from your previous life, but it's rare for you to act so coldly."
"Really? I think I act that way towards everyone."
"You're the only one who thinks so. I think you're really clumsy when it comes to anything that concerns you. Everyone's tricked because you're not clumsy towards others."
He must have been self-conscious of it.
The knight in red ponders with a troubled expression, and his master looks at him in pleasure.
"So, do you remember which hero you are now? If you're related to Saber, you must be a hero from around that age, right?"
She says so as if testing something.
"Well, I'll remember eventually.
By the way, Rin. How is the one you brought here doing? Is that one doing fine?"
" Yeah, he survived. His wounds healed up automatically until yesterday, but this wound isn't healing at all. I think Saber's self-healing powers went away because the contract came to an end.
But he survived. Fortunately, he didn't get hit in any vital points, so he should be able to get up and eat in about three days."
"No, not that one. I meant the other person."
"Huh? Oh, Fujimura-Sensei? I let her sleep in the guest room. I think Caster used a sleeping magic on her, but she's still doing really well. I did treat her, so it shouldn't be a problem even if she sleeps for a week."
"I see. But she might turn into a sleeping beauty with Caster's magic. That woman's spells are more like curses. The simplest way to dispel her is to kill Caster."
"Yeah. Either way, the Holy Grail War won't last much longer. We're going to beat Caster as fast as possible, and knowing Fujimura-Sensei, she might wake up on her own."
And after a brief pause in the conversation
"Beating Caster comes first. Even though there is one less Master now, Saber still exists. We do not have time to spare, Rin."
"I know. We'll go out to town immediately.
Even Caster should take some time to completely control Saber. If possible, we have to beat Caster before Saber is fully controlled."
"All right. So the contract about that kid ends here, huh?"
"Emiya Shirou isn't a Master anymore, right?
Then he will be of no help and there will be no need to protect him. The second Command Spell can be lifted off me now, right?"
"What? Don't tell me you'll take care of him because he cooperated with you."
"Of course not. I'm not that good a person."
"But it's not over yet. I won't break the promise until he himself says he's out of this war.
I'll try to get him out, but we can't end it until he gives up."
She declares stubbornly.
What can he reply to that?
"That's my course of action. Do you have any objections, Archer?"
"It cannot be helped. I'm fully aware that you are like that."
His voice sounds cynical.
She just laughs it off and makes an order.
"Let's go, Archer. I don't know why, but Caster isn't back at the Ryudou Temple.
Thenlet's find her and defeat her before she goes back to the temple."
There's no need to answer.
The knight in red nods and follows his master.