Part 20: Night of fate
But still, there's something oddly wrong here.
The school is like it always is.
The students at morning practice are lively, and the new school building is spotless.
" Maybe I'm just tired."
I shake my head to clear it.
I head to the lifeless building.
Music: Surrounded by Smiling Faces
"Oh, you're still here, Emiya?"
I bump into Shinji.
There are a couple of girls behind him, being rowdy.
"You were still here even though you had nothing to do? Oh yeah, you were sticking up for the student council again, right? I envy you. You can get good reports from the school without doing any club activities."
"I'm not helping the student council. It's only natural for a student to fix the school equipment, right? After all, we're the ones using them."
"Heh, keep talking like that. For you, everything is natural. Didn't I tell you that I hate how you act like a good kid?"
"Hm? Sorry, I don't remember that. I thought that was just the sort of thing you say, so I didn't really notice it."
Heh, fine. Then you're going to fix everything at this school?"
"Fixing everything would be impossible. The most I can do is take care of things."
It's a bit disordered, and some of the bows need strings attached.
If you have time, can you do that too? You used to be a member. Don't just stick to the student council, and you should be useful to us sometimes as well."
"What? Senpai, didn't Fujimura-Sensei tell you to do that?"
"That's right. You'll be scolded tomorrow if you don't do it properly."
"But the shop will close if I start cleaning now. It's fine if he does it, right?"
"I don't know. Besides, an outsider wouldn't know how."
"Are you sure? Shinji said he used to be in the archery club, so we can let him do it."
They're getting rowdy behind Shinji.
It seems they're in the archery club, but they must be members that Shinji recruited recently as I don't know them.
"I'll leave it to you, then. The key's in the usual place, so go ahead. You don't mind, right Emiya?"
"No. I have some free time, so this isn't a bad thing to do once in a while."
"Haha, thanks! Let's go, everyone. He says he'll do the boring chores for us!"
"Oh, wait Senpai! Oh yes, please take care of the cleaning, Senpai."
Music: Tender Scenery
I picked up a bow thinking it might be okay to shoot just once, but since it wasn't mine, I decided not to.
If I ever want to, I can just bring my own bow and come here.
" But there are so many more carbon bows now. There was only one when I was in my first year."
Carbon-based bows are good, unlike wood and plastic bows.
But the biggest problem is the price, and they're not something we could buy with the club budget.
Back then, Shinji was the only one using it are the new members rich too?
" What a waste. You can modify a wooden bow a lot more."
Well, I guess that's personal taste right there.
When I look at the clock, it's way past curfew.
It's a little after seven o'clock. The gates should be closed by now, so there's no reason to rush now.
Was this dojo always this dirty? There are loads of places that look unkept.
" Well, another hour or two won't matter now that I've done this much."
I've started this, so I'll finish the job.
My breath hangs around as a white cloud.
I wrap up my body to hold off the cold.
It seems this place is filled only with chill, as it's all silent.
I think I hear something.
I can hear the sounds louder now. It's the sound of metal hitting metal. That must mean someone is fighting with weapons there.
" That's stupid. What the hell am I thinking ?"
I dismiss the image from my mind with a bitter smile and walk on.
Hmm, people fighting with weapons late at night after the school is closed. Better check it out before calling someone!
At that time.
Maybe my instincts noticed the danger, as I hid myself as I approached. I don't know if this is fortunate or not.
But anyways, when I get by a tree that is big enough to hide myself, I take a closer look at the source of the sound
My mind stops completely.
They are dangerously armed, and as their ominous appearance suggests, they are actually slashing at each other.
I can't understand.
I can't follow them with my eyes.
My brain does not work properly, faced with their impossible movements.
But the clang of their weapons tells me they are trying to kill each other.
They're using weapons made only to kill.
I remember the murder yesterday.
They said the family was killed with some weapon like a sword.
My mind wants to run away, but my judgment tells me I'll be seen the moment I run away.
More than the conflict within me, my body is just numb.
Even though I'm a good forty meters away, I can't breathe properly, and it's like I have a spear pointed right at my back.
Music: Footsteps of Destruction
"What the hell is he!?"
An overwhelming amount of magical energy is flowing into the guy in blue.
Kiritsugu showed me once what it's like to draw in magical energy from the surroundings.
It was a beautiful magic that impressed even an amateur like me.
But that thing is different.
Just as even the simple task of drinking water could seem ugly if it goes too far, what he is doing is so excessive that anyone with knowledge of magical energy would hate it.
He's going to die.
The guy in red is going to die.
It's a blow with that much concentrated magical energy. There's no way he'll be able to survive it.
He's not human, so something merely like a human will die.
That doubt takes my mind off of them.
The binds on my body disappear, and the instant I take a deep breath
The guy in blue stares at me, who's hiding.
The blue guy's body sinks.
Just that motion tells me that I'm his target now.
My legs start running automatically.
I finally realize that it is an action to escape death, and I put all the energy in my body into running away.
"How stupid of me."
I regret my actions, panting heavily.
I should have run into town to get away.
What am I doing, fleeing to such a deserted place?
And a school, of all things. Isn't there some better place to hide than here?
Anyways, why do I think I'll be killed if I don't escape?
"HaaHaa, haa "
My heart aches from running so much.
Turning around, I can sense nothing pursuing me.
The only sound in the air is the sound of my footsteps.
"Ah haa, haa."
So, I can finally rest.
I stop my feet, unable to take another step, send oxygen to my pumping heart, and look up to finally realize that I am safe.
" Man what was that ?"
I recall the scene from earlier while catching my breath.
Anyway, I'm sure that it wasn't something I should have seen.
Some things like humans were fighting in the school grounds.
That's all I can remember.
But there was something else I saw, out of the corner of my eye.
" Wasn't there someone else too ?"
But I can't remember what that figure looked like.
To be honest, I didn't have the composure to notice anything other than those two fighting.
"Well, anyways "
"The chase is over, right?"
The voice comes from right in front of me.
Music: Footsteps of Destruction
"Yo. You ran pretty far."
He speaks in a friendly tone.
I can't breathe.
My brain stops, and even though I cannot think
I vaguely understand that I am going to die.
"You know better than anyone that you can't escape, right? People who get killed are usually like that. It's nothing to be embarrassed about. You don't have to feel ashamed."
The lance is casually raised.
"You were just unlucky, kid. Well, you saw us, so die."
And the man's lance mercilessly pierces Emiya Shirou's heart.
There wasn't even time to dodge it.
All the training I did was for nothing.
I knew I was going to be killed.
I knew I was going to be pierced by that lance, yet I could not move at all.
Music: Whirlpool of Fate 2
The world distorts.
My body grows cold.
Feeling vanishes from my fingertips.
I cough up blood, once.
I know this.
I felt this ten years ago.
This is how someone feels when dying.
"Dead men tell no tales. It's only natural for the weak to die, but "
I cannot concentrate on my vision.
"I know, I have no complaints. I saw the girl's Servant, so I'll go back."
A voice filled with irritation.
And after that, I hear footsteps running through the hallway.
"Archer, huh? I want to finish the match with him, but I have to follow my Master's plan. Geez, I don't like him."
The voice suddenly disappears.
I guess he jumped out of a window or something.
And after that
Footsteps approach me and stop.
In that brief period.
I can't hear much now
Whose voice was that?
I concentrate my fading mind, but I can't remember anything.
Right now, my breathing is too noisy.
My lungs must still be alive.
The air coming out of my mouth is as loud as a hurricane.
" But it's amazing he isn't dead yet."
I sense someone looking at my face.
Perhaps my breathing was loud as the figure tries to close my mouth and
" Stop it. Why does it have to be you?"
I hear the person grit their teeth, then they touch me without hesitation.
" Reforge the damaged organ and use it as a substitute, and restore the heart in the process, huh? If I succeed, I'll be accepted to the Clock Tower instantly "
A pain-filled voice.
With that, my mind stops fading.
Feeling returns to my body.
Slowly, bit by bit, like a drop of water going down a leaf, feeling returns to my body.
When I notice, the place where the person placed their hand is terribly hot.
It must be so hot that the frozen blood melted and started to flow again.
I sense someone take a deep breath and sit down.
"I'm tired "
I hear a clang of something falling.
" Well, I guess it can't be helped. Forgive me, Father. Your daughter is terribly heartless."
And that's it.
The person speaks to mock themself, and leaves.