The Let's Play Archive

Fate/stay night

by seorin

Part 207: Battle start / Showdown

Music: The End of Reminiscence

Just as they exit the forest, and when the sky is beginning to lighten up…
Before they go to the church, she informs him of the fact she has kept hidden.

"I'll tell you right now. There is only 'one' of the pendant that you gave back to me."
She does not tell him what that means, and he does not inquire about it.
It is because such matters are unnecessary when they are about to face their greatest enemyCaster.

The one and only pendant.
The one he found in her room and returned to her.
The one he found on that night and put into his desk.
Now is not the time to ask about the contradiction.

"…That's all that I need to tell you.
The pendant you found in my room is something Archer returned to me on the day you were attacked by Lancer.
I thought he went and picked it up for me…"

Music: Stop

Lancer asks ironically if we would be able to beat her by ourselves. To that…
"…Yeah. I'm sure I can outwit Caster if I can fight one-on-one with her."
Tohsaka answers with confidence.

…I don't know what she means by outwitting her.
She didn't tell us even when we asked, so it must be a plan that will have a lower success rate if we know about it.

Then what I need to do is fulfill Tohsaka's demand.
With all my might, I will keep Kuzuki from protecting Caster.
If I need them, I will project his swords as many times as necessary.

Magic beyond one's ability will destroy the caster.
Half of my body became numb the first time.
It was easy and nothing happened to me the second time.
There's no guarantee the third time will be the same, but I don't think it's a problem to project his swords.

My body is stable.
The Magic Circuit that was hard even to construct is easily activated now.
It's like there's a fake nerve behind my real nerves, and they are reversible with the push of a button.
I'm trying to convince myself that it's because I've gotten used to it.

I can easily prepare the swords.
Projection has become my primary weapon.
It's a big improvement over ten days ago.
It's not only my magic. My sword technique has improved as well.

The reason behind it…
No, I try not to think about the reason.
It's more important to beat Caster and take back Saber.

Asking myself stupid questions can come after the battle.
The headache gets stronger as I near the church.
It's just like when I was looking for Tohsaka, but I avoid thinking about that.

The sun is blocked off by clouds, obscuring the dawn's brightness.
The sky above is gloomy.
The sky is more gray than black, and it reminds me of that time ten years ago.

It should rain soon.
An impure gray sky.
Beneath it stands that man.

"I knew you would come, considering your personality."
He stares at her with cool eyes.
Tohsaka doesn't say anything and stares back at him.

"So what is the plan you've prepared? You're not the type to come attack without one."
He sounds joyful.
To that,

"Yeah. I'll be fighting you."
The spearman in blue answers as he appears next to Tohsaka.

Music: Premonition of a Storm

"I'm surprised. You made a contract with a new Servant already?
Man. I know I'm not one to talk, but you're pretty fickle. Switching sides may have been a good idea after all."

She stops me, still staring at Archer.
…But it's obvious looking at her face.
She knows he's baiting her, but his words still hurt.

"…Heh. I didn't like you from the start, butit seems you're rotten to the core."

"Oh. Does betrayal irritate you, Lancer? And you're not even the one who got betrayed. How faithful of you."

"I'm not supporting the young lady over there.
I just don't like Servants like you."

"A hero's pride, huh? …Man, everyone says the same thing.
Even Caster had such a ridiculous thing. What good is honor once you're dead?
I honestly can't understand how you people think."

"You don't have to. I'll make it easy so you don't have to think about it."

There is no more need for words.
All that remains is the intent to kill,
with Lancer's sharp and Archer's calm.

…They are about ten meters apart.
The confrontation of the knights in blue and red is just like that night.

Tohsaka calls out to the blue back.

"You two go inside. I'll catch up once I beat him."
"…I know. But Lancer, Archer is…"
"Yeah, I'll go easy on him. I need him to crawl and beg your forgiveness."
He speaks without turning, grinning at Archer.

I'm glad you're the one who came to help us."

We go around the two as we head to the church.
The guard, Archer, lets us through unchallenged.
No, he has to let us through.

Archer is already confronting Lancer.
Lancer will pierce him if he lets us distract him.
He can either attack us and leave himself open to Lancer, or he can fight Lancer and let us go.
If he really is guarding this place, the choice should be obvious.

"Man, this is troublesome."

"What is, Lancer?"

"Well. I can't go easy after she makes a face like that.
That's troubling, right? She's a great Master, but I'm not one that can readily betray my Master."

"…You are too easy-going, Lancer. Do you know the saying 'grass is always greener on the other side of the fence'?"

"Heh, what are you saying?

There's no way I'd know such a phrase!"

Why must Lancer be so awesome and get so little screen time?

"Yeah. I'm sure I'll be thoroughly cornered, but don't help me. You can just concentrate on keeping Kuzuki-Sensei away as long as possible."
We go past the main area and head to the door leading to the courtyard.

I won't hesitate if Tohsaka says so.
…But I don't know if it's possible for me to back Tohsaka up, even if she's cornered.
My opponent is Kuzuki. I won't be able to dodge his attacks if I'm paying attention to Tohsaka.

I'm getting the hang of it. His swords are in my hands within a minute.

I feel a light headache.
Even though I'm getting used to it, it takes a toll on my body.
Projection is damaging my body deeper than I realize.

Was it my imagination?
I think Tohsaka hung her head for a second.

Music: Footsteps of Destruction

I don't know why you're in such a hurry, but use the stairs if you're human."

We land in the temple.
This was supposed to be a surprise attack, but Caster greets us with composure.

Kuzuki Souichirou is standing next to Caster.
…I don't feel any enmity or bloodlust from him.
That's his battle posture. His clear murderous intent is hiding the scariness of that man.
In that regard, he's more like an assassin than Servant Assassin.

Saber is on top of the altar.
She's just like she was two days ago.
Saber hangs there, her head bowed.

I'm relieved we made it, but on the other hand, I'm worried about why she's so quiet.
I think Saber was in pain before.
She was shivering and gasping, resisting Caster's magic with all her might.
But she's dead silent now.

I have a bad feeling.
It's great that Assassin's not here, but if this bad feeling comes true, we won't get out of here alive

"I'm here, Caster. I thought about it thoroughly, but I've decided to have you eliminated.
You're an eyesore, you get in my way, you annoy me, and I hate the way you look. You're like some backwoods hag with that purple robe of yours."

Tohsaka insults Caster, hoping to break her composure.
She slowly closes the distance between them as she talks, radiating confidence she probably doesn't feel.

…I shouldn't be concerned about Saber either.
Tohsaka is facing Caster by going counterclockwise, so I walk clockwise.
Caster and Kuzuki. If we are to separate them, we have to attack them from different sides and isolate our enemies.

"Heh. Letting you go seems to have given the wrong impression. Why are magi so reckless nowadays? No wonder Archer gave up on you."
Tohsaka's insults must have worked, as Caster is glaring at her.

I move while she does so.
I move to the other side of Tohsaka, to a place where I can attack Caster from behind.

Kuzuki watches me in silence.

……I thought so.
There's no way that this man would not notice our trick.
Kuzuki knows what's going on.
That we are trying to isolate our enemies and that Tohsaka has some plan.

Even with that in mind, he's letting Caster do as she wishes.
…It's not that Kuzuki is controlled by Caster.
He is acting of his own free will.
But stillhis passivity is like that of a puppet.

and a Master skilled in hand-to-hand combat.
Their roles are reversed, and I think their natures are reversed as well.
Caster seeks the Holy Grail frantically, while the Master protects her without question.

What if Caster was the Master and Kuzuki was the Servant who protected her? Maybe they wouldn't have fallen so low if that were the case.

Thenthe match will be settled when either one of us attacks.
It doesn't matter if we get defeated or if Tohsaka beats Caster before that. Our fight will end right here.

"Well, let us start. This is the third time I've fought you. I'm getting tired of seeing your face, so I'll settle this right here."
Tohsaka takes a step towards Caster.

"You're talking big. I doubt this, but please do not tell me you honestly believe you can beat me.
In that case, we don't even need to fight. I'll let you go again so that you can go fix that brain of yours.

Isn't that right? There's no way a first-class magus like me would lose to a third-class magus like you."

"I see. I guess it can't be helped.
It seems I need to discipline that arrogant mouth of yours, little lady."

Music: Stop

They get ready at the same time.
With a few meters between them, they act like mirror images.

That's the signal.
I attack the defenseless Caster…

Music: Clashing Souls

And of course, I'm stopped by Kuzuki.

…The ghost-like assassin is in front of me.
I can't spare any attention for Caster and Tohsaka's fight.

He knows what I intend to do.
He will not let me buy time.
Letting out the "snake" that even cornered Saber, Kuzuki Souichirou comes to take my life.

I can hold him off for a minute at most.
It should be the same for Tohsaka.
But originally, with our opponents reversed, we had no chance of victory.
Close-range fighting or magic, we have no way to beat our opponents who surpass us in skill.

But looking at it the other way, we can at least put up a fight.
Tohsaka would be killed in an instant if she fought Kuzuki.
I would be killed in an instant if I fought Caster.
In contrast, we might not be able to win, but we won't be killed in an instant with this match-up.