Part 22: Promised Sign
My words are silenced by the sound.
I can't believe my eyes.
This time, my head really goes blank.
The lance-wielding man wordlessly attacks the girl who jumped out of the shed.
But the girl parries the blow of the lance and knocks away all following attacks, driving the man back with every blow.
I can't believe it.
The girl called Saber is overpowering that man.
The battle has begun.
What happened between me and him earlier wasn't a battle.
A battle is a fight between two people who can kill each other.
Whatever the difference in skills, if each has a way to kill the other, then you can call it a battle.
Their fight is a battle in that sense too.
The man's lance that I couldn't even see is thrown with even more power.
The girl parries it with the "thing" in her hands and closes in on the man.
The man retreats a bit.
He holds his lance vertically to protect his ribs as the girl goes for them.
For a moment, the man's lance glows.
It was a blow like an explosion, and I guess it really was one.
The instant the man blocks the "thing" the girl's holding, the lance in his hand glows as if electrified.
The man, and even I, can tell what that is.
That is a force of magical energy so strong that it's visible.
In each of the girl's blows is a terrible amount of magical energy.
That outrageous amount of magical energy is penetrating the opponent's weapon just by touching it.
Such a thing it must take such force just to block it.
If you think of the man's lance as an accurate sniper rifle, the blows of the girl are like those of a powerful shotgun.
Every time the girl swings, the yard is filled with light.
That isn't what's overpowering the man.
"Coward, what are you doing, hiding your weapon !"
The man complains while avoiding the girl's fierce attacks.
The girl doesn't answer, but only attacks even more with the "thing" in her hands !
But as you can't see what shape it is nor how long it is, you can't tell anything about it.
Perhaps it's totally invisible, as it does not show up even when sparks fly off from it.
The man must be having a hard time defending against it, as his moves aren't as sharp.
And the girl lets out a voice for the first time.
She swings her "weapon" with more fury.
A storm of swings without pause!
The flying sparks remind me of a blacksmith hitting iron.
The lance-wielding man blocks them, clucking his tongue.
I must say, I admire his skills even though he tried to kill me.
The man is blocking invisible blows, watching only the opponent's legs and arms!
"Don't underestimate me, fool !"
He must see this as his opportunity as the man disappears.
No, he jumped back, making it look like he disappeared.
The girl's blow cuts through air and destroys the ground, kicking up dust.
The blow, swung as a final one, was easily dodged!
"Idiot, what is she doing !?"
I can tell even from a distance.
I don't know about the careful blows from before, but such a big blow won't be able to touch that man.
Even that man's body must have been straining under all those attacks.
But he suppressed it for an instant, and jumped away.
As if this blow will determine the victor !
The man who jumped back several meters jumps as soon as he lands.
As if reversing his retreat, he jumps at the girl.
In contrast, the girl still has her sword in the ground.
So the contest lasts less than a second.
The man sees his mistake and tries to hold back, while the girl uses her whole body to execute her blow!
Not dying is apparently worthless.
Their distance opens.
The two stare at each other silently.
"What is wrong, Lancer?
It would not do your name credit if you just stand there. If you will not come, I can."
Your Noble Phantasm, is it a sword?"
The man glares, as if staring right into her heart.
It might be a battle axe or it might be a spear. It might even be a bow, Lancer."
"Heh, keep talking, Saber."
Perhaps it's really funny for him.
The man the one called Lancer lowers his lance.
It looks like he's indicating that he doesn't want to fight anymore.
But I know that stance.
It was used in that fight a few hours ago in the schoolyard.
It's the fatal move that was supposed to have ended the show.
" I'll ask just in case since this is our first meeting. Do you want to call it even?"
I think it's in both our interests to hold off on this match until we're better prepared."
"I refuse. You will fall here, Lancer."
"I see. Geez, all I wanted to do was check things out, you know? I didn't want to stay long once a Servant came out."
It seems like the air around them distorted.
Music: Footsteps of Destruction
Lancer lowers his stance.
A chill runs through the air at that moment.
It's exactly like back then. The magical energy rumbles in a whirlpool, centered on that lance.
"Noble Phantasm !"
The girl readies her apparent sword and glares at the enemy in front of her.
The girl, facing the enemy, knows better than I how dangerous he is.
The beast jumps.
Lancer instantly appears in front of the girl, as if he teleported, and
Thrusts his lance at the girl's feet.
It was a bad move, even to my eyes.
With the lance already lowered, it wouldn't be effective to aim low at the girl.
To prove my point, the girl jumps over the lance and moves forward to slash Lancer away.
At that moment.
With words themselves charged with magical energy
The lance thrust at the girl's feet rushes towards her heart.
Her body rises into the air.
The girl is driven up into the air by the blow of the lance, and she crashes down no, lands on the ground.
"Ha, kuh !"
The girl, who hasn't even received a scratch so far, is bleeding badly from her chest.
"A curse no, a reversal of causality !"
My Nasu sense is tingling. Prepare for
Music: Footsteps of Destruction
She speaks in pain.
I'm surprised too.
No, since I saw it from a distance, I can tell better than her that the attack just now was a strange one.
The lance was definitely aimed at her feet.
But it suddenly changed its course, moving strangely in an impossible direction, and pierced the girl's heart.
But the lance itself has not grown or bent.
It looked so natural that it makes one think that the lance was already in her heart and for that reason, it's strange.
It's not as simple as the lance changing its course and piercing her heart.
The lance did not change its course, but changed the means so that the result would be so.
The lance thrust with that name carried the "result" of "piercing her heart" as a premise.
In other words, the process and the result were reversed.
As long as there was the result of the lance piercing her heart, the course of the lance was merely something added later to prove that fact.
An evil thorn that breaks through all defenses.
A lance that pierces the heart every time it's used, a weapon that determines your fate just by its use.
How can anyone block such a ridiculous attack?
However the enemy tries to dodge it, the lance will pierce their heart without fail.
That's why this move is fatal.
A cursed lance that always pierces the opponent with one thrust.
Either she had incredible luck or enough divine protection to nullify the curse of the lance.
Either way, she avoided a fatal blow and sullied the lance's name.
That was a remarkably short explanation for Nasu, and I'm not sure if that should make me happy or sad.
The girl catches her breath.
The blood that was running so much has stopped, and even her stabbed wound is healing.
I guess that's extraordinary.
I knew she wasn't normal, but still, that's too strange.
Like her skills to fight against Lancer, like the incredible magical energy in each of her blows, and like her body that heals by itself this girl clearly surpasses Lancer.
But that was only up to now.
Even if it's healing, her wound is deep.
If Lancer attacks her now, she'll be defeated without even being able to defend herself.
With this overwhelming advantage, Lancer doesn't move.
He glares at the girl, grinding his teeth so hard that I can hear it.
"You evaded it, Saber. My fatal Gae Bolg."
A voice that seems to echo from the ground.
" !? Gae Bolg you are Ireland's man of light!"
His hostility disappears and he clucks his tongue in annoyance.
" I screwed up. If I'm going to use this move, it needs to be fatal. Geez, I guess being too famous is bad too "
The pressure goes away.
Lancer doesn't even attack the wounded girl and simply turns his back and moves to the edge of the yard.
"It is the rule of Servants to fight to the death if your identity is discovered but unfortunately, my Master is a coward. He's telling me to go back since you have evaded my lance."
"You are running away, Lancer?"
"Yeah. I don't mind if you come after me, Saber.
Just be prepared to die when you do."
With one bound.
Lancer easily jumps over the wall and disappears.
"Wait, Lancer !"
The wounded girl starts running to pursue the enemy.
I run to her and stare at her.
No, I tried to approach her to call out to her, but I forget about it the instant I come near her.
To put it simply, everything about her is absurd.
Now that I'm near her, I can tell that the shining armor she wears is really heavy.
The old-fashioned cloth is smooth, a vivid blue.
No, that isn't what fascinates me.
The girl, who seems to be a few years younger than me, is beautiful.
The golden hair lit by the moonlight is finely textured, as if sprinkled with gold dust.
The face, with some sign of naivety, has elegance, and her white skin looks soft.
I can't call out to her because I am fascinated by her beauty, and also for another reason.
Because seeing the girl fighting and getting hurt somehow made me mad.
No matter how strong she is or how armored she is, I think it's wrong for a girl to have to fight.
All the while I'm fascinated with her, the girl has her hand on her chest.
But that ends quickly.
The girl lets her chest go and looks up as if the pain has gone away.
She stares directly at me.
I'm not sure how I should talk to her, but I notice something about her.
" The wound is gone ?"
Even though it missed her heart, that lance stabbed her in the chest. But she's unscathed.
I've heard of healing magics, but I didn't see her using anything like that.
So that must mean she automatically heals even when she is wounded.
Music: Midnight Interval
Then my brain switches gear.
This is no time to be fascinated by her. She is a strange being. I can't let my guard down until I know what she is.
I take half a step back and ask her.
" ? What do you mean? I am the Servant Saber.
You summoned me, so I do not think you should need to confirm it."
The girl answers in a quiet voice.
"The Servant Saber ?"
"Yes, so please call me Saber."
She replies without hesitation.
Her tone is polite yet gentle, and just hearing it makes my head go blank
Hey, what am I getting excited about !?
"I-I see. That's a strange name."
I hide my burning face with my hand and reply really stupidly. I don't know what else to say.
I wouldn't know of any such thing to say. Since I asked her name, isn't it natural for her to introduce herself? In that case, it would be impolite to stay silent like this.
" I'm Shirou. My name is Emiya Shirou, and I live in this house."
What am I doing?
Are my answers getting stupider?
But she told me her name, so I should answer too.
I know I'm confused right now, but I have to be polite no matter who this is.
The girl Saber just stares at me without changing her expression.
"No, wait. I take that back. That's not what I meant to ask you. Actually "
"I know. You are not a formal Master, correct?"
"But you are still my Master. As long as we have made a contract, I will not betray you. There is no need for you to be so cautious."
I can hear her words, but they make no sense to me.
All I know is that she's calling me with a ridiculous word like "Master".
"That's wrong. My name isn't 'Master'."
"Then I shall call you Shirou. Yes, I like the sound of that better."
As soon as she says my name, I think my face lit up on fire.
Shouldn't you call someone by their last name on a first meeting !?
"Wait a minute. Why are you calling me
Pain suddenly runs through my left hand.
"What the "
"That is called a Command Spell, Shirou.
It is the three claims on a Servant's obedience, and the life of a Master. Please do not use it thoughtlessly."
Before I can finish with "are you?", the air around her changes.
She speaks in a cold voice.
It seems her attention is on something far away, behind the wall, and not on me.
But is she expecting me to heal her ?
"Wait, you're asking me? I'm sorry, but I don't know any such difficult magic. Besides, it's already healed."
Saber frowns a bit.
I think I said something really wrong there.
" Then I shall face them as I am now. The regeneration only healed the outside, but one more fight should not be a problem."
" ? One more what ?"
"There are two enemies outside. Judging by their presence, it should only take a few seconds to defeat them."
Saying so, Saber jumps lightly.
Just like Lancer, she leaps over the wall and disappears outside.
I'm left alone in the yard.
" Enemies outside?"
As soon as I say it aloud, I realize what it means.
"Hold on, are you going to fight again !?"
My body starts to move.
Without thinking, I run to the gate with full force.
"Saber, where are you !?"
I search through the dark.
The moon is hidden, now of all times, and it is completely dark.
I hear something nearby.
I run to the small road with no sign of anyone on it.