Part 25: Forest of no return / Tiger Dojo 1Music: Church on the Hill
"What's wrong? Will you fight or not? State now, Emiya Shirou."
He doesn't even need to ask me.
"I won't fight. I'll abandon my right as a Master."
I look directly at the priest and answer.
"I see. I'm disappointed, but it is the Master's will. Emiya Shirou has abandoned his rights as a Master and withdrawn from the Holy Grail War. Is that acceptable, Rin?"
The priest addresses Tohsaka and not me.
"I don't care. If that's Emiya-kun's choice, I can't say anything about it."
" Hmm. I'll take that sense of guilt as a yield.
"Then let us begin right away, Emiya Shirou. Put out your left arm."
" Fine, but what are you going to do?"
"It should be quick. I am merely erasing the Command Spell on your arm.
There are two factors causing Masters to be Masters.
One is the contract with the Servant, and the other is the Command Spell on your arm.
You will be freed from the Holy Grail War if you lose both of these."
Quit while you're ahead, you said. The priest is trustworthy, you said.
It is not an illusion.
If there were an illusion, it was that of my arm being ripped off.
In reality, there isn't a scratch on my arm.
A stranger's fingers move through my flesh.
This is yes, it's just that the priest's fingers, which are transparent like a ghost, are sinking into my arm.
Well that's entirely less interesting than it was a moment ago.
Music: Church on the Hill
"Done. The operation was successful."
" Uh, huh?"
I look at my left arm.
There are no wounds on my arm and only pain remains.
In exchange for that unpleasantness
The Command Spell on my hand has changed shape.
"The shape's changed no, is it that there's fewer strokes on it now ?"
"Yes. There are three strokes for the Command Spell. Kirei took two of those out from you. Like a spiritual doctor who removes the infected part without hurting the body."
"Spiritual doctor ?"
I think that's a special magi who heals the body by treating the spirit.
I hear their magic is a "curse" that can remove the infected part without using a single surgical knife on the body
" I'm surprised. Spiritual treatment is an unusual act used in uncivilized areas. It's not something a man of the church should know."
"Don't say that. I was unfit to be a priest the moment I took up magic.
So it should not matter if the kind of magic I know is unfit for a priest. Do not worry about the type.
"It was the only thing I was good at. I learned many magics, but this was the only one that fit me.
My magical aptitude is specialized in "opening wounds", for good or for bad. Thanks to that, I am inferior to even my student over there."
"For good or for bad? Of course it's good.
There aren't many spiritual doctors as good as you in the Association, and there are only a few in the church that can handle spirits as well as you do."
"Who knows. No matter how great this healing method is, the spirit is only a contact treatment relying on the body.
It is nothing close to a miracle that allows connection with the "soul", the proof of existence independent of the body
Hsst. Enough outta you, Nasu.
But anyways, the treatment is complete.
The rest is up to you, Emiya Shirou. Use your last Command Spell to cut the contract between you and your Servant."
" ? Cut the contract with my Servant ?"
"Yes. Request abolition of contract before Saber, who's waiting outside. I'm sure she won't accept it, so Kirei left you a Command Spell to force her to agree."
"That is correct. By using up your Command Spell and abolishing the contract with your Servant, you present to the other Masters that you are 'harmless'.
Then you are openly freed. A sane Master would not think of attacking a powerless Master.
By relinquishing a power you have gained by chance, you will regain your peaceful life."
Have I made the wrong choice?
I cannot approve of Masters killing each other.
I can't approve of it, but if I can't overlook it either, then
"What are you doing? No incantations are necessary to activate the Command Spell. All you have to do is to put your mind to it and order your Servant.
You can tell her directly or you can just cut the contract here. Choose whichever you like."
I've made my decision.
I can't take anything back now, and the priest probably wouldn't allow it.
" I'll go and settle this directly with Saber. Then I won't be a Master, right?"
"Directly with Saber Emiya-kun, that's "
" monumentally stupid."
"Yes, I guarantee that. Go and inform your Servant of the parting. After that, I shall welcome you into the church as subject to protection."
Even Mr. "he's probably carrying that knife in case he needs to open a can or something" doesn't trust the priest.
"I refuse that. I won't need your help. I'll settle things with Saber and after I use up my Command Spell, I'm going home.
That'll be it. I will never see you again."
"I see. Well, certainly, we shall never meet again.
Farewell, Emiya Shirou. It is the path you have chosen yourself. Take pride in it."
He doesn't need to tell me that.
I turn my back on him and leave the church.
"Have you finished your conversation, Master?"
"Yeah, I learned what this Holy Grail War thing is.
And taking that into consideration, I decided. Saber, I withdraw from being a Master."
Saber's brow does not even twitch.
Her green eyes seem to accept my decision, as if it were natural.
"Does that mean you will be abandoning the contract with me?"
"That's right. I'm not fit to be a Master. And you too, Saber. It would be better for you to form a contract with a proper Master, not one like me."
"Yes. If I am after a better winning chance in battle, I should form a contract with another magus. Archer's Master should be able to draw out my full potential."
" I see. Then I can abandon our contract now, right?
I'll use the Command Spell to cancel the contract, so you will be free."
"Shirou, I will ask you only once.
Will you not change your mind about your intention not to be a Master?"
"I will not change my mind. I have no intention to kill others."
I say so, looking directly at Saber.
And at that time.
The raincoat Saber is wearing sways.
I blankly stare at the death in front of me.
In the time it takes me to blink, Saber runs towards me,
Sweeps my legs out from under me and knocks me over.
Pain runs through my legs after a moment.
T-There's no blood. I still have my feet.
I'm relieved that I still have my legs.
Thank God. She only swept me with a metal rod.
My legs hurt like they're about to tear off, but it's much better than having them cut off
"Shirou. A magus who is no longer a Master will be killed by his Servant. No matter how inexperienced you are as a magus, you have the power to keep me in this world as you have called for me.
A Servant needs a Master.
If you break your contract, I will kill you and take that body.
Do you still say you will abandon your rights as a Master?"
I look up at Saber, concentrating my fading consciousness.
There is no enmity or murderous intent in Saber's expression.
As natural as it is to breathe,
Saber would kill me without emotion to stay in this world.
"That's right. Even if I were to change my mind, I can't do it. Not because I only have one Command Spell left.
I refused to fight. I refused to become a Master. Having such a person as your Master would only result in defeat."
If I have refused battle once, the second time must be the same.
I would lament, every time I face danger, that I should not have entered the battle.
It would be bad for both you and me to make such a person your Master.
"Then you do not mind being killed by me here?
I cannot be a spirit. If I cannot absorb your soul, your body will face a painful death. You are going to accept that ?"
" Of course not. I don't like fighting, but I like being killed even less. I know it won't help, but I'll resist until the last second and flee."
I gather my courage and glare back at Saber, not allowing myself to be overwhelmed by her.
"I understand. Use your Command Spell, Shirou. It is your decision. I have no right to intervene."
"Do not worry. It is just the case that I could not establish trust with my Master this time. If you abolish the contract with your Command Spell, I will be free. I should only be able to maintain this body for about two hours, but I will just find a new Master in that time."
I pray to the Command Spell on my left hand to abolish the contract.
"You are now free. It was only a short union, but your magical energy was pleasant.
This is actually a lie. It's kind of sweet, if you think about it.
I shall not see you again, but I shall pray that you safely survive this battle."
The silver armor recedes.
Without realizing, I almost try to call after her, but I stop myself before I do such a stupid thing.
Music: Midnight Interval
"Man. I wonder when it started to be like this?"
The Holy Grail War. The secret battle between the six magi is stealing the life out of this town.
My chest starts to hurt.
The chest that was stabbed by Lancer only a few hours ago is aching.
"Let's go home. What good will it do to go back to the church now?"
Enduring the pain in my chest, I head home.
I'll think about what I should do once I'm home.
I should be able to calm down if I go home, take a bath, and relax a bit
Like a bad dream, it tells me that there is no road ahead of me.
"I see. You're alone now, Onii-chan."
I raise my head at the girl's voice.
Under the blue moon.
On top of the hill that should lead me back home,
are a girl and a strange figure.
Video: Bad End (mirror)
This ended up running a bit long, but I wanted to commemorate our first Bad End with some good, old fashioned, voice acted screaming. The video quality is terrible, though. The red filter really doesn't compress well.
Music: Footsteps of Destruction
And they burst.
I didn't even have a chance to see it, scream, nor turn and run.
The black giant standing there swings his weapon upwards, and just the sheer force of the weapon moving causes my arm to
"AH, AHHHHHHHH, AH, AH!"
It flew off. It flew off. One of my arms flew off.
It flew off from my shoulder and blood is spilling out like crazy and the road behind me is red like red paint's smeared on it and bones, bones are sticking out of my shoulder, and
"Berserker, I don't feel like playing chase, so just squash him."
"Gu, AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH !!!!"
Both of my legs are bent as if sitting Japanese-style.
But they are both bending the wrong way, with my feet bending forward from my knees down.
"Ha a, ah !?"
My thoughts cannot catch up to the events.
My thoughts cannot catch up to the events due to the pain.
I definitely heard that.
Then, the monster in front of me
"Heehee, you're well-mannered, Onii-chan. I know that, it's that thing called assisted suicide, right? My grandfather said that Japanese people are a neck-cutting tribe who die by having their necks cut off while sitting Japanese-style."
I begin to pass out.
The girl's innocent voice doesn't match this situation.
"Ah, don "
I look up.
I can't breathe.
My lung. One of my lungs has been blown about fifty meters behind me.
"Oh, you can still move? But I'm so sorry. You can't run away now. And besides, it's useless even if you do get away.
Because even if you do, that body of yours will die in a matter of seconds."
My body feels light.
I've lost over half my blood already.
It's amazing I'm still conscious.
My brain is starved of oxygen, and it should have stopped already-
"But you can be relieved. It's no fun if you die that easily, right? So I gave you a small hand!
Onii-chan will stay conscious no matter how much it hurts or how much of you gets destroyed until I crush your head.
Aw, isn't that cute. She just wanted a toy.
Soeven if I do this, you'll be able to writhe like a living thing."
By that shockwave of his weapon like a printing press, my lower half is crushed from the waist down.
Things that used to be my legs and meat and bones are beautifully turned into two-dimensional objects.
"Phew, pheew, pheeeeeew !"
My throat sounds like a flute.
It echoes inside my skull.
My thoughts are still confused.
But wanting to escape this pain,
"Ahyou're wrong. I'm not a Master any more."
I tell the girl, as if asking for help.
"Yes, so what?"
Music: 'Die Lorelei' - Philipp Friedrich Silcher
She says with an angelic smile.
There are lots of tools once we get there, so let's continue this there."
Almost half of you wanted to just get on with the plot without seeing Shirou viscerally butchered.
I'm not sure if videos of these things are proper, but they're all pretty short. Some of them have a lot of animation, and the voice acting is pretty animated in all of them. Feel free to weigh in with your opinion on whether or not you care about dojo videos.
Video: Tiger Dojo 01 (mirror)
Music: Gentle Everyday
An hour of gaming a day, for all you who died so easily, this is the assistance corner that solves all your problems in a flash, the Tiger Dojo!
So. First of all, I would like to ask what the meaning of this corner is! It totally destroys the mood of the actual story!
Hear that, folks? You're ruining the mood.
Answer, senior student!
It would not be an exaggeration to call this the main storyline of "Fate"!
Marvelous! Bravo! Oh bravo!
Yes, well done. I think everyone's starting to realize now, but this dojo is an important part of "Fate".
Everyone, please don't be tricked by those fake heroines that have large parts in the story, and if you see a dangerous choice, please choose it.
Well, as for this Shirou
Oh man, squashed lower body and only the head left?
Someone who would do such a thing must be brutal and cruel. What do you think about that, student?
No problem! This is a cute and pop genocide of love!
That is exactly right. In other words, broken samurai code, seppuku if you turn your back.
From now on, please choose cowardly choices like this as you'll die a lot.
But since this is supposed to be a Q&A corner, I shall help you with your problem.
Senior student, what is the counter-measure this time?
Osu, go back to the choice and choose the other one.
All right, well done.
Unexpected deaths like this are set up all over the place, so it's standard to save at choices.
Well then, that's it for this time! I shall wait for you at the next practice!
Oh, hint corners. I had forgotten the