The Let's Play Archive

Fate/stay night

by seorin

Part 252: Rin leaves / Saber explains the rules

……I touch my stomach, the place I got cut.
It's wrapped in bandages, and touching it sends waves of pain and nausea through me.

…It's only natural.
I wasn't just cut, I was almost split in half.
Thanks to Tohsaka and Saber, I'm still alive. But as long as Berserker is after me, I'm a dead man.

But something still lingers in the back of my mind.

The black giant called Berserker.
The girl in white, accompanied by the strongest Servant.
The innocent, whimsical, and cruel girl, Ilyasviel.
Ilyasviel von Einzbern.
That's the name Shinji's grandfather said.

"OhI'm sorry. I was thinking about that Ilya girl.
Joining up with you means we'll be fighting her, right?"

"Yes. She's ready to fight, so we just need to retaliate.
We need to defeat all the Masters anyway. If she wants to kill us, we should do likewise."

Tohsaka's mind is made up.
In Tohsaka's mind, that girl is just an enemy that must be defeated.

I know there's something wrong with me for thinking this way, but I don't want to fight her.

"Emiya-kun? I hope this isn't the case, but don't tell me her looks are deceiving you."
She glares at me.

She's sharp.
I didn't realize it, but my hesitation seems proof that I was being deceived.

…She is Berserker's Master.
If she has such a strong Servant, she must be a powerful magus. I shouldn't focus too much on her outward appearance.
I shouldn't, but

"I'm sorry, Tohsaka.
I'm glad you're worried about me, but I can't give you the response you want. This is a serious matter, you know? I feel I shouldn't rush to a decision."
I look directly back at her and answer.

Tohsaka narrows her eyes a bit and nods emotionlessly.

"Then negotiations have failed. …Well, you have a point too. If you really want to win, you can't trust anyone."
"That's not it. I trust you, Tohsaka. It's just that I can't decide on my own. If I'm Saber's Master, I can't make a promise without her consent."

"I see. That is true. You are a Master now."

Giving a nod of understanding, Tohsaka turns away.
She strides to the door, her hair fluttering behind her.

But just before leaving, the girl who could have been my ally gives me one last look, and…

"Goodbye. We will be enemies the next time we meet."
…Like the girl Ilya, she leaves a cold warning.

"…Oh. I see. Then that must've been Tohsaka."
I finally realize it.

I was stabbed by Lancer after that, was saved for some reason, and attacked by Lancer again
"Saber saved me, and I became a Master."
What I heard at the church.
The killing called the Holy Grail War.
The Holy Grail which grants any wish, given to the winner.

…I can't absorb all the facts, but I have been attacked three times already.
So I can't sit here in confusion forever.
I said I would fight, since I could not sit by and do nothing.
I won't allow any innocent people to get hurt.

Since that day ten years ago, I have trained to become a superhero.
I never thought I would be tested like this, but I won't back out now.

I'll cast off all hesitation.
Come to think of it, this is an opportunity.
This is a chance to "help others" just like Emiya Kiritsugu.
But something lingers in the back of my mind…

The backwards desire that should not be wished for…

Your wish will finally come true.

…Might be a distorted wish for a superhero…

"That can't be. I didn't want the Holy Grail War."
…There's no need to hesitate.
There is nothing wrong with the wish I've had for ten years.
Emiya Shirou will become a superhero.
I have trained in magic to help others.

"All right. I need to talk with Saber."
I shake off the priest's words and exit into the hallway.

"That's strange… She's in that outfit, so you'd think it'd be easy to find her."
And yet I can't find her anywhere.
I guess Servants can become spirits, but I can't turn her into one anyway.
No, first of all

"Even though they call me a Master, I don't know anything about her."

I don't know who she is or how she can exist.
The only thing I understand is…

No matter how superior they are, they can still get hurt in a fight and bleed if they are wounded.

…I lose my voice at the sight.
Sitting with her back straight and eyes closed, Saber looks beautiful.
Melting into the silence, she reminds me of pure water.

And that removes the last of the doubts within me.
Even if she is a Servant, there's something holy about her.
SoI won't be led astray if I'm with her.

I call out.
Saber slowly opens her eyes and returns my gaze.

Surprisingly suited to this place, her voice echoes through the dojo as if permeating it.

"Yeah. I just got up. What were you doing here?"

"I was resting. I cannot treat you, so I thought I'd make sure I was in perfect condition."

Saber looks at me as she speaks.
…Well, um…
I feel a tension, different from the kind I felt with Tohsaka.

"…! N-No, there's no problem…! I'm just perplexed for my own reasons, so don't worry…!"
I take a step back and shake my head.

Looking away from Saber, who is tilting her head questioningly, I calm my pounding heart.

"…Calm down. What am I so tense about!?"
I take a deep breath.
…But it doesn't seem to die down quickly. In fact, I don't think it ever will.
"…Man, why did she get changed…?"

I complain without meaning to.
Saber's clothes are so real that they make me conscious of her womanhood, whether I like it or not.

…She is terribly beautiful.
I thought I figured that out yesterday, but she really hits me with it now.
Perhaps her armor looked so surreal I didn't notice yesterday.
But when she dresses like a girl, I'm flustered, as any healthy guy would be.

I tense up the moment our eyes meet.
But I didn't look for her just to say nothing. I'm troubled, but I can't stay quiet forever.

"All right.
May I, Saber? It'll be the first time we sit down and talk"
I make up my mind and talk to her.
And then.

Her previous gentleness goes away and she stops me in displeasure.

"? All right, what is it?"

You are my Master. It is troubling if you take such actions. Battle is my duty, so you must concentrate on your role. If you go and die in vain, there is no way I can protect you."

She states it clearly.
That makes the tension I was feeling vanish.

"W-What do you mean!? You would have been slashed if I didn't do that!"

I repeat myself. Please do not that again.
There is no need for my Master to protect me, and there is no reason for it either."
She says this rather simply.
It must be because she sounds so practical.

"Whadon't be stupid. You don't need a reason to save a girl…!"
I react without meaning to.

That look says, "is he seriously that stupid?"

Followed by, "yes, this will be difficult."

And then, she stares at me with indescribable dignity.

I back up a bit, being stared at.
Her look makes me realize what I've said, and I suddenly feel embarrassed.

"A-Anyway, I'm grateful you brought me home. Thank you."

I thank her while looking away.
…It's awkward to thank her in the first place, but it's even more awkward to thank her in this situation.
But still, before anything else, I have to thank her for helping me.

"You are welcome. It is natural for a Servant to protect her Master, but I am happy to be thanked. You are very polite."
"No. I'm not polite."

So there's something I need to clarify right now.
It's something I should have asked her the moment we got back last night.
If she really is my Servant…
And if she really is going to be joining this battle…

Music: Whirlpool of Fate 2

"Going back to our conversation, Saber.
…Oh, I'll ask formally. Can I call you Saber?"

"Yes. Since I have formed a contract with you as a Servant, I am your sword. I shall follow your orders, defeat your enemies, and protect you."
She says without the slightest hesitation.
There's no room for argument.

"Become my sword, huh? Is that to win this Holy Grail War?"

"…? Is that not why you have summoned me?"

"No. I only summoned you by chance.
As you know, I'm only an amateur magus. I'm sorry, but I have neither the knowledge nor the power of a Master.
But I've decided to fight, so I'll fight. I'm an unskilled Master, are you okay with that?"

This fact will not change. A Servant does not have the freedom to choose her Master."
…I see.
Then I should try to respond to her to the best of my ability.

"…All right. So you're content with me as your Master?"

If you have no chance of victory, I shall make one for you. I will use any means possible to have you obtain the Holy Grail.
We Servants do not serve the Masters without compensation. We serve because we also desire the Holy Grail."

"Huh? Hold on. The Holy Grail, you mean you want it too…!?"

Didn't Rin already cover this?

"Of course. After all, the only ones who can touch the Holy Grail in spirit form are we Servants, who are also spirits.
The Master that wins the Holy Grail War will obtain the Holy Grail through the medium of their Servant. After that, the Servant who served the winning Master will have its wish granted in compensation.
That is the relationship between Masters and Servants."

…I see.
Now that she says it, it's obvious something like a "heroic spirit" would never obey a mere human being.
Since they have their own objectives, they serve the Master in exchange.

…Then that means Saber has a wish she wants granted.
That is why she has no doubts.

"…Hold on, Saber. You said any means possible, right? Does that mean you don't care what measures you take to win the war?
For example"

Doing something like what that priest said.
Involving innocent people and creating a disaster like what happened ten years ago

Nah, Saber would never do something like create that disaster…

I can only do things I allow myself to do. I cannot betray my beliefs. It is against the knight's oath to hurt those who are unarmed."

But I must obey your orders. You will have to use one of your Command Spells to compensate for trampling over me."
I am overwhelmed by her angered voice.

Music: Stop

But still, I'm happy and relieved.
Her lack of doubt gave her the image of a cold fighting machine, but I know now that she is not a cold-blooded killer.

"Yeah, I won't let you do that.
Like you said, we have to do our best with what we can do. …I'm really sorry. I insulted you without realizing it."

"Huh? Oh, sorry, I apologized without realizing it."
I raise my head.

Sorry for saying sorry.

Music: Surrounded by Smiling Faces

I don't know what's so funny, but Saber has a small smile on her face.

Well, I'm glad she's smiling, so I won't ask her about it.

"…All right. Then can I ask you something else? A Master is a magus that summons Servants, right?
That's fine, but I don't quite understand you guys. Like, Saber and Lancer, I know those aren't your real names."

Music: Stop

Ready… Set…

Music: Whirlpool of Fate 2

"We Servants are heroic spirits.
We each have won fame during our lives or have accomplished some great deed beyond human ability.
Whatever the means, we are beings that have reached the rank of gods with our own strength."

That doesn't even need to be said.
Heroic spirits are heroes that had supernatural abilities while they were alive, whose fame was such that they were promoted into the ranks of spirits after death instead of becoming mere ghosts.

Revealing our names, revealing our identities, means revealing our weaknesses.
It is no problem if we fight lower spirits, but we are all capable of defeating each other. If our weaknesses are revealed, the enemy will take advantage of them to defeat us."

"…I see. Heroes usually do have opponents they're weak against. That's why you're hiding your real name and using the name Saber?"

There are seven Servants called forth by the Holy Grail, and every one of these is selected according to their class."

"Class…? You mean like Saber and Archer?"

"Yes. Summoning a true heroic spirit is already almost a miracle. To summon seven is too much even for the Holy Grail.
As a solution, the Holy Grail prepares seven vessels in advance and only calls forth heroic spirits compatible with these vessels.
Those are the seven classes.

And those who receive these classes are called Servants."

"…I see. So you were a heroic spirit skilled with swords, so you were summoned as Saber?"
"Yes. There are heroic spirits that have multiple attributes, but I believe I am the best when it comes to swords."

Since I am not a magus, I can only defeat your enemies as your sword."

"So you're not well-suited to trickery. No, I don't think that's a weakness. You're powerful, so that should be enough, right?"

"Shirou, you cannot win this war just by being strong in battle.
For instance, if your enemy is stronger than you in combat, what will you do?"

"Huh? Well… if I knew I couldn't beat them in combat, I'd have to do something without fighting"

Having said that much, I understand.
If the enemies are strong, you wouldn't fight a proper battle.
Beating opponents with your sword isn't the only way to fight.
If you can't beat an enemy head-on, you'll have to do it some other way.

"Exactly. If your enemy discovers you are skilled in combat, your enemy will most likely not challenge you in combat. …And in that sense, Servants that lack ability will use any means possible."

"The Servant Assassin has low attributes, but has a special ability to hide its presence, and the Servant Caster is versed in magic that does not exist in this age.
You cannot be optimistic because of a mere difference in power. And on top of that, we have our 'Noble Phantasms'. No matter what kind of Servant we are, as heroic spirits, we have our guaranteed fatal attack."

"Noble Phantasm?"
That's not a term I've heard before.
I think I might know what it means from the sound of it, though…

Weapons like Lancer's lance, Archer's bow, and my sword are such.
Heroes are not called heroes by themselves. Heroes have weapons that symbolize them and make them heroes."

"The hero and his weapon are one. So those who became heroic spirits wield a powerful weapon.
That is the 'Noble Phantasm'the trump card for Servants, and the thing we must take the most care of."

…Saber says that Noble Phantasms are weapons that heroes wielded when they were alive.

The lance that absorbed magical energy from the air and pierced Saber's chest with incredible movements.
That was certainly not something fit for humans.
That lance itself carried a strong curse, but I also felt an overwhelming amount of magical energy in the word Lancer said back then.
Then could it be…?

"Saber. Are Noble Phantasms magic?
Lancer's lance certainly seemed like a lance with history, but the lance itself wasn't extraordinary.
But that lance went beyond the realm of weapons with his words. Isn't that some sort of magic?"

For example, Lancer's lance itself is a Noble Phantasm, but it demonstrates its full potential only when he puts magical energy into it and says its true name."

"A Noble Phantasm could be called a materialized divine mystery.
As spells are necessary to activate magic, recitation of the true name is necessary to awaken and to activate the Noble Phantasm.
But that is also dangerous. By saying the true name of their Noble Phantasm, the identity of the Servant is revealed."

"…Oh yeah. Heroes and their weapons are one. If you know the weapon's name, you naturally know the identity of the owner."

Saber nods silently.

That is why the Noble Phantasm is a trump card.
In exchange for revealing the name, it launches an unavoidable fatal blow.
But when it does not prove fatal… the Servant will expose all its weaknesses.

"Then, Saber. Is your Noble Phantasm that invisible sword?"

Having said that, Saber looks down awkwardly for a second.

"Shirou. I have a request about that matter."
"Huh? What kind of request?"

"About my real name. Usually, Servants give their true names to their Master only, to determine future plans.
But you are an inexperienced magus.
A superior magus would be able to read your mind, so"

"Oh, so you can't tell me your real name? …Yeah, you're right. Like hypnotism, suggestion, or… well, I don't think there'd be any, but if any other Master had mystic eyes, I might just start babbling about it.
All right. Let's do that. I'll rely on you to decide when to use your Noble Phantasm."

"It wasn't easy. I thought it through.
I agreed after thinking about it, so don't worry."

Music: Stop

I get most of this stuff, but I still don't have a grasp of the situation.

This is strange, now that I think about it.
Even though I've decided to fight, the only enemy I know is Tohsaka, and I don't intend to fight her.
Well, I shouldn't be thinking like that because Tohsaka is ready to fight me any day.

Music: Surrounded by Smiling Faces

"Hey Saber, do Servants and Masters have some sort of mark? I don't really know what I should be doing."

But if other Servants are near, Servants are able to sense them. All the more if they are materialized. Servants themselves are powerful magic.
I am sure you felt Berserker's presence."

"Ughthat is true. But it's bad to be able to tell only when you're attacked. I need to at least know before they approach, so I can take some sort of countermeasure."

"Then, how about searching for the Master's presence? Masters are magi. Since they use magic for a living, they will leak magical energy. If you search for that, you may be able to identify the Masters in this town."
"…Sorry. Unfortunately, I can't do that sort of thing."

After all, I didn't even realize Tohsaka's real identity, and she goes to the same school as I do.
We were in the same building for two years, and on top of that, I've seen her several times.

"Geez. No wonder people call me an amateur. The only evidence I'm even a Master is this Command Spell. It seems there'll be lots of difficulties ahead."
I sigh.
And then.

"Shirou. Could you close your eyes for a moment?"
Saber speaks with a serious expression on her face.
"…? Close my eyes? Why?"
"To prove that you are a Master. Just close your eyes and breathe normally."

"Saber? Hold on, are you doing something weird?"
"…Master, please stay silent and concentrate on my fingertip. If you are a magus, you should be able to feel my magical energy."

I see, so it's Saber's finger that's touching me.
I pull myself together and calm down.

Suddenly, and for just this moment, Shirou doesn't go crazy at the touch of a woman.


What is this?

"Saber, what was that?"

"You should not need to ask. You and I are connected by our contract, so it is only natural for you to be able to understand my status."

"Understand? You mean, what happened just now?"
"I do not know how you saw it. It is your standard that measures the Servant's ability. Some Masters classify according to color, and some classify according to animals."

This is a standard concept for a Master, so please check frequently. Like me, once you see someone, you shall understand their details."

Music: Stop

Magical Energy Burst: A
This transfers magical energy into one's weapon and body, and by releasing the magical energy instantaneously, it increases one's ability. Simply said, it is like magical jet energy propulsion. Saber uses this magical energy for her sword techniques, guarding, and movement. Because of her great magical energy capacity, she can fight Berserker even though she is a girl of a small size. A normal weapon without strong divine protection will not be able to endure her magical energy-fueled attack and will be destroyed with one blow.

Charisma: B
Natural talent to command an army. It increases the ability of one's army during mass combat. Charisma is a rare talent, and a B rank is enough to lead a country.

It is not a vacuum, but the wind whirring around the blade is like a weapon and it seems to increase the damage of the slash. Only when the compressed wind is released is a vacuum state created. When the target has "resistance to visual impediments", the accuracy correction of Invisible Air is ineffective. Other than the advantage of making the blade invisible, it is possible to release the compressed wind, making it a single-use projectile weapon. The damage of such an attack is constant, and Saber's strength or magical energy does not affect it.

Cu Chulainn means "Hound of Culann".

The name comes from an oath Setanta made when he was a child, when he mistakenly killed a guard dog of a wealthy merchant named Culann. He promised, "if this dog has a child, I will raise it strong and as faithful as this guard dog. Until that time, I shall guard you myself." His nickname of Cu Chulainn praises not only Setanta's strength for killing the famous savage dog of Culann unarmed, but also the character of Setanta that thought of the owner of the lost dog, even as a child.

Cu Chulainn grew up to be a strong man and went into an evil land called the Country of Shadows to satisfy the requirements to marry a particular woman. Cu Chulainn overcame many difficulties and reached the Country of Shadows. He was well liked by the ruler of that country, the witch Scathach, and he trained under her and learned many sorceries and techniques. He obtained the cursed lance Gae Bolg that later became the symbol of Cu Chulainn, and he left the Country of Shadows.

In the legend, it is said that Cu Chulainn was brave, compassionate, and a likeable young man. Cu Chulainn mercilessly killed his enemies in the battlefield, but he respected faith, and was noble enough to never break a promise once made. Celtic warriors had the custom of making an oath called a "geas", and those warriors who broke this geas were cursed. Cu Chulainn, like his nickname, had a geas that said he must never eat a dog, and he faithfully tried not to break that promise. This geas later became the cause of his death.

During a battle with an opposing country, to protect his weaker country of Ulster, Cu Chulainn made several geasa accepting even his own ruin in exchange for forcing the opposing country to make geasa unfavorable to them. Some of the famous geasa Cu Chulainn made were "fighting just one warrior a day", promised with his rival Queen Maeve, and "one win, one loss" promised with his old friend Fergus.

But Queen Maeve perceived her release as the greatest insult, and began a personal revenge against Cu Chulainn. After numerous schemes, Cu Chulainn was forced to break his geasa one by one, and as a result lost all his powers, and was at last stabbed in the side with a lance. The proud Cu Chulainn would not allow himself to die lying down, and tied himself up to a post. On the verge of death, he saw an otter drinking the blood that had spilled into the river, and as he laughed at its greediness, he died standing.

A thrilling great man, Cu Chulainn had the protection of the goddess Morrigan who governed death and destruction. But the story isn't that simple. At first, Cu Chulainn declined the goddess's protection. So insulted, Morrigan transformed into many animals and went after his life. But Cu Chulainn was able to repel off every attack, and actually treated the wounded Morrigan. Morrigan admired that nobility from the bottom of her heart, and decided to support him without his knowledge. So as not to destroy Cu Chulainn's pride, she did not help him when he was in his greatest perils, but merely observed the way of a hero.

Restart: C
The ability to escape battle. It can also return an unfavorable battle to the beginning (turn 1), and restore the conditions of techniques to their initial states.

Divinity: B
Strength of one's god-like nature. The more godlike blood possessed, the higher this stat becomes.

As the lance has pierced the heart even before it is thrust, it is impossible to dodge or block it once this result has been determined. To dodge Gae Bolg, one does not need high AGI (agility), but instead the ability to change this fate before Gae Bolg is executed, LCK (luck) is most important. It is the most efficient Noble Phantasm, as it requires little magical energy to activate, and each activation is a sure kill.

Hercules was young and strong, and already no human was a match for him. The future seemed bright for him as he married the king's daughter and had two children. But Zeus's wife Hera detested the child born of Zeus and a human, and meddled with his fate at every opportunity.

First, Hera sent madness to Hercules and drove him insane, making him kill Megara and his two children. Hercules, troubled by the sins he had committed, received a sign that he should atone for his sin by becoming the slave of Eurystheus, the man who took away his promised position as king. Eurystheus was jealous of the strong hero Hercules and gave him many difficult tasks and claimed that he would keep him a slave ultil he completed these tasks. These were many difficult labors that were impossible to complete with normal human skills. They were the famous twelve labors of Hercules.

The number of labors chosen by the gods was ten, but since Eurystheus did not accept the fulfilment of two of those, he added two more labors. But Hercules safely completed even those tasks and not only was he freed from slavery, but he also received an immortal body as proof of his great accomplishments. The greatest hero in Greece. This was the beginning of the great hero Hercules, who single-handedly achieved great deeds equaling those of the Trojan War and the Argo Expedition. But the rest of Hercules's life was again full of madness.

Hera's hatred was endless, and Hercules, who should have been immortal, was killed by the poison of one of his wives. The great hero, equally matched with the sun god even as a human, was in the end slowly killed by the persistent jealousy of a Goddess. At the point of his death, Hercules burned his body still contaminated with poison, and entrusted himself to Zeus's judgment. It is said that the gods, in a conference, approved of Hercules's great deeds and prepared a seat in Olympus after his death and worshipped him as a god.

Hercules went insane many times in the myth, but he really was an excellent warrior who could handle any weapon. He has the attributes to become any of the seven classes except Caster, and the greatest Noble Phantasm in his possession is a bow and arrow he obtained in the twelve labors called "Shooting hundred beasts (Nine Lives)".

Mind's Eye (Fake): B
Avoidance of danger by sixth sense/instinct.

Bravery: A+
Ability to ignore any mental interference such as coercion, confusion, or illusions. It also has the effect of increasing damage when fighting unarmed, but since he has gone mad through his class ability, he cannot use this skill.

Divinity: A
Strength of one's god-like nature. The more godlike blood possessed, the higher this stat becomes. As the son of Zeus, the leader of the gods, and having been accepted as one of the gods after his death, the divinity of Hercules can be said to be of the highest class.