Part 256: To Miyama City / Makiri's endMusic: Midnight Interval
"I feel the same way. There are no obvious abnormalities, but I am sure we will find some clues if we search thoroughly."
Yeah, we'll look around the residential district over here first.
We'll go down to the intersection after that and patrol the other side of town.
If we can't find anything wrong, we can go to Shinto to go look for some clues
A sudden chill runs up my spine.
"Saber, this is !"
Saber must have felt it more clearly, as she looks over towards Shinto.
I was prepared to fight.
After I almost died, my hesitation vanished.
But now my body would not move, and my head would not give any orders.
It's probably too sudden.
I didn't expect to find it on the first day.
That's why I can't move. I'm used to getting attacked, but I'm not used to doing the attacking.
How stupid of me.
I'm fine with getting killed, but I never thought that I might have to do it myself
That erases everything.
The numbness throughout my body disappears.
The fear that I might kill,
is overridden by the fear that I might let someone die.
"I'm sorry, Saber !"
I apologize for my cowardice and start to run full-speed.
We run to the origin of the scream, where we will fight someone to the death.
I'm not prepared at all.
My limbs are shaking.
It's a normal reaction.
This fear will always be there as long as I don't desire the Holy Grail and lack the will to fight.
She has analyzed the situation before me.
Music: Footsteps of Destruction
It's like seeing vampires in stories.
A woman in black has her mouth on an unconscious woman's neck.
The dripping blood is excessively fresh.
That thing is eating a human being.
I don't mean that it's eating the human flesh.
That woman in black is sucking out what's inside the womanthings like her mind and her memory.
The unconscious woman does not move at all.
Her skin is like grave wax. She looks like she's been turned into a doll.
My mind is numb.
I can't grasp the situation.
I can't make the correct decision.
Why is he here?
What is that book in his hand?
How can he laugh when there's a woman that's about to die?
Why Why is such a ridiculous thing taking place before my eyes!?
"Hey, why are you frozen up like that? You came here because you sensed a Servant here, right? Then do what you came to do. I staged this scenario so that even an idiot like you would understand."
He doesn't sound like the Shinji I know.
His voice is high-pitched.
Just hearing it makes me uncomfortable.
"Did you kill her?"
I clench my fists.
I don't even take notice of the Servant standing right there before me.
I must be crazy.
I should be fleeing in terror from this inhumanly powerful being, but I feel no fear.
My mind is about to explode.
"Well, I can't help it. She says she can only feed on live people. We have to keep feeding them magical energy to maintain them. I bet you were also looking for handy prey, right?"
I don't know what's funny, but Shinji laughs.
She will not move on her own.
Like a puppet, she will not move without orders from her Master.
But she will turn into a murderous devil once the order is given.
"Get out of my way."
I say this with the hound in front of me.
There's no time to waste.
That woman might survive if I hurry.
"Huh? What do you mean by that? Are you talking to me!?
Hah, I refuse. Come on if you want some leftovers.
That's your familiar, right?"
"Come on, let's make them fight. I did this so that I could see a fight between Servants. You're a Master, right? But all you're doing is trembling in fear. You're just like that woman there!"
"So you have no intention of withdrawing?"
"Man, you're persistent. Come and make me.
It won't matter even if you just stand there and cower. I'm going to hurt you either way."
Shinji's eyes light up with hatred.
That must have been the order, as the Servant in black jumps forward and
Music: Clashing Souls
"Stay back, Shirou!"
Saber moves to meet the attack of the Servant in black.
The two shadows collide.
Having armed herself immediately, Saber uses her invisible sword against her opponent.
The sound of clashing steel rings out.
Saber readies herself firmly on the ground, in contrast to the Servant in black who runs through the park.
Saber cannot keep up with the speed and goes into defense.
Her long hair fluttering behind her, the enemy closes in as if to corner a slow prey.
"Hah, she's just like a stone statue! So a Servant of a third-class magus is third-class as well!"
Standing away from the fight like me, Shinji laughs.
I don't know how he became a Master, but it seems he's not a very talented magus.
Shinji does not provide his Servant with any support.
Then he must have become a Master by chance, like me
Saber blocks another attack and stops.
She looks troubled.
She glares in irritation at her lightning fast enemy.
"Go ahead and finish her, Rider!
We followed grandfather's orders! It doesn't matter even if we kill Emiya's Servant!"
The black shadow speeds up.
The Servant in black follows her master's orders, speeds up to cut Saber's neck, and
Is sliced in half.
The match is decided in an instant.
Saber's sword cuts Rider's body, and the Servant in black is blown away.
It was like hitting a sandbag with a bat.
Saber is the batter and the blown sandbag is Rider, of course.
And I blankly stare at Saber, who puts away her sword disinterestedly.
Shinji yells without running over to his Servant, who has her belly sliced open.
"Who allowed you to get beat!? I can't believe this! You're going against my orders! I became your Master, so you can't get beat by Emiya's Servant !"
Music: Whirlpool of Fate 2
Rider strenuously raises her body in a pool of her own blood.
But she cannot get up.
Her wound is fatal. Even though she is a Servant, she will die if she is not treated soon.
"Get up and fight, you corpse! You're not alive, so wounds shouldn't matter! Hey, why are you so slow, you piece of shit ! Man, you're embarrassing me! You're making me look like I'm the weaker one!"
Shinji curses Rider.
But Saber is unable to bear it.
"Blame yourself before you blame Rider. No matter how great a heroic spirit may be, it cannot fight to its full potential if it does not have an appropriate Master."
" ! Y-Y-You idiot! I'm telling you to get up! Your role is to protect your Master! If you can't win, use your life to stop them!"
" That is meaningless as well. You cannot heal Rider even if you use your Command Spell. Even if you move Rider using your Command Spell, she will not even serve as a shield against me.
It is over, Rider's Master.
I do not wish to ask, but I shall follow my Master's orders and ask for you to surrender. Will you revoke your Command Spell and admit your defeat?"
"S-Shut up! Don't you dare order me, you monster ! Get up, Rider! I'm your Master! You're my dog, so listen to your master !"
"! , !"
Sparks are flying around.
It must be because she cannot follow Shinji's orders, as pallid electric charges are tormenting her.
What a vicious cycle.
Rider cannot fight anymore.
But Shinji is condemning her for not being able to get up, despite the fact that her injuries are getting worse and her life is draining away.
"Hee! Get up and move, Rider ! If you're going to die, at least take her with you !"
Rider reacts to Shinji's orders.
Rider's body moves to follow the order that has her death as its premise.
The sound of crackling flames.
"W-What !? My book is burning !"
Shinji's book is burning.
"Why !? Damn, go out! Why is my book burning!?"
He frantically beats at the fire, but it does no good.
The book turns to ashes, and at the same time
An old manMatou Zouken appears out of the darkness of the night.
Music: Wandering Shadow
"G-Grandfather? Was that you ?"
"Who else could it be but me? You almost killed your Servant. And you call yourself my successor?"
Shinji runs to the old man as if to cling onto him.
As he has lost Rider, his grandfather must be the only person he can rely on.
" Fool. I did not expect victory from a failure like you. What I expected was enough pride to challenge others in spite of your powerlessness.
But you failed miserably. You disgraced the name of Makiri. Hmph, you and your father are both disgraces to our family."
"You fool. You are far worse. Your good-for-nothing father left an even more worthless son.
I did not mind since I had some hopes for you, but you spoiled not only the family blood, but your spirit as well.
The Matou bloodline ends with your generation."
The old man turns away from Shinji in disgust and walks toward us.
Saber retreats. She must have felt something ominous in the old man.
"Well, it seems my life will end here. No matter how pitiful he may be, he is still my grandson. I have to save him, even if it means my death. Heh, compassion towards family members can be a dangerous thing."
It seems the old man stepped forward to give Shinji a chance to escape.
Matou Zouken must be confronting Saber so that he can protect Shinji, the one crawling in fear behind him.
"Leave quickly. Your book of contract has burned up, and you are no longer a Master. They should not attack you again if you make it out of here alive. Live the rest of your life as meaninglessly as your father did."
Shinji glares at the old man as he retreats.
She must not see the point of going after Shinji, who is not a Master anymore.
Shinji crawls away.
And when he gets to the edge of the park
He turns around once and runs off like crazy.
My stomach turns sour.
I smell rotten meat from somewhere.
It seems like she is protecting me from his gaze.
"Can you back away, Saber? I know this old man. I want to talk to him."
"No. This man is not human. You should not have anything to tell him, nor should you have anything to hear from him."
" I know. But I still have something I need to ask him. Please, this will be quick. You can decide whether to fight him or not after we talk."
Saber pulls herself back a bit.
She does not back up, but she is giving me the chance to talk to the old man.
I do not mind questions, but I will not be able to answer if I do not understand what you are asking me about."
" It's about Shinji. Why is he a Master? It seemed like you made him into one. What's going on?"
"Oh, is that what you want to ask me? I do not even need to answer a question like that. As you say, I am the one who chose him as a Master. It has been long since I retired, as you can see.
As I cannot fight, I gave the stage to my grandson."
"You made him a Masterthat means "
"Yes. It is like you, successor of Emiya.
I found out that the Holy Grail would appear, and I let my grandson make a contract with a Servant. You are of the lowest seat in a family of magi.
You should understand me wanting to entrust my dream to my apprentice."
Magi become Masters.
So that means Shinji knows magic, and his family is a family of magi?
But our bloodline has died out.
The Tohsaka family has the right to this land. The Matou family is living, clinging onto its former right."
"Tohsaka ? Then Tohsaka also knows that the Matou family is a family of magi!?"
"Of course. We were once allies. We have been enemies ever since the ritual became violent, but we are still colleagues with a shared ambition. We are friends outside of the Holy Grail War.
Oh, that girl has succeeded him, huh?
I have been away for about ten years, so I do not know how talented his apprentice is."
I don't know what kind of feelings he has for the Tohsaka family, but Matou Zouken laughs happily.
" You said the Tohsaka family are your allies, right? Then has the Matou family been here since the very first Holy Grail War?"
"Yes. We were formerly called Makiri.
We came to this country with the name Matou, but it seems that was a mistake. The land here does not suit us. Our bloodline has grown thin in the past two hundred years, and you have seen the failure we now have for a successor."
They are actually called Makiri.
If Shinji is from a family of magi, then Sakura is
"Hm? Oh, it's just a play on words. It is to hide our identity, but we cannot use just anything. Even our false name has to tie in to our real name."
I don't care about that.
There's only one question that matters now.
"It's not possible ? Does that mean Sakura has no talent?"
"The problem goes far deeper than that.
First of all, magi families have only one inheritor. You only pass magic to the inheritor unless you are a distinguished family.
And a sister of all that. You do not need two inheritors. We would have sent her out for adoption if our family had not died out, but nobody would take her since she lacks Magic Circuits."
"Then Sakura is "
"It should be obvious, since Shinji is a Master. As she is not our successor, she does not even know that we are a family of magi.
Well, I considered using her if her brother proved useless, but we have already lost. I won't involve someone who knows nothing of the Holy Grail War."
I'm surprised the Matou family is a family of magi, and it's problematic that Shinji was a Master.
But I'm relieved to know that Sakura doesn't need to concern herself with such a murderous war.
"You said you guys already lost. That means Shinji won't fight anymore? You've retired, and Sakura has nothing to do with the Holy Grail War, right?"
"Correct. But I cannot promise that Shinji will not try anything.
He is stubbornly determined to be a magus.
The Matou blood has grown weak since we came to this country, and he is our last heir. Children of the Matou family no longer have Magic Circuits."
"Hmph I do not know how he found out about our family secret. He has pride in being the chosen one, but he grew up knowing that he is inferior.
It is likely my fault for not being more strict with him, but his character is not something that can be easily corrected. He is beyond help if he cannot give up after such a crushing defeat."
The old man starts shrinking.
No, it's just an illusion. He was backing up silently.
"Anyway, Shinji lost. We have been eliminated from this warbut will you still kill this old man, Servant Saber?"
But there will not be a next time if it is a lie. That goes the same for your successor. If he comes after my master again, I shall kill him without mercy."
The old man disappears.
What is this?
Matou Zouken melts into the night, just like when he appeared.
All that's left is this rotten smell.
I force down the feelings of nausea and pick up the unconscious woman.
"Let's go to the church, Saber. We'll still make it. He should be able to do something."
"I know. I shall take the woman."
" ? Oh, thanks, Saber."
I let Saber carry the woman.
There's no time to waste. Even though Saber is smaller than me, she is more powerful. I should let her handle this instead of trying to show off.