Part 257: The answer lies at the very endMusic: Midnight Interval
I sit down.
I've done all I could.
Now, it's up to Kotomine.
I'll believe in him and wait.
I keep waiting.
I'm worried about Saber, who is waiting outside, but I can't leave.
AndI want to think by myself for a while.
The Matou family was a family of magi.
Shinji became a Master and obtained a Servant.
Matou Zouken had his successor participate in the Holy Grail War, even though he lost his powers as a magus.
The Einzbern family aren't the only ones obsessed with the Holy Grail.
Makiri and Tohsaka.
No, in the first place, the only ones who become Masters are those who cling to the Holy Grail.
Saber is no exception.
The Einzbern family has sought the Holy Grail for a thousand years.
Their persistence is not something I can do anything about.
They can only be saved by the Holy Grail.
My father went against them and destroyed it.
But would I be able to pursue my wish to such lengths?
Like the Einzbern and Makiri families
Do I have the right to compete against those who have sought the Holy Grail for centuries?
"How surprising. I did say you could bring wounded people here, but I did not think you would bring one on the same exact day."
I raise my head.
He doesn't look gloomy.
Then that must mean the treatment was successful.
"Kotomine. How is the woman doing?"
"She survived, but the rest is up to her. If you were an hour later, I would've had to see her as a priest."
"I see. I'm sorry I troubled you.
Um, I'm glad you were awake."
"You're thanking me? Are you sick? I will listen if something is worrying you."
" I am worried about many things, and you are the cause of most of them. I'll pass on another long talk with you."
"Oh, so our conversation earlier was just a bother? Hm, I meant to give you a boost, but it only gave you more worries, huh? I should reflect on my actions as well."
The priest shuts his mouth, looking regretful.
It's not that I'm letting him get to me, but
A guy I know turned out to be a Master."
Not being able to bear it by myself, I just have to say it.
The priest says nothing.
He just nods.
"So of course you defeated the Master, right?"
I nod in response to his short question.
"Then do not regret it. People cannot change the past.
All we can do is to accept our own actions.
If you still wish to be burdened with your sins, let it show in your future actions. It is your choice how to perceive something that has already happened."
His words are plausible.
The problem isn't that Shinji was a Master, that the Matou family is a family of magi, or that the Einzbern family tenaciously pursues the Holy Grail.
The important thing is what I'm going to do from now on.
"I'm going home. Please take care of that woman."
I get up to leave the church.
Saber is waiting for me outside.
There's no more reason for me to stay here if the woman is all right.
"Hold on, Emiya Shirou. I shall give you one piece of advice."
" What? I told you I'm not listening to your endless rambling again."
"I will be brief, but I deserve some compensation for being asked to treat a woman so late at night."
I can't object if he puts it like that.
I reluctantly turn around to see that the priest is right behind me.
"It is something I forgot to tell you.
The Einzbern family has endured for a thousand years in pursuit of their one wish. Yes, it is a serious matter now that I say it. It is natural for you to be overwhelmed."
This is why I don't like this guy.
He accurately points out my doubts even when I haven't said anything.
" Shut up. Are you going to bring that up again?"
"No. I am telling you that it is nothing to be concerned about.
There is no need to view this as anything special. This war is just a common thing.
The Holy Grail War is the materialization of our everyday life and people's happiness. There is no crime in participating."
"Everyone desires something and people fight for what they want. That is what defines life. It is something shared by all, even if the scale of those desires is different.
There isn't a person in this world who does not try to make his wish come true.
The outcome, of course, is another matter. People may live to make their dreams come true, but some of them die before they reach their goals."
"There is an order to things. An appropriate accumulation of effort is needed to make dreams come true. This is what people call life.
The Holy Grail simply removes the need for that effort.
It is merely a simplification of life."
"So there is nothing special about it.
The seven Masters are just trying to reduce the journey undertaken during their lifetimes via the shortcut called the Holy Grail.
Everything else is the same. It is human nature to paint over others' wishes with your own.
The Holy Grail War is no different from your life.
Do as you please throughout this war and win."
He says cheerfully
There is no difference between a vulgar wish and a noble one.
The quality of the wish is irrelevant.
I just need to trample over the wishes of others
I don't know if it's sarcasm or not.
But he is seriously saying even an incomplete Master like me is worthy to fight.
" That's not like you. Why are you suddenly worrying about others?"
"Well, it is because our talk earlier was not helpful. I cannot call myself a priest if people coming to me because they are worried leave with even more doubts."
I bet Tohsaka would say he makes a lousy priest to start with.
"Don't worry about that. Bye, you fake priest."
"Yes. Come again if you have not had enough."
I snort and walk to the exit.
I leave the church for sure this time.
Music: The End of Reminiscence
A Master and a Servant might have this kind of a relationship, but Saber is by my side because she is concerned for my safety.
I believe I have to answer her with the best honesty I have.
"That woman's all right thanks to you, Saber."
"You do not need to thank me. It was you who tried to save her. I only abided by your decision."
Her expression is very gentle.
"Oh no, that's not true. You're the one who saved her. I wouldn't have made it in time by myself. And most of all"
I think Saber let Matou Zouken go to save that woman.
We would've ended up fighting if we stopped that old man there. She definitely would've died.
Saber took that into consideration and let him go.
"Huh? Oh, I have a reason. I'm glad you're the person I thought you were. Thank you, Saber, for going along with my unreasonable plan."
"W-What are you saying? I do not think your plan is an unreasonable one"
"Really? You said I was too lenient and too optimistic.
You looked like you might not go along with the plan when the time came."
"I-I never looked that way! I only told you that my own judgment would take priority if you were in danger! How can you doubt me, Shirou?"
I smile, since her expression is totally different now.
"Yeah, please do if there's a chance. But Saber Let's end this war for now."
"I didn't need the Holy Grail like you.
Before, I just wanted to stop the fighting, and then give you the Holy Grail if we survived until the very end. I wondered if an amateur like me was appropriate for you."
"I see. Then what about now? Tonight, you experienced a battle you chose to start yourself. Have your thoughts changed?"
"No, not at all. I'm still against the Holy Grail War.
But I'll fight until the end for sure.
I have no wish that I need the Holy Grail to grant.
But I want to protect others, like a superhero.
I don't think my wish is inferior. So I have to fight against the wishes of others, even if they are five hundred or a thousand years old."
"I see. That is understandable."
"Then I shall swear again.
I will be your sword for as long as you are a worthy master. As long as you remain yourself, Shirou,I will never betray your trust."
"Ohyeah, I'll do my best, Saber."
'I will never betray you.'