Part 278: Hero's death
Music: Footsteps of Destruction
"Damn, what a stench. This is a real stinker."
A voice echoes through the place that should be desolate.
A lean blue figure glows in the moonlight.
The sturdily-built man with the crimson spear is a Servant called Lancer.
"Oh, wow. The boundary field is still here, even though Caster's dead?
No, this is too crude. Her work was much more polished than this."
Lancer looks around the temple.
The red lance is in his hand.
His objectives are to gain information and to keep watch.
He is unwilling, but he cannot disobey his Master's command.
It is his policy to follow any command given to him, and to accomplish the mission.
That is why he has fought several Servants and ended up in a draw with each.
As long as he serves this Master, Lancer will never start a fight.
This is no exception, and he is to investigate the Ryudou Temple.
If that is the case, why is his lance in his hand?
His weapon, his Noble Phantasm, can be summoned whenever needed.
There is no need for him to hold his lance when there is no enemy before him.
"Damn, what a racket. I thought Caster was the master of wind, but maybe she used water instead. This place is crawling with leeches and spiders"
He walks through the temple.
He seems too vulnerable and defenseless to be a Servant.
He is so defenseless that ifthis is an ifthere is another Servant here, he would be attacked and killed in an instant.
"But who knows? Maybe the head has been replaced.
There's nothing here but rotten insects. It's your habitual practice to nest on deserted houses."
Lancer doesn't stop cursing.
The blue spearman gives a speech as if to persuade a person who is not here.
"But there's one big one.
I don't know where it was born, but it looks like it was raised by beasts deep within a mountain. And what is this, a smell of sand?
Hah, I thought you were a big spider, but you turned out to be a dirty sandworm.
Why the hell should I have to come and investigate a wretch like youwhoa!"
Three rays of light streak forth from the darkness, only to be struck down by Lancer's lance.
"You're pretty good. But don't do that again, sandworm.
I don't like getting killed without a greeting first, and more importantly, it will be fatal for you."
The blue figure stands firm before the darkness.
In the darkness in front of Lancer is
Video: Assassin (mirror)
A laughing skull, white as the moon.
The battle starts without a signal.
Lacking human words, the white skull attacks Lancer with an inhuman shriek,
and Lancer meets his assault without twitching a brow.
The skull comes to an abrupt stop.
It is abnormal.
No matter how great a spearman Lancer may be, he could not possibly block all the daggers.
Furthermore, he is using a long lance.
How are the daggers, fired accurately in between his swings, all deflected?
Lancer's presence changes.
He stops, and his hostility changes to a clear intent to kill.
"Then this is it.
I don't know who you are well, I guess I'll at least take off that mask of yours."
A rapid barrage is unleashed as a counter to Lancer's charge!
But he blocks even that.
Although the daggers cannot be perceived, he turns them aside with a slight swing of his spear.
The skull is the one shivering.
Unable to speak human language, he can only swallow his scream and watch as the enemy comes to take his life
He throws a dagger at the small opening in between Lancer's strikes !
Defense and counter.
He performs both actions in one motion.
Already committed to his attack, the skull cannot respond to such a maneuver.
"You idiot. I told you projectile weapons are useless against me. You're the one who didn't listen to my warning."
Lancer readies his lance again and regards his enemy, who is now hiding his face.
A black body.
A right hand covered in bandages.
A face still hidden by the darkness.
His face is flat and utterly featureless.
"GiyoU SAw My FaCe, Lan, cer."
"I'm about to. I'm sure you're a Servant, so let me check out which hero you are."
"Kuh. I sEE, YOu HavE A bINd. No WONdeR YoU, DiD, Not KilL, me."
The Servant retreats further into the shadows.
He still has the Dark in his hand, and his hostility is still emitting.
" ! I sEE, PRoteCtIon AgaiNst ArrOws. Kuku, as EXpecTed frOm a HeRo WIth A nAMe. YoU Are nOT LIKe mE."
The shadow wavers.
The black Servant sinks down to the ground,
then springs up in an instant as he throws another dagger.
"DamnI know I destroyed his throat, but he's persistent. It doesn't seem like it's healed, so he must be drugged"
The enemy glides across the water like a spider, and Lancer pursues him.
In contrast, water sprays from his footsteps, but his speed is far greater.
" Hmph. If I'd known the pain wouldn't stop him, I would've cut his joints. I put that off since it doesn't work on other opponents, but"
It is fatal for a human body to be cut at the joint, where the main arteries lie.
If the arteries are severed, death from severe bleeding will quickly follow.
But that is only in normal combat.
You cannot expect a Servant, a heroic spirit, to die from excessive bleeding.
As their lifeforce is magical energy, cutting their arteries does not have much effect.
The loss of a limb is another story, but cutting off a Servant's limb is a difficult task.
Doing so will likely cost you your own head in the process.
" Hashish, huh? I bet a heroic spirit who relies on drugs doesn't have healing powers. I'll end this fight with my next attack"
Water splashes with lightning speed.
His next attack will strike in two more seconds.
He tenses, then thrusts at his fleeing enemy's left leg
Video: Hero's Death (mirror)
With a start, Lancer jumps back from the water's surface.
Music: Whirlpool of Fate
Water explodes upward.
No, something beneath the water is snarling.
Black tendrils snake out of the water, reaching for the spearman.
Is it because this creature dwells underwater?
It seems to resemble a deep-sea monster from ancient times.
"What the ?"
Lancer has nowhere to run.
He instantly carves all his runes on the bottom of the lake to create a boundary field, but it is easily penetrated.
The dark tentacles are closing in on all sides, and his territory is shrinking by the second.
The protection using all his Runes, which can even block a great Noble Phantasm, does not even slow down the penetration.
"WHaT iS WrOng, LAncEr? It wILl SwaLLow yOu if yOU Do nOT MoVe."
"BuT I wILL nOt aLLow THat. I MuST KiLL You. I nEEd mOrE EXperIenCE. I sHaLL KiLL YoU To aDD tO mY iNtELLigeNCe."
The translation doesn't make it clear, but he's using the same language as when we heard "IT IS NOT ENOUGH" earlier. You can hear it in the video if you know what to listen for.
The spider's dagger glimmers.
The weapon about to be released is just a projectile.
But is it not meaningless?
Even though Lancer is surrounded by ghastly limbs, projectiles are meaningless against Lancer.
"You don't give up, do you? Well, I can understand why you feel that way."
Lancer observes the ghastly limbs around him.
He was lured quite far in, but it's only about thirty meters to the opposite shore.
He should be able to easily jump across such a distance !
"You lost because you wouldn't move from there. I'm done with my investigation, so I'm out of here."
Lancer crouches low and braces his lance against the ground.
Using his lance as support, Lancer vaults into the air.
He is struck by the simplest of attacks.
A fake heart is taken out of Lancer's chest.
Assassin has directly gouged out Lancer's heart from the distant shore, an impossible range.
It is the purest magic, the simplest curse.
It is the "cursed hand", a magic of the Middle East, specialized in cursing people.
It is Assassin's Noble Phantasm, Zabaniya.
It surely destroys Lancer's heart, and the powerless body of the spearman falls into the black water.
It does not actually let us view any data from the strange, new servant.