Part 288: War balance randomizer
The town has continued to suffer while my guard was down after Caster's defeat.
If Caster is still alive and collecting energy from people, I have to defeat her for sure tonight.
Music: Midnight Interval
The question is where to go from here
"Shirou. I feel a Servant's presence."
" ! Is it close, Saber?"
"It should not be a problem distance-wise. Even with your speed, we should be able to catch up to the Servant in about five minutes.
Please give me an order, Master."
Saber is asking me if we should follow them or stay here and keep watch.
I don't even need to think about it.
"Let's go. Lead the way, Saber."
Saber starts to run.
She heads eastit seems she is heading to the big bridge connecting Miyama City and Shinto.
Music: Footsteps of Destruction
My gastric juice is regurgitated just by standing here.
The discomfort and the dizziness almost break my mind.
I suppress my nausea and look.
Stand Tohsaka and Archer, with their backs to us
"Hm? New enemies?"
And that old manMatou Zouken.
I understand the situation right away.
Tohsaka is fighting Matou Zouken.
I see dozens of something so small that I can't distinguish it around Tohsaka.
Tohsaka's Servant Archer has many more around him.
It seems Matou Zouken used those things to attack them.
"You're wrong. Archer and I are more than enough to beat a confession out of you.
They're just spectators. They have nothing to do with me."
Tohsaka keeps glaring at Matou Zouken.
But her back is
"What were you thinking, coming at a time like this!? Do you want to die!?"
Harshly scolding me.
" I know. This isn't the time to be arguing with Tohsaka."
Just as how Tohsaka does not look away from that old man, I'm feeling danger from him.
A monster said to have survived by sucking people's blood.
A descendant of Makiri who tried to obtain the Holy Grail and made Shinji into a Master.
There's no way such a guy would just stand there and not do anything.
"Hm. I wanted to keep this hidden, but I guess it cannot be helped. I cannot survive against two Servants."
He makes a sound with his cane.
The instant it strikes the bricks beneath the old man's feet
Someone we already defeated appears to protect him.
"Caster ! Damn, so she really is still alive !"
"Please stay back, Shirou. That is Caster, but not Caster. Her appearance and abilities are the same, but I do not feel her will or her soul.
That thing is an imitation made from Caster's corpse."
Saber steps forward.
In her hand is the invisible sword.
"Oh. As expected from Saber. You saw through my trick right away. Oh my, no wonder Shinji's Rider was no match for you.
Archer should not be a match against you, just like Caster, who was defeated without being able to do anything."
"Is that all you have to say for yourself?
Deceiving us is the least of your crimes.
Even though Caster is our enemy, she is a heroic spirit chosen as a Servant. You better have an appropriate determination if you are trifling with her corpse."
"Oh. I only picked up some trash that nobody needed any longer.
I do not mind being called a heretic for that, but you would fall lower than a brute if that is the case.
You are the greatest Servant, after all.
Then it is best to make you, rather than this corpse, into my slave. I shall let my worms eat you alive and have you follow this corpse's fate."
"Kakaka, why are you enraged!? Servants are merely tools! It does not matter how they are used! It is the same whether you bind them with a Command Spell or if you use them as a corpse! Then is it not for your sake to turn you into a mindless puppet!?"
The two Servants charge.
Saber and Archer charge at the laughing monster as if they planned the attack.
Two blades slice through Caster.
The match was decided from the start.
To ensure that it completely disappears.
To ensure that her body will not be violated again.
Matou Zouken has disappeared.
He sacrificed Caster in order to make his escape.
Archer ignored her completely,
pursued the controller, and
Cut Matou Zouken's body in half.
Zouken's upper body falls to the ground.
"Hm, ugh, my!"
A dragging sound.
Even though blood and entrails are spilling from his bisected body, the old man still lives.
He crawls across the ground with his arms, trying to get away from Archer.
"This is the end, magus. My past experiences have taught me to quickly finish off monsters like you."
Archer raises his shortsword above Zouken.
This is the end.
No matter how immortal Matou Zouken may be, he will die once his head is crushedand he is almost dead already.
It is not like he has self-healing powers like the Servants, and his horrific wound is taking him closer to death by the second.
But, unwilling to take any chances, Archer kills the magus with his shortsword.
No, he tries to kill Zouken and stops.
It's not only Archer who felt it.
Everybody here does.
Tohsaka and Saber.
Archer and I.
Even Matou Zouken, hovering on the edge of death, trembles at its appearance.
The damp air freezes in an instant.
My heart is beating at a higher pitch, but the rate is slower.
Something bad is close by.
So I have to run away.
I can't concern myself with that thing.
My body understands it instinctively, yet it refuses to move.
It's meaningless to run away.
My body knows that I can't escape.
I move my trembling body and turn my numb neck.
I look towards the entrance of the park.
Stands the "shadow".
I've never seen anything like it.
It's insubstantial, as if a shadow suddenly stood up.
Its existence is so light that it could be blown away.
And yet, its presence dominates this place.
It lacks intelligence or reason, and it probably is not even alive.
The black shadow stands there like a mirage.
"Impossible, impossible, impossible!"
He crawls while screaming.
Matou Zouken pulls himself away from Archer and out of the park.
It's not that Zouken had that much strength left.
It's just that
Fear of the shadow drove him.
Nobody is able to move.
Tohsaka and I stand still, transfixed by fear.
Even Saber and Archer seem entranced.
It's like a deep sea monster.
The shadow sways in the silent world where everything is still.
It shows something like a will for the first time.
It lacks eyes, limbs, or a body.
Yet it still casts a shadow at its base.
Outlined by the moonlight, the shadow begins to stretch and elongate.
Like a snake that has found its prey, it points at Tohsaka and
Oblivious to the change, Tohsaka does not move.
Saber is too far away. Archer has started running, but he is too far away to make it in time.
Video: Darkness (mirror)
The shadow lashes out.
Without showing any sign, the shadow abruptly covers tens of meters and
" -kun !?"
I can't hear her voice.
The instant I push Tohsaka away, something engulfs me.
A splashing sound and a sensation of something trying to crush my body.
My presentiment wasn't wrong.
Water has come crashing in around me, and I am now sinking into the sea.
I feel sick, it's wrong, I feel sick, i-i-i-it's wrong, I fEEl SiCK, iT'S wRoNg, I FEel sIcK iT'S WrOnG, I FeEL SIcK iT's wROnG I feEl siCk !!!