Part 30: Invitation refusal / Rin's proposalMusic: Gentle Everyday
"Hm? Why are you silent? It shouldn't take that much thought."
"Shouldn't it? I feel like you'd get mad if I asked you about either one, so I don't want to hear either."
I cross my arms and offer my honest feelings.
Crap, it feels like I've just poked a sleeping dragon awake.
" T-Tohsaka ? You look really dreadful "
Something like a terrible wrath ?
"Oh? What do you mean by a dreadful face? I'll ask you just in case, but did I look angry to you?"
I-It felt more like dangerous !
"Um, well I think I saw a vein in your forehead for a second, though maybe it was my imagination "
I answer the intense smile in bits and pieces.
"Ohhh. So that's how I looked to you? So you must think I'm angry?"
"Uh um, are you angry, Tohsaka ?"
"Of course I am!!!!!!!
Out of all things, you don't want to hear either!?
Do you have any idea of the situation you're in, you idiot!?"
Music: Gentle Everyday
Tohsaka roars like a beast.
"Uh, um "
I want to escape from that coercion, but
"Don't run! Just sit there, Japanese-style!"
I automatically straighten my back and sit down.
"Um. Tohsaka, why Japanese-style?"
"It's obvious, right!? So I can dictate to you!
It seems your head's still asleep, so stay like that until you wake up!"
Just play dumb. You're better at it.
"Hmph. First, I'll tell you about the current situation. I'll explain what happened last night."
So, Tohsaka tells me what happened last night.
Music: Surrounded by Smiling Faces
It seems that Berserker left after I fell unconscious.
She tells me that my body started to heal itself, and that it looked fine after about ten minutes.
And she says she brought me here since I didn't regain my consciousness even when my wound had healed, and that's where we are right now.
"The important thing here is that you survived on your own. I did help you, but it was your own power that healed that wound. Don't mistake that part."
"It seems that way from what you told me. So you didn't heal it?"
"Of course not. I can't do anything like revive a dying person any more. Emiya Shirou himself healed his own wounds."
What can I do, now that she said that?
My stomach is certainly healed, but I have doubts about Tohsaka's story.
I can't use healing magic, let alone revival magic.
"Then the cause must be the Servant.
Your Servant must be really powerful, or something went wrong during the summoning. Well, I think it's both, but I think some kind of line formed between you two."
"A line? You mean like the karmic line connecting a familiar and a magus?"
Then this should be easy to explain. In other words, Emiya-kun and Saber's relationship is not a normal relationship like the one between a normal master and their familiar.
"It looks like Saber has natural healing powers, so some of that may be flowing into you.
Normally, the magus's power flows into the familiar, but in your case, the familiar's power is flowing into you and helping you out."
" Hmmm. So putting it simply, it's like a river flowing upstream?"
"That's a good way to put it. It is not naturally possible, but I bet Saber's magical energy is so great that it can even change the flow of a river. That's the only reason she is able to go against Berserker with her small size."
"Not naturally possible then is the relationship between you and Archer that of a normal magus and familiar?"
"Yes. He doesn't listen to much of what I say, but we do still have such a relationship."
"The connection between a Servant and a Master is like that of a gasoline and an engine. We provide the magical energy, and the Servant just uses it.
Well, I guess there have been some Masters who shared their physical bodies with their Servants to obtain fake immortality. Not dying until their Servants are dead, something like that Hey, are you listening, Emiya-kun?"
I like to think he just started staring off into space and drooling a little.
Then, are you saying most of the wounds on my body will heal even if I don't do anything?"
"Using your Servant's magical energy. I don't know how, but I'm sure the cause is in Saber's materialization. I know you haven't learned the curse of self-healing."
"Of course not. My father never taught me anything that difficult."
"No, I mean that if that's the case, I've nothing to worry about. Don't worry about it, it has nothing to do with you."
Music: Tender Scenery
It's good that you survived this time, but you won't survive if you take that kind of wound again. You shouldn't get any optimistic hopes that you'll survive any major wounds."
"I understand. I feel bad about taking damage and having Saber helping me."
"Idiot, that's not the reason. I'm sure you're not just using Saber's magical energy to heal your wounds.
You're definitely using something.
I don't know what it is your life span, your luck, or your savings account, but you're definitely using something up."
Tohsaka gives a humph once again.
I feel the same way, but
"Tohsaka, doesn't my savings account have nothing to do with this?"
"Of course it does! Magic uses up your money, so it's something that drains your money the more you use it!
I won't allow myself to be wrong!"
Tohsaka Rin erupts with the fires of personal grudges.
Shirou, you're thinking in metaphor again.
The more I talk with her, the more I understand this is the real Tohsaka Rin, and that the Tohsaka at school is just a mask she puts on.
No, it's something I had realized already yesterday.
I'll be serious, is that all right, Emiya-kun?"
"That's why you stayed here, right? All right, I'll listen."
Music: Whirlpool of Fate 2
"Then I'll be direct about it. What are you planning to do from now on?"
She asks directly the one question I don't want to be asked.
No, that's not it.
It's not that I don't want her to ask me, but I haven't made my mind up yet.
I'm the one who wants to ask, what do I do now.
" Honestly, I don't know. You say I should fight for the Holy Grail, but I've never been in a fight between magi.
First of all, I"
I want to try to avoid killing people, and most of all
"I'm not interested in something mysterious like the Holy Grail.
I'm not too sure about risking my life for something I don't want."
"I knew you'd say that. You'll be killed by your Servant if you say something like that."
"Wha Why would I!?"
"Because the Servant's goal is also the Holy Grail.
They can be summoned by the Masters because the condition on their summoning is that they obtain the Holy Grail."
"The most important thing for a Servant is to obtain the Holy Grail.
They obey their Master and risk their life for their Master, because they have a chance of obtaining the Holy Grail.
So just try saying that you don't want the Holy Grail. You can't complain even if they kill you and call you a betrayer."
I can just imagine Shirou with a sword sticking out of his chest going, "Well... I guess I can't really complain."
" What is that? That's weird, because Servants are what the Master summons, right?
The Holy Grail grants the wish of whoever obtains it. The Servant of the Master who obtains it is no exception.
Even the Servants have their own wishes. That is why they respond to the otherwise impossible summoning."
"It's not that the Masters are summoning the Servants to obtain the Holy Grail.
The Servants are answering the Masters' call because they can obtain the Holy Grail."
Servants have their own desires ?
Then, does that mean Saber has a wish she wants the Holy Grail to grant?
"That's why the Servants try to eliminate other Servants even without orders from their Masters. Only one can obtain the Holy Grail. They cannot accept other Masters obtaining the Holy Grail.
Unlike their Masters, they don't have the power to take away the Command Spells. So the only way they can disarm other Masters is to kill them."
A Master who is attacked by a Servant must fight it off with their own Servant. You heard enough from Kirei to know that this is the nature of the Holy Grail War, right?"
"Yeah, he told me that last night.
That means allowing your Servant to try to kill other Servants.
I thought it would be over if I reached a compromise with other Masters, but if the Servants are ones summoned to obtain the Holy Grail and if it is true that they will not give it up, then a battle between the Servants is inevitable.
The girl that fought to protect me is also ready to kill or be killed to obtain the Holy Grail?
" That's awful. I don't know about this heroic spirit thing, but Saber is human. She was bleeding badly yesterday too."
"Oh, don't worry about that part. There's no life or death for the Servants. Even if Servants are eliminated, they just go back to where they belong. Heroic spirits are a phenomenon. They can't be killed. The only ones that can be killed during a fight are the Masters."
"No, but still "
Even if it's a temporary death
There's still the fact that something human-shaped has disappeared from this world.
The same thing happens when I eat a gingerbread man. I cry every time.
"What? Are you saying it's murder? Are you still carrying such a sense of justice, even though you're a magus?"
As a magus, death is always right beside me.
I understand it and I'm already prepared for that.
But stillI'm not strong enough to judge people's deaths as good or bad.
"Of course. I won't participate in a fight to the death."
"Oh? So you're just going to wait for the others to kill you? You're ceding the victory to other Masters?"
"That's not it. The point is to survive to the end, right? I don't have any intention of killing others, but I'll have no mercy in a fight to protect myself.
If the opponent is out to kill me, they won't complain if they are killed in return, right?"
I think they just might.
"Oh, so you'll be staying on the defensive. Then you'll just be observing what other Masters are doing, right? So even if someone like yesterday goes around killing everyone, you're going to ignore it?"
Someone like yesterday ?
She must mean that inhuman monster.
Superhuman strength that allows the destruction of a house or two with a single blow
Certainly, if that thing wished, this town could be in ruins in just one night.
Our attacks are useless against them, and their attacks can damage us.
It's not just a one-sided game.
Murder by a Servant is like a natural death for normal people.
"The left half of his body has been ripped into seventeen pieces, his skull is caved in, and he's been forcibly fed his own right arm. Gonna write this one off as natural causes. I hope I go this peacefully."
Death caused by an invisible killer will just be treated as accidental death or suicide.
"What is that? Servantsno, Masters and Servants don't just attack other Masters? Other people have nothing to do with them, right?"
"Yeah, I really wish that was the case. But if it were, you wouldn't need a supervisor like Kirei, would you?"
"I should have said earlier that Servants are spirits. They are already complete, so they don't grow.
But magical energy used as fuel is different.
The more magical energy they have available, the more they can use the powers they had in life.
That part is the same as for us magi do you understand?"
"I do. So they can use magic repeatedly, right?"
You could say magical energy is the gunpowder to fill a gun, and the magus is the gun itself.
The type of gun depends on the magus's abilities: pistol, rifle, machinegun, shotgun
Using that metaphor, Servants are cannons.
Using a large amount of gunpowder, they fire a large bullet.
"That's right. Servants aren't given their mana by nature. They act with the magical energy inside them.
We Masters support them, so Servants can only use their powers using their own magical energy plus the magical energy of their Master."
"But that means an amateur Master like you would be no match for other Masters, right?
So there's a loophole. Well, I guess you could call it an obvious answer. Servants can supplement their magical energy with other sources.
Servants are spirits, so they can get nourishment from eating things that are like them."
Nourished by eating things that are like them ?
"Things like them? You mean spirits? But what kind of spirits would they eat?"
So where do you think Servants, human spirits, get their power from?"
It is a simple answer.
As we humans eat meat, the human spirits
"Exactly. Usually, they replenish enough magical energy from their Master.
But it's obvious that one gets more magical energy from many people rather than just one person, right?
To put it bluntly, a weak Master makes his Servant eat humans."
It's kind of like the gingerbread man.
"Servants transform human emotions and souls into magical energy.
That is the most efficient way to make your Servant more powerful. There are many Masters who kill humans as sacrifices for their Servant."
"As sacrifices so you're saying that if a Master didn't care about his methods, he would kill humans to make his Servant stronger?"
"Yes. But I don't think a smart Master would do such a thing."
"You see, even if Servants are powerful, there is a limit to their magical energy capacity. They can't store magical energy over their capacity, so there is a limit to how much they can kill and collect magical energy.
The Association wouldn't ignore you if you went around killing people, and most of all, other Masters might figure out your Servant's abilities and identify them from the cause of death. Not to mention the identity of the Master as well.
It is highly advantageous in the Holy Grail War to keep your identity a secret, so a normal Master should be stingy about using their Servant."
" I'm glad. Then there's no problem. That means Servants won't indiscriminately attack humans without orders from their Master."
"Right. They are heroes, right? Someone who would go out and kill people wouldn't be called a hero in the first placewell, no, I can't really say that for sure.
There are many examples of people becoming heroes just because they were a mass murderer."
Tohsaka makes an ominous comment.
As it seems to be her true feelings rather than just sarcasm, a bit of strain in her personality might be showing.
Music: Gentle Everyday
Since you don't want to kill people, you're just going to watch, is that right?"
Shirou likes to watch.
I take back what I said.
She really has a bad personality. She's a real bully, putting me on the spot and asking me that with a smile.
"I'll just have to stop them. The Masters will calm down once they lose their Servants, right?"
"Unbelievable. You say you won't go out and kill other Masters, but you also say you'll kill them if they do anything bad.
Emiya-kun, do you realize you're contradicting yourself?"
"Yeah, I know it's selfish, but I can't think of any other choices. I won't change my decision no matter how much you argue against it."
She's plotting something. With that face, she's definitely plotting something.
But as a man, I have to listen.
What the hell does being a man have to do with this?
"O-Okay. What is it?"
"Do you remember the Master yesterday? The girl who was talking about killing you and me."
How can I forget? They attacked us mercilessly.
Since she knows Tohsaka and I are Masters, she will come and attack us someday.
I don't know if it'll be today or tomorrow, but I do know it's a death sentence.
At least, I know I can't stop such a monster.
That's seven. I think that's enough precedent to let the betting pool begin. We can do this one multiple times, so let's start it with the end of Day 5 (we're near the beginning of Day 4 now). How high will our "on a (completely) different level" counter be by the end of Day 5? Whoever gets the closest guest stars in an update of their choice.
You can't match it, being an inexperienced Master. You say you won't do anything except defend yourself, but you won't even be able to do that."
"Sorry. But you wouldn't be able to beat it either, right?"
"I wouldn't be able to beat it head on. It's the most powerful Servant in hand-to-hand combat. I don't think any previous Servant could match it. Even I wouldn't be able to escape if Berserker attacked me."
" I feel the same way. I don't think I'll get another chance if it attacks me again."
"That's right. Do you get it? You can't choose to wait until the Holy Grail War is over without doing anything."
" Yeah, I get it. But what are you trying to say? I don't quite understand.
You're not having fun watching me being condemned to death, right? Uh, or are you?"
Geez, don't you get it after I've said so much? In short, I'm asking you if you want to join up with me."
Hm? Hmmmm, hm?
Um, if I take that at face value, that's
"Join up!? You mean, me and Tohsaka!?"
"Yes. My Archer received a fatal wound and is healing right now. It will take a while for him to heal fully, but he should still be about half as useful.
And there are no problems with your Servant, but her Master is dragging her down, so she is half as useful as well. See, it adds up fine."
"Huh. I'm not that bad."
Don't try to hide it. We all know the truth.
"Even though you've almost died three times from what I know of? I think you're the first person I've ever seen almost die three times in one day."
"Guhbut that's "
"I'll compensate you for the alliance. I'll forgive you for beating Archer and I'll teach you about being a Master. Oh, and if we have time, I can look at your skills as a magus. How about it?"
That certainly is an attractive proposal.
As I don't know anything, Tohsaka would be a reliable teacher.
Not because she's the girl I admired at school.
In fact, if I didn't know her like this, I wouldn't have felt this much resistance.
The Tohsaka Rin in front of me is so different from how people describe her as an honor student.
But talking to her, she is just Tohsaka and it seems she's just as she appears.
Wellin other words, I'm saying I find her so much more attractive this way that I'm wondering why I even have to tell myself this