Part 307: Truth about Sakura
Sakura doesn't raise her head to look at me.
She's trying to avoid talking to me.
I don't know if it's because of Shinji, or because of all the things I've hidden from her.
All I can tell is that Sakura's body is hotter than this morning.
" It's fine. Let's talk later.
We'll go home for now and"
"It's over. The match is decided, Shinji."
I realize that Tohsaka is behind me.
"Yeah. But that was an order, not a promise, right? Then I think it's illogical to call it unfair."
" That's fine.
We were together, but Emiya-kun didn't ask me for help. I came here because I wanted to."
"You're lying ! Why are you here if he didn't get you!?
Emiya acted honest and tricked me!"
"Oh, that? That's simple. I was next to him when you called. You had such a loud voice, Matou-kun. I was able to hear you even though Emiya-kun was trying to hide it."
Music: Footsteps of Destruction
I don't believe this! Are you still concerned about it!? She's just a quiet bitch that shrinks with fear! Look, I'm a Master!
You shouldn't worry about them! You should just be concerned about me !!"
"I see. Then why don't you make your Servant fight?
Archer only cut her stomach. He hasn't destroyed the core of her embodiment, her neck or her heart. Go ahead and heal Rider if you're a legitimate Master."
"Kuhdamn you !"
That's Shinji's Command Spell that burned up at that park.
He still has it !?
"Get up, Rider! It's your Master's order! Get up and beat Archer !"
There's no reply.
Rider is crouching, motionless.
A puddle of blood is under her, and the blood keeps flowing.
She is the one who needs help right now.
To order her to fight is to hasten her death.
Shinji's fingers tighten on the book.
That must be how he uses his Command Spell. With trembling movements, Rider tries to stand.
"Stopthat's enough, Shinji, give up ! Rider will die if you push her any more !"
"Hah! Servants don't die that easily! You just shut up and take care of that piece of trash !"
Shinji does not relent.
I let go of Sakura and rush him again.
At that instant
" No ! No more !"
that's twice you've blocked us. Don't think I'll forget this!
I stop and turn back.
Clutching her stomach, she moans as if in the throes of a nightmare.
"No way. This is Rider ?"
Tohsaka stands ready while Archer silently watches the enemy that stood up.
Rider is completely healed.
The power flowing from her body is just like when she was at the Ryudou Temple.
Her figure disappears.
Rider suddenly disappears from my vision
"Get down, Emiya-kun!"
The moment I duck, long hair flutters right above me.
Rider has instantly jumped with Sakura in hand.
She lands opposite usbetween Shinji and the rest of us.
"Huh? What are you doing? Who told you to bring Sakura?"
"No, there was no such order. As a Servant, I merely protected my Master."
Rider lets Sakura down and glances at Shinji.
Her eyes are covered with a leather mask, but her expression is frighteningly cold.
"D-Don't be stupid. I'm your Master. Why are you wasting time instead of protecting me"
"Shinji. A Command Spell appears on the body of a Master. I have never accepted anyone who does not bear the holy sign as my Master."
"You are a fraud. You have lost the book which granted you false ownership, so I can no longer obey you."
Rider turns away from Shinji.
That motion tells Shinji that she will never look at him again.
You already knew, did you not?"
" Yeah. I knew it was strange.
There's no way one of the Matous would be chosen as a Master. Their bloodline has grown thin, so no magi should be born to them."
"So it shouldn't be possible for Shinji, one of the Matou family, to become a Master. But Rider was summoned, and a person from the Matou household was chosen as a Master."
" Yes. I thought Matou Zouken summoned you and entrusted you to Shinji.
But it's actually much more simple. Zouken doesn't need to do anything. Because the most appropriate person in the Matou household to be a Master is"
Tohsaka isn't looking at Rider.
She is only looking at
"The legitimate successor of Matou.
This generation's magus of the Matou line. It's you, Sakura."
She's looking straight at Sakura.
Music: Whirlpool of Fate
I can't say anything.
Tohsaka and Sakura.
I can only look at them alternately and try to figure out what was just said.
My left hand hurts.
My relaxed mind finally starts to inform me of the pain on my hand.
It seems my mind is calm.
Tohsaka's words and the sight of the Command Spell on Sakura's left hand have numbed my senses, butmy mind isn't surprised at all.
Why did such a thing happen?
Sakura is hanging her head as if trying to hide.
Judging by her body language, she didn't want me to know.
Rider became Shinji's Servant with that, and you lost your right as a Master at the same time, becoming an ordinary magus. So when I first had you show me your arm, you'd already given your Command Spell to Shinji."
Sakura doesn't answer and bites her lips.
"Damn, again, Sakura! Give me the right to control her again!"
Shinji runs to her as if begging her.
"Hey, say something! You don't want to fight, right? You said you didn't want to be a Master, so that's why I took over in your place!
Why are you pretending to be a good girl now !?"
Shinji raises his arm.
But there's no need for me to stop him.
"R-Riderare you going to disobey me?"
"You are not my Master, Shinji. If you intend to harm Sakura, I will kill you."
Rider releases him.
Shinji backs away, clutching his arm where Rider gripped it.
"Ha, hahaI see. You'll regret that, Rider. No matter what you say, everything will be back to normal when Sakura makes another book.
Do you know what'll happen to you once you become my Servant again?"
"It's useless, Shinji. It's almost impossible to entrust a Servant to a human, and someone that's not a magus at that. The transfer using the Command Spell made it possible."
"Y-Yeah. There's one more Command Spell.
Sakura won't disobey me, so "
"That's why this is it. Sakura only has one more Command Spell. If you use it, you'll have no way to control Rider.
Rider would be freed. You can't bind a Servant with a fake right made with a Command Spell. It'll just burn your book like earlier even if you order Rider."
No, you were never a Master as you were only controlling her using a fake Command Spell."
A crack runs through.
With a sound, the existence of Matou Shinji breaks.
"HaHa. I see, so it was impossible from the beginning. I have no talent. The old man cast me aside as a failure, and I was pitied.
Yeah, it's only natural. I knew it, I knew it, I knew it, I knew it, I knew it ! I knew from the beginning that I'm not suited!"
"No, don't worry about it, Sakura. This was all just a farce. I knew that I have no talent. You're the family's heir. There was no need for me to butt in."
"Yeah, I know, I know.
So, Sakurayou continue."
"I'm telling you to beat them in my place! Look, Emiya and Tohsaka are enemies! You're the successor of Matou, so act like one !"
Sakura won't fight, and you have no right. We won't attack you, since you don't have Rider anymore. Just stay in hiding until the Holy Grail War ends."
"I'm not asking you. Come on, Sakura. I'm telling you. You're going to obey me like always, right?"
Sakura clenches her fists, turns her back to Shinji,
" I don't want to. Let's stop, Nii-san."
and clearly refuses his order.
"Sakura. What did you just say?"
" I don't want to. You broke your promise. You said you wouldn't kill Senpai, but you broke our promise.
Sakura doesn't turn to look at Shinji.
Shinji looks at it like someone else's matter and laughs.
"All right. Then you can die."
I hear the sound of glass breaking.
Her knees lose strength and she falls to the ground.
"Hah, bye, Sakura! If you're going to hold a grudge, don't hold it at me, but hold it against that old man for making your body like that. Well, you were gonna end up like that anyway. It's better for you to be freed from the pain now!"
Shinji runs away.
Sakura tears at her chest.
Her earring breaks and chemical-like liquid is pouring out of it.
She goes into convulsions.
No, it's worse.
Sakura's shaking so bad that it seems like she's going to crumble like a building in an earthquake.
Music: Footsteps of Destruction
"Fool! Don't you understand what's going on!?"
Someone stops me.
I don't know when he got here, but Archer is grabbing my shoulder.
"Get away from here. You will not be able to restore her if you feed her without care."
Archer pushes me back and says something strange.
The hallway tints red.
The air becomes a mist, moistening our skin, and every wall starts to sweat like honey.
My chest is burning.
This red world is a different world made by magic.
This must be a boundary field that melts everything within its framework, on this premise.
"Tohsaka, this is"
I can't breathe.
No, the mist clogs my throat and burns me from the inside when I breathe.
But it's much stronger now that Sakura is Rider's Master."
On the other side of the hallway is Sakura, clawing at her chest in agony,
and Rider, who is confronting Archer to protect Sakura.
"Move aside, Rider. Your master is running wild. She will be addicted to it unless she is stopped before she gets a taste of another's magical energy."
"I refuse. My role is to protect my Master. I cannot let you through as long as you are trying to kill Sakura."
" Oh. So you will stand there and let your master die? Your Master is using up magical energy at a high rate. Do you understand that she will certainly die if you leave her alone?"
"No. She can avoid death if she takes in more magical energy than she loses.
Fortunately, there are two magi here. Shinji escaped, but they cannot escape now. I shall take your Master before Sakura is consumed."
It seems you value yourself over other people's lives."
"That goes for you too. You are trying to protect your Master by ignoring mine."
"I seethen there's no need for either one of us to hold back!"
Without heed for the corrosive boundary field, he rushes at where Sakura still crouches on the ground.
And he clashes with Rider as she blocks his way.
"Heyare you okay with this, Tohsaka!? He started fighting with Rider !"
" Of course they have to fight. We won't last like this. And as a fellow magus, I have to prevent Sakura from becoming a heretic."
Are those people who use magic against the law of the Association, or people who cannot stop the Magic Circuit and destroy themselves ?
"Wait. What is that? Why Sakura?"
"She's running wild. Rider made this boundary field, but Sakura's the one maintaining it. I don't know what Shinji did, but Sakura's attacking indiscriminately now."
" I bet Sakura is like us. It's just painful and she just wants air, so she's sucking on other people's air, or magical energy in this case. I can't leave her be as the supervisor of Fuyuki."
"Wha? You can't leave her be? What are you going to do to Sakura!?"
" Ask Archer. I only know of one way to stop a magus like that. But Archer might know of some other way."
" Well, we have to do something about Rider before that anyway. From what I can see, Archer is the stronger of the two, but it seems his output is down."
" Output is down?"
Rider's strength is her agility.
She shouldn't be good at fights where she has to protect someone.
Being forced to protect someone should put her at a disadvantage.
Archer should've already defeated her and moved on to Sakura.
But that's not the caseso could Rider be overwhelming him ?
Archer's sword swings through empty air.
Her hair flowing as she moves, Rider arches back and avoids the attack, then steps in and slashes at Archer.
But Rider isn't the only one who attacks and defends at the same time.
Archer repels Rider's dagger with his other sword and pushes her back.
Advance and retreat.
They are evenly matched. Archer cannot press forward, Rider cannot force him back, and they consequently clash swords without any progress.
The impatient one is Archer.
Though his enemy is weaker than him, he cannot repel her, and the boundary field is slowly taking his energy.
And to add, Tohsaka and I are at our limits.
Just stopping our breaths is painful, so being in the hallway stabs at our minds.
At this pace, we'll fall before Archer defeats Rider.
Archer clucks his tongue in annoyance.
"I understand your power.
I am sorry, but you cannot defeat me."
Rider stops and makes an announcement in a regretful voice.
"I said you cannot beat me. You are not using your Noble Phantasm. I do not know if your Master has forbidden you from doing so or if you are concerned for Sakura's safety.
Regardless, if you will not use it, this is it. You cannot defeat me."
Planting her feet, her only weapon, Rider confronts Archer.
She looks so defenseless that the match could be decided if Archer attacked her now.
" Hah. I'm not worried for your Master. I just think that there is no need.
And you cannot use your Noble Phantasm either. Matou Shinji was your Master until just now, so you do not have enough magical energy stocked up to use it."
" That's right. There's no need to waste my magical energy against an opponent who will not use it. I will slash you with my next attack, proceed and slash that girl, and everything will end."
"Yes. Let's say that's how it will be.
It will be easier for me to kill you if that is the case."
Rider answers calmly.
What does she intend to do?
Without even readying her weapon, Rider stands against Archer
" No, Rider !"
but stops when she hears the voice.
"Please endure there, Sakura. I will solve everything."
"Stopplease stop, Rider. I didn't call for you for something like this."
" I cannot follow that order. Your life takes priority above all else."
Video: Mystic Eyes (mirror)
Everything solidifies at that instant.
Music: Whirlpool of Fate 2
Rider's naked eyes.
They are inhuman eyes, one of the highest rank among numerous mystic eyes.
They look like crystals, and they are too abnormal to be called eyeballs.
The corneas do not take in light.
The pupil sees the world through a square.
The iris is solidified, not allowing the eyes to close.
The millions of cells that make up the retina are composed of ether.
Are they art that the gods admired, or are they nature that the gods cursed?
Rider's gray eyes are abnormal, and at the same time, too beautiful for any human to have.
Tohsaka's voice is almost a scream.
I can't tell what kind of face she's making.
My eyes are also captivated by Rider's mystic eyes, and I can't look away.
My blood is thickening.
The flow is solidified, and my senses are ceased.
A single action magic that magi have.
It takes the eyes, passive receptors of the world, and makes them function actively to influence the world.
It indiscriminately casts its magic upon anyone within sight, though the effect is vastly increased if the target meets your gaze.
In short, it's something not to be looked at, and it is a frightening magical nature that entraps anyone that looks at them.
Their abilities and concealable nature make the mystic eyes proof of a first-rate magus.
The technique to make one's own eyes into a Magic Circuit is close to that of a Magic Crest.
But then, artificial mystic eyes only have strong enough powers to cast Charm or Whisper.
Possessors of truly powerful mystic eyes are always born with them.
Binding. Coercion. Contract. Burning. Illusion. Extreme luck.
Mystic eyes that directly intervene with another's fate are called Noble Color, and among the highest-ranked of them are the eyes of petrification.
No magus of this age possesses these eyes.
There are only a few magi that make petrification magic possible.
How great a miracle is it to be possible to petrify others just by looking?
It is the curse of the gods sealed by the powers of shrines.
It is said that such evil eyes were only possessed by evil beasts and spirits in the age of the gods.
The magical Noble Phantasm that can petrify people with its glance, the symbol of the heroic spirit Medusa!
"Get away, Rin! The real attack is coming !"
Archer screams, his body now petrified up to his waist.
A dark-red wave is expanding from within Rider, who has released her mystic eyes.
"Wait even if you tell me !"
Tohsaka is moving too slowly.
Something terrible is flowing forth from the other side of the hallway.
The wave becomes sharp like a spear and aims straight at Tohsaka.
It's impressive how many HF spoilers can be contained in a single image.
They were originally beautiful women, but since they were loved by the sea god Poseidon, they were hated by the sea god's wife, and transformed into demons by the war goddess Athena who grew jealous of their beautiful hair. After they became demons, they secluded themselves in a lightless temple and it is said that they did not attack humans without reason. As a victim of the god's unreasonable actions, Medusa's fate was to have her head cut off by the gods' whim as well. It is said that the pure-white flying horse Pegasus, that sprang from the blood of her headless neck, was the son of the sea god Poseidon.
Classification-wise, she is more like a divine spirit than a heroic spirit. The great variety of abilities she has are traces from when she was treated as a goddess.
She has some divinity, but it has mostly degenerated. Divinity decreases as the hero's rank as a devil or demonic beast increases.