The Let's Play Archive

Fate/stay night

by seorin

Part 368: Rider leaves / Sparks Liner High / Tiger Dojo 38

As mentioned, four of the available choices all lead to this scene. First, if you fight back using projection:

Music: Footsteps of Destruction

I can't afford to use any more projection, but it's better to take chances if she's going to kill me…!

"Trace, on."

I activate my Magic Circuit, not daring to take my eyes off her.
…I won't make any weapons until the last second.
I'll project something and counter her the instant she attacks me!

"……Projection. I cannot use you to your full potential, but an excellent swordsman would be able to use you as a Noble Phantasm."

Rider's hostility dissipates.
Rider steps back and relaxes, as if she's read my mind.


"I will let you go. I cannot use you.
…How ironic fate can be. If Saber were here, she would have been your partner."

Music: Stop

Rider's presence disappears.
Maybe she left the grounds after leaving the shed.
I don't feel her hostility anymore, and I don't think she's coming back.

Next, if you try to escape:

Music: Footsteps of Destruction

Rider emits hostility that can be taken as anger or dejection.
…It might be because the shed's dark, but she looks like a giant snake.

", "
I concentrate only on the signs of her attack…

", Hah!"
And I avoid the dagger that's swung at me before I jump back.

But that's enough pleasure for now.
The fight just began. I now have to beat Rider somehow

I don't feel anyone coming after me out of the shed.
Rider slowly appears from within.

"…I have lost interest. You cannot kill Sakura with your skill. There is no need for me to kill you here."
She disappears into the night.

Music: Stop

Rider's presence disappears.
Maybe she's left the grounds.
I don't feel her hostility anymore, and I don't think she's coming back.

You can also incorrectly answer Rider's previous question in two ways. The first:

"……Rider. I'll fight until the very end. I want to save Sakura, just like you want to protect her. I don't know what result it'll bring, but I can't run away.
…I'll fight Sakura to save her. If you're going to stand in my way, I'll do whatever it takes to kill you."


There's no reply.
After a long and heavy silence…

"I understand your determination. But you cannot save Sakura like that."
…She leaves with those words.

"You fight in your own way. I will save Sakura in mine."

The last way to get the dead end is to answer the other incorrect question:

"……Rider. I'll fight until the very end. I want to save Sakura, just like you want to protect her. I don't know what result it'll bring, but I can't run away.
…I'll fight Sakura to save her. If you're going to stand in my way, I'll do whatever it takes to kill you."


There's no reply.
After a long and heavy silence…

"I understand your determination. But you cannot save Sakura like that."
…She leaves with those words.

"You fight in your own way. I will save Sakura in mine."

All of these lead to the following, the infamous "Sparks Liner High".

I wrap the Azoth sword with cloth and tuck it under my arm.
This is my only weapon. The only other thing I'm taking is the pendant.

Music: Ever-present Feeling

It's partly because Zouken's after her, but I'm also having her stay here because she's my hope.

"I see. So she's out there, huh?"

"Yeah. She looked like she wanted you to come quickly, so she'll probably scold you again if you don't hurry."

There's no pain in my left arm now.
It's just that my human functionality is eroding.

"See you, Shirou. Please come home with Sakura and Rin before the day breaks."

Music: Stop

I wave goodbye to her and leave.

Music: Wandering Shadow

If I strain my ears, I can hear it howling.

…I know this atmosphere.

It's the reenactment of the event ten years ago.
The air is thick with curses. Even people who are not magi should feel the ominous air of this place.

"This feeling… Is Sakura at the Ryudou Temple?"

"No, we have no business at the Ryudou Temple. The gate above must be the ostensible gate for the Masters that want the Holy Grail.
…If we want the Great Holy Grail, we have to go down instead of up."

We push our way through the tree branches.
There's not even an animal trail in this place, so we even have to climb down rock walls.

"Like a crack in a rock that we can slip through, or a suspicious-looking shrine. It's an entrance, so I don't think it'd just be a pit."
"…Don't be ridiculous. The stars are out, but I can't see anything in a forest at night"

…Oh, I can.
We must be behind the temple, because I see many dead trees.
There's no sign of human influence. There's nothing here but dead trees and a small stream.

"…Small stream?"
Hold on.
That means the water's coming from somewhere.

"Stop. …Wait a second. I'll take a better look."
Following the sound of water, I figure out which direction to search.
…The stream isn't coming from the mountaintop, but from a rocky outcropping.

"…It looks like a cave. …It might be a dead end, but…"
"What? Did you find something?"
"Yeah, let's go check. It's this way, Tohsaka. Watch your footing."

We pick our way down to the stream.
…It's more like a spring flowing out from the rocks.

The stones are piled atop one another where it starts. There's a crack big enough for one person to fit through.
It's like a snow hut made from rocks.
You can see that a huge boulder is blocking the entrance, so nobody would even try to go in it.

"It's a small cave… But it's a dead end. The water seems to be coming from the rocks."
"No, this is the place, Shirou. Try touching the rock in the back. Your hand will go right through it."

"Wow. Is this some kind of illusion?"
"It's a kind of a boundary field. Let's go."
Tohsaka goes into the darkness without turning back.

Once we go into the enemy's lair, there's no backing out.
I take a deep breath and follow after her.

Music: Stop

…The weight of the darkness is stifling.
Unless I keep my back to the ground as I move, I might fall into the endless dark.

I lay flat on my back as I slowly descend.
……It's dark, and I can't tell how far down this path goes.
My breathing echoes in my ears.

"The gem sword. Why did you make it for me?"
She sounds blunt, as if she's just asking to kill time while we're descending.

"Why ask?"
"I've told you I'm planning to kill Sakura.
Can you really give me a weapon, knowing that?"
I nod in agreement.
Well, Tohsaka certainly has a point.

"I'm not okay with that. But I can't save Sakura without you. It's better to have two people instead of one.
And projecting the sword was a promise.
I couldn't keep one of my promises with you, so I wanted to keep the other."

To let her win.
I promised to make her the victor.

…I can't keep that promise anymore.
So I have to keep the other promise with her.
For the girl I used to admire…
For Tohsaka Rin, who believed in someone who had nothing at the time.

"I see. You're pretty faithful."
"Yeah, but not as much as you."
Silence returns to the darkness.
The conversation ends.
We continue our descent without looking at each other.

A long path that seems to lead to hell.
The path spirals downward, and just as I'm thinking we're over a hundred meters underground…
The dark cave changes completely, accepting us.

It makes me want to vomit.
The warmth of life should be dazzling, but instead it's something rotten, making me want to look away.

I have no words to say to her.
This is a land of death.
Talking to each other to soften the tension would only cost us our lives.

"Let's go. From now on, look out for your own safety first."
…Tohsaka heads down the path, to the source of the black air.

I see something red on the ground.
It's a trace of blood.
The blood is leading to the back.

Did someone come here before us?
And someone wounded badly enough to leave behind a trail of blood?

I shake off that train of thought and head on.
I can't be worrying about others.

My consciousness fades away if I let my guard down.
I'll disappear if I worry about needless things.
I tighten my grip on the pendant.
Letting the pain clear my head, I step into the green darkness.

Music: Stop

At its end, the path opens into a cavern.
It's about as big as the schoolground.
It's too dark to make out the ceiling, but it must be about ten meters up.

I don't detect any signs of life.
An unforgettable underground space that looks like the moonscape that I read about a long time ago.
And there…

Waits Saber, filled with absolute hostility.

Music: Footsteps of Destruction

There's no reply.

…Of course.
Saber's duty is to eliminate any intruders.
She's the gatekeeper and the executioner.
Saber's the strongest Servant Sakura has, so she can fight us by herself.

Tohsaka lowers her stance and reaches for the gem sword she's hiding behind her back.

She must intend to fight her head-on.
I don't know what kind of ability the sword has, but she's going to fight Saber.

But that's not a good idea.
We still have a countermeasure, since we know Saber's powers. We can't use our only secret weapon when Zouken and Assassin are still waiting for us

"Wait, Tohsaka…! Saber's"

"Rin. I have no reason to fight you. Please do not attack me. I will go against Sakura's orders if I kill you here."

Speaking in the same quiet tones as before, Saber stops Tohsaka in her tracks.
We comprehend what she means right away.

"…What are you doing? You're keeping watch here, right?"
"Yes. I am to eliminate anyone that passes by here.
That is Sakura's order. But"

"I'm an exception. Sakura wants to see me, huh?"

Saber nods.

"……I see. She must be serious."
She mutters.
…After taking a deep breath, Tohsaka walks over to Saber.

Tohsaka walks on without hesitation and passes by Saber.
And right before she disappears…

I can't understand if you complain to me without telling me what I should be doing.

"I-I'm saying it'll just be a pain if you come complaining after everything's over! …Um, make sure you're not too late if you want to save Sakura."
Tohsaka disappears, her hair fluttering behind her.

…Thanks, Tohsaka.
That gave me strength.
In short, she told me to come help her while she keeps Sakura at bay.


So she doesn't have to hold back anymore, huh?

"…Oh. Isn't your job to kill anyone that goes on from here? But I haven't even taken a step forward."
"It is only a matter of time. You would never simply turn and leave."

I was always troubling you because I wouldn't listen. I guess you still remember I'm stupid."

I move my dry tongue.
I don't feel alive at all.
I couldn't even hit Saber once when we sparred in the dojo, and she wasn't even using a tenth of her powers.
There's no way I can beat her.
My neck will be cut the instant I cross blades with her.

…The start of the battle isn't when the blades first meet.
I have to use everything I can to find a way to beat her.

"That's scary, Saber. …But you have your sword sheathed. You're saying you'll kill me, but you still haven't tried to attack."

But that will not last. You need to go to Sakura. I do not need to move, as you will come to me once you lose patience."

Video: Twin Steel Blades (mirror)

"……Damn. I guess I have to fight you head-on."
I breathe out the air in my lungs.
There's only one possible way out of this.
Archer's arm.
I have to use projection to defeat Saber, just like when I fought Berserker.

I already know I can't beat her that way.


"Trace, on."

I create the weapon.
The swords that have the least burden on me out of all the projections.
The symbol that Archer wielded for all his life: twin steel blades.


…With an effort, I gather together the shards of my consciousness.
…What did Saber just say?
Did she ask me why I won't project her sword?

…I can't waste my energy like that.
…It takes too long to project such a powerful Noble Phantasm, and I can't handle that holy blade in any case.
I should be able to imitate it if my enemy's not moving, but I won't have time to use the sword's true name against her.

Saber's body wavers.
She holds the black holy sword.

"Come. A body such as yours will last only a few minutes."
She offers my dying body a quiet invitation.

I take a step forward.
My first move, predicting Saber's counterattack, how to avoid it… I throw everything away and kick the ground.
I swing the yang-sword Kanshou.
In a heartbeat, I close the ten meters between us, concentrate everything I have in my left arm, and swing down with all my might.

Music: The Golden King

I don't care.
What kind of miracle is it that's executing the attacks Emiya Shirou cannot execute and blocking the attacks Emiya Shirou cannot block?

I don't care.
What's the flashing light, the force that renews itself every second?

I really don't care about it.

It's not perfect, but my abilities are now close to his.

My vision wavers with each blow I deflect,
but I can bear it.

My mind and flesh are scraping off, and my existence is fading.
My body screams with each of her attacks, and I'm beginning to see my death, a mere thirty steps ahead.
There's no fear.
All I have is…

If that's the case, I can still manage.
There should be an opening since Saber isn't using her holy sword…!

Music: Stop

Music: Footsteps of Destruction

"Haa……… Haa, haa, haa"
I try to catch my breath.
Every muscle in me is on fire.
It feels like the heat inside me is coming out of my pores.

"HaaHaa, ha"

With Kanshou and Bakuya in hand, I stare at Saber.
I jumped ten meters back.
Even Saber will need to take two steps to close this distance.
With this buffer between us, I can relax.

I get my breath back in no time.
I look down at my body for a second.

I don't care.
So long as they don't kill me, I don't mind these swords.
It's a problem that my movement precision's going down, but I fortunately don't feel any pain.

I can block five more attacks from Saber.
I can't tell what'll happen after that.
So I have to find an opening within the next five attacks and strike with everything I've got.

Saber quickly shoots down that idea.

"Why? I'm keeping up with you."

"How can you say that, knowing your condition? ……No, you are charging ahead with this reckless plan because of your state. Your body is at its limit, even though you do not bleed and your flesh is turning into swords. I shall obliterate you with this next exchange of attacks."

…I know.
I already know that.
But I have no other option.
I can only project one more time.
So I have to defeat Saber with the swords I have right now.

"…I won't know until I try. I'm going to attack with more power next time. If I overpower you even once in the next five-"

Music: Stop

"Shirou. Why are you conserving your energy?"


Video: Sparks Liner High (mirror)

Music: In the Name of God (Realta Nua)

…That's right.
I'll die if I can't beat Saber.
But I still have one more trump card.
I'm saving the last projection to save Sakura.
That'll be meaningless if I can't make it to where Sakura is.

"But that's…"

It means giving up my only shot at saving Sakura in order to beat Saber.
I can't do that.
It won't do any good to die here, but there's no point if I can't use projection once I get to Sakura.

Do you understand? Rin will have to face Sakura and me together."
That's impossible.
Tohsaka won't be able to fight the two of them at the same time.
But converselyif Sakura's alone, Tohsaka will

Saber has to stay here because I didn't run away.
Sakura is facing Tohsaka without her greatest protection.

But that's only for a moment.
Sakura can call her Servant back at any time.
Sakura would call for Saber if Tohsaka corners her.
Once that happens, Tohsaka will lose.
Then what I need to do is keep Saber from going to her Master.

"Shirou. Is that all I am to you?"

My heart stops.
No, my heart already stopped a few seconds ago.
My body's breaking down already.
My fate has been determined ever since I took the Shroud off in the Einzbern forest.

I don't even know what fear is anymore.
But I've clung to life to save Sakura.
If my wish can be granted, it doesn't matter how it happens.

"…Heh. So it's not like dying here won't accomplish anything."

I'm determined now.
Tohsaka will have to face Zouken, Sakura, and Saber if I don't take Saber down here.
There is a meaning if I can decrease her opponents.
Even if I can't save Sakura, Tohsaka will do it if I give her the chance.

But these twin swords are the only weapons I'm going to read.

I still haven't comprehended their full capabilities.
I'm going to pull out Archer's tactics and Kanshou and Bakuya's true nature.

I forget names.
I forget the names of a lot of things.
My name included.

Go further.

Find it, find it, find it.
It has to be there.
The method I couldn't come up with, the stance that will guarantee a kill should exist.
He favored these swords.
Then there's no way he hasn't come up with an ultimate attack to get him through the countless battles!

Two curves.
Yin and yang are attracted to one another.
Consecutive projection.
Keep the basic technique.

My enemy readies herself, able to feel my determination.

…Who is that?
All the names were blown from my mind, but this enemy is called…

Music: Stop

I have to move while I still can.
"Divine skill, flawless and firm."
I have to surpass my enemy in this exchange of blows.

Music: Mighty Wind (Realta Nua)

I throw them.
I charge them with as much magical energy as I can muster, and I throw them from both sides.

Targeting the enemy's neck.
The two blades draw an arc so they intersect right on the enemy.
The blades draw a beautiful cross.
No hero can come out unscathed after being trapped between steel-penetrating Noble Phantasms.


The enemy blocks them like nothing.
She easily redirects Kanshou and Bakuya that attacked from both sides at the same time.

She escaped the attack.
The twin swords are supposed to come back to me even if they're deflected, but she redirected them behind her.

I charge.

"Freeze, out."

She unleashes her fatal attack.
But right before that.
"Strength moves mountains."

A surprise attack comes from an unexpected direction.


She uses her cognition-like instincts and avoids the Bakuya that flew at her from behind.
Taking advantage of the perfect opening, I strike using Kanshou

And she blocks it with her sword.

"Another one…!?"
Kanshou attacks her from behind again.
I don't even need to say that it's the one that was thrown and deflected.

Kanshou and Bakuya are twin blades.
They attract each other like magnets.
SoKanshou automatically returns to me as long as I have Bakuya!

The enemy avoids the surprise attack with godlike reflexes.
And I smash Bakuya into her unguarded chest

She even blocks my final attack.

The enemy is at her limit too.
She destroyed my weapon at the cost of leaving herself open.
So there's nothing more.

This battle has ended with a stalemate.
We're both defenseless, and in a second we'll be back where we started.
I still have more.

The enemy's expression freezes.
My last ten percent disappears.

Life approaches the Imperial Villa.
I pass my limit.
I create another pair of swords in my empty hands.

Two great men, shared life……!
I slash her defenseless body from both sides.

Music: Stop

Anyway, I've defeated my enemy.
That attack was perfect.
Then I should rest now.
My heart's still beating.
I should be able to stand back up after I wake.

So for now…
I'll sleep a bit.

Music: Deep Slumber (Realta Nua)

"Ah… Ah, haa………"
And to add, she has natural healing powers.
She has strong regenerative abilities, coupled with an almost infinite source of magical energy.
One has to crush her head or heart if one wants to kill her.
She'll heal within ten minutes if she's left alone.
Butconversely, she cannot do anything for ten minutes and has to accept any finishing blows.

She turns her head.
She looks at the boy lying right next to her.

Music: Stop

Video: Tiger Dojo 38 (mirror)

Music: Ever-present Feeling

Huh? Aren't you going to get mad like always and call him a wimp?

This end is peaceful in a way.
It's like Saber-chan's end in "Heavens Feel".

Oh. …Well, Shirou did win against Saber in a one-on-one fight, so I guess he's satisfied.

But we'll carry out this dojo like always.
So, why did we reach this end, pupil number one!?

That's right! I tell you every time to prepare a trump card when going into the final battle, so why don't you do your best!?

Master, then what's the trump card this time?

An ally!

Convince her somehow before you go into your final battle!

Okay… But master, she quickly runs away.

Recall the conversation you had with her before. There's only one answer. She'll become your ally if you give her the answer she wants.

Well, this dojo is over.
The long battle is about to reach the grand finale!
Please check out the grand finale of "Fate/stay night" with your own eyes!