Part 38: Tohsaka Rin (IV) / Question for Saber
Music: Gentle Everyday
"I do feel bad for being late. Because of that, I brought you something, but you might not need it acting like that, huh?"
I take the coffee I bought at the stand and put it in my pocket.
It's windy out here and people might see us."
Shirou's suddenly, magically transformed from to
I pass Tohsaka and hand her the coffee.
Here, nobody should find us right away and we won't be seen from the windows on the fourth floor.
"Thanks. Get me some tea next time. I like milk teas. The value of the gratitude goes down if it's anything else, so be careful."
"All right, if I remember next time. So what, why did you get me up here? Seeing how you chose a desolate place, I'm assuming it's about that sort of thing."
"Yeah, you're right. So, what's it about?"
" What? You're pretty cool about it."
"Huh? Well, it's cold so I want to get this over with quickly.
Don't you feel the same?"
"! Of course! I plan to finish this business quickly too!"
Yeah, I thought so.
It's obvious, so she doesn't have to yell about it.
Then, I'll ask you directly. What are you going to do after school?"
"After school? I don't have any plans. I'll help the student council if they need help. Otherwise, I'll just go to work."
" What's with that utterly amazed expression? Tell me if you want to say something. I'll try to correct things."
" Geez. I don't care what happens to you, but I guess I'll give you one warning. We're cooperating right now, and you're too inexperienced as a magus."
"That again? I've heard that I'm an inexperienced magus too many times. I know, so don't tease me about it."
"I'm not teasing you. I'm just saying you're inexperienced because you don't seem to have noticed the boundary field around this school."
Boundary field around the school ?
"Hold on. A boundary field at school, could that be "
Music: Whirlpool of Fate 2
"It is a boundary field set up by another Master.
It's arranged so widely that it will pretty much encircle the whole school.
"This boundary field is the type that steals blood and meat from the humans inside it. It's still in the preparation phase, but haven't you noticed everyone's kind of listless?"
Come to think of it I felt a bit strange on Saturday, but was that it?
Then that must mean
"Sothere's a Master at this school ?"
I am shocked!
"Right. There's certainly an enemy lurking here. Do you understand, Emiya-kun? If you're not prepared, you'll die."
My relaxed feelings go tense.
" So. Do you know who this Master is, Tohsaka?"
"No, I've got some ideas, but I don't have any proof yet. Well, I knew there was another magus in this school, but a magus doesn't necessarily equal a Master.
There are cases when an amateur like you becomes a Master, so I can't be sure."
"Hey. I'm not an amateur, I'm a proper magus. Hey, hold on Tohsaka. There's another magus at our school !?"
"That's right. But I can't feel any sign that the magus is a Master. I went to check first, but they didn't have a Command Spell nor the presence of a Servant.
They might just be hiding it really well, but I'm pretty sure this person is not a Master."
Recently, I've felt a little magical energy other than ours in this place. That's a sign of the enemy Master's presence, but "
But it's too small an amount to detect the source, huh?
"A Master that's not a magus, huh? If you say so, you must be confident of that.
I believe you, but really are there that many magi at our school?"
A magus values their lineage, right? If two such lineages live in such a small area, they're bound to become intimate."
"Is that so? But I never knew about your family."
"Your household is special. I think your father was a lone wolf who alienated himself from the Association. He must have happened to like this city and decided to live in it, but this city is under our supervision.
If we found out, we'd take what we could, so I guess he was hiding because he didn't want that."
"WWhat do you mean, take what you could?"
Music: Gentle Everyday
"Hmm, are you curious? I'll come and collect it when you mature, so look forward to it."
I can't be the only one that thinks that sounds dirty.
" Geez. You really were wearing a mask.
Just how are you an honor student, you imposter?"
"Oh, is that so wrong? It's the responsibility of a magus to decorate the outward appearance, is it not?
You see, I'm the successor of the Tohsaka family, so I have to be a perfect honor student or I won't be able to face my father in heaven."
"Huh? Father? Tohsaka, you mean "
"Yes, he died when I was young. Well, he lived a long time, so I'm not sad or anything."
Tohsaka smiles, as if saying that's how a child with a magus father should be.
"That's a lie. When people die, you're sad. All the more so if that person is a relative. It's not something you can gloss over by saying, he was a magus so it couldn't be helped."
" Well, yeah.
You're completely right, so I can't argue."
Saying that, Tohsaka opens the can she's been using as a heat source.
She takes small sips of the coffee.
From what I know of her, I thought she would gulp it down, but she's really feminine when it comes to things like this.
Music: Tender Scenery
Anyways, there are only two magi in Fuyuki.
Other Masters must have come from elsewhere, or been a weirdo that got selected because they know a bit of magic."
According to Tohsaka, I'm weird too.
"I understand. But if it's a Master who barely knows magic, wouldn't it be impossible for him to create such a boundary field?"
Servants can't choose their Master. If a Servant ends up with a Master like you, they'll only be able to win if they do a lot of planning."
" Yeah. As annoying as it is, I can't argue with that."
So, getting back to the boundary field this boundary field is really advanced.
It's almost at the level of sorcery. If a magus can create such a boundary field, it should be impossible for them to hide their magical energy. So I believe this must be the actions of a Servant."
" The actions of a Servant, huh? Then is the Master not that dangerous?"
"Of course not. Magus or not, he's a strange one who doesn't know the rules. He's the type that will come and kill you if he finds out you're a Master."
"Huh? Not know the rules? You mean, the rules of the Holy Grail War?"
"No. The rules of humanity. The moment they make their Servant create a boundary field like this, they've lost track of who they are.
"Look, Shirou. Once this boundary field is finished and activated, it will melt every human in it and absorb them.
It's like we're in the stomach of something alive.
Well, it shouldn't have any effect on people like us who protect ourselves with magical energy, but those without magical energy will weaken and die without knowing why.
Once this boundary field is activated, everyone in this school will die. Do you understand? A Master at this school is absurd enough to prepare something like this."
My vision blurs for a bit.
Trying to comprehend what Tohsaka is saying, I take a deep breath.
Even though my understanding is incomplete, I imagine the worst possibility and engrave that image inside me, accepting the situation I am in.
"I get it.
So, Tohsaka. Can you destroy this boundary field?"
"I tried, but it was useless. I found all the sources of the boundary field, but I can't destroy it. All I can do is to weaken the source temporarily and delay the activation."
"Hm so the boundary field won't be activated as long as you're here?"
" That'd be nice, but that's only optimism. The boundary field is already set up and the magical energy for activation is gathering bit by bit. According to Archer, it should be ready in about eight days."
"When that happens, this school will fall into hell as soon as the Master or the Servant puts their mind to it."
"Then before that happens "
But finding the Master will be difficult. The guy pretty much won as soon as he set up the boundary field. The boundary field will be activated even if he does nothing, so he won't appear until then. So if there is a chance "
" It'll only be when he emerges?"
"Exactly. So you should stay quiet for now. You will have to fight when the time comes, so it's just stupid for you to go out searching and have the enemy find you before that."
The first bell echoes through the cold rooftop.
Lunch break is over.
"That's it. I have to go somewhere, so go home by yourself. Try not to go anywhere on your way home."
Tohsaka leaves, saying "see ya".
"A boundary field at school?"
Is he planning to drag innocent people into this?
That's not the work of a Master at all, but a mass-murderer.
I have to find him before the boundary field is activated, find him anddefeat him completely.
'Rejoice, Emiya Shirou. Your wish-'
I shake my head and deny the words I remember.
I can't wish for something like that.
A wish for a villain to defeat, that's not my wish
Music: Madder Red Town
Shirou makes me feel so lazy. I'm always like, "Whee! Time to go home!"
Usually, the gate would be open and Sakura would be preparing dinner inside when I got home.
Maybe I've grown so accustomed to it after a year that I've forgot how important it was.
I realize how grateful I am for Sakura, just by the simple action of opening a locked gate.
"You are back, Master."
The girl looks straight at me.
For a moment.
All sense of reality crumbles on me.
"Shirou? Did you not just return home?"
Perhaps the surprise transferred to the girl, as she says this with a bit of surprise.
She calls my name in a quiet voice.
That finally returns my sense of reality.
"Oh i-it's Saber, right? Sorry, it was so sudden, I was surprised."
Just for an instant, I mistook her for a normal girl.
See, he's not even enough now to say that part out loud.
" ? I was on standby here as Master ordered, but was I wrong?"
"Uh no, I was misunderstanding, so don't worry about it.
A-Anyway, how are you feeling? You said you'd be sleeping frequently, so, um "
No, it is better to sleep except at times of battle, but that would cause my senses to dull.
I should move around periodically, or my body will be slow when I will need it the most."
" I see. You're right now that you mention it. Humans get headaches from sleeping too much, and it's not like you're sleeping because you're sleepy."
But Shirou, do you get a headache when you sleep too much?"
"Of course. Usually, you'll get sick if you sleep for half a day. In my case, I'll wake up from the headache, so I won't be able to sleep for half a day."
" That is a strange story. It does not happen to me. I can sleep as much as I want, now and in the past."
"Hm. I think that's wrong for a living thing, Saber. It's a waste to sleep all day. It's more fun to wake up and play when you're not sleepy."
" You are right. Less time is wasted that way."
"Right? You're like that now because of me, but go back to your normal cycle when your bond with me ends.
It's not for me to say, but if this becomes a habit and you sleep all day, people might think of you as lazy."
"It may be too late. People might have thought so of me already."
She creases her brow and ponders.
It was just light-hearted, but it seems like Saber doesn't get normal jokes.
Music: Tender Scenery
" I see. That Master must be planning to use the people gathered at the school as a sacrifice."
"Frankly, yes. Tohsaka said it should take more time, though."
"I feel the same way. It will take time to construct such a large-scale boundary field. The school is a building that can be easily locked up, so it must be an altar chosen as a temple.
To completely activate a boundary field of that scale, at least ten days are needed."
"Ten days I felt something strange two days ago on Saturday, so that means we still have about eight more days. That's the same as Tohsaka's estimate "
"Yes. It does not matter if that boundary field is to gather sacrifices or to solidify the defenses, as it will be a problem if we allow it to be completed. I hope we will be able to find the Master that created this boundary field before that "
"Yeah. Tohsaka said it would be difficult, but he should be easy to identify since the Master will be lurking at school. Let's find him somehow and stop the boundary field."
The instant they think of setting up a boundary field at school, they must be someone associated with the school.
A student or a teacher.
I'll try to search the school as thoroughly as possible during lunch from tomorrow on and try to find anyone suspicious.
"And yeah, the problem of which Servant that Master has."
No, that'll only be clear when I actually encounter it.