Part 42: The fourth Master
gee, thanks kethryveris
" I guess I should start with places where there aren't many people."
An hour until lunch break ends I hope I can get good results out of this
"Could it be here too?"
I'm now imagining Shirou sniffing out places where students have snuck off for illicit activities.
There were several strange places inside the school building as well.
Unpopular places like behind the stairs or within empty classrooms.
But this place is different.
Far from nobody coming here, this is a place people come every day.
" Why didn't I notice?
Talking about strangeness, this place is the strangest"
I mutter, grasping my chest.
This place is somehow suffocating.
The thick wind and moist air aren't just strange.
No, once I notice this smell, I actually feel like throwing up.
The game isn't really helping this perception.
"Tohsaka was saying that there's a basis point for a boundary field.
I don't know how many there are, but this must mean the first basis point is around here "
Then there should be some sign of it.
It's no good.
As I have no skill in detecting magical energy, there's no way I can see the sign that's constructing the boundary field.
I guess it can't be helped. I'll go and tell Tohsaka about this place and
"What, are you looking for something, Emiya?"
I turn around at the sudden voice. Standing in front of the deserted archery dojo is
Music: Midnight Interval
"Hey. What a coincidence. I came because I had business in that area too did you happen to see it?"
With a grin,
Matou Shinji asks this happily.
" See what? There's nothing here."
"Oh, so you did see it. I see, so that's why you were with Tohsaka. That's right, it's more efficient to join up with other Masters."
"! Shinji, you "
"Don't guard yourself too much Emiya. It's you and me, let's not hide anything from each other.
I don't know who you have. But you were forced into this ugly role of Master too, right?"
Shinji states it clearly without holding anything back.
That he, Matou Shinji, is also a Master.
" Could it be? You're a Master, Shinji?"
Be honest. Who didn't see that one coming?
"That's what I'm telling you.
Oh, but don't get it wrong. I don't intend to fight with anyone. Well, I'll certainly retaliate with deadly force if I'm attacked, but I won't do anything when nothing's done to me. See, I'm like you in that regard, right?"
From his words, there seems to be no doubt that Shinji's a Master, but
"Well, I'm also surprised to find out that you're a Master. Let's call us equal in that regard. So, do you want to discuss something?"
"Discuss I don't mind, but discuss what?"
Like I said earlier, I have no intention of fighting. But others aren't the same, right? So I feel uneasy unless I prepare for future misfortunes. It's troubling alone, but don't you think something would be possible with the two of us?"
So in other words, Shinji is asking me to cooperate with him?
"Well, let's not talk here. We don't know if someone might overhear us, so let's go somewhere else.
Hmm yeah, my place would be good. Tohsaka won't be able to notice and it's safe even if we're attacked."
"What are you talking about? Lunch break is almost over, so if you have"
"Are you stupid? We can skip classes. Let's go, Emiya. I'm happy to know that you're a Master, so don't alienate me too much."
"I can't do that. People would be suspicious if we skipped classes."
"Damn, you're really stubborn oh, I see!
You're right, people would normally stay safe!"
"But don't worry, I won't attack you no matter what. See, do I look like someone who would attack you from behind?"
" ? OhI see. You're right, I certainly can't just follow you."
" Well, it's all right. You have a Servant with you too. I won't pick a fight against such a dangerous opponent."
Does Shinji think I have Saber with me?
No, that's wrongShinji couldn't see a Servant in spirit form.
That's why he's wrongly guessing that I have Saber with me right now.
"Let's just go. It'll be no good if Tohsaka finds us."
Saying that, Shinji starts to walk away.
I guess I have to follow him.
I'm interested in what Shinji has to say, so I'll skip the afternoon classes.
Music: Wandering Shadow
"Emiya, this way. I'm in the living room."
I don't know when he went in, but I can hear Shinji's voice from the inner room.
Even though it's been a year, my body still remembers this place and I make my way to the living room without getting lost.
"Emiya, over here."
I look over in the direction of the voice.
There is Shinji sitting in a chair, and
A figure of a woman like crystallized darkness.
"Let me introduce her. This is my Servant, Rider."
I feel a chill.
It's so bad that the back of my neck hurts like it's been slashed.
" Weren't we going to talk with just the two of us, Shinji?"
I back up a bit and manage to say that.
"Oh no, it's just a precaution. I'd be scared if you just came and attacked me, so I have to have Rider by my side."
Stretching his hand out, Shinji touches his black ServantRider.
He caresses from her waist down to her thighs, as if tasting them.
There weren't many ways to make Shinji even more dislikable. This was one of them.
Rider does not move at all.
She stands there like a statue, and keeps watch on me with her covered eyes.
It can't just be an illusion that it feels like she sees even my fingertips shivering.
"Come on, it was just a joke. I know you can't do anything like that.
But your Servant is a different story. Even I had trouble training mine. It's not unusual for a Servant not to obey its Master, so think of this as just keeping a small check on things."
A Servant that doesn't obey its Master?
Certainly, Rider in front of me is different from Saber.
Saber is quiet, but not coldhearted.
But I can only feel coldness from Rider.
A human lacking humanity.
A black figure like discolored blood.
She doesn't seem like a Servant or a heroic spirit. She's so inorganic with no sense of lightness.
" Rider's a way to keep a check on my Servant? I don't feel too good about that."
"Sorry. I'm just a novice, so I'm not experienced like you are. Forgive me for that."
" Heh. It's not like I'm experienced either."
"Is that so? Then you should summon yours too. We would understand each other better that way, and it's more fair too.
Yeah, that'll be great! Hey Emiya, I showed you mine, so you show me yours."
This update is just full of things I never wanted to think about.
So Shinji is wrongly guessing that Saber is with me.
But there's no need to correct him on that.
"I refuse. If you're going to keep me in check, that's fine.
This should be enough if we're here just to talk."
" What's with that? Hey, I'm saying I want to see it. I don't know what you're being a snob about, but shouldn't you listen to me?"
"Then our conversation's over. I didn't come here to show you my Servant. If that was your plan, I'm going home now."
I'm never going to think about the word 'servant' quite the same way again.
"Damnall right. You're useless as always."
Shinji comments discontentedly and leans back in his chair.
"Hold on. I want to ask you something too before that. I'll answer your question after that."
"What, you want to know why I became a Master?"
As far as I know, Shinji isn't a magus.
I have to know how someone like that became a Master, or I can't cooperate at all.
"I heard Masters have to be magi as a basic prerequisite. Even though I'm inexperienced, I know a bit of magic. I summoned my Servant by accident and became a Master after forming a contract, but did you summon your Servant by accident and get dragged into this Holy Grail War too?"
If that's the case, we're the same.
I won't easily be able to refuse his proposal of cooperation if that's the case
"I see. You became a Master by accident, huh?
I see, I see. Good, that makes it more understandable."
Shinji smiles delightedly.
"Well, I guess it's similar in my case. The fact that I became a Master against my will is the same.
But don't get me wrong.
I knew what a Master was, and I've known about the Holy Grail War for a long time. The Matou family isn't like your family. We're a respected lineage of magi."
The Matou is a lineage of magi !?
"What, I never heard about that !?
Hold on. Then, you and"
His sister Sakura knows magic too !?
"Calm down, Emiya. The Matou family is a family of magi, but we're already dead.
I guess the ancestors of the Matou family came to this land with Tohsaka's family, but didn't adapt to the land here.
Down the generations, what's that thing, the Magic Circuit? That thing faded, and by the time I was born, the Matou blood had returned to that of an ordinary person's.
So members of the Matou family aren't magi. We're just a family that used to be magi."
"You guys were magi then, only the knowledge remains?"
"Yeah, unfortunately. But even if we don't have Magic Circuits, that doesn't change the fact that we're studying magic. It was easy to find out about the Masters and the Holy Grail War with a bit of research. I'm able to relax even after suddenly being chosen as a Master, because of the teachings of the previous generations."
I became a Master and understood the Holy Grail War because of Tohsaka.
Similarly, Shinji understood his situation because of the literature passed down his family.
"So in other words, you were taught just the knowledge of magic. Then, did Sakura learn magic as well?"
"Huh? Geez, you really don't know anything, do you?
Look, it probably doesn't matter to you since your family is a hybrid,
but a magus of an old lineage only teaches his secret arts to one. If there are two children, you only make the eldest son the successor.
"You get less power if you separate something into two, right?
Magi place ten magics into one crystal and leave them behind to create a stronger blood. We don't make exceptions just because someone is from our family.
"So a family of magi doesn't teach magic to anyone other than their successors. It's common for the children who aren't chosen as the successor to be raised without knowing that their family studies magic, or they are to be given out for adoption.
"I seethank God, then."
Sakura is a girl who should stay in a peaceful world without magic.
I can't let her get involved in a battle that forces you to kill others without reason.
"Well, now you know, Emiya.
Even though I became a Master, I'm not experienced with magic.
You're let's see, you say you can use a bit, but your knowledge is that of an amateur.
See, don't you think we're a good combination? Let's cooperate since both of us became Masters against our will."
" I don't mind that. But just to make sure, it's just to protect yourself, right Shinji?"
"No. There's that, but we have to attack the enemy right in front of us first. It seems she considers me her enemy."
" Considers you an enemy ? You mean, Tohsaka?"
"Of course! She wouldn't be so unkind to me if that weren't the case !
Look, she's the type that won't forgive other Masters. You should know that by now if you've been with her.
I don't know what the reason is, but she lets her guard down when she's with you. I don't know why, but that perfect girl has her guard down!
Don't you see that it's a great opportunity to defeat her?"
We have a slight status screen update: