Part 75: Dawn in the ruins
Music: Whirlpool of Fate 2
The floor is cracked in numerous places.
Many walls have been knocked down.
The stairs have collapsed and the smashed marble has scattered in the wind.
The space has been completely destroyed, leaving no trace of its former beauty.
You could say it has also destroyed time.
Because the remains of the destruction hide what the place looked like just two hours ago.
In the middle of the destruction stands a suitable sculpture.
It stands over two meters tall, looking like a figure of a man carved out of a large stone.
It does not even need to be said.
It is Ilyasviel's Servant, Berserker.
The giant does not move.
His body is dyed in red and filled with holes.
There is no place on the giant's body that is not wounded.
First, both his legs are almost melted.
Second, there is the mark of a cut on his neck.
Third, his arm is barely hanging from his elbow.
Fourth, he is slashed from his shoulder to his groin.
Fifth, a large amount of blood is gushing out from his chest.
Sixth, his internal organs can be seen at his stomach.
Berserker does not move.
It is only natural.
It is a corpse, no matter how one looks at it.
The battle itself has ended much earlier.
But Berserker's Master has forgotten to act as this result is too surprising and unexpected.
She has to pursue her prey, but she is only looking at this scene in astonishment.
She murmurs angrily.
The battle that took place here was nothing but humiliation for her.
Her Servant is the most powerful.
There should only be one or two Servants able to match Hercules, the most famous of all the heroic spirits.
But Archer, a heroic spirit of unknown identity, has defeated him.
That red knight has matched Berserker equally and has succeeded in killing Berserker, something no one has been able to do before.
Such actions cannot be forgiven.
For her, this is like being stabbed in the heart by a bug on the roadside.
The pride of a girl who considers herself the strongest cannot allow her to be cornered by someone who should be stepped on, begging for sympathy.
The sculpture does not answer.
It might be unable to afford an answer, or perhaps it sees no need for one.
Berserker just stands there and devotes himself to healing his wounds.
This battle was too strange for him as well.
His "Noble Phantasm" nullifies any attack.
No attack can affect his body unless it is of the highest grade.
So, he rarely takes wounds.
In the age of gods, no one could scratch him after he had accomplished his great deeds.
But still, six times.
Archer delivered a fatal blow six times.
It does not even need to be said that every one of the attacks was by a different method.
Even the greatest attacks cannot be effective on Berserker twice.
If one seeks strangeness, that is the strange part.
If Archer is a hero with such varied abilities, his true identity should have been clear.
But his true identity still remained unknown even after his body was pulverized.
What was really surprising was his way of being, contradictory to that of a Servant.
His Master's voice echoes.
With that, the small light of rationality vanishes.
He is only a Berserker now.
His role is to defeat his opponents and to crush them as his Master pleases.
Wounds that are not fatal will be fully healed within few minutes.
Butrestoring everything would take three days.
"I can't wait that long! It's fine, we're going to go kill them right now!"
The giant silently objects.
It is his instinct.
Berserker has an intuition like Saber's when it comes to fighting.
The enemies can certainly be mowed away easily.
But it will be a different story if Servant Saber has recovered enough to use her Noble Phantasm.
Berserker will not yield to a mere holy sword, but there is a small chance.
His instinct tells him that if he is to fight that Servant, he should engage her in perfect condition.
Or what? Are you going to let them go after they made fun of me so much?"
"Right? I won't let anyone escape my forest. Yeah, I'll give you Rin and Saber. Kill them or rape them, you can do whatever you want with them."
The girl jumps down from the stairs.
Through the rubble, she walks to the exit without a care for the bloody Berserker.
But you can't kill Saber's Master quickly, okay?
I'm going to kill Shirou in the worst way possible."
Smiling, the girl leaves the castle.
That's pretty much the best interlude in the game, and I think it even surpasses the anime where you see the fight firsthand. I will post the anime clip eventually, but due to spoilers, it's best left alone for now.
"Damn, what is she saying? Guys have a lot of stuff too."
I grumble, leaning against the wall.
It sounds like an excuse because it is.
The forest is calm and quiet.
When it's this quiet, I can't believe we are being pursued or that we were doing something like that until a moment ago.
Remembering, I frantically shake off my lust.
I have to forget about it for now.
I won't survive if I'm submerged in thoughts of her sensations. And more than anything, it's impolite to Saber.
After all, I made love to Saber to save her.
So I shouldn't have any other emotion for Saber.
No matter how soft Saber is and how good it felt, that was
I'm a big liar.
I can't deceive myself about it with excuses like that.
I can't forget Saber's sensations.
But I have to forget about them for now.
Geez, this is no time to worry about such things.
What we should be worrying about right now is how to take on Berserker
" That's right. I have to do whatever I can do. He told me that at the very end."
I remember Archer's back.
Shirou feels guilty for spending time with a woman, so he has to fill his mind with thoughts of Archer's sweet, sexy behind
I could never like him, but all of his words have stuck in my head.
I pluck a handy branch.
And I also find a few more branches that are straight.
"Shirou! We're done, so come in!"
I hear Tohsaka's voice.
I return to the ruin carrying the branches I found.
Well, the only other problem is
Whether I'm able to face Saber like I did before after something like that.
Music: Surrounded by Smiling Faces
I guess such worries were only on my part.
Saber is acting resolutely as always.
She must have completely accepted the incident, unlike me.
"YYeah, I'll go right away.
Damn, I won't lose.
It's stupid to be the only one blushing, so I'll try my best to act calm.
"You're finally here. Then I'll start the strategy meeting, but we don't have the time to argue.
There are only a few ways to defeat Berserker, so can you listen to my side first?"
Saber and I nod.
Music: Whirlpool of Fate 2
We won't be a match with ordinary tactics.
We need to execute a surprise attack to win. And if we do that, the absolute requirement is that we kill him in one blow and don't let him counterattack."
" I feel the same way. Even if I do exchange blows with Berserker, I will not be able to deliver a fatal wound. If we are to defeat him, we should do so outside of battle."
" Outside of battle you mean we'll attack Berserker before he notices us ?
Well, you're right that it's reckless to fight him straight on, but that plan is even more reckless. He's not the type that'll allow us to take him by surprise."
"Yeah, we won't make any optimistic plans that assume we can get near Berserker without being noticed.
They have Ilyasviel. She'll sense Shirou and Saber's presence easily. I'm fine since I can hide my presence."
I don't know how it works, but Ilya can feel Saber and my presence, huh?
If Tohsaka is the only one who can hide, then
" Don't tell me that you're going to be the one doing the surprise attack."
"Of course. You're the one she's after the most, and I'm the best suited for this role. Leave it to me to slash Berserker from behind."
"You say so, but Berserker can't be that off guard."
"Of course not. That's why I'm going to have Saber create an opening.
Saber, how much have you recovered?"
"Normal battle should not be a problem, but I should avoid using my Noble Phantasm.
With the amount of magical energy Shirou gave me, I will no longer be able to maintain my body the instant I use my Noble Phantasm. Even if I do use it, it will not be full force, so I do not think it would be able to defeat Berserker."
"Yeah, that's more than enough. I'll have you fight Berserker. Shirou as well, of course.
And I'll watch while hiding. I'm only an extra for Ilyasviel, so I think she'll assume I've run away if I'm not there."
"If the probability's low, raise it.
You seem to be on good terms with Ilyasviel, so you may be able to trick her."
Tohsaka looks at me meaningfully.
" I have some objections, but I'll take that.
Ilya would believe me if I told her you ran away. I don't think she would doubt anyone."
Can we test this theory by having Shirou try to escape by saying, "Um, I'm not Shirou. I'm Shiruu."?
"But there is still a problem.
I am fine fighting Berserker, but I cannot have Shirou do the same. Shirou cannot stand Berserker's attacks."
"I'm not telling Shirou to go hand-to-hand against Berserker.
Shirou will support you from the back. It's going to be difficult for Saber to fight Berserker alone, so help her when she's in trouble."
"Ridiculous. Shirou does not excel in black magic like you do, Rin.
How would he be able to support me?"
"Shirou will think of a way.
But, well, there won't really be any room for a Master to interfere against Berserker. Even I wouldn't be much help if I did something."
I know Saber is done for if Shirou dies, but I'll still have him do this. After all, this battle is a gamble from the very beginning."
"That is true."
Saber grows silent with a troubled face.
As Tohsaka is silent too, she must know she's saying something unreasonable.
The two's concern is only natural.
That night I met Saber
When we were attacked by Berserker, I could only use my body to defend her.
There's a high probability that would happen again.
So I should stay away from the battlefield, but I would have no intention of doing that even if she didn't tell me to be there.
"I know. I'll do something to back her up."
Both of them turn around.
Whoa, were my words that surprising?
I think they're more surprised at the sudden potential for independent thought.
"I just have to support her from a distance, right?
Then I think I'll be able to do something."
Saying that, I hold up the branch I just collected.
It sounds like he's talking about a sex toy.
And for this, I also have a reference since he had one too.
Well that's something I never really wanted to think about Archer.
And on top of that, magical energy has been flowing in my body for a while now.
I just have to repeat the usual process now.
"Yeah. I think I got the hang of it after the thing with Shinji. You said so too that I shouldn't strain myself too much."
" I see. Well, it's good that we have a way to attack, so it's enough for now."
"Going back to the original topic.
I will have you two fight Berserker. I'll get on top of a tree beforehand and watch from above.
When Saber creates an opening in Berserker's defense, I'll skewer Berserker from above using all of my reserve jewels.
It's a simple plan."
Tohsaka's expression asks for questions.
But a normal magic will not harm Berserker. We need a full-purity attack to injure him."
"I know. So in other words, we need an attack with an A rating, right?"
Saying that, Tohsaka takes a jewel out of her pocket.
"What is that jewel?"
"This is like my savings that I've been building up since I was small. One of these can instantly generate an A-rank great magic. I had ten, but I used one on you."
"I seeif it is the magic from that time, Berserker will certainly not be able to block it.
He does not have magic resistance like I do. Even if it is magic, an A-rank will penetrate him without any problems"
"That's right. I thought about using it in small amounts, but I can't be saying things like that now. I'll give Berserker two or three of these."
Tohsaka sticks out her chest in confidence.
Music: Gentle Everyday
" Hey. Aren't you being a bit stingy?"
" I feel the same way. I should not be saying this, but I believe you should be generous enough to at least use half of these."
"Ugh w-what? It's my business, right!?
Do you guys know how hard it was to save this much!?"
Saber and I protest silently.
Tohsaka's life depends on this as well, so it won't be funny if she gets stingy and we end up failing because of that.
" Fine. I'll use half of them, okay!?
" Come on, I just wanted to say that. I get what you guys are saying too."
"Anyways, that's the plan.
Now, we have to find somewhere where I can hide and where it'll be easy for Shirou to support Saber. Let's find a good spot before Ilyasviel gets here."