Part 79: The king's memories / A struggle for hamburg steak
Er, but wasn't day 11 on 2/10?
Music: Ever-present Feeling
A vast sky and a high field.
A sky that seems unreachable even with arms outstretched,
And clouds that do seem reachable with arms outstretched.
This is a battle she once went through.
There are no cavalry alongside.
The grassland, once golden as far as the eye could see, is gone.
Under the dark gray sky, the only thing stretching out is
There is no emotion.
For her, such scenes must have been ordinary.
There is nothing left in her lonely heart.
Leaning on her golden sword, she breathes deeply once and slowly relaxes her shoulders.
The battle must be over.
After glancing at the bodies of the defeated soldiers, she returns to her camp.
That was the battle she experienced.
The calm attitude is the same as now.
No matter what trouble she's in, she is just as I know her.
From the moment she drew the sword from the stone, she was not human.
After becoming a feudal lord like her father, she became a king with many knights.
She was called King Arthur, or Arturia, and the girl who had tried to become a knight had her life turned around.
She acted as the son of the king.
That is because the one to govern many territories and control the knights had to be male.
The only ones who knew that the king was just a girl were her father and the magus.
She literally covered herself in steel and sealed that truth for all her life.
Of course, it's not like no one grew suspicious of her.
But the king of knights with the holy sword will not suffer wounds or age.
Excalibur bears the protection of the fairies, making its possessor immortal.
Therefore, nobody questioned the knight's small body, and the face that seemed like that of a girl became honored by the knights as a good-looking king.
Of course, such things were not a problem.
The king was truly invincible.
There was no room for body size nor looks to enter into it.
The people living in fear of savage invasions wanted a strong king, and the knights of the battlefield would only follow an excellent commander.
The king met all of these criteria.
And sono one questioned who the king was.
It doesn't matter if the king is a child or a woman.
The only point is that it must function as the "king" to protect the country.
The new king was fair and selfless, and always stood in front of the army, defeating enemies on the battlefield.
Many enemies and many people died, but the king's choices were always correct and she served as the "king" better than anyone else.
There was no doubt and no need for doubt while the king was right.
Her army reconstructed the now lost cavalry, and literally ran through the battlefield defeating foreign infantries and crashing through numerous ramparts.
Was she always in the front of the army because her country was behind her?
She had to discard many people to join battle.
As long as she joined battle, she had to defeat all her enemies.
It was normal practice to meet military needs by sucking everything out of the local village for the battle to protect the country.
In that regard, there could not be any knights that killed more people than her.
I do not know if she ever found that a burden.
That is not something I can tell from a dream.
But there is no doubt in her figure, running through the battlefield.
She does not even narrow her eyes in grief when she sits on the throne.
A king is not human.
One cannot protect the people with human emotions.
She kept that oath strictly.
She settled every problem and worked hard in government affairs.
She balanced the country without any deviations and punished people without a single mistake.
Perhaps everyone felt that way.
The more perfect she became as the king, the more they questioned her as a ruler.
A person without human emotion cannot rule over others.
Several reputable knights left Camelot, but the king took it as a natural event and accepted it as part of the process of government.
Thus, the fair king honored by her knights isolated herself.
But such trivial things are of no concern to a king.
Her mind will not change even if she is abandoned, feared, or betrayed.
There's no right or wrong.
She abandoned her emotions from the moment she decided to pull out the sword.
And in that way, her final battle began.
The battle at Badon Hill ended in a complete victory, and because of the overwhelming results, the savages sought a reconciliation.
The country that would have just awaited destruction earned a brief period of peace.
The chaos that demanded an absolute hero has ended.
Britain is finally returning to the country she has dreamed of.
But before that, something really annoys me.
Certainly, she must have been strong and good at fighting.
But that doesn't mean she's well-suited for it.
I'm also angry at the people around her.
If she didn't notice it, someone else around her had to tell her, or she'd keep making the same mistake forever.
Geez. She had so many people around her, so why did none of them tell her the truth?
It must also have been because I carried something heavy all the way here.
When I got to my room and lay down, I couldn't even get back up.
Saber was the only one unhurt, so Tohsaka and I went to sleep letting her keep watch over the house, and
" I've slept half the day, huh? Hmm. At least it seems my headache is gone now.
The thing with Berserker.
The headache that started when I duplicated Saber's sword was terrible.
If that headache continued, my head would have broken before my body did.
Saber is sitting Japanese-style beside my futon.
" Sa ber ? Why the sad face? Did something happen while I was asleep?"
" No. I just had a dream."
" No, it is nothing important. Let us eat breakfast, Shirou. It is almost time to get up."
Saber gets up and leaves the room quietly.
I don't know why Saber's acting so weird.
I don't know, but
" I guess she was nursing me since she was sitting by my futon"
As soon as I think so, I recall the scene I really shouldn't remember.
" ! No, what am I thinking ! Don't think about it !"
I shake my head and clear the thoughts out of my head.
Um, I did it with Saber because I'm her Master.
There's so much wrong with that statement I don't even know where to start.
I have to think like that or I won't be able to look at her properly.
" And the situation was that bad and Tohsaka did it too "
I like to think Saber's just outside, overhearing all these strange comments.
! Hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on ! This won't end if I start being conscious of Tohsaka too !
"Stay calm, stay calm.
We were acting normal on our way home yesterday.
That should be fine."
Well, no, I was just too tired yesterday, but stay calm anyways.
First of all, Saber will be troubled if I act like this.
"All right. I have to calm down and go make breakfast."
I take a deep breath and start changing.
It's nine in the morning.
Saber must be really hungry as we haven't eaten since yesterday afternoon.
Music: In the Sunlight
"Shirou. We are the only ones this morning. Should we not wake Rin up?"
"No, they should sleep, right? It was a hard day yesterday, so there's no need to wake them up. They can eat whenever they want to if we leave their meals out."
"I see. Then it will be helpful if you can start preparing soon. It is already late."
"I know. I feel well, so let's go to the dojo after the meal."
"Why not? It's a daily routine, right?"
"What's wrong, Saber? Did I say something strange?"
"Um, no um, I selfishly thought that you were done with your training.
I thought there was no reason for you to be so desperate now that Berserker is defeated "
"I see. When you put it like that, you may be right."
Tohsaka, and Saber, and I our common enemy is now gone.
We cooperated because we were targeted by an enemy superior to us, and that's why I trained as well.
"But we'll continue our training. I'm still inexperienced and you're honest when you hold your sword. That's a big help for me when I talk to you."
Well, when I say it's a help, I mean it's fun.
" Um? I am honest in the dojo?"
"You are. At least, you're not hesitant.
That's better for me, and I think it's relaxing for you as well. Anyways, fighting with you is my daily routine. Don't take away the few pleasures I have."
Oh yeah, talk dirty to me.
I'm already in the kitchen, so I unfortunately couldn't hear her.
Music: In the Sunlight
You always know just what to say.
"Rin? Have you awoken?"
I can hear Saber's voice from the living room.
I turn around while cooking.
Tohsaka comes over with an unhappy face and takes some milk out of the refrigerator.
"Gah, my head hurts from sleeping too much Hey, you sure are putting a lot of effort into breakfast."
Where did that bad mood from earlier go? Tohsaka Rin's eyes gleam as soon as she turns to me.
"Wow, that looks good. I'm hungry so that's really helpful."
I see. But you're the one that benefits, not me.
This must be what my father said for someone to benefit, someone must lose.
" I've thought so for a while, but you're pretty sharp."
"Oh, I'm only normally witted. So prepare some for me too."
"Well I guess that would make me sharp when compared to you."
"You are acting quite lazily, Rin."
All right, way to go Saber. She sure is good at saying difficult things.
Tohsaka waves off Saber's criticism lazily like she doesn't care.
Music: Gentle Everyday
Now that Berserker is gone, all that's left are Caster, Lancer, and Assassin, right? They aren't much compared to Berserker, and they can easily be fought off in Saber's present condition."
"I do not know. Lancer's Master is still a mystery, and Assassin is not an enemy that can be defeated by ordinary methods.
And we have not even met Caster yet."
"Don't be modest. A normal hero is an easy opponent for King Arthur, right?
You were grieving because you didn't have enough magical energy, but that's solved now.
There's no Servant now that can match you, Saber."
Saber narrows her eyes at Tohsaka's words.
I feel the same way.
The thing Tohsaka just said can't be ignored lightly.
"Tohsaka. You knew who Saber was?"
"Vaguely. I only confirmed it yesterday. There's only one hero who can use such a holy sword.
Well, I was surprised that the legendary King Arthur is a girl, but if the real thing is in front of me, all I can do is believe it."
"And legends usually are conveniently altered, right?
I don't know if Saber hid it or the people around her hid it, but it certainly wasn't convenient for a girl to be a king in the medieval times.
Of course they'd treat her as a man."
Tohsaka has the same tone of voice as always.
Saber doesn't seem to care that much either.
She rather seems to be agreeing with Tohsaka's opinion and shows no sign of denying anything.
So she has clearly admitted that it's true.
A hero related to swords is chosen for the Servant Saber. From that perspective, she is certainly the best Saber there could be.
Why do I have a feeling that Fate/Zero contradicts that?
Music: Whirlpool of Fate 2
The great hero of England.
The bearer of the holy sword that everybody even in this distant country has heard of.
But if that's the case, then what?
The end of the legend of King Arthur ends with the king's death.
No, they are still human even though they are heroes.
It's only natural for their last moment to end in death, but no hero dies normally.
King Arthur was no exception.
I remember that the end of King Arthur was in a war.
The great battle of Camlann.
Having unified Britain and with no outside enemies to defeat, King Arthur faced an unexpected "enemy" in the end.
The enemy was her own army that she protected. Because of a betrayal by the ones she trusted, King Arthur was attacked by the knights she had fought with, and it is said that the king had to defeat them.
King Arthur succeeded in defeating the enemy leader, but took a fatal wound in the process and entrusted her only surviving knight, Sir Bedivere, with the return of the holy sword.
"Go past this bloody battlefield and the hill.
There should be a lake there. Throw this sword into that lake."
But Bedivere could not follow the order.
Fearing the loss of the sword, Bedivere gave a false report the first and the second time, saying that he had thrown the sword into the lake.
Every time, King Arthur would order Bedivere to throw the sword away, and the order was followed on the third trip.
And it is said that King Arthur died after ascertaining that the holy sword had been returned.
Music: Tender Scenery
"Um aboutwhat now?"
"About that dangerous child, who's asleep right now.
You're the one who brought her here, even though I told you to leave her behind."
Oh for fuck's sake.
"I would like to comment on that as well. Even though she has lost Berserker, Ilyasviel is a dangerous Master. It is not a wise decision to protect her now."
"Yeah. You can just leave her in Kirei's care."
The two judge this a good time and glare at me together.
Ilya fainted after Berserker disappeared.
I couldn't just leave her be since she showed no sign of waking up, so I brought her here.
Tohsaka and Saber objected, so I was the one who carried her.
A Master who loses their Servant has to run away or go to the church for protection before they're killed by other Masters.
Tohsaka says we should let Kotomine take care of her, but I'm letting her sleep in a room here since I don't think he would take very good care of her
You'd be surprised. Kotomine has a way with children. His way.
"Shirou. Your thoughts are honorable, but it is dangerous to associate yourself with Ilyasviel. You still have time. You must let the church take care of her or remove her Command Spell."
Saber glares at me.
Convincing her will be really difficult.
"W-What? We couldn't just leave her.
Ilya is still a child, and she was acting strangely too. And I'd feel sorry just leaving her in Kotomine's care."
"I agree. You feel too much empathy for Ilyasviel. She tried to kill you many times."
But I can't let them talk me out of it.
"Ilya was certainly our enemy, but she didn't have any malice. Ilya won't do that sort of thing again if there's someone there to tell her what's right.
And I think I said this at the beginning.
I'm not fighting to kill other Masters. I'm just fighting to end this war."
"Iknow that, but "
Saber doesn't agree, but her voice softens.
"I see. Then you're saying you'll forgive everything Ilyasviel did? I'm sure you know she has attacked other Masters as well. She might have killed several Masters already. You're saying you'll save her in spite of that?"
"Tha t's "
Ilya admitted it. She killed Shinji.
Quite possibly the most redeeming thing she's ever done.
Shinji used Rider to try to kill the students at school. If those were his intentions as a Master, I guess his death couldn't be helped.
But still, Shinji is a friend I've known for years and thinking about his sister, Sakura, I can't forgive everything Ilya did.
"But then, there would be no end to it.
If Ilya isn't a Master and if she can regret what she did, I think we should save her."
" Yeah, that's right.
But Shirou, I have no intention of forgiving her for Archer. She killed my Archer."
We freeze, looking at each other.
The girl under discussion, who should be asleep, appears.
Looks like it's time for a breakfast brawl. I was wondering when one of these would end in bloodshed, I'm just surprised it's not Taiga initiating it.
"Hold on, I have no business with you two. I don't intend to fight, so can you two stop being angry?
Really, I'm embarrassed as a lady. You're much older than me, but you two have no modesty."
Saber and Tohsaka get mad together.
They are scarier in a different sense.
"Well, I won't get angry about that either. This is no time to worry about you two."
Saying that, Ilya turns to me.
Is this an illusion?
Ilya pinches the end of her skirt in a polite manner and bows to me respectfully.
"I thank you, Master of Saber. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your concern towards me, who was your enemy."
I stare at Ilya in surprise.
Saber is silent as well, so she might not have expected it either.
Tohsaka is drinking milk and looking at Ilya suspiciously.
Ilya gives her usual smile and
Music: Gentle Everyday
May this be the first and last time that track is actually bolded.
Yeah, Shirou is my Onii-chan!"
She comes straight for me and hugs my neck.
Tohsaka is choking on the milk she's drinking.
Saber gets mad, but keeps a straight face.
"G-Get away, you impudent !"
Saber runs to me.
But Ilya spins around behind me, using my neck as a fulcrum.
"Heh, who's the impudent one? A Servant is a hundred years too early to give me her opinion."
"I have no obligation nor desire to obey you ! If you have time to talk back, get away from Shirou right away !"
Saber goes around to try to catch her.
This is bad.
This is really bad.
The two's staredown doesn't end.
It must be because she's watching from a distance.
Tohsaka wipes the milk off her mouth as if nothing is happening and says in a disinterested manner,
Music: Today's Meal
"It's of no concern to me, but he'll die if you keep that up."
The two look at my face in surprise.
My neck is being choked and my life's in danger. I'm in a real pinch right now
First, Tohsaka is the quiet one.
It seems she's keeping a poker face and trying to see how things turn out, but who knows what she's thinking on the inside.
Ilya is sitting next to me, and she's in a good mood for some reason.
She's looking around the living room curiously, but it seems like Tohsaka and Saber are none of her concern.
She probably wouldn't listen even if they talked to her.
And the hardest one to deal with is
Saber, who is glaring restlessly at me and Ilya.
She doesn't like competition.
Being restless and uneasy is totally unlike her.
Because of her, I feel like I'm sitting on a cushion full of needles.
So I can't let things stay like this.
I don't know what will come out of this, but I have to make up my mind and escape the current situation.
Morning will end if we keep on like this."
"Yeah. The conclusion is decided, and the problem needs to be taken care of quickly. Isn't that right, Saber?"
"Yes. My opinion and Rin's are the same, so all we need to do is make Shirou agree "
Saber is ready to fight it out to the very end.
Well, I guess it can't be helped since Ilya was the most difficult enemy for Saber.
"Uh well. Um, about what to do with you. You lost your Servant, right? So we're wondering what you're going to do now."