Part 92: The truth about ten years ago
"Hey, don't look away! The bandage will slide off."
She hits my back.
"Ow ! Tohsaka, that's no way to treat a wounded guy!"
"Shut up. I'm treating your wounds, so be quiet for a while.
Here, raise your right hand. I don't think it's necessary, but I'll put some medicine on it as well."
"It's fine if you can feel. Here, we'll wrap this up next."
She skillfully wraps the bandage around my right shoulder.
It's past ten.
Oh god, if you don't go to bed soon, you might not wake up until 6am!
After returning to the living room, Tohsaka started to treat my wounds.
She started, but the wounds have mostly already healed, so all that's left is to treat them just for show.
Music: Surrounded by Smiling Faces
"Done. But you sure do have a strange body. Only vampires have bodies with such healing powers.
Are you really human?"
I think she asked me something similar a while ago.
"Hey, I'm a normal human being.
I don't even know how this is happening, so I can't give you an answer."
"Don't play with me. Would a normal human be up and running after they've had their spinal cord cut?
I never asked because it was useful, but it's getting too freaky now. Maybe you're from some place where people can only be killed by decapitation?"
There can be only one.
The worst part is, Tohsaka is seriously considering that.
She might come after my neck one day with an axe in hand.
"Hey, don't you think so too, Saber?
I think you're the cause, but it's still too far beyond human."
"Huh ? Shirou's healing power is not his own?"
"Of course not. Do you think someone who only knows 'strengthening' magic could do such high class magic?
His absurdity must come from being connected with you. I can only guess that your healing power is flowing into him."
" Is that so? I have never felt such a connection. If that were the case, my magical energy should be flowing to Shirou even now. More importantly, my healing power is not as strong as Shir"
Saber is staring into space as if she can't hear Tohsaka.
" No, it cannot be "
Shaking her head, Saber looks away.
Tohsaka and I look at each other.
Saber's acting strange.
No, I know why.
Saber's spirit has been low since that golden knight appeared.
" Well, let's put the matter of Shirou on hold.
More importantly, Saber, did you know that gold guy? He was saying you were his."
Saber doesn't answer.
It's obviously something she doesn't want to talk about.
But I still want to know.
Tohsaka's question is mine as well.
"Saber. Tell me if you know. Who was that guy? You called him Archer."
" Yes. I do not wish to admit it, but I do know him. But it is impossible. There are only seven Servants. He cannot be summoned."
"Servantsso, he is a Servant."
No, that's obvious.
But in that case, there's a big problem.
"He is of class Archer. Of course, he is not the Archer whom Rin made a contract with. His abilities and character are too different."
I know that too.
It only lasted a short while, but I was able to feel how much of a monster he was.
Our Archerkins had a gentle, loving side.
"Hold on. That's not right.
If he's the Servant Archer, that makes eight.
Seven should be the limit of the summons in a single period. It's not like they restock when some of them disappear. After all, even the Holy Grail doesn't have the magical energy to summon more than seven."
"There are seven Servants because that's the basic limit, right? Then how can they summon an eighthhold on.
Saber, you met him in the previous war?"
" Yes, Rin. On the last day of the previous Holy Grail War, I fought against him in a sea of fire."
My body tenses up for an instant.
Saber fought him in a sea of fire ?
It's nothing new.
Kotomine already told me that the fire was caused by the Holy Grail War.
So this shouldn't be a surprise.
It's justI was unconsciously trying not to think about it until now.
"What happened? Did you beat him?"
"No, I did not no, I could not beat him. Because I "
"You were beaten instead?
He's someone you couldn't beat even when you were properly summoned?"
That pretty much answers her question.
Not just the imperfect Saber as she is now, but Saber with her full power?
Is that even possible?
If you look at her skill as a swordsman, Saber certainly is invincible.
Admittedly, Saber was the weaker against Berserker.
But Saber has that Noble Phantasm.
The Noble Phantasms of other Servants are powerful, but Saber's exceeds even them.
I don't think there's any hero she can't beat using her holy sword
"Then there's only one possible explanation.
He's not a Servant summoned in this war, but a Servant that remains from the previous war.
It only makes sense when that's true."
My mind stops.
It's not that I agree with Tohsaka.
But what she said matches what I've been hoping for since yesterday.
" But that is "
"That's the only possible explanation. Only seven Servants can be summoned each Holy Grail War. If there are any other Servants, they must be the 'winner' of the previous Holy Grail War. Am I wrong?"
Music: Surrounded by Smiling Faces
"Tohsaka. What are you so happy about?"
"Of course I'm happy. There's a precedent.
I don't know who he is, but he's the guy who won the last Holy Grail War, right?
Then he must have obtained the Holy Grail. And he's staying in this world because of its blessing."
"In other words, he's proof that you can keep your Servant in this world if you obtain the Holy Grail. I want to capture him and question him about it."
Yeah, you're right.
I don't know who he is, but he's a Servant and he's still here after the previous war.
That means there's a way for Saber to stay in this world like him.
"Well, we don't know who he is or what his motive is, but I'm sure he's an enemy we'll need to defeat.
So Saber, what's his true identity?"
That hero did not have a Noble Phantasm symbolic of him."
"He doesn't have a symbolic Noble Phantasm ? That can't be true. A Servant without a Noble Phantasm can't be a Servant.
"And besides, he"
"Yeah, he was using so many. It should be easy to work out his true identity with so many Noble Phantasms. You just need to identify the appropriate hero for them."
"Then let me ask you. Did you recognize any of those Noble Phantasms?"
"Of course. Let's see "
She thinks about it for a minute.
But then, she tilts her head in confusion.
" ? What's wrong, Tohsaka? What's impossible?"
"I can't believe it. The bloody one was probably Dainsleif, and the one like a sickle was Herpe.
I don't think he's limited to just one, either. I can't imagine a more appropriate hgame end boss than a jealous stalker with Herpes.
There was one that looked Chinese and another that looked like a Buddha thing"
Tohsaka looks crazy, talking to herself.
I guess this is what you call digging yourself a hole.
"Um, that one was similar to Saber's sword, but it should be different. It seems like it's from Northern Europe judging from its simple design, and most forms of demonic sword are from Northern Europe, but"
She starts to grit her teeth.
There's no point in leaving her like that.
I have to stop her now or there'll be some damage.
I don't need to add that I'll be the one damaged.
"Tohsaka, Tohsaka. Come back."
"Geez, be quiet Shirou! I'm getting confused because you're bothering me!"
"I'm not trying to disturb you. It's about his Noble Phantasm, right?
I saw Dainsleif, Herpe, Durandal, Vajra, and Kaladbolg. Oh, and I saw Gae Bolg.
I couldn't identify the Chinese one, but those are the most famous ones, right?"
"But what does that mean!?
No hero has that many Noble Phantasms. No, more importantly, the sources are all different. I don't understand it"
"Yes. That is why I could not tell his true identity.
He has an abundance of Noble Phantasms, the proofs of a hero. I could not narrow down his true identity because he had so many."
The two ponder.
Well, there's certainly no way to tell if he has that many.
It's like hiding a tree in a forest, or something.
"Shirou. Do you have anything?"
She glares at me. Yeah, she's definitely taking it out on me.
"Anything you noticed or guessed. Anything that popped into your head.
What we need are unexpected opinions. Only accidents solve a deadlock situation."
Hm, she might be right.
"Hahaha, I see. You're making fun of me, right?"
"Don't be rude. I just think you're useless. So, do you have anything?"
I give up honestly.
Tohsaka groans in regret.
" Then there's only one answer. Saber, don't you think they're all fakes? Nothing else can explain it."
"I feel the same way. However"
" ? No, they're not fakes."
How did they arrive at that answer?
First of all, he wouldn't have been able to pierce Caster with fake Noble Phantasms.
"I'm saying those are real. Rather, everything else seems fake."
"Well, it's just my intuition. Um, it's hard to explain, but those are all real.
Lancer's Gae Bolg is real, but I think the Gae Bolg he used is real as well."
He's like the Rainman, but with swords and it's completely awesome.
Gah, it's harder to explain if she makes a face like that.
No, forgetting that, why did I think that?
It's just that all the things he used were Noble Phantasms.
I can feel that.
Is it because I used 'projection' against Berserker?
I could tell they were real Noble Phantasms just by looking at them.
Conception dwells in superior weapons, and something is missing from weapons that merely imitate them in shape.
I realized that when I imitated Saber's sword.
By that argument, I think that all the Noble Phantasms he used were perfect
As we don't know his true identity, his objective is next."
Tohsaka sneaks a glance at Saber.
"We already know he's after the Holy Grail, but there's one other point I'm curious about.
Can I ask you directly, Saber?"
Man. Why does she put on that really evil smile when it comes to this kind of subject?
That's her rape face. She's thinking about raping Saber. Again.
" What do you mean, Rin?
You do not need to hold back if you wish to ask me something."
"Really? Then I'll ask. What do you think of him? From the way he spoke, it seemed like he really has the hots for you."
"Did we not just discuss this? I cannot give myself to a man that carries Herpes."
I'm not following Tohsaka's lead, but I sneak a glance at Saber.
Tohsaka is saying it wrong, but it's true he was attached to Saber.
No, it wasn't that nice.
He saw Saber as his and only his.
"I do not care what he thinks about. But, I remember that he did propose marriage to me in the previous war. Naturally, I deflected it with my sword."
Marriage, you mean!?
What is that Servant thinking!?
"Wow. I don't know if you should be happy in this case, but you don't feel too bad about it, right?
You must be happy as a woman to be proposed to even after you became a Servant."
"That is not true. I have no such freedom to begin with. My goal is to obtain the Holy Grail.
Honestly, such nonsense irritates me."
"Really? Even if you feel that way, he was pretty into you. His type doesn't care how much they're rejected.
You're stubborn too, so he might be a good match for you."
I don't know what's so funny, but Tohsaka's words are irresponsible.
Tohsaka seems to be happy to be talking to Saber about this kind of thing. Saber seems to have no interest, but
"I am telling you that I have no interest in such a thing. He is certainly a superior heroic spirit, but his way of thinking is too different from mine."
Saber answers honestly.
"I did it! I made her admit she's a lesbian!"
"Rin, I believe that is of no concern to Shirou.
Your statement is a little strange."
"I would think so. That was a mistake on my part. But the strange part is the funny part."
Tohsaka laughs evilly.
Her eyes seem to be laughing not only at Saber, but at me as well.
It irritates me for some reason and I stand up.
"Huh? Where are you going, Shirou?"
"Tea. I'm thirsty. I'll get some for everyone while I'm at it."
I spit that out and go to the kitchen.
I don't know why, but I'm irritated. So I think I'll prepare extra bitter tea for Tohsaka.
Music: Gentle Everyday
"Then, I'll go back to my room. Let's have the complicated talk tomorrow after Ilya wakes up."
"Ilya, honey, don't think of it like losing a daddy. Think of it like gaining another mommy!"
After messing a lot with Saber, she drinks the bitter tea and stands up.
"Yeah, go to sleep. Don't come back."
"Yeah, yeah. I'll leave the rest to you, then."
I don't know what's so funny, but Tohsaka leaves in a good mood.
You should not push yourself even if your wounds have healed, so I think you should rest for tonight."
"Yeah, that's my plan. But I'll watch over Ilya for a bit longer.
I'll move her to a room if there doesn't seem to be any problem, and I'll go to bed after that."
"I see. Then, I shall accompany you."
Our conversation ends there.
It gets really awkward once it's quiet as Tohsaka was the loud one.
No, awkward isn't the right word.
There are things I'm worried about and things I need to say, so my mind is impatient.
Come to think of it, what I want to tell her is all in a mess.
About the Holy Grail.
About her still being alive.
Even if she does obtain the Holy Grail, there's no salvation for the girl called Arturia.
I don't even need to say why.
She has no wish for herself even now.
Her awkward eyes seem to know what I'm going to say.
"Yes, what is it, Shirou?"
She tries to block my question with a calm voice.
But I have to tell her.
"About what we were saying earlier.
Tohsaka said it too that Servants can stay if they obtain the Holy Grail, right? Then"
"No, I have no intention of staying here. I will return to my original time once I obtain the Holy Grail."
"And you're going to redo the selection of the king? You're going to start everything over and not save yourself on the verge of death?"
"Right. It is the duty of a king to protect the country. My powers were not enough, so I must at least select an appropriate king in my place."
Her words really make me angry.
"You idiot! Wake up !
The duty of the king doesn't matter! You're here, so you should do what you want to now!"
"I won't allow you to have any other goals. You're strong, right? Then finish this battle quickly, obtain the Holy Grail, and quit being a Servant !
If you have a wish, don't go to the past and redo everything. If you want to change yourself, don't change the past, but change who you are now!"
"You are obstinate, Shirou. I want you to stop bringing this up."
She firmly rejects my opinion.
"And it is not as if one can stay if one obtains the Holy Grail.
Archer that Servant does not remain in this time because of the Holy Grail. It was impossible for anyone to obtain the Holy Grail in the last war."
" ? Saber, what does that"
"It is impossible to obtain what does not exist. On that day when the town was in flames, the Holy Grail was destroyed.
By the Master who betrayed me, Emiya Kiritsugu."
My vision closes in.
I hold my body steady with my hands as it's about to fall.
Music: Whirlpool of Fate 2
"Emiya Kiritsugu ?"
"Yes. He was my Master ten years ago in the previous Holy Grail War. I won to the end, and the Holy Grail came into Kiritsugu's hands.
Archer and his Master still remained, so the Holy Grail War should have been ended by their defeat."
"But Kiritsugu threw the Holy Grail away.
As a result, the town went into flames.
That man ordered me to destroy the Holy Grail because Servants are the only ones that can touch the Holy Grail.
Kiritsugu used his last Command Spell to force me to destroy the Holy Grail."
"Servants cannot stay in this world once the Holy Grail disappears.
Kiritsugu did not try to keep me here either.
My memory ends there. I could not ask him about the betrayal nor settle my match against Archer."
"Why didn't you tell me that my father was a Master, Saber?"
" Usually, a Servant does not hold memories of previous summonings. The same hero will not be summoned as a Servant again.
I am an exception to this rule. So I believed I should not mention this fact to you, Shirou.
And I did not wish to tell you what kind of Master Kiritsugu was."
" ? Why wouldn't you want to tell me?"
"Shirou. As you have seen my past in your dreams, I also saw your past.
I was surprised by your past, but I could not believe how much Kiritsugu had changed.
Emiya Kiritsugu is a great person in your memories. But he is not like that in my memories."
" To state it simply, he was a typical magus. He was only interested in his objectives and he eliminated everything in his way. I could not see any human emotion in him.
He only spoke to me three times during the whole war.
I do not think I need to tell you when he spoke to me.
"He was not cruel nor a born killer.
But he did not have anything that you would call emotion.
Just as he treated me only as a tool, he treated himself only as an object."
Kiritsugu is the best character.
I do not know what he believed in to make him do so, but he ordered me to destroy the Holy Grail when it was in front of him.
To be honest
I have never cursed the Command Spell or a Master who has betrayed me, more than I did at that time.
There's some truth in Saber's words.
No, they must all be true.
Come to think of it, I don't know what Kiritsugu was like before that time ten years ago.
I couldn't guess anything about him before that time, and I saw no need to learn about such things.
It doesn't change a thing even if Kiritsugu was cold-hearted.
The man that adopted me was really childlike.
So my memory is my only truth.
" I do not know. Kiritsugu summoned me in a legitimate way. As Kiritsugu's aptitude as a Master was high, he was hired by a magus family with a long history and entered the Holy Grail War.
I heard that everything he needed to become a Master was provided by that family."
"They had excavated King Arthur's artifact from Cornwall and gave it to Kiritsugu to use in the Holy Grail War. Kiritsugu used it as a catalyst to summon me.
So Kiritsugu himself does not have any factor to summon me nor is his attribute close to mine. You probably summoned me because of some other factor."
I get it.
It's not too surprising that Father used to be a Master.
What's surprising is that his Servant was King Arthur the one standing in front of me right now.
And one more thing.
Saber said that the Holy Grail was destroyed.
Thenisn't this war completely meaningless?
" I don't get it. You already knew there's no Holy Grail anymore, right? So why did you decide to take part in this ridiculous battle?"
" I certainly do not know if the Holy Grail actually exists. But it would be strange for there to be no Holy Grail if I am summoned.
Have you forgotten, Shirou? I became a Servant to obtain the Holy Grail. To put it another way, I will not be summoned unless the Holy Grail is present."
The Holy Grail can restore itself even if it's destroyed?"
"No. The Holy Grail is not something easily replaceable.
It would be impossible for a destroyed Holy Grail to be restored."
"But it should exist. Servants are summoned since they are drawn to the Holy Grail. Servants would not exist if there is no Holy Grail.
That priest said so as well."
The supervisor of the Holy Grail War living at the church.
That man that manages the Holy Grail must be able to answer all my questions.
The answers to these questions and more !
will not be shown next time. This is Nasu we're talking about.