Together with House-Husband, Part 2, Chapter 22 – The Hunting Grounds
Tears fell from Sakura’s eyes as Archer placed her outside the ocean of blades and confronted Assassin without a trace of emotion written on his face.
He measured the distance. At this range, he was likely still unable to strike Assassin.
“Well then, Servant Assassin. Let’s finish this.”
Assassin didn’t move.
He had seen for himself the great damage Archer had received from his own weapons. But Archer had called forth numerous weapons, one after another, without restraint. He lacked sufficient information for a head-on confrontation. So he concluded.
Taking care to protect his injured foot, Assassin leapt into the darkness. He had retreated.
By all rights, Archer should have retreated as well. But Assassin had seen his master’s faces. He knew of the existence of his powerless, childish masters. The invisible killer would lurk in the shadows, and one day- Kill both of them.
I can’t let him get away. I’ll kill him here.
“Rin. Take Sakura, and go home. You can enter the territory of the Tohsaka barrier safely from here. You know the way, right?”
“Ah… B-, but…”
“Wait at home.”
Leaving with a single sentence to his dumbfounded masters, Archer’s long boots resounded as he moved to track Assassin. Each step brought his body pain. But if he paid attention to that, he would lose track of the enemy. He wouldn’t be able to pursue him. Right now, right here. In this circumstance, Archer had a hidden trump card. Now was his chance.
The figures of the gradually receding pair at the edge of his vision slowly stood. Rin took the Sakura’s hand and held her as she wept. Yes, that was good. Now, my only duty is to kill Assassin.
I’ll finish it quickly,
And then… all three of us… will go home–.
In the hair’s width after entering the mountain forest, a dagger came flying from Assassin further up ahead.
Noticing it at the last moment, Archer used the trunk of a tree as a shield. The attack continued, aimed at his head and stomach.
Dodging one by bowing his head, Archer defended against the one meant for his solar plexus by using Bakuya as a shield. But.
Merely repelling the throwing assault sent pain racing through his body. He was incapable of a comprehensive defense. Perhaps the ragged state of his upper body had been recognized; the next attack came from directly horizontal, aimed at his legs. He would be greatly damaged if he defended. Jump, then?
But Archer dared to stay grounded and shook off the daggers with his burial cloth.
In the time lag, two daggers flew over Archer’s head. If he had jumped, he would have likely been their prey.
He would only exhaust his strength and play into Assassin’s hands at this rate. Would he have to take the offensive? As Archer considered it, a dagger was once again released before his eyes. It was a perfectly straight throw. And consequently, Archer caught the meaning of the attack.
This was a trap.
He urgently put the brakes on his pursuing legs, a nearing dagger passing before his eyes. At that moment, a strong magical power radiated from further ahead on the route to evade the daggers
“…A prohibition, or a restraint… Either way, it’s qualitatively harmful magic. It would probably be a welcome site for Servant Saber, but if it’s keyed to my extent of magical power… It will be fatal.”
Even if he defended or dodged, if he continued to pursue there would be a magical trap that would likely ensnare him. This was Assassin’s hunting grounds. Archer couldn’t let his guard down.
Archer switched over to pursuit once again. He had to fill the increased distance. The range between Archer and Assassin had not changed from the stillness before, however.
“He’s waiting, it seems.”
The faceless white mask that conveyed no emotion somehow seemed to be smiling. It was weighing its own abilities and situation. In order to kill Archer.
Archer showed no sign of his pain from the outside, but his body was nearing its limits. His red overcoat was beginning to be stained dark with his own blood. The blood trickling at his foot left red footprints on the floor of fallen leaves below. A protracted battle would present no chance of victory.
Even as he was forced into the situation, Archer’s face was bright and clear.
Assassin continued to move and even higher speeds, sapping the Bowman’s strength. Sometimes he would attack, sometimes lay a trap. The countless variety of snares he had planted ate away at the Bowman’s body, and further cornered him.
He looked at the movements of the slowing Bowman. His course was precise, and he continued as always to at least defend against a fatal wound, but in his current condition, he would be unable to defend against an attack with his Noble Phantasm. It was time to hunt.
Thus Assassin determined the route. He fixed towards the mountain prison. A personal hunting ground he had created himself.
Together With House Husband, Part 2, Chapter 22.
The showdown against Assassin. The mountain is his territory. The many traps lurking in the shadows consume all who trespass. But despite all that, there is not a trace of despair on the Bowman’s countenance.