Together with House-Husband, Part 2, Chapter 46 – Kanshou and Bakuya
He took the first step out of the hall in front of the bathroom, at the very back side of the bridge. He went straight ahead, with limitless strength and speed. He became a single bullet, and made for Kiritsugu.
Just as he suspected, Kiritsugu was at the front of the T-intersection. He was in front of the doors of the private hall, a weapon leveled. The thing in grasped in his hands emitted a blackly dull gleam; a jet-black gun barrel.
A barrel far longer than a standard pistol’s, an enormous cylinder, and an extraordinarily large muzzle. It was a gun Archer had never seen. A prototype, or perhaps custom made.
But no matter what it was, he was certain of one thing. It was a gun that fired fifty-caliber bullets. Bullets used by such a monstrously large revolver would carry the largest destructive power that existed in the world.
12.7mm, fifty caliber bullets. Among handheld weapons that could be fired upright, those bullets held the distinction of the greatest weight. For Emiya Kiritsugu’s Innate Time Control, which made guns an intermediary in firing high speed bullets, the weight of the bullet was what was important. Compared to the nine millimeter bullets from earlier, the kinetic energy this weight would unleash would be roughly 2.7 times greater. If a limb was hit, it would be blown off; if the torso, his entrails would be torn apart. A human would die simply from the shock of being hit.
It was terrifying. However. There was the technique the enemy used for the attack, and then aiming. Archer understood those two points now, and it amounted to one thing.
He would have to break through.
Was his preliminary setup completely finished, Kiritsugu brought his chant to an end, indicating the success of his sorcery. And then… came the bullet.
In that instant. His field of vision stopped, as if it had been frozen. A world of less than zero, of a thousandth of a second. Scenery that the naked eye could not perceive.
He pulled the trigger and the hammer fell, the firing pin striking the hammer. The primer exploded and the gunpowder ignited, raising the temperature of the gas inside the cartridge.
The pressure pushed the bullet forward. The moment the bullet gained kinetic energy, the sorcery began.
For Emiya Kiritsugu, a gun was an extension of his body, a tactile sensation. The magical equipment he had crafted solely for accomplishing this sorcery was essentially his own self.
Emiya Kiritsugu’s way of life was not one spent pursuing Akasha.
It was one thing only. He existed to fulfill one dream that he yearned for and embraced.
The absolute power to see justice through, faster and more efficiently than anyone else.
In essence, a perfect arrow.
And he had studied the magecraft for the sole reason of firing that arrow.
That magecraft was “Innate Time Control”.
There was only one answer Emiya Kiritsugu had arrived at that he was sure of. He would kill every single enemy, and then help.
That was his answer.
There was a man who pursued a broken dream, the same as him. The man was not blessed with any talent, an unskilled magus who could accomplish one thing only.
No… he was a magic user.
The once sorcery the man could accomplish- Projection. Sorcery to understand, discipline, and wield swords. Sorcery to turn his very self into a blade.
Yes, he became a sword. It was because he approved of that way of life that he took up the sword. However, in living as a weapon, he was struck by two simple pretenses.
They were Kanshou and Bakuya.
Their service had been free. The two blades had crossed countless battlefields with him, and were already a part of him.
And so. In this frozen, still moment, that was the only thing he could feel sure of. His treasured sword that protected his heart, Kanshou, shattering.
That response and nothing else.
Human bodies were externally, at least, constructed to be capable of expansive movement. Consequently, shooting theory taught that when aiming it was harder for the torso to evade than the head. If you aimed at the center of the body, it would be difficult for the target to move their body enough to avoid the attack.
Against a Servant who could perform high-speed evasive movement, there was but one choice. If he hoped to hit the target, he would aim at the torso.
With bullets fired at supersonic speed, Emiya Kiritsugu aimed at the torso he could not overlook. Evading the nearing bullets was impossible. Shooting down the attack was impossible.
Archer had entered this contest with losing as a preamble.
“I am the bone of my sword.”
Just like the words he spoke, Archer’s arms underwent an ominous transfiguration. It was perhaps an inner world, a manifestation of his Reality Marble.
The Reality Marble, running wild due to the overflow of his magic circuit, turned his body into swords, and at the same time healing and wrapping his body in armor to protect him.
It sacrificed his own flesh and blood in exchange for defense through a nameless armor. By turning his body into swords, he turned his own self into the edge of the blade- the final step.
His body, transfigured into blades, took in his beloved swords, and made Kanshou and Bakuya into his very arms. Archer protected his vital areas by turning his own body into a shield.
No matter how much energy it possessed, it was still nothing more than a revolver bullet. If the energy dampened due to material resistance, he would be unable to immediately correct his aim. Even if its power defied the laws of physics through strengthening magic, it would not go through a wall several centimeters thick.
His arms were the walls. If the bullet was to pass through the center, it would have to penetrate an iron wall nearly a meter thick. No matter how much energy it possessed, piercing that was impossible.
For Archer, Innate Time Control was no longer a certain kill. Yes, it lived up to its name as a sure-kill technique because the opponent died the moment they were spotted. As long as he knew what type of killing technique it was, he could work out a method to defeat it. They were inhuman beings, Servants.
Even so, his opponent was a user of magic that surpassed divine providence. He wielded magical ammunition possessing divine might. If his aim was off, it meant instant death. And as he anticipated, it would be deal massive damage even if the bullet didn’t stray. A second arrow would mean his death. His charge was not gambling. It was suicide.
But Archer still believed. With fostered judgment, he trusted in the souls of his accomplices above all else.
He trusted in Kanshou and Bakuya.
They were said to be swords forged by the rare blacksmith Kanshou with the life a wife who cared for her husband as their core. A blade of the soul, forged caring for another, and with the utmost treasured of emotions.
That journey, those souls. They would never lose to a mere lead bullet!
“The dream where we raced down this road together was not a mistake. Show me that future! Show it to me, Kanshou, Bakuya!”
The outrageous kinetic energy pulverized Kanshou. The bullet reached Archer’s hands, destroyed his fingers, and tore away at the outer surface of his magical arm.
This was bad.
Because he was turning it away from the center of his arm, the decrease in the strength of its movement was slow. Even having lost its initial velocity, the bullet’s power still remained. Failing to turn it away would mean instant death. The bullet passed his elbow, passed his two arms, and while its kinetic energy slowly disappeared, neared his torso.
A roaring explosion. Color returned to the frozen world.
His legs went further. His heart was still beating. The bullet that had torn through his left arm and blown apart his shoulder in a moment passed through his body a few centimeters to the side of his heart.
Now was the sword of husband and wife lost, a mere fragment.
The sword of treasure, Kanshou, always gleaming with a dark shine, had prevailed.
It had overcome the arrow of certain death.
Together With House Husband, Part 2, Chapter 46.
The greatest comrades whom he walked side by side with during the painful journey. The countless hells he passed through together with his faithful companions was the end of the dream they saw.
In the expanding, unknown tomorrow that lay before his eyes, he believed in the existence of a future he could protect.
And so, the comrades journey together. Together to see what beauty lay ahead.