Together with House-Husband, Part 3, Chapter 2 – At The End Of Fate
A hard sound rang out as iron boots struck the floor. Perhaps the time was ripe, or perhaps her doubts had disappeared. The sleeping lion at last took the first step.
Tohsaka Tokiomi, watching over the enemy master and servant, awakened the Mystic Code he had let slumber and prepared his counterattack.
Generations of Tohsaka family heads before him had amassed vertiable arsenals of numerous magical artifacts over the course of time. Yet, even while all those treasures protected him, the enormous pressure in front of him made his very bones shake.
“…So this is Servant Saber.”
His view of the enemy from a distance had been gravely mistaken. From her eyes, she gave forth the unmistakable bearing of a ruler- The dignity of a mighty lion, the undisputed king of all beasts.
Facing her allowed him to understand the difference in their power, and he altered his previous assumptions of her abilities.
Could a human really ever defeat such a thing?
Archer spoke from behind him. Tokiomi turned his head, his shoulders trembling.
“…Hm… I’m being made light of… It seems.”
“I’d be more surprised if it could just end with you being insulted in front of pressure like that.”
The force was more than enough to overwhelm a human being. Women and Children might die just from her glare.
“Servants are for other Servants. I’ll take over. In exchange… I want you to protect those two.”
Tokiomi caught his breath at Archer’s words.
“…You can’t be planning on challenging them alone, can you? What about the “Magus Killer”?”
Tokiomi turned a grave eye towards Kiritsugu. The Magus Killer… to them the name was a mark of shame, the black mark given to a murderer of his fellow magi, destined to be feared and despised.
Frowning slightly, Archer directed a glance at Kiritsugu below him.
Both of Kiritsugu’s arms that should have been cut off by Archer. Yet by means he did not yet know, they appeared to be reconnected to his body. Fortunately, Kiritsugu’s face lacked the luster and vitality that indicated a complete recovery.
Emiya Kiritsugu was a sorcerer devoted to killing his opponents without considering his own life. Living as he did, it would mean numerous close calls with death itself. Not being attacked would be a rarity unto itself.
Thus, there was only one reason Archer could consider. The treatment of Kiritsugu’s arms was not yet complete.
“He might not be able to attack right now. That doesn’t mean he’s powerless, though. That’s why I want you to protect those two.”
Tohsaka Tokiomi. Only a short time had passed since they had met, but he appeared to be the type who placed more value in intelligence and hard facts over flashes of insight.
His abilities, his compatibility with Saber, what would happen after this… many thoughts hurdled through his mind. After a moment’s hesitation, he raised his head and peered at Archer. There was no longer any indecision in Tokiomi’s eyes, both for this situation, and for what was to come as well.
He was resolved that he would simply have to believe in Archer.
“Alright. Make sure you win, Archer. You have to protect your promise with my daughters.”
He fell back, and crouched down in front of the two children. Tokiomi began to speak about something. Archer smiled wryly once to the side at Rin, so meek in front of her father, and leapt down from the roof of the bridge.
The air changed. The wind onboard that had quieted slightly became hard and cold at the presence of the two heroes.
His overcoat flapping in the powerful wind, Archer stood with white and black in his hand, the two swords, Kanshou and Bakuya.
“Kanshou, Bakuya… We’ve been truly blessed. Blessed by the best pair of masters we could ever have asked for.”
“Let’s make their wish come true… show me your strength… one more time.”
The sword blades quietly reflected the red light and stood still. He was always pushing them, but they were comrades to the end. That was why he could trust them. If he was with them, he could do it.
“Seems I’ve kept you waiting, Saber.”
Her eyes narrowed slightly, and she glared at Archer. The imposing figure holding the golden sword seemed somehow less motivated than before.
“Is it alright for you to show that corpse of yours to those children?”
What came from her mouth was a voice of astonishing bitterness. Archer’s eyes grew wide, and smiled bitterly with an expression of chagrin.
“…Heh. That’s an odd thing to say, King of Knights. You had legions of soldiers, knights who followed you into battle. Did any of them go to battle assuming they would lose?”
“They… had faith. They believed. They had absolute trust in your victory. That’s exactly why they could fight. Am I wrong?”
Saber stood dumbfounded for a moment at Archer’s words. But she closed her mouth and grinded her teeth, and strongly shook her head. Just like she was trying to deny something.
The face that was raised had no trace of doubt or unrest on it. A firm countenance. Beautiful, but terrifying blue eyes stared at Archer unblinkingly.
“I don’t understand… You have feelings of belief as well.”
“Yes, I do. I have a firm belief. That’s why my victory is certain.”
“Fine. Then words are unnecessary.”
Saber readied her golden blade. The sword of certain victory that had torn so many hopes and dreams to pieces. Pressing the iron conviction that only grew by accepting that weight, she readied her blade.
“Whichever of us whose feelings, whose beliefs are lacking… shall be brought to their knees.”
Archer brought up his two swords to confront her. He placed the path he had believed in and his emotions on the dual blades and took up his stance.
Rising heat between them. The frozen air. Time seemed to repeat itself, replaying their earlier confrontation.
They exchanged glances of certain death, the very embodiment of their fates.
Onboard the ship adrift on the Mion within the dead of night, stood two figures of Red and Blue, heroes at fate’s end, once more embroiled in battle.
Together With House Husband, Part 3, Chapter 2.
The two heroes clash as a result of wishes and desires they cannot surrender.
They take up the sword to protect that which they prize and love more than anything.
Standing at the end of fate, what awaits them?