Together with House-Husband, Part 3, Chapter 4 – The Moment Of Divinity Achieved Through One’s Self
An unbidden smile rose to Archer’s lips. The swords sketching out the complex elliptical orbit in the air had fallen with one blow. That intuition was in the realm of genius. Half-hearted attacks wouldn’t cut it.
Archer was empty-handed, having lost both of the swords he had held. As if to condemn his foolish attempts, Saber rushed into Archer’s range with a violent charge. The holy sword was held aloft with enough power to fill the space. The unarmed Archer could not defend against it.
However. The red knight’s mouth formed a sarcastic grin, and he stopped the sacred sword’s attack. Grasp in both hands were the firm blades, Kanshou and Bakuya.
A hero’s Noble Phantasm was a one of a kind thing. If it was separated from them or lost, or destroyed, there was no replacement. That was the rule. But in Archer’s hands were exactly the same twin swords that had been thrown earlier. It was a transgression, an undermining of the rules that should have been impossible.
An instant of hesitation. For the imperturbable Saber, it truly was but a moment. However, the moment created by the hand she had not played was large opening in close quarters combat.
A hand thrusted into the gap with god-like speed. The blades that should not have existed assaulted Saber’s face. The moment of confusion blurred the attack she should have been able to evade, and on her beautiful cheek a flower of blood bloomed.
He’d made it.
He’d made just a slight crack in the impenetrable fortress. The Bowman who had wagered on small hope understood that the time had come.
The flower of blood danced and fell. But Saber halted her steps without flinching from the wound she had received. The valiant king of blades knew no retreat. She had to be that way. She had to.
Feet struck the earth, and enormous power was gathered. From the feet to the waist, from the waist to the shoulders, from the waist to the arms. Archer gathered all of his strength and charged towards Saber.
A completely artless, head-on charge. Now used to the attack, Saber could intercept it without straining herself.
With a crash, the treasure sword Kanshou was returned to illusion. With room to spare with the attack defeated, Saber took half a step forward to slay Archer. Half a step. For her, that was the space of victory.
Saber had read Archer’s abilities after they had crossed swords several times. He could not hope to overpower Saber with his technique. And so the half step of certain death she took would sever every illusions and bury her enemy. The chance had come, and now all that was left was to bring her blade down. However.
A sudden chill. In her space, in the interval of her certain kill, an alarm bell rang out. Unable to ignore it, Saber forced her upper body to sink down.
What was the thing above her cutting through her ribbon as it flew above her? It was the sword that should have been in Archer’s hand, Bakuya. A direct hit would have taken her head off.
Archer’s curled his lips. Her instincts had allowed her to evade an attack flying in from a completely blind spot relying purely on intuition. He understood, but honest methods were not going to triumph over this monster of an opponent.
And so, the plied heaps of the spider’s web. A trap laid out. The faint light to defeat the lion had at long last been grasped.
Immediately, Bakuya lunged forth from Archer’s hand. From above the lowered Saber, the downswing swooped down. An attack from her blind spot- but for Saber and her supernatural intuition, visibility was no challenge. Even in her difficult stance, the holy sword traced out the trajectory of the head wind and crushed the tip of the “body” of Archer’s blade.
Steel danced and scattered, and Bakuya disappeared. Archer was once again unarmed, his means of defense lost. With this timing and the distance between them, if she pursued him there would be no time for conjured defenses. This was the end.
Or it should have been.
A vehement alarm raced through Saber’s mind. She could not deal her finishing blow.
The holy sword was repelled. A clash, and sparks flew. The holy sword that had protected her against the intense frontal attack number Saber’s arm.
Kanshou had come flying out from the darkness. Of course, I was not the Kanshou that had been destroyed in Archer’s hand. Along with Bakuya, the two blades that had come flying at Saber were the Kanshou and Bakuya Archer had thrown and the sacred sword had repelled earlier.
The twin blades, Kanshou and Bakuya. The husband and wife blades called out to one another, Noble Phantasms possessing the attractive property of a magnet. By rights, the Kanshou and Bakuya Saber had deflected should have fallen to the ship’s deck, or plunged into the depths of the river and disappeared. But the twin blades newly projected by Archer became lights for the two lost blades and showed them the way. The way to Saber.
Lead by Archer, the flying Kanshou and Bakuya nearly bisected the lion’s body- the holy sword blocked and defended her.
She had protected herself.
A premonition raced through Saber’s mind. A foreboding of defeat, of being brought to her knees.
She had merely defended during the attack just now. Even if she had killed Archer earlier, the flying blades would have cut Saber into round pieces, destroying her body. Defending against the attacks was unavoidable. However, doing it here was unwise.
By defense, she meant technique to protect against attack. There were many elements to organizing one’s defense, but the most important of all was controlling one’s space. Judge, parry, evade. What made those possible was enough space to perceive the enemy’s attacks. Realizing the range at which any attack could be coped with was the meaning of a perfect defense.
However, the half step she took, the half step to slay the enemy. Unable to retreat, the half step was to maul the enemy. In that space, there was no room for defense.
The king of beasts ruled all others. But even the mightiest have a moments when they’re defenseless. It was the instant they bared their fangs to finish their prey. At that moment, all they could do was attack.
The attacks that went on regardless of either’s strength. The brutality of throwing weapons even aware of that. And the recklessness that lured the lion in.
What if these had all been arranged for the sake of this one plan? What if it had been arranged with Saber being able to defend assume? Having switching over three times to defense in her attack space, Saber had no reserves left to wield her sword anymore.
This was the tactics the red knight had devised with his life on the line. The spider’s web he had spun. Saber had been lured into his trap.
Still unarmed, two swords appeared in Archer’s aloft hands. They cut through the rain of broken steel reverting to illusion. Newly born white and black drew near Saber.
He was no match for Saber if he wielded the sword. That was undeniable truth. She would evade all of his attacks, and destroy the sword he wielded. As a swordsman, no matter how he may try, he would never succeed. And so Archer’s battle was not that of a fencer’s. He continued to forge blades- a battle of wrought iron.
High speed, continuous projection. One projection after another, with no pause. For Archer, the perfect weapons with which he was capable of reducing his projection time to nothing was only Kanshou and Bakuya. A unique methodology that allowed him to continue to battle in close combat, even when he savagely discarded his weapons.
It was the combat technique only he could accomplish, and thus it was a method of attack that could confound an enemy’s expectations. Unknown to all, inimitable; unique.
And so, it was a sure kill.
An attack like a bombing run destroyed the lion’s body.
Together With House Husband, Part 3, Chapter 4.
If one could leverage their experience, the gods would naturally recognize it.
Divine skills, flawless and firm.
Our Strength, torn from the mountains.
Our Blades split the water.
Our proclamation echoes to the ends of sanctuary.
Only one of us can stand before heaven.
These were the words engraved on the blades of the twin swords. Walking forward together with the firm blades, he had imposed the oath on himself. Iron enforced the will of iron. Those words.