Chapter 5 : Afternoon

Sakura could not free Lancer from the burden of the Command Spell yet. There were two ways to annul that Command Spell she had placed on him previously; one was to annul it with another Command Spell, which was also the only one left on her hand. If Zouken noticed the three seals had all vanished, he would certainly know something was not alright and thus, he would act beforehand and their plan would be ultimately crushed.  The other was to eliminate the subject on which the spell was made, which was Shinji. And killing Shinji was even worse of an option than annulling the Command Spell. Failed as he might be, he was still the Matos’ first born son. Zouken was cruel but he obviously loved his only grandson, that, Sakura harbored no doubt. The death of Shinji did not ensure their freedom but it would definitely enraged Zouken. Who knew what wicked of a method he would use to avenge his beloved grandson?

So, before they came up with a clear plan, the two of them would still be under Zouken’s control : Sakura remained an obedient doll and Lancer remained submitted to Shinji’s despicable orders.

Among the orders Shinji gave him, ambushing other pairs of participants was perhaps what soiled his knightly code the most. A proud knight as he was, Lancer wished for nothing other than a fair match in which true heroes could combat using the skills they had spent their lives polishing. Yet, he was ordered to attack and to win using any means possible, even stooping so low as to ambush. Such act was fitted to the likes of Caster or Assassin, not the one who carried the title of ‘knights’ like himself. Still, he had no other choice but to obey, staining his honor with every mission carried out. Even if this was meant to ensure Sakura’s safety, the knight could not help but grind his teeth, cursing Shinji’s vileness and his own inability to change the situation.

Zouken seemed to be away for a few days as he was not seen at dinner time. With Zouken’s absence, Shinji assumed the head position belonged to himself since he was the oldest and only son and thus, he acted on his own initiative. Tonight, he gave Lancer a strange order : that was, to capture the Tosaka mage or in order word, Master of Archer. Normally, Shinji did not care whether the Master stayed alive or not as long as the Servant was defeated. A Master without a Servant to command was equal to a loser in the War. And since Master was the anchor to keep the Servant in this world, murdering the Master, if possible, was his favorite option. However, he wanted to make sure Archer’s Master was captures safe and sound.

Why ?

As if he was able to read Lancer’s confusion, Shinji turned around and gave his usual smirk :

“You’ll know once you see her.”

So that was a woman. A young and beautiful woman no less. Though he never meant to compare her with Sakura, he had to admit the Master of Archer was indeed an attractive woman. Seeing her, Lancer could somehow figure out the reason why Shinji wanted her alive. As a man, Lancer could see through his motive and was utterly disgusted by it. Fair as she might seem, the Tosaka mage was far from being a normal woman; she certainly lived up to her family name as one of the Three Families of Origin. She was strong, so was her Servant. Archer was indeed an admirable opponent whom Lancer had to utilize all his wits to combat against. If it was not for a dishonorable reason, he would have enjoying battling with an individual possessing such skills as Archer.  However, as per the weight of the Command Spell on his body, he had to resort to methods that were unfitted to his title as a knight. Though, at last, he managed to inflict a fairly serious wound on Archer and abduct his Master, the consequence was rather devastating: a long diagonal slash ran from his left shoulder to abdomen, severing a good deal of ribs and probably a few of his organs. It was sheer luck that he could remain standing without spilling out his intestines or something else.

The lady Master, once regained her conscious, began to quietly eye him and Shinji like they were two lowly insects. That look was a fatal blow to what little dignity had left in the proud knight. Although it was Shinji’s order, after all, it was him who had injured her Servant and kidnapped her. Judging from her perspective, he indeed deserved that look. Looking at her lovely face which did not bother to hide a blatant loathe, Lancer shook his head ruefully. Somehow, that lady Master resembled his Sakura though their hair and eye colors were entirely different. Perhaps because they were roughly the same age.

“Leave her to me and go to your Master to have your wound healed.” A smirk. “Before you fall into two pieces of flesh.”

“What will become of her ?” Feeling responsible for her pitiful state, Lancer retorted.

“Humph. You care ? I thought you only care for Sakura ?”

Unknown to both men, the lady Master briefly raised her eyebrows in shock when her ears caught the name “Sakura”.

“What’s more to do when a man and a woman are left alone in a room ? I guess you know better than me.”

“Don’t lay your dirty hands on her.”

The sense of justice hit his heart.

“Shut up, dog ! You dare lecture your master ?”

“Zouken won’t approve your doing as you please.”

“Grandfather let me play with my ‘toys’ as much as I want. Now shut up before I’ll take your precious Sakura instead.”


The lovely eyes of Archer’s Master which were fixed on him brimmed with tears, half pleading him to help her, half cursing him for causing her misery. Those eyes exposed the weakness of the proud, dignified heiress of the Tosakas, leaving her in a vulnerable state which deserved help and protection. That was exactly his duty as a knight. However, the situation in which he was now did not allow such act; he could only try his best to protect one woman and it was his Master and his beloved Sakura that always came first. Having to weigh between who he must protect and who he could not protect, this pain was far worse than his physical injury.

Turning his back sharply to the girl, he walked to the opposite direction. Along with his silhouette, her sole and only hope faded.

Even in this insane war, there were still moments when the knight of lances could be at ease. One of which is having his beloved Master heal his injuries. Though he felt a tiny remorse as to drain her mana, he certainly loved the pleasant sensation of her petit hand ghostling over his flesh, sewing back broken bone and muscles with utmost grace. As the warmth spread, the pain which was tormenting him quickly subsided so the knight let out a quiet sigh. The tenseness vanished from his expression; his beauty was restored to its gorgeous charm.

Wiping the damp beads of sweat clinging to her forehead, Sakura sighed. Though every time she spent her mana on fixing her Servant, she experienced an indescribable uneasiness, it was not so severe as the first time she had overgone her limit. Either the worms had learnt to adapt with her condition or she had somehow found the way to control them, she did not really know. As long as they did not cause much trouble, it was fine to her.

“Such terrible wound ! What was his order this time ?”

“Abducting Archer’s Master. That Archer was indeed a formidable opponent. So, that’s how I got this.”

“Archer’s… Master ?”

For some unknown reason, Lancer spotted an abrupt change in her expression.

“A lovely girl about your age. Shinji called her Tosaka or something.”

“It can’t be.”

“Is something the matter ?”

“That girl… Shinji…Shinji must not harm her !”

Her soft, quiet tone began to shake, so did her small frame, as if she was struck with a sudden mix of fear and anger. Recalling hiss déjà vu from earlier, Lancer could somewhat establish a vague link between the previous and this incident.

“Shinji spared you…for he has already got that Tosaka girl. Is that someone you know ?”

“I can put up with what he’s done to me but not with her. No matter what, she must not be harmed. Because… because Rin is my real sister.”

Lancer was dumbstruck by the truth he just had gotten to hear. No wonder why she so resembled Sakura. Conscience struck him, a lot harder than it had ever done because he had allowed Sakura’s only relative to fall to that filthy hand.

“I must stop Shinji before it’s too late.”

Momentarily forgot the existence of her Servant, Sakura strode through the door, only to be stopped by her Servant’s firm grasp.


Her voice was hoarse with her anxiety and the raging beats of her heart.

“You know it, right ? If you stop Shinji, it means that you have openly opposed them. Soon, Zouken will know about our rebellion and things’ re going to be ugly.”

Hesitantly, as if his words had struck a part of her mind that was constantly feared of that old vampire, Sakura lifted up her head. For years, she had been living in domination. For years, she had been abused and treated worse than a slave. Courage was thought to have vanished from her mind until the day this Heroic Spirit, this man came to her side in a twist of fate. There had to be a reason why he was brought here, to fulfill her wish of being saved, being protected. So far, he had done much more than that, he had given her courage and hopes, the things she had almost forgotten. Nevertheless, if she truly desired freedom, she had to break it, the cage called cowardice in which she had trapped herself.

A moment of silence passed and the girl spoke while calmly looked into her lover’s eyes :

“No matter what, I can’t allow Shinji to soil my only sister. Besides, I’m tired of being their puppet.”

Resolution was sparkling in her purple eyes. For the first time since he had been summoned, the knight found a light in them. Though he loved and wished to protect the weak, vulnerable Sakura with all his heart, Diarmuid found his heart busting with admiration as seeing the new Sakura who also wished to fight.

“I’m not afraid because I know you will always be by my side.”

“Of course, from the moment I had sworn my loyalty to you, I had decided to follow you everywhere, even if we were to leap into the fire of Hades. I won’t have any regrets, my Master.”

Their lips brushed in a haste kiss before the pair stepped out, ready to face this challenge.

Tosaka Rin found herself in the worst scenario. If being separated from her Servant was not bad enough, she was now in the hand of the boy she detested the most. Judging from that horny look in his eyes, it was not hard to figure out his intention. Rin cursed silently. Being the heiress of the Tosakas, Rin inherited not only the prominent blood from her ancestors but also the Crest which contained the fruits of her family; an incompetent mage from a dying magus family like Shinji would be small fry to her. Had she not been tied with a charmed rope and under a mute spell, she was sure she would have gandred him until that smug face was nothing but a bloody pulp. Surely Rin was not that sadistic of a person, it was just no one had ever evoked her murderous intent as awfully as this jerk did.

“What’s with that look, Tosaka ? Don’t like being tied ? Sorry, if I hadn’t tied you up, you would not be as nice as a helpless kitty like you are now.”

She changed her mind. Gandring him was not enough; for the boiling heat in her stomach to calm down, this jerk had to be minced and then thrown into the incinerator.

“Compared to that ignorant Sakura, I find you more desirable. You know why ? That haughty, icy expression of yours more or less attracts all the punks at school. ‘Know what they say ? They say you are an empress. Haha, what nonsense. If possible, I’d love to show them your pitiful state.”

Along with his words, his hands began their shameless exploration on her body, starting with her cheeks, her neck then her thighs.

“Archer, help me.”

In humiliation and dismay, Rin cried out her Servant’s name.

Before Shinji went on further, the door abruptly opened. Sakura, followed by her faithful Servant, stood firmly at the entrance. Her face did not try to mask her anger.

“Nii-san, please let go of Tosaka-sempai !”

“Bastard ! Get lost, Sakura !” Being interrupted while his hormone were near its peak, Shinji was even more irritated than  normal.

“No. Not when you’re holding her captive.”

“If I don’t, what can you do to me, slut ?”

Shinji’s fist went flying. Having full belief in Sakura’s defenselessness and Lancer’s inability to stop him, Shinji intended to give the girl a good lesson for ruining his ‘game’.

Crack. The sound was hard and dry, as a small tree branch was broken in half, the sound of bones being crushed under crude force. Sakura, the one who was supposed to received the blow was standing unfazed while Shinji’s face twisted with unbearable agony.


His fist was in enveloped in the knight fist; fragile bones smashed effortless under the strength of the master of the lance.

“Stop, Lancer, stop !!”

Shocked and panicked, Shinji shouted while trying to free his miserable fingers from their bonds but Lancer did not lessen his strength one bit. His beautiful face full of hatred and murderous intent.

“Why, Sakura ? He was supposed to obey me.”

Sakura, whose expression did not differed from her Servant’s, lifted up her right hand. The back of her hand was smooth and free of any marks.

“You released him ? You bloody fool !”

They said old habits died hard. Even in his condition now did Shinji still manage to spill ill words. Sakura’s face darkened with disgust.

“Shinji.” No longer the “nii-san” she always addressed him, Sakura now called him by his first name, implying the change in their positions. “I’ll spare your life if you release sempai. If you don’t, then we have no choice but to eliminate the caster.”

“I’ll do anything. Please don’t kill me.”

Shinji immediately chanted the secret code that unbound Rin. Lancer also released his fist and Shinji felt to the floor, clutching his messed hand.

“Once Grandpa knows about this, you’re dead meat, Sakura.”

Helping Rin get to her feet, Sakura gazed at Shinji with an ever-calm look.

“When we get here, we’re already prepared to face Zouken. I’m sick of being a slave for you Matous.”

Her knight nodded in agreement. His twin spears materialized in his hands, ready to obey their masters.

Even when Sakura and Rin had stepped out of the room, Lancer still lingered inside. His spears in hands, his tall figure cast an ominous shadow over Shinji, who was huddling on the ground. With eyes wet with tears of pain, Shinji looked up, only to be met with a gaze cold enough to send chill down his spine. Vaguely aware of Lancer’s intention, Shinji weakly entreated him, voice hoarse and trembling.

“Sakura’s spared my life. You cannot…”

“That’s Sakura-sama’s promise, not mine.” Lancer coldly cut him short. “My Master is just to kind that she can’t bear to kill; however, I’m not that soft.”

Diarmuid’s ‘Mystic Face’ was said to be able to marvel women’s heart with just one glance. At this moment, its magic was still strongly emitting but it was more akin to an invitation of Death.

Wounds inflicted by Gaé Buidhe could never heal, as long as the spear itself or its owner remained unharmed. Leaving a writhing Shinji in a pool of his own blood behind the closed door, Lancer finally left the room.

Leading the way, the knight protected the ladies on their escape. Taking Rin’s hand in hers, for the first time after years, Sakura experienced the warmth of sibling love. This love which she thought she had already forgotten was now blossoming in her heart. At the same time, it struck her sharply like a needle, as if to remind her that once outside the mansion, they would become opponents who slaughtered each other as Masters invited by the Holy Grail, the omnipotent wish granting machine could only grant one wish. That wish was her ultimate goal. With the Grail, she would wish for Lancer to have a body with flesh and blood so that he could remain by her side as a human, not a spirit. All her life, Sakura had never dared to wish for anything but now, her desire to be with the man she loved was burning strongly in her heart, so strong that she would not allow anyone to stand in her way.

With determination in her mind, Sakura tightened her grip on her sister’s hand, as if to treasure what little moment together they had.

Unknown to both Lancer and Rin, True Assassin had been silently creeping up behind them. With his skill ‘Presence Concealment’, True Assassin had sealed up any chance of being detected by other Servants or Masters. But Sakura was a tad different. The worms inside her extremely keen on picking up even the faintest source of mana; thus, the moment True Assassin came into their range, the worms had instantly informed her of his existence. Still, her reaction could not match his in speed.

A heart wrenching cry shot through Lancer’s ears. Shocked, he turned around, only to find a wickedly tall figure clad in inky black with a chalky white mask that covered up its entire countenance. What was even more horrifying than its appearance was the sleek claw that was dripping with Sakura’s blood.

“Sakura-sama !”

“Sakura !”

Both Lancer and Rin were equally panicked just to see Sakura’s oozing out from her wound.

“No need to worry ! She won’t die right away.”

Behind True Assassin stood a dry old corpse.

“Get a hold of yourself, Sakura !” Rin shouted while quickly chanting a healing spell.

“Didn’t I tell you, Heroic Spirit Diarmuid ? Can you stay perfectly calm when your Master’s life is at stake ?”

His taunt came with a string of laughters that sent chill down Rin’s spine.

“Archer’s Master, how’s Sakura-sama ?”

“It barely missed the heart but Sakura’s bleeding so much. I’m trying to close the wound.” Rin answered anxiously.

“Right now, I leave my Master to you. Please take care of her !”

While his tone was full of anguish, his spears had materialized in his hands, already unbound by the enchanted cloth; mana started surging from them.

“Alright, fight with all you’ve got. I’ll protect Sakura.”

“I’m in your debt, Archer’s Master.”

Bowing his head swiftly in respect, the knight recovered his fighting spirit, trusting that Rin would protect his beloved Sakura with all her might.

The air became thick and tense with the death match between the knight and the assassin, between the demonic spears and the sinister claw was about to begin.

An Assassin-Class Servant should not be a match for one of the ‘Three Great Knights’ as the latter’s skills were far superior to the former’s. However, this was not a normal Assassin but rather the Master of all Assassins. Judging by the way he could  maneuver his claw with ease, True Assassin was not an opponent to be underestimated.

So far, neither of them was able to land a fatal blow. A master of weaponry, Lancer understood well the advantages of his twin lances. Normally, a lance should be held by both hands in order for the lancer to handle the weight and deliver the blows with high and accuracy. Wielding a long weapon earned the wielder a great pro in range but at the same time, a considerable drawback in defense as he could hardly evade the attacks that got closed to him. So, to make up for this con, speed was added up to his blows. It was understandable that most Lancers had a fairly higher stat in agility than other Servants. However, through his arduous trainings, Diarmuid had developed a unique fighting style that was able to compensate for lance-users’ weak defense. His longer lance, while remaining his ‘lance’, acted as the attacker while his shorter lancer acted as a defender. Since swords were generally more flexible and much more powerful than lances in defense, using the short lance as a sword, Lancer could both attack and defend with efficiency.

This style of combat had won him countless victories in his past life.

However, in front this claw, the skills he had polished for years somewhat became dull. The oddly long arm of True Assassin, added with his steel claw, were roughly the same length as Lancer’s Gaé Dearg but it was much more flexible since it could alter the length and strike like a vicious cobra.

“This is a very formidable foe.”

Normally, Lancer would be very pleased and excited to be able to face such a worthy enemy. However, with his Master, his dear woman laying motionlessly on the ground, her life hung on a strand of hair, Lancer decided praising his opponent was pointless (and it was unlikely True Assassin would react to praises either). Right now, his goal was to destroy his foe as quick as possible.

One should know that in the midst of battles, a mere distraction could cost a life. As a warrior having survived countless, Lancer knew it all the better. Still, any man’s mind would shake at the terrible cry of his lover. In a blink of an eye, True Assassin’s claw had carved a hole in his chest. Realizing his enemy’s move at the last moment was helpful as Lancer managed to evade the attack aiming straight for his heart. Though he had dodged death in a hair, he had to suffer quite severe a wound. Coughing a mouthful of blood, Lancer took a few steps away from True Assassin who was awaiting Zouken’s next order.

Clutching his chest, Lancer looked at Sakura, who was writhing violent while Rin struggled to hold her down.

“What’s wrong with her, Lancer ?”

Lancer stayed silent; instead, his golden eyes glued on Zouken’s dry, bony hands.

“Ho, what will you do now, beautiful spearman ?” Grinning Zouken wickedly. “The worms will continue their feast on her flesh and organs as per my order. Soon, your Master will be nothing but a hollow shell. And I must warn you, the pain will increase until her life distinguishes. She will die of pain before the worms completely devour her inside. By my calculation, there’re 6 minutes left.”

“Bastard !” Lancer gritted his teeth in sheer disgust and anger. His heart was burning hot as if it was thrown into a frying pan, not because of the wound but his fear for Sakura’s life.

“Cursing won’t do any good, spearman. But this surely will.” Narrowing his eyes, Zouken adjusted his tone to a more serious one. “If you agree to my condition, Sakura’s life will be spared.”

“What condition ?”

“I may forgive your killing my only grandson. He may be my family but as incompetent a magus as he is, I don’t trust him with the family business. On the other hand, Sakura is an excellent magus. So, she will continue Shinji’s role in this Heaven’s Feels, with you as her rightful Servant. After all, it would be a real shame to end her life here, as she is my precious little doll. Is is not satisfied to you, Heroic Spirit Diarmuid, to fight alongside your Master like you always wish ?”

In fact, Zouken’s proposal contained quite a temptation. Sakura would be safe and together, they could pursue the Holy Grail. Moreover, if they won the war, there would be no need to fear Zouken’s reign. The Grail should be more than enough to earn them their freedom.

Confused, the knight glanced at his Master, expecting an instruct from her but no words left her lips, only painful groans. Each was a sharp dagger penetrating his heart. In front of him, Zouken was exulting in his offer which Lancer seemingly could not refuse regarding Sakura’s present condition.

It seemed that was the best option now. How could the knight deny an obvious chance to save his Master ? Nevertheless, only the two of them knew what horrors she had been through in ten years and what efforts they had made to take themselves out of this mud. If they were to step back into Zouken’s dominance, would their endeavor not be all in vain ?

Weighing between that and Sakura’s life, Lancer made a painful decision. Lowering the weapons in his hands, he silent nodded.

“That’s what I expect from a loyal Servant. Value his Master’s life above all else ! simply splendid !”

With a snap of his fingers, Zouken gave a signal to the worms inside Sakura. Her cries went softer but not completely quiet yet.

“Remove the pain completely. Are you trying to trick us ?”

“Ah, one more thing, Lancer. Finish off that Tosaka wench and Sakura’s safe and sound.”

Zouken’s words made her blood run cold; the insides of her hands were even more sweatier than Sakura’s forehead. Fear dominated her heart as she witnessed Lancer lifting up his weapons. No matter how capable a magus she may be, she could barely stand a chance against Assassin or Caster, let alone one of the three knights. Though Rin knew Lancer would undoubtedly choose his Master’s life over hers, she could not bring herself to loathe him, the one who was going to kill her. In her heart, there was only a deep regret that she had not fulfilled her father’s expectation before her existence ended in such pitiful manner.

Death was inevitable, Tosaka Rin closed her eyes and accepted.

What had happened lasted only in the blink of an eye. In that short instance, Lancer hurled the long spear in his right hand at True Assassin who was standing beside Zouken and simultaneously, his body dashed forward like a sonic bullet. Despite being caught off guard, True Assassin blocked the attack with little effort. By then did he realize it was all a bluff as Lancer’s target was not him but rather his Master, Zouken. Gathering the mana to his pair of legs and releasing it all at once, Lancer had momentarily achieved the speed of light. This was a special technique he only resorted to use in dire situations since it would put great exhaustion to his physical body later.

Even when the blade of the yellow spear had pierced his throat, Zouken could not believe it. His deep eyes gouged out in pain, his mouth agasp but the pain was inferior to the terror he was experienced. One minute he was certain in his victory and the next he was on the brink of death; everything happened in less than a second. To be able to achieve miracle, this was the true ability of hero who had become legend. The first time he was able to experienced it was also his last.

A yellow lance that allowed no cures. Lancer did not have to make sure his lance had fulfilled its duty when he pulled it out, spraying thick, ink like liquid over the wall and floor. When Rin opened her eyes again, she saw the small body of Zouken crumple to the ground. Too weak to command the worms, what the dying Zouken could do before succumbing to his demise was uttering his last order to True Assassin, who was standing still, unfazed by his Master’s death.

“Kill… kill them.. all. By…Command…Spells…”

The two-hundred-year-old vampire of the Matous had met his karmic end like that.

“Lancer, behind you !!”

His limbs hurt, his lungs burnt, Lancer had well understood the consequences of using this technique while carrying a serious wound on his chest but the situation left him no other choice. There was not much left of his energy to defend himself and the ladies against true Assassin. It was hard enough to remain standing, let alone fighting with such a powerful enemy.

He heard Rin’s screaming but his limbs had betrayed him. Raising the shorter spear as fast as he could, Lancer managed to counter the claw that aimed for his head. Now, it was a competition of raw strength to see who could last longer. For Lancer who had already sustained a fatal injury, the odds were not in his favor. It was not long before the spear slipped from his hand to fall on the ground and True Assassin’s claw tore open his shoulder. Biting back the pain, he grabbed the claw with his other hand, starting another wrestling match.

Red flashed his eyes and the sensation of Death crawling near was all too familiar with the knight. However, thinking about Sakura and Rin, about what would happen to the sisters after he perished by True Assassin’s hand, the will to live once again set his mind ablaze. Gathering his strength, he kicked hard at True Assassin. At the same time, several black energy balls flew from Rin’s finger. Having lost all her jewel, Rin could only rely on her gandr to buy sometime.

Sinking his body in an almost impossible manner, True Assassin dodged both the kick and shots aimed at him with an extraordinary speed. His long arm extended out, catching Lancer’s leg and flinging his helpless body at Rin. Consequently, both landed hard on the floor.

“It’s hopeless.” Just when Rin was about to give in to her fate, the sound of metal crashing roared in the air. Two blades of exotic shape were dancing above True Assassin’s head, forming a loose circle. And then four, True Assassin was caught in a middle of four flying blades, rapidly shrinking their circle until they simultaneously flung at their target.

Dust and ashes  came flying as the result of the explosion. Tattered but not yet mortally wounded, True Assassin jumped out to the entrance, where the blades had come in.

“This is exactly my plan, Assassin !”

A baritone voice rang with haughtiness unconcealed. Along with his words, a rain of swords came pouring down on True Assassin. Caught in this ultimate rain of death, even the strongest Servant hardly stood a chance. Before long, what was left in True Assassin’s spot was only a piece of inky cloth.

“Archer !” Witnessing the magnificence of her Servant’s skill, Rin could not contain the utmost relief that was threatening to burst her ribcage.

Standing in the entrance was the knight in red, a haughty smile playing on his lips.

“If you let some sneaky rat wins the fight, our reputation as the three knights will be dangerously on the verge of dying, Lancer.”

“If you had appeared just a minute late, the number of knights would be reduced to one.” Lancer replied with an amused tone to Archer’s mocking remark.

“What’s taking so long, stupid Archer ?” Despite her eyes which were swelling up tears, Rin pounded hard on his breastplate.

“Sorry, Rin. Our friend Lancer here got really quick feet and it was quite a burden to track his traces, especially with the wound he gave me still hurts. Besides, it took me some time to clean up those lowly monsters that guarded this mansion.”

A hint of sympathy in his steel-gray eyes as Archer glanced at the body of Zouken, the wounds on Lancer’s body and an unconscious Sakura laying on the ground.

“Sakura is your true Master ?” The question directed at lancer, who, despite his torn arms, carefully took her into his embrace.

“Finally, she’s free from the evils of this house.” The knight nodded slightly while caressing her cheeks.

“What do you plan to do from now ?”

“To pursue the Holy Grail, of course. There’s a wish that we both share. Which means, after tonight, we’ll see each other as enemies.” Firmly, Lancer declared.

“That’s our lines, too.” With an equal determination in her tone, Rin replied. “But, since both of you are in fatal state, you two could stay at Tosaka mansion until you regain your health, if you don’t mind.”

Smiling, the knight accepted Rin’s offer.

“Once again, we owe you.”

End of ‘Afternoon’.

Note : Fighting scenes wore me out +_+

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