Chapter 6 : Sunset (I)

On the luxurious sofa in the living room sat the young and elegant lady of the house. A finely crafted cup in her hand, Tosaka Rin briefly inhaled the sweet scent of Chinese black tea before taking a small sip and placing the cup on its coaster. From the beginning to the end of the process, not a single flaw was found. ‘Always maintain your elegance’ was the Tosakas’ principle and so far, Tosaka Rin had been doing an excellent job in keeping her family’s reputation.

“How’s the tea ?”

The red knight who sat casually on the opposite seat, her Servant, asked.

“As always.”

Her reply was short and plain. Even if she was enjoying the best tea in the world, her pride would not allow her to add the faintest slice of satisfaction to her tone.

Knowing his Master too well, the knight just nodded.

“It’s not like you at all, Rin.”

“What do you mean ?”

Alarmed with sudden remark, Rin put on guard, all the while maintaining her harmonious tone.

“Usually, you won’t do anything that does not concern you. Yet a while ago, you wasted your mana healing Lancer.”

“Well, you think it as ‘wasted’, I don’t.”

“To begin with, he’s our enemy.”

“I know. However, I did it not for his sake but Sakura’s.”

“She was in fatigue. It would be critical for her if she had to spend her mana fixing her Servant.”

“Well, that’s the strange thing I mention. Isn’t Sakura our enemy as well since she’s also a Master.”

“I can’t disagree.” While her tone was serene, her blue eyes somewhat lost their sharpness. A quiet, distant grief filled her irises as she spoke the truth she had been keeping for years. “Yet she is also my little sister.”

This newfound truth dumbfounded the red knight. His steel-grey eyes locked intently in hers, expecting more explanation.

“My father gave her away to the Matous ten years ago, to fulfill an ancient promise between two families. Even if she’s become a Master, she’s still my only family member.”

“If you love her, shouldn’t you wish for her happiness ?”

“I’m not quite followed.” Alarmed with his tone which bordered on cynical edge, Rin eyed him anxiously.

“Heaven’s Feel is a ruthless battle. Once engaging, even family members become enemies. If you care for Sakura’s well being, shouldn’t you keep her away from the war ?”

“And by ‘keep her away’ you mean…”

“If she loses her Servant, her participation in the war will cease.”

“You mean I should not have saved Lancer ?”

“You understand it better than me.”

A smile grazed his lips, the red knight sipped the tea in his own cup ever gracefully.

“I did consider that.” Taking the blow, Rin admitted. “But I couldn’t bring myself to do it.”

“…”

“At Matou mansion, I could feel it, how deeply he cares for Sakura, risking his life for her sake. That exceeds beyond their positions as Master and Servant.”

“…”

“That’s a man loves a woman. I could assume the feeling is mutual. If I had let him die, would it break Sakura’s heart ?”

Archer took another sip, showing neither approvals nor protests but the sternness in his piercing gaze had softened quite a bit. Rin did not notice such change since she had already shifted her eyes to the unseen horizon outside the window glass.

Sakura was screaming.

Confined in darkness, her eyesight was rendered useless. Since she could not see, her other senses such as hearing, smelling and feeling were heightened than usual and that was the cause of her terror. She could hear thousands chitterlings beneath her bared feet; she could pick up the stagnant stench overflowing in the air. These brought up the nausea in her throat as they reminded her of the underground bug room she was all too familiar. Pairs of hands reached out from the darkness, gripping her ankles so painfully that she could taste the saltiness of on her tongue. What added to her horror were wicked laughters that had been haunting her life for ten years.

“You’re not going anywhere Sakura. Forever you belong to the Matous.”

So she screamed.

A streak of light pierced through the veil of darkness. In that light Sakura saw the tall figure of her Servant, her lover. Bliss overwhelmed her heart as she called out for him.

“Lancer, help me !”

Ever slowly, he turned back and glanced at her, mute as death. His golden eyes were no longer the honey that sweetened her bitter heart; in them, there was only a hollow as deep as the surrounding darkness that threatened to engulf her entire being.

“Diarmuid ! Diarmuid !”

Desperate, she shouted his true name, betting on a faint hope that her knight would come and save her. Despair trampled her heart as he turned away from her, shaking his head before his figure broke into thousands scarlet vermilions.

“Sakura-sama !”

When she opened her eyes, the first thing she saw was a familiar handsome face that she had come to love. Upon seeing that face, a surge of emotions went crashing down her being. Unable to withstand, Sakura bursted out into tears.

“What’s the matter, Sakura-sama ?”

A calm, sweet voice to solace her, as the same time, a pair strong arms immediately enveloped her trembling body, buried her teary face in his broad chest. The soothing beats of another heart quickly erased her anxiety. Her wails quieted down to sobs.

“I was having a nightmare.”

Her lover was not a human. However, whenever in his embrace, Sakura allowed herself to momentarily forget that he was a spirit materialized thanks to the Grail’s power and her mana to enjoy this blissful sensation of being held in her lover’s arms. Whether it was because of the war or not, Sakura was grateful that the Grail had brought this miracle to her.

“I was trapped in the darkness with Zouken and Shinji. And you, you looked at me as if we were total strangers.”

“That’s why it’s only a bad dream. Zouken and Shinji have died; they can no longer torment you. And there’s no way I will turn my back on you.”

“It didn’t just end there. Something even more terrifying happened.”

“Like what ?”

“You broke into thousands of vermilions.”

“Ha. That was partially true.” Caressing her hair, Lancer amusingly replied. “I would have ended up worse than that if it hadn’t because of Rin and Archer.”

“Tosaka-sempai saved us ?”

“Yes. Although you two are entirely different in terms of appearance, from the very first glance, I could tell you two resemble each other. Rin’s a bit haughty but deep down inside, she’s a kind-hearted girl, just like you.”

“You may not know this. I used to look a lot like her.” Sakura shuddered as she recalled her dark memories. “Before Zouken had his ways with me.”

“Easy, Sakura ! I doubt he could trouble you when he himself is burnt in flames of Hell. Besides, whatever you look like, I love you just the way you are.”

“Really ? You don’t feel disgusted knowing the inside of my body is filled with worms ?”

“I feel rather insulted when my Master is dubious about me.”

Despite his words, his tone was surprisingly amused. A mischievous grin lingered in his lips. “As a knight, I must regain my honor.”

Sakura let out a light yelp when the knight gently pinned her down the soft bed. His fully-armored body hovered over hers while Diarmuid sealed her lips in a sudden kiss. His hands did not stayed innocently as they were supposed to be; they began their exploration on the luscious curves under her thin pajama. She did not protest, allowing them to act as they pleased. Simply, she was more than welcome them.

When they finally broke the kiss, instead of getting pale due to lack of air, her face flushed deliciously; a sweet, ripe peach awaiting him to savor.

“Just how much honor have you regained ?”

“Not enough.” He replied with a teasing kiss on her collar bone before his lips traveled down her chest, hungrily inhaled and tasted her skin on the trail.

“For a proud knight, you’re truly greedy.”

On one hand, she chided him for doing as he pleased; on the other, she quickly worked on her buttons for more intimate parts to be revealed. Her milky skin seemed to glow in the dimly lit room.

“Only when I’m starved.”

She could not help but allow a sharp breath to escape her lips when a wet, teasing sensation invaded her most private part. The pleasant heat coiling in her stomach was steadily built up into a fierce flame as her sensitive nerves continuously received playful stimulation.

Diarmuid was a good kisser and apparently, it did not only apply to kisses on the lips.

“I didn’t know Servants could get hungry.”

Between shaky breaths, Sakura chided him.

“Of course they could. But not always for food.”

“Then what’re you starving for ?”

“For you.”

One last click of tongue and the sheer pleasure sent her out of control. Trembling, she repeated his real name in a mixture of soft moans and pants.

When she regained enough conscious to realize that she was in Tosaka mansion and her sister could have clearly noticed the bizarre noises that were leaking from her room, the girl’s already flushed cheeks turned an even darker shade. Though it would have been too late if there was a chance Rin had heard such intimate noises, the girl brought both of her hands to cover her mouth.

Lancer chuckled at her silly act, which he found very adorable at the same time. Amused, the knight took her hands, quickly placed a soft kiss on their backs before skillfully freeing her from her pajama. He was gentle and careful not to ruin the frail material, especially when it was something borrowed; they would not want to return it to Rin with a torn or two, leaving the girl space to imagine what they had been doing. And he was slow, oh so slow, as if such simple task would take forever to complete. Either he was over circumspect or he was teasing her, Sakura’s patience ran thin and she decided to help him up, earning a few giggles from her lover.

Not only was her skin as smooth as a baby’s, the Sakura who laid before his eyes was not so different from a newborn infant; yet, no babies could trigger the pristine desire deep within him as a man. Fixated on his lover’s nudity, Lancer did not even blink.

“It’s not the first time you’ve seen me naked !” Sakura chided, blushing to the ears under her lover’s stare.

“True. However, this is the first time I’ve had you, fully and freely, knowing that every of you belongs me, as mine to you.

“It’s not fair when you remain in your armor while I’m exposed like this.” Sakura pounded on his breastplate, very much akin to a cat. “I want you as bare as me !”

“Whatever you want, just command me with these lips. Your words hold the power that surpasses even the Command Spells’.”

“Is it really so ?”

“Well, trying is believing.”

With a mischievous grin, Sakura proudly pronounced her command.

“Then, take off your clothes ! I command you with-”

No other words followed at the end of her unfinished sentence, only a bold move of a girl who was not quite modest.

Giving her lower lip one last tuck, Diarmuid whispered to her ears.

“As you wish.”

Servants do have advantages in this kind of situation, Diarmuid realized. With only a mental click, he was able to cancel the mana flow that shaped the forms of his armor, gauntlets and clothes. It did save him some precious minute so that he could be quicker to answer her order.

Everytime she witnessed her lover’s bare body, which was as flawless as a sculpture of a Greek God, she could not help but held back a silent gasp. But a marble statue could not present to her touch a soft and warm sensation as she fingered his firm chest and abdomen.

“Satisfied ?”

“Not quite.”

“You’re one Master who is so difficult to please. Then how may I serve you ?”

“Make love to me, Diarmuid. That’s the best way to please me.”

“You’ve grown quite bold, haven’t you ?”

“Let’s say I’ve changed. You don’t like the new me ?”

“I love you no matter how much you change, you know. And it’s my pleasure to comply with your order.”

In attempt to sink his body into her luscious core, the knight was startled when Sakura abruptly halted him.

“One more thing : don’t call me Sakura-sama. Just my name’s fine. I’m no longer your Master.”

“I am your lover.”

Her declaration erased whatever confusion he might have had, the knight gave her another smile as he proceeded. This time she did not stop him.

Nobody would stop them now.

Saying goodbye was also a difficult task, especially when it was your sister, your only remaining relative, that you bade farewell to. To Sakura, there was no alternative; as long as the war was still going on, they remained enemies. It pained her as much as the farewell hurt Rin but Sakura knew it was better not to stay together.

The dying rays of sunlight weakly lit the stretching road they were walking on. The pair of Servant and Master left Tosaka mansion to march forth the road that opened up for them; somewhere at the end of that road laid the utopia they were searching for. Deep inside the hearts of the girl and the revived hero, they knew the path they had chosen was not meant to be an easy one and the happiness they were pursuing might even cost them their lives; still, neither of them looked back. From the beginning, the girl had never genuinely wanted to participate in this war and the hero had never genuinely wanted to obtain the Grail’s miracle. It was fate and loyalty that joined the hands of the ancient hero and the modern day human girl; it was love that united their hearts and dreams and together, they sought the same goal, the omnipotent miracle that could fulfill their one and only wish.

It was hope that led them out of the darkness and it was also hope that was about to fling them into despair.

Note : It’s the end of the first part. A little lemon to ease the tension before tragedy begins ;)).

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