Author Note

Hello there and welcome to another chapter of Fate Shadow Spear.

I don't want to jump the gun and reveal what I have planned in advance, but this chapter will bring in one of the major changes I have planned.

Also, seeing as there are no questions in the reviews, aside from responses about my Archer comment from last chapter, let us begin.


Heaven's Feel

Fate: Shadow Spear

Chapter 10 – Major Shift


Another night and much the same occurrence for the citizens of Fuyuki as swirling lights and noisy sirens of the ambulance and police vehicles echoed throughout the clearing, keeping the population unease.

These events are happening more times than people were comfortable with as both the healthcare and fire department professionals were being dispatched left and right to deal with these strange occurrences. Gas leaks in a distant plants, people suffering strange attacks and getting admitted to the hospital. None of the occurrences appeared to be human related as no bruise could be seen on the victims or any motive could be ascertained. All they could gather was that the victims simply were found unconscious and even some had fallen into a comma.

One Kotomine Kirei grimaced at the strange attacks occurring in the city. Oh, he knew perfectly well that these attacks were a direct link to the war he was overseeing.

What he was constrained about was the fact that if this was the work of a servant, then the master must be ordering him or her to do so and while that was not against the rules per se, it was heavily frowned upon, since it meant that he had to pull his strings and use his resources to alert the authorities afterward. However, a part of him wondered…if this is the work of a servant, then why are the attacks continuing? Usually, a servant does this when a master is not able to provide enough mana, so the servant drained mana from the citizens to sustain itself. However, being the overseer of this war, Kirei knew that the remaining servants only had capable masters, meaning that there was no need for any of the remaining servants to attack the citizens, at least not for this reason.

Evidently, something smelled fishy in this war and Kirei had a responsibility to uphold. He would need to send his dog to sniff around.


===Fuyuki Harbor===

At Fuyuki Harbor, there was a heavy fog surrounding the crates, making it impossible to see the ocean nearby.

Atop one of the crates, True Assassin was busy looking around for his next target. However, a sudden noise of steel hitting concrete alerted the servant to another's presence. After Lancer slammed his spear on the ground, he dragged it while observing his opponent.

"Oi, so that was your work I take it?" Assassin said nothing, concerned that facing Lancer head on would mean certain death. Lancer, for his turn, simply smirked at the situation.

"Certainly, a sand vermin like yourself would not be able of a stunt like that…" Lancer twirled his spear in anticipation for the fight he was about to have.

While he knew that Assassin would not provide with much excitement, he was prepared to have a wild-goose chase around the city.

Lancer took some steps closer to Assassin and was about to charge when Assassin jumped away from his position on the ledge of the crate, towards higher ground. He looked to see that Lancer had yet to move from his position. Assassin then jumped away from the crate towards the harbor floor, like the coward he was at least in Lancer's opinion. The Ireland dog frowned as he was now alone on top of the crate, merely observing the direction that Assassin went.

"Whoever said you would be allowed to get away?"

Assassin was busy running away and reached the main streets of the city.

In front of him, a high luxury car-carrier truck was seen charging towards him. The servant quickly jumped on top of the truck as he awaited to see if he dissed Lancer. However, he could see Lancer running towards the truck with extreme speeds. The truck then entered a viaduct and Lancer dashed with bursts of mana, shortening the distance. Assassin then lifted one of the cars and threw it in hopes of stopping Lancer. As soon as the car landed on the road, Lancer already stroke the car with his lance, exploding it upon impact and charging once more.

His next mana burst made him even pass the truck and then he skidded on the road and then jumped on top of the truck.

As soon as he landed, Assassin stepped backwards.

He had no choice at the moment and unleashed his dagger to face Lancer. He had the agility to evade Lancer's strikes, so he did just that. What followed was a dance of sparks as Lancer realized that Assassin was still able to somewhat parry his strikes, though that was because Lancer's moves became limited because the truck's structure. Lancer then landed a strong kick to Assassin's stomach, sending him flying as Lancer focused mana on his spear, while slicing every bit of the truck's structure. With that, he had ample space of movement. When Lancer finished, the truck was sliced in multiple pieces and exploded. Assassin managed to evade it all, however and escaped the truck before it exploded.

Assassin then jumped towards the nearby buildings, once more with the intent of evading the Lancer servant.

He jumped in between buildings, but Lancer materialized on top of Assassin and charged downward, hitting Assassin head on. Lancer then slammed his spear on Assassin's body, destroying the top of the building. Assassin was taking heavy blows and realized that he was severely handicapped against Lancer. There was another chase this time in between buildings, though Assassin was being threated by Lancer like a punching bag. Assassin even attempted to strike Lancer with a couple of daggers thrown like projectiles, but neither landed as Cu Chullain's nature made him impervious to projectiles. Eventually, Assassin managed to take the fight towards the outskirts of the Ryuudou Temple, where a lake of ominous energy was located.

He skidded towards the water just as Lancer arrived, slamming his spear with enough force on Assassin's dagger, which was ill-equipped to handle the strain. Lancer followed the attack and hit the spear on Assassin's chin, lifting his mask. Assassin then tried to parry Lancer's spear attacks, but to no avail and right now he was in the clearing and unable to escape Lancer. Cu Chullain smiled as he travelled throughout the water, finally with the opportunity to strike the elusive snake down.

"Is it over, then. Just what a dust vermin like yourself thought choosing a river to fight in, huh."

When Lancer made one more step, however, he was suddenly dragged away by an unseen force below the water.

He used his spear to cut himself loose and then bombarded upwards, but the shadow tendrils were relentless.

Still, Lancer managed to parry all of the tendrils with his spear at the same time as Assassin joined the fray, though Lancer was more than equipped to handle both enemies and kicked Assassin far away, while using his spear to block the shadow tendrils, before throwing a couple of stones in the water to create a protection field around him. The tendrils, however, fed itself of mana and quickly released the shield that Lancer created. Assassin meanwhile was focusing all of his remaining mana to release his noble phantasm Zabaniya when he saw that the shadow tendrils managed to snare Lancer's leg and quickly ensnared him in a curse. Lancer screamed in pain as it pulsated within his body, sucking him dry of his energy.

He was dragged below water level once more and realized that he did not have the energy anymore to release himself from the binds.

Without energy to sustain himself, Lancer just closed his eyes, cursing himself at not having the opportunity to keep on fighting in this war, something that he yearned most of all.

He truly believed that he was done for in this war as he was consumed by this strange shadow.

However, when he next opened his eyes, he found himself sinking. Looking around, he could see the thin lines of moonlight penetrating the dark water. Then, he looked upwards to see a white sphere. His mind could not figure out what was happening to him. Cu Chullian was suddenly surprised when a black spear similar to his own pierced his back and emerged from his heart region. Blood leaked from his mouth as he turned to the one who attacked him only to flinch at seeing himself showing dressed up in all black with runes on his face and chest, not to mention the spiky tail on his back. The injury from the black spear spread to every part of his body as Lancer Alter showed a full teeth smile at his counterpart and responded with a deep and hollow voice.

"...Allow me to take over…"

Lancer could not do anything but watch as the curse of the black spear covered his entire body until it was nothing left of him.


===Emiya Household===

Back at the Emiya household, one Matou Sakura opened her eyes in surprise as she was lying on her bed. She took a seating on the bed as she embraced herself once more.

The pain soon became too much to bear and she could only worry for Shirou's safety.


===Tohsaka Manor===

It took a good while for the masters and servants to arrive at the Tohsaka Manor as Shirou quickly carried an unconscious Tohsaka Rin towards her room to rest, while the Servants Archer and Saber stood guard in the living room.

Rin was literally sucked dry of magical energy and even Archer felt the drain in his own reserves.

As such, the white-haired servant was really at the mercy of Emiya Shirou's actions right now. Even if Archer had independent action, he would need Rin to return the bond in two days or else his presence in this world would fade. Though, Archer knew of one way for Emiya Shirou to help his master, he was counting on his own previous knowledge to be certain that the boy would not even think of doing that, specially to someone who is unconscious. Though it would help in a sick twisted way…

Still, this Emiya Shirou was different, so he could never know for certain.

"Archer, what's on your mind?" He was crossing his arms and closing his eyes in thought before turning to the other servant in the room.

"To be completely frank with you Saber, I'm wondering whether or not your master will take advantage of my master's weakened state…"

The angered look on her face betrayed any notion that Archer had of the composed Saber class servant.

In Saber's mind, even the thought of her master being capable of such a transgression was enough for her to lose her composure.

"Surely, you would not dare of insulting Shirou's honor in front of me are you Archer…if you do, then I do not care about my master's deal with you master, I will kill you here right now."

"Huh, just like you protect your, I have to look out for my master, Saber. Surely you would understand such an oath…"

Saber crossed her arms and merely nodded.

"Indeed I do, Archer…you need not worry about Shirou's intentions. Now, I will ask you again…do you know anything about that shadow…"

Archer tsked and looked at the fierce eyes that looked at her with suspicion.

"I have already told you that I do not know, Saber…"

"For some reason, I doubt that…" Archer then looked seriously at the blonde swordswoman. "When that shadow appeared, your surprised reaction was immediate, the same look that Zouken had...You do know something."

Archer kept on looking at Saber for a while, caught up in reminiscing about something in his past. In the end, he simply released a sigh in dismay at the always perceptive Saber he remembered from his own past.

"I actually do not know about its identity, but even before becoming a counter guardian, I have faced something similar." Saber narrowed her eyes at that…

"Who are you, Archer?"

The bowman servant openly snorted at the boldness.

He may have provided too much information already, but outright revealing who he is right now would only hinder Rin in the long run.

"We may be temporary allies, Saber, but that is too much information. Would you be willing to give your identity as well?"

Saber snorted but denied answering. It was then that Saber sensed her master's mana shifting that she turned to Archer.

"Oh, as to your master's energy, Shirou has the means to help her and not what you are alluding to. In fact, I can feel his mana fluctuating right now."

Archer snorted and dematerialized as Saber quickly followed him until the room where she was sensing her master's energy.

A bright yellow glow could be seen from below the door as Saber opened it. The sight that welcomed her was of the girl named Rin lying on her bed with her red blouse slightly opened and Shirou kneeling next to her bed with his eyes closed and focusing the healing runes on her. Archer was crossing his arms at the corner of the room and he was watching the procedure with intent. His mind abuzz with possible hypothesis for Emiya Shirou not only being a competent magus but also extremely knowledgeable in runecraft.

Neither servant bothered him as he went with his work for a couple of minutes, until Shirou opened his eyes and stopped the mana flow.

Both Archer and Saber could see Rin's mouth breeding softly and Archer silently praised Saber's master for it, loathed as he was to admit such a thing.

"She is still weakened, but at least she is out of danger. By tomorrow morning, she should have at least enough for her own reserves to kick in."

Archer hummed at that. True to his words, Rin's mana faintly began to pass to him.

"I will at least do my part and dematerialize. I think it's best that you two show yourselves out…"

Both Shirou and Saber frowned at the grumpy Servant, but before they could retort, he was already in astral form.

"Well, I guess that's nothing more to be done here, right Saber…" The blond servant nodded, still appalled by Archer's behavior.

"You would think that he would show at least gratitude for you saving his master…" In her right mind, if the situation was reversed, it was something she would do.

Shirou scratched his head, fairly oblivious to the reason behind such cold shoulder as Master and Servant left Rin's room and then the house. As they walked along the quiet streets of Fuyuki, Saber could see that Shirou was pensive in his steps. It was still quite early in the night, so they resumed their night patrol, hoping to at least meet another servant and deal with them. So far, up to their knowledge, only Caster has been defeated, leaving Lancer, Berseker, Assassin and Rider to deal with. However, that Zouken person was also a factor in this war and this shadow that appeared as well that has the ability to absorb servants.

Indeed, this war has taken a different path and Saber could not see a clear path for them anymore.

"What is on your mind, Shirou? Is it about the shadow?" Shirou nodded as he looked up towards the sky.

"That too...For some reason, the shape of the shadow is familiar. It was something I have seen in the past but I do not remember. Also, I do not know why but every time I am around Archer, it seems that I get stronger somehow."

That gave Saber food for thought as well and no answer became clear. In theory, the grail war is composed of masters summoning heroic spirits from the past to aid in this battle. However, with the knowledge given by the Grail, Saber was still at a loss about this Archer's identity. Both his appearance and his actions did not ring a bell to any historical figure she knew of. Also, from what Shirou reported, it seems Archer's presence alone is influencing her master's mana, which in turn is influencing her own. Just what sort of relation does Archer have with her master to do something like this.

In the end, their patrol amounted to nothing. Aside from seeing the city in complete chaos, no servant was spotted, and they returned home.

Shirou returned his bow to the usual hiding spot and Saber released her armor.

As soon as they crossed the gates, they Saw Sakura at the door with Tsuki on the ground wigging its tail, waiting for them.

A heavy snow began to fall in Fuyuki as Matou Sakura opened up a smile upon seeing her senpai returning home unhurt, walking along Saber.

Both could tell, however, that her face was pale and she was having trouble breathing properly.

"Senpai, I'm glad you came home safe, I was worried since the news reported many attacks in the city."

Shirou nodded with a smile as Saber approached Tsuki and kneeled down for the cat to jump on her arms.

"Nothing to worry about Sakura, but how are you feeling? Your forehead is burning…"

Sakura blushed some as Shirou's head rested on her forehead.

"You should rest, Sakura. Let's get inside."

Shirou then tucked Sakura in the room she was using and he noticed that the bed was used before. It seemed that Sakura was resting here after they left. He began to wonder what was wrong with her, but he could not use his runes from fear of her finding out about him. He tucked her in and was about to leave the room to prepare him and Saber a small meal before bedtime when Sakura's hand grabbed his, ushering him to remain where he was.

"Senpai, please stay for a while, at least until I fall asleep. With you here, I can relax now."

Shirou looked at her in concern but nodded as he took a seat on a chair next to the bed as he observed Sakura slowly closing her eyes.

It took a total of five minutes for Shirou to realize that she had fallen asleep, so he got up from his chair and left the room, towards the kitchen when Saber awaited.

"Is everything okay with Sakura, Shirou?"

Saber saw his shoulder dropping slightly and she was concerned for her master.

Shirou did everything in his reach and beyond to help others, but now it seems that he hit a wall.

"I don't know, and it worries me, Saber. I could use my runecraft to make her feel better, but I do not want to expose her to this World, though I do not know if she already knows about it, considering her family. Truly, I don't know what to do…" Saber looked down at that. Sakura's brother and her grandfather were magus apparently, but so far Sakura has not shown to be one as well and Shirou was limited to what he could do aside from using his skills as a magus.

"Can't you take her to a hospital, Shirou or perhaps ask Taiga to take her tomorrow?" Shirou was busy fixing something for them to eat and nodded back with a smile.

"Yes, I think it's the best course of action, thank you Saber." She nodded with a content smile as Shirou served them some food before both went to the sleep.


===Next day===

Next day when Taiga appeared and heard about Sakura's condition, she immediately took it upon herself to escort the girl to the hospital, leaving Shirou and Saber alone in the house. Sakura still insisted that she was fine, however to a mother-hen like Taiga, she certainly did not listen. With Sakura going towards the hospital, Shirou and Saber were free to have their morning practice both before and after breakfast. Saber was half expecting to have some action yesterday and was left with some pent-up energy to release instead. Shirou was all too happy to oblige as they went at each other with their respective weapons. Today's workout was quite excessive even for Saber's standards. The floor of the dojo was moist with Shirou's sweat and even some blood courtesy of Saber's sword.

After that, Shirou said that he needed to check something at the warehouse, so Saber went back to the house.

Once he left the warehouse, Shirou quickly cleaned the dojo, releasing the runes that protected the floor.

He then placed his hand on the ground, summoning new runes to fill the dojo with.

Shirou wiped the sweat from his forehead at the heavy workout from today and smelled his clothes, before backing away immediately at the stench.

He needed a shower pronto.

Quickly discarding his clothes inside the washing machine, he wrapped a towel on his waist and went to the bathroom to take one. Saber must be at the kitchen playing with Tsuki and probably wanting something to eat, despite them having breakfast already. As soon as Shirou opened the door to the bathroom, he stepped inside only to stop midstep and freeze. His eyes were literally glued on every single part of Saber's soaked body from head to toe as a blush spread all over his face and his heart pounded in his chest.

Saber, for her turn, was the one who had awakened Shirou from his self-imposed shutdown as she was also blushing heavily upon being stared at by her master.

"I'm sorry Shirou…I…ask you to refrain from using the bath at this time…I know it's normal for you to wash your body and I cannot impede my master's actions."

Shirou by this time had already acted in favor of Saber's privacy and turned sideways.

"I know that my body is not like Rin's or Sakura's…"

It was clear that Saber was uncomfortable with the situation and even more so under Shirou's gaze. In all her life, no man has ever seen her like this.

Her master for her turn found that he did not quite agree with her reasoning.

"I do not wish for you to see my body, Shirou. A muscular body like mine would appear unattractive to men, right?"

Shirou swallowed nervously at that. He was facing forward and fighting his eyes away from the sight.

Though, he firmly believed that the image in his brain would take much longer to forget. Also, he was against her last words.

"You're wrong…." Shirou stopped himself mid-sentence before openly admitting it and turned away once more.

"Sorry…I will wait for you to finish up, then. Take all the time you need, Saber."

"I appreciate it, Shirou…I won't be much longer."

Saber slowly sunk her head below water in relief as she saw her master closing the bathroom door after leaving.

Though relieved that she was alone once more, she blushed as her brain registered the fact that her master even if indirectly complemented her body.

===In the kitchen===

After the awkward moment passed and both took their respective baths, Shirou was busy preparing them some lunch, but before he could even begin with the preparations, he listened to the phone ringing. Shirou picked up the phone and it was Taiga on the phone, saying that Sakura had already consulted with the doctor and they prescribed a few medicines for her followed by some rest. Taiga accompanied Sakura soon afterward towards her house, much to Shirou's discomfort.

In the end, there was not much he could do. He could not outright say that Sakura's family may or may not be the ones responsible for her state of mind.

Hanging up the phone, Shirou was surprised at receiving another call.

"Hello, Emiya residence".

"Emiya-Kun, hi there…"

"Oh Tohsaka...so you are awake, good to know."

"Yes, thanks to you…" Shirou found that the voice was still weak, but at least she was okay now and would only get better in time.

"Though that's twice now that I'm in your debt and I don't like that." Shirou released a sigh at that...Tohsaka was indeed a tough one to please.

"So, what do you need?"

"...I had a brief phone call from Kotomine Kirei saying that he wished to speak to the both of us…"

"Odd, what about?" Rin snorted at his question and Shirou at least was satisfied that her spunk was returning.

"Who knows...but with him involved, it cannot be a good thing. Anyway, he invited us to a strange chinese restaurant in a couple of hours. Archer will help me get there; you know because I'm still not strong enough to walk on my own…" Shirou could hear disdain in that last phrase, like those were not her words.

"Well, you were pretty weakened yesterday Tohsaka. I know that because I spent half an hour healing you. It would be strange if you had woken up feeling one hundred percent."

"Huh, are you sure you are not related...those were Archer's exact words said to me half an hour ago."

Shirou laughed at the statement, though he said nothing. He just acquired this restaurant address and hang up the phone.

Saber then observed as Shirou went back to the kitchen and resumed his routine for their lunch. He explained to Saber about both calls. After Shirou finished explaining everything and that they would be meeting with the priest overseer of the war. That alone made Saber's mood go sour as memories from the fourth grail war came flooding her mind. She knew that this man was not to be trusted, but he would at least have information about what was really going on in this war. Saber chose not to enter with Shirou in the church that day because she was reluctant. However, apparently, they would be meeting in a more neutral setting and Saber would not be the king that she was if she had only met with people that did not antagonize her in the past.

For now, they would just indulge in the meal of the heavens as she silently appraised her master's cooking.


===Restaurant===

Shirou and Saber calmly walked throughout the city of Fuyuki just taking in the sights of the town.

While the war was dangerous and all, it was only fought at night, meaning that the master and servants could do whatever it is that they desired without much problem until then. It helped that Saber was wearing more casual clothing, so by all intents and purposes, she would be considered by the local population as a foreigner at most. Shirou took the time to explain everything to her along the way and they exchanged pleasant talk. Shirou at first tried conversing about Saber's life as King Arthur, but she was not inclined to share much or anything at all, claiming that it was rather painful topic to broach about, so he switched topics and talked about other things.

As soon as they arrived at the address, they saw what appeared to be a taxicab arriving and one Tohsaka Rin emerging from inside with a stylized black cane that must have belonged to her family. They could see the dematerialized Archer keeping her company by her side. Though Archer appeared to be helping her walk, Rin was using the help of her cane to keep up appearances. As soon as they met in front of the restaurant, Archer left and Rin used Shirou's shoulder for support, much to her ire as by the looks of Shirou's face, he was about to comment on the situation.

"...Not a word!"

Shirou sweat dropped and offered his arms for her to use it as support, showing a discrete blush from the Tohsaka heir.

Rin did not enjoy the prospect of once more depending on him once more.

Saber merely smiled as the situation was quite humorous. Despite being in theory enemy masters in the grail war, they certainly show a good interaction.

With all that settled, they entered the restaurant and were surprised to see only one table being used. Kotomine Kirei was seating there with a flat smile as he savored his favorite food. He stopped eating however when the sight of his protégé being carried by one Emiya Shirou proved too much for him to ignore. Also, the fact that Saber walked inside with them proved the situation to be that much more interesting to the stoic priest. Rin could see the snide comment coming a mile away, just from Kirei's expression alone.

"Here I thought that you would run over the competition in this war, but I see you this weakened, Rin…makes me wonder where I failed as your teacher."

Tohsaka Rin sighed at that, as they approached the table where Kirei was sitting. Rin took a seat next to the priest while Saber and Shirou on their opposite chairs.

"This was not the work of a servant or a magus for that manner and know that…"

Truly, she had sent a report to him explaining her situation thus far. As usual, he was getting a rise out of her.

"Yes...indeed." Kirei then grabbed a spoon and filled with the food in his plate and eaten, before having to open up his collar.

Shirou and Saber looked at the food in front of them and grimaced.

Rin, in special, was on the verge of vomiting at the sight, much to Kirei's inner satisfaction.

"Just what is it that you wanted to discuss with us, Kotomine Kirei?" The priest then turned to the redhead.

"Emiya Shirou...well, I have been observing this Holy Grail War in my own way…Rin here has even supplied me with reports about the events in Ryuudou Temple. Also, I was able to see many occurrences in this war." Rin, Saber and Shirou narrowed their eyes at that, while Kirei listed. "Saber's fight with Lancer...Lancer's fight against Archer and even Saber's fight with Berserker and the Eiznbern heir. To this day, I have watched it all, including the actual happenings at the Ryudou Temple, Rin." Tohsaka slammed both hands on the table and got up, immediately pissed off at her mentor.

"Just how could you have known all of that, huh…and what do you mean by actual happenings…I was there…I would have known if you were there as well."

"Well, my dear apprentice, there are more ways to witness something without actually being there…though I fail to understand how a Tohsaka do not know that."

"Do not patronize me, Kirei...there are familiars to be used for that purpose, but as far as I know, you do not use them, which means…"

Kirei's face turned into a full smile as he saw the realization on Rin's face.

"Indeed, my Lancer saw everything and reported back to me…" Shirou and Saber narrowed their eyes at the priest.

Rin, however, scowled and crossed her arms while taking a seat once more. Getting up like that made her dizzy.

"Huh, why I am not surprised…"

"Aren't you supposed to be the war's overseer, priest…I would imagine that the Church was supposed to play the part of neutrality."

Kirei observed the Saber servant after her accusatory comment and remembered the events of the Forth Grail War.

He took a moment to wonder if she remembered as well. That would be quite entertaining indeed.

"The circumstances of me being a master in this war, Saber, are not prohibited. Any magus could become a master if he or she knows how the system works. Rin did not know this, but Caster was both a servant and a master in this war, she was the master of Assassin." To this, Rin, Caster and Shirou bore looks of surprise. Though, they remembered only seeing Caster under Zouken's control. "Though, apparently so, another servant emerged from Caster's Assassin and killed Caster. I then ordered Lancer to watch this new servant. However, Lancer was only able to follow Assassin back to the outskirts of the Ryuudou Temple and then never returned."

"So, Assassin defeated Lancer?"

Kirei negated Shirou's question with his head as the restaurant's staff brought another plate of Kirei's Mato Tofu.

"Assassin depends on his own ability called Presence Concealment. However, he lacks skills in open combat. It would be impossible for Lancer to lose in a normal fight."

Saber and Shirou could attest to that, considering their brief entanglement at the beginning of the war. While Saber had the upper hand in their fight, Lancer's noble phantasm would make short work of anyone else but Saber and Berserker because of the need to kill him more than once. Whoever Assassin was, there was no way that he would defeat Lancer. Kirei closed his eyes for a while, as if pondering on the outcome of this conversation.

"Could it be that Matou Zouken had a hand in killing Lancer?" Saber's question made everyone think and Kirei looked at her with interest.

"We have faced him yesterday and he was controlling Caster somehow."

Shirou nodded, but Kirei was truly focused on Tohsaka Rin now as she had an absent look on her face, probably about what they encountered aside from Zouken last night.

"What is it Rin…by the look on your face, I'd gather you saw something else last night…care to share with us?"

Shirou and Saber turned to the Tohsaka heir's eyes and saw deep fear in them. The images of horror, terror flashed in her mind as she covered her mouth not to vomit. What irked her the most was that before fainting, she saw the image of a child Sakura. Her mind just could not comprehend it if what she saw was real of a fragment of her imagination. There were spells that could mess someone's mind…use someone's thoughts as weapons. Though that would be most in line with curse spells, a branch of thaumaturgy that Rin never ventured much, though she understood its effects. Rin had refrained from speaking, though, as she was collecting her thoughts and easing the pain in her body. Kirei then turned to the master and servant in front of him.

"Perhaps there is merit to your claim Saber, though it was not Zouken who helped Assassin…perhaps this shadow that Rin reported was there and Asssasin knew about it. He then must have lured Lancer there. This shadow, whatever it is, like Caster before, is feeding both on servants and the citizens of Fuyuki. And if we leave things like this, pretty soon, the city will become deserted." Kirei grabbed an envelope from his coat and threw it at Shirou's direction. The redhead then opened and read it. His eyes widened at the reported Information.

"The number of people in a comma is more than thirty already?" Saber and Rin were just as shocked. Rin most of all because this was happening under her watch.

"Guess that we have no choice but to go check the Temple tonight, Saber…"

The servant turned to her master and nodded. Indeed, this took precedence over the war.

People were being targeted and the King of Knights could not let that slide.

"Emiya, me and Archer will check the Matou residence tonight…I would follow you, but I'm still not strong enough to be of help." Shirou saw Rin and nodded with a smile.

"No need to worry Tohsaka, this Zouken must be stopped as well."

After that, neither master wanted to spend one more second next to Kirei and they both left the restaurant with their respective assignments.

Kirei just observed them leaving with a flat smile on his face.

Once outside, Shirou and Saber looked at one another and nodded in resolution at their assignment tonight to patrol the Ryuudou Temple. The power she was receiving from her master was enough for her to unleash the full power of her noble phantasm and also Shirou had yet to use one of the three command seals he had. Not to mention that her master was a capable fighter even against Servants. She attested to this in their spars. Whatever it is that they would encounter at the Ryuudou Temple, they would face it head on.


Author Note

Well, next chapter shall be the moment everyone is waiting for and quite frankly, so am I. The ultimate fight between masters and servants.

Aside from that, not much to comment really. For those who guessed, yes, Lancer was turned into an altered version of himself, but Saber's fight is still due to happen. Just what will happen to her…does she have what it takes to face something that Lancer could not? Well, we shall see. Plus, next chapter, I plan to bring back an old ally to the fray.

Please review and tell me your thoughts.

See ya.

Next update: Avalon Bond