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Shinji Matou at Your Service

The emaciated old man with an alien-like appearance grinned maliciously, while the young girl cried and howled. "Worm, worm, worm, worm, worm, worm..." Countless worms surged towards the girl like a tide, seemingly intent on devouring her completely. The girl instinctively closed her eyes and let out a desperate wail. "Someone... save me!" A breathtaking beam of light cut through the dimness, dispelling the girl's fear and the swarm of worms that filled her vision. Accompanied by a voice that was young but carried a hint of sunshine. "It's okay, I'm here. Big brother is here to protect you." The boy with purple hair and purple eyes held a scythe in his hand, blocking in front of the girl, and issued a declaration of death to the old man. "You deserve to die, Zouken Matou. No, Makiri Zolgen!" BONUS CHAPTER: 500 PS= 10 Chapter Advanced Chapter in: patreon.com/AbsoluteCode https://discord.gg/9zUZj5ksxM

AbsoluteCode · Anime & Comics
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Chapter 18: Kariya's Heart

As the storm of magical power accompanied the golden radiance, Scáthach, who had lurked outside the workshop, immediately departed without hesitation.

Moving at a speed comparable to a sports car under moonlight, the Queen of the Land of Shadows clenched her lips tightly, desperately suppressing her fighting spirit.

Yes, her fighting spirit.

With just a glance, she confirmed the identity of that golden Heroic Spirit.

As Shinji had said, it was indeed one of the strongest among all Heroic Spirits. Even with her current strength, she would not have enough chance of winning, even if she gave it all. However, this was not the reason for her retreat.

Scáthach never feared battle. By contrast, she enjoyed this. Even in defeat, she would have no complaints. She retreated decisively only because the blood of a warrior within her could no longer be contained. If she stayed any longer, she would forget the orders of her Master and the wishes of her disciple.

Once she had distanced herself enough from the Tohsaka residence, she no longer felt the presence of the golden Heroic Spirit, and Scáthach halted her steps. Allowing a cool night breeze to brush her cheeks, she exhaled slowly and activated her communication magecraft.

"Shinji, Tokiomi Tohsaka has completed the summoning ritual."

"Understood." Shinji's response came almost simultaneously. "Uncle has also completed the summoning."

"What are your plans next? Do you need me to come back?" Scáthach asks for a hint of scrutiny.

Among the three disciples, Sakura was closest to her, but Shinji was the one she favored the most. This child was willing to endure hardships, had talent, and most importantly, was not as prone to impulsive actions as Cu Chulainn. If Shinji's performance during the Holy Grail War met her expectations, she would consider sharing with him a part of the wish entrusted to Cu Chulainn.

"No, it's fine," Shinji refused. "Uncle's Servant is also very powerful, and I am afraid he will not be able to control him. Besides, now that Uncle has become a master, he might be able to perceive both you and Justeaze's existence. It's better not to meet for the time being."

All this time, both Justeaze and Scáthach had concealed their True Names with special magecraft. The people of the Matou family believed them to be mysterious magi and did not consider them servants. Shinji hoped to delay the reveal of these trump cards for as long as possible.

"Understood." Under the cover of an empty night, Scáthach exuded her charms freely. "However, my little Master, I must remind you that the blood of a warrior will never be extinguished. Each time it is suppressed, the next ignition will burn more fiercely."

"I know. Don't worry, Sensei. Although I am not obsessed with the Holy Grail, I have no intention of handing it over to anyone else. There will be an opportunity for your warrior's blood to burn to the heart's content. Please bear with it for now—after all, the older the wine, the more fragrant it becomes."

When Shinji uttered the last sentence, Scáthach's charm peaked. Like aged wine, she was immortal and everlasting.

Just as Scáthach was about to end communication, Shinji suddenly had an idea. "Sensei, would you be interested in having some appetizers before the banquet begins?"

"What kind of appetizers?" Scáthach asked eagerly.

"Well... I am not sure, but let us meet with Lady Justeaze first. Fortunately, we might be able to catch an octopus. If luck isn't on our side, we might not even get a soup."

"Better than nothing," Scáthach replied, blending back into the shadows.

...

After cutting off contact with Scáthach, Shinji let go of the newspaper shreds that had been torn apart by the magical storm. He carefully observed the Servant that appeared in the summoning circle.

The entire body was covered in jet-black armor, which seemed to be either twisted by magic or originally designed that way, with unnatural distortions in various parts of the armor.

There were strange tassels attached to the back of the armor, trembling under surging magical energy.

The owner of the armor had a pale face and his hair was slightly darker than the inherited hair color of the Matou family. From his appearance, he was a handsome man with a melancholic temperament who captivated countless women wherever he went.

Unfortunately, the twisted expression on a man's face marred his handsomeness, and the madness shining in his eyes, devoid of any trace of reason, was terrifying.

"Servant Berserker," Shinji murmured to himself. "Uncle, you have finally taken this path."

Berserker is a relatively special class of the seven classes of the Holy Grail War. This class grants the Servant the "Mad Enhancement" class skill at the cost of stripping away their sanity, resulting in the highest base attributes among the seven classes. Judging solely from Servant's status, it would not be an exaggeration to say that they were the strongest.

The two extra verses in the incantation that Kariya chanted were to bestow the "Mad Enhancement" ' skill upon the Servant, fulfilling the summoning conditions for Berserker.

In "Fate/Zero," Zouken, to torment Kariya further, manipulated him into summoning Berserker, as Berserker was the class that placed the greatest burden on the Master.

But now Zouken is already dead, and there is no one to manipulate Kariya into summoning Berserker. However, driven by his obsession and desire to defeat Tokiomi, he still makes the same choice as before.

"Even with Sensei's guidance, my abilities as a magi are far inferior to those of Tokiomi. The Master's abilities affect the servant's basic capabilities, and the master cannot match the Tokiomi. I can only find a solution through the Servant; Kariya's voice resolutely expresses his unwavering determination. He forced himself to activate a rune inscription despite his exhausted body. Rune magic and gem magic have many similarities; they both allow the activation of pre-set magic without consuming the magical energy of the magi.

The rune stone that Kariya activated at this moment was prepared in advance, with only one effect: to replenish the magi's magical energy consumption. Kariya intended to use this method to address Berserker's excessive consumption issue.

"Is it worth it?" Shinji sighed.

"It is," Kariya's complexion quickly improved, as the initial rune had exceptional effects.

Shinji seemed to realize something and appeared hesitant, but he gritted his teeth and said, "Uncle, when I said those things a year ago, I wanted to motivate you to take over the family business. But in reality, even if you defeat Tokiomi Tohsaka, Aoi-san won't marry you."

"Wisdom beyond your years," Kariya calmly glanced at his nephew. "I knew what you said long ago. Although I'm unwilling, Aoi has already given her heart and happiness to Tokiomi. I haven't had a chance since the day she agreed to be with him."

"Then why are you...?"

"You don't understand. Loving someone does not necessarily mean possessing them. I just hope she is happy," Kariya's gaze softened like it had never before. "Defeating Tokiomi is not about proving anything or gaining something. It is about making him realize that magecraft is not everything. He has many things more precious than magecraft."

"No regrets?"

"No regrets. In the past, I was unable to protect her. By the time I gained power, it had already been too late. Perhaps this is fate."

"Uncle... you're such a fool."

"I feel the same way. So, don't follow my example."

"Of course, I have no interest in being a backup plan."

"... Get out."

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