Story: The Sword and the Staff (chapter 20)

Authors: bleeding.blade

Back to chapter list

Chapter 20

Title: Chapter 19

Thirty months after the end of the Fifth Holy Grail War...

He dreamt of meadows. In his dream, he felt the thunder of horses' hooves, smelt the fragrance of grass and hay, heard the silvery laugh of a blond and green-eyed child. He had loved that child—had raised and molded her as he would his own. But he had given her away, as the necessary sacrifice to a land that demanded only the noblest blood. She had become a king, perhaps the greatest of all. Somewhere in the distance, a door opened—

"My Lord."

The old man opened his eyes.

"Yes, Novice Master?"

"Novice Rin has returnedwith Arturia and the Sword."

The old man nodded.

"Very well, then, Novice Master. You may proceed as planned."

"Thank you, my Lord." The Novice Master bowed briefly and left.

Alone in his room, the old man smiled slightly.

"And now," he murmured to himself, "the real battle begins."


"Well done, Novice Rin. You may submit your report tomorrow."  

Rin bowed briefly before the Novice Master. "Thank you, my Lord."

She and Saber were in the Council Meeting Room, having been escorted there directly upon their arrival. After a brief moment of hesitation, she asked, "If you don't mind my asking, Novice Master, what does the Council intend to do with the Sword?"

The Novice Master smiled coldly. "We intend to Banish it, Novice Rin. To other Dimensions where it can never harm us again."

Rin gasped. In the corner of her eye, she saw Saber go pale.

"You cannot Banish Excalibur," the blonde spoke calmly but emphatically. "Its fate is not for you or your Council to decide."

"We can neither afford nor indulge your sentimentality, Arturia Pendragon. The fate of the world is at stake. You, of all people, should know that sacrifices are always necessary."

The blonde shook her head. "Some sacrifices are unnecessary. As long as Excalibur is with me, it cannot fall into the wrong hands."

"We cannot take your word for that, unfortunately. The Council operates by removing riskand Excalibur presents a risk on an unimaginable scale."

Saber continued to shake her head. "You cannot have Excalibur."

The Novice Master raised an eyebrow. "As much as it grieves me to do this, I will have to ask our Guards to remove Excalibur from your person."

Before anyone in the room could move, Saber unsheathed the Sword.

The Novice Master raised the other eyebrow. Then he smiled.

"Novice Rin," he said, almost lazily, "would you be so kind as to remove the Sword from our guest?"

Rin froze. The Council's revelation of its intentions had been shocking enough, and now there was this absurd command.

"Novice Rin?" There was steel in the Novice Master's voice this time.

Rin turned numbly towards Saber. She had never imagined it would come to this.

"Rin..." the blonde said beseechingly. The imploring look in the emerald eyes sent a dagger through the Mage's heart.

Duty. All her life, she had bound herself to duty.

Ignoring the splintering feeling in her chest, Mage Tohsaka Rin extended her hand and addressed the blonde figure before her:

"Arturia Pendragon, in the name of the Council of Mages, I ask you to surrender the Sword Excalibur."

It was only after Saber had given her the Swordonly after the look of mute entreaty in the emerald eyes had changed into a look of wounded betrayalthat Rin realized, for the first time in her life, that magic could also sicken her.

Back to chapter list