This is fine. Sieg breathed a sigh of relief as he watched Ruler leave. She had her own objective, and it wasn’t something he should hinder. Her objective was more noble and important. Unlike his.
There was a mountain of things he should be doing instead of thinking as he ran. Dragon Tooth Warriors were coming at him, and though a Servant would be able to beat one with a single blow, they were enemies that he himself had to handle very cautiously one by one.
Thrusting at them with his sword had little effect, so he charged forward to collide with one and glued himself against it, and then vigorously bisected it from the waist. The Dragon Tooth Warrior crumbled in the blink of an eye. He cut off the arm of another Dragon Tooth Warrior that stepped forward from his flank and softly touched it with one hand.
“Straße \ gehen1.”
He activated his Magic Circuits—investigated, analyzed and sympathized with the material properties of what he touched—and worked out the necessary logic to reverse it all and destroy it.
Instantly, his palm released a spell that changed the bones of the Dragon Tooth Warrior into the optimal breakable material. Sieg’s magecraft required that he analyze his target by touching it, so it had basically zero ranged capability. However, its destructive power was immense.
The Dragon Tooth Warrior was turned into a pile of miniscule pieces.
His shout was completely swept away in the clatter of the battlefield. While running, he carefully examined the situation of the battlefield. The places where there were noticeably violent clashes of prana were probably where battles between Servants were occurring.
“What are you doing?”
When Sieg turned around at that voice, he found two battle-type homunculi looking at him with gazes containing reproach. ‘What are you doing, you must fight too’—that was probably what they meant.
“Enough, enough, stop fighting you guys.”
At Sieg’s words, the two homunculi exchanged confused glances.
“…If you want to die, I won’t stop you. But, if you want to live, go back. Go back and save our fellow homunculi. Both the ones who are being exploited for their prana and the ones who aren’t. You guys aren’t bound to anything.”
“But—that’s going against our orders.”
“That’s right—the order we were given was to fight and defeat the enemy Servants and their followers.”
“That order is impossible. You guys should also understand that well. In the first place, what obligation do you have to obey it?”
At Sieg’s words, the two homunculi once more exchanged glances. As if to cut into their conversation, a Dragon Tooth Warrior ran at them and swung its sword at Sieg.
Sieg swiftly unsheathed Rider of Black’s sword and slashed at it from its flank to its neck. The other two homunculi joined with him and crushed the skull and feet of the Dragon Tooth Warrior with their halberds.
Sieg spoke once more.
“Do you want to die or live? …We have to choose one of them.”
That was his last warning. One of the homunculi followed his request and returned to the castle. The other one decided to obey his orders even so, and returned once more to the battlefield.
This is fine, Sieg thought. If given a choice, homunculi couldn’t help but choose. Their thought processes weren’t so dim that they couldn’t understand it, after all.
As servants from birth, the option to rebel strangely never came to their minds. But it was a different matter if they were given the choice.
He had merely given the homunculi in the surrounding area within the rear lines the choice. They would each choose their own path. Sieg wasn’t responsible for what they did after that—or rather, he thought that he shouldn’t be responsible for them afterwards.
Now he just had to search for Rider of Black. He was so clumsy that he hadn’t thought of what he would do after finding him. Rider of Black would probably lament that of all things, this was the first thing Sieg chose to do with his new freedom.
—Even so. Even so, there were feelings that maddeningly drove him. There were things he wanted to do and couldn’t forget, and he didn’t have the resolution to seek things like peaceful, ordinary days.
There were things much, much more precious to him than such a pipe dream. He wanted to save his comrades. He wanted to meet Rider of Black again and repay him.
He didn’t care if it was useless. Even though he knew full well that Rider hadn’t wished for him to do such a thing and might lament Sieg’s decision. He simply—chose this.
Yes, since that was what he had chosen to do, he couldn’t turn back. That was the worst thing he could do.
He took a deep breath. He was terrified; even though he hadn’t been frightened at all when he fell right to the brink of death before. When he thought he might be letting go of what he had temporarily obtained—he couldn’t help but feel terrified.
…But his heartbeat was stirring up something inside him.
Gritting his teeth, he tightly clenched his shudderingly cold hands several times. I can do this, he thought, hoped, and prayed—and took his first step forward.
(1) Straße \ gehen: This is Sieg’s personal aria for utilizing magecraft. It uses the words “road” and “go/walk”, while the kanji beneath it reads as “logic path \ open”.