Fate/Apocrypha Volume 5: The Evil Dragon and the Holy Woman (Incomplete)


—When all is said and done, there isn't any reasonmeaning of being born.

— There isn't any meaningreason for death either.

—Even that distance is without meaning when compared to the world.

—To those who desire the world, is it not the most trivial of choice?

It was quite different compared to the period when he was born. And yet, when he was made aware of her story, he had definitely felt remorse and sympathy.

He had heard their grief. The grief of the people who had believed in God. He had succumbed to the thoughts of being unable to do anything, of being cornered, and made the wrong choice.

Such grave sin. Such foolishness.

What he had wished for was not victory. No matter how much he was filled with suffering and despair, his action should be the proof of the nobility of my choice.

Thus. The ones that must die are not the shogunate, but Amakusa Shirou Tokisada himself.

Now then. Is there any meaning in their choice?

Are their life, their existence, and their death something that should be discarded for good?

…No. That is wrong. That is definitely wrong. Then, what should he do to prove it?

Would it be acceptable to simply put a target for his hate?

Were he to detest and bring ruin the shogunate, the very reason for which the people take up arms; or those who had approve of it; or perhaps even himself… would they be saved?

No. They wouldn't. They had simply wished for a peaceful world. For there to be no reason to load their guns. To pick up arms. To hurt others.

But if they don't do that, then the only thing left is for them to be cornered and driven to death.

He felt like it would be much better if he could just hate somebody. If he could just hate the people that had killed them, or the world, he would then die just like that, as a human.

But he understood.

Selfishness. Delusion. Arrogance. All the real nature(s) of humans one just cannot oppose—defeat is only natural. The way to victory is an unusual one.

He wanted to hate.

He had wanted to hate. If he could just have their head, he wonders how much intoxicated he would
be in moments of pleasure—

However, he saw them every time he closed his eyes.
The ordinary ones; the banal existences among them. Even among the summit rulers of Japan, the Tokugawa.

For him to hate them would be no different from hating those who had followed and believed in him—he understands that.

Still, there was hatred inside of him. It whispered to him, to give in to the natural violent emotion of a human.

Should he detest everything? Or should he lament everything instead?

…He had decided.

He would lament everything, and he would love everything. He would continue on believing in humans.

However, he had lost much in his struggle to reach here.

His regret had continued to pile up like a snow. Is there nothing that he could do?

Is there no way to heal the sorrow of the people?

—There is.

Indeed, it would definitely save the people. The one shortcut to arrive at the place that must be reached.

The crystallization of miracle.
Located on the outside of the world, the superior ritual.

The Heaven's FeelCup of Heaven. Known as the Third Magic itself, capable of "soul materialization".

In this world, the soul is the truly eternal existence. As blueprints stored in the astral plane, a different dimension from the material world, souls never truly meet their end.

However, every living thing will eventually equally meet their demise. And the soul is incapable of acting on its own on the material world.
Whether it's an ethereal body or physical body, the soul is incapable of establishing its action and existence if it is not being linked to a form of existence.

And physical bodies will someday crumble. So will ethereal ones. As a result, the soul will degrade and decay.

Such contradiction. Such hopeless discrepancy. Such disparity is death, death which invites greed, and greed consequently begets evil.

The Third Magic is something that overturns that hopeless inconsistency, that too sorrowful of an inevitability.

Valued as all the good of the world, a beloved ideal world—.

The Greater Grail of Fuyuki; it was a tool of heresy created for the sake of reproducing the Third Magic.

However, the Einzbern's progress was slow. Seeing that they were unable to win the Holy Grail War, they were also unable to fulfill the Third Magic, even in eternity.

Cooperation was also not possible. They had continued on an isolated journey of their own for far too long.

If they wanted to fulfill the Third Magic, what they should do was not to select a magus.

A miracle dangling before his eyes.

A possibility to usher out the sorrow laid down upon the world of men, even just a little bit of it.

He wanted to save them.

Those who are evil, those who are good, those who should be loved, those who should be detested. Each and every one of them.

That was why he would mourn those who should have been hated. He would pour love to those who had killed those who should have been loved.

What he should distort was his own heart. He would hammer down his own ardent heart. He would forcibly restore his distorted heart.

A self-remodelling—for the sake of forgetting his hatred, of converting it.

Even though he was a saint, he had ended up losing his focus—ended up wanting to just slit their throat and then die himself.

He should have not forgotten. Even if he were to crush them to death to the best that he can, it'd be pointless.

Even though he hated them so much.

Even though he wanted to kill them so much.

Even so. Even so. …He swore to save them. Whether he loves them or detests them.

Which is why this is a desperate treason against himself.

Ahh—his hatred disappeared. What was left is only his state of being a human.

However, he left it behind. He sealed it. He turned his back on it. As he shedded tears of blood, Shirou betrayed Amakusa Shirou Tokisada.

To betray himself, and to overcome many sufferings. That is how the current Shirou is.

The inside of the Greater Grail. The Magic Circuit that acts as a visual and speech center—the place that administers the gears, the systems.

Different from its circumference, it was all pure white; in this central part, even if it is filled with prana, he could catch sight of the shining Circuit.

A line of prana was flowing freely all around. Einzbern's prided one and only Greater Grail, brought forth by means of a homunculus; it was truly beautiful even in the inside.

Perhaps this was where he should connect himself. Shirou estimated it and then he kneeled both his knees.

"My right arm devours evil; my left arm connects the heaven."

Both of his arms are the accumulation of the many miracles that Amakusa Shirou Tokisada had performed. It is no more than a combat auxiliary Noble Phantasm when used against enemy Servants. Because at any rate, his opponents would still be famed Heroic Spirits.

He should not have been able to win and advance in the Holy Grail War with that degree of miracle.

But then, what is this "miracle" that Amakusa Shirou Tokisada creates suppose to be to begin with? In the span of 60 years, Shirou had performed a self-analysis and phenomenon clarification. These two arms of his are capable of connecting to any and all magecraft foundation(s).

He can connect to alchemy if the land specializes in alchemy, he can connect to curse magic if the land specializes in curse; he is capable of connecting to the magic foundation engraved on the land unrelated to himself and invoke said miraclemagecraft.

That is to say—black magic, alchemy, Kabbalah, necromancy, evocation, and many more; if it exist(s) in this world, he can use any magecraft subconsciously. After analyzing his own Magic Circuit, in normal case he would set in a switch and successively alter the fixated organ of Magic Circuit in mere seconds; sometimes even increasing or decreasing the quantity of the Circuit.

Indeed, were Amakusa Shirou Tokisada to be just a magus—perhaps he would left his name in history as one who invents magecraft with that body of his. Or perhaps he would be "preserved" as a curious, unique variety.

However, Shirou is no magus. He is someone who lives for the sake of saving the world, for the sake of providing salvation to humanity.

The third Holy Grail War. The Greater Grail of "Fuyuki" that had been the reason he existed here and now. Following few informations to their origins, he had thoroughly investigated it and fathomed it. …And so, he had comprehended it.

If the Greater Grail of Fuyuki is but a vast network of Magic Circuit, then both of his arm, capable of continuous alteration, are capable of complete assimilation with the Greater Grail.

Not transplantation; assimilation. To join his own Magic Circuit with other's Magic Circuit. ….Easily put in words, yet it was a penance beyond the imagination of even any other fellow magus. Even if those from the Red faction are connected by blood, to join their Magic Circuit would be nothing short of madness.

However, the Magic Circuit of Amakusa Shirou Tokisada is an exception. No matter how much of a great magus the target is, or even a ghost liner, a Servant, his Magic Circuit would comply it, just like an ever changing skeleton key.

The consciousness of the JusticiaHoly Woman of Winter is already no more.

She is now an enormous CPUelectronic brain, no more than an administrator of the system.

And so, applying someone else's the will to it will not jumble it up. The moment a Servant is inserted inside, it will stay as pure force that had lost all manners of personality.

If there could be a small chance for it to happen, it would perhaps be possible only for a Heroic Spirit whose very existence itself establishes good and evil. ….That is, if such a being exists in this world to begin with.

However, Amakusa Shirou Tokisada was in fact here, without losing his personality.

He was here—and so was his will. The raging will like that of steel that would determine the direction of the unsettling force.

This would be the last battle.

Shirou breathed out without any meaning, then inserted both of his hands into the Greater Grail.

Leaving behind things such as success or failure, concentrating only on the phenomenon before him.

Now—answer my prayers.

Chapter 1

It had been several hours since Shirou Kotomine threw himself into the Greater Grail. The uncertain outcome of it had been driving Assassin of Red to irritation, one which without a doubt she would make use against the enemies.

Meanwhile, Caster of Red had finished the first stage of his writing, and was once again occupying the space underneath the Greater Grail, instinct flickering about. Everything was complete; the entirety of the play's cast members had gathered here, in this place. He expected a development to happen any time soon.


And sure enough, the glow the Greater Grail is giving off began to grow brighter. The pale light pulsed brighter, dimmer, brighter, dimmer, again and again in a cycle. Like that of a heartbeat. His Master, Shirou, had instructed him as such beforehand; what was currently happening indicated that his invasion into the Greater Grail's system was happening.

Right now, there was still no change on Caster of Red and Assassin of Red's part; which means Shirou Kotomine still existed as an individual with the Greater Grail.

Next, he would begin to dominate the system, and see whether or not his wish would come true. Yes; even though he had invaded the system, he still did not know for sure. Worse comes to worse, his wish would stay unfulfilled with Shirou himself trapped within the Greater Grail.

Shirou had already calculated the necessary time needed for the Greater Grail's current status to be able to grant his wish.

"It would most likely happen within one hour. Beyond that would mean that the Greater Grail had rejected my wish and designated me as a foreign element to be eliminated."

It was quite hard to precisely gauge how much time had exactly passed for Caster of Red by using only his pocket watch, an item of the first half of the 17th century. The clock had no second hand, and the movement of the minute hand was rough at best. But it was enough to gauge roughly whether or not one hour had passed, so he did not really care much of it.

To sum it up, the struggles within this one hour would be the last confrontations that decides it all.

Once the Servants of Black boarded the Hanging Gardens of BabylonAerial Gardens of Vanity, the final battle would finally truly begin.

Utilizing a magic tool of far sight that the empress had granted unto him, Caster of Red witnessed the figures of Servants in combat.

The Servants of Black currently fighting aboard the airplane. The hippogriff soaring through the air ridden by Rider of Black, Astolfo.

"Yes, yes. Each and every one of the actors upon this stage… their struggles! Truly, we too, have no choice but to answer them with everything that we have!"

Especially Ruler. No matter how much the Archer of Red, Atalanta, had transformed herself, there is no denying the fact that a fight against Ruler would be at disadvantage. Amongst the Black side, it was highly probable that she'd be the first to reach the Greater Grail within the hour.

This was the story of Amakusa Shirou Tokisada, as well as the story of Jeanne d'Arc. The rest of the casts were all but supporting ones. Be it the black-haired poisoner empress, or the once homunculus boy, or the knight of rebellion wishing for love, or even Caster of Red himself; all of those who had managed to survive until this very moment were, without exception, all but supporting casts.

That being said, the scope of this particular story was vast… foolishly so! A story that would turn the whole world upside down, indeed.

The fate of the entirety of humanity might very well depend on what would happen within this garden, yet most of them simply indulged themselves in indolence as of now. Yet it was inevitable; all of this was simply beyond them. They could not hope to match the saint who had dedicated a whole sixty years of pursuing nothing but his one wish.

The saint would save them. With all the power he had.

Should they wish not to be saved, he had no choice but to defeat them with power even beyond that. And the only one dued for that was Ruler.

Two saints who, more than anyone else, wish for the salvation of others. Yet the path that they had chosen for themselves could not have been more different.

Still, Shirou rued what had happened with Ruler. He regretted it. Shirou did not want to fight her; she was his greatest enemy, the only Servant capable of defeating him.

—Thus, I shall leave her to you, and your Noble Phantasm.

Those were Shirou's last words towards Caster of Red before he had departed from this world. While Shakespeare's degree of fame far surpasses that of Amakusa Shirou Tokisada, and perhaps equal to that of Jeanne d'Arc, strictly speaking he is no Caster.

Caster of Red, Shakespeare, is a weaver of words.

In that regard, there is simply no comparing his prowess against that of a saint. …By all rights, his is a power completely worthless in a Holy Grail War.

Even tens of thousands of words would be incomparable against one single stroke of a Saber's sword.

And yet. He is a Heroic Spirit that overcomes even that logic. Those very tens of thousands of words, when wielded by yours truly court jester, can bring about victory.

Such is the role of Shakespeare, the peerless playwright with no equal throughout history.

"Well then! Let us pray that the words I wield can turn this around. Should they prove unable to incinerate the holy woman, than it might as well snuff out my own life! Sink or swim, all or nothing, as they say. I shall use up all of my luck as a Servant down to it last drop! For Shirou Kotomine to be relying on someone like me… Alas, it left me with no other choice! It shall take anything and everything that I have to greet the holy woman. Will I meet my heroic end before even uttering a single word, or will my prose rise to the occasion towards victory?"

As he continued to sharpen the edge of his swordwords, Caster of Red awaited for the arrival of the holy woman.

—He remembered of the days they ate and slept together.

—He remembered of the sleepless night where he would tell him stories.

—He remembered of him brushing his head, even when his own body was covered with wounds.

Those beautiful and warm memories, held with care.

Those memories, as if forgotten already, as they both glared at each other.

From the ten airplanes, only four were left. Amongst which was one Ruler was currently fighting on. Only three were now currently usable. And yet—

"So, Archer of Black. Your Master—where are they now?"

They lost their nerve or something? Such was what Rider of Red seemed to imply. It would be embarrassing, but considering the circumstances, perhaps also inevitable.

After all, they are currently 7500 meters above the air. The worst kind hell with the best kind of view, where no magecraft really matters much. Any normal Master, any normal magus would fall off quite easily.

There's nothing to be done about it. There's nothing… but Rider of Red was concerned about whether or not the distance between the two would weaken Archer of Black's prowess the further it was.

That very concern was immediately cut down by Archer of Black's sharp glare.

"Do not take my Master lightly, Rider of Red. She is with me. Right here, right now. Your concern is futile; wield your spear unburdened by such meaningless things."

With that said, Archer of Black nocked an arrow on his bow.

Without apologizing for his impolite words, Rider of Red silently take a stance with his spear. No apologies would mean anything at this point, his teacher eyes seemed to imply.

Thus, they would simply fight. Right here, right now, with everything they have.

On the buoyant skies, with the winds roaring like mystical beasts all around them.

"Here I come!"

"Have at you!"

The once teacher against the once pupil.

The greatest of sages against the strongest of warriors.

Father against son.

The clash between Chiron and Achilleus finally began.

The moon was absent in the sky.

There is a legend that spoke of when Astolfo, Rider of Black, had found his sense of reason on the moon.

Had it been the real, actual moon? Who knows. What is important is the very legend itself.

To put it another way; if his sense of reason are on the moon, then Astolfo on Earth has none. Thus, should there be no moon in the sky…

"Here I goooo, Master—!"

The hippogriff neighed as loudly as the roaring wind surrounding them, reverberating shrilly.

It smashed its hoof on the steel roof of the airplane, ran forward, and—soared high into the sky.

"Astolfo of the Twelve Paladins of Charlemagne, entering the fray!"

Rider of Black loudly and proudly announced himself; such that any who were there even for an instant would've been aware of him.
The laughable knight who, legendary as he is, had been attested to be "weak."

Yet even so. His proclamation was that of a true Heroic Spirit, through and through.

He soared higher. Higher. Faster. Faster.

The hippogriff, an impossible mystical beast born of the legendary griffon and a mare, soared 7500 meters up high on the sky, caring not of the roaring wind around it.

With great vigor, it began to invade the enemy's stronghold, the Aerial Gardens of Vanity(Hanging Gardens of Babylon), and—!

Naturally, Assassin of Red would not let such a thing happen so easily.

The interception spell, Tiamtum UumuuEleven Black Coffins(). Titanic, dark sarcophagi created in the likeness of eleven beasts that were said to have been born of the legendary beast Tiamat.

Assassin of Red's masterpiece that would eliminate her enemies utilizing light cannons easily surpassing A rank.

She observed the yelling about Rider of Black coldly.

Indeed. The opponent lacked none in terms of vigor. He would continue standing back up and fighting even after a defeat; the hallmark of Heroic Spirits.

Yet a defeat it would be. And it did not seem that he had any countermeasures in plan to overcome it. It was inevitable.

"Think you able to evade this one, perhaps? Fool. That arrogance shall be your last regret."

The Eleven Black Coffins began to stir. Their target: Rider of Black.

As if laughing, all the light cannons simultaneously fired, thus ending him—


Or rather, they should have.

The moon was absent in the sky. His madness abated. His trembling, on the other hand, subsisted.

And still, he was the white knight who never gives up. Sieg was holding on to Rider's back, clinging on him. No need for any words; all he could do right now was to believe in Rider.

Whether or not the Rider of Black had his sense of reason with him, always he would be a gallant knight. Always he would be—without a doubt—a Heroic Spirit.

"Alrighty, it's showtime! My heart may shiver in fear where no moonlight shines, yet still forward I shall go! Unbind—Casseur de LogistilleDestruction Declaration()!"

Rider then pulled out a book, which pages then began to tear themselves in pieces. They rode the wind, the pieces of paper falling as if in a dance.

The light cannons loomed ahead of them, faster than the speed of sound. Yet Rider of Black continued charging ahead without a care. Even Rider, who possessed A-ranked Magic Resistance skill, would be mowed down back to the ground by the anti-army class light cannons—yet the first to strike failed to reach him.

With a sound of steel breaking, the light cannon dissipated. Of course, there were more than one incoming; the meteor shower aiming at Rider began to rain down upon him.

But once the grimoire's True Name had been spoken—once Casseur de Logistille had been unbound, any and every forms of magecraft would be rendered useless.

"Ahahahaha! Maaan, this feels gooood! Master, hold on tight, yeah!? I'm gonna ram up the speed even faster!!"

"Yeah, got it!"

The homunculus—Master of Rider, Sieg, undauntedly replied Rider of Black. The book's pages swirled about around them, while the light cannons continued to bombard them uselessly.

"S-Still, this is quite amazing!"

To that, Rider of Black yelled in reply.

"My book is!?"

"No! You! You're amazing!"

The one whom Queen Logistilla had entrusted this book to. The one who, up until just now, did not even remember its true name yet bravely soared through the sky.

"Heheh! Not the time to be surprised yet, Master! Alrighty, let's chaaaarge!"

Lightly clapping on the excited hippogriff's head, Rider accelerated even further. So was the amount of the light cannons. The Black Coffins, defensive mechanisms that they were, aimed 6 out of 11 amongst their numbers towards Rider.

"Simultaneous fire? …Fine, try me, then!"

They were light itself, compressed. Pure mayhem that simply overpowered everything in their path. And still, they failed to break through.

Rider of Black was unbowed, unbroken. He simply pushed forward, and forward, and forward…!

"We are aiming at them big, black cannons! Without those, Rulers and the others would be able to board the garden no problem!"

"Can you destroy them!?"

Rider immediately replied to Sieg's question.

"Dunno! But I'm doing it!!"

"…Alright, go for it!"

They should probably slow down instead… but Rider was correct. Removing these cannons would make reaching the garden become far, far easier.

The problem is Assassin—that is, how would Semiramis respond. There was no way she would simply laugh off and overlook them. It was likely they only had one way to go about this.