FSN Fate Day 01 (EN)

Scene 00 - Rebirth

―――――When I came to, I was in a burning field.

I guess there was a big fire.

The familiar town had turned to ashes and it looked like the remains of a battlefield from a movie.

―――But that didn't last long either.

The fire had died down by the time the sun rose.

The tall wall of flame had shortened, and most of the buildings had fallen.

...It felt strange, being the only thing in that place that still had its original form.

I was the only one still alive around here.

I must have been really lucky, or my house was built in a very lucky spot.

I don't know which it was, but the point is, I was the only one left alive.

I felt that since I survived, I should live on.

I started walking aimlessly, because I thought it would be dangerous just to stay there.

I wasn't really concerned about getting burned up like the people lying around me.

...Probably because, over and above not wanting to be like them, I had a stronger feeling in my mind.

But still, I had no hope.

It was already a wonder I was still alive, so I couldn't expect to be saved.

I won't survive.

Whatever happens, I won't be able to escape from this red world.

It was such an absolute hell that even a small child could understand it.

And I collapsed.

Was it because there was no air? Was it because no function was left in my body?

Anyway, I collapsed and stared up at the clouded sky.

Everything around me was burned up and I could see many shriveled people.

The dark clouds loomed overhead, telling me it would rain soon.

...That's good. The fire will be put out once it rains.

In the end, I sighed deeply and looked up at the sky.

I say to myself that it hurts.

I say so on behalf of all the people who couldn't even say so.

―――That was ten years ago.

After that, I was miraculously saved.

My body survived.

But I think all the other things about me burned up and were reduced to ashes.

If you take away a child's parents, home, and all such things, there's nothing left for him.

That's why there was only my body.

I think it's a simple story.

In other words, in order to let my body live...

My heart died.

―――――――――I'm dreaming.


I squint my eyes at the white light.

"So bright", I think.

It was just light entering my eyes when I woke up, but I'm not used to it.

I probably didn't even understand what the bright light meant.


When my eyes focus, I'm surprised.

I'm lying on an unfamiliar bed, in an unfamiliar room.

I'm surprised, but the room is so white and clean that I feel safe.

"...Where am I?"

I look around.

The room is big and there are many beds.

A person is in each bed, and everyone seems to be hurt.

But nothing feels ill in this room.

Everyone who's hurt is someone who was saved.


I relax and let my eyes wander.

――――Outside the window,

The bright blue sky was unbelievably beautiful.

After a few days, I finally understood.

I could clearly remember what had happened in the past few days.

Even so, I was no different from a newborn baby.

Not just a metaphor, it was close to the truth.

Anyway, it was a terrible fire.

I had been saved from it, was in the hospital with my body wrapped in bandages, and my parents were gone.

I didn't get the situation, but I vaguely understood that I was alone.

I think I understood quickly.

...Well, there was nothing but children in similar situations around me, so all I could do was absorb the fact.

―――And after that.

That man came, right when I was beginning to worry what would happen to me next.

He came on the day my bandages were taken off and I was able to eat without help.

Wrinkled coat and uncombed hair.

The man, a bit younger than the doctor, felt more like a big brother than a father.

"Hello. You must be Shirou-kun."

A smile that seems to melt into the white sunlight.

I think it was a suspicious voice, but a very kind voice.

"I'll ask you directly. Which would you prefer? To go to an orphanage, or to be adopted by this man you've never seen before?"

That man was saying he could adopt me.

When I asked him if he was a relative of mine, he said he was just a stranger.

...He looked like an unreliable guy with no future.

But it made no difference, as I knew nothing about either one: him or the orphanage.

So I decided to go with him.

"I see, that's good. Get ready quickly, then. You should get used to your new place as fast as you can."

The guy quickly started packing my stuff.

His packing wasn't very good, even in the eyes of a child.

Then, after making a big mess...

"Oh, I forgot to mention something important.

I have to tell you one thing before you come with me.

Is that okay?"

He turns to me lightheartedly and says,


To start off with, I'm a sorcerer."

He says it in a serious, exaggerated tone.

It happened in an instant.

Come to think of it now, I was really a child back then.

I automatically believed those words.

"―――Wow, you're awesome."

I guess I said so with bright eyes.

Since that time, I became his child.

Actually, I don't remember what I said back then.

But my father would always talk about that day.

He would remember and retell the story again and again.

So for my father, Emiya Kiritsugu, that might have been the happiest day of his life.


I guess it was strange for my father to tell me that he was a sorcerer, but I was strange as well for admiring that.

And thus, I became an adopted son, and my last name became Emiya.

Emiya Shirou.

When I said my name, I was really proud of having the same last name as Kiritsugu.

...I'm dreaming.

A story from my childhood.

It was when I finally convinced my father to make me his student, so it must have been about eight years ago.

When I was old enough to stay at home by myself, Kiritsugu started to leave the house on a regular basis.

He would say in his normal tone that he would "travel the world", and he began to act on these words.

That's how it was after that.

It was normal for him to leave the house empty for a month, and he sometimes wouldn't come home for half a year.

The Emiya house is a big Japanese-style house, and Kiritsugu and I were the only ones living there.

I was perplexed in this house at times, as it was too big for a child.

But still, I liked my life here.

Emiya Kiritsugu would come home from his journeys and tell me lots of stories like a child.

And the child who shared his last name would be at home waiting for those stories.

I was always alone in the house, but that loneliness would all fade with the stories he brought back.

―――The father who was always chasing his dreams like a kid.

His attitude was astounding, but he always seemed dazzling to me.

That might be why I wanted to be like him someday.

...Well, on top of that....

Looking at my ever-dreaming father, I felt I should become reliable myself――――

...I hear a sound.

I hear a heavy, old, rusty sound as the door opens.

Light enters the dark shed.


My mind, waking up...

"Senpai, are you awake?"

...Feels the cold air and the approaching footsteps.

"...Mm. Good morning, Sakura."

"Ah, yes. Good morning, Senpai."

Sakura smiles and nods as if accustomed to this situation.

"Senpai, it's morning already. You have some more time, but Fujimura-Sensei will get mad if you stay asleep here."

"Oh... you're right. Thanks for coming to wake me up."

"It's no problem at all. You're always up so early.

I can only come and wake you up like this occasionally."


Sakura seems more upbeat than usual today as if she's happy about something.

"...Really? I think you wake me up quite often.

Though, Fuji-Nee always hits me to wake me up, so I'd rather have you wake me up... Well, I'll try harder next time."

...I answer her with a sleepy head.

I don't know what I'm saying with my mind not fully awake.

"All right. But I'm happier when you don't try."

Sakura is giggling.

...Gah, I guess my head was still dozing and I said something weird.

"―――Give me a second, I'll wake up."

Taking a deep breath, I clear up my mind.

The cold outdoor air helps in situations like this.

The chill works well to beat the sleepiness out of my head.

...In front of me is Matou Sakura, my junior at school.

This place is a shed behind my house, and the time is six o'clock.



"Yeah, I'm awake now. Sorry, I guess I did it again.[l]

I have to help you cook breakfast too."

"It's fine. You were up late last night again, right? So you should take your time in the morning. I'll get breakfast ready."

Sakura says so in a happy tone.

...It's unusual. Sakura really seems to be in a good mood this morning.

"I can't let you do that. I'll get up right now, so let's go to the kitchen together."

"All right, I'm all set. Let's go, Sakura."

"Ah... um, Senpai..."

"Hm? What, is something wrong?"

"No, it's nothing, but... I think you should change before you go back to the house."


That said, I look down at myself.

I fell asleep while I was working, so I'm still wearing my overalls.

Being my work clothes, they're pretty dirty. I can't imagine what Fuji-Nee would say to me if I went into the house like this.

"Ugh... I guess I'm not awake yet. I'm a bit out of it this morning."

"That could be. So you rest here for a bit and I'll take care of breakfast. And you know, if you keep this place a mess, Fujimura-Sensei will get mad at you."

"...You're right. I'll go after I get changed. You go on ahead."

"Yes, I'll be waiting, Senpai."

Sakura leaves.


I have to change into my school uniform and clear up this mess.

The shed is built on the edge of our yard, and just as it seems, it's a warehouse we put all our junk in.

But for me, it's a place of treasures as I've enjoyed messing with things since I was a kid.

Father didn't allow me to go into the shed, but I always sneaked in here. As a result, it became my base.

For me, Emiya Shirou, I guess you could call this place my real room.

The big Emiya household doesn't suit me, and I can only relax in this space full of junk.

"...Besides, it's a waste. Even if it's junk, you can still use it."

Most of the things in here are appliances that can't be used any more.

Did I bring all the junk in here because I liked the place, or did I come to like it here because of all the junk?

Anyway, since I was always sneaking in here, it became my hobby to fix the broken things.

It's not like I get attached to things.

I think it just annoys me not to use things that can still be used.

And just like that, I was fixing up this stove all last night.

"...I guess I'll finish this tomorrow. It seems I don't have enough concentration, seeing how I fell asleep halfway."

I shake off the feeling of disappointment in myself.

I gather up the parts of the stove and put them on the shelf full of things waiting to be fixed.

There are no spaces on this shelf full of things awaiting repair. An old VCR awaits after the stove.

...I guess I'll ignore the fact that Fuji-Nee broke both of them.

"...All right."

I change into my uniform.

This place is like my room, and it holds changes of clothes along with other things I need.

It also has lots of blueprints and junk, the result of failures from when I do my training.

There's also some kind of old design inscribed on the floor, like an altar or something.

"―――Well, let's get today started."

Clapping my hands in prayer to the shed, I head for the house.

I emerge from the shed.

The Emiya house is a Japanese-style house on the outskirts of town.

My father wasn't much of a respected person in town, but he somehow still had this huge house.

That on its own is a mystery, but it also seems he didn't have any relatives in Japan.

That's why the house became mine and no one else's when my father died.

Though, to be honest, I don't have that kind of management ability.

Old Man Fujimura is in charge of complicated things like inheritance and property taxes.

Old Man Fujimura is the big landlord in this neighborhood.

According to Father, "the old man's like a yakuza boss".

Of course, this is just prejudice.

He's not "like" a yakuza boss, he "is" a yakuza boss.


Well, that's a problem in itself, but I prefer to ignore it.

It's certainly true that he's energetic and scary, but he's actually not that bad a person.

It really helps me as he pays a lot when I tune-up the motorcycle he likes to ride.

Anyway, that's why I'm the only one living in this big house.

It's been five years since Father died.

The days have passed quickly.

I sigh, thinking about how much I've grown in those five years.

I've trained every day to be like Kiritsugu, but it's not that easy in reality.

It's natural because I had no talent to begin with, but what can be said about having no improvement at all in five years?

To sum up the present in one sentence, my goal is so far away that I'm not even at the starting line yet.


No, I guess it won't do any good to rush.

For now, I have to do what I can.

Well then.

Right now, I should――――

  1. I'll go and help Sakura.

  2. I'll go and finish my daily routine.

Scene 01 - Matou Sakura (I)

―――That's right, I have to go and help Sakura.

I'd feel bad, both for letting my junior do all the work, and for Sakura coming here so early in the morning.

But I'm too late.

It seems breakfast has already been made.

I can smell the elegant scent of breakfast befitting Sakura.

Sakura has finished cooking and is opening the cupboards. I can see that all she has left to do is set the table.

"I'm sorry. I'll at least get the dishes ready, so you go and sit down."

"Huh? Oh, you're here already, Senpai?"

"Not 'already'. We're usually eating by ten past six, so I certainly slept in."

"I don't think so. You're not in any clubs, so this is still early for you."

"Clubs have nothing to do with this. When you bring clubs into it, the problem is that you come here when you have morning practice to go to."

"Ah... no, I'm doing this because I want to, so please don't worry about my club."

"Yeah, you always say that. That's why I wake up early, clubs or not. It's rude for me to sleep in if you're going to be here."

For me, waking up early is waking up before Sakura gets here, and sleeping in is making Sakura prepare breakfast on her own―――like today.

Though, this has only been a habit for a year and a half or so.

"Anyways, you take a rest. We only have to set the table, so at least let me do that."

I stand next to Sakura and take out the dishes.

Sakura is stubborn at times, and in situations like this, she won't rest unless she's forced to.

"Oh, then I'll help too. I'll load the plates and you can take them out."

"No, I'm saying I'll do it all myself."

"That won't do. You're head of this household, so you should just sit contentedly in the mornings."

"Sit contentedly? A head of household who leaves you to do the work by yourself is a failure. It's okay, so go to the living room."

"That's right, please be a failure. This is repayment for letting me eat good food all the time. So if it's possible, I'd like for you to rest."

"Hey. We're going fifty-fifty on the groceries, so you shouldn't worry about it. I should be the one thanking you. Since you've started coming here, our meals have improved."

"Oh, I knew it. You don't get it, do you Senpai? That's not why the meals here are good."

"Huh? What do you mean that's not why?"

"No, it's nothing. But please take responsibility because I can't eat a pleasant meal anywhere else any more."

Sakura smiles while blushing.

"I-Idiot, don't say such weird things.

What if Fuji-Nee hears that? She doesn't understand jokes."

"You're right. It would be a big problem if Fujimura-Sensei overheard that."

"Right. Don't say so much weird stuff."

"Yes, I won't. I won't say anything. So I can help you, right Senpai?"


Sakura looks up at me, naturally and calmly.

"Fine, do what you want. If you want to help so much, go right ahead."

"Yes, I'll do as I please."

"...Geez, you really don't listen to anything I tell you anymore, do you Sakura?"

"That's true. Maybe I'm becoming more like Fujimura-Sensei."

Speaking softly, Sakura reaches up for the cupboard.

Her silky hair and smooth skin catch my eye.


...How can I put this... it's troubling.

She must be maturing as she seems really feminine these days.

Her casual movements and her figure are so beautiful that I instinctively look away.

"Senpai? Is something wrong?"

"―――No, it's nothing. Don't worry, it's nothing."



Why am I feeling tense around my friend's sister?

After all, Sakura's not like that.

She's a good underclassman, and a junior I need to take care of.

First of all, the relationship between me and Matou Sakura is just that of a Senpai and a junior.

She's the sister of a close friend of mine, but since she's a grade below me, we weren't that close.

It all changed a year and a half ago into this cooperative kind of relationship.

Sakura came to cook when I was injured, and after that, I think we just ended up like this.

...I think we intended to do it until my injury healed, but some trivial thing came up to make her stay with it.

Anyways, Sakura is a good cook, and perfect at cleaning and doing the laundry.

It's a big help to have her helping around here in the mornings, but it's been a bit troubling recently.

The problem is not in Sakura, but me.


Frankly, Sakura is beautiful.

She's one of the best looking first years, and I'm sure there are lots of guys who want to date her.

And on top of that, she's been growing in certain places recently and some of her casual gestures have started to catch my eye.

...That's what I mean by a small problem.

Maybe I'm just feeling guilty about being attracted to my friend's sister.

Usually I'm fine, but when I'm caught off guard like just now, I blush... does this make me an unsuitable Senpai...?

Scene 02 - Dojo scenery

The Emiya house has a big dojo.

It was built when the house was built.

It was only intended as a hobby, so the dojo wasn't built for any particular purpose.


I'll warm up a bit before breakfast.

I'm not really studying martial arts, but since Father told me "if you want to be like me, you'll have to train your body first", it became my daily routine to work out.

"...Ninety-nine, one hundred..."

I finish my routine sit-ups and change out of my gi into my uniform.

I slept in this morning, so I cut short of my workout.

Some sit-ups with no stretching should be enough.

I'm not the kind to build up a lot of muscle, and it's not like I want to get into a fight.

All I need is enough athletic ability to handle sudden accidents, and to move as I wish when I have to.

After all, the thing I want to become is the complete opposite of an athlete.

"...Oh, this late already?"

I put the sweaty gi into the laundry basket.

It's 6:20.

In our house, even this is a late time for breakfast.

Breakfast is already prepared.

I can smell the elegant scent of breakfast befitting Sakura.

"Breakfast is ready, Senpai."

"Yeah, thanks... sorry, you had to do more work because I slept in."

"No, it's no work at all. Besides, you didn't sleep in. This is early for you since you're not in any clubs."

"Clubs have nothing to do with it. When you bring clubs into it, you have to wake up early to come here when you have morning practice."

"Ah... no, I'm doing this because I want to, so please don't worry about my club."

"Yeah, you always say that.

Well, that's why I wake up early, clubs or not. It's rude for me to sleep in if you're going to be here."

For me, waking up early is waking up before Sakura gets here, and sleeping in is making Sakura prepare breakfast on her own―――like today.

Though, this has only been a habit for a year and a half or so.

"Heehee. Senpai, you always put too much weight on these things. Mitsuzuri-Senpai always says you're so honest that it's annoying."

Sakura smiles, as if remembering it.

Mitsuzuri is the captain of the archery club Sakura is in, and someone I have a lot of acquaintance with.

"...Huh. Is she still complaining to you about me?"

"Yes. She's working hard every day to beat you in archery before she graduates."[l]

"...Geez, she must be better than me by now. Is she just glorifying the memories? I don't mind people thinking highly of me, but I guess it depends on who they are."

"Mitsuzuri-Senpai hates losing, so she probably thinks of you as a rival."[l]

Sakura puts rice into a bowl as she talks.

It's almost six thirty.

The archery club's morning practice starts at seven.

It's not mandatory, but she can't afford to take it easy.

"Fuji-Nee... will be here soon, I guess. Well, it's her fault for not getting here on time. Well, Sakura, let's go ahead and start eating."

"Yes. Here you go, Senpai."

Sakura hands me the bowl with a smile.



I'm used to this every morning, but her white fingers catch my eye.


...How can I put this... it's troubling.

She must be maturing as she seems really feminine these days.

Her casual movements are beautiful and she often takes my breath away.

Perhaps it's a reaction to not feeling anything for her until now, but I'm noticing more and more feminine characteristics in her...

"Senpai? Is something wrong?"

"―――No, it's nothing. Don't worry, it's nothing."



Why am I feeling tense around my friend's sister?

She's a good underclassman and a junior I need to take care of.

First of all, the relationship between me and Matou Sakura is just that of a Senpai and a junior.

She's the sister of a close friend of mine, but since she's a grade below me, we weren't that close.

It all changed a year and a half ago into this cooperative kind of relationship.

Sakura came to cook when I was injured, and after that, I think we just ended up like this.

...I think we intended to do it until my injury healed, but some trivial thing came up to make her stay with it.

Anyways, Sakura is a good cook, and perfect at cleaning and doing the laundry.

It's a big help to have her helping around here in the mornings, but it's been a bit troubling recently.

The problem is not in Sakura, but me.


Frankly, Sakura is beautiful.

She's one of the best looking first years, and I'm sure there are lots of guys who want to date her.

And on top of that, she's been growing in certain places recently and some of her casual gestures have started to catch my eye.

...That's what I mean by a small problem.

Maybe I'm just feeling guilty about being attracted to my friend's sister.

Usually I'm fine, but when I'm caught off guard like just now, I blush... does this make me an unsuitable Senpai...?

Scene 03 - Everyday (I)

"Issei, you there?"

"I am. You're a bit late today, Emiya."

He must have been studying, as Issei looks up from the paper he's reading.

"Just you, Issei? Where are the others? Shouldn't they be here now as well?"

"No. Unfortunately, our members are very businesslike.

They have their set work hours, and they don't want to come in early or stay late."

"That's why the student council president is doing the routine duties himself, huh? I guess this place has its own problems."

"No, it's the kind of trouble I like. You don't need to pity me."

"Huh? Uh, no, I wasn't pitying you or anything."

"Hm. I'm not happy about that either, but I'll pretend I didn't hear it. It still means that you care."

Issei, who is organizing the papers he was reading, is the big boss of this student council room.

He's the guy trying his best to reform this lax student council, and he's been a friend of mine since first year.

His full name is Ryuudou Issei.

Despite his old-fashioned name, he has elegant features and he's really popular with the girls.

And he's also the student council president, so you'd think he'd take to it like a duck to water, but...

"Hm. Hot tea is certainly a good way to start a morning."

He's just sipping tea like this, so he's not that firm.

As you can see, Issei has a plain personality.

It's easily misunderstood, but he doesn't involve himself in love affairs nor engage in normal student recreations.

It's because he's the successor of the Ryuudou Temple, up in the mountains.

He's fine with that idea, so there's a good chance he'll shave his head when he graduates.

"So, what am I doing today?"

"Hm? Well, I'd like to let you sit down and take a rest first... but I guess we don't have time. I'll explain as we go, so bring your usual tools and follow me."

"Frankly, our school's budget is completely unbalanced."

"I know. The athletic clubs are favored, so other clubs don't get much, right?"

"Right. As a result, members of the other clubs are in trouble.

I'm working hard to make the budget go to them, but I'm having trouble because it's not clear where the money's going.

In particular, there's no solution for the shortages of heaters during winter."[l]

"I see. Oh, can you hand me the torque screwdriver? The biggest one. And the conductive wire too.

...Yeah, I should be able to fix this."

"Conductive wire? ...Uh, is this it? Sorry, I don't know exactly.[l]

Tell me if I'm wrong."

"You're right. So, what was that about the shortage of heaters? Are there other broken ones?"

"Yes. In the 2nd AV room and the art club. The petitions requesting new stoves are multiplying."

"But there's not enough budget to meet the demand, huh? As I thought, it's just getting old. Good thing it's not broken on the inside."

"...Hm. You think it can be fixed, Emiya?"

"Yup. In cases like this, old things are nice because they're easy to understand.[l]

It's just a shorted connection, so it should last the whole year if we replace that."

"I see! Good job, Emiya. I'm always so pleased when you're reliable."

"You're wording it weirdly, Issei...

Oh, I'll be finished soon, so could you wait outside for a bit?"

"All right, I'll be out of your way."

Issei leaves the room quietly.

...It seems he assumes that I'm going to do something delicate.

"...Well, it is delicate, but..."

I place my hand on the old electric heater.

Usually, even if you're used to fixing things, it's hard to figure out what's wrong with it just by looking at it.

So the fact that I figured it out means what I'm doing is not ordinary.

I block off my vision and look inside the heater with my sense of touch.

―――In that moment...

An image appears in my head.

"...There are two places where the wire's about to break... The pipe should last a bit longer... Insulation tape should be enough for the power cord..."

...Good, I can fix this with the tools I have with me.

If the pipe were broken, it couldn't be fixed by an amateur.

If that had been the case, I would have had to "strengthen" it in a very unamatuerish way. But in this case, just looking at it will suffice.

That is the "magecraft" Emiya Shirou learned from Kiritsugu.

"――――All right, let's begin."

I take the cover off and start to work.

I already know where it's broken, so the rest is easy.

"...Man. This is the only thing I'm any good at."

That's right. Emiya Shirou has no talent for magecraft.

Though it doesn't make up for it, I think I'm quite skilled at visualizing structures like I did just now.

In fact, when I first figured out a structure and reproduced it, my father looked surprised and said "what a useless ability".

I guess my strong point isn't a useful ability.

According to my father, it's already a waste of effort to perceive the structure with my eyes.

For a real magus, there's no need to understand every corner of a structure like I just did.

They say that the battle of the magus comes in reading the center, the core of things instantaneously, and changing it faster than anything else.

That's why reading the structure is a wasted effort, as even if you do understand the structure, all you can do is determine where magical energy could be more easily transmitted.

So all in all, it turns out that my strong point is just in fixing things like this.

I don't have to open them up to look for damage.

If I can quickly search for broken parts and have the skills to repair them, most things can be fixed.

Though, that's only the case for simple things that can be fixed with "amateur knowledge".

"―――Done. On to the next one..."

I pack away the conducting wire that I used and go out into the hallway with screwdriver and wrench in hand.

"Issei, the repairs are done."


In the hallway is someone else apart from Issei, a girl.


I'm a bit surprised.

The person talking to Issei is Tohsaka Rin, from class 2-A.

She's a lady who lives in a big mansion on top of the hill, a perfect honor student.

Good looking, smart, athletic, and faultless.

She's intelligent, well mannered, and modest about her looks. People say she's the ideal woman.

So it hardly needs to be said that the guys at my school treat her like an idol.

Though in Tohsaka's case, she's so perfect that she's considered unreachable.

It's commonly believed that only teachers and guys like Issei can even talk to her.

...Well, to be honest, I'm a guy too.

So I'm one of Tohsaka Rin's admirers.


Tohsaka looks at us as if she's in a bad mood.

It seems to be true that she and Issei don't get along.

"Ah, sorry Emiya. I'm the one who asked for help, but it seems like you're doing all the work. Forgive me."


Issei's an amazing man, talking like that and ignoring Tohsaka.

"Don't worry about it. So, where next? There's not much time left."

"Yeah, the AV room is next. It seems it's been working badly for a while, but now it finally died."

"It can't be fixed if it's dead. It would be quicker to just buy a new one."

"...True, but it'd help if you could take a look at it. It might be dead to my eyes, but only faking it to yours."

"I see. Well, let's take a look."

There's only about 30 minutes left until homeroom.

I'll have to hurry if I'm going to fix it.

I start for the AV room with Issei.

But it's impolite to ignore her completely when we've met like this.

I turn back to Tohsaka, who's standing in a daze.

"You're up early, Tohsaka."

I make an honest comment, then follow Issei.

"We barely made it. Thank you, Emiya. I caused you trouble again. I would be a failure as a friend if I made you late doing things for me."

"Don't worry about it. It's no big deal for me to be late. Though I guess it would be for you to be..."

"Indeed. Well, I'm glad we made it."

Issei heads to his seat, relieved.

It's exactly eight o'clock.

The first homeroom bell has rung, so Fuji-Nee should be here in about five minutes.


I'm a bit out of breath since we ran here from the AV room.

Taking a deep breath, I head to my seat.

"You're so noisy in the mornings, Emiya. I was wondering what you'd been doing since quitting the club, but all you've been doing is helping out Ryuudou? It's not my concern, but don't do anything to bring the club into disrepute, okay? You're pretty uncommitted after all."

Matou Shinji, a friend of mine from middle school, is standing in front of my seat.

As you can tell from his last name, he's Sakura's brother who's one year older than her.

"Yo. Is the archery club doing well, Shinji?"

"O-Of course...! There's no point in telling an outsider, but it's been peaceful since a certain attention-hog left. We'll do well in the next competition!"

"I see. Mitsuzuri must be working hard."

"Huh? You're talking rubbish. The archery club is doing well because of me. You're just an outsider, Emiya, so you'll just embarrass yourself if you talk like you know about it."

"I see, I'll be careful. But I won't have any concerns with the archery club since I don't have any business there."

I put my bag on the desk and pull out the chair.

"What's that about? You're saying you're not interested in my archery club?"

"I said business, not interest. It'd be weird to go there when I'm an outsider, right?

But tell me if something comes up. I'll help if there's anything I can help with. You weren't good at fixing the bows and bowstrings, right?"

"Oh, thanks. I'll call you if there's any work to be done.

Though I don't think that'll happen."

"Yeah, that's good. You're not captain material if you leave work that needs to be done. Don't give Fujimura-Sensei too much trouble. She's scary when you piss her off."

"...! Huh, mind your own business. You're an outsider, so keep away from the dojo!"

Shinji returns to his seat in his usual manner.

...Hm, he seemed even more irritated than usual today.

"What a guy. How can he talk like that when he's the one who drove you out?"

"Oh, you were here, Issei?"

"What do you mean!? You're so cold, saying that to a friend who was listening in out of concern!"

"Hm? Why would you do that? I'm not doing anything that should make you worry about me."

"Idiot. Of course I'll worry about you. You're the sort to lose your temper easily. Some people would cheer if you beat Shinji up, but all the girls would condemn you. It's not good to let a friend get into a situation like that."

"I see. You're right now that you mention it. Thanks, Issei. I don't think it'll be a problem, but I'm grateful for your concern."

"Yes, well, as long as you understand... but it's strange. You lose your temper easily, but you're tolerant of Matou."

"Yeah, that's just his style. You get used to it if you hang around him for a long time."

"Hm, I see."

"Yeah. If you understand, go back to your seat. Fujimura-Sensei will fly in here any second now."

"Haha. It's more like her to come floating in than flying in."

The homeroom bell rings.

A homeroom teacher usually would come five minutes early, but our homeroom teacher isn't like that.

For class 2-C, homeroom starts one minute after the bell rings. Right when we hear...

"I'm late, I'm late, I'm late...!"

And Fuji-Nee runs into the classroom.

"All right, I made it! Good morning, everyo―――"


Fuji-Nee falls over with a terrible sound.


The classroom is filled with silence, in contrast to the clamor from a second ago.

A sudden change of atmosphere.

Just as you'd expect from Fuji-Nee. Her nickname of "human jet coaster" isn't just for show.

...But that really was a bad hit.

Fuji-Nee is still on the ground, having hit her head on the platform.

You can't see her expression with her head facing the ground, so it gives you a bad mental image.

"...Hey. Front row. Wake her up."

"...What? I don't want to. I'm scared she'll bite me if I go near her..."

"...She's not a Mimic or anything. She won't go that far."

"Hey, if you're saying that, why don't you do it?"

"Uh, I'll pass. I'm not used to this."

"Me neither! And why would you make a girl do it? A guy should do it!"

The front row is getting noisy.

As we're in the middle rows, we can't tell what sort of state Fuji-Nee is in.

We can't tell, so we all stand up to look.

"Hey, she's not moving. Has she passed out?"

Someone asks.

If so, the problem would be how to get her to the nurse's office.

Everyone here is a warrior who has been with Fuji-Nee for the past year.

They probably want to get out of the habit of taking their teacher to the nurse's office.

"Fujimura-Sensei...? Um, are you all right?"

A brave female student calls out to her.

Fuji-Nee doesn't even twitch.

A sense of worry runs through the room.

"...That was a bad fall. She hit her head right on the platform. She'd have to be invincible to come out of that without a scratch."

"Hm. How about getting her for our baseball club?"

"D-Don't even joke about that! The day she's in charge of us, we'd get into the regionals!"

"Fujimura-Sensei, Fujimura-Sensei...! It's no good, there's no response...!"

"Hey, why don't you wake her up since you're in front of her?"

"What!? No way! If she's really dead, I'll be killed!"

"But things could get bad later if we leave her like that."

"But no one wants to go near her."

"...I guess it can't be helped. We'll have to do... that."

"Yeah, that."

"All right."

All our hearts become one.

...Well, not Shinji and I, because we're too scared.

"One, two... wake up, Tiger!"

Even though everyone said it at the same time, it's only as loud as a whisper.

The "Tiger" part is especially quiet.

But still...

...A twitch.

The silent Fuji-Nee reacts.

"Whoa, she moved!? It's working, everyone!"

"All right! Continue the punishment!"

Everyone must be stressed from the impending exams.

Even though they shouldn't, they repeat Fuji-Nee's nickname while waving their arms.

"Wake up Tiger, it's morning!"

"Sensei, you're a tiger if you don't wake up!"

"Don't give up, Tiger! Stand up, Tiger!"

"Yeah, wake up, Sensei! Then you'll be a true Tiger!"

"T-i-g-e-r! T-i-g-e-r!"


Don't call me Tiger...!"

A roar of lightning.

She stands bravely as if the fall has done nothing at all.

"...Huh? What are you all doing? You can't stand up in middle of homeroom. Come on, sit down and I'll get started."

Fuji-Nee stands before everyone in her usual manner.

...It seems all memories from the moment she entered the classroom have fled her head.

"...Hey, it seems Tiger doesn't remember what happened."

"...Lucky. We're really fortunate this morning."

"...Well, I don't know if we can call it 'lucky'..."

Everyone returns to their seats, chatting.

"Huh? Did someone just make fun of me?"

"No, we didn't. Maybe you imagined it?"

"All right, good. Then I'll start homeroom, so listen up."

Fuji-Nee starts homeroom slowly.

She chats in between the announcements, so we don't get through it very fast.

"So everyone, please note the curfew.[l]

It's at six o'clock, so people with club activities shouldn't stay too late either."

"What? Six o'clock is too early, Taiga-Sensei. Can't the athletic clubs be exempted?"

"Nope. And please address your teacher as 'Fujimura-Sensei'. I'll get mad if you call me that again."

"All right, I'll be careful."

He sits down again, not showing any signs of listening to her.

...How stupid of him.

Fuji-Nee gets mad when she says she will. It makes no difference that he's a student and she's a teacher.

He doesn't realize that she just gave him a final warning.

"Well, that's it for today's homeroom. Let's meet again in English class in third period, everyone!"

Fuji-Nee leaves, waving her hand.

She's the teacher responsible for class 2-C, Fujimura Taiga.

Her nickname is Tiger.

You might doubt it, but it really is her nickname.

People like calling her so since she has a name like "Taiga" even though she's a woman. But Fuji-Nee herself hates the nickname.

According to her, it's unfeminine.

But she's that kind of person, so I think it's her own fault she has an unfeminine nickname.

"We're starting class. Day monitor, the bows."

The teacher for the first period enters as Fuji-Nee exits.

It's like this every morning, as Fuji-Nee continues homeroom until the very last minute.

And the classes end like every other day.

There are many kinds of students: ones that go to clubs, ones that hurry home, and ones that stay in the classroom for no reason.

It looks like I won't be in any of those categories.

"Sorry, Emiya, about the rest of the repairs... do you have time today?"

"Well, I do have plans, but..."

It's not like I'm just playing around.

After all, the main reason I quit the archery club is because I wanted to prioritize work.

It's already been five years since Father died, and I decided to start working to pay my living expenses.

If you work a lot, there are some jobs you just can't refuse.

Today's an example.

They're restocking inventory at work, and they asked me to come if I can as any help is appreciated.

But it's certainly not something I have to go to. They're probably just having people come in because they want to party after work.


There are two options.


  1. I'll go and help out the student council.

  2. I'll go to work.

Scene 04 - Expensive flower(Intended pun)

It's something I've started.

I should finish the job I began this morning.

"I'll change my plans. We're finishing the job from this morning, right? Let's finish the repairs before the exams start."

"Thank you. Let's go and look at the patient in the art club then."

"All right. Oh, and clear the people out of the room, will you? I can't concentrate with people watching me."

"Of course. I won't let them get in your way."

Issei quickly walks to the hallway, and I follow him out of the classroom in a hurry.

The sun has already set when we leave the school building.

The school gates are already closed.

It's seven o'clock and way past curfew. But thanks to Issei, we're not in trouble.

"You helped me a lot today. I'll certainly make up for it, so tell me if you need anything."

"Yeah, I'll let you know if something comes up. I don't think anything will, though."

I didn't help him to get something in return, so there's nothing I want from Issei.

"...Geez, I guess it is a problem to be too good a person. It's helpful to have you around, but I can't stand it when other people use you to their liking. Helping others is a good thing, but you should be more picky with who you help. You just help anyone who comes to ask you."

"Hm? Am I that indiscriminate?"

"Yes. And that's just going to let heartless idiots use you as they wish. You're a busy man, so it should be okay for you to decline from time to time."


I can't really tell, but it seems like Issei's worried about me.

I've been called helpful since I was in middle school, as I don't turn down requests for help and don't ask for anything in return.

I guess Issei thinks that's dangerous.

But I'm doing it because I want to, and it's not a problem as I decline things that I think are beyond me.

"It's nothing for you to worry about, Issei. I know myself better than anyone. Besides, helping people is a good thing. It's not something a son of the owner of a temple should be trying to stop."

"But I think you're going so far that it might eventually overwhelm you."

"I'll take your warning. See you tomorrow, then."

"...Yes, I'll see you tomorrow."

Issei leaves, looking discontented.

Issei's house, Ryuudou Temple, is up in the mountains. So naturally, our routes home go in different directions.

Scene 05 - Brownie chocolate cake

I feel sorry for Issei, but I should prioritize work.

I didn't promise to be there, but I said I'd do my best to be there, so I should do so.

"No, sorry, Issei. I've got plans, so can we finish it some other time?"

"Plans...? Oh, you must mean your work. Sorry to trouble you. This isn't an urgent matter. Don't worry about me and go to work."

"Sorry. I'll continue first thing tomorrow morning, so can we call it even?"

"Hm? I told you, it's not that important. The urgent stuff was finished this morning. You can finish the rest when you're free, Emiya."

"I see. Then can I finish it when I don't have work?"

"Sure. I'll rely on you again then, Emiya."

Issei says farewell and leaves the classroom.


I should hurry off too.

Even though there's no set time to be there, I should head for the neighboring town if I'm going to go to work.

"...Geez, I thought I was only helping out, but they gave me 30,000 yen."

Call it receiving a windfall, I guess.

Copenhagen, the place where I worked today, is like a liquor store and a bar, and a lot of people are needed to restock inventory.

It's a big job that takes at least five people, and it doesn't hurt to have more help.

But the boss just said to everyone in his usual tone,

"If you can come and help, please do."

...Completely relaxed about it.

But as it turned out, I was the only one who came, along with the boss and his daughter, Neko-san.

"You idiot! There's no way people will come if you ask like that!"

Neko-san was scolding the boss, but I showed up to be a victim, defying their expectations.

They welcomed me with a cheer, and we decided to clean up the storage area as best we could.

――――And so, before we realized, two hours had passed and we'd finished restocking the inventory.

"I'm surprised. Shirou, are you some kind of Brownie or something?"

After work, the boss eats a brown cake while being impressed.

"Not at all. I'm just used to heavy jobs and I've worked here long enough to know where things are. I haven't been working here since I was small for nothing, you know!"

"Oh yeah. Has it been five years already?"

"About that long. You were the only ones that would hire me right after my father died."

"Whoa. No wonder I'm feeling old."

He eats his rum cake.

Neko-san is drinking hot sake next to him.

The family is well balanced, as the boss likes sweet things while his daughter likes spicy things.


"But you really helped us out. I can't just give you a cake for all this work, so here's a token of my appreciation."

He hands me three 10,000 yen bills.

A reward unmatched for the three hours of work I did, much more that I would get for even a week's work.

"Oh, thank you."

I hesitate, but decide to accept what I'm given.

And as I'm leaving Copenhagen...

"...Mmm. Hold on, Emiya-n. Who'd you hear about today from?"

Neko-san stops me while curled up in front of the heater.

"Um, I think it was Furukawa-san."

"...Man, that idiot. Don't push your work onto a student. Well, so you came here today even though you didn't have to?"

"Uh... well, it was like, 'come and help if I wasn't busy'."

"―――Furukawa's an idiot, but so are you.

Oh well. You never turn down anyone asking for help, do you? You took care of the store when dad and I got sick too."

"Hm? I don't think that's true. I don't take impossible jobs. I only accept things I can do."

"...Hm. But you were sick too back then.

I don't really care. But what I'm saying is, you're a good person and a bit stupid, so I'm a bit worried. Tell Fujimura to come and see me from time to time."

Neko-san circles her finger while drinking some hot sake.

She seems to think I'm a firefly or something.

"Okay. ...So, just tell Fuji-Nee that?"

"Right. See ya, don't push yourself too hard."

"...Wow, I'm already past the bridge."

I made it from the neighboring town of Shinto back into Miyama City while I was daydreaming.

Scene 06 - Morning in the Emiya household

Breakfast is placed on the table.

A perfect breakfast consisting of chicken salad, cooked salmon, spinach, radish and carrot miso soup, and yam soup.

Sakura and I bow and start our meal quietly.

The sounds of our chopsticks echo.

Sakura isn't the talkative type, and I'm not versatile enough to talk while eating.

Naturally, mealtimes are quiet.

Usually it's louder, but today, the loud person is...

She must have been watching spy movies last night as she's eyeing us while hiding behind a newspaper.

"Fujimura-Sensei, don't you think you shouldn't read the newspaper during meals?"


Fuji-Nee ignores Sakura's question.

She's acting weird, but Fuji-Nee always acts in suspicious ways during breakfast.

Sakura must be used to it, as she continues to eat with no particular care.

Sakura prefers to make Western foods.

She learned to cook Japanese food after she started coming here to help.

Fuji-Nee and I preferred Japanese, so Sakura learned to make Japanese food for our breakfast.

Now she's so good that she's almost surpassed me, her teacher.

The salmon is especially good as it's cooked to perfection.

Her miso soup is tasty, and she has shown some capacity even for making yam soup by grinding yams.

Actually, I think this is the first time she's made it.

"Sorry, Sakura, can you pass me the soy sauce?"

"There you... oh wait, Senpai. Your soy sauce is empty."

"Fuji-Nee's will do then. Can you get it?"

"May I, Fujimura-Sensei?"

Fuji-Nee nods.

Her newspaper trembles.

"There you go. Are you going to use it on the yam soup?"

"Yeah, you usually put soy sauce on yam soup, right?"

I put the soy sauce onto the white yam soup.

After stirring it, I put it on the rice and take a bite.

Mm, the stickiness of the yam and the taste of the soy sau――――

"Ugh...! This is terrible! This is oyster sauce!"

I almost throw it back up.

And then,

"Haha, ahahahahahaha!"

Fuji-Nee throws her newspaper away.

"How's that? It was my plan to switch the labels earlier this morning!"

The female spy throws up her arms to show her happiness.

"W-What are you thinking!? You're always like this even though you'll be turning twenty-five this year!"

"Haha. Did it teach you a lesson for what you did yesterday?

It's divine justice for picking on me with everyone else."

"Divine justice doesn't come from people! I thought you were calm, but this is what you were thinking about!?"

"That's right. That's why I have to go and start grading the exams now. Yup, I should hurry up."

Fuji-Nee sits back down and finishes her breakfast quickly.

"Thank you. Breakfast was lovely as always, Sakura-chan."

"Ah... thank you, Sensei."

"I'm going on ahead then. I'll get mad if you two are late."

And she runs off.

...There's something wrong with a world in which that thing is a teacher.

"...Um, Senpai?"

"Sorry about that. Fuji-Nee didn't really take the time to enjoy your breakfast."

"No, it's not that. Um... did you do something to her yesterday? It's a bit too much for Fujimura-Sensei to play with food."

"Uh... well, yeah. I accidentally called her by her nickname."

"I guess it can't be helped in that case. You didn't apologize to her, did you, Senpai?"

"Sorry. I forgot since it happens all the time."

"You mustn't. Fujimura-Sensei doesn't like you calling her so, Senpai. You made her cry again, didn't you?"

"...I made her run away too. Yesterday's English lesson was a self-study because of it."

And I was awarded a student honor written on note paper, but I threw it away.

"Geez. It was all your fault, then."

Fuji-Nee is like a big sister for Sakura, so she's basically on Fuji-Nee's side.

That's good in its own way, but I wish she'd consider my situation where I have to deal with Fuji-Nee 24-7.

Fuji-Nee was originally an acquaintance of Father's, and she's been coming to the house a lot since I was adopted.

She started to show up even more after Father died, and she's now almost a dependent, eating breakfast and dinner here.


Maybe she's why I was able to make it on my own even after my father died.

Fuji-Nee, Sakura, and I are now the residents of the Emiya household.

...But I'm the only one who knows that my father was a magus.

It's said that magi must hide their identities.

That's why I've been hiding the fact that I'm learning magecraft ever since I became my father's student.

I say I'm learning, but I can't even cast a single magecraft spell properly.

With this kind of a skill, it wouldn't make much difference whether I hide it or not. But because it was how my father wanted things, I've trained secretly since then.

I finish breakfast and prepare for school.

I clean the dishes with Sakura while listening to the news on TV.


Sakura is staring at the TV screen.

Over the screen runs an exaggerated teletype reading "Gas Leak Accidents Continue".

It seems there was a big accident in the neighboring town of Shinto.

It happened in a building in the business district. It seems a whole floor of people ran out of oxygen and fell unconscious.

They've called it a gas leak, but this kind of accident is happening often recently.

"Are you worried about the news, Sakura?"

"Eh? No, not really. I just thought it's near... Senpai, your workplace is in the Shinto area, right?"

"Yeah, but it's not really a big place. I don't think an accident like that would happen there."

...But it's not a risk I can completely ignore.

Gas leaks can happen in any building, and on top of that, it hurts to think that hundreds of people are suffering.

It's said that the accidents are happening often because of defective construction work during the rapid development of Shinto.

Whether that's true or not, I certainly don't want any more victims―――

"...It is dangerous. We'll have to be careful here too."

"Oh, don't worry, Senpai. I check the gas twice every time."

Sakura boasts with pride.

"No, that's not the point."

...Yeah, I've thought so before, but Sakura is a bit off too.

"Senpai, did you lock the back door?"

"I did. I bolted it. Is there a problem?"

"Not at all. Then I'll lock the front door now. When will you be home today, Senpai?"

"I think I'll be a bit late. What about you, Sakura?"

"I'll be back at the usual time. I'll probably be here earlier, so I'll start getting dinner ready."

"...Yeah, that'll help. I'll try to come home early too."

We lock the gate.

Sakura and Fuji-Nee also have keys to my house, and the rule is that the last person out locks up.

"Let's go. You won't make it to morning practice unless we hurry."

"Yes, let's hurry then, Senpai."

We walk down to the town together.

Passing the long wall and going downhill, we reach the residential district.

My house is on top of the hill, far away from the center of town.

Going down the hill takes us to the residential district, and beyond that...

We reach the crossroads at the center of this town.

From here, there are many roads: a big bridge leading to the neighboring city...

...A hill road that leads to Ryuudou Temple...

...The residential district on the other side of town...

...The shopping district Sakura and I always use...

...And the school we're headed to right now.

We head for the school without stopping elsewhere.

We don't talk much as we walk up the hill.

Since it's still seven o'clock, there aren't many others on the road.

Other than us, all you can see are a few others heading to their morning practices.

"Well, see ya. Have fun at your club."

I part with Sakura at the school gate like usual.

Sakura's in the archery club, so we have to part here in the mornings.


But today, Sakura doesn't go.

"Sakura? Are you not feeling well?"

"...No, that's not it, but... um, would you like to come to the dojo?"

"No, I've no business there. Anyways, Issei asked for me, so I have to go to the student council room today."

"...I-I see. Sorry for troubling you then."

Sakura bows.


"I'll be going now. Please look forward to dinner tonight."

Sakura runs off like she's ashamed of something.


Hm? I wonder what that was all about...?

Scene 07 - A white girl

I walk through the moonlit town.

Walking up the road, I notice that there aren't any people around.

The time is around seven-thirty.

There should be people around at this time, but there's no sign of anyone.

"...Oh yeah."

There was some crime here in Miyama City a few days ago.

A burglar murdered someone, I think.

That must be why there's no one around and why the school curfew became six o'clock.

"...Gas leaks and murder, huh? It's been getting dangerous lately."

No wonder there are fewer people walking around at night.

It's getting too dangerous to let Sakura go home on her own.

Sakura's house is in the residential area on the other side of town.

Starting tonight, I should walk her hom―――


For a moment, I can't believe my eyes.

There is someone on the road which I thought was empty.

The person is standing above me as if looking down at me.


Without realizing it, I hold my breath.

The silver-haired girl smiles and descends the hill without a sound.

As she passes...

"You'll die if you don't summon it soon, Onii-chan."

She says something strange.

I go up the hill and reach my house.

As the lights are on, Sakura and Fuji-Nee must be home already.

I smell dinner the moment I enter the living room.

At the table are Sakura and Fuji-Nee, in the middle of dinner.

It seems the main dish tonight is chicken in cream, and Fuji-Nee, who loves white sauce, is in a good mood.

"Welcome home, Senpai. We're sorry for starting without you."

"Sorry I'm late. I wish I could have come home earlier."

"No, you made it. Could you wait a bit? I'll get your dinner ready right away."

"Yeah, all right. I'll go and wash my hands, so make sure Fuji-Nee doesn't eat my food."

"Yes, I will."

I return to my room.

It's a fairly empty room compared to the shed, but since I don't have any hobbies, I think it's quite decorated.

Most of them are random things Fuji-Nee has left here, though.

I wash my hands, change, and return to the living room to find my dinner ready.


"I hope it is to your liking..."

Sakura is terribly modest.

Her cooking skills have vastly improved in the past year.

She has me completely beaten at Western-style foods, and I can barely beat her at Japanese food. Neither of us have touched Chinese.

I'm pleased my pupil is getting better, but it's kind of depressing when the teacher is defeated by the student.


It's as good as I expected.

Chicken becomes harder the longer you cook it, so it's juicier and tastier if you roast it before cooking it even though it's tedious.

That's done perfectly here. It's a master's skill, forever beyond the clumsy Fuji-Nee.

"How is it, Senpai...? Um, I think I did quite well today..."

"It's perfect. The sauce is great too. I guess you have me completely beat when it comes to Western food."

"Yeah, meaty food is much better since Sakura-chan started cooking."

With that.

Fuji-Nee, who had been preoccupied with her food, lifts up her head.

"Oh, Shirou. A student mustn't come home this late."


It seems she's in a bad mood now that she's seen my face, even though she was happy because of dinner.

"Geez, I bet you were helping someone again. That's good, but at least come home early at times like this. I even told you it was dangerous in homeroom.

I said it for your sake, you know?"[l]

"...Uh, can't you tell me that at home instead of in homeroom?"

"You wouldn't listen if I told you here. It's more effective if I tell you at school."

"...Sensei, I think that's abusing your authority. You shouldn't mix work and private life."

"No, it's not enough for Shirou unless I go that far.

He's always on the losing side because he's the one helping everyone else. He should at least come straight home and relax sometimes, that idiot."

"Hey, what do you mean by idiot? I'm not on the losing side if I help someone and they're helped by it."

"...Man. I wonder if you got that from Kiritsugu-san. I worry because you're like that."

I don't exactly know how she's worried, as she's energetically munching down her dinner.

"...Um, Fujimura-Sensei. From what you said, has Senpai been like this since he was small?"

"Yup, he's always been like that. He's the type that goes to help people in trouble. But he's not meddlesome, he's just a bit precocious."

Fuji-Nee laughs dangerously.

"Fuji-Nee, I'll get mad if you say too much. You too, Sakura. Don't ask such boring questions."

I glare at them.

Fuji-Nee clicks her tongue and backs down, but...

"Fujimura-Sensei, please continue."

Sakura is taking the lesson seriously.

"Then I shall. See, Shirou is a person who can't ignore someone in trouble. It's like helping the weak and defeating the strong. In the essay he wrote as a child, he said 'My dream is to become a superhero'."


...She's talking about things from so long ago.

But it's all true, so I don't interrupt.

Anyways, becoming a superhero is a goal I must not stray from even now.

"Wow. Senpai was a real kid."

"Yeah, he was some kid. He would go and help girls being picked on by much older kids, and he'd do the chores around the house because Kiritsugu-san wouldn't.

Man, he was so cute and innocent back then, so why did he grow up so crooked?"

"Probably because of you. Kids think a lot when they see bad adults. Learn to make your own dinner before you say anything like that."


Fuji-Nee crumbles.

I thought she might drop her head and repent, but...

"Uhh, Onee-chan is sad. Sakura-chan, can I have another bowl?"

Fuji-Nee asks for her third bowl.

Scene 09 - Well done

Relaxing after dinner, it's almost nine o'clock.

"Well, what shall I do?"

There's some time before my evening training.

I should―――

  1. I`ll take Sakura home.

  2. I`ll play with Fuji-Nee.

  3. I`ll rest.

Scene 11 - The return of the orange man

...Well, it might be fun to see how Fuji-Nee is doing.

"―――Yeah, if I get a chance, I'll get her back for telling Sakura those stories."

"Hm? What, weren't you taking a bath?"

Fuji-Nee is silently peeling oranges.

On the table are two orange skins shaped like flowers.


Is it some curse that she can't even skin an apple, but she's rather talented at artistically peeling oranges?

"I decided to take it later. I just wanted to complain about those stories before I took a bath."

"What? Come on, it's such an old story, and Sakura-chan was happy to hear it too. Instead of that... here, finish your quota. You should eat one a day."

She takes an orange out of a small box and throws it to me.

"Whoa... hey, I won't be bought off with just an orange.

Thank God it was Sakura. Don't tell that story at school, okay? People like Issei would worry."

"I think Mitsuzuri-san would laugh... but I know, I won't tell anyone except Sakura-chan about your childhood."

"I'm saying, don't tell Sakura either. She'll just be bothered if you tell boring stories like that. ...Well, I don't think it'll happen again, but I'll get mad if it does."

I glare at Fuji-Nee to show her that I'm serious.

"Ohh, I see. I understand. So that's how it is, huh?"

But Fuji-Nee just grins widely and she seems very pleased.

"...Oh, now you're pissing me off. What are you inferring, you stupid tiger?"

I glare at her stupid face.

"I don't care if I'm a tiger. I'm right, aren't I? You didn't want Sakura-chan to know, right?

You wouldn't care if everyone else found out you wanted to be a superhero, but you're embarrassed about Sakura-chan knowing."


I-I don't think so....

"Yeah, in that case, I'll tell her more.[l]

I guess you finally started to notice Sakura-chan, huh?

I'm worried as a teacher, but I'm quite relieved as your guardian."

She says so with great emotion, then she throws a whole orange into her mouth.

Fuji-Nee can eat things as big as her fist in one bite.

I guess it'd be an attractive quality somewhere in the Savanna, but I don't think an older woman needs such wild charms.

"Huh? Senpai, weren't you taking a bath?"

And Sakura, finished with the dishes, comes into the living room.

"Yeah, I put it off since I wanted to tell Fuji-Nee something. Sakura, you want an orange?"

I reach for the stack of oranges.

It's a strange turn of events, but staying here with them should be fun too.

"Oh, I got some from Fujimura-Sensei just now. They were really good."

"Sakura-chan can't eat fresh fruit.

So she won't eat it unless you cook it or freeze it like ice cream... oh, is it almost time?"

"Yes. I'm done cleaning up, so I'll be heading home for today."

"I see. Then I guess I'll leave too. Let's go, Sakura-chan. It's getting dangerous outside lately, so I'll walk home with you."

Fuji-Nee ceases her mass consumption of oranges and stands up.

Her actions are almost those of a responsible elder.

"Uh... is that all right, Sensei?"

"Of course. I'm in charge of you two, so I have to see you home. That's okay with you, right, Shirou? You'll lock up the house and go to bed after we leave, okay?"

"―――All right. With Fuji-Nee, you should be fine even if a molester or a bear jumps out for you."

"I don't know about that. I don't think I'd be able to beat a bear. ...No, I can't. So if that happens, I'll run back here. Then we can beat it up together and have bear stew tomorrow."

Fuji-Nee smiles confidently.


Fuji-Nee usually does her own thing and causes havoc, but when she's acting as a teacher, she's a very responsible person.

"Let's go, Sakura-chan. See you tomorrow, Shirou."

"Yes. Good night then, Senpai."


They leave the house.

I follow them out to the entrance and lock up the house as Fuji-Nee instructed.

Scene 12 - Well done even more


I'll take a brief break in preparation for the training tonight.

"The bath's ready and I can ask Fuji-Nee to take Sakura home."

Now that I've decided that, let's do things efficiently.

First, I'll wake up Fuji-Nee who's asleep in the living room. Then, I'll thank Sakura for dinner, see them both off, and take a bath―――

Scene 13 - Taking Sakura home, introductory chapter

I haven't thanked Sakura for dinner yet, so I'll go and talk to her.

"Yeah, it's getting late, so I should walk her home too."

Sakura is in the living room getting ready to go home, having finished the cleaning.

"Huh? Weren't you taking a bath, Senpai?"

"No, I'll take it later. I'll take you home first."

"Eh... take me home?"

"Yeah. It's getting dangerous outside lately, so I'm going to walk you home. Your house is far away. Let me at least do this since you're coming here."


Sakura falls into an awkward silence.

...Did I say something bad?

"...I'm sorry. I appreciate your concern, but you should stay here. I'm used to going home, so I should be fine by myself."

"Well, that may be true, but it's getting dangerous these days. So I'll walk you home for a bit."

"...But, um... if Nii-san sees you, you'll be in trouble too."


...That's right.

Sakura's brother, Shinji, doesn't approve of Sakura coming to my place.

He can't object too strongly because she says she's going to Fuji-Nee's house, but it could be a problem if I take her home.

...I don't care about getting falsely accused myself, but it's not good if Shinji takes it out on Sakura.

"But I can walk you part of the way, right? We shouldn't run into Shinji between here and the intersection."


Sakura is silent.

Considering Sakura, she must not be able to lie to Shinji if I take her home even part of the way.

"Oh, then―――"

"Shall I walk you home?"

A tiger-striped English teacher appears.

"That's getting the lamb out after the lion. When I say it's dangerous for a girl to be out at night, adding another is just..."


It's a mistake to call Fuji-Nee a girl.

For starters, she doesn't head the archery club for nothing. Her fifth dan kendo skills are dangerous in many ways.

"...I guess Fuji-Nee will be fine. You should be able to fight off any molester."

"Right. So there's no problem with me taking her home. Is that okay, Sakura-chan?"

"Yes, if that's all right with you, Fujimura-Sensei."

"It's decided. Let's go then. I was thinking I should head home too."

Fuji-Nee starts to walk off, taking Sakura's hand.

"Oh. Hang on, Sakura."

"Hm? What is it, Senpai?"

"Dinner was good. Thanks for everything."


"Yes. I'll do my best again next time if you don't mind, Senpai."

Saying so with a big smile, Sakura leaves the living room.


I know I'm blushing.

...It's troublesome as Sakura surprises me a lot these days.

Time flies. She was just a junior before. Now, she's a female junior to me.

...How pitiful of me.

Sakura's like family to me, so I can't accept this change.

Scene 14 - Taking Sakura home, advanced chapter

I haven't thanked Sakura for dinner yet, so I'll go and talk to her.

"Yeah, it's getting late, so I should walk her home too."

Sakura is in the living room getting ready to go home, having finished the cleaning.

"Huh? Weren't you taking a bath, Senpai?"

"No, I'll take it later. I'll take you home first."

"Eh... take me home?"

"Yeah. It's getting dangerous outside lately, so I'm going to walk you home. Your house is far away. So let me at least do this much since you're coming so far."


Sakura falls into an awkward silence.

...Did I say something bad?

"...I'm sorry. I appreciate your concern, but you should stay here. I'm used to going home, so I should be fine by myself."

"Well, that may be true, but it's getting dangerous these days. So, I'll walk you home for a bit."

"...But, um... if Nii-san sees you, you'll be in trouble too."


That's right.

Sakura's brother, Shinji, doesn't approve of Sakura coming to my place.

He can't object too strongly because she says she's going to Fuji-Nee's house, but it could be a problem if I take her home.

It's a problem, but so what.

I don't care what Shinji says. It's a much bigger problem if Sakura has to walk home alone at dangerous times like these.

"I don't care what trouble I get into. It's dangerous these days, so I'm walking you home."

"Um, I'd feel bad letting you do that..."

"It's fine. You're always helping me out, so let me at least walk you home. Or do you want to go home on your own?"

"Eh? No, it's not that, but..."

"Then it'll be fine. I'm confident in my skills. I should be able to fight off most assailants, so you should make use of me at times like this. I'll protect you, whatever happens."

I nudge Sakura towards the hallway with a glance.

"Senpai...? Is it really okay? You might get into a fight with Nii-san again."

"I don't care. It's only right for guys to fight, and it's best when we talk honestly like that.

He doesn't like to hide things, so it's best if he just comes out with any complaints he has."

Sakura looks surprised for some reason.

"What? Did I say something strange?"

"No, you didn't. I'm just glad you're such good friends with Nii-san."

"Hm? No, I don't think that's right. I'm probably the only one who feels better from it, and it might be the opposite for Shinji."

"Perhaps. But you know, Nii-san always talks to you no matter many times you two fight. He probably finds it hard to deal with you, but he likes you more than other people, so he's always concerned about you. He's not honest, so he likes people he doesn't like."

"...Uh. I can't really reply to that."

"Yes. I envy you, so I thought I'd trouble you a bit."

Sakura smiles.


Seeing that smile, I hold my breath without realizing it.

Would you call that a big smile?

I think it's the first time I've seen her smile like that.

"A-Anyway, I'm taking you home. I don't care if Shinji sees me. I walked his sister home, so he shouldn't be complaining."

"You're right. It might be better to do it that way rather than to hide it. Then could you, Senpai?"

"Of course. I'll act like your Senpai for once."

I smack my chest.

Sakura smiles warmly at my gesture of "trust me".

We go down the hill and reach the intersection.

There's no one around, and the familiar residential district feels desolate.


It's not even ten o'clock yet, but the town is asleep.

...The silence is strange.

Even though there have been nasty incidents, should night really steal this much life?

"Senpai...? Uh, my house is this way."

"Huh? Oh, sorry, I was just thinking. Your house is the very top one on that side, right?"

"No, the top one is Tohsaka-Senpai's house. My house is up there too, but not at the top."

"Oh, was that it? ...Wait, by Tohsaka, you mean...?"

"Yes, Tohsaka Rin of the second year. Do you not like her, Senpai?"

She must have read my reaction, as her comment is accurate.

Ugh... was I making that kind of a face?

"No, I don't dislike her. I've never talked to her, so I don't know much about her. But she's famous, right? She stands out wherever she goes, so I know her just like everyone else."


"What about you, Sakura? You have the same Western-style mansion, so do you guys have a neighborly relationship?"

"No. We're certainly neighbors, but her house is up on top of the hill.

But how did you know her house was Western-style, Senpai?"

Sakura asks quietly.

"Oh, it's just something I heard. Something about Tohsaka's place being a haunted house and all that. A haunted house has to be a Western-style house, right?"

"That's true. It seems Tohsaka-san and the house itself like to be alone. When I was a child, I was told that a scary sorcerer lived up on the hill."

"A scary sorcerer, huh? I heard rumors like that too. Though, saying that, all Western-style houses seem to have sorcerers living in them.[vr]

So, did you believe the story, Sakura?"

"I did, because I was small. That's why I always thought I shouldn't go up to the top of the hill."

Sakura answers my joking question seriously.

We go up the hill.

It's a residential district rather opposite to mine, but the habits are the same.

There are fewer and fewer buildings and more trees as you ascend the hill.

It's only natural, as most of the town's facilities are at the bottom of the hill.

In all that, one of the few buildings near the top of the hill is Sakura's house.


Sakura stops suddenly.

"Hm? Did you forget something?"

"Oh... no, it's not that, but... Senpai, is there someone standing near my house?"

She looks around uneasily.


I look around too, but there's no one here except us.

"There no one... did you see something?"

"Oh... no, if you didn't see anyone, then it's fine. I've been noticing a strange person around my house recently, so I just wondered if he'd be here again today."

"―――What? Isn't that a bit dangerous?[l]

What kind of guy was he?"

"Um... he was a blond, good-looking person. He looked like a model, so I'm sure you'd be surprised too if you saw him."

Sakura says so with a blush, as if recalling him.



I don't know if that's something I should be worried about.

"Oh, so it's not like he's suspicious?"

"...I don't know. It's just that no one has moved here recently, so I thought it was strange."

"...Hm. Well, it is a bit strange. All right, if you see him around again, tell me or Shinji. We'll get him and make him tell us what he's up to."

"Yes, I'll be counting on you. But please don't do anything rough. I don't want you to get into a fight."

Sakura says so while smiling straight at me.

"...Uh. I-It's all right. I'll ask questions first, so you shouldn't worry about it."

I look away from Sakura's smile as I answer.



Sakura's gestures captivate me often these days.

It would have been nothing a while ago, so I feel like I'm acting weird.

Maybe it's because Sakura has grown, or maybe just because I finally noticed it.

...Well, I do think Sakura has become really beautiful.

That on it's own is great, but I don't think it's cool for a Senpai to have to be careful where he's looking.

"Good night then, Senpai. I'm glad you walked me home."

"I-Idiot. Don't thank me. You're the one making me dinner, so I should be the one thanking you."

Sakura just smiles with satisfaction.

"...Geez. If this is all it takes, I'll make a habit of it from tomorrow."

"Please do. It's fine if you only do it once in a while when you feel like it, but please do walk home with me. Nii-san will get mad, but I like being with you."

"Senpai, see you tomorrow! Thank you for today!"

Sakura calls back enthusiastically and disappears into her house.


I should head home too.

I left Fuji-Nee at the house, and to be honest, that's what worries me.


Did I just hear something?

...I can hear it.

The sound of a creaking swing.

It takes me a while to realize it's the sound of some bug.

"...I wonder what kind of bug it is? It's well out of season, certainly."

I imagine a longhorn beetle in the dark, under the cold winter sky.

―――Then, I notice.

"...Huh? There are three rooms with lights on."

The one that just lit up is Sakura's room.

...The light on the first floor is Shinji's room, so what's the light from the third room?

"...? Only Shinji and Sakura should be living in that place..."

Maybe it's a guest, or Shinji's in that room.

Anyway, I've been here many times, but this is the first time I've seen the light on in that room.


Well, it's a big house.

It's not strange for a light to be on somewhere in such a house.

It's not strange, but....

"...What's this? I still feel uneasy."

I feel something, like a presence or a bad feeling.

In the cold air, the unseasonal sound echoes.

If there's such a thing as a hunch...

The bug hidden in the bushes feels very ominous.

Scene 15 - Training(Magic Circuit)

And so, the day ends.

Just before midnight, Emiya Shirou must carry out his daily routine of using "magecraft".


I stretch out and adjust my breathing.

I try to empty my mind.

I ignore everything around me and pay attention only to what is inside me.

"――――Trace, on."

As if to hypnotize myself, I murmur the spell I'm long accustomed to.

No, I really am hypnotizing myself.

As I have no Magic Crest and no knowledge of magecraft, a spell is only a change to myself.

...Normally, there are no lines in a human body to allow the passage of magical energy.

To artificially change my body to create such a line, I need enough concentration to unify my whole body and every nerve within it.

magecraft is a battle with yourself.

For instance, at this very moment, I am inserting a burning steel rod into my backbone.

This metal rod is the only "Magic Circuit" I can prepare for myself.

When I insert it this deep into my body and connect it to the other nerves, I can finally become a magus.

This is not a metaphor.

In reality, something like a burning tong which cannot be seen or felt is being inserted into my backbone.

――――I am a sorcerer.

Emiya Kiritsugu, the man who said so, was really a magus.

A living magus who performed many marvels and had touched the very structure of the world.

As a young child, I admired him and asked him to teach me magecraft.

But you cannot become a magus just through effort. It requires born talent and appropriate knowledge.

And of course, I have no talent, and Kiritsugu taught me nothing of magecraft.

He said something about me having no need of such knowledge.

I still don't know what he meant by that.

But still, it didn't matter to me back then.

I thought that if I could use magecraft, I could be like him.

But I was not born with talent: no strength of Magic Circuit, no accumulated works of magecraft handed down for generations.

The work of magecraft Kiritsugu possessed, the Magic Crest passed down the Emiya family, can only be passed on to a blood relation.

A Magic Crest forces a rejection on those with no blood relation.

So, as an adopted son, I could not receive the Emiya family's Magic Crest.

Well, anyways.

As I don't even know what a Magic Crest is, it doesn't matter if I have one or not.

So now, all it comes down to is training what I can do.

If I want to be a magus, I have to learn magecraft fit to my nature.

To be blunt, magecraft is a way to release one's magical energy.

You could say that magical energy is my life force.

It is divided into two forms: a large source, "magical energy", floating around the world, and a small source, "odo", created inside oneself.

It goes without saying that the large source is superior to the small one.

The power of "magical energy" is on a completely different level from "odo".

Whatever the form of the magecraft, a spell using the large source far exceeds one using only one's own power.

That is why superior magi excel at drawing magical energy from the world.

It's like a filter.

A magus turns his body into a filter, sucks up the magical energy from the world around him, and changes it into something he can use.

This filter is what we call a Magic Circuit.

This is the talent one is born with, and the number of the magecraft-Circuits within you is determined the moment you are born.

A normal human being does not have many magecraft-Circuits.

To begin with, there are always very few.

That is why magi pile them up generation after generation, making their children more suitable to use magecraft.

I hear some families go too far and increase the number of magecraft-Circuits by selective breeding.

...Well, since I was raised in a normal family, I don't have many magecraft-Circuits.

So that leaves only one method open to me.

According to Kiritsugu, every person has at least one form of magecraft they are fit for.

He said something about drawing out magical energy appropriate to their "origin", but I didn't really understand.

All I know for sure is that even I have some magecraft I can use, and if I train that magecraft, I may be able to become like Kiritsugu.

That is why I learned only that magecraft.

That was eight years ago.

After a lot of thought, Kiritsugu finally accepted me as his student.

―――Listen, Shirou. To learn magecraft is to stray away from common sense. You die when you die, and you kill when you must.

Our essence is not in life but in death. magecraft is only a way to destroy yourself―――

I guess I had no fear as a child.

Kiritsugu smiled bitterly, putting his hand on the nodding Emiya Shirou.

――What I will teach you will bring you conflicts.

That is why you must not use it in front of people, and you must not cease your practice even though it is difficult to learn.

Well, I don't really care if you break that one.

The most important thing is that magecraft is something you use not for yourself, but for others. If you do that, you may become a magecraft user, but you will not become a magus――

...I guess Kiritsugu didn't want me to become a magus.

I don't care about that.

I don't admire a magus. I admire Kiritsugu.

If I can become like Kiritsugu and be there for someone like on that red day, that will be――――


I'm thinking needlessly.

I feel the iron rod in my backbone slide into place.

"Uh, gah...!"

If I lose control of my breathing now, it would be a fatal mistake. The artificial Magic Circuit will eat away my body and destroy it.

If that happens, I'll die.

I would be only an amateur, failing such an elementary step...


I grind my teeth and resume the connection.

After a battle like walking on needles, the iron rod finally arrives deep within me and fuses with my body.

...This process took me about an hour.

After that much time, I'm finally able to make one artificial circuit... one circuit that produces magical energy.

"―――Basic structure, analyze."

After that, it becomes a process of naturally flowing magical energy.

Emiya Shirou is no magus.

He is only a magecraft user, who can create magical energy within his body and channel it into objects.

So there's only one magecraft possible.

Which is...

"―――Composition, analyze."

Strengthening objects.

It is a magecraft of "strengthening" that reinforces the object's abilities by understanding the object's structure and channeling magical energy into it.

"―――Basic structure, alter."

Before me is a metal pipe.

I will channel magical energy into it, perform the simplest magecraft, and reinforce its durability.

Basically, channeling your magical energy into something other than yourself is like pouring poison into that object.

It is just as the blood of Emiya Shirou is not the blood of the metal pipe. Pumping different blood only accelerates its breakdown, it certainly wouldn't strengthen it.

To prevent that and to turn the poison into a tonic, one must completely understand the structure of the target and channel the magical energy into small open spaces.

"...Composition, reinforce."

...It must be easy for a skilled magus, but for me, who cannot even create sufficient magical energy, it's as hard as hitting a target hundreds of meters away.

The usual target in archery is 27 meters away.

How much harder it is at many times that distance, goes without saying――――


The heat in my body quickly escapes.

The burning pillar in my backbone disappears, and the lungs stretched to the limit demand air.

"Haa... haa, haa, haaaaa....!"

I arc my back to hold off the daze almost making me pass out.

"Ah... dammit, I failed again..."

There's no change in the metal pipe. It seems that the magical energy I poured into it has evaporated into the air.

"...It's hard to improve something that already has form."

The thing I'm attempting is like adding something to an already complete work of art.

Adding to a complete object risks making it less perfect.

Adding unnecessary things will actually decrease the value.

That is why the magecraft of "strengthening" is simple yet difficult, and only a few magi use it willingly.

...It's not like I use it willingly either, but it can't be helped as this is the only thing I'm good at.

It would be much easier if I could just form something out of clay and use it instead, but a substitute in appearance doesn't have the internal structure to match.

The junk around here is a good example.

When I fail with strengthening magecraft, I make some substitute objects to practice and to calm down, but they all end up with nothing inside.

I can visualize something's structure easily, so I can make the outside look like the original. But it's empty inside, and of course, it doesn't do anything.


I wipe the sweat off my brow.

Now that I think about it, I realize my whole body is sweating like I've been drenched with a bucket of water.

...But I'm lucky it just ended like this.

That was really bad.

If I'd taken a second longer to recover myself, I would probably have destroyed most of my body.

"...If I improved every time I came closer to death, there might be some hope..."

It's not even that easy.

But it is true that you won't improve your magecraft if you're scared of death.

As long as you study magecraft, death is always right beside you.

Even a simple magecraft repeated every day can go off with a simple mistake, taking the caster's life.

The first step of a magus is to accept death.

―――Kiritsugu said so sadly.

Maybe he meant that he didn't want me to take such a step.

"...Saving someone means not saving someone else. A superhero is really selfish, huh...?"

Kiritsugu said that to me when I told him I wanted to be just like him.

I still don't know what he meant.

But Emiya Shirou has to become a superhero who goes around saving people, just like Emiya Kiritsugu.

"...But I still can't even do basic things like this. Why do I get distracted by needless things at the most important times? I'm so stupid."

It's not enough to understand the structure of an object with mere vision.

A skilled magus only detects what's important and channels magical energy without waste.

'―――My dream is to become a superhero.'

I remember what Fuji-Nee said during dinner.

I don't think it's embarrassing nor impossible.

It's already determined. Emiya Shirou will succeed Emiya Kiritsugu.

That's why even though I'm inexperienced, I've done everything I can.

I don't know what kind of a person a superhero should be.

So I can only approach it by helping others within the limits of my abilities.

I have aimed straight for that goal for the past five years, but when things just go wrong like this, I do have doubts.

"...Geez, I don't get it, Father.

How can I become a superhero?"

I look up at the sky through the window.

It's not like I can just randomly do good deeds.

I think being a superhero is different from just helping others.

I know that, but the question is, how can I become one?

The difference between the two is the thing I've failed to understand for the past five years.