FSN Fate Day 06 (EN)

Scene 00 - The fourth Master

It's lunchtime.

Even though it's only a temporary release from classes, the students run about the school busily.

"...All right. I won't look suspicious walking around now."

I finish lunch in a few minutes and go out into the hallway.

This is no time to complain that I've never done anything like this before.

The battle has already begun.

So I have to find the "suspicious places" Tohsaka was talking about in my own way.

"...I guess I should start with places where there aren't many people."


An hour until lunch break ends... I hope I can get good results out of this―――

After checking through the school building, I go outside just in case.

There's nothing wrong with the ground or behind the school building, but this area is too different.

"―――Could it be here too?"

...There were several strange places inside the school building as well.

Unpopular places like behind the stairs or within empty classrooms.

But this place is different.

Far from nobody coming here, this is a place people come every day.

"...Why didn't I notice?

Talking about strangeness, this place is the strangest―――"

I mutter, grasping my chest.

...This place is somehow suffocating.

The thick wind and moist air aren't just strange.

No, once I notice this smell, I actually feel like throwing up.

"Tohsaka was saying that there's a basis point for a boundary field.

I don't know how many there are, but this must mean the first basis point is around here..."

Then there should be some sign of it.




...It's no good.

As I have no skill in detecting magical energy, there's no way I can see the sign that's constructing the boundary field.


I guess it can't be helped. I'll go and tell Tohsaka about this place and―――

"What, are you looking for something, Emiya?"


I turn around at the sudden voice. Standing in front of the deserted archery dojo is―――


"Hey. What a coincidence. I came because I had business in that area too... did you happen to see it?"

With a grin,

Matou Shinji asks this happily.

"...See... what? There's nothing here."

"Oh, so you did see it. ...I see, so that's why you were with Tohsaka. That's right, it's more efficient to join up with other Masters."

"―――! Shinji, you..."

"Don't guard yourself too much Emiya. It's you and me, let's not hide anything from each other.

I don't know who you have. But you were forced into this ugly role of Master too, right?"

Shinji states it clearly without holding anything back.

That he, Matou Shinji, is also a Master.

"...Could it be? You're a Master, Shinji?"

"That's what I'm telling you.

Oh, but don't get it wrong. I don't intend to fight with anyone. Well, I'll certainly retaliate with deadly force if I'm attacked, but I won't do anything when nothing's done to me. See, I'm like you in that regard, right?"

Shinji laughs.

From his words, there seems to be no doubt that Shinji's a Master, but―――

"Well, I'm also surprised to find out that you're a Master. Let's call us equal in that regard. So, do you want to discuss something?"

"Discuss... I don't mind, but discuss what?"

"About what we do now.

Like I said earlier, I have no intention of fighting. But others aren't the same, right? So I feel uneasy unless I prepare for future misfortunes. It's troubling alone, but don't you think something would be possible with the two of us?"


So in other words, Shinji is asking me to cooperate with him?

"Well, let's not talk here. We don't know if someone might overhear us, so let's go somewhere else.

Hmm... yeah, my place would be good. Tohsaka won't be able to notice and it's safe even if we're attacked."

"What are you talking about? Lunch break is almost over, so if you have―――"

"Are you stupid? We can skip classes. Let's go, Emiya. I'm happy to know that you're a Master, so don't alienate me too much."

"I can't do that. People would be suspicious if we skipped classes."

"Damn, you're really stubborn... oh, I see!

You're right, people would normally stay safe!"

"But don't worry, I won't attack you no matter what. See, do I look like someone who would attack you from behind?"

"...? Oh―――I see. You're right, I certainly can't just follow you."

".... Well, it's all right. You have a Servant with you too. I won't pick a fight against such a dangerous opponent."


Does Shinji think I have Saber with me?

No, that's wrong―――Shinji couldn't see a Servant in spirit form.

That's why he's wrongly guessing that I have Saber with me right now.

"Let's just go. It'll be no good if Tohsaka finds us."

Saying that, Shinji starts to walk away.


...I guess I have to follow him.

I'm interested in what Shinji has to say, so I'll skip the afternoon classes.

We go up the hill road.

The Western-style houses, on the opposite side to my house.

I guess Tohsaka's house is at the top, but I recall that Matou's house is on the back, as if avoiding public eyes.


It's an amazing building as always.

I came here to play a few times during middle school, but I haven't even been near it recently.

I haven't been invited since I became estranged from Shinji, and most of all, Sakura didn't like me coming to this house.

...Even though it's daytime, it's dim inside the house.

This building is made so that sunlight cannot enter it, and there aren't many lights in here.

I'm exaggerating, but you'd walk into the wall if you're not used to this place.

"Emiya, this way. I'm in the living room."

I don't know when he went in, but I can hear Shinji's voice from the inner room.

Even though it's been a year, my body still remembers this place and I make my way to the living room without getting lost.

There's no kind of light in the living room either.

The curtains are closed, and the sunlight is blocked off.

There are no artificial lights and the living room is in the dark.

"Emiya, over here."

I look over in the direction of the voice.

There is Shinji sitting in a chair, and―――

―――A figure of a woman like crystallized darkness.

"Let me introduce her. This is my Servant, Rider."


I feel a chill.

It's so bad that the back of my neck hurts like it's been slashed.

"...Weren't we going to talk with just the two of us, Shinji?"

I back up a bit and manage to say that.

"Oh no, it's just a precaution. I'd be scared if you just came and attacked me, so I have to have Rider by my side."

Stretching his hand out, Shinji touches his black Servant―――Rider.

He caresses from her waist down to her thighs, as if tasting them.


Rider does not move at all.

She stands there like a statue, and keeps watch on me with her covered eyes.

...It can't just be an illusion that it feels like she sees even my fingertips shivering.

"You're like this even when you've invited someone? Aren't you being a little too wary, Shinji?"

"Come on, it was just a joke. I know you can't do anything like that.

But your Servant is a different story. Even I had trouble training mine. It's not unusual for a Servant not to obey its Master, so think of this as just keeping a small check on things."

...A Servant that doesn't obey its Master?

Certainly, Rider in front of me is different from Saber.

Saber is quiet, but not coldhearted.

But I can only feel coldness from Rider.

A human lacking humanity.

A black figure like discolored blood.

She doesn't seem like a Servant or a heroic spirit. She's so inorganic with no sense of lightness.

"...Rider's a way to keep a check on my Servant? I don't feel too good about that."

"Sorry. I'm just a novice, so I'm not experienced like you are. Forgive me for that."

"...Heh. It's not like I'm experienced either."

"Is that so? Then you should summon yours too. We would understand each other better that way, and it's more fair too.

Yeah, that'll be great! Hey Emiya, I showed you mine, so you show me yours."

...So Shinji is wrongly guessing that Saber is with me.

But there's no need to correct him on that.

"I refuse. If you're going to keep me in check, that's fine.

This should be enough if we're here just to talk."

"...What's with that? Hey, I'm saying I want to see it. I don't know what you're being a snob about, but shouldn't you listen to me?"

"Then our conversation's over. I didn't come here to show you my Servant. If that was your plan, I'm going home now."

"Damn――all right. You're useless as always."

Shinji comments discontentedly and leans back in his chair.

"All right, let's get to it. Well, there's only one thing I want to talk about.

...Like I said before, do you want to collaborate with me, Emiya? I became a Master, but I don't know about this Holy Grail War thing. I want to cooperate with someone I know rather than staying on my own."

"Hold on. I want to ask you something too before that. I'll answer your question after that."

"What, you want to know why I became a Master?"

I nod.

As far as I know, Shinji isn't a magus.

I have to know how someone like that became a Master, or I can't cooperate at all.

"I heard Masters have to be magi as a basic prerequisite. Even though I'm inexperienced, I know a bit of magecraft. I summoned my Servant by accident and became a Master after forming a contract, but... did you summon your Servant by accident and get dragged into this Holy Grail War too?"

If that's the case, we're the same.

I won't easily be able to refuse his proposal of cooperation if that's the case――

"I see. You became a Master by accident, huh?

...I see, I see. Good, that makes it more understandable."

Shinji smiles delightedly.

"Well, I guess it's similar in my case. The fact that I became a Master against my will is the same.

――But don't get me wrong.

I knew what a Master was, and I've known about the Holy Grail War for a long time. The Matou family isn't like your family. We're a respected lineage of magi."


The Matou is a lineage of magi...!?

"What, I never heard about that...!?

Hold on. Then, you and――"

His sister Sakura knows magecraft too...!?

"Calm down, Emiya. The Matou family is a family of magi, but we're already dead.

I guess the ancestors of the Matou family came to this land with Tohsaka's family, but didn't adapt to the land here.

Down the generations, what's that thing, the Magic Circuit? That thing faded, and by the time I was born, the Matou blood had returned to that of an ordinary person's.

So members of the Matou family aren't magi. We're just a family that used to be magi."

"You guys were magi... then, only the knowledge remains?"

"Yeah, unfortunately. But even if we don't have magecraft-Circuits, that doesn't change the fact that we're studying magecraft. It was easy to find out about the Masters and the Holy Grail War with a bit of research. I'm able to relax even after suddenly being chosen as a Master, because of the teachings of the previous generations."


...I see.

I became a Master and understood the Holy Grail War because of Tohsaka.

Similarly, Shinji understood his situation because of the literature passed down his family.

"So in other words, you were taught just the knowledge of magecraft. ...Then, did Sakura learn magecraft as well?"

"Huh? Geez, you really don't know anything, do you?

Look, it probably doesn't matter to you since your family is a hybrid,[l]

but a magus of an old lineage only teaches his secret arts to one. If there are two children, you only make the eldest son the successor.

"You get less power if you separate something into two, right?

Magi place ten magics into one crystal and leave them behind to create a stronger blood. We don't make exceptions just because someone is from our family.

"So a family of magi doesn't teach magecraft to anyone other than their successors. It's common for the children who aren't chosen as the successor to be raised without knowing that their family studies magecraft, or they are to be given out for adoption.

"I see―――thank God, then."

I'm glad.

Sakura is a girl who should stay in a peaceful world without magecraft.

I can't let her get involved in a battle that forces you to kill others without reason.

"Well, now you know, Emiya.

Even though I became a Master, I'm not experienced with magecraft.

You're... let's see, you say you can use a bit, but your knowledge is that of an amateur.

See, don't you think we're a good combination? Let's cooperate since both of us became Masters against our will."

"...I don't mind that. But just to make sure, it's just to protect yourself, right Shinji?"

"No. There's that, but we have to attack the enemy right in front of us first. It seems she considers me her enemy."

"...Considers you an enemy...? You mean, Tohsaka?"

"Of course! She wouldn't be so unkind to me if that weren't the case...!

...Look, she's the type that won't forgive other Masters. You should know that by now if you've been with her.

I don't know what the reason is, but she lets her guard down when she's with you. I don't know why, but that perfect girl has her guard down!

――Don't you see that it's a great opportunity to defeat her?"

Saying that, Shinji puts out his hand as if asking for a handshake.

Scene 01 - Choice


...I won't cooperate with such an approach.

No, I can't.

If Shinji really wants to protect himself, he should talk to Tohsaka too and not just me.


"Shinji. Do you know that there's someone who supervises the Holy Grail War?"

"Yeah, that priest at the church, I hear. They say he's a survivor of the last war, but I didn't go see him because he seems annoying.

I'm not a magus, so it's a bother to be forced to follow the magi's rules."


That's contradictory.

If he wants to really stop fighting, he should go and see Kotomine first.

"―――Shinji. Do you know about the boundary field set up at our school?"

"I know. I can't tell, but Rider told me. What about it?"

"...Isn't it your doing? Tohsaka said it was the work of a Master at our school."

"No, it's not me. There's certainly another Master at that school, so it must be him."

"...? Tohsaka said there was only one other."

"You trust Tohsaka too much. Well, putting that aside, Tohsaka is wrong.

The presence she can feel is that Magic Circuit thing, right?

Then I'm not a Master she can perceive, because I don't have a Magic Circuit to begin with.

From the beginning, we're people that go under the radars of the normal Masters."

...I see.

The presence of a magus, the presence of the Command Spell... they are both things activated by magical energy.

Then―――if someone without magical energy becomes a Master, the only way to identify them is to actually see them.

Tohsaka's method of searching for people with magical energy would not only overlook Shinji as a Master, but she wouldn't even notice him at all.

It's because Shinji does not have the presence of a Master that Tohsaka is searching for.

"...I see. Then there must be another Master that Tohsaka is sensing."

I should go home and warn Tohsaka about that.

Then there's no reason to stay here anymore.

"...! Hey Emiya, what about the cooperation thing?"

"I refuse. I won't participate in beating Tohsaka or anything like that.

First of all, she hasn't done anything.

Eventually... I will end up fighting her, but she can be trusted right now, and I want to trust her."

"...Heh, I think it'll be too late when something happens. But if you say so, fine. I'll wait and see."

Surprisingly, Shinji seems to have given up.

He doesn't try to stop me from going home, and he doesn't try to make Rider attack me.

...He's a really difficult person.

He acts like this, but he seems to try to be fair in his own way.

"...Hey Shinji. I might be persistent, but does Sakura know about you?"

"She doesn't, and I have no intention of telling her. I'm the successor of the Matou family. I'll let her be my sister and not know anything."

"―――That'll help. I want Sakura to stay like that."


I see. If you're worried about Sakura that much, I should thank you as her brother. ...All right then, I'll tell you something good, Emiya.

I don't know who it is, but one of the Masters is nesting at the temple."

"―――!? Temple... you mean Ryuudou Temple!?"

"Yeah. As my Servant puts it, there's a witch up there. She is supposedly collecting souls on a large scale, so it'll be a problem if we don't do something about it fast."


If that's true, that is the fifth one.

And if that one is collecting souls on a large scale, there's a high probability that it is the cause of the story on this morning's news.

"That's all.

Well Rider, see him off. Emiya is on our side, so don't hurt him."

So ordered by Shinji, Rider approaches me.

"Uh... no, that's..."

"Don't be so reserved. You're my responsibility until you leave the house, so it'll be troublesome if you got hurt.

Oh Rider, you only have to see him to the front door. He has nothing to do with me once he exits, so treat him well until then."

Shinji retreats into the back room.


I look silently at Rider.


Rider, covered in black clothes, doesn't say anything.

But surprisingly―――looking at her closely, I notice that she has clean features.

The long purple hair reaching to the ground only reminds me of the smell of blood, but at the same time, I understand it's really beautiful.

...She's wearing this outfit, so it's embarrassing to directly stare at her, but can it be that her outfit doesn't match her face?

To put it into a phrase, she's a shrine maiden covered in blood.

That contradictory appearance of one who is both holy and evil is this Servant called Rider.


Are all heroic spirits beautiful?

I think so while looking up at Rider's face out of curiosit―――hey, Rider's tall for a girl.

Rider must be at least 170 centimeters tall.


This is no time to calmly observe Rider.

It's a problem to be alone with Rider, so I should get out of this place quickly.

Rider really follows me out to the entrance.

...I wonder.

She doesn't feel alive, but she might answer me if I talk to her.

  1. Talk to Rider.

  2. ...Keep away from dangerous things.

Scene 02 (Unused) / DEAD END ??

"Yay, I'll cooperate—―――"


"Of course. Betraying Tohsaka and selling her out, betrayed by Sakura and getting sold out, the Baka-Nii-chans are now born!"

"...? I don't get your high tension, but does that mean I can trust you?"

"Yeah! But I'll betray you in the end!"

...So, the 20million-powers route with Shin-chan starts here.

Well, it would if we had the time.


Optimus Prime will appear too!?

Scene 03 - Lady of fresh blood

"...Rider. Was it true, what Shinji said earlier?"

I call out to her, not expecting a response.


There's no change in Rider. Her hair flutters in the wind.

"...Right. Sorry for asking a stupid question when we're enemies."

I raise my hand to thank her and exit.


"It was not a lie. It is true that a witch is up on the mountain."

"Huh... Rider?"

"Be careful if you are to challenge her. That witch knows men inside out."

Rider talks without interest.

I notice myself getting drawn in by her voice and quickly shake my head.

"Uh, um... thanks for the warning.

―――And please take care of Shinji. He's always like that, so please protect him."

I'm taken aback, but I manage a reply.

That must have sounded funny.

"...You must be a good person. I understand why Shinji is trying to have you on his side."

Rider smiles a bit and returns to the house after saying so.

Scene 04 - Averting one`s gaze

Men of virtue should not approach danger.

No matter how beautiful she looks, Rider smells like blood.

...Well, it's true that I don't know anything about Rider, but that alone is enough to make me stay on guard around her.

...Well, and...

I'm not sure where I should be looking, so I don't have enough composure to talk to her.

"―――What is it?"


I quickly look away.

"N-Nothing...! T-Thanks for seeing me off...!"

I start to run to get away.

I run down the hill.

The black Servant sees me off quietly.

Scene 05 - Strategy Meeting. Should we challenge Ryuudou temple?

I see the two off and return to the living room.

I said I had to talk to them after dinner, so Tohsaka and Saber are waiting in the living room with serious expressions.

"Thanks. ――So what is it that you want to talk about?"

"About the other Masters. There's something I want to tell you guys."

Saber raises her brows a bit.

...As a Servant, she must prefer battles where she uses her sword to these peaceful days.

But her wounds shouldn't have healed yet.

The wound on her chest made by Lancer's "Noble Phantasm" isn't something even Saber can heal quickly.


Thinking about that makes me hesitate telling them about Shinji.

I feel the same way as Shinji.

I want to avoid starting fights, and―――I think the girl in front of me swinging a sword is a disparate image.

"Shirou. You have something to tell us?"

"Uh――yeah. Right, this is something I should tell you guys. ...To put it simply, I went and met with Rider's Master today."

"Wha... Rider's Master!? When did this happen!?"

"Ridiculous! Meeting with another Master by yourself, what were you thinking!?"

"Whoa, hold on, calm down...! It's all right. I'm not hurt, so don't get mad."

"Do not get mad!? No, I am not mad.

I am only stunned by your actions."

"...Me too. Well, it's no use arguing over what's done.

So, what's going on Shirou?"

Tohsaka and Saber glare at me with obvious anger in their eyes.


I thought they would say something about me being thoughtless, but I didn't think they would get this mad.

"...I met him this afternoon.

I only went because he wanted to talk to me, and it's not like we fought."

"I can tell by looking. So, what kind of a guy was Rider's Master?"

"What kind of guy... well, it's Shinji.

He called out to me when I was searching for the boundary field. He said he wanted to talk to me and asked me to follow him, so I went to Matou's house."

"Wha――Shinji? You mean, that Shinji!?"

"Yeah. Rider was obeying him, and he knew about the Holy Grail War. According to him, the Matou family is a lineage of magi with a history."

"Huh―――yeah, well, that's true, but... it can't be true. The Matou family was exhausted in the last generation. No matter what they do, their children won't have a Magic Circuit. That's for certain."

Tohsaka declares so.

If so, Shinji and Sakura really should be normal people without magecraft-Circuits.

"Yeah, Shinji said that too. But he said they still had the knowledge. Something about it being taught only to Shinji, the eldest son, so Sakura didn't know about it.

...In short, he's a Master rather like me. He said he doesn't have any magical energy, so he wouldn't be detected by your perceptions."

"...I see. I messed up. There certainly could be such cases... If they have grimoires remaining, he would be able to become a Master. Then geez, my actions were totally obvious to him! I'm an idiot."

Tohsaka is mumbling, reflecting on her actions.

...Hm. Tohsaka is close to perfect, but I think there are a few things missing.

Unfortunately, they're the most crucial ones.

"That was a mistake on my part. I should have kept an eye on Shinji. If I'd known, I wouldn't have let him construct that boundary field."

"Oh, Shinji said the boundary field at school wasn't his. He said there's another Master at school."

"Yes, that's true. It's obvious that there's another Master at school who we don't know about.

But Shirou... don't tell me you're just trusting Shinji's word that he's not the one who constructed the boundary field?"

"...No, I'm not that good-natured. As long as Shinji goes to our school, I think there's an even chance it's his doing. The alternative being the unknown Master."

"Even, huh? ...I think you're still being very good-natured.

Well, that's fine. That good nature is just the way you are, and that must be why Shinji told you his true identity."


"Oh well. So what did you talk with Shinji about?"

"He asked me if I wanted to cooperate with him. It seems Shinji has no intention of fighting, so he seemed to want to ally with someone he knew."

"Eh――Shirou, then you..."

"No, isn't it natural to refuse? I've already joined up with you.

Even if I were to agree, I'd have to ask you first."

"Oh... yeah. That... is true. But didn't you say you refused?"

"Yeah. Like I said, I answered Shinji on my own. It wasn't something to debate. ...Oh, was I too hasty?"

"...Not particularly. I think your decision was correct. Well, if you were the one asked, it's not something I can complain about."

The way she mumbles so isn't like Tohsaka at all.

"That was it from Shinji.

From what I saw, Rider isn't a strong Servant. Even putting Berserker outside of the picture, I don't think she had the same presence as Lancer. And Rider herself was more normal than I expected."

"...If you think so, it must be true. But a Servant's true power is determined by their Noble Phantasm. Please do not underestimate her until we find out Rider's true identity."

"...Yeah. I couldn't tell at all which heroine she was. See, Lancer and Berserker feel like heroes, right? But Rider didn't have that feeling. I felt like she was different from a normal Servant."

"――Different from a normal Servant?

I do not understand. Rin, can you explain Shirou's strange feeling?"

"Huh...? Uh... yeah, I think I understand.

Well, it's because the Master influences which heroic spirit is summoned as the Servant. The Master and Servant end up being similar people.

"So if the Master is a noble person, a heroic spirit similar to them will be summoned. And if a person with a huge scar in their mind summons a heroic spirit, a heroic spirit with a scar in their mind appears as well.

The strange feeling Shirou had towards Rider must be that.

A Master with a crooked mind sometimes summons vengeful ghosts almost like heroic spirits instead of a hero."

"Vengeful ghost almost like heroic spirits... could that be what you were talking about before――"

"Yes. A mass murderer that loves the sight of blood and thinks nothing of killing people.

Actually, there are heroes with only massacres to their legend, so it's not strange for something like that to become a Servant."


Is that so?

Certainly, I could only smell blood on Rider, but she didn't seem like a blood-thirsty killer....

"...Well, that's all there is to say about Rider.

There's one more thing, but it might be the most important.

According to Rider, there seems to be another Master at the Ryuudou Temple. I guess this Master is collecting magical energy from everyone in this town. What do you two make of this?"

"Ryuudou Temple...? You mean that temple at the top of the mountain?"

"Yeah. What, does it mean something to you, Tohsaka?"

"Of course not. It's just the opposite. I've never been to the Ryuudou Temple.

I don't know what kind of a Master this person is, but normally, you wouldn't choose to position yourself in such a remote place."

"Right. I was also surprised when I heard that a Master's at the Ryuudou Temple.

Even though it won't draw people's attention, there are many monks living there. If they act strangely, I think there'd be an quick uproar."

"Hmmm... I can't quite trust that story.

Even if it was the case, the Ryuudou Temple is on the outskirts of the suburbs, right?

To reach out to Miyama City and Shinto is more like a waste of magical energy than a great magecraft. Such large scale magecraft is impossible even with the magical energy collected from it."

Then, Tohsaka starts to think with a troubled face.

I'm relying on Tohsaka's opinion, so there's nothing I can do until she talks again.

"――No, that story is very plausible.

If one takes that temple, such magecraft would be naturally possible."

"...? Saber by 'that temple'――you know of Ryuudou Temple? I haven't taken you there yet."

"Did you forget, Shirou? I have participated in the Holy Grail War previously as well. I am well-informed about the city, and I know that the temple is a fallen ley line."

"――Fallen ley line!? Hold on, that's what my house is! Why are there two foci of leylines in one area!?"

"I do not know, but that temple is a place magi can call sacred.

I hear it is where the life of the region flows to, so it would be a perfect base to collect souls from. A magus need only to intervene in the natural flow to collect life forces from the whole city."

"...I've never heard of that.

But if that's the case, then it would certainly be possible for someone to steal life forces from all the people in the city..."

"In other words, it's just an area that's spiritually superior, right? That's only natural. You don't build a temple anywhere else."

"Ugh――o-of course. You don't need to tell me that."

"I thought so. Temples and shrines have been built in sacred places to protect the town since ancient times. It's not that the monks pray to grant happiness. They remove evil by sealing the ill-omened. On that basis, it's only natural that the mountain Ryuudou Temple is on would be a sacred place."


"Hey――I don't want to consider this, but did you think that Ryuudou Temple was just for show?"

"Yeah, I did, is there something wrong with that!? Until now, I thought that temple was just for show because it didn't have any practicing healers!"

"Practicing healers...? What is that?"

"People who let ghosts go to heaven without using chants, faith, or prayers.

Enlightened people try to do so with just Buddhist powers, but monks without enough training haven't reached that level yet, so they add their own power to create spells like ours.

There's some kind of organization of those kinds of people in this country. But they're incompatible with the magecraft Association, so I don't know too much about them.

"No, more importantly, the temple.

If that temple is a ley line, Masters should try to take it immediately. That's strange... why are others ignoring that place?"

"Because the Ryuudou Temple is there, right? They keep watch so it doesn't get misused."

"The monks at the Ryuudou Temple are all pure monks in training.

They aren't like us, so it'd be easy for a Master to control them."

"No, Rin, that is wrong. It would certainly be easy for a Master to gain control of that temple. But that mountain has a boundary field that is inconvenient for Masters."

"...? A boundary field that's inconvenient for us?"

"Yes. There is a spell on that mountain that tries to eliminate anything other than natural spirits. It has no effect on normal humans, but it is a dreadful place for us Servants."

"Eliminates anything other than natural spirits――then that means Servants can't enter the mountain!"

"It is possible, but our abilities would degrade.

It is much like receiving a Command Spell telling us not to go near that place."

"――Then how is the Master at the Ryuudou Temple maintaining its Servant?"

"There is no boundary field once you enter the temple.

I hear that the boundary field was originally a border to protect the temple. The boundary field is only something that rejects people from outside, so it has no other powers."

"...Then if we make it inside, there's nothing that affects the Servant?

"...But that's strange. If you close the temple off like that, the ley line itself would stop. You would have to at least keep one way open or it couldn't be the center of the ley line, right?"

"Yes. If you think in terms of the temple, it cannot refuse those visiting through the proper entrance. It may be following on this idea, but I heard that the road leading to the temple does not have the boundary field.

At that temple, only the main gate does not have the power to command us Servants."

"...I see. That must be it. If you close off all the gates, the air inside will stagnate. Hmm, only the main gate, huh...?"

"That is all that I can tell you.

――So, please come up with a plan. We have proven that there is a Master, so I believe there is only one action to take."


I know what Saber wants to say.

Her eyes tell me that since the location of the enemy is known, all that's left is to attack.


"I'm going to pass on this.

It seems like a trap, and honestly, I can't take any action with this little information. If you're going to go to their homeground, you should at least wait until you find out what kind of Servant they have."

"...That is unexpected. I thought that you would go and fight."

"Go ahead and insult me. Archer isn't fully healed yet, so I'll remain a spectator for a while."

"I understand. Then Shirou, let us go to the temple by ourselves."


Saber says this as if it is the natural thing to do.

But that's...

  1. Fight.

  2. Don't fight.

Scene 06 - Missing Ariadne / DEAD END 3

―――I'll attack.

If there is a Master at the Ryuudou Temple and they are sucking magical energy out of people, then I should stop it as quickly as possible.

"I agree with Saber. I don't want to be the attacker, but it depends on the enemy.

We should go to Ryuudou Temple right away, to see what kind of a Master this person is."

"Then let us go, Shirou. I am glad you are being proactive."

"...I see. If that's your decision, there's nothing for me to say. Just be careful."


"I'm going to rest. I'm not interested in a fight we've no chance of winning. If you don't come back tomorrow, I'll go and collect your remains since we're cooperating."

"What's with her? Saying such ominous things."

"That must be Rin's way of warning us.

There will be defenses against outside enemies at Ryuudou Temple. We will have to pass through enemy traps and beat the Master."

"...Mm. Well, that's true, but..."

It's true that I'm not enthusiastic about beating this Master.

I only want to know who the Master at Ryuudou Temple is and what their motives are.

Battle might be avoidable, and we'll retreat if things get dangerous.

...That's right. I won't let her look like that again.

If I judge that it's dangerous, we'll retreat immediately.

Even if Saber doesn't want to, I'll have to forcefully pull her back and bring her home―――

The clouds are moving fast.

There is a strong wind way up in the sky.

"Master, it is almost midnight."

"...Yeah. The town's fallen asleep. It's a good time to head out."

I nod, picking up my shinai bag.

Inside is a wooden sword I found in the shed.

It's not promising equipment for fighting against a Servant, but it should withstand at least one blow if strengthened successfully.

"Saber. We're just going to the Ryuudou Temple to check things out.

It's enough if we can find out what kind of person the Master is and which class of Servant it has. There's no need to start a fight ourselves."

"...I understand. But if the enemy desires a battle and if I judge that you are in danger, that will not be the case.

As long as we are proceeding into enemy territory, I want you to be prepared for the death on either side."

The death on one side.

The scale of fate is divided between the Master at the Ryuudou Temple and us, the intruders.

The scale is balanced now, but it might tilt towards one side or the other in a few hours―――

We go west from the intersection and run through the empty road.

Ryuudou Temple is in the opposite direction from the developed Shinto, at the end of the winding mountain path.


A long set of stairs.

The road leading up to the remarkably tall mountain in Fuyuki City is engulfed in ominous darkness.


Can you feel the presence of the Servant...?"

"――Yes. I cannot perceive it precisely, but I can certainly feel a Servant's presence."

It may be the effect of the boundary field on the Ryuudou Temple, but it seems Saber's perceptive abilities have deteriorated.

"――This is not a good wind. This place was an ominous place last time, but it is worse now. ...Shirou, please do not leave my side even for a moment."


I answer with a nod and start up the stone steps.

The air is tense.

The forest submerged in the black of night is trembling with sounds.


With every step, a bad premonition settles into my back.

...The temple gates can be seen now.

Nothing has happened yet.

There's no sign of the enemy, and the temple gates are open as if inviting us in.

"Shirou, please stop."

"...! An enemy, Saber?"

"Yes. But it is not a Servant. The presence is too weak. It probably is a familiar for surveillance. We can ignore it, but―――"

There must be something wrong about it.

Saber makes a troubled expression and glares at the temple gates a few steps away.

"...Saber? Is something wrong...?"

"...I do not know. I cannot tell if this chill is because of the familiar or if it is the presence of the one protecting this temple gate.

There was some kind of a watcher at the gate, but it seems to be absent now.

...I do not want to admit it, but I consider that fact fortunate. It would be good not to confront the one protecting this gate."

"―――There was a watcher here, but it's not here now...?"

"Yes. They already know we are here.

There are two reasons the watcher would depart in spite of that. Which do you think it is, Shirou?"


...To hide from us, or to let us inside so we won't be able to get away.

...Either way, there will be no more progress unless we go in.

"...I definitely think it's a trap. Saber, can you tell what's going on inside from here?"

"No. I can only determine that there is some sign of a Servant in there."

"...I see. I guess we won't know anything until we go inside."

Saber nods.

"―――Let's go. No matter what they do to us, nothing will happen until we see their faces."

I approach the temple gate with Saber.

For a moment, the moon is covered by clouds.

―――My vision is engulfed in darkness.


In it, I think――I see a beautiful snake within the trees.

"――Hold on, Saber-"

I stop Saber who is trying to go through the temple gate.


Her golden hair turns around.

But that's-

"Enforced transference...!? Impossible! Transference magecraft in this age――I see, Caster...!"

Saber's figure is distorted.

What kind of magecraft is this?

Saber is distorted like a mirage and like that―――

"This is bad! Pull back, Saber...! Your body is fading away...!"

"No, Shirou...! It is you that is being transported...! Please take my hand quickly...!"



"Shirou, please give me your hand...! You will be pulled―――"

Saber charges forward to grab my hand.

At that moment....

"Kuh, uh―――!?"

...The figure of a Servant knocks her away from the side.

"You have let your guard down, Saber. Your powerful magecraft resistance was harmful.

If you weren't so powerful, you would have been able to protect him."

"What? A Servant...!"

Silver armor and black cloth collide.

Saber and Rider.

The two confront each other on top of the stone paving and...

"Wha―――Saber, Saber...!"

My existence is pulled out of the third dimension, goes through many dimensions, and is dropped back into my original dimension.


The blood in my body runs backwards.

For an instant, my organs go inside out and the sickness is as if I'm another living thing―――

"Oh. I tried to hook a dragon, but I only caught a small fish in my net."


I turn to face the presence behind me.


There's no time to check who it is.

I swing my wooden sword, still in the bag, behind me.



――I'm blown away.

I'm struck on the right side of my chest, and I fall into the water.


...The water surface is dyed red.

My body――the right side of my chest is gone as if engulfed by a huge electrical fan.

"Stupid boy. To come to my temple with such rubbish magecraft resistance. It seems Saber too wasn't fortunate with her Master."


...The purple robe sneers.

I feel dizzy―――I have to stand up quickly and take Saber's hand, but I feel dizzy, and my body...

"Are you worried about Saber...? Don't worry, I'll take her. I need her Noble Phantasm to beat Berserker. You will die here, but she will continue her life as my slave."


――I can't find strength anywhere.


There's no blood left in my body, and I can't keep my consciousness―――

"Goodbye, boy. With such weak abilities, you have no value even as a slave――but I shall use your Command Spells effectively."

The bent dagger cuts my left arm off.

...In the black water...

Only the movement of the clouds swallowing the moon is burned into my motionless eyeballs――

Scene 07 - Rejection of battle. Conflict between the two.

"―――No, I feel the same way as Tohsaka. We shouldn't go there yet."

"What... are you saying you will not fight either...!?

No way. What was I resting my body for until now!?

Now we know where our enemy is, we have to attack!"

"―――I know that. But we have to wait, Saber.

If the Master at Ryuudou Temple is that careful, there will certainly be a trap. It would be suicidal to go there without any plans.

As Tohsaka says, we should at least wait until Archer is healed."

"Such danger is normal. I have never expected to earn victory without getting hurt.

Even if the enemy traps pierce my body, I can fight as long as I do not give them my neck.

It is enough if we can beat the Master, no matter what injury I bear!"

"Wha―――don't say such stupid things. It's never okay to get hurt!

It's fine to go knowing the danger, but such a suicidal attack is stupid. ...As your Master, I can't let you do something so dangerous."

That's right. Going to the Ryuudou Temple is certainly a suicide attack.

There will be some obstacle on the only road heading to the temple.

It's fine to accept that and go, but heading there without any plans is suicidal.

No matter how strong Saber is, she has me as a handicap.

If she pushes herself and fights, and if the result is―――

Just like what happened at that time, I can't approve of that.

"...What are you saying?

Look Master, Servants are meant to get hurt.

I will not allow my Master to avoid a fight in fear of that."

"―――It doesn't matter if you don't allow it. If you're going to push yourself, I'll stop you as many times as necessary.

...If you don't want that, heal yourself quickly. You're not fully healed yet, right?"

"It should not interfere with my fighting ability. There is no need to consider prolonging a battle due to my wound."

Saber's will to fight does not change.


Geez, why doesn't she understand even after I tell her this much...!?

"Okay, fine. But I can't agree that easily.

You lost to Berserker before! Are you going to push yourself and fight, and get both you and me defeated again!?

Don't kid me, I don't want to be killed that miserably ever again...!"



I thought she would argue right back, but instead, she takes a breath and...

"...Bringing that up is unfair, Shirou."

She says as if apologizing.

"...I'm sorry if I'm being unfair.

But I won't be attacking anyone yet.

I can't just ignore the Master at Ryuudou Temple either. But we're in no condition to fight. If we fight like this and lose, who'll stop the Master at Ryuudou Temple?"

"Look, we'll be attacking only after your wound is healed and we're in perfect shape. If you have any complaints, go find yourself another Master."

"―――I understand. If Master says so..."

After answering in a quiet voice, Saber falls silent.

...The conversation is over.

Tohsaka has returned to her room and Saber returns to her room as well.

Staying alone in the living room, I really regret what I did.

No, it's too late already.

I could have put it another way, so why...

Why could I only convince her using words that make her look like that?

Scene 08 - Elegant moonlight-VS Assassin

It is a quiet, windless night.

The time is past midnight.

There is nothing moving, and every living thing is asleep.

A settled darkness.

The town is like a dark sea that only has moonlight to illuminate it.

The clouds are moving.

There is no wind at ground level.

But way up in the sky, the air is roaring and letting the overlapping clouds flow.

"―――There is some wind."

Maybe she can hear the wind.

Looking up at the wind in the sky, she mutters quietly.

The one standing quietly in the yard glaring at the sky is a girl called Saber.

Her golden hair is beautiful even in the dark night, and her clear green eyes are watching the appearing and disappearing moon.


She casts a glance to the corner of the yard.

There is an old shed, and her master is sleeping inside it.

"―――It does not matter if you say you do not want to fight."

A clang.

The echo of steel melts into the night without reaching anyone's ears.

The moon disappears and appears.

In the instant the clouds in the sky float past, the girl's appearance has completely changed.

Heavy, hard silver armor.

Her figure covered in blue clothes is not something you can call a girl now.

Impregnable defenses made from magical energy overpowering others,

and an invisible sword, hidden by magical energy beyond human levels.

That figure, said to be invincible on the battlefield, proves their existence to this day.

Even with the invisible sword, her majesty proves that she is an excellent swordsman.

That is why she is Saber.

The one said to have the greatest power of the seven Servants, the hero of the sword.

A knight among knights, true to decorum, and acting on its master's order.

Whatever the other heroic spirits may be, she is an ideal swordsman who will not disobey hey master.


But that ends today.

She is hereby disobeying her master's order.

No―――she is not disobeying her master.

She has considered how to make her Master win, and the result of her decision is this.

"――He is too easy-going. He will just be killed by another Master like this."

But her Master this time will not be able to fix his personality.

So it will be her role to devote herself to being heartless.

If the Master is not going to fight, his sword will have to fight.

"The wound has not healed yet. I cannot hope for supply of magical energy from my Master."

But still, there will be no hindrance in battle.

Confirming her own abilities, she returns her gaze to the moon.

She has no more interest in the shed her master is sleeping in.

As she has taken arms, the only thing in her is the will to defeat her enemy.

The moon glooms.

Just as a large cloud covers the sky, Saber jumps over the wall of the house.

―――She runs through the darkness.

The silver knight runs through the sleeping town.

There is only one destination. The sacred mountain on the outskirts of town. The Ryuudou Temple located on top of it.

Even Saber understands how hard it will be to single-handedly kill the Master at the temple.

As Shirou says, it is obvious she will suffer great injury. In the worst case, she will be the one killed.

But what kind of a Servant would she be if she couldn't do something like this?

The Servant is supported by their superior abilities and the pride that they have built up.

――They have pride as heroes and confidence that they are the strongest, who have fought through many battles.

She is a heroic spirit passed down and honored from the ancient times, so defeat will not be acceptable no matter who the enemy is.

No, even imagining defeat is unforgivable.

Even though some childish parts remain, she is no exception.

Because she is crowned with the name Saber, she cannot ignore her pride.

Her pride will not allow her just to observe when faced with an enemy.

Therefore, she will not falter no matter what kind of trap is waiting, and all she can do is challenge by herself.

If they say there is no chance of victory, she will create one with her own sword.

The sword in her hand is a fine sword that has defeated many foes.

As she has the Invisible Air, there is nothing for her to fear.

She runs through the mountain pass and up the road to the temple.

What awaits her after the mountain pass are great stone stairs.

"...This is certainly..."

This is different from the Ryuudou Temple she remembers.

The air is stagnant.

The wind is dead.

The ley line of the land is already contaminated.

――This place is a land of death.

Once entered, one will not be able to exit alive.


But there's no hesitation.

Saber's speed does not drop one bit as she runs up the steps.

She runs through the scene.

The sound of her kicking the stone steps echoes in the air, and the mountain starts to squirm noisily.

They are long stairs.

The temple gate is far away even for Saber, who is running like an arrow.

To run such a long distance without being detected is impossible.

There will certainly be a surprise attack.

The gate should not be easily reached.

But no matter what scheme awaits, the only thing to do is defeat it and advance.

Nothing can stop her now.

Even if Berserker appears, she will break through it.

That is the product of her determination and confidence.

Saber feels so complete that she can break through any obstacles.

And at the top.

When she is about to reach the temple gates, that obstacle appears.


Saber stops.

Even she, determined to beat any enemy, is surprised by this 'enemy'.

A natural motion.

The gallant figure of the man that appears is far too lacking in enmity and unbelievably free of any openings.


Stopping, Saber readies her invisible sword.

The man with the moon at his back wards off Saber's killing intent as if it were just a light breeze.

"―――A samurai?"

She must be surprised by an opponent she has heard of, but never seen before.

Her second Holy Grail War.

Even for she who has seen many heroic spirits, this is a first for a Servant like this.


Sweat forms on Saber's brow.

Not because of fear, but because it is incomprehensible.

It's not as if there haven't been strange Servants like him before.

There should be no Servant more mysterious and suspicious than Archer from last time.

In comparison to that, the Servant in front of her has no fearful aspects nor a fearful weapon.

...That is why it is strange.

Nothing can be felt from the man.

There is no doubt that he is a Servant, but there is no sense of any magical energy nor a hero's Noble Phantasm.

So beating him should be easy.

It is true that this match would be over in one blow.

But her instincts tell her this:

――Do not underestimate him.

This Servant has a way to seize a certain kill.


She cannot approach.

It could be said that the range of the man's weapon, the Japanese katana, is hard to judge... but above it, Saber's location is at a disadvantage.

Above and below the stairs.

There is about five meters between them.

She would certainly receive that sword before she could run up and rush him.

...But nothing can be felt from that sword.

It should be easy to repel it.

So she should not hesitate and rush in... but Saber instinctively understands she cannot close in without care.

She adjusts her stance slightly and glares at the enemy in front of her.

His identity is unknown, but she should at least determine the class of this samurai.

"...I ask of you. Which Servant are you?"

Saber asks, not expecting an answer.

With a smile,

"―――Servant Assassin, Sasaki Kojirou."

The Servant says so as if singing.


It is only natural for Saber to be surprised.

Servants should hide their identities.

Where in the world would you find a Servant that just comes out with it himself――!?

"What are you―――"

"It is rude to ask like that. It is only natural to name oneself before a match, is it not? All the more so if the opponent is a fair one as you are. I would not expect for you to make a face like that."

Assassin――the man who called himself Sasaki Kojirou continues, as if enjoying Saber's confusion.

Saber surely does not know.

That this Servant is a swordsman who wielded a katana called Monohoshizao, and was often rumored to have no match in this large world.

――No, what would change even if she knew?

His birth is unknown, and even his existence is uncertain.

His story was only told through word of mouth. There should only be one who knows the existence of this swordsman. That being the worthy rival of the rare-skilled swordsman, the one being his only enemy who defeated the man called Sasaki Kojirou.

One cannot call this person a hero.

The Servant Assassin――Sasaki Kojirou is an existence quite unlike Saber.

What Servant would know the skills of a swordsman who is usually not treated as a hero?


There are only two truths in front of her right now.

That this man in front of her is her enemy, and that he has given his name.

"...You have me. It is the etiquette of a knight for me to introduce myself if I am given your name."

Saber's voice in reply is heavy.

For her, it is too risky to state her true name.

She cannot reveal her true name no matter what torture she receives, and she has no intention of revealing it.

――But that is only for the sake of victory.

She cannot disgrace the faith of the knight for such a thing.

"You called yourself Kojirou.

―――Servant Assassin, I am-"

"Stop. I see, you are the kind that must introduce yourself in return if given my name.

No, it was I who was rude."


Assassin descends the stairs elegantly and confronts Saber.

"I do not intend to know my enemy like that. For us, these swords shall be enough to know our enemies.

Am I wrong, Servant Saber?"


"It should not be that surprising. I do not know what it is you are holding, but the pressure on your body is that of a swordsman.

...Hm, that dazzlingly beautiful aura of swordsmanship――who else could you be but Saber?"

Another step.

Assassin descends the stairs and directs the point of his sword at Saber.

"I do not care about your true name. There will only be the fact that Servant Saber suffered defeat by my sword.

There is nothing to discuss. ――From the beginning, Servants are such beings, are they not?"

The swordsman smiles happily.

"――I see. Certainly, that is true."

Answering, she readies her sword close to her.

"That is good.

――Then let us duel, Saber.

I must see your sword skills said to be the best among all Servants―――"

The silver light jumps.

Hardness and softness.

The fight between two very different swordsmen begins under the moonlight.

Scene 09 - Absence of Saber


I wake up with a burning pain in my chest.

...I feel like I've had an ominous dream.

My body is sweating even though it's winter and I'm breathing hard.

"...What... my chest, hurts―――"

It feels like my heart is hot.

No, it's more like forcibly having heat driven into my heart from outside.

"―――From outside...?"

A small doubt.

Before I think what it could be, my body starts to run.

"Saber, you here...!?"

I run into the room.

I open the shouji and enter the room Saber should be sleeping in.

"――She's not here. Don't tell me she..."

No, it has to be.

If she's not here, she――must have gone to Ryuudou Temple by herself...!

"Idiot, why...!? You're not fully healed, so why――!?"

I'm so angry it gives me a headache.

Why doesn't she obey me?

I didn't say I don't want to fight.

I just...

Didn't want her to be hurt like that...!


Nothing will happen sitting here.

I have to hurry to Ryuudou Temple.

I can't let Saber fight alone.

No, who knows what good I'll be even if I go there, but there should be something I'm able to do...!

"Geez, you're a girl, so be more obedient...!"

I run.

I run outside without changing, take out the bike I haven't used in a while, and start to pedal with all my might.

I go down the hill with no brakes.

――About forty minutes to Ryuudou Temple even if I hurry.

I don't know when Saber left, but I have to catch up to her! And every minute counts――!

Scene 10 - Boy Meets Girl(I)

"What the hell is that―――!?"

What greets me at the Ryuudou Temple is a typhoon-like sound of wind.

"That's――Saber there, right?"

At the top of the steps, in front of the temple gates is an armored figure like Saber confronting a figure in a kimono.

The wind must be surrounding Saber as the trees on the mountain are creaking as if being pushed by her.

"Guh... Damn, is it even possible to get near her like this...!?"

I can't even open my eyes because of the strong wind.

I manage to get to the steps looking down, but the wind gets stronger.

"No, I can't―――"

...Get near Saber.

I can see Saber fighting someone way up there, but I can't do anything.

No, first of all, even if I do make it up there in all this wind, I'll only be a burden to her――


My left hand aches again.

The Command Spell on my hand is throbbing.

...I don't know what it means.

But I can't help it because..

...That image flashes in my head every time it throbs――――!

"...Damn, I'm getting desperate here...!"

I reach out to the steps with my eyes closed.

I lie down, trying not to be blown by the wind, and start to move upwards.


The wind just gets stronger.

Something must be happening above as even I, an amateur magus, can feel that an enormous amount of magical energy is about to be released.

My Command Spell throbs.

It is as if it is warning me about the wind, and about something that is going to happen above me.

"...Wait. Could this be..."

Saber's magical energy?

But then――

"Why is she doing something like this with that wounded body of hers――!?"

No, should she even be doing this at all?

Saber cannot replenish her magical energy.

So she shouldn't be using her magical energy readily.

She has to leave the fighting to me and stay as my backup, or her magical energy will run out and――


I get up and run up the stairs.

This is no time to be crawling.

I don't know what Saber is planning to do, but I have to stop her――!


It must be luck that I avoided it.

Something like a dagger flies across right in front of me as I try to run up to the temple gate.

"――Who's there!?"

I look toward the trees in the mountain off to the side of the stairs.

...There's no mistake about it.

I didn't notice because of the strong wind before, but someone else is hiding near here...!

"Don't play around――don't hide like a coward and come out...!"

I raise my voice.

That voice that should have been drowned out by the wind...

...Echoes through the area, surprising even me.

"――The wind... stopped?"

I look up at the temple gate.


...is a man in a kimono holding a longsword, and Saber's back.

"Stop right there, Saber. Someone is trying to steal a glance at your technique."

The man in the kimono says with a faint smile.

He is staring into the forest like I am.

"If we continue, this match will not be between just us.

I do not know if the shameless one hiding there is going to attack the winner or if it is only here to watch.

...But either way, this is less interesting now."

The man says so with disinterest and starts to go up the stairs.

"――Stop...! Are you not going to settle this match, Assassin...!?"

"I will settle this match if you come through this gate. I will not allow anyone to step through this gate.

But――that is unfortunately my only role.

I have no intention of stopping you if you are to retreat. Well, that idiot hiding in the trees is a different story. If it is someone I do not take a liking to, I would not let them through on my life nor would I let them retreat alive."

The man called Assassin goes up the stairs.

"You were manipulated, Saber. Well, the same goes for me as I did not notice the presence of this person. I could have shown you my full secret technique if we continued, but we were interrupted at a bad time. It must be fortuitous for you."


Saber is hanging her head in regret.

...The killing intent fades away.

Not because of Assassin's words, but Saber herself must know it is disadvantageous to fight now.

"See, your pick-up is here as well. That boy must be your Master. Leave before the idiot sneaking a look at us changes its target to him."

And Assassin disappears.

He must have become a spirit, and it must be his demonstration that he will not attack us unless we advance.


Saber does not say anything.

She just has her back to me as she quietly stands there.

"...Hey, Saber...?"

There's no answer even when I call out to her.


I think it's strange, so I start to go up the stairs...


The armor Saber had on suddenly disappears.

The girl in her defenseless blue clothes sways without turning around.


I stop Saber with my arms as she falls back down the stairs.

Saber does not move at all. She is unconscious with her eyes closed in pain.

"...Haa... haa... haa... haa...."

...I'm finally home.

It has taken two hours to carry Saber back from Ryuudou Temple.

There were lots of problems, but we managed to get home safely.

"...Haa... haa... ah."

I lay Saber down in the hallway.

Saber was really light. She only weighed about forty kilograms, so I wouldn't normally have been this tired.

But that's only if the weight isn't moving.

I didn't know that it was such a hard task to carry a sleeping human――a girl too.

The fatigue is great not physically, but mentally.

It's because my attention was disrupted by things like her body's softness and by having her breathing softly right by me.

"...Geez... why did she have to suddenly lose consciousness?"

I look at the sleeping Saber.

...She must not be completely unconscious.

She looks like she'll open her eyes if I call out her name, even though she's sleeping like a corpse.



There were so many things I wanted to say when I left the house, but I can't say anything when she makes a sleeping face like that.

"...Oh well. I'll bring it up when you wake up, Saber."

I murmur.

And the instant I reach out to carry Saber again-

"...Well, I don't care. It doesn't concern me what your taste is or what you're doing."

For some reason.

Tohsaka is in the hallway even though it is past two in the morning.


"Why are you looking at me if you've seen a ghost? I don't have any complaints, so you can continue. I only got up to take a drink."

"Eh――uh, you're wrong! Wrong, completely wrong!

Um, it's a long story, but I'm only trying to take Saber to her room... do you understand...!?"

"Yes, so it seems."

"D-Don't lie to me! It sounds like you don't understand!"

"I'm saying I do. Saber went to fight by herself and you went and stopped her, right?

And there was some sort of trouble, so Saber came back unconscious. How about that?"

"Uh... y-yeah. Amazing, you're perfectly right. But how do you know?"

"Of course I can tell. There was a likelihood that Saber would go off to battle by herself, and the Master will be informed of that once the battle starts. That's why this development is within the scope of my deduction."

"――I see. That's fine, but..."

...Um, so Tohsaka predicted that Saber would go out to fight by herself?

"So what are you going to do? Aren't you going to take Saber to her room? If you let her sleep here, I'm sure even a Servant will catch a cold."

"So I was about to take her to her room――"

I was going to carry her, but...


It's hard to do so when she's watching.

"...Tohsaka. Sorry, but can you carry Saber?"

"Me? Well, that's fine. Then can you prepare some tea? I'm curious to hear what happened."

Tohsaka picks up Saber.

...I'm uneasy about her being so understanding, but as long as I've asked her to do so, I have to go prepare some tea.

Tohsaka takes Saber to my room.

I am preparing tea in the kitchen.

"――By tea, she must not mean Japanese tea. ...This place only has English tea in teabags though."

Well, it can't be helped if we don't have it.

I decide she can complain if she wants and I make the tea with a teabag.

"Shirou, can I talk to you?"

Oh, Tohsaka's back.

"Yeah, hold on a moment. I'll be there right away."

I put the two teacups on a tray and head to the living room.


Next to Tohsaka is Saber, changed into her normal clothes.

"S-Saber...!? Why? Weren't you asleep...!?"

"She was. But it's not a long-lasting sleep, and she just woke up.

It seems she tried to use a large amount of magical energy at once and her body shut off. It's like an electrical breaker. The kind that forces the power to be turned off before it shorts out, you know?"


Saber is quiet as Tohsaka explains.


Seeing her usual attitude, my complaints return.

"Saber, you...! Do you know what you did!?"

"――There is no reason I would not know.

I proceeded to Ryuudou Temple and battled the Servant Assassin. We noticed the presence of a third Servant during our battle, so we suspended it."

"...! No, I'm not talking about that!

What I'm asking is why you fought!"

"That again? It is only natural for a Servant to fight. How about you, Shirou? Why are you, a Master, telling me not to fight?"

"Well, that's――"

I unconsciously hesitate to reply.

...Well, battles are inevitable as long as I've decided to fight as a Master.

I know I'm contradicting myself by telling Saber not to fight.

But still...

I can't let something like that happen again.

"Then I would like to ask you instead. It seems that you dislike battles, but do you really expect to survive the Holy Grail War like that?

It seems that we will only be defeated by other Masters if we follow your policy."

――Of course not.

I will repel dangers that come at me, and I don't intend to get killed helplessly.

But completely aside from that, I don't want Saber fighting.


I don't hate the fighting. I just, um――"

It must be much simpler than that.

In short, I...

"――Um, girls can't get hurt. As a guy, I can't let that happen. So if I'm going to let you fight, I'm going to fight myself."

"Wha――you are saying you will not let me fight because I am a woman...!?

"Are you insane!? Servants are beings that protect their Master. It is natural for us to get hurt as we are beings summoned only to fulfill that task...!

The sex of the Servant is of no concern, and beyond that, you are treating me, a warrior, as a woman!?

Please take those words back, Shirou...!"

Saber comes at me with a glare.

But I won't be pushed back by her pressure.

What is she saying――that she is a knight before she is a woman?

Saying such unreasonable things with that small body of hers that even I can carry...!

"I would never take my words back! It may be true that you're strong, but you're still a girl! Don't get worked up over such an insignificant thing, you idiot!"

"...! Are you not the one getting worked up over insignificant things...!? Are you saying you do not want to be protected by a woman!? My body is that of a heroic spirit. Forget about such trivial aspects!"

"It's not trivial at all! Geez, it's not okay for me even if it's okay for you! It was a mistake from the beginning to have someone fight in my place. I can't――"

I can't allow someone to get hurt,

In place of saving me.

I should be the one doing the saving.

I have been working hard to become a person who can help others like my father, so――

"...Damn. Listen, just don't fight, Saber.

It's the guy's role to fight, so I'll be doing the fighting. You shouldn't have any complaints about that, because I'm saying we'll fight as you wish."

"What――you are absurd...! Do you think a human can match a Servant!? You should already know you are no match for the Servants!

Please recall what happened when you were attacked by Lancer.

You would have certainly been killed if I had not appeared. It will be the same against any Servant!"

"Y-You won't know unless we try! I was just unprepared that time. Now, we can prepare as much as possible, so I might at least be able to sneak an attack on them!"

"Ridiculous. A shield prepared by you would be no better than paper."

"Whoa, that's a horrible thing to say, Saber!"

"You are the one insulting the Servants. You are conceited, thinking that you can defeat a heroic spirit as a mere human."


Saber and I glare at each other.

It's no use. It looks this conversation is going nowhere with no compromise in sight.

"You're wrong, Saber. Shirou isn't insulting the Servants. I'm interrupting because the conversation won't go anywhere if you misunderstand that."

"Rin...? What do you mean by that...?"

"Well, in short, he just doesn't want to get you hurt. I don't know why, but Shirou is full of devotion to others.

Right? Saber is more important to you than you are, right?"

Tohsaka looks at me.

"...T-That's not true...! I didn't say Saber was important to me."

"That's a lie. You couldn't say you'd fight yourself unless you thought so.

Because you already know you can't beat a Servant yourself, right? But saying you'll fight in spite of that means that Saber is more important than you."


Ah... um?

Well, it's like that if she says so, but――

"That's why you fight even though it's absurd to do so. You try to win even when you realize you have no chance of winning. You don't care if you die in the process.

Because for you, though I don't know why, other people are more important than yourself."



I didn't mean that at all...

"That's why. You should understand, Saber. He's an idiot who will protect you against that Berserker. That's why he's saying seriously that he'll fight."

I don't know how much of Tohsaka's explanation Saber understood.

But Saber takes a deep breath and looks at me.


"W-What, Saber?"

"I will approve of you fighting. But if that is the case, I have something else in mind as well."

"――S-So, what?"

"Sword training. I will teach you as much swordsmanship as is possible in the time allowed. If you will accept that, I will accept your opinion as well."


Does that mean she will train me in swordsmanship...?

Um, because she allows me to fight from now on...?

"Hold on. That's excess weight on your mind, Saber.

Teaching Shirou swordsmanship? Cut it out. There's no way you can match a Servant with something like that."

"That is true. But it would be better than not knowing.

It should at least reduce hesitation in battle.

I can only gamble on Shirou's determination after that, but that is how real battles are anyway. There is nothing one can obtain if they are not fit for it."

"...Hmm... well, you're right when you put it like that.

Readiness to fight won't come unless you do so at least once."

"Yes, so once... no, not once, but as many times as time allows, I would like for Shirou to experience 'death in battle' and become familiar with fighting."

The two talk dangerously.

"Hold on. I didn't say I would――"

"Then I guess I'll teach him about magecraft.

If Saber's going to train his body, I'll train his knowledge. ...Well, that was the initial promise anyway, so I guess I'll start proper training for him tomorrow."

"Please. If you do that, I can concentrate on the sword myself."

"It's fine. Then since we're decided, let's break up for tonight. It looks like we're going to be busy tomorrow."

Tohsaka waves goodbye and disappears into the outbuilding.

"I will be resting as well. You should rest also, Shirou. I will have you train in the dojo tomorrow."

She gives a small bow and goes back to her room.


In the living room are the untouched teas and myself standing there dumbfounded.

"――So I never said I would..."

The words I murmur are ignored.


The already confusing situation looks like it will get even stranger.

I can't even guess what will happen tomorrow.

"...I'll sleep. I have to save my energy at the least."

Everything starts from my body.

...Well, um.

You could say that I can only rely on the hope that if my body is well-prepared, I can overcome any hardships.

Scene 12 - Morning at the Emiya household: Festival

The next day.

After a normal morning, I enter the living room to find a complicated breakfast table.

"Sorry, Sakura. I can't eat butter. Pass me that marmalade over there."

"Really? Tohsaka-Senpai, you seemed like you didn't like sweet things."

"Nonsense, no such girl exists. It's not that I don't like sugar, but I can't take it. If I let my guard down, I grow where you can't see, so I can only eat sweets once a week."

"...? But you're still eating marmalade, Senpai?"

"I eat sugar in the mornings. I have to eat at least a bit, or the backlash later on could get scary."

"I see. Even if you eat only twice a day, it will get worse if you eat twice as much."

"That's right. ...Hey, I wasn't going to say anything, but you eat a lot, Saber. You have a small frame, but you're eating as much as Sakura."

"Is that so? I think I am average. I believe the bread Sakura is eating is much more substantial than mine."

"T-That's not true...! You, Tohsaka-Senpai, and I all have two slices of toast."

"But the thickness is different. Ours are one centimeter thick while yours are two, so you are eating a lot. You are in your growing period, so it is good to get energy. How about eating not just one but actually finishing your share, Rin?"

"I'm telling you I can't. It's not like I'm Sakura and all the nutrients go to my chest. If I eat a lot in the morning, it'll increase. I usually don't eat breakfast, so I'm compromising already."

"...Tohsaka-Senpai, um, please don't talk about that in front of Senpai."

"...Hmm. You say 'it' will increase, but why do you avoid using specific terms, Rin?"

"Well, it's about those things you can't see. Oh well, you can see Sakura's, so you can leave her out of this."

"S-So please don't talk about it!"


I take a bite of the well-done toast.

Perhaps my brain just doesn't follow what's going in front of me, but I'm eating toast and not joining the conversation.

...Well, the truth is that there's no room for me to cut into the conversation.

"...I guess I didn't need to worry."

They seem to have a good relationship for now.

Tohsaka is the same as always, and Saber is more open than she was last night.

Sakura is... well, she still seems to be a bit resistant to Saber, but it doesn't look like she dislikes her.

"...I'm worried that Fuji-Nee isn't here, but she should be here tonight......"

The shock last night must have been a big one.

Well, she will probably come and eat dinner, so I'd think she'll have calmed down by then.

Breakfast ends, and I start cleaning up.

"Senpai, is it really okay leaving all the cleaning up to you?"

"Yeah, I'll do it. You have a club to go to.

There was that incident yesterday, so you should go."

"...Yes. Then I'll go on ahead, Senpai."

Sakura bows also to Tohsaka and leaves the living room in a hurry.

That leaves the three of us.

Which means, once Sakura leaves, the three of us who know the secret remain.

"Then I shall excuse myself as well. Please call for me if you need anything."

"See ya, Saber. I'll look after Shirou, so please take care of this place while we're gone."

"Yes. Please take care of Shirou, Rin."

Bowing lightly to Tohsaka, Saber returns to her room.

...Well, there's nothing to do here.

So she must want to save her energy by sleeping, but......

"...Geez. Does she only think about fighting?"

"Of course. You should start to show some willingness or Saber will lose patience with you.

Even though her wound isn't healed yet, she's not one to stay quiet forever, right?"

A clicking sound.

As she makes a scary comment, Tohsaka turns on the TV.

"―――Hm? This news again."

The morning news streams from the TV.

I listen to it while washing the dishes in the kitchen.


The content is the same as the news I heard a while ago.

"They're saying there was another gas leak incident over in the Shinto area.

...That's stupid. That kind of thing is happening here too."


Hold on.

Did Tohsaka say something really worrying?

"Tohsaka, what do you mean by that?"

"It's that the people are weakening with no obvious cause, right? People that have lost consciousness without an obvious cause, carried off to the hospital in a coma.

There must be a lot of them by now. There doesn't seem to be a danger in the victims' lives right now, but what happens in the future will depend on what the instigator decides."


Wait. Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait.

Not only in the neighboring town, but over here too?

Comas with no cause?

Numerous victims?

No, the problem is―――

"Tohsaka, are you saying it's the work of another Master?"

"Who else could it be? Please get used to it. You are a Master too, you know."

"That's――true. ...But, why didn't you tell me before, Tohsaka?"

"This incident isn't as simple.

The Master that put up the boundary field at school is third class, but this Master is first class. He isn't killing anyone. He's just storing power by absorbing half of their lives."

"...Well, it is true that the speed is slower, it doesn't break the rules of magi. And there's also no need to push oneself. This Master is stealing the simplest form of magical energy, 'life force', out of people in the city from a place far away."

"A place far away... can this person collect magical energy from such a distance?"

"It must be a really skilled magus.

Both Shinto and Miyama City. Only great magi can create an 'absorption' that can cover two towns."

"...Or maybe the Master has secured a superior spiritual ground. My father was saying something about a ley line in Fuyuki City, so if one took up a position there, it would be easy to collect life force..."

"...? Hey, Tohsaka."

"There weren't any references to it in Father's study, so if there is one, it'll be in the master's room... Oh man, that place is so weird even now, so I'd like to stay away from it if I can.

...But then, all I can do is ask Kirei... no, I can't. I can't be in debt to him."

"Tohsaka, hey―――"

There's no answer.

...It's no good. Tohsaka is immersed in talking to herself.

I reach the school gate with Tohsaka halfheartedly.

The front gate has students arriving at school, and the school is starting another normal day.


But still, there is an odd feel to it.

I went through the front gate without noticing it yesterday, but I can certainly sense it if I look for it.

...How can I put this... it's so calm that even my instincts go numb.

"...You're right. The air is different from outside. It's like sweet honey."

"Oh, that's the way you feel it, huh? ...You're unskilled at detecting magical energy, but you might be sensitive to disorders in the world."

Tohsaka ponders.

"But sweet honey, huh? Speaking figuratively, like an insectivorous plant?

Yeah, that's a good way of putting it."

"...An insectivorous plant... that image is really bad."

"Really? I don't think your instinct is off. Because in this school, everyone will be eaten alive when the lid of the boundary field closes."


She sees through the aspect I didn't say, and I gasp.

"As I thought. You're fun because you're easy to understand."

"Whatever. It's not fun for me."

"Don't get mad. Don't worry because I know what you want to say. You're thinking you don't want to involve the students here, and I don't want to use this place as a battlefield. So there's only one thing to do, right?"


These are words to test me.

Tohsaka is telling me...

The Holy Grail War―――the "enemy" I said I will fight against, the Master who is willing to drag in innocent people in order to win, is at this school.

"I know. We have to find the Master who constructed this boundary field and do something about it. And if he isn't willing to remove the boundary field, we'll just beat him."

"That's right. I'm glad you understand."

"Well then, I'll look for whoever constructed the boundary field, so you go and check suspicious areas.

I already looked around, but there might have been something I missed. You seem to be good at finding these points, so I'll let you do it."

Tohsaka waves her hand and runs into the school building.

"Hey―――Even if you say that, I have no idea...! What kind of places are suspicious ones, Tohsaka!?"

"To put it in your words, somewhere where the air is sweet!

Just look for a place where the honey is really sweet!"

She yells back, running.

And Tohsaka disappears into the school building.

"...What is she? Running away suddenly like that, I don't get what she's thinkin―――"


The bell for homeroom rings.

"I-I see―――hey, why didn't she tell me that if she knew...!?"

I hold my bag and run full speed.

After that incident yesterday, who knows what Fuji-Nee will say if I'm late.

Scene 13 - Everyone getting along

I descend the hill and return to the intersection.

If I head up to the residential district on the other side, I will be heading home, but―――

"...There's a Master at Ryuudou Temple, huh?"

An hour's walk to the mountain.

Taking the mountainside road, one can reach the mountain gate that leads to the Ryuudou Temple.

The Ryuudou Temple is a large temple up on the mountain, as big as our school.

Its cemetery is large, but more than that, it's a small world made up of fifty practicing monks.

The people of the town are helped by the people of Ryuudou Temple, but they also honor it as a sacred place that is not to be visited lightly.

"...Come to think of it, I haven't been to Ryuudou Temple recently."

Ever since I went there last summer to stay there as mental training.

The temple's life gets really hard during the winter, so I was thinking about returning there during the winter―――

"Hm? What is someone who boycotted afternoon classes doing here?"

Speaking of the devil, or whatever...

I run into Ryuudou Temple's successor, Ryuudou Issei.

"Yo. Is school over already?"

"Of course it's over. I'm heading home since I don't have anything to do for the student council, but is something wrong? You seemed to be staring at the mountain."

"No, there wasn't anything wrong. I just felt like going home."

"Heh. The teachers would be out of business if people skipped class just because they feel like it. ―――So, I'm asking why you were looking at the mountain."

"...Well. Issei, it's a small thing, but has there been anything strange going on recently?"

"Well. Change is common, but nothing has drastically changed. The mountain is always peaceful, and peace makes up ordinary days."

"Sorry Issei, I'm being serious here."

"H-How rude! I'm serious too!"

"It looks like it. Then it's good, I guess it was just overanxiety."

"Fine, if you understand. I wouldn't joke with you."

With a cough, Issei calms down.

"...But, hmm... There has been a change, but I wonder..."

"Huh...? A change? In the temple...!?"

"Yeah. Not the mountain, but the air at our temple is restless. She's apparently an acquaintance of my father, but we've taken in a bothersome guest. It's a problem because she is beautiful.

Geez, why is everyone making so much commotion over one woman?"

"Woman―――does Ryuudou Temple have nuns?"

"No. This is a special circumstance, and we're letting her use a room until the wedding celebration―――no, but this person is so beautiful that it even captivates me when she's getting water from the well."

"What do you mean 'a special circumstance'... hey Issei? Hey, are you listening to me?"

"Mm, sorry. That is why women are bad.

Reject lust, be calm Issei."

The student council president starts to recite Buddhist scriptures.

...Geez, he's so serious, so he's hard to deal with when he gets like this.

"Heeeey, are you all right Issei?"

"No problem. My training is insufficient, so I wish to purify myself more."

I guess he still didn't hear me as he disappears into the back of the town.

The sun is already setting by the time I reach my house.

I'm home first just like yesterday.

Sakura and Fuji-Nee will be here soon, and Tohsaka should be back too.

"...I'll talk to her about what I heard from Shinji after Sakura and Fuji-Nee go home..."

There's no point in talking about it when those two are here.

That decided, I have to go and prepare dinner.

Tohsaka got me yesterday, and I have to try to put Fuji-Nee in a better mood.

Cooking takes time and effort before love.

If I am to go for a sure win, I will have to spend twice as much time.


After all that, what happened is...

"Huumph! What, I didn't lose! Stupid Tohsaka-san! Bully!"

"I'm talking about the taste of the food. Um, it's the best dinner so far according to Fujimura-Sensei, so I'm saying we should share it among everyone."

"... Hmmm... I think she's saying something else.

Tohsaka-san said she didn't want to eat the food Shirou cooked."

"That's only in the mornings. I eat dinner like normal and we take turns cooking dinner, so it is my right to eat.

If you don't like that, please take my place tomorrow."

"Ugh―――that personality that strikes precisely at my weak point. Man, I didn't think you were such a terrible student."

Fuji-Nee reluctantly returns the pot to the table.

And so, the specially prepared rice returns to the table safely.

"...Hold on, Fuji-Nee, I cooked a lot so you don't need to hurry. I made enough for everyone."

Munch, munch.

"T-That's right... but Senpai, isn't this a bit too much?"

Munch, munch.

"Yes. Two casks for four people is obviously too much."

Munch, munch.

"It's not a cask, it's a pot. And it's fine. The rice is today's main dish, so there can be lots of it. If there's any left over, I'll make some riceballs and it'll be lunch for tomorrow."

Munch, munch.

"Oh, can I have some too? I usually don't like fried rice, but this is exceptional. There are lots of things in it. What exactly did you use?"

Munch, munch.

"It's basically rice mixed with mushrooms, right? There are lots of details, like the way it's using citrus instead of fried things for its aroma."

Munch, munch.

"...Fine! I'll eat it all myself then! You watch!"

Fuji-Nee must have given up taking the pot for herself, as she starts to eat really fast.

She empties her bowl quickly and asks for more in no time.

"...Fine, but it won't run out even if you take it slow, Fuji-Nee."

"That's fine! I'm going to eat Shirou's food, so I won't give it to some stranger!"

She snatches away the bowl.


I don't get it.

Sakura is smiling awkwardly, Tohsaka is ignoring Fuji-Nee, and Saber is eating her food.

...I put in a lot of effort to make this, but it might have had the opposite of the desired effect.

The dinner that was supposed to have Tohsaka admit defeat ends loudly because of Fuji-Nee's strange actions.

"Then, see you Senpai."

"Yeah. Fuji-Nee, please take Sakura home safely."

"Yeah, yeah, I know. Don't worry."

Stepping lightly, Fuji-Nee holds Sakura's hand.

"What? Shirou, you look like you're wondering about something."

"Of course I'm wondering. Usually, people can't move after eating that much."

"Really? It was tough, but it's fine once you swallow it."

So you should realize the problem is that there's no limit to that, Tiger.

Just as one would expect from a wild tiger. If possible, I don't want it accidentally trespassing into human society.

"Then see you tomorrow. Don't stay up late, you two."

"Yes, good night Senpai."

"Yeah, night Shirou."

Scene 14 - "Demonic Sword"-VS Assassin 2

The points of the swords cross.

The swords are swung many times.

Numerous blows.

The sword and the katana repel each other, scattering sparks.

――The session of more than a few dozen blows does not change the positions of the two.

Assassin, positioned above, does not retreat even a step,

and Saber, trying to ascend the stairs, is unable to draw nearer and uselessly wastes time and spirit.


Saber rushes in again.

Assassin swings his longsword without difficulty and defends completely against Saber's charge.

No, it isn't as simple as defending.

If Saber's sword is lightning, Assassin's sword is a hurricane.

Even though it does not match Saber in speed or power, its elastic tracks parry Saber's every blow.

And the counter increases speed and flows toward Saber's neck like a strong wind.

――When Saber steps in again after avoiding that attack, the sword she has avoided comes at her again in no time.

In contrast to the straight path Saber's sword takes, Assassin's sword takes a curved path.

Assassin's blade is graceful, but since it moves in an arc, it does not take the shortest route.

So he shouldn't be able to make it in time against Saber's sword moving in a straight line, but there is something about Assassin that reduces that difference to zero.


The charge stops.

Her sword won't make it in time against his sword's counter-attack.

She steps back, knowing the only way she can avoid it is to retreat.

Assassin's swordplay is fascinatingly beautiful. But at the same time, it is so fast that it is hard to follow.

Is that contradiction because of Assassin's skill or the unfavorable position of attacking someone on higher ground?

Without a definite answer, she avoids the sword pursuing her and parries the point trying to pierce her neck.


When she notices, she has retreated a few more steps.

It's such a long sword.

It should be easy to go inside on him once she has parried it away once, but she somehow cannot manage to do so.

The enemy's excellent skill and the definitely disadvantageous ground.

Saber bites her lips, thinking she would not have this much trouble with that longsword on flat ground.

"――It is indeed hard to fight against. I did not imagine an invisible sword would be this troublesome."

Assassin does not move.

For him, this is only a battle of defense.

He has no need to chase the retreating Saber without reason nor forsake his advantage of higher ground.

"...Hmm. I believe this is the first time you've even seen a katana, is it not?

My sword is a heresy, and it will slice the head of one of average skill. I am happy you have blocked this much, Saber."

"And on top of that, your drive is marvelous. You are able to do so much with that small body of yours. Your body must indeed be well-trained."

As he has no need to keep attacking, Assassin observes Saber calmly.

His sword wavers, losing strength.

She cannot charge as if that is an opening.

There are no stances for that man.

He can only use that long a sword if he can swing it from any position.

"What? It cannot be that this is the end. That invisible sword is not just mere show, is it not?"

"Hah, quit your impudent talk――!"

The sword and the katana crash.

"――All right, I am correct...!"

The longsword stops in empty space.

Assassin smiles and looks at his sword blocking the invisible sword, parries her sword, and――

Saber defends herself from the blow to her neck.


Even Saber knows.

That it is because of her invisible sword that she is able to block Assassin's unfamiliar techniques.

The invisible sword confuses the opponent's senses in both offense and defense.

That is why Assassin does not follow through too much.

As he does not know how long Saber's sword is, it is too dangerous for Assassin to close in on Saber.

If Assassin ever goes to attack Saber, that will be when――


Saber tries to smash Assassin's head.

That blow....

...Is perfectly dodged by Assassin, who merely retreats a bit.

"...All right, I see it now. The blade is roughly three Shaku (ninety centimeters) long and four sun (twelve centimeters) wide. The shape is... hmmm... like your name, Saber, it is a typical western sword."

He talks calmly but it does not even need to be said how good his judgment is.

Saber's blows are too fast to perceive even if the sword can be seen.

But not only does he defend against the invisible sword, but he has figured out its shape――

"I cannot believe it. You have measured my sword without using any magecraft nor exchanging blows with me."

"Oh, are you surprised? But this is just a street performance. As I am an unorthodox sword-user, I only improve on such techniques."

"――I see. It was your way of fighting not to meet any of my blows, but parry them. I see the term unorthodox comes from how much of a coward you are."

"Ha――No, no. Forgive my rudeness in not locking blades with you.

I have this longsword. It will break if I fight off your sword. It must be your style to compete in power, but I cannot do so. I cannot lock blades with you and compete strength with you."


"The Katana is always such a sword.

Western swords cut with their weight and power.

But our blades cut with speed and technique.

It is no wonder our fighting styles are mismatched, is it not?"

"But well... this is somewhat unentertaining.

Now is a good time, Saber. Stop hiding your true powers."

"...Assassin, are you saying I am going easy on you?"

"Are you saying you are not? I do not know your intentions, but you are taking me lightly fighting with your sheath on. Are you telling me that I am not worthy to fight seriously?"


"Hm. It still seems as if you will not comply with my request.

――Fine, then this is it. If you are unwilling to do so, I will show you my secret technique first."

Saying so...

The swordsman with the longsword comes down next to Saber.


To relinquish his advantage of being overhead is the same as losing for Assassin.

Assassin is certainly a skilled swordsman, but that is only with the conditions of these geographical features.

If they are to fight on the same level, it is possible for Saber to repel Assassin's attack and slash his neck.

But Assassin would know this as well.

So why――?

"Be ready. Or you will die, Saber."

Saber's instincts react to that voice.

――He's telling the truth.

It is not advantageous at all for Saber that Assassin has come down.

The instincts that have got her through numerous battles warn her of her misunderstanding.


She readies her sword at once.

There is no time to hesitate.

She only has to attack with her sword before Assassin swings his longsword――!


There's about three meters of distance between them.

With Saber trying to charge in, Assassin stands ready.


...Is a stance that the swordsman has not yet shown in this battle.

"Secret technique―――――"

Saber charges in.

The longsword is useless now.

As long as she's inside its range, its length will backfire.



Such logic does not exist with this swordsman.

The lightning strikes.

An evil strike that attacks with speed overwhelming Saber――!


But it is not as if Saber cannot block such an attack.

She moves her attacking sword into defense, and she repels Assassin's full-power attack...!

"Got it...!"

Even Assassin will have an opening if that attack is repelled.

In the small instant where she tries to slice Assassin's stomach...


In that instant, Saber trusts her instincts and rolls down the stone steps.

She rolls down as if fleeing.

She doesn't even soften her landing.

Saber spins her body frantically and rolls down the stairs without killing her speed.


Saber stops rolling and stands back up.

She stares at the swordsman standing calmly.

"Oh. You have dodged my secret technique. As expected of Saber, you are unlike the swallow."

"――I do not believe it. That cannot be..."

"No, it is nothing much. It is just something I thought of when considering how to hit swallows."

He raises his longsword a little.

As if――to trace the movement of the technique that inspired fear in Saber.

"Can you see it, Saber?

Swallows avoid the sword by feeling the wind. It does not matter how fast your sword is. You cannot swing a sword without shaking the air, correct? The swallows feel this shaking and change their direction of flight.

So no one could kill the swallows with one blow, no matter what kind of blow it was. A sword is only a straight line after all. It is only natural for it to be unable to apprehend the swallow, which can move vertically and horizontally."

"Thus you only have to surround its escape route.

Use one blow to attack the swallow and use your second blow to catch the escaping swallow as it reads the wind.

But they are fast. The second blow cannot come in time with this longsword. If I wanted to get the swallows, I would have to do both attacks at about the same time. But such a thing is beyond human abilities.

I accepted such a thing was impossible, but―――

"―――Unfortunately, I had nothing else to do.

They say determination is key to success, but when I noticed, it was like this.

A worthless idea to kill a swallow became a secret technique that creates a prison with many slashes."

In her mind, Saber disagrees with Assassin's words.

It's wrong.

That technique is not as simple as that.

About the same time? No.

The two blows came at exactly the same time.

Assassin's――Sasaki Kojirou's longsword doubled its existence for just that instant.

"Multi-dimensional refraction phenomenon... Kishua Zelretch... A Servant that has reached the level of a Noble Phantasm with mere skill―――"

That fact is what should be admired.

That one blow made it clear.

Sasaki Kojirou does not have a Noble Phantasm like heroic spirits have.

He has only his demonic technique, made possible by his god-like skill.

It is impossible――but this mere human is equal to heroic spirits armed with Noble Phantasms――!

"But the foothold was bad. The Tsubame-Gaeshi originally has three slashes. If this place were a bit wider, I could have added the vertical slash as well."

"...I would assume so. It would not be effective without that.

If everything is to happen at the same time, the second blow has to be slower. To compensate for that, there should be a third vertical attack, to prevent the opponent from dodging sideways."

"You catch on quickly. That must be why you were able to avoid my secret technique.

――Hah, you are wonderful, Saber.

I have cursed myself for being summoned in this world, but that will end tonight. If I am able to battle someone I can fully use my secret attacks on, it is well worth being summoned―――"

Assassin readies his sword once again and comes down the stairs.

He must be after Saber's neck.

Saber is not confident if she will be able to avoid that secret technique again.

Like Lancer's Gae Bolg, Assassin's Tsubame-Gaeshi is something that cannot be allowed to begin.

No, unlike Gae Bolg, that allows you to find a countermeasure once you find out it will go for the heart, there are no possible counters for Assassin's secret technique even when you know about it.

If there is a countermeasure, it is only not to let him use it.

To beat it, she must attack him with her strongest blow before Assassin uses that technique――

"...I see. Certainly, you are not someone I can go easy on."

She lowers her arms.

She lowers her sword as if to stick it into the ground. She glares at Assassin, who is approaching her.

"Hm...? So you are finally ready to do so?"

Assassin stops descending the steps and readies himself for a certain kill.

Saber looks at him bravely.

"――I too have no complaints.

Will you be able to take my attack, Servant Assassin...!?"

Saber releases her own restraints.

The air shakes.

As if acting in response to her will, the sword erupts with a massive amount of wind.


Assassin retreats a bit.

It is only natural as the wind pressure released from Saber is extraordinary.

Not only Assassin, but even the large firm trees of the forest are shaking and creaking.

It is a flow of wind like an explosion.

The trapped air is released and explodes outward.

This raging wind that would easily blow away a normal person is coming out from Saber's sword.

That is the power of her sword.

"Invisible Air" is a sword that has wind sealed in it.

The sword that covers itself in compressed wind changes the refraction of light to make it look invisible.

So this phenomenon occurs once the wind is released.

The released wind seeks escape and emits itself chaotically into the surroundings.

――In that instant.

It is the commanding magecraft of the sword that allows her to freely manipulate the raging wind.

With Saber possessing incredible amounts of magical energy, she should be able to hold this boundary field for a few minutes.

As proof, her sword is still invisible even though she has already released this much wind.

"...Hm. It is like a typhoon, but―――"

The power of the raging wind does not abate.

The wind emitting from Saber's sword is about to engulf Assassin.

"――It cannot be just this. I will find out what is behind all this, Saber...!"

Assassin closes in against the blinding raging wind.


Saber's arms move.

To attack Assassin who is calmly advancing in the strong wind that allows no approach, the sword clad in wind roars and―――

Scene 15 - Tiger Dojo 3

You thoughtless Shirou!

Thoughtless Shirou!!

What are you doing when her wound hasn't even healed yet?

You just became a Master, so you should train yourself a bit more!

That's right. It can't be helped if you're killed by me, but being killed by that fox isn't cool. Hurry back to the previous choice and stay home tonight.

That's right. Make sure to properly consider your actions next time.

―――Well. Tiger Dojo, the support for all those who reach dead ends because of mistakes, is entering its third session already.

I think you people are getting used to this dojo, but...

But? What is it, Taiga? Are you hinting at something? Is there something you want to say?

...Yes. Actually, I think everyone's starting to wonder by now as well.


Well, then I'll say it but―――

Isn't that buruma too direct!!!!!!?

Huh? But this is a dojo, right? I'm in my gym uniform because we're going to be working out.

...I see. So that's the reason, huh? That's certainly logical. I thought it was a scheme of a mischievous girl trying to steal away the few spotlights I have.

You're thinking too much, Taiga. After all, we're on a completely different level. I don't even need to change into my best clothes.

You're right! We're treated differently, so there's isn't even a need to compete.

Thank God. We're best friends forever.

The gym uniform is a sign of vitality, so I'll allow Illya-chan to keep wearing it!

Of course. Well, you can thank me for not being in a maid costume or a school swimsuit. Actually, I was supposed to appear in a different costume every time.

Wow. An obvious difference in our treatment.

Heh, I'm not vexed. The idea was discarded after all, so you're treated the same way as I am.

...But I'm a bit curious.

What kind of costumes were you planning to wear?

Um, things like male school uniform, kamakura style, my adult version, snowman, apron, kimono, G*rman army officer's uniform...

There were forty different costumes!

Guaaaaa! That's enough! Such blessed love is too hateful!

But it's a bit disappointing since I wanted to see the officer uniform.

Yeah. I don't think it's good to take back a decision they've already made, even though they're adults.

You're right! What are the commanders thinking to take away my route!? Do they really want to win!?

You had no route from the start.

What!? Stay there, you disgrace!

Kyaaaaa, heeeeelp meeeee.

Oh, hi, Senpai.

Stay relaxed.

She's gone... Taiga's unconscious, so maybe I should head back too.

Give you the stamp and... all right, let's meet again after the next dead end!