FSN Fate Day 12 (EN)

Scene 00

I start mixing.

I mix onion, breadcrumbs, alcohol, egg, and salt, and put it in with the beef and pork.

I've decided to cook Japanese-style hamburger for breakfast.

"Rin? Have you awoken?"

I can hear Saber's voice from the living room.


I turn around while cooking.

"...Morning. Sorry, let me have some milk, Shirou."

Tohsaka comes over with an unhappy face and takes some milk out of the refrigerator.

"Gah, my head hurts from sleeping too much... Hey, you sure are putting a lot of effort into breakfast."

Where did that bad mood from earlier go? Tohsaka Rin's eyes gleam as soon as she turns to me.

"Wow, that looks good. I'm hungry so that's really helpful."

I see. But you're the one that benefits, not me.

This must be what my father said... for someone to benefit, someone must lose.

"...I've thought so for a while, but you're pretty sharp."

"Oh, I'm only normally witted. So prepare some for me too."

Waving her hand, Tohsaka returns to the living room.

With a glass of milk in one hand, she takes position at the table.


Should I say she's really relaxing or acting like royalty?

"You are acting quite lazily, Rin."

All right, way to go Saber. She sure is good at saying difficult things.


Tohsaka waves off Saber's criticism lazily like she doesn't care.

"Of course I'm getting lazy.

Now that Berserker is gone, all that's left are Caster, Lancer, and Assassin, right? They aren't much compared to Berserker, and they can easily be fought off in Saber's present condition."

"――I do not know. Lancer's Master is still a mystery, and Assassin is not an enemy that can be defeated by ordinary methods.

And we have not even met Caster yet."

"Don't be modest. A normal hero is an easy opponent for King Arthur, right?

You were grieving because you didn't have enough magical energy, but that's solved now.

There's no Servant now that can match you, Saber."


Saber narrows her eyes at Tohsaka's words.

...I feel the same way.

The thing Tohsaka just said can't be ignored lightly.

"――Tohsaka. You knew who Saber was?"

"Vaguely. I only confirmed it yesterday. There's only one hero who can use such a holy sword.

...Well, I was surprised that the legendary King Arthur is a girl, but if the real thing is in front of me, all I can do is believe it."

"And legends usually are conveniently altered, right?

I don't know if Saber hid it or the people around her hid it, but it certainly wasn't convenient for a girl to be a king in the medieval times.

Of course they'd treat her as a man."

Tohsaka has the same tone of voice as always.

Saber doesn't seem to care that much either.

She rather seems to be agreeing with Tohsaka's opinion and shows no sign of denying anything.


So she has clearly admitted that it's true.

A hero related to swords is chosen for the Servant Saber. From that perspective, she is certainly the best Saber there could be.

The great hero of England.

The bearer of the holy sword that everybody even in this distant country has heard of.

...But if that's the case, then what?

The end of the legend of King Arthur ends with the king's death.

No, they are still human even though they are heroes.

It's only natural for their last moment to end in death, but no hero dies normally.

King Arthur was no exception.

I remember that the end of King Arthur was in a war.

The great battle of Camlann.

Having unified Britain and with no outside enemies to defeat, King Arthur faced an unexpected "enemy" in the end.

The enemy was her own army that she protected. Because of a betrayal by the ones she trusted, King Arthur was attacked by the knights she had fought with, and it is said that the king had to defeat them.

King Arthur succeeded in defeating the enemy leader, but took a fatal wound in the process and entrusted her only surviving knight, Sir Bedivere, with the return of the holy sword.

"Go past this bloody battlefield and the hill.

There should be a lake there. Throw this sword into that lake."

But Bedivere could not follow the order.

Fearing the loss of the sword, Bedivere gave a false report the first and the second time, saying that he had thrown the sword into the lake.

Every time, King Arthur would order Bedivere to throw the sword away, and the order was followed on the third trip.

And it is said that King Arthur died after ascertaining that the holy sword had been returned.

"But anyway, what are you going to do now, Shirou?"

――And then.

Tohsaka suddenly glares at me.

"Um... about――what now?"

"About that dangerous child, who's asleep right now.

You're the one who brought her here, even though I told you to leave her behind."

"I would like to comment on that as well. Even though she has lost Berserker, Illyasviel is a dangerous Master. It is not a wise decision to protect her now."

"Yeah. You can just leave her in Kirei's care."


The two judge this a good time and glare at me together.

...That's right.

Illya fainted after Berserker disappeared.

I couldn't just leave her be since she showed no sign of waking up, so I brought her here.

Tohsaka and Saber objected, so I was the one who carried her.

A Master who loses their Servant has to run away or go to the church for protection before they're killed by other Masters.

Tohsaka says we should let Kotomine take care of her, but I'm letting her sleep in a room here since I don't think he would take very good care of her――

"Shirou. Your thoughts are honorable, but it is dangerous to associate yourself with Illyasviel. You still have time. You must let the church take care of her or remove her Command Spell."

Saber glares at me.


She's serious.

Convincing her will be really difficult.

"W-What? We couldn't just leave her.

Illya is still a child, and she was acting strangely too. And I'd feel sorry just leaving her in Kotomine's care."

"Feel sorry? How can you say that after what she did to us!?"

"I agree. You feel too much empathy for Illyasviel. She tried to kill you many times."

The two are even more united now.

But I can't let them talk me out of it.

"Illya was certainly our enemy, but she didn't have any malice. Illya won't do that sort of thing again if there's someone there to tell her what's right.

And I think I said this at the beginning.

I'm not fighting to kill other Masters. I'm just fighting to end this war."

"I――know that, but..."

Saber doesn't agree, but her voice softens.


"I see. Then you're saying you'll forgive everything Illyasviel did? I'm sure you know she has attacked other Masters as well. She might have killed several Masters already. You're saying you'll save her in spite of that?"

"――Tha... t's..."

...That's right.

Illya admitted it. She killed Shinji.

Shinji used Rider to try to kill the students at school. If those were his intentions as a Master, I guess his death couldn't be helped.

...But still, Shinji is a friend I've known for years and thinking about his sister, Sakura, I can't forgive everything Illya did.

"――But then, there would be no end to it.

If Illya isn't a Master and if she can regret what she did, I think we should save her."

"...Yeah, that's right.

But Shirou, I have no intention of forgiving her for Archer. She killed my Archer."

...Everybody freezes.

We freeze, looking at each other.


"Come on, Servants disappear in the end anyway. You're a failure as a Master if you worry about that sort of a thing."

The girl under discussion, who should be asleep, appears.


"Hold on, I have no business with you two. I don't intend to fight, so can you two stop being angry?

...Really, I'm embarrassed as a lady. You're much older than me, but you two have no modesty."

Illya shrugs her shoulders as if to show her shock.


Saber and Tohsaka get mad together.

They are scarier in a different sense.

"Well, I won't get angry about that either. This is no time to worry about you two."

Saying that, Illya turns to me.

...Is this an illusion?

Illya pinches the end of her skirt in a polite manner and bows to me respectfully.


"I thank you, Master of Saber. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your concern towards me, who was your enemy."


I stare at Illya in surprise.

Saber is silent as well, so she might not have expected it either.

Tohsaka is drinking milk and looking at Illya suspiciously.

――And then.

Illya gives her usual smile and...

"Just kidding.

Yeah, Shirou is my Onii-chan!"

She comes straight for me and hugs my neck.


I choke at the surprise attack.


Tohsaka is choking on the milk she's drinking.


Saber gets mad, but keeps a straight face.

"G-Get away, you impudent...!"

Saber runs to me.

But Illya spins around behind me, using my neck as a fulcrum.

"Heh, who's the impudent one? A Servant is a hundred years too early to give me her opinion."

"I have no obligation nor desire to obey you...! If you have time to talk back, get away from Shirou right away...!"

"I'm not listening to you. Hey Shirou, let's do the thing we did yesterday. It's called a piggy-back ride, right!?"

Illya twirls and twirls.

Saber goes around to try to catch her.


This is bad.

This is really bad.

The two's staredown doesn't end.

...It must be because she's watching from a distance.

Tohsaka wipes the milk off her mouth as if nothing is happening and says in a disinterested manner,

"It's of no concern to me, but he'll die if you keep that up."


The two look at my face in surprise.


My neck is being choked and my life's in danger. I'm in a real pinch right now――

Well, let's check the current situation.

The hamburger I was making is in the refrigerator right now.

First, Tohsaka is the quiet one.

It seems she's keeping a poker face and trying to see how things turn out, but who knows what she's thinking on the inside.

"Hm? What, Shirou?"

Illya is sitting next to me, and she's in a good mood for some reason.

She's looking around the living room curiously, but it seems like Tohsaka and Saber are none of her concern.

She probably wouldn't listen even if they talked to her.

And the hardest one to deal with is...


Saber, who is glaring restlessly at me and Illya.

Being restless and uneasy is totally unlike her.

Because of her, I feel like I'm sitting on a cushion full of needles.

...So I can't let things stay like this.

I don't know what will come out of this, but I have to make up my mind and escape the current situation.

"――Let's decide.

Morning will end if we keep on like this."

"Yeah. The conclusion is decided, and the problem needs to be taken care of quickly. Isn't that right, Saber?"

"Yes. My opinion and Rin's are the same, so all we need to do is make Shirou agree..."

Saber is ready to fight it out to the very end.

...Well, I guess it can't be helped since Illya was the most difficult enemy for Saber.

"...? Hey Shirou. What do Rin and Saber want to talk about?"

Illya asks me innocently.

"Uh... well. Um, about what to do with you. You lost your Servant, right? So we're wondering what you're going to do now."

"It's already decided. We have the church protect her or kick her back to her castle. Either way, she doesn't have the option of staying here."

"...Do you think so too, Shirou?"

Illya looks up at me with emotionless eyes.


Scene 01

Kiritsugu used to say that girls should be protected and, most of all, I don't want to let a child suffer.

"――No. I think Illya should stay here.

The Holy Grail War isn't over yet. I want to shelter her here until the end."

"Yeah! If you say that, I'll stay here for you!"

"...! Illya, it hurts, it hurts...!"

Illya hugs me, but I get her off of me――well, there's no need to do that myself as Saber does it for me.

"Hey, why do you keep getting in my way? Do you have some grudge against me?"

"Of course! I will not forget what you did to Shirou...! You too, Shirou! Do you not realize that sheltering Illyasviel will only bring you harm!?"

"Hey, why is that? Illya doesn't have her Servant now, so she can't be dangerous. She's not a Master anymore.

More importantly, what will you do if she gets attacked by another Master after you abandon her? Illya's life would be in danger, and the other Master would gain power."

"Uh... that is true, but――"

Saber hesitates.

Whatever she may say, Saber does understand that Illya would be attacked by other Masters if she was left alone.

Scene 02

...She should be sheltered at the church.

That's the safest choice for Illya.

"Then it's decided. Well, there was never really any question."


"Of course. It would be ridiculous to allow Illyasviel to stay here."


She looks up at me with uneasy eyes.

"No――you're different, right, Shirou? You won't abandon me, right...?"


I place my hand over my grinding heart.

"...No. You should go to the church.

That place is much safer than here."

At least, I look straight into her eyes and tell her.

...Illya gasps in surprise.

"...Illyasviel. Since Shirou has saved you, I will not pursue you any farther. If you appreciate Shirou's actions, value your life――"


No, I don't want to go to the church, I don't want to go anywhere, and I really don't want to be alone...! I want to be with you...!!!!"


Illya cries like a small child.

...No, that's not right.

She is a small child.

I should have known that, but I forgot it at the most crucial moment.

――That's right.

If I really care about Illya, I can't entrust her into someone else's hands――

"You have such a big castle, but you want to stay here...? This place is smaller than a cat's forehead compared to the Einzbern castle."

"Hey, that's rude! This place is only as small as a rat's claw...!

Your place is only uselessly large, Rin. But I can manage to live with Shirou...!"


Which of us is she being rude to?

"Isn't that right, Shirou? I can stay here, right...?"

She looks at me as if clinging on to me.

...That reminds of something from a long time ago.

Oh yeah, Father used to say that girls have to be protected.

"――Yeah, I'll take it back.

I'm sorry, Illya. I'm the one who brought you here. I'll shelter you at this house until the Holy Grail War ends――until the match with the other Masters ends."

"What, Shirou...!?"

"Aha...! Shirou, you're really a sweetie!"

"Guh...!? Hey Illya, it hurts, it hurts...!"

"Do not touch my Master, Illyasviel...!

And what do you mean, sweetie!?"

"She must mean really sweet. Reaaaaally sweet."

"Oh...! Geez, why do you keep getting in my way?

Do you have some grudge against me?"

"Of course! I will not forget what you did to Shirou...! You too, Shirou! Do you not realize that sheltering Illyasviel will only bring you harm!?"

"That's wrong, Saber. Illya doesn't have her Servant any more, so she can't be dangerous. She's not a Master anymore, so she has no more reason to fight us.

More importantly, what will you do if she gets attacked by another Master after you abandon her? Illya's life would be in danger, and the other Master would gain power."

"Uh... that is true, but――"

Saber hesitates.

Whatever she may say, Saber does understand that Illya would be attacked by other Masters if she was left alone.

Scene 03

"――Then it's my turn next.

I'm sorry to say this right after you made Saber surrender, but I'm not convinced yet.

Look, Shirou. She's still a Master. I told you that a Master is a Master until they lose their Command Spell, even if they happen to lose their Servant."

...And thus,

Drinking tea gracefully, Tohsaka interrupts the conversation.

"Huh? Hey, what do you mean by that?"

"I'm saying that one can make a contract with as many Servants as they like as long as they have a Command Spell.

If there is a 'stray Servant' that doesn't have a Master, and if a Master has enough magical energy capacity to take in that 'stray Servant', he can make a contract with as many Servants as he wants."

"W-What's with that?

Then a superior Master can form contracts with as many Servants as he wants?"

"Not however many he wants. Seven is the maximum number of Servants that the Holy Grail can call on, so seven would be the maximum.

...But then, even an excellent magus wouldn't have enough magical energy to materialize more than one Servant."

"Even if they could, that would mean splitting a power of ten into two fives. So the abilities of the Servants would decrease, and the point of forming a contract with multiple Servants is defeated."

...I see.

So if I formed a contract with Saber and Berserker, Saber and Berserker would both exist sharing my magical energy, so their abilities would considerably decrease.

So that means it's more efficient to choose one Servant to give magical energy to.

"...Come to think of it, you said before that Servants can change their Masters. You were talking about this, right?"

"Oh, you're pretty perceptive for once.

As you say, that's what it means for Servants to change their Masters.

A servant that loses their Master has some time before they disappear. So if they can find a Master looking for a Servant and form a contract with them, they'll be back the same as before."

"Yeah, so watch out for Rin, Shirou. She's still a Master, so she might kill you and take Saber or form another contract with a remaining Servant."

"Yes. I'll say the exact same back to you, Illya."

"Heh, that's not true.

...I won't be with another Servant. My Servant will always be Berserker..."

Hanging her head slightly, Illya murmurs.

...I can understand why the two gasped.

I don't know what kind of relationship Illya and Berserker had.

But I can tell that for Illya, that Servant was special.

――That's a surprise, and a pleasant one.

Illya was cold-hearted as a Master, but she still valued her partner.

"Oh, but I'll take Saber if Shirou loses.

I won't let any Master other than Shirou win.

If Shirou loses, I'll win for him."

Illya says so to Saber and Tohsaka.

"Do not say such ridiculous things. I am Shirou's Servant. I have no intention of being yours."

"Oh. Yeah, that's okay.

I just want Shirou to win. Me winning and you protecting Shirou, it would be the same in the end anyway."


Illya says things in a strange way.

...Well, I can tell she wants for me to win, but why would she want that...?


Tohsaka must have found it strange too as she starts to think.

"I mind! I would not approve of that.

Rin, please warn Shirou about it."

"Huh? Sorry, I wasn't listening. Can you say it again?"

"We were objecting to protecting Illyasviel here."

"Oh, that? I think it's fine to just keep her here."


Saber freezes.

I'm surprised as well, so it's natural for the protesting Saber to freeze.

"R-Rin...! Are you mad!?"

"No. Thinking about it, the risks are the same. They won't change whether we leave Illya by herself, keep her here, or let her be in the care of the church.

No, it's actually better if other Masters come here after Illya."

"In your current condition, you won't lose against all the other Servants combined. That'll be a fast way to end the Holy Grail War, and that's what you want too, right Saber?

Well, that'll all change if you think you'll lose to the other Servants."

"Of course not. You should understand my current state. As long as Shirou is my Master, I shall not know defeat."

"See. So there's no problem with protecting Illya.

...And there's something I'm worried about too. Shirou's choice might have been a really smart one."

Tohsaka then falls silent.

Saber must have accepted that as she reluctantly moves away from Illya.

Finishing breakfast, we go to the dojo.

Tohsaka is back in her room and Saber is with me.

As for Illya...

"Hey. Are you really going to be training?"

She is right beside me, following me to the dojo.

"I thought I could play with you today and was looking forward to it. But Saber's here, it's cold here, and it's boring."


Well, it's naturally boring for Illya.

After all, training isn't a fun thing to watch.

"Hey, let's go back to the living room. If you want to be strong, I'll help you."

Taking my hand with both of hers, Illya tries to leave the dojo.

But I can't compromise on this.

"No, I can't, Illya. Training is my daily routine, so I'm going to do it. I'm inexperienced as a magus, so I have to be able to fight a little at least.

And I'll be able to protect you if I train, right?

I'm the one who decided to protect you, so I have to at least do this much."

"Uh... yeah, that might be true.

But I don't mind not being protected by you. You're my Onii-chan, so all you have to do is be with me."

...Nope, my persuasion failed.

Illya pulls at my hand.

Saber is watching us silently.

Her stare is rather painful.

She must not approve of Illya yet, and I think she's acting too bluntly――

Our eyes meet.

Good, I'll have Saber convince Illya.

"I'm telling you no.

Tell her, Saber.[l]

Training with you is our daily routine."

"There is nothing for me to say.

It is you that brought Illyasviel here.

It is your role to persuade her and it is not within my obligations."


...Something's wrong.

I don't know why, but could it be that she's really mad?

"Oh, so Saber understands.

You don't have to train. There are only weak Servants left, so you don't need to do this sort of thing.

Come on, Shirou. Let Saber take care of the other Masters and we can play outside."

"Uwa, whoa."

I lose my balance and take a step towards the exit.

"Hold on――no, let go of me, Illya! I won't listen even if you complain to me. I won't skip my training and I'm going to keep on training.

...I know it's boring for you, but I like it. If you don't like it, stay in the living room."

I shake her off violently.


She must not have expected me to shake her off.

Illya moves away and looks at me uneasily.



Even if I had to get her off me, there must have been a kinder way to do so.

"...Sorry, Illya. That was too rough of me. But I can't stop my training. I'm sorry to leave you alone, but can you stay in the living room for now?"


Illya starts to walk away without saying anything.

She walks to the entrance and stops by the wall beside it.


"Fine, then I'll watch from here.

That's okay, right!?"

She screams and glares at me.

"Um――well, I don't mind, but it's cold here. The living room has tea and snacks..."

"It's fine because I said so! Heh, I won't leave Saber and Shirou alone together!"

Saying something strange, Illya looks away.

"...Well, okay. You can go back to the living room if you get bored."

I don't understand Illya's point.

But I guess things are settled.

I take two shinais from the wall and turn to Saber.

"Then let's start. I might be off since it's been three days... hey, Saber? You seem a bit spaced out, are you sick or something?"

"Huh――um, no, that is not it, but..."

Saber looks away from Illya and shakes her head.

"So you're fine? Then let's start. Here's your shinai."

"Uh... no, you can throw it to me! It will be a problem if you carelessly get too close to me. W-We are training!"

"That's what I'm saying. What are you talking about, Saber?"

I throw her the shinai.

After all, I've never gotten Saber.

I've never been able to close in on her, so she doesn't need to tell me to not go near her carelessly.


Saber catches the shinai awkwardly and takes an exaggeratedly deep breath.

"Then let us start. It will be different from before, but try to stay calm, Shirou."

Looking at Illya, Saber says so.

"It's fine. I won't mind who's watching once we start."

I ready my shinai and look at Saber.

In front of me is the golden-haired girl with a shinai.

That fixes my attention only on her.

Finishing the training after two hours, we enter the usual break.

Stopping, I place my shinai on the wall.

"Phew――haa――That... shows me... again. You're... really... amazing."

Nodding, I drink water from a kettle.

Quenching my thirst and wiping my sweaty neck, my body finally calms down.

"Hey, that was your training? It just looked like Shirou was getting beat on."


Illya says something unpleasant.

"That's wrong, Illya. I'm getting beat on now, but it was worse before.

Rather, you could say I did well today since I didn't get knocked out."

"I see. But is that really from your skill?

You lost your balance lots of times, but it seemed like Saber was overlooking it on purpose..."

Illya ponders.

...She's sharp.

I noticed that too.

I don't know whether she was showing consideration for my body or whether she's not up to par.

But either way, Saber wasn't going full strength against me.

Well, she never goes full strength, but she still mercilessly attacked me when I showed an opening.

But today, Saber lacked that.

She did not perform any attacks that would have knocked me out even though she usually does.

"...You think so too? So Saber let me off easy today?"

"Hmm, it didn't really seem that way.

Saber would ready her shinai to deliver the final blow, but she kept pulling back at the last second.

I wonder what that was all about. Rather than letting you go, it seemed more like she was scared of you or holding back."

"Huh? Saber would never hold anything back.

If she had such compassion, I wouldn't have been hurt so much on the first day."

That's right, Saber doesn't hold back during training.

I could desperately concentrate on Saber because I knew that.

"...Geez. What's wrong Saber? It won't be training like this. You weren't going easy on me, were you?"

"No, I did not go easy on you.

I was assuming the role of a fighter one rank above you as always..."

Saber must feel today's training is strange as well.

"...Yeah. I can't imagine you going easy on me, and I can tell you were serious.

But weren't you too conservative today? It's no good unless you come straight at me and smack me."

"S-Straight on...? But that will cause me to come too close to you. Our bodies might touch depending on the circumstances..."

"...? We're fighting, so of course our shoulders will hit. After all, you used to tackle me away when I got in too close. Aren't you good at close range fighting?"

"Eh――I did that...!?"

"What are you saying...? Well, you did it quite often.

Remember when we first trained? You drove me up against the wall.

When I said you were rather powerful for a girl, you said it was only natural for a swordsman."


Saber is standing there dumbfounded.


Saber really is acting weird today.

But I have no idea why.

It'll be a problem if Saber's sick or something, so maybe I should talk to Tohsaka about it later on――

We resume our training, still different from how it was before.

We resume... but Saber backs off after only a few matches.


Is this a new training method?

She might counter-attack when I let my guard down.

"Haa, haa, haa..."

I watch Saber closely.

Saber narrows her eyes seriously and taking a step towards me,

"Shirou, let us have lunch."

...Says something rather unlike her.


I lower my shinai.

"Lunch? Is it time already?"

The clock says it's a bit before twelve.

She's right that it's time for lunch, but this is the first time Saber has suggested it.

We never noticed the time when we were training in the dojo.

It was the routine for us to take a break, and only notice that it was lunchtime when we felt hungry and looked up at the clock.


It's a reasonable proposal, so I can nod, but――

Scene 04

"You're right. It's a bit early, but let's start preparing."

"Is it early? It is almost noon and it will take time to prepare, so I believe this is around the right time."

"Hm? Oh, I made boxed lunches today.

It's already made, so we can eat it once we bring it here."

"Wonderful. Then I guess I will be able to endure this."

Saber is relieved.

"...?? Endure what?"

"N-No, I did not mean anything! I was just talking to myself, so let us eat lunch now!"

"Saber... you're acting a bit strange. You acted strange while we were training too. It's a problem if you don't tell me when you're feeling bad.

If you feel sick, we'll forget the boxed lunch and make something that's easy to digest."

"Eh――N-No, that is not true!

It will take time to start cooking and we need to eat right now. Anyways, let us eat lunch, Shirou!"


She's obviously acting suspiciously.

But it doesn't seem like she's sick, so I shouldn't have to prepare anything different for lunch.

"All right. Then I'll bring some tea with lunch, so wait here. Let's eat in the dojo for once."

"Yes. I will be looking forward to it, Shirou."

Saber sees me off, waving her hand wildly.

...Panicking and getting mad. I really wonder what's wrong with her today...

Scene 05

"Yeah. Illya is here too, so let's have lunch early."

Putting the shinai down, I agree with Saber.

――And then.

Saber's shoulders slump in relief.


She's being even more suspicious.

Maybe I should at least ask why.

"Good. Let us go to the living room then.

The food you prepare is delicious, but it takes time to prepare."

"...? Is the time to prepare it a waste?

Oh, then I should have made a boxed lunch every day. If I did that, it would have been easier and there would've been no need to go to the kitchen."

I was going to show my thanks by making a gorgeous lunch, but I guess it can't be helped if Saber says so.

"Shirou...? What are you doing? Let us go to the living room."

"...? You mean lunch, right?"

Placing my shinai on the wall, I arrange cushions for the three of us.

"Yes, lunch! We will be taking a break after that, so it will be a problem unless you go to the kitchen right away!"

"Why? There's no need to go to the living room or hurry. ――By the way, what's the problem?"


Saber suddenly stops as if she's switched off.

"And why are you right on time today?

Is there some reason to hurry?"

"N-No, I am not in a hurry..."

"Then let's take it slow if we're not in a hurry. We have plenty of time."

"Um, well, that is true, but..."

Saber looks around awkwardly as if not knowing what to do.

"L-Let us just go to the living room! It will affect our later training if we do not eat lunch!"

"I'm telling you, I've prepared it. If you have time, can you go to the living room and pick up the boxed lunch I prepared this morning?"

"Huh...? Boxed lunch...?"

I nod while opening the window to let some air in.

And then.

I hear a rumbling sound of hunger.

"Oh, I see. We always used to check the time when one of our stomachs growled. No wonder I thought it was strange."

I turn to Saber.

"...? What's wrong, Saber? Is it too cold for you with the window open?"

But we're going to eat lunch, so we have to ventilate the room.

"N-No, it is nothing...! S-So the lunch is prepared in the living room...!?"

Saber runs out of the dojo.


Those conservative blows and her mood right now and all... Does Saber have a fever today...?

Scene 06

"No can do. We're fasting today. "

Provisions exhausted, ready for my last stand.

Seek time zero seconds, I reply on reflex.

"Shirou...? What does that mean...?"

"Is it hard for you to understand?

I'm telling you that we're not eating lunch today. We had hamburgers for breakfast, so I thought we could skip lunch."

I don't know why I felt that way, but well, I'm not that hungry right now anyway.

We're in the middle of the training, so I want to continue.

"So let's continue with the training. Come on, put your shinai up."

I point my shinai at Saber.

"H-Hold on Shirou. Our conversation has not finished!

Is it not thoughtless to suppose that we do not need lunch because we had enough breakfast!?"

"Whoa...! W-What are you doing, Saber!? Give me back my shinai!"

"No. We do not have time. As a Servant, I demand my Master prepare some food quickly...!"


...Hold on.

Saber is acting too strangely.

"Saber. Are you in a hurry? Do you have something to do?"

"No. I am telling you that we should have lunch."

"No. I say we're skipping lunch."

"Ridiculous, you do not understand even now...!?

This is your final warning, Shirou. Please make lunch right now!"


Saber protests with enough force that I think she might come at me.

And right when I'm about to nod because of her strange actions...

"Oh, your stomach."

Saber's stomach complains of hunger.

"Was that you, Saber? Are you that hungry?"

"N-No, I am not that hungry, but it seems my body wants energy."

"Oh... I guess it can't be helped since you were moving around all this time, but it's a bit vulgar, Saber. If you forget modesty just because you're a Servant, Shirou won't like you."

"T-That is not true! I am a Servant, so the only thing that would dismay Shirou would be my defeat!"

"Um... I won't be dismayed if you lose, and that doesn't mean I won't be surprised by anything other than your defeat."

"That-is-the-only-reason!! First of all, it is an appropriate function for a stomach to growl when hungry! If that annoys you, it is Shirou's fault for not letting me eat!"

She glares at Illya and then at me, who, according to her, is the cause of this.

By the way, the growling of the stomach is caused by movements of stomach called hunger contraction.

The stomach is always expanding and contracting, but this movement is stronger during hunger. And with the contraction of the stomach, the air inside the stomach is compressed and a growling sound is made.

...And it's kind of paradoxical, but the growling is affected by the autonomic nervous system as well.

After all, the stomach is always active and it's not true that it growls only when one's hungry.

The motion of the stomach... the reason for the loud sound is...

'I'm hungry. If it growls people would know I'm hungry, so I have to hold it'

...Tensing yourself up and making your stomach all the more active, or something like that.


So, in other words.

"Ohhh. Could it be that you're angry because you're hungry? So that's why you're irritated? Geez, your energy consumption is pretty high considering how much you ate this morning."


"Oh. Come to think of it, it wasn't that obvious because she was quiet, but she was eating twice as much as Rin. Saber is such a glutton."

"That is wrong. I am not a huge eater, but it is rather that Rin is a small eater! Shirou should understand that t――"

"Hmm, it seems that way. Saber always finishes her meal. If we let her, maybe she'd eat as much as Fuji-Nee."

"That is not true! What were you watching, Shirou!?"

"Huh...? Well, it's just an honest opinion.

And your stomach always growls at this time of the day. Leaving the matter of gluttony aside, I think you get hungry pretty fast."


"See. Saber is so unladylike!"

She must be happy that she was able to disparage Saber as she jumps for joy.

On the other hand, Saber, who was in a rare panic earlier, is――

――back to her usual self as if nothing has happened.

"...Saber? Um, you're not mad, are you?"

"I am not mad. As Illyasviel says, I am taking in a lot of food.

I might have been pushing myself to reduce Shirou's burden by taking in as much energy――no, as much magical energy as possible."


...Oh yeah.

Saber can only replenish magical energy by herself.

She must have wanted to save her magical energy by sleeping,

And she must have wanted to retain her energy by eating.

"...Sorry. I wasn't thinking about that.

You're right. If the Master can't replenish your magical energy, you have to take in magical energy yourself."

Many times more than the magical energy I have, too.

Servants use up huge amounts of magical energy just by existing.

But Saber can only create enough magical energy to keep herself alive.

"No, it is fine if you understand. But more importantly, Shirou..."

"Yeah, I know. Lunch is actually already prepared. We're having boxed lunches today, so we can eat right away――"

"No. Let us keep training a bit longer."

――And then.

Saber gives me back my shinai and steps far enough away to start a match.

"Saber...? I'm saying we'll be eating..."

"There is no need. It seems you like this better."


H-Hold on, I just felt a real chill!

"Hold on, hold on, let's calm down.

...Saber, you're actually really mad, right?"

I ask her timidly.

"Of course not. Do I look any different?"

"Y-You are different!!!"


Armor with a shinai!?

Fully armed!?

"Well then. We will cruise through lightly as always."

"A-Are you serious!? This is so immature of you!!"

She won't listen to me.

An impact like lightning.

With her shackles as my teacher released, Saber attacks me violently.


This is the spiritual world that takes you to heaven, congratulating you for dying from a small mistake, the Tiger Dojo!

I am the assistant, dead angel number 1.

But in life, you should take simple precautions or the wounds will last forever.

If you're about to make fun of someone who doesn't get jokes, I guess you have to be prepared to die.

I guess so. But Shirou is really cute, spitting his soul out after just one thrust from Saber.

...This kid has a messed up sense of aesthetics...

Though, this corpse is rather beautiful. Isn't it rare for him to keep his form?

Yeah, it really isn't enough.

...Should we mess with it?

...Shall we mess with it?

All right, we'll start the modding operation! First, we'll modify his hands into gatling guns so he won't revive from some mistake!

Sir, yes sir!

All right, operation finished instantaneously!

What do you think!? How does it feel to have your whole body transformed!?

But we have respected your will and we have not performed the last transformation, the brain surgery!

We didn't!

Now, choose whether you will become one of us, the Tigers, by your own will, or if you will choose brainwashing and become a machine! Choose with your own will!

T-This is bad, master! The experiment used its transformed powers to rip off the restraints!

Kyaa! He's going on a rampage! Our base will be destroyed!

W-We might have created our own nemesis!


We should have done the brain surgery first!

Kyaaa! Normally, I think you start with that part!


I think I just had a really bad dream... or could that really be the afterlife...!?

"Have you awoken, Shirou? I am ashamed that you could not even dodge the first blow.

――So please dodge it next time. I am using kendo techniques, so you should be able to survive it for a little while if you become desperate."

"...! W-W-What... are we still going to continue!?"

"Of course. There are ten more minutes until we usually have lunch. Let us train our hearts out as usual."

Saber's shinai of anger strikes again.


My consciousness starts to fade again.

...I should be careful.

Saber is someone who will retort thoroughly when angered...

Scene 07

"Then I'll start the lecture, but there's something I need to ask you first. Is any part of your body broken?"

Tohsaka asks me a strange question as soon as I enter her room.

"――? What would be broken?"

"I'm asking you if any part of your body won't move.

You did something as absurd as that, so I know your nerves must be burned up somewhere.

...Well, I don't really care, but I need to know before I start teaching you."

...It seems my body should be numb somewhere according to Tohsaka.

But I know myself that she's wrong.

"――No, my whole body's fine.

The fever and the headache went away after one night, so I'm healthy now."

"Huh? That can't be true. You projected Saber's sword. That kind of stunt should at least take out one of your arms!"

"I'm telling you, they're fine.

Anyways, if I couldn't move, I wouldn't have been able to carry Illya home. The only things wrong with me back then were the fever and the headache."

"You're lying! Let me see your arm, Shirou!"

Without waiting for a reply, Tohsaka takes my arm and stares at it.


That makes my breathing stop.

...Even though I'm getting used to her, having her this close tenses me up.

And on top of that, um――this distance reminds me of that night.

It's not like I forgot about it, but that was really just an emergency illusion.

I can't stay calm if I recall it, but I don't recall it unless something like this happens.

That's why I'm able to talk normally if Tohsaka acts normal.

But if she comes close to me like this, it's only natural for me to tense up and stop breathing.

"...There really doesn't seem to be anything wrong.

There are some places black like a bruise that might be because of the burning, but everything else has healed. ...No, it's more like it grew anew, rather than healing...."

As she murmurs, her breath brushes my arm.


That makes me blush, but...

"Your body is ridiculous. This isn't because of that healing. Your healing is definitely caused by some outside force, but I think that this is from your own healing power."

She says so while rolling up my sleeve and patting my arm.

"Hey, stop that...! T-That's enough, Tohsaka. Go sit in your chair if you're done...!"

I pull my arm back to get away from Tohsaka.

"...? Hey, I'm examining your body to see how you are... ohhh, I see...."

Tohsaka moves closer to me.

"You say your fever's gone, but it seems you still have one. Your face is all red."

"T-That's none of your business! Don't worry about it!"

"I see. If it's none of my business, then you won't mind me doing this, right?"

"Hya...! D-D-D-Don't put your hand on my forehead...![l]

I don't have a fever, so there's no point...!"

"It seems so. Even your ears are red. It seems more like you're drunk than feverish."

She smiles maliciously.

...It's deliberate.

I bet she's doing this deliberately.

"...Tohsaka. You're doing this on purpose, right?"

"Oh, you can tell? I had to make fun of you since your reactions are so good."


...Heh. You should go to hell for toying with a man's innocence.

"Well. I'll stop playing around. The mummy hunter might become the mummy if I make fun of you too much."

Tohsaka returns to her chair in a good mood.

...This is a problem.

Tohsaka will likely make more fun of me as the days go by.

"...Tohsaka, I don't like to say this, but I came here to learn seriously."

"Oh, that's so impolite. I feel the same way. I was just checking on my student's health just now."

"Okay. Then you'll get to the point, right?"

"...Let's see. It's outside my specialty, so I'll only be able to give you some advice, but I'm sure it's better than nothing."

Tohsaka turns to me seriously, discarding her earlier lightheartedness.

"To be honest, that last lesson was the last time I could be of help to you.

You can't learn magecraft with such short lessons.

I only turned the switch on for you that you didn't use. Do you understand?"

"That jewel, right? After I swallowed that, the Magic Circuit did become something to switch on and off rather than something to make."

"Yeah. That's about all I can teach you in such a short time.

And even that was just releasing what you've been training until now.

I can only develop what you've learned, and I have no intention of teaching you any new magecraft.

Because you have no talent."

"...Yeah. I feel kind of refreshed if you tell me it straight like that.

But you will give me advice about the magecraft I can use, right? So, tell me what I used back then."


Tohsaka doesn't answer.

She just glares at me like I'm her enemy.

"Tohsaka? Um, this is a lecture, right? It's a problem if you don't say anything."


She averts her gaze with an unhappy expression.

But that's only for a moment.

"――That's impossible.

I can't use projection magecraft. There's no way I can teach you about something I don't understand."

"...? ...You can't use it...?"

I tilt my head questioningly.

Wasn't the thing I used against Berserker fundamental for a magus?

Assuming the structure of an object and passing the necessary magical energy through it.

It's no different from a "strengthening" magecraft.

But it's hard to pass my magical energy, an alien element, through an object that's already there.

It's like adding "paint I consider red" to make something redder, but ending up with a different color.

Compared to that, it's so much easier to draw using my own paint from start to finish.

I can just draw whatever I want.

"That can't be true. You must be able to do that. It's easier than strengthening magecraft."

"Hey. If you said that to another magus, they would kill you for sure. What you did was projection, and you completely reproduced a Noble Phantasm. I've never heard of a Faker who could do such a thing."


I feel a chill.

――It's not my imagination.

Tohsaka is certainly hostile to me――

"――Heh, it's nothing.

I had a sense of it since I saw your shed. There's no point in feeling enmity toward Emiya Shirou now."

"I'll explain since you seem to be misunderstanding. What you did was a 'projection' magecraft.

It's an incomplete magecraft that reproduces images of existing artwork or weapons using your own magical energy.

It's usually used as a temporary substitute for ritual items. But it disappears quickly since it's made from an image, and it's naturally recognized as an 'imaginary object'."


I can understand that it's a reproduction made out of illusions.

I saw Saber's sword in my dream and imagined the golden sword based on it.

"...I don't get it. Magical energy is like clay. So shouldn't it stay around once it takes form even if it's just an image?"

"That's not true...! Magical energy is something that can only exist inside you, right!?

That's why we pass our magical energy into other things and use magical energy as a starter to affect nature!

"Sure, I can make something like a dagger by mixing magical energy like toffee.

But that's it. It's just toffee that's shaped like a dagger, and it will disappear quickly since magical energy taken outside will vaporize."

"Listen. Things made of magical energy will not last long, and they're just shapes.

...Well, I guess the projection magecraft takes these things with only shape and make the ability close to the original's as well."


Certainly, magical energy has no shape.

I can feel it when it's in my body, but it fades and disappears once it goes outside.

So no matter how well I make a blueprint in my head and construct something out of magical energy, it is only natural for it to fade away since it's made out of magical energy.

...Come to think of it.

When I first did something like projection when Kiritsugu first started to teach me, he told me to do strengthening instead because projection was inefficient.

"――I see. Projection uses a lot of magical energy. It'll disappear right away when you use it, so it's pointless to make things."

"That's right.

For example, you would use ten magical energy to 'project' a sword, right?

In that case, the sword only has a power of about three or four. A human image is full of holes, so it can't reproduce something just like the original.

In contrast, if you 'strengthen' a sword using ten magical energy, the power of the sword increases to twenty or thirty. And it lasts a hundred times longer than 'projection'."

"You understand? Nowadays, projection magecraft is only used during rituals.

It's just a magecraft used to prepare a temporary substitute in case a real tool cannot be prepared.

It was appropriate for your father to teach you 'strengthening'.

You don't have many magecraft-Circuits to begin with, so you wouldn't be any different from a normal person if he taught you something as useless as 'projection' magecraft."


I understand that.

But then, what was that?

The golden sword that I imagined in my head and reproduced seemed to have its original powers....

"...Hmm. Then I guess it was only by chance that I could project Saber's sword.

...Come to think of it, that sword held ridiculous amounts of magical energy. It's certainly strange to imitate magical energy that's a hundred times what I have, huh?"

"...That's, uh... probably because you're compatible with 'swords'. Magi each have an attribute, right?

I think it's 'swords' in your case."

"Attribute...? You mean elements like fire or water?"

"Right. One usually takes one of the elements that make up this world. They call fire normal and wind noble in the magecraft Association, right?

It can be one of 'earth, water, fire, wind, heaven' or one of 'wood, fire, earth, metal, water'.

A magus has one of these elements, and there are others with specialized elements as well.

...Most of these magi end up as specialists, though."

"And in your case, it's 'swords'.

There's no variety, but you can try and be the best when it comes to swords."

"I see. Certainly."

When it comes to swords, I've always had a strong interest in them.

...Then what attribute would Tohsaka be?

Considering her, I'm sure it's something uppity like fire or wind, but I want to ask and I'm curious.

"Hey Tohsaka. I'll ask you for reference, but what attribute do you have?"


I have the attribute called the 'five elements'."



Does that mean she has all of them...?

"Anyways, that's about all I can tell you.

Projection is so useless that it's even called vanity, so don't use it too much."

"On top of that, it's suicidal to reproduce Saber's sword. It's good you succeeded that time, but it wouldn't have been strange if you had died right then.

You said it earlier that the magical energy in Saber's sword is way over your capacity. You understand that reproducing that thing is easily past the limits of your Magic Circuit, right?"

"...I know. But you can't easily go past your limits. No, before that, it's the limit, so surely you can't go over it?"

"――You can. That's why magi always have death right beside them."

"magecraft follows a form, so it's only natural that you can use any magecraft if you have the knowledge, right?

Even if you know it's a miracle that you cannot reproduce, anyone can attempt it.

A magus is only a source of power.

Even with a small engine, you can go over the speed limit if you keep pressing on the gas. But all that lies ahead is destruction."

"It's just like that. Magi can easily go over the limit if they're prepared for self-destruction.

Burning up the Magic Circuit, and ruining the nerves, but if you keep on turning the magical energy, you'll reach the miracle."

"Your projection is just that.

Your body was burning after the battle because your nerves were burned out. That's the price you paid for using magecraft beyond your level.

...After doing that, it would be natural for you to lose an arm or two."

She's angry at me.

But at the same time...

"...So bear this in mind, Emiya-kun.

magecraft beyond one's limit will make the caster a cripple.

Never do anything as dangerous as projecting Saber's sword again."

She's really worried about me as well.

After warning me, Tohsaka hands me some strange medicine.

"...Well, I guess it's useless to tell you not to push yourself.

It'll probably just be a little comfort, but at least take some painkillers, just in case. If it works well, it might heal your bruised skin as well."

Saying that, she prepares a light green powder for me.

I drink the medicine with tea.

Tohsaka rummages through her stuff and tries to prescribe me another medicine.



I feel sorry for Tohsaka rummaging through her stuff, but I'm bored just sitting here. So I should――

Scene 08

... Yeah.

I understand what this projection magecraft is, but I want to know more details about it.

Especially the part about forming your image.

"Hey Tohsaka. Sorry to interrupt you while you're busy..."

"What? I'll kick you if you tell me to hurry up.

I'm the one irritated by not being able to find the thing I want. ...Hey, why does everything I put away disappear in this house!?"

She complains.

This is certainly like her.

Everything she does is perfect, but especially the part where she always messes up her preparations.

"Oh, you can continue. You can keep searching, so can you tell me more about it?

Um, about projections being like imitations made from images and all."

"...Heh, all right. It might be useful for you to know."

She's really in a bad mood.

She throws away the Boston bag she was rummaging through and sits back down on the chair.

"I'll explain it to you briefly.

Projection is only used when you have to temporarily use something that's not there. But in contrast, you can even reproduce something that doesn't exist anymore or something that's already lost.

It means that if you can imagine the original perfectly, you can temporarily create it using magical energy."

"I already told you this projected 'object' disappears when the magical energy disperses, right?

No matter how strong the magical energy, an object created by imagination fades away. ...No, not just that.

The world will not permit such an illusion.

That's why anything created by projection cannot remain in this world, even for a day."

"...? What do you mean by the world not allowing it? Why not?"

"An illusion can do anything because it's an illusion. But when it takes shape, it's now reality, right?

But it doesn't exist in reality. So reality comes to destroy the illusion to remove the contradiction.

"Listen. magecraft is a phenomenon that takes something already there and makes it into something else. It's transformation, or equivalent exchange.

But illusion totally ignores equivalent exchange. When something made from an illusion doesn't exist in this world, it becomes a total contradiction."

"So――if you project something like Saber's sword that doesn't exist in this time, the world itself will destroy that illusion.

It's fine to create a miracle by connecting to the world, but creating a miracle that doesn't exist in this world is forbidden.

Normal magecraft uses things that are somewhere in this world. But projection magecraft uses human images."

"...Even magecraft should not be used to make something that doesn't exist in this world.

Because it will be an illusion that violates this world.

As living things put self-preservation as their top priority, the world also puts priority on self-preservation.

The life of a world is order, right? So contradictions that create chaos and illusions that violate reality are destroyed by the world."

Tohsaka explains it all.

Of course, I don't get half of what she said.

"...I see. So you're saying what I did is past Emiya Shirou's limits, right?"

"I already told you that!

Projection is a magecraft that drains your life, so you shouldn't use it even if Saber asks you to."

Tohsaka resumes her search.

Watching her, I realize again that the victory over Berserker was truly a miracle.

Scene 09

There's something I don't understand.

Tohsaka wasn't easily crushed in the battle against Berserker.

I wonder what kind of trick that was.

"Hey, Tohsaka. Can I ask you something about yesterday?"

"What? I'm busy, so make it short."

"Yeah. You got grabbed by Berserker, right? I was wondering how you survived. ...It doesn't look like it, but do you really train your abs?"

"Ahaha. Able to withstand Berserker's strength just from training... are you saying my stomach is stronger than steel?"

"――Sorry, I shouldn't have asked like that.

I'm sorry, so could you lose the menacing smile?"

"You should stop provoking me then."

"...So, how I endured it. I placed a jewel on my stomach beforehand. I put it inside my shirt and made a protective cover. Are you happy now?"

"I see. You intended to have Berserker grab you from the start. Of course you'd protect your body.

...But, Tohsaka... then your jewels are..."

"They're all gone. I used one on Saber, three to draw Berserker's attention, five to blow his face off. And I used one to protect myself.

I saved up for more than ten years, but I used them up just like that. ...And even using most of them, I couldn't defeat Berserker."

She sighs wondering why, but she doesn't regret using them.

What's done is done.

She knows that the important thing is not what she lost, but what she will gain from now on.

"I see. That was too bad, Tohsaka."

"Thanks. Well, I'll learn from it and make a jewel that'll let me win by myself next time."

She says so simply.

As she says, I bet her words will come true.

...Because of that, I realize.

Our battle with Berserker ended in victory because Tohsaka was there.

Scene 10

...Yeah, I should just sit here quietly.

Tohsaka is irritated, and she might come back with a painful counter if I say something weird and interrupt her.

Scene 11


After she makes me drink various medicine, she makes me practice simple "strengthening" to check on my health.

Like checking if there's anything wrong with my body by channeling magical energy through it, and so on.

Tohsaka is more like a doctor than a teacher today.

"――All right. There doesn't seem to be any problem. You don't need to come tomorrow."


I'm surprised.

That means――

"It's only natural. There's nothing I can teach you in this situation. If you really want to learn magecraft, you should do so after this war is over.

And Archer isn't here anymore, right? My cooperation with you is finished."


Being told that, I finally realize.

From the beginning, we cooperated to fight Berserker.

Berserker is gone, and Tohsaka has lost her Servant.

So――this should all have ended yesterday.

"――Then what are you going to do now? Will you go to Kotomine?"

...That would only be natural.

Tohsaka and Kotomine are close, so it should be fine for her to request his protection.

"Why? I won't go there when I haven't lost yet. It's not like I can't fight because I don't have my Servant anymore.

And it's not like me to quit this halfway. Once I've decided to fight, it's my responsibility to see it through to the end."

As if it's only natural.

Tohsaka says it confidently.


I'm stunned.

...No, I'm not surprised.

I already knew Tohsaka was this kind of a person.

She is really firm,

and amazingly selfish,

and so fascinatingly brilliant.

"But what will you do? Are you going to continue by yourself?

There are still Masters and Servants left."

"Yeah. So I'll gather information here for a while.

I have to resume my research about Ryuudou Temple as well."

"Stay here for a while――is that all right!?

That'll be helpful, but our cooperation has ended, right? So――"

"What are you saying? You were able to beat Berserker because of Archer. Our cooperation is over, but you still owe me for that. It's only natural for you to keep me here until you finish returning the favor."

"...And I told you, I'm responsible right to the very end.

We became student and teacher, even if it was a short while. I can't leave you alone or I'll be too worried to concentrate on the Holy Grail War."


In other words, this is it.

It feels like ages ago, but the Tohsaka Rin that Emiya Shirou admired was a girl like this.

That's why I'm happy.

Tohsaka has to be like this.

After all, I wouldn't know what to believe in if such a stubborn girl decided to give up.

"――Yeah. Please give me your best regards, Tohsaka.

I don't know right from left if you're not around. We need you, Tohsaka."

"...That's fine. But you shouldn't use that expression. It's okay that you're stupidly honest, but there might be some misunderstandings if you're not careful."


I don't quite understand why Tohsaka would get mad at that.

"Tohsaka, what kind of misunderstanding?"

I ask since I'm curious.

"Hold it. You let something slip out. My attitude should tell you not to ask, so asking me is against the rules."


It seems Tohsaka knows a rule I don't know about.

"I'm shocked. It must be upsetting for Saber if you're like this.

...Well, maybe you two are fine like that. It could be pretty bad if you're not both a bit numb to it."

"...Hmmm. I don't quite get it, but I can't ignore your comment about upsetting Saber. Why would she be upset, Tohsaka?"

"I'm saying that aspect of you is upsetting. I bet you haven't even noticed the change in Saber."

"Change in Saber...?"

That's... not a change on the outside, is it?

If anything has changed about Saber, it's――

"...Oh yeah. She has been acting rather strangely since this morning.

Well, I think she is just in a bad mood since Illya is here, but even now, she just sits there all quiet and when I ask her what's wrong, she just tells me she had a dream and leaves."

...I forgot about it since I was busy with Illya.

Come to think of it, Saber was acting weird like she was half-asleep or something.

"――Saber had a dream?"

"Huh? Is that really the surprising part?"


Oh, she's ignoring me.

"Hey, don't be quiet and say something. It makes me feel uneasy when you make a face like that."

"Huh...? Oh, it's nothing major.

It's just that Servants don't dream."


Servants don't dream...?

"That's right. Servants don't have dreams.

But if they say they saw one, it wasn't a dream. They just caught a glimpse of someone's memory."

...Tohsaka must have had the same experience.

She says so with a coldness, totally different from her earlier cheerfulness.

Scene 12

And so, it's time to prepare dinner.

All the things that happened in the past few days must have destroyed the cooking rotation.

"I'll leave dinner tonight to you.

It looks like it's going to be cold tonight again and Illya's here, so doesn't stew sound good?"

But she tells me that as she leaves.

"...Well, stew certainly seems to suit Illya."

Maybe because of how she looks with the coat and the hat?

Anyways, I have no objections to making stew for dinner.

I'm not that good at making Western food, but I shouldn't make any terrible mistakes with stew.

"――Oh, before that..."

It's a bit before six.

There's still a bit of time until I need to start cooking.

I'm sweaty, so I should take a bath.

It's a bit of a hassle to take a bath before dinner, but since Tohsaka and Saber take their baths after dinner, I'm forced to take it late.

The hallway is cold.

The room is warm because of the heater, but I can feel the winter cold as soon as I emerge into the hallway.

It seems that even though the weather should be warm, it's been a bit screwed up the past few days.

Speaking of cold, I heard that it snowed.

I didn't notice, probably because it lasted less than an hour and there wasn't much.

Well, if it did pile up, the yard would be full of a snowman army and I'd have to clean it up afterwards, so you could say I'm glad.

Of course, only one person would build a snowman army.

The day it snowed last year, I remember her standing in front of class with hands red from frostbite.


I was going to take a shower, but the bathroom is quite hot already.


The sound of water.

As soon as my gaze moves to the bathtub...

――My head goes whiter than the steam.


I can't talk right since my throat is numb.

I-I can't move my body because I can't think.

But still, somewhere in my head, I think that something like this happened before.

No, it's not the same as before.

Saber was naked last time, but I was fully clothed.

But this time, I'm naked as well. Even though I'm confused, my body is reacting.


My gasp echoes through the air.

Saber watches as I stand there dumbfounded.

Saber will get mad this time.

Surely she'll get mad.

She'll definitely get mad.

As proof, her soft lips are trembling as if they will yell in the next moment...!

"Sorry, it was my fault. I tried to use the shower. I never thought someone would be using it at this time... well, it's normal for you to think I should have noticed beforehand, but――"

I give my excuses while backing up towards the dressing room.

I-It's not like I'm fascinated by Saber's body.

Um, it just feels like Saber will get madder if I run back to the dressing room.

...But in either case, I can't take my eyes off her.

――I remember that night at the ruins.

Then, I merely desperately felt Saber's skin.

I couldn't see Saber's body in the dark.

So I only remember her warmth and her sensations.

Is that why?

Is that why I think the body I've once obtained is so beautiful?

"A-Anyway, I'll talk to you later――"

I reach behind me, searching for the door.


"...Excuse me, Shirou.

Um, it is a selfish request, but would it be possible for you to stay away for a while?"

Saber asks in a faint voice as she averts her gaze.


That really blanks my mind.

Why Saber won't get mad.

Her embarrassed face makes all the blood go to my head.

"Uh――Wh... y...?"

I murmur by reflex.

Saber hangs her head even more in apology.

"...Please use the shower at a later time. Uh, I wish for you to allow me to use this place by myself for now."

Saber curls up as if hiding her body.

That suddenly makes me remember.

When I met Saber in the dressing room last time, she didn't say anything.

'The sex of a Servant is of no concern.'[r]

She was the one who said that with no concern for her nakedness.

"Ah――uh, well. Hold on, my head is spinning and I can't quite make it work..."

Come on, work!

"So, you're not mad?"

"...It is only natural for you to wash your body. I do not restrict my Master's actions to that degree."


I understand.

In other words, Saber thinks nothing of being seen naked.

So it's only natural that I'm here.

As the bath is a place to wash your body, it's natural for me to be here.

Saber being here also is of no concern.

...That's, um... helpful, but I also think it's wrong.

"...But then. That would mean... I can use the shower right now..."

"――I am saying, that... um..."

Saber hangs her head in embarrassment.

"...The problem is not being seen naked. But my body is not like that of a girl such as Rin.


Saber blushes even more and finishes with difficulty.

"...I do not want you to look at me. Such a muscular body must appear unsightly to men."

She says that.


I almost faint, for a bunch of different reasons.

"T-That's stupid, don't be――"

If I finish, I'm sure I'll go crazy.

Saber's body is not unsightly.

She claims her body is rugged, but I was never worried about that.

Of course, her body is trained compared to Tohsaka's, but still――I think Saber's body is really feminine.

"...Shirou. So I wish for you to leave me alone for now..."


I don't know how I answered.

All I can remember is that I nodded and shut the door.

Scene 13

The sky is thin.

Is it dawn or dusk?

As I am watching from outside, I cannot tell.

A vast sky and a high field.

A sky that seems unreachable even with arms outstretched,

And clouds that do seem reachable with arms outstretched.

This is a battle she once went through.

There are no cavalry alongside.

The grassland, once golden as far as the eye could see, is gone.

Under the dark gray sky, the only thing stretching out is...

The remains of battle, which she is well-accustomed to.

There is no emotion.

For her, such scenes must have been ordinary.

There is nothing left in her lonely heart.

Leaning on her golden sword, she breathes deeply once and slowly relaxes her shoulders.

The battle must be over.

After glancing at the bodies of the defeated soldiers, she returns to her camp.

That was the battle she experienced.

The calm attitude is the same as now.

No matter what trouble she's in, she is just as I know her.

――And in that way, I see the dream of a king.

From the moment she drew the sword from the stone, she was not human.

After becoming a feudal lord like her father, she became a king with many knights.

She was called King Arthur, or Arturia, and the girl who had tried to become a knight had her life turned around.

She acted as the son of the king.

That is because the one to govern many territories and control the knights had to be male.

The only ones who knew that the king was just a girl were her father and the magus.

She literally covered herself in steel and sealed that truth for all her life.

Of course, it's not like no one grew suspicious of her.

But the king of knights with the holy sword will not suffer wounds or age.

Excalibur bears the protection of the fairies, making its possessor immortal.

Therefore, nobody questioned the knight's small body, and the face that seemed like that of a girl became honored by the knights as a good-looking king.

――Of course, such things were not a problem.

The king was truly invincible.

There was no room for body size nor looks to enter into it.

The people living in fear of savage invasions wanted a strong king, and the knights of the battlefield would only follow an excellent commander.

The king met all of these criteria.

And so――no one questioned who the king was.

It doesn't matter if the king is a child or a woman.

The only point is that it must function as the "king" to protect the country.

The new king was fair and selfless, and always stood in front of the army, defeating enemies on the battlefield.

Many enemies and many people died, but the king's choices were always correct and she served as the "king" better than anyone else.

There was no doubt and no need for doubt while the king was right.

Knowing no loss on the battlefield.

Her army reconstructed the now lost cavalry, and literally ran through the battlefield defeating foreign infantries and crashing through numerous ramparts.

Was she always in the front of the army because her country was behind her?

She had to discard many people to join battle.

As long as she joined battle, she had to defeat all her enemies.

It was normal practice to meet military needs by sucking everything out of the local village for the battle to protect the country.

In that regard, there could not be any knights that killed more people than her.

I do not know if she ever found that a burden.

That is not something I can tell from a dream.

But there is no doubt in her figure, running through the battlefield.

She does not even narrow her eyes in grief when she sits on the throne.

A king is not human.

One cannot protect the people with human emotions.

She kept that oath strictly.

She settled every problem and worked hard in government affairs.

She balanced the country without any deviations and punished people without a single mistake.

And after ending yet another battle in victory, commanding the people without disorder, and punishing hundreds of criminals...

"King Arthur does not understand human feelings."

A knight close to her murmured.

Perhaps everyone felt that way.

The more perfect she became as the king, the more they questioned her as a ruler.

A person without human emotion cannot rule over others.

Several reputable knights left Camelot, but the king took it as a natural event and accepted it as part of the process of government.

Thus, the fair king honored by her knights isolated herself.

But such trivial things are of no concern to a king.

Her mind will not change even if she is abandoned, feared, or betrayed.

There's no right or wrong.

She abandoned her emotions from the moment she decided to pull out the sword.

――And in that way, her final battle began.

The battle at Badon Hill ended in a complete victory, and because of the overwhelming results, the savages sought a reconciliation.

The country that would have just awaited destruction earned a brief period of peace.

The chaos that demanded an absolute hero has ended.

Britain is finally returning to the country she has dreamed of.

...The scene starts to fade away.

Somewhere in my head, I realize that I'm waking up and the dream is ending.

I will lose consciousness and wake up soon.

But before that, something really annoys me.

...She's stupid.

Certainly, she must have been strong and good at fighting.

But that doesn't mean she's well-suited for it.

I'm also angry at the people around her.

If she didn't notice it, someone else around her had to tell her, or she'd keep making the same mistake forever.

...Geez. She had so many people around her, so why did none of them tell her the truth――?


I wake up.

――We escaped Illya's forest and came back to this house yesterday afternoon.

Tohsaka went back to her room saying that the wound in her stomach was hurting, and I also wanted to go to sleep since my headache was still around.

It must also have been because I carried something heavy all the way here.

When I got to my room and lay down, I couldn't even get back up.

Saber was the only one unhurt, so Tohsaka and I went to sleep letting her keep watch over the house, and――

"...I've slept half the day, huh? ...Hmm. At least it seems my headache is gone now.

I'm relieved.

The thing with Berserker.

The headache that started when I duplicated Saber's sword was terrible.

If that headache continued, my head would have broken before my body did.



Saber is sitting Japanese-style beside my futon.

"... Sa... ber...? Why the sad face? Did something happen while I was asleep?"

"...No. I just had a dream."


"...No, it is nothing important. Let us eat breakfast, Shirou. It is almost time to get up."

Saber gets up and leaves the room quietly.


I don't know why Saber's acting so weird.

I don't know, but――

"...I guess she was nursing me since she was sitting by my futon――"

As soon as I think so, I recall the scene I really shouldn't remember.

"...! No, what am I thinking...! Don't think about it...!"

I shake my head and clear the thoughts out of my head.

...Um, I did it with Saber because I'm her Master.

I have to think like that or I won't be able to look at her properly.

"...And the situation was that bad... and Tohsaka did it too..."

...! Hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on...! This won't end if I start being conscious of Tohsaka too...!

"――Stay calm, stay calm.

We were acting normal on our way home yesterday.

That should be fine."

Well, no, I was just too tired yesterday, but stay calm anyways.

...First of all, Saber will be troubled if I act like this.

"――All right. I have to calm down and go make breakfast."

I take a deep breath and start changing.

It's nine in the morning.

Saber must be really hungry as we haven't eaten since yesterday afternoon.

I guess you can't call it morning now that it's past nine.

Considering Saber, I'll make a fairly large meal.

"Shirou. We are the only ones this morning. Should we not wake Rin up?"

"No, they should sleep, right? It was a hard day yesterday, so there's no need to wake them up. They can eat whenever they want to if we leave their meals out."

"I see. Then it will be helpful if you can start preparing soon. It is already late."

"I know. I feel well, so let's go to the dojo after the meal."

"What...? Go to the dojo? Are you still going to continue your training...!?"

"Why not? It's a daily routine, right?"

"What's wrong, Saber? Did I say something strange?"

"Um, no... um, I selfishly thought that you were done with your training.

I thought there was no reason for you to be so desperate now that Berserker is defeated..."

"――I see. When you put it like that, you may be right."

Tohsaka, and Saber, and I... our common enemy is now gone.

We cooperated because we were targeted by an enemy superior to us, and that's why I trained as well.

"But we'll continue our training. I'm still inexperienced and you're honest when you hold your sword. That's a big help for me when I talk to you."

Well, when I say it's a help, I mean it's fun.

"...Um? I am honest in the dojo?"

"You are. At least, you're not hesitant.

That's better for me, and I think it's relaxing for you as well. Anyways, fighting with you is my daily routine. Don't take away the few pleasures I have."

I take ground beef and pork, mushroom, onion, and eggs out of the refrigerator and head to the kitchen.

I'll also need breadcrumbs, alcohol, salad oil, and....

"...Hmm. In that case, I have no objections."


Saber murmurs something in the living room.

I'm already in the kitchen, so I unfortunately couldn't hear her.

Scene 14

At noon, we start to eat lunch.

I made a proper meal this morning, so I made a boxed lunch with the leftovers.

"This is... I see, you have put the food from breakfast between bread."

Saber admires the sandwich as she eats it.

As she is using a paper napkin so as to not dirty her hands, I can sense her elegance even with this kind of lunch.

"Yeah. I thought so this morning as well, but Shirou sure is a good cook.

I think eating good food is a good thing."

On the other hand, Illya is stuffing in her sandwich, full of energy.

I don't know if she's out of control or just copying me.

Illya usually seems more well-mannered than Saber, but that doesn't seem to apply to dining manners.

"Hold on, Illyasviel. Your hair will get dirty if you stay like that."

Saber places a napkin against Illya's cheek.

Something like butter must've been on there as Saber wipes around Illya's mouth.

"...Thanks. But what is this? You don't like me, right?"

"Yes, I am still on guard right now. But I understand people's hearts as well.

You bear no hostility and Shirou has accepted you as a guest.

So I will use minimal manners. And――"


"Your hair is beautiful. Seeing it get dirtied in front of me is somewhat painful."

That must have been from the bottom of her heart.

Saber's voice is the same as always. It doesn't sound like she's thinking about Illya.


Illya stares at Saber.

And I realize.

Illya has never directly looked at Saber until now.

For Illya, Saber was just my Servant and not someone that deserved to be treated as a human.

"...Heh. Shirou is mine even if you say that sort of a thing.

Well, I can consider you as well. I can make Shirou win, but I can't protect him."

Illya says so while shrugging her shoulders and eats her sandwich.

"You do not need to tell me that. It is a Servant's duty to be their Master's shield."

Saber answers Illya plainly.

The conversation is the same as before, but their voices sound more gentle.

Tohsaka comes while we're relaxing after lunch.

"Shirou, are you here? I'm ready, so come by as soon as you can."

She addresses me concisely and returns to the outbuilding.

"...Oh, I forgot about that. I was going to have Tohsaka teach me magecraft this afternoon."

As I never had a proper teacher, Tohsaka's magecraft lectures are more than helpful.

It seems Tohsaka is still willing to teach me, so I should go to see her as quickly as I can.

"Sorry, I'll be going to Tohsaka's room.

I don't know how long it'll take, so you guys can go rest."

"All right. I'm kind of sleepy, so I'll take a nap."

Illya goes out of the dojo, rubbing her eyes sleepily.


If Illya will calmly go to sleep, there won't be any problem with me going to Tohsaka's room.

"Shirou. Are you going to Rin's room?"

"Hm? Yeah, I just said so. I need her to teach me magecraft."

"...Is there a need for that? We have defeated Berserker and there are no more enemies that require our cooperation to defeat.

So there should not be anything you need to learn from Rin."

...Hmm. That might certainly be true.

First of all, Tohsaka taught me so that we could go up against Berserker.

Now that that need is not there, there's no more reason to learn from Tohsaka, but――

"No, I want to learn from her, forgetting the thing about Berserker.

I'm inexperienced, so I have to become a better magus as quickly as I can."

"...I see. If you say so, I have no right to stop you."


Saber murmurs with a sad face.

Scene 15

And so the day ends.

Dinner was exciting.

Illya spoke more and more at each meal today, and she had a weird relationship with Tohsaka where I couldn't tell whether they were friendly or fighting.

Saber is more approving of Illya, but she must not have let her guard down as she frowns every time Illya comes near me.


The past few days were too wild.

A normal day like this is unsettling for me.

I go out to the yard quietly.

It's a bit before midnight.

Under the cold moonlight, I walk leaving traces of white breath behind me.

...And before I realize it, I'm doing my daily routine.

I'm being taught by Tohsaka, so there's no need for me to train here now.

But still, I sit on the cold ground and check the thing within me.

It's not that I feel uneasy about my skills.

This is just a jinx.

I've been doing this for years now, so it just doesn't feel right unless I finish my day here.

"――Trace, on"

But today's training is more heated up than usual.

...Tohsaka told me not to use it, but I can't obediently agree with her.

If I can make this "projection" thing mine, it'll be a powerful weapon and I'll be able to help Saber better.

Besides, I still have that heat in my body.

The night at the ruin.

The battle in the forest filled with morning mist.

The golden sword I made.

The remaining heat is still in my hands, and my heart wishes it to start burning again when I try again.

"――Creation concept, analyze"

Reproducing it is easy.

My mind was jumbled up back then because I was desperate, but I can perform only the steps I need now.


From the beginning, there was only one to guide Emiya Shirou.

The pronunciation is the same.

Just change the self's recognition and it will become an original spell.

"――Basic structure, analyze."

...I understand how dangerous it is without needing for Tohsaka to tell me.

As a magus, Emiya Shirou must not associate himself with "projection".

It's something that's beyond me.

A venture beyond one's capabilities will eventually be paid for by death.

"――All cut. Clear, zero."

I erase the blueprint I was drawing.

On the other side of the door.

As if hiding the blue moon, Saber approaches.

"...Good. You are here. I thought something might have happened as I could not find you."

"...? No, nothing's wrong. I couldn't sleep, so I was exercising my head. I'll go back to the room once I'm done, so you don't need to worry."

"...I see. That is good then."

Saying so, she looks at me.

It's impossible to hide as my face is all sweaty as always.

"Yeah, this is the same as always too, so don't worry about it.

magecraft training is natural for a magus, right?

...Well, I'm inexperienced, so I make a lot of mistakes."

I wipe the sweat off my forehead.


...I'm surprised.

The sweat I wiped off is ice cold.

I thought it was cold, but was it this cold in the shed?

"――Shirou. You have been doing this every day?"

"Well, as much as I can. It's a daily routine Father told me to do, so I have to do at least this much."

Replying, I regret that I'm bluffing.

That this is my daily routine.

I wanted to boast to Saber by saying that.

The training at the end of the day is certainly no trouble for me.

But it was never easy for me either.


Saber doesn't say anything.

Behind her is the moon.

Slanting rays of light enter the shed, covered in blue darkness.


This is like a reproduction of the night I met her.

"Saber. Tohsaka said something."

As soon as I think this is like watching a dream...

"Is it true that Servants don't dream?"

Without realizing, I ask her that question.

"No, we do not have dreams. As we are spiritual, we do not sleep.

I have to sleep because I cannot go into spiritual form, but even I cannot dream."

"But this morning, you said you did."


A small silence.

She closes her eyes once and looks at me with a gentle face as if she's determined.

"What I saw was your dream, Shirou.

...Master and Servant are mentally connected as well. If our connection becomes stronger, things like seeing the other's past might start to occur."

"Dream――you mean, my past...?"

"...Yes. I knew it was a deed that steps into your mind, but I could not refuse it.

...Please forgive me, Shirou."


That goes for me as well.

Saber's past.

I've seen the days before she became a Servant many times.

"Idiot. That's not your fault. You can't help it if you dream about it.

...And besides, I'm the one who should be apologizing.

I only did boring uninteresting stuff when I was small, right? You can't sleep peacefully if you have dreams like that."

"No, I only dreamt this morning. It was not a recent event, so it does not invade your privacy as a man...!"

Saber comments honestly.

But private? ...Well, I've done ordinary stupid things, but...

"...That's good. You say it wasn't recent, so when was it from?"

"...It was a large fire. That was the only scene I saw."

A quiet voice.

Her gentle eyes tell me what she saw.

I see.

So she dreamt about that.

"――I see. That's, um..."

Should I say unfortunate?

It's like going to a movie theater to go see a movie you know, but going into the wrong theater and seeing something completely different.

"...That made me understand. No, I thought it before as well. You have a dangerous side to you."

"...? What do you mean by dangerous? Well, I'm sure all aspects of me look dangerous in your view."

"That is not what I mean.

Shirou――you are like me. That is why I can tell you what you have done wrong. As I am the same, I can tell what will happen to you if you continue on like this."

"...But I haven't done anything wrong.

My mistakes are countless of course, but I'm going to become a superhero like my father. I can't do anything wrong."

"I am saying that is the wrongdoing.

...Shirou, that accident was not your fault. It is not something you can be held responsible for.

――There is nothing for you to make up for."

Of course.

It was only an accident and I was only a victim.

Well, certainly there have been times when I felt guilty about being the only survivor, but――

"Rin said so before that your self-devotion is abnormal. I feel the same way.

You do not try to save others at the cost of your life.

You simply do not consider your own life at all."


Did my pupils open wide?

Somehow, I cannot see Saber's face clearly.

"...You will not be able to forget about that accident. But you cannot change as long as you remember it. Is that not painful for you?"

"Painful――? Me?"

Well, of course it's painful.

Saber doesn't need to tell me that.

It's only natural.

So many people died and it was such a hell.

I think it's only natural for it to be painful.

And besides, if it weren't.

It might all be meaningless.

"――Yeah. It certainly is painful to remember it.

But it's already over. It's not something I can do anything about now."

Saber doesn't answer.

She scratches her arm, irritated.

"...I need to obtain the Holy Grail.

But it is the same for you as well."

"Um... Saber...?"

"You need the Holy Grail.

It was inevitable that I would be called to you, Master."


How can I answer that?

"...I will go ahead and sleep. Please do not push yourself, Shirou."

Saber leaves.


I cross my arms and ponder.

...Do I need the Holy Grail?

The grail that grants the wishes of its possessor.

A vessel which contains unlimited amounts of magical energy, for which it is said nothing is impossible.

If I had such a thing, my wish would certainly be easily granted, but――

"No, that's wrong. No matter how I look at it, I don't need the Holy Grail."

Yeah, I definitely don't need it.

Because I don't have any wishes that won't come true or that are impossible.

Because if it's a dream I can't reach by myself, I won't even dream it in the first place.

...The night thickens.

With only the moonlight, I listen to the distant wind in the familiar shed.