FSN HF Day 08 (EN)

Scene 00 Sakura complains

...It's morning.

It's past seven o'clock.

Pure white sunlight shines in through the window.

"Mm――――all right."

I sit up and stretch.

I feel great.

My limbs move fine, and I don't have a headache.

My body is in perfect condition, as if the fever yesterday never happened.

"...Then that must mean it was just heartburn."

I sigh and think it over.

...I need more training if I'm losing consciousness just by recalling the events ten years ago.

My memory is vague, but I do remember Saber helping me walk home and putting me to sleep.

"――――I see. I have to go thank her."

I get out of my futon and change into my uniform.

I bet she's still sleeping, so I'll thank her during breakfast.

It's seven o'clock already, so I'll go greet Sakura in the living room.


Sakura has her bag.

Breakfast is ready as well.

The table is wiped clean, ready for us to eat at any time.

"Huh? Breakfast's already prepared?"

"Oh, yes. I made some for you and Saber-san, since I had the time."

"...? For me and Saber? What about you?"

"Oh... um, I'm fine. I'm going to school, so please have breakfast with just the two of you."


What's wrong, Sakura? It's weird for you not to eat when you've made some for us. ...Did something happen yesterday?"

...It seems like I guessed right.

But nothing happened yesterday.

Sakura went to her room after dinner, and that's all.

I think something happened after that, but I don't remember too well because of my nausea.

"...Oh. I think you and Saber were talking here. I didn't hear it too well, but did something happen then?"

"...I said something awful. I got angry because of the terrible condition you were in."

"You said something awful to Saber...?"

"...Yes. But I was in no position to tell her such a thing. But I treated Saber-san as if she was the only one at fault.

...I can't face her today, so..."

That's why she made breakfast and wants to leave before Saber wakes up?

"...I'm sorry, Senpai. I realized my foolishness right away and apologized to her. But Saber-san apologized to me instead. Even though I'm at fault, she said it's because of her carelessness."

She hangs her head.

...I see.

She must feel more self-hatred because Saber apologized to her when she should be the one apologizing.

"...Man, you two are stupid. It's my fault since I'm the one who got hurt. You two shouldn't have fought over such a thing."

"But, Senpai, I..."

"It's fine. Look, she doesn't give in if the other person is at fault. She'll yell back at you if you're being unreasonable. If she's apologizing, it means she sees your point.

I'm sure Saber won't say it, but she likes you. She cares for anyone that tries hard."

"―――Yes. But I should reserve myself all the more.

Since Saber-san didn't scold me, I have to scold myself or I'll get carried away."

Sakura bows to hide her embarrassment.

It seems she's going to school early no matter what.

"...Man. I won't stop you if you say so, but what are you going to do at school so early? Morning practice is suspended right now."

"It's fine. I'm going to clean the dojo. I said such an awful thing to Saber-san, so I'm going to scrub the floor as punishment."

Sakura leaves with a goodbye.

"Cleaning the dojo? But that's pretty hard on you to scrub the floor during wintertime."

...Well, I suppose that's the point.

What did she say to Saber to make her go so far?

Scene 01 Challenging the shadow

"What? A quarrel between Sakura and me?"

"Huh? Didn't you two argue? Sakura was apologizing."

"...Now that you mention it, it may have seemed that way. But Sakura was correct, and she merely pointed out my lack of consideration..."



Saber is deep in thought.

Not only that, she's pondering so much that she's eating at incredible speed.

"Oh, I'm sorry if I said something weird. Sakura seemed so worried about it that I ended up worried too. If it's not a big deal, just forget about it."

"...Geez. You and Sakura are saying the same thing. Do not tell me you two are playing a prank on me."

"Hey, we wouldn't play such an elaborate prank on you! What good would that be for us?"

I don't even want to think of what'd happen if I did play a joke on her and she found out about it.

"That is true. Then you must simply have been concerned for each other."

Nodding to herself, Saber digs into another omelet.

It's good to be able to eat a lot in the morning.

"But what did Sakura say? It takes a lot to get her that depressed. Is it all right if I ask?"

"U-Um. She merely pointed out my inadequacy as a Servant. In short, she told me I could not protect you because I did not have the skill."

"...You're doing more than I can ask.

What happened last night was my own fault. You can't blame yourself for it."

"That is true, but... Sakura's criticism is correct. The problem is me, because I cannot assent.

I will continue taking you into battle, no matter what she tells me."

She looks away awkwardly.


Something is strange.

Why is Saber so preoccupied with something that they've agreed on?

"...The residents grew suspicious and requested that the area be investigated――――"

The news is on.

I turned on the TV and found it broadcasting about an incident last night.

"...They found over thirty unconscious people, who were immediately taken to the hospital.

This is the seventh such incident this month, and the medical examination still believes the cause to be similar to food poisoning――――"

I finish breakfast and get ready for school.

I'm going to go see Tohsaka.

I have to talk to her about what happened last night―――about Matou Zouken and that black shadow.

"...As the incident has spread to South Miyama 4th Avenue, the police believe the cause may be a spreading chemical spill――――"

South Miyama 4th Avenue.

That's the direction Tohsaka was staring at yesterday.

...Archer said the shadow is the cause of the incidents.

...Over thirty people are in comas.

I've experienced what they're going through firsthand.

That shadow is sucking magical energy from the people in this town, just like Caster.


No, it's worse than that.

Caster was gentle and considerate compared to that thing.

Caster took care not to harm her victims, so that she could continue to drain them.

It's like collecting blood with a syringe.

...But that thing is different.

That thing was not collecting blood like Caster. That thing was "eating".

The black shadow was mercilessly feeding on magical energy along with people's minds.

"―――Saber. I want to talk to you before I go to school."

"What is it, Shirou?"

Saber is watching the news as well.

Saber quietly questions me like always, even though she should know what I want to talk about.

"It's about our future plan of action. You saw that thing too, right?"

"――――Yes. I have never seen its like, not resembling any of the fantasy race."

"...Right. I don't know what that thing is.

But it's our enemy. It didn't look like a Master or a Servant, but it attacked me and Tohsaka, and now it's sucking magical energy out of the people in town.


"...So our current priority is searching for that shadow?

We are to fight something that is neither a Master nor a Servant?"

Saber's stare is painful.

...Her goal is to obtain the Holy Grail.

But I'm asking her to get involved in something completely unrelated.

It's natural for her to protest.

But still―――

"Yes. I can't ignore that shadow. I think this is more important than the Holy Grail War."


Saber silently stares at me.

And when I start to think I can't bear it any longer...

"...Geez. I knew this was going to happen. I do not want to concern myself with that shadow, but..."

"Eh, Saber...? Um, is it all right...?"

"My opinion does not matter, because you will try to do something by yourself even if I refuse.

I will be putting the cart before the horse. I cannot stay in this world if you die.

I can only obey, even if I am against your proposal."

"Uh, you're right, but..."

"And I do not know how many more times you will be reckless if I leave you by yourself. It was the second time last night, so the third will certainly happen. I will have to apologize to Sakura again if that happens."


"I am very reluctant, but Servants obey their Masters. I will lend you my sword if that is your decision."


"But Shirou, that shadow is no ordinary opponent. It would be easier to fight Berserker than it."

"Ugh... Yeah, I felt that too.

It's not a matter of it being strong or not. That thing is just ominous. I don't think we can beat it merely by striking it."

"If you understand, then there is nothing else to say.

...But Shirou. To oppose that thing is to go down the most difficult path. Please keep that in mind."

"......? Well, of course I'll be careful. But why are you saying such a thing? Do you know what that shadow is, like Archer does?"

"...No. Like you, I know nothing about it."

Saber looks away.

And Saber says...

"I vaguely feel that it is the ill star itself. It is like an inescapable curse that destroys everything."

...As if to express her ominous premonition.

Scene 02 Foreseeing the future

"Let's start homeroom.

Go ahead, day duty... Wait, Aikawa-kun's absent, and Aimono-san's absent too? All right, I guess I'll go ahead. Stand up, every one."

...Homeroom starts.

There are more absent people, giving the room a listless feel.

Well, I think the whole school is probably like this.

Fuji-Nee lightly continues homeroom, but I don't see her usual spirit either.

"So, you can't have any club practices after school.

That's all I have to tell you. Oh, your first period teacher, Kuzuki-Sensei, is absent, so you have self-study. I brought you all a handout, so work on that, everyone."

Everyone unanimously cheers and starts moving their desks.

Fuji-Nee doesn't care if people work on the handout or not, so everyone's free to do anything as long as they don't go out of the classroom. But――――


...So why is she beckoning me to come see her in the hallway in such a suspicious manner?

"What, Fuji-Nee? It's class time, you know?"

"Yeah, but I couldn't go see you this morning, right? So I got really worried and was wondering if you're all right."

"...? What is it all of a sudden? What are you uneasy about?"

"Hmm, I don't really know. I just have this hunch.

Any time I get this hunch, you could get run over by a car or fall off a bridge. So I'm wondering if you're all right."

"――――Man. That's normal. If you call that dangerous, I've been in danger all my life."

"Yeah, but I'm just worried.

It feels like there's a train we have to get on together, but you're still at the platform and I'm waving goodbye to you."

"Hmm. That's pretty concrete... So you woke up after that?"

"Oh, you can tell? I woke up late because of that."


I'm speechless.

So she didn't come to my house because she just woke up late?

...Well, I'll forgive her, since that's what I expect from Fuji-Nee.

"Don't worry, I'm like always. You've got dark circles under your eyes, Fuji-Nee. You need more sleep."

"Huh? ...Well, yeah. It was busy yesterday, and it looks like it'll be busy today as well. I don't think I'll be able to go over to your place, since I'll be working overtime for a while. Much as I hate to say it, you don't have to make meals for me."


"That's all. Go and work on the handout. You're not doing too well in social studies, so you might fail if you don't go study hard."

Fuji-Nee cheerfully waves goodbye and leaves.

"...I don't have to cook for her? Well, that makes it easier, but..."

It's disappointing as well.

I feel empty as if my normal everyday life has disappeared.

Scene 03 Rin's advice

"Yeah. I agree with you.

I can't ignore that shadow either. I don't know the magus behind it, but I can't let him run freely on my land."

"Then can we still keep our peace?"

"Of course. We don't have much of an option until we eliminate the shadow."

―――Our conversation ends really quickly.

I went to Tohsaka's classroom, class 2-A, during lunchtime to go get her.

I told her I want to do something about that "black shadow", and her answer was simple.

"What do you want to do? Should we patrol together starting tonight or do things separately?"

"Let's see... I agree, we should divide the workload.

You can keep doing your nightly patrols. Investigate any place that you or Saber think is strange.

And I'll go after Zouken while you move around in the open."

"...Matou Zouken? Does he have something to do with the shadow?"

"Who knows? It doesn't seem likely, since Zouken was more terrified than any of us, but something's bugging me.

...Well, we can't let him be, regardless. He's acting suspicious, controlling Caster's corpse and making a non-magus like Shinji into a Master."

"―――I see. You're right. Come to think of it, we joined hands against Caster. So we can't ignore that old man."

"Right. Let's fight that shadow after everything else is taken care of. Even if you find it, don't fight and just investigate it. We have to prepare before we go for the kill."

"Okay, but what are you going to do? You say you're going to follow Zouken, but do you know where he is?"

"Huh...? Oh, I don't know where he is, but I'm going to go to the Matou household. My family is connected to them, so I'm more qualified."

Tohsaka states it simply.

But her plan isn't that simple.

"G-Go to the Matou household!? That means you're going into the enemy base!"

"I know. What are you so surprised about? I'm not going there to fight. I'm just going to investigate."

"What―――are you stupid!? What if Zouken ambushes you!?

I can't let you go alone. I'll go too, so don't be so reckless!"

"Hey, you're the one being rash here.

I told you, I know the Matou family. I know their magecraft, and I can tell how strong Zouken is from yesterday's battle. He's no match for me.

That old magus is using most of his magical energy to maintain his body, so he doesn't have a direct way to attack me."

"It'd actually be convenient if he came at me head-on. And Shinji's harmless because he's not a Master anymore.

You can leave the stale fight between magi to me. You go ahead and collect information."


I can't talk back if she can declare it like that.

...Archer will be with her, so I shouldn't worry that much.

"...All right. I'll leave Matou Zouken to you. Saber and I will look for the shadow."

"Yes, please do. ...And Emiya-kun. Sakura is at your house, right?"

"...? Yeah, she's staying over. What about it?"

"No, it's nothing. I'm just relieved to hear that.

It wouldn't be good if she happened to be at the mansion when I go, right?"

"Oh, you're right. ......I'm surprised. You're really thoughtful."

"H-Hey, why are you looking so surprised? What kind of a person did you think I was?"

"Well, um..."

I thought she was like a storm, coming and going in a flash.

"...Humph. I don't care what you think of me.

Anyway, I'm going to take care of Matou, so you stay quiet in your house until nightfall."

"All right. I'll leave it to you and go train with Saber. There's still some time until the sun sets."

I get up and head to the door.

Lunch break is almost over, so I should go back soon.

"Bye, Tohsaka. Let's meet here again tomorrow."

"Yes. Let's exchange what we've learned.

Oh, but Emiya-kun."

Tohsaka grins.


...It's bad when she smiles like that.

I get this bad feeling and hurry to the door, but...

"I don't know about training.

Isn't there something else you could do with your free time?

Like caring for the girl living under your own roof?"

...I'm within her range.

"W-What are you saying, you idiot...!!

S-Sakura's nothing like that, and I'm just having her stay over while Shinji's in a bad mood――――"

"Oh. I meant you should let Saber get some rest. That's unexpected. Sakura's the first one to come to your mind when I mention the word 'girl'?"

She grins.

"Ah――――, um, ugh――――"

I can feel my face burning.

I feel like my brain is boiling. I half-expect steam to come shooting out of my ears.

"I'm just joking. I'm just getting back at you. Did you like that?"

"......Hey now. I would doubt your sanity if you liked such a thing."

Strength escapes my body.

I feel like a marionette whose strings have been cut.

"Oh, right. That's your weak spot. I guess it was an ill-natured joke."

"Heh, you're the one that's ill-natured. I'm going ahead!"

"Yes, please go right ahead. I'll stay and laugh for a bit longer."

"......! Damn, see you tomorrow, Tohsaka!"

I stalk back into the building, slamming the door behind me.


Tohsaka's starting to have fun by mocking me.

What does she mean by me "liking it"?

First of all...

What have I done to deserve this kind of treatment?

Scene 04 Dead End: Battle of the Holy Grail

School ends, and I quickly head home.

Since the after-school clubs have been cancelled, the front gate is crowded with students.

I look around, but I don't see Tohsaka.

I bet she's already heading to the Matou household.

"Sakura's―――not around."

Sakura should head straight to my house since the club activities are cancelled.

But I didn't promise to go home with her, so I bet she already went home.

I walk up the empty hill.

It's already been six days since the Holy Grail War started.

The town seems to be slowly losing its liveliness.


I get dizzy as soon as I climb up the hill.

It feels like nausea.

A faint buzzing reaches my ears.

"――――What is this sound?"

The sound echoes on my eardrums even if I cover my ears.

I'm not hallucinating.

I can't be dizzy and be hearing this at the same time by pure chance.

If I get them at the same time, it should be intentional.

"Did something happen at the house...!?"

I shake off the dizziness and start running.

Saber's at the house.

As long as Saber's there, the enemy should have a hard time launching an ambush...!

I only see Saber's shoes at the front entrance.

"Good, Sakura's not home yet――――!"

Then there's no need to hesitate.

Even if we're under attack, Saber and I can deal with it...!

"Are you all right, Saber...!?"

I dash into the living room.

At that instant...

...The strength flees from my legs, and I sink to my knees.


I can't move my legs.

The buzzing rings my eardrums, and I lose my sense of balance.

I feel nauseous and cold.

Desperately, I fight it off, willing strength into my body...

...And realize that my Command Spell has lost its color.


My mind freezes.

The color of the Command Spell has faded away.

Before I can take in what it means...

"I've already dealt with Saber. I can't afford to have any more Servants go to their side."

I hear a familiar voice near me.


I bear the nausea and look up.

"I'm sorry, Onii-chan. I wanted to play for a bit longer, but then the situation changed. If you want to curse me, curse the imperfect Holy Grail."

The ringing in my ears invades my brain.

The imperceptible sound waves shut down my vision by filling themselves behind my eyeballs.

"But don't worry. I won't kill you right away.

You're my trump card against that person. I'll destroy your body here, but I'll put your mind in a puppet.

...Teehee. You won't be able to move after that, but it's better than dying. Right, Onii-chan?"

――――The sound permeates my body.

My mind is still frozen.

In the darkness with my senses sealed, I meet my end without even realizing it.

Scene 05 Tiger Dojo 26

Continuation: Not enough love!

Ugh, the one who reformed and graduated from this dojo has been reborn as a devil child. ...Will she really be able to become a heroine?

...Well, I guess it's impossible.

Impossible. It's impossible no matter what!

I bet she's trembling outside right now, wanting to come back, but can't because of all the big talk she gave me!

Well, it's cold outside, so I bet she'll come back with a souvenir around the next dojo.

So, this bad end is also because of lack of love.

It's obvious whose love you're lacking this time, right? Try getting a bit closer with Illya-chan so that she won't go full out on you.

The important points are whether you meet Illya-chan on the 7th day and how you apologize to her.

You have to restart from day 5 if you can't meet her on day 7.

You have to consult Tohsaka-san if you see her at school.

That's the end of this Tiger Dojo.

Please continue enjoying Sakura-chan's route, where the atmosphere completely changes with the appearance of many new characters.

Scene 06 After school Sunset town

School ends, and I quickly head home.

Since all the after-school clubs have been cancelled, the front gate is crowded with students.

I look around, but I don't see Tohsaka.

I bet she's already heading to the Matou household.

"Senpai? Are you looking for someone?"

"Hm? No, I was just looking at the school. It's rare for everyone to go home like this, right?"

"You're right. But we can go home together because of that. Should we stop by the shopping district?"

"Yeah, let's buy stuff for dinner. Fuji-Nee can't come over for a while, so it'll be for me, you, and Saber."

We stop by the park after shopping.

There's no one here.

No children playing around. No silver-haired girl in a coat.

"...There's no one here. Is this place not used that often?"

"I guess that's how it is. There were people here until the sun set when I was a child, but I guess it's like this now except for the holidays."

"I see. It's kind of lonely."

I agree and look up at the sky.

The evening sky.

The madder red sky without any birds looks lonely, just like the park.

"Let's go. You don't get this time off very often, so we should relax."

We leave the park.

With an energetic reply, Sakura follows after me.

Scene 07 Intermission Truth

And the girl―――Tohsaka Rin reaches her destination.

The Matou household.

The workshop of the old family of magi who came to this town two hundred years ago.

Even though her family gave them land as a cooperator, the Matou family are outsiders they never concerned themselves with.

The two families formed a non-aggression pact, and bound themselves to not be concerned with each other's affairs.


She walks on, uncaring.

If there was a pact forbidding the two families to associate, it was broken eleven years ago.

It was originally formed by the heads of the two families.

They had abided by it for two hundred years, though its purpose had been forgotten.

Neither Tohsaka nor Matou have obtained the Holy Grail during that time.

Their pact was made to obtain the Holy Grail.

But since their wish never came true, there is no reason to follow such an ancient pact now.

She strides through the front door without ringing the doorbell.

She did not come here as a guest.

She is here as a Master, to eliminate one of her competitors in this game.

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

Rin searches through the Matou household with a sour expression.

...The Holy Grail War provided her with the reason to come here.

Therefore, she is not bound by the pact between their families.

―――Even though she persuades herself, she cannot change her personality.

"...I see. This is the first time I've gone against my dad's instruction."

She mutters to herself.

But it's nothing special.

It's not like something important was destroyed by disobeying her father.

If she regrets anything...

"...How stupid of me. I should've came here earlier if I was going to break the pact anyway."

...It's the remorse towards someone who has endured it for over ten years.

"―――Rin. It's about the layout of the house. There are two blank areas."

"Huh? Where is that? Is it on the first floor?"

"The second. It's a bit small to be a stairway, but it probably goes down to the basement."

"...Okay. By the way, have you noticed it, Archer?"

"Of course. But it shouldn't be harmful. If you choose to ignore it, I will as well. Our target is that monster."

She nods to his words and goes to the second floor.

―――Even though the red knight is not visible, he is by her side.

She brought him in case of combat, but it seems he takes notice of small details.

After traversing the house once, he has come up with a blueprint and can point out where the empty spaces are.

Rin has come to realize that Archer is skilled in analyzing the design and structure of objects.

"...I've been thinking. That strong point of yours isn't suited for an archer."

"You can whine later. Here, I got it open. It's dark, so watch―――"

They stop talking.

From the opening in the wall...

Damp air flows out of the pathway to the basement.

The rotten smell is unbearable even for Archer, who has not taken form.

They come down to a damp, stone paving.

Murky greenish darkness engulfs them.

The numerous holes must be to bury dead people.

In these stone chambers, the corpses decompose and fade away, leaving the holes empty to await their next occupant.

It is like the process of burial above ground.

The only difference is the process of decomposition.

It is not the soil that decomposes the corpse here, but the writhing mass of worms.

"This is the training ground of the Matou――――the Makiri――――"

She gets dizzy.

It's not because of disgust or chill.

It is anger that causes her to shudder, repent, and vomit.

This is the training ground.

A place like this is used as a training ground.

This space containing rotten moisture, the smell of corpses, and infinite worms is the "room" given to the successor of the Matou family.


What can one learn in such a place?

The only thing here is breeding stock.

Worms to breed. Worms to raise. Worms to train.

The people of Matou have trained, urged, and bred their successor with these worms――――

―――How different is this world from her own?

The cold-hearted ways, the difficulty of the tasks, and the pain of the engraved Magic Circuit.

She's not comparing the severity as the successor.

If one is to talk about the burdened sufferings and the harshness, hers is incomparable.

She overcame more difficulties and hardships than anyone.

That is why she is a genius magus and an Average One, the user of the five elements, that the magecraft Association is accepting as a scholarship student.

If one orders her to command the worms in this room, she will be able to create a superior spell in half a year.

Rin can create a spell that the successor of the Matou family has been unable to create even after ten years.

But―――this method of learning is madness.

If asked whether she could withstand being violated by these worms, she can only hesitate.

The inheritance of the magecraft here is not a study, but a torture.

A magecraft that is taught not to the mind, but to the body.

That is how the Makiris pass on their magecraft, and this is the preference of the old magus, Matou Zouken.


To be chosen as the successor of the Matou family means to be tortured forever――――


"...I know. Zouken isn't here. He either ran away or has another secret base. ...Either way, there aren't any clues here, so we should get going."

She leaves the stone room, suppressing her urge to scream.

Her footsteps fade.

...After that.

The worms swarm around what she has vomited out.

She returns to the ground floor.

Her business finished, she makes for the door, and――――

"Shinji. You're there, aren't you? It's no use hiding."

She calls out to the person hiding in the other secret pathway.

"――――! Tohsaka, you..."

"...Hmph. I was going to ignore you and go home, but I've changed my mind. Let's talk for a bit, Matou-kun."


Matou Shinji glares at Rin, but follows her request.

...He is obviously afraid of her.

His fear is not because of facing a Master and her Servant, but rather because of the threatening attitude she's taking.

"D-Don't kid me. I have nothing to talk about. First of all, the Tohsaka family shouldn't associate with the Matou family. Why are you here?"

"Oh? We both go to the same school. I don't think it's strange for me to come over."

"Hah, don't make me laugh. You break the lock, search through my house, and then call it 'coming over'? ...Heh, so I guess it's true that you lost your manners after your dad died. What a pack of morons. Since when did the Tohsaka family start acting like burglars?"

"Is that how I looked? ...Hmm, that's not such a bad idea.

There's nothing here worth stealing, but burglars do more than that, don't they?

They go into violent rages when they're found.

―――Yes, I do want to act like a burglar right now."

She's joking.

But she isn't smiling at all.

Tohsaka Rin is coldly staring at Matou Shinji, who has his back to the wall.

"......! Y-You idiot, you're wrong! I have nothing to do with Zouken! I didn't know what that old bastard was doing until now...!"

"――――Yeah? So why did you become a Master?"

"...! That's because――――"

A gritting sound.

Even though he is cornered by Tohsaka, he swallows his words.

He was willing to tell her anything she wanted to know about the old man.

This girl is dangerous right now. There's no telling what she will do if he keeps quiet.

―――In the worst case...

She might simply kill him out of rage.



But he can't say it.

Telling her why he became a Master is like asking for death.

Even if...

"Then I'll say it for you. You just wanted to act like a magus. You're a failure and can't be a magus, so you wanted the Holy Grail to make you one.

You have no other goal. You're a coward that wanted proof to hide your powerlessness."

...It's something trivial for others.

"......! Tohsaka, you...!"

"Am I wrong? You didn't have a Magic Circuit even though you were born to the Matou family. But that's not your fault. The Matou blood was fading away anyway. The duty of the Matou family as the seeker was fading away from the time you people came here.

But you persisted.

You thought it was special to be special, and you demanded something you didn't need. You can't be a magus even if you obtained a Magic Circuit like that, but you clung to the special right that should've been given to you."

"D-Don't talk like you know everything...! Don't talk bullshit! I can't be a magus...!? How do you know that――――!?"

"I can tell. I can say with certainty that you will never be a magus, even if you obtain the Holy Grail.

You just don't have the talent. That's the difference between you and Emiya-kun."


His jaw drops.

That name is unexpected for Matou Shinji.

It's fine if Tohsaka Rin opposes him as a Master. He expected that.

But it cannot be possible for Emiya Shirou's name to come from her lips.

He is just an amateur.

He isn't from a family of magi, nor is he suited to be a Master.

It's too much for him to have Saber, so why is his name coming out of Tohsaka Rin's mouth――――!?

"Ha――――Hah. What? Stop that, Tohsaka. Why are you talking about Emiya!?"

"Because he's stronger than you. And he has the right qualities to be a magus. Emiya Shirou has something Matou Shinji does not.

...Yes, he doesn't have the talent, just like you. But he has the quality to be a magus. He is the best at it, and it's something he won't lose in."

"He's the best!? Him!? Hah, don't make me laugh, Tohsaka...!

There's nothing he has that I don't have! He's the one who's got nothing! He's just a lucky bastard that made a contract with Saber...!"

Shinji's hatred for Shirou must have blown his fears away, as he now faces Rin straight on.

The girl sighs and shrugs her shoulders.

"......I see. I guess you really are beyond help if you don't understand after all this. I thought I'd hold you responsible, but you're not even worth it. I'll let you go, so go run to the church before Emiya-kun beats you."

She turns her back on him.

Telling him she has no business here.

She heads for the door, not even bothering to treat Shinji as an enemy.

"I――――I'm inferior to Emiya...?"

His voice burns with hatred.

But he can do nothing but watch her go.

He'll surely be killed if he attacks her here.

Even Matou Shinji can see the difference in their powers.

"Tohsaka――――you, you......!"

A voice filled with deep resentment.

"――――――Geez, I guess it can't be helped."

She stops, and says goodbye to the boy that used to be the successor.

"Fine, this is the end, so I'll tell you.

Those who aim farther for others' sake. Those who think of others before themselves. ...And those who hate themselves more than anyone.

These are the qualities of a magus. There is a place you can't reach, no matter how much talent you have.

...Humph. I never thought anyone would meet this condition. This is a contradiction you can only have if you're born broken."

"Shinji. You're a good example of someone who nurtures a needless inferiority complex by despising others. You love yourself so much that you believe everyone else is below you, even when they are superior in every way.

...You're empty inside. The only one who thinks you're full is you, and you're just like a balloon. Your destination changes depending on the wind."


"Do you understand? One such as you is unfit to be a magus. A Servant would never obey such a person.

This world is unrelated to you. No matter how much you consider yourself to be a Master, you can never be a Master."

―――The sound of retreating footsteps.

Tohsaka Rin leaves Matou Shinji alone in the dark room.

"――――Ha. Haha, hahaha."

He drops down the wall.

Matou Shinji crumples down like a puppet with its strings cut and keeps laughing.

"I see. So that's how it is?"

His tongue licks over dry lips.

A dull sound.

The boy smacks his head hard against the wall behind him, as if trying to break his skull.

"――――In short...

He just has to disappear, right, Tohsaka?"

His laughter continues.

Scene 08 Peaceful day

"All right, Sakura. Rock, paper..."


I stick out a clenched fist.

Sakura extends an open palm.

I have rock, and Sakura has paper.


"All right, I won!"

I look at my fist.

...I did it again. Why do I always use rock as my first move?

"Then I'll be cooking dinner. Please relax and watch TV or something, Senpai."

Sakura skips off to the kitchen. She must be happy that she gets to make dinner all by herself.

"...Man, I guess it can't be helped. I promised whoever wins gets to cook dinner."

I take off my apron and sit down.

I don't know about other people, but cooking dinner seems like a favorite pastime for us.

...It's not really true for me, but Sakura always wants to cook by herself.

That's good in a way, but as her Senpai, I can't let her do all the work.

So when we're both bored, like today, we fight over who gets to cook.

"...I have nothing to do, so I'll just drink tea."

I brew some tea and sit at the table.

Saber is sleeping in my room, and Fuji-Nee won't be coming since she's working overtime.

Sakura and I are the only ones here.


...Am I watching her because I have nothing to do?

Sakura is moving briskly about the kitchen, and she looks like she's having fun.

Her familiar hair and her crimson ribbon.

She handles the plates. She holds the heavy kitchen knife and places the cabbage on the cutting board.


She cuts it with a yell.

Sakura tenses up every times she starts to cut something, but she keeps cooking like she's used to it after that.


I watch it absent-mindedly.

The evening living room.

A daily life here with Sakura, where time passes slowly.

I suddenly realize how hard this life is to obtain.

...It must be because I'll be going to battle at night.

I finally realize how important this time is for me.

"...Yeah. I have to protect Sakura."

I don't know what Matou Zouken is planning, but I won't let him touch her.

I've come in contact with Sakura too many times the past few days, causing me to be bewildered about her change.

...I thought I was confused by her femininity.

But that's wrong.

If I'm confused, it started long before that.

I hear her humming in the kitchen.

...These simple, trivial things are important to me.

I pour myself a third cup of tea and watch the red-tinted scenery.

Maybe there's some alcohol in the tea, because the passing time feels slow and tender.

Scene 09 Patrol at night Choice

―――The town falls asleep.

It's just past ten o'clock, but it seems like it's midnight.

It must be because of all the unexplained comas.

There are no lights, and nobody is walking about.

"Finding the shadow and investigating it――――Archer's Master has given us quite the reckless request."

"Yeah. But we have to do it. Are you against it, Saber?"

"...I told you my opinion this morning.

So, do you have any clues? We might find ourselves being the target if we wander about aimlessly."

...A clue, huh?

I'm not positive, but――――

Scene 10 Investigate the Ryudou Temple

"Let's go to the Ryuudou Temple again.

...I noticed that Caster was acting strange. I think there's something there."

"...Yes. That mountain is filled with an ominous presence. The land there is the spiritual focus of this town. It is worth investigating, regardless of whether the shadow is there."

"Then it's decided. Let's go."

We walk to the gate.

We can reach the temple in an hour, if we hurry. We don't have any time to lose, but――――


Saber is looking at the outbuilding.

She is looking at Sakura's room, where Sakura should now be sleeping.

"...Shirou. I have something to discuss with you. It follows this morning's conversation."

"...? You mean about Sakura?"

"Yes. Sakura's guilty conscience is too strong. She has a tendency of trying to atone for her sins in the present rather than the future."

...She must be talking about the quarrel they had yesterday.

Saber said Sakura was right, so Sakura had no reason to worry about it.

But Sakura said she was still at fault, went and apologized to Saber, and had Saber apologize to her instead.

Sakura and Saber.

Saber must be worried about the difference in their thought process.

"...What do you mean?"

"...Sakura places too much blame upon herself. She punishes herself for her errors instead of correcting them. She brands herself with her dishonor, rather than working to recover her honor. She burdens herself in a good way and a bad way."

...She talks with disgust.

It sounds like she's talking about herself more than about Sakura.

"...It was clear to me last night. She is special when she is with you, but I believe she behaves differently in other circumstances. Sakura is liberated from her guilty conscience only when she is with you."

That is the source of her concern.

Sakura should be able to live with pride without needing to rely on another.

"...I see. Sakura certainly is too shy. I'll be careful."

Now that Saber mentions it, it's not healthy for a girl Sakura's age to always be busy helping around the house.

She says it's fun to be here, but she should at least go outside to hang out once in a while.

"...Thanks for looking out for Sakura, Saber.

I'm really happy that you're worried about her when she has nothing to do with the Holy Grail War."

"...No. I also have a guilty conscience, so it did not seem like someone else's business."

"Oh―――hold on, Saber. Let's go together."

We head to the gate together.

We head outside within the silence, trying not to wake Sakura up.

Scene 11 Investigate the park

"...I say yesterday's park. They say the criminal returns to the scene of the crime――――"

"Are you saying the shadow will appear again?

Master. Even if we are fortunate enough to find the shadow there, what would we do? It would be nice if we could defeat it there, but it will become harder to find that shadow if we let it escape. I believe your plan does not solve the main problem."


Saber's right.

We don't even know what that shadow is.

So we shouldn't be trying to find the shadow right now. We should rather be trying to find out what it is, and where it's coming from.

"...I guess the Ryuudou Temple then. I noticed that Caster was acting strange. I think there's something there."

"Yes. That mountain is filled with an ominous presence. The land there is the spiritual focus of this town.

It is worth investigating, regardless of whether the shadow is there."

"Then it's decided. Let's go."

We walk to the gate.

We can reach the temple in an hour, if we hurry. We don't have any time to lose, but――――


Saber is looking at the outbuilding.

She is looking at Sakura's room, where Sakura should now be sleeping.

"...Shirou. I have something to discuss with you. It follows this morning's conversation."

"...? You mean about Sakura?"

"Yes. Sakura's guilty conscience is too strong. She has a tendency of trying to atone for her sins in the present rather than the future."

...She must be talking about the quarrel they had yesterday.

Saber said Sakura was right, so Sakura had no reason to worry about it.

But Sakura said she was still at fault, went and apologized to Saber, and had Saber apologize to her instead.

Sakura and Saber.

Saber must be worried about the difference in their thought process.

"...What do you mean?"

"...Sakura places too much blame upon herself. She punishes herself for her errors instead of correcting them. She brands herself with her dishonor, rather than working to recover her honor. She burdens herself in a good way and a bad way."

...She talks with disgust.

It sounds like she's talking about herself more than about Sakura.

"...It was clear to me last night. She is special when she is with you, but I believe she behaves differently in other circumstances. Sakura is liberated from her guilty conscience only when she is with you."

That is the source of her concern.

Sakura should be able to live with pride without needing to rely on another.

"...I see. Sakura certainly is too shy. I'll be careful."

Now that Saber mentions it, it's not healthy for a girl Sakura's age to always be busy helping around the house.

She says it's fun to be here, but she should at least go outside to hang out once in a while.

"...Thanks for looking out for Sakura, Saber.

I'm really happy that you're worried about her when she has nothing to do with the Holy Grail War."

"...No. I also have a guilty conscience, so it did not seem like someone else's business."

"Oh―――hold on, Saber. Let's go together."

We head to the gate together.

We head outside within the silence, trying not to wake Sakura up.

Scene 12 Assassin's attack

We climb over the "no trespassing" fence into the temple.

The Ryuudou Temple is now treated as important material evidence in the coma incident, and no one is allowed to enter.


The night air is not any different.

It's warm, and it smells like ripe fruit.

"...Let's go in, Saber."

"Yes. ...Please be careful, Shirou."

"I know. Tell me right away if you feel anything dangerous."

...We go through the compound and climb up to the entryway.

The wooden hallway is dark, and the floor creaks with each step.

"...Nothing seems strange. How about you, Saber?"

"...It is the same for me. But I am sure this area is abnormal. We are surrounded by a different common sense ever since we came on this mountain.

...It is abnormal because this mountain is filled with magical energy and we do not find it abnormal."

"...You're right. Okay, let's investigate a bit more. This temple has a lake behind it. There are more buildings over there."

...It is said that a dragon lives in that lake.

There may be a clue at the place people consider holy.

We go out into the hallway and head behind the temple.

At that instant...



I'm shoved back into the temple by Saber.

I realize Saber has pushed me, try to go back out into the hallway, and...

The exit is shut firmly by Saber.

"Saber!? Hey, what are you doing, you idiot...!"

I bang on the door.

I don't know what kind of magecraft it is, but the door is as hard as steel.

"Hey, what are you doing!? Open the door, Saber...!"

The door refuses to budge, even when I throw my weight against it.

And from the other side of the steel-like door...

"Please protect yourself there, Shirou...! This opponent will only target you...!"

"What――――!? Who's the enemy!? Is it that shadow!?"

"No! But this Servant is a natural enemy of Masters! I am sorry, but I cannot protect you if you are at the battleground.

I have to fight Assassin one-on-one, or he will kill you first...!"


I didn't even sense him.

Even though the air is strange here, a Servant's presence is a different matter.

The magical energy should be apparent if a Servant takes form near us.

Even if he hid his presence, I should be able to tell, let alone Saber――――!

"I will finish the battle in one blow. Please do not move until then――――!"

Saber's presence fades.

Her footsteps are loud. She must have repelled Assassin's attacks as she charged within range.


I look around.

I pick up a stick that's about the size of a wooden sword and "strengthen" it immediately.


I have to make this into a sword and break open this door.

An ominous feeling, a mysterious uneasiness, fills my mind.

―――This place.

It feels like a fatal mistake to leave Saber by herself on this mountain, so I have to hurry and――――


The lights go out.

No, there was no light to begin with.

The moonlight has been blocked off by clouds.


...I smell something.

A smell of rotten meat and sounds of bugs flying around.

"――――Matou Zouken."

I glare into the darkness.

"―――Hah. Talk about walking into a trap, young lad."

A snicker.

It's that old magus. He's hiding somewhere.


I ready the strengthened weapon.

I have no fear, even with a centuries-old monster in front of me.

The only thoughts in my mind are of concern for Saber.

Scene 13 Interlude Last swordsman

She runs across the hallway to corner the skull mask.

The fifteen meters between them have been reduced to five.

Saber should be able to close in with one step and slash her enemy along with the skull mask.

But the enemy knows that as well.

He uses projectile weapons because he knows he will be no match at close range, and he retreats because he does not want her coming near him.

Although not as fast as Saber, the skull still retreats with the speed of a running beast.

He slithers across the floor, not slowing down even at the corners.

Does he have eyes on the back of his head, or is the mask on the back of his head?

Assassin steadily retreats from his opponent, maintaining the distance between them.

―――A spray of sparks.

Three daggers are released without any motion, but have no effect against Saber.

Like Lancer, Saber has protection against projectile weapons.

Lancer reads the course of the projectile attack using the sound of cutting air and the enemy's murderous intent.

Saber uses the sound of cutting air and her own instincts.

"Imperceivable attacks" are not much of a threat against heroic spirits.

It is those attacks that cannot be blocked, even when detected and understood, that are the fatal ones.

In that regard, Lancer's lance is appropriate to be called a Noble Phantasm.

A weapon that always strikes the heart cannot be blocked merely by knowing about it.

If one is to oppose that demonic lance, one must...

Prepare a shield overwhelming the magical energy of the lance,

have great enough luck to change the fate determined by the lance,

or prevent him from using the lance in the first place.

Compared to that, Assassin's daggers are easy to manage.

They can be fatal if they strike any vital points, but they are no different from throwing stones.


Over forty Darks have been thrown.

Having used up his supply of daggers, Assassin finally stops.


Saber stops as well, hesitating.

...The enemy that did not want her to come close has stopped.

There is something for sure, and an ominous feeling surrounds Assassin.

This is no situation where she can step in without care.

"―――Have you given up, Assassin?"

Saber knows it is best to kill Assassin now, but she takes a step back in spite of that.

She should not advance.

The instincts she has sharpened over the years that have kept her alive for a long time.

Those instincts are screaming.

Do not advance.

Stay away from the deep darkness.

"...Yes, I have given up, Saber. I am out of ammunition.

I was ready to be killed in one blow, so why are you not coming any closer?"


Saber does not answer and raises her sword a bit.

She points her sword at her enemy.

There are seven meters between them. It will take two steps to get close enough to strike.

As a swordsman, she must close in on her opponent.

But she has a secret technique that can be used at all ranges,

though it can be used only once――――

Assassin's black cloak flutters.

He has no idea where the wind is coming from.

"Hah, so you do not want to talk to me? Well, talk is voluntary. Let me talk as I wish."

Assassin's voice is strong and clear, in contrast to his appearance.

Saber narrows her eyes, thinking that his voice is similar to that of Lancer's.

"But how did you repel them? I threw my daggers so that you would not be able to see them. Were you able to perceive them?"

"I could not, but I could read their course. I would not be using this sword if I were afraid of what I cannot see."

The skull laughs in agreement.

What can he do, throwing black daggers at an opponent armed with an invisible sword?

Assassin keeps on laughing, being displayed with the great difference in the strength of their Noble Phantasms and their levels as heroic spirits.

"I see. So I was never a match against you.

I am an Assassin, after all. I cannot be expected to match other Servants. We are beings that lurk in the shadow. There are no heroic spirits appropriate for this role."


"Therefore, our role is to assassinate. We are failures that are only specialized in killing the Masters and not the Servants.

―――Well. In that regard, there is only one target for me.

Do you understand, Saber? My actions were all to kill your master."


"Exactly. My master is welcoming your master.

Even though you have separated me from him, he will soon feed Zouken's worms if you do not hurry."


Light emanates from Saber's sword.

Or rather, the golden sword is revealing its true shape.

"――――Oh! So you were hiding your sword with the curse of the wind. I see, you can attack me with mere air pressure from where you are standing. There is no need for you to step into the land of death."

The black cloak sinks.

The prey he was supposed to lure in turns out to have a projectile attack.

There is no place for schemes now.

If Saber intends to kill Assassin without coming close, then he must close the distance himself to kill her first.

"Our positions are reversed now. Will you step into Invisible Air?"

"What a terrible woman, telling me to jump into a swarm of locusts. Yet a dragon's fury will soon be unleashed... well, this is a dilemma."

The skull mask crawls on the ground.

It looks like a spider on a wall.

The compressed wind becomes a swirl of vacuum, about to be released at Assassin.

He must be insane.

Does he think he can survive the fatal whirlwind simply by lying on the ground?

"Well. This should be the end no matter what. Let me talk before that.

―――You said you can beat me one-on-one, correct?"

Saber raises her sword.

He cannot withdraw even when he is talking.

Saber is staring at Assassin.

Even if Assassin were to teleport, she would kill him before it even took place.

"That is why you drew me away from your Master. You were correct to protect him from me."

Her sword is raised above her head.

With the attack poised to strike, Assassin crawls even lower.

"But did that decision include protecting yourself?"

An inquiring voice.

To that...

"―――I am in a hurry. Farewell, Assassin."

...Saber replies with a single attack.

The match is decided.

The windstorm is like a heavenly dragon, its serpentine body winding about to devour its prey.

There is no chance of defense or evasion.

This is like Lancer's lance. This is a blow that cannot be blocked unless one has more magical energy than Invisible Air.

Assassin's magical energy is far short of Saber's.

The only way for him to survive the attack was to prevent Saber from releasing it.

But that is too late, and the whirlwind has been released.

His black cloak will be torn to shreds a mere second after the blade descends.

The dislocation of death closes in with a swirl.

With that in front of him...

"[wacky len=12]!"

...Assassin charges at the wave of vacuum with a yell of delight.


An attack aimed for the neck.

Saber repels it at once, and the black figure vaults overhead to land behind her.


In a flash, she turns and slashes behind her.

But Assassin has already jumped out of range.

At the same time,


The "ominous presence" she has been feeling has covered the ground beneath her.

"―――Well. You were unfortunate in two ways, Saber."

The shadow expands.

The mud-like pollution invades on her silver.

"One is affinity. A curse to ward off storms is a necessity for travelers in the desert. The only magecraft I know is the warding of wind. And――――"

Darkness swallows the pathway.

A shadow that does not even reveal itself in spite of the white moonlight.


She sees it dimly, through the haze of her fading consciousness.


"That's right, Saber. The other is that you chose this place as the battlefield. You should have known something ominous inhabited this place."

"――――, ――――Ah."

She cannot even hear Assassin's words.

She would disappear in a matter of seconds.

This shadow swallows Servants.

Her body detests it before her fading mind.

"Ha――――ah, ahhhhhhh――――!"

She does not care how.

She has to escape, even if she has to use all her magical energy.

―――Only her feet have been engulfed.

If she fights with all her power, she can still break free.

Even if she may lose most of her magical energy and both her feet, escaping this shadow is the top priority now.


"―――No. You will disappear here, Saber."

The shadow is not her only enemy.

The skull, watching Saber get swallowed, is Death that finishes her off.

"So――――from the start..."

"You said you could beat me one-on-one. Yes, that was your mistake. You are alone, but there are two on my side. I merely had to distract you."

The shadow keeps invading.

"......! Ah―――guh, ah――――"

Her existence rots from her feet.

She cannot feel her toes or her feet.

Her legs are already something that does not exist in this world.

"Servants cannot oppose al-layl, the true night. All the more if you are a proper heroic spirit. Even I, one who is close to it, get my magical energy drained if I touch it. A genuine like you should lose consciousness just by touching it.

...But that would be a shameful waste. My goal cannot be accomplished if I let you disappear. I shall take your heart."

"What――――you will?"

"Is it strange? I have run out of daggers, and I cannot go near the shadow. Do you think it's impossible for me to kill you?"

Murderous intent lights up in the skull.

Faint traces of magical energy gather in his right arm.

...Assassin's right arm is a stick.

A deformed arm without a hand cannot be used as an arm.

It cannot hold a dagger, nor can it be used to strike someone.

But now, that arm bends.

With the snap of breaking bones, it flaps like a tattered wing.

It is an abomination.

What a long arm.

The clubbed stump at its end was actually the elbow.

The arm was folded back at the elbow, with the hand stitched to Assassin's shoulder.


Saber's mind freezes.

It will reach.

That arm can reach her.

It will reach her and rip out her heart.

His arm flaps, sending a shudder through her body, and――――

The cursed arm is thrust like a lance.

A sound of cutting meat and gushing blood.

Her blood drips onto the floor, staining the shadow in crimson.


Madness leaks out from the skull mask.

The outstretched arm is stained red.

After finishing its job, the arm folds back to Assassin...

"Ki, kikikikikikiki――――!!!!"

...And is severed at the elbow.

"Y-You, how dare you do that with that dying body of yours――――!"


...Her upraised sword falls to the ground.

Assassin's cursed arm did not reach Saber.

Saber's sword has cut the cursed arm before it could gouge out the reflected image of her heart.

No matter how cornered she may be, Assassin's Noble Phantasm is not enough to kill Saber.


As she has blocked Lancer's lance, which reverses cause and effect, she cannot allow herself to be defeated by this cursed arm.


But that is her last act of resistance.

She has put the power to escape into the attack.

She has no power to escape now, and even if she did, it is too late.

The ominous presence now emanates from within herself.

The shadow has invaded her legs and is now up to her waist.

She is becoming a part of this darkness, which swallows up even the moonlight.

Then――――everything is too late.

...The shadow creeps up.

As her vision fades, the silver swordsman...

"Forgive me――――Shirou."

...Manages one last, apologetic gasp before sinking into the deep mud.

Scene 14 The battle at Ryudou Temple

...Matou Zouken is standing there, his figure just like before.

His body, which Archer sliced in two before my eyes, is whole once more.

The old magus that could only wait for death is laughing, as if that event was an illusion.

I don't know how he did it, but if he really did recover from that state, it's more on a level of restoration than recovery.

It's not just healing a wound.

It takes great magecraft to restore a piece of one's body that has been lost.

Then―――isn't this called immortality?

"Well. What do you intend with a single piece of wood, child?"


I stand there while pointing the strengthened stick at Zouken.

I can't charge at Zouken, nor can I retreat to follow Saber.

...If Zouken is immortal, a scrap of wood will never be able to match him――――

"Will you try to kill me, or will you go after your Servant? Either way, nothing starts until you move."

Something is squirming around the old magus as he speaks.

No, it's not just his surroundings.

The darkness itself is moving, blocking the moonlight.


I can tell, even though I can't see them.

The darkness is probably swarms of worms.

The walls of this temple are covered in something darker than darkness itself.

This space is filled with the sound of creeping worms and the smell of rotten meat.

"Why do you hesitate? Your little alliance cut me in half only yesterday. Did you not cooperate with Tohsaka specifically to kill me?"

...It's obvious that he is enjoying this.

I can't fight off thousands of worms with just this stick.

I'll be swallowed in those worms once Zouken gives the order.

―――Or maybe...

I might be able to escape if I sprint for the exit.

They are just worms, even if it is a horde of them.

It should take them more than a few seconds to kill a human being.

"All right, I shall wait as long as you want.

You can believe in Saber's return and wait here, try to kill me with that weapon of yours, or shake off my worms and try to escape outside. You can choose how you want to die."


It seems he has no intention of letting me go.

The worms increase in number as we stand here glaring at one another.


Scene 15 Dead End: Die together

It's obvious that the situation is getting worse by the second.

Then I'll escape this danger while I can still move.

I'll beat that old magus before all those worms can crawl at my body――――!

My attack doesn't feel effective.

A diagonal slash cuts the old magus from shoulder to hip. Scraps of flesh scatter across the temple.

"My――――! I see, I see. You sure are a resolute child!"

The head on the ground laughs.

"――――, ......!"

My weapon crumbles to dust.


He sacrificed his body just to rot the stick I strengthened...!

"It's over now. Your youthful ardor has cost you your only weapon. My, young people lack patience these days."


I run.

I run, stepping on the worms in my way.

Death follows close on my heels.

I try to escape the waves of worms attacking me.

I ram the black wall with my shoulder...!

"I'm out...!"

Unable to stop my momentum, I fall and roll on the ground.

"Hah, ah...!"

The worms aren't coming after me.

It must be because I ran frantically, as I end up out on the other side of the compound.


I must have landed funny, as my whole body is hurt.

"So what? More importantly――――"

I have to find Saber as fast as I can.

I have a bad feeling.

I have to see Saber's face, to reassure myself that she's all right――――


The water surface rustles.

Sensing danger, I jump back.

I get my feet away from the wet mud.


But I'm only able to jump back for a split second.

―――A sharp pain.

I feel something strange on my heel and look down.


It's red.

My feet are missing from the heels down.

"...It must be that."

I stepped on numerous worms during my escape.

...The strengthened stick rotted just by slashing at Zouken.

Then it's natural for my feet, which stepped on those worms, to follow the same fate.


I try to crawl out of the mud using my arms.

"Hah. You were close, child. Your decision was correct, but you lacked the necessary skill."

The worm-user's voice echoes.

―――The muddy ground.

Since ancient times, spiders have dwelt in the damp places of the earth.

"―――Well, I have obtained Saber.

Too bad. The last reason to keep you alive has disappeared."

Worms I've never seen before come scattering down.

Hundreds of poisons that bite on my skin, crawl in my flesh, and melt my bones.

―――I had to bear the unimaginable pain until my consciousness faded away.

Scene 16 Tiger Dojo 27


This is the familiar Tiger Dojo, the place that saves Shirou, who died from a simple bad choice!

This dead end is because you made the wrong decision!

I won't explain in detail, so go back to the previous choice and choose another――――

There, trespasser!


How ridiculous of you to try to take over!

What are you doing here while I was gone, pupil number one!?

Ouu... I showed up naturally, but you easily saw through it.

How dare you say that, buruma.

So, what's gotten into you?

I thought you wouldn't be coming to the dojo because you'd be busy in the main storyline.

Eh...ahaha, well, um, the power balance was not what I expected... And, see, I came back, thinking that you might be lonely by yourself.


Ah, um... uhh...

Uwaaa, I'm selling my pride!

Please, master, I want to be your pupil again!

Okay, I refuse with all my might! Live as a homeless bum, you buruma-girl!

All right! That's why I hate you!

Then I'll do it by force! You just watch! I'm going to take over this place next time!

Hahaha, I'll take that challenge, you devil-child!

I shall wait and see what you can manage without any magecraft, gahahahaha!

Scene 17 Tragic trust



I can't move recklessly.

I'm worried about Saber. I want to run to her and see if she's all right.

But that means turning my back to Zouken.

In this situation, doing so will be fatal.

'―――Please protect yourself there, Shirou.'

That's what Saber said.

Then I have to make my stand, no matter what.

"―――Oh. I see, I see. You two must place strong trust in each other."

...I'm not going to let his words tempt me.

I tighten my grip on my weapon and concentrate, anticipating his attacks.

"All right. Then let us test our endurance. You can wait and see if you made the right choice."

Murderous intent disappears from Zouken.

The old magus steps back and fades away, as if melting into the darkness of the worms.


His presence is almost gone.

I glare at Zouken, who should still be in front of me.





.....................And after one minute...


I hear wind blowing far off, and sudden pain shoots through my left hand.

My left hand is prickling.

My Command Spell is hurting as if it's bleeding.


I have a bad feeling.

I have a bad feeling.

I have a bad feeling.

The pain on my left hand.

The sound of wind has stopped.

The old magus is laughing with murderous intent that is almost visible.

"It seems she has been taken care of. You should be able to tell as a Master. That your Servant has been eliminated from this world!"


My brain stops.

My vision freezes.

What――――is this guy saying?

"Why are you shocked? Saber has died. She has been defeated by Assassin, one she took lightly as a weaker opponent. Can you not tell that simple fact?"


What the hell is he saying?

My left hand hurts.

My left hand certainly hurts.

But my Command Spell is still there.

It's fading, but it's still there.

Then――――Saber should be coming here any second now――――!

"Come, Saber...!"

I scream as if to erase the pain on my left hand.

I put as much magical energy as I can into my left hand.

I don't know how to use the Command Spell.

But if this can answer the Master's wish, it should bring Saber here right away――――


There's no response.

The Command Spell was about to activate, but suddenly stopped.

There is nothing wrong with it.

If there is a problem, it is on Saber's end――――

"You are doing a meaningless thing. Even a Command Spell cannot resurrect a lost Servant.

Well, even a fool like you should understand now. Saber has been killed by my Servant."


"Then let us end things here. There are still uses for the daughter of Tohsaka, but you are of no more use. You can die along with Saber on my holy land."

"――――Talk shit, dammit――――!"

I run.

I charge at the enemy in front of me, as if to shake off the ominous thought and the pain on my left hand.

Scene 18 Use the Command Spell

...Should I use the Command Spell...?

I don't think Saber will lose to Assassin.

But this situation is too ominous.

We're fighting this ancient monster. It's too dangerous to have Saber by herself.

"Oh? You've suppressed your poorly made murderous intent. Hm, it seems you have a plan."

He laughs, mocking me.

He is looking down on me, not caring what plan I have.


...Fine, laugh all you want.

If the Command Spell can answer the Master's wish, I am ready to use them all to bring Saber here...!


I concentrate on my left hand while glaring at Zouken.

I have only one command.

To summon Saber to my side―――!


Even if he realizes what's happening, it's too late.

Heat lights up on my left hand, the concentrated magical energy is released as I wish, and...

...The Command Spell loses its color with a slight pain.


―――I want to think it's because I failed.

I want to think that I used it wrong because I don't know how to use it.

"...Phew. It seems it is over already. You surprised me. You shortened my life by ten years."

He laughs.

...I hear wind in the distance, like a death cry.

I feel a pain on my left hand.

My left hand is prickling.

My Command Spell loses its heat as if it's bleeding.


I have a bad feeling.

I have a bad feeling.

I have a bad feeling.

The pain on my left hand.

The sound of wind has stopped.

The old magus is laughing with murderous intent that is almost visible.

"That is the truth. You should be able to tell as a Master. That your Servant has been eliminated from this world!"


My brain stops.

My vision freezes.

What――――is this guy saying?

"Why are you shocked? Saber has died. She has been defeated by Assassin, one she took lightly as a weaker opponent. Can you not tell that simple fact?"


What the hell is he talking about?

My left hand hurts.

My left hand certainly hurts.

But my Command Spell is still there.

It's fading, but it's still there.

Then――――Saber should be coming here any second now――――!


"Then let us end things here. There are still uses for the daughter of Tohsaka, but you are of no more use. You can die along with Saber on my holy land."

"――――Talk shit, dammit――――!"

I run.

I charge at the enemy in front of me, as if to shake off the ominous thought and the pain on my left hand.

Scene 19 True Assassin VS Rider


I charge at Zouken and swing my weapon with full force.

I swing my weapon down onto his head.

But something obstructs me, and my whole body is flung away.


My back slams against the wall.

I must have been hit in the stomach, as I can't breathe.

My back is numb as if scorched with fire.

I hear worms crawling about by my ear.

The worms by the wall scatter to avoid being crushed by my landing.

...Even the squirming sounds have a mocking tone.

"You've made it, Assassin. Then I shall leave the kid to you as well. This is an easy task compared to Saber, so enjoy it all you want."

Zouken disappears.

And in his place...

A white, skull mask is smiling in the darkness.

...That must be the Servant Assassin.

An assassin with a black outfit and a white mask, appropriate for Matou Zouken.


I'm going to die.

Pain on my left hand.

My numb mind.

My heart accepts the death coming in the next moment and pounds loudly.

And I accept the weapons thrown at my forehead, throat, heart, and stomach.

A flash of silver light repels the weapons.

The four daggers that tried to take my life are blocked with a sword.


There's only one person who would do such a thing.

My left hand still hurts.

The Command Spell is still there.



"Fool, did he not kill Saber...!?"

I raise my head.

The one who has come to protect me from the white-masked Servant is...



...A Servant dressed in black, just like Assassin.

"Ri... der...?"


There's no doubt about it.

This is Shinji's Servant, Rider.

Why is she here, and why did she save me――――?

"Are you going to oppose me...!? I don't care, Assassin! Kill her too if she's to get in our way!"

The skull answers Zouken's screamed command.

The long hair flutters.

Rider silently turns to Assassin and...

...She confronts the daggers that are fired like rain.

―――They move too quickly for mere human eyes to follow.

The masked figure leaps about the temple.

He jumps from the wall to the ceiling, then from the ceiling to the floor, hurling daggers from each position.

Coming from all directions, the daggers can neither be blocked nor avoided.

The relentless onslaught carpets the floor in knives within seconds.

Rider can't manage this.

I know how strong she is from the battle with Saber.

Assassin's attack is something even Saber would have trouble blocking.

It's natural for Rider, who was defeated by Saber in one blow, not to be able to cope with the attack.

The white skull mercilessly fires his weapons.


...Looks like an attack containing irritation.


I realize the abnormality after the superiority is made clear.

...They have not hit her.

Not a single one of the daggers has struck its target.


A voice comes from overhead.

Apparently out of knives, Assassin looks down at his enemy with undisguised loathing.


――――Exists one giant serpent.


...I can't believe it.

So many.

Rider evaded the countless daggers with pure speed.

It's different from when she saved me.

Rider avoided all the daggers while crawling on the ground, as if saying there was no need to repel them.

"What are you playing around for, Assassin...!? You don't need to go easy just because she is my grandson's Servant! Finish her...!"

"I cannot do that―――she is different from before."

Assassin stares at Rider while clinging to the ceiling.

Rider is different from before.

Her magical energy and coercion is on a whole new level.

Even if she's still not as strong as Saber―――she certainly is stronger than Assassin.



Rider doesn't answer.

But her body sinks even lower.

The instant I realize her movement is a gesture to aim at her prey...

...Rider jumps up to the ceiling, and Assassin jumps down to the floor, their blades clashing in midair.



They land facing away from each other.

Rider is unwounded.

In contrast, Rider's dagger is piercing Assassin's shoulder.

"Kuh――――I can't pull it out――――!?"

Assassin tries to pull out the dagger in his shoulder.



With a clinking of chain links...


...Rider hurls Assassin through the air...!

"Gah, giii――――!"

The skull mask lets out a scream of anguish.

Not saying a word, Rider continues to mercilessly swing Assassin about the room.

It's just like a flail.

Unable to do anything, Assassin is smashed against every surface in the room, his limbs bending in all directions.


I duck to avoid Assassin coming around with a whirlwind.

"Gah, kaga, gah――――!"

This isn't on a level of being strong.

After flailing Assassin to her content, she uses the centrifugal force and lets go.

It's a hammer throw.

Assassin, his bones broken, is thrown at a wall head-first.


...He flies away.

Like a piece of lifeless trash, the masked Servant bounces through the compound, out the gate, and down the stairs, leaving a trail of blood behind him.

"Oh... wow..."

...How brutal.

I'm sure Servants aren't so weak as to die from that, but he should be unable to continue fighting, at the very least.


Zouken's presence disappears.

The old magus must think he is at a disadvantage, since he flees after snarling a curse at Rider.

The worms that were squirming in the corner disappear, following their master.

Scene 20 Parting and oath


I'm brought back to my senses by the pain from my stomach, where Assassin hit me.

...Only Rider and I are in the temple now.

I take a deep breath and try to calm down.


I realize that the only pain I feel is in my stomach and back.


Instinctively, I know what that means.


I endure the dizziness as I head out to the hallway.

"―――Please wait. It's dangerous to go alone."


There's no enmity coming from Rider.

It seems she actually came to help me.


I don't care why she saved me.

More importantly――――

"...You're Shinji's Servant. So why did you save me?"

―――I want to go there quickly.

So why am I taking my time?

"My orders are not to let you die. I only obeyed my master."

...I see.

That's fine. I don't believe her, but it's good that I got an answer.

More importantly――――I have to hurry and go there.



I understand right away that this is the place.

The corridor is dead silent.

The whole place is destroyed as if a storm passed by.

In it... is a small red stain on the only part of the ground that hasn't been destroyed.

I can't tell whose blood this is.

But―――my legs lose strength the instant I see it, and I crumple to my knees.


I reach out and touch it.

The blood is dry, and it doesn't stick to my fingers.

The only thing the stain tells me is that she disappeared here.

'――――My role is to protect you, Shirou.'


How many times did I hear that line?

Those words were a comfort and a source of worry.

...She only cared about me.

And she never said anything about protecting herself.


I scratch at the mark.

Saber fought here and fell here.

That's what happens in battle.

I knew before I made a contract with her that this would be a battle to the death.

I accepted the fact and took her hand, and she merely answered me――――


The girl who protected me, even though she was smaller than me.

When I told her I wanted to put priority on the black shadow over the Holy Grail, she simply nodded, ignoring the premonitions of her end.

...And this is the result.

I lost her, lost my rights as a Master, and am back to being just an amateur.

I am now alone, with no means of fighting―――

――――I have to carry through with what I have to do.

"――――――Then I have to go."

I slowly rub the bloodstain one last time.

That's it.

I don't bow or thank her, and let my fingers go.

Pain assails my left hand, and it disappears.

The moment I acknowledge her death and say goodbye...

The Command Spell on my left hand disappears without trace.

...One does not lose the Command Spell just because one has lost his Servant.

It only disappears when the magus loses his right to be a Master.

"―――――I see. So I..."

I don't know what happened here tonight.

There is only one certainty.

I lost Saber and lost my rights as a Master.

...I leave the Ryuudou Temple.

My stomach and back seem to be wounded badly, but I'm not worried about the pain right now.

"I shall see you home. It is dangerous to walk alone at night, even with the enemy gone."


I stop unintentionally.

All of Rider's words tonight are unexpected.

"I don't get it. Is that also an order from your Master?"

"―――No, I have received no such command. This is my personal choice. It is a whim of mine, nothing more."

"...I see. I'll believe you in that case, but you don't have to walk me home. We're enemies, so I can't get further in debt to you."

"Enemies―――so you still have the will to fight us? Even though you are not a magus and have lost your Servant?"


I don't answer her.

First of all, I never said I'm out of this war.

"Okay―――I understand. Then please be careful on your way home."

Her long hair flutters.

Rider heads to the mountain gate ahead of me.

Is it because she looks so defenseless?


I mutter something I forgot to tell her earlier.


She turns around, looking surprised.


I'm embarrassed to see a reaction like that, but I have to properly thank her.

"What did you just say?"

...And she's asking me seriously, too.

It's awkward to stare at her straight on, so I avert my gaze.

"I-I said thank you. I would've died if you hadn't saved me.

...As you can see, I can't give anything in return right now. So I have to at least thank you."

"―――Please do not mind. I only obeyed my orders.

I will kill you immediately if my master's order changes."

With those cold, emotionless words, Rider disappears through the mountain gate.

"―――I thought so. That's why I told her I wouldn't take any favors."

I start walking after Rider disappears.

I can think later as to why Rider saved me.

...It takes an hour to get home.

I have to shake off the lingering memory of her in that short time.

Scene 21 What is lost

I return to my house.

It's already past one o'clock.


I put my hand over my mouth as I cough up blood.

My stomach still hurts from Assassin's attack. And my back still burns from hitting the wall.

I don't know how badly wounded my stomach is, but I bet my back is just scratched.

The wounds that healed so quickly before aren't healing at all.

"――――I see. I'm back to my old self again."

When I had my contract with Saber, wounds healed themselves.

But that's lost.

Even a slight wound could prove fatal now.



When I go into the front hallway, I find Sakura waiting for me.

"......Sakura? What are you doing up so late? Did I wake you up?"

"No, I just couldn't sleep. I noticed your shoes weren't here, so I was wondering where you went."

"Oh, I was just taking a walk."

...Come to think of it, the light was on when I came home.

Then was Sakura waiting here the whole time?

"Sakura. Were you waiting at the door all this time?"

"Huh―――? N-No, that's not true.

I got up to go to the bathroom, and I just happened to be by the door when you came."


She was waiting here.

It's been over three hours since Saber and I left.

Maybe Sakura noticed right away and was waiting here all this time.

"A-Anyway, do you want some tea!?

It's a bit late, but you'll get your spirit back if you drink warm tea and relax!"


I'm surprised.

Sakura is really pushy right now.

...I must really look terrible if she's forcing herself to act this way.

"――――Yeah, please. I'm home. I'm sorry I went out without telling you."

I take off my shoes and go into the hallway.

I hold my aching stomach and head to the living room.

With me in front of her...

"...Yes. Welcome home, Senpai."

Sakura looks relieved.


I wince with pain, but lie on the cushion and bear it.

The disinfectant keeps stinging my back.

The sizzling sound makes it feel like I'm getting my back scorched.

"That hurts, Sakura. I think that's enough disinfectant. Just wipe the wound and put gauze on it."

"No! We have to disinfect it properly because your back is all red! And it's natural that it hurts. You came home with such a big wound, so please bear it."


...Is it because of the archery club or Fuji-Nee that she's merciless toward injured people?

"Does it hurt anywhere else, Senpai?"

"Mm...? No, I only hurt my stomach and back. Everything else is fine."

"I see. Then all that's left is to put some gauze on and tape it up."

Sakura handles the first-aid kit with practiced ease.

She looks so intent on it that I don't want to interrupt.



Let's explain why this is happening. It's because I threw up the tea I drank because it stung my stomach.

I didn't want Sakura to find out, but that gave it away.

I had no choice but to tell her how badly I was hurt, and now she's treating me.

Well, she wasn't that much of a devil to begin with.

"Eh―――you hurt your stomach...!?"

When I showed her my stomach...

...She was blushing so badly that she couldn't treat me.

"Are you okay with this, Sakura? I can treat myself, so you don't have to push yourself. Besides, my back is even worse."

"I-It's all right! I'll do it! Please let me do it!"

She was so flustered that I half-expected her to faint when she saw the wound on my back.

"S-S-Senpai, please take off your shirt."

I didn't want to stop Sakura, since I couldn't treat my own back.

I did as I was told and let her treat me.

Still, it was so bad that she couldn't do anything for a while.

She stared at it for a few minutes and started treating me after a gulp.


That was twenty minutes ago.

It's past two o'clock now.

Sakura's careful treatment is about to end.

"―――Okay, it's all done now. Here's a new shirt, so please put this on."

"Huh...? It's done already? Thanks, Sakura."

"You're welcome. Thanks for your patience."

I put on the new shirt and take a deep breath.

...There's nothing to be done about my stomach, but my back feels much better.

I'll sleep face-down tonight, and hopefully it'll be better tomorrow.

"Well. Let's get some sleep. I'm sorry I kept you up so late, Sakura."

"Eh―――no, that's fine, but..."

Sakura hangs her head.

It seems like she wants to say something, but can't.

"Sakura? Did something happen while I was gone?"

"......No, um... Senpai, did Saber-san go home?"


I get dizzy for a second.

'Did Saber-san go home?'

When I hear the words from someone else, the reality of it finally sinks in.

"――――Yeah. I know it was sudden, but she went home. She's not coming back."

I endure my dizziness and answer calmly.

...It's not like it's a stupid question.

Of course she would think something happened if Saber, who was here four hours ago, is gone.

But I have to put on a strong face and act like nothing's wrong.

"Saber was talking about you before she went away. She said you should take it easy because you're the type that thinks too hard."

"...I see. I wish I could've told her goodbye, since we just made up."

―――I can't even nod to that.

Saber disappeared before I could even say goodbye.

...The fact makes my heart feel so heavy that I want to vomit.

A collaborator for only six days.

My partner for only six days.

How can I repay her―――the one who was my sword for only six days?

"But I'm glad. Ever since she came, you've been getting injured all the time. Now everything's back to normal."


"Isn't that right? I won't ask you what you were doing, but you were going out to help Saber-san, right?

Now that she's gone, you're not going to be exposed to danger anymore."

"You're wrong. I'm going to keep going out at night, even though Saber's gone. ...Um, it's not that I was helping Saber. Saber was helping me."

I stand up.

My tension is gone now that the treatment is over.

I'm getting really sleepy.


"Good night, Sakura.

And while we're on the topic... I'll be leaving my house a lot more often starting tomorrow, but you can keep using this place like you've been.

I'll come home late, like tonight, but I don't want you to worry and go to sleep. Please don't wait by the door for me like you did tonight."

"............Okay. Good night, Senpai."

I rest my body.

...I didn't feel it until now, but I'm dead tired.

Drowsiness overtakes me the moment I lay down.


But before I do so, I glare into the darkness to prepare myself.

What Saber lost against, and what I should be fighting...

I have to accept them here and now.


...It hurts just to think about it.

My body is trembling, and my mind is about to lose against anger or fear.

"――――What I have to fight against..."

It's that shadow.

That "thing" that attacks people without discrimination.

The black shadow that even Saber and Archer fear.

...I know with certainty, even though I didn't see it.

That is what defeated Saber.

Assassin cannot defeat Saber.

So if there is something at the temple that can defeat her, it's that shadow.


I have to beat the thing that beat Saber.

On top of that, I'll have to deal with Matou Zouken and Assassin.

Zouken said there's no more use for me now that I'm no longer a Master.

But so long as I stay in the Holy Grail War and search for the shadow, Zouken will continue to haunt me.


A shiver runs through my body.

Saber's not with me anymore.

I have no miracle that heals my wounds, and the only weapon I have is magecraft as a half-ass magus.

I know this is a reckless, suicidal choice.

"――――But I decided to fight. I said I'll become a superhero."

I lost Saber because of that.

I've walked in Kiritsugu's footsteps ever since the fire because of that.

My only option is to stop the war so such a disaster will not occur again.

...So this will be the only night that I'll tremble in fear.

When my wound heals and morning comes...

I have to act strong so the girl who disappeared can be proud of me.

Scene 22 Pupa [H]

The girl returns to her room.

She walks with heavy steps to her bed and sits on it.

"......Senpai. He's so badly injured, and still..."

She doesn't know what happened.

The boy looked as lifeless as a starving man, and his body was covered with wounds.

The golden-haired girl who first appeared here several days ago has not returned.

From this, she can tell something has happened that can never be undone.

The boy is hiding something, and the golden-haired girl will not return as a result.


But such things don't matter.

For her, such things are trivial.

She doesn't know what happened, but it's fine as long as the boy is safe.

For her, having Emiya Shirou come home is an unparalleled joy.

"......Wait... is it cold today...?"

She shivers and brings her hand up to her forehead.

...It's hot.

Her body is burning up, and she has to fight to remain conscious.

It must be a light cold.

She rarely gets sick, but after waiting in the hallway for nearly three hours, it's hardly a surprise.


With sluggish movements, she reaches over and turns off the light.

She lets herself fall to the bed, lacking even the energy to change clothes.

"...It's fine. This is nothing compared to what Senpai is going through―――"

The girl recalls what she saw a few minutes ago.

...The wounds on his back, almost as if the flesh had been grated.

...The blackening bruise on his stomach.

...His eyes, still strong and clear in spite of his condition.

"......Ah..... Mm, fu――――"

Her temperature rises as she remembers.

The girl pretends not to notice that it stems from the hatred she feels.

"...Who could do such a thing?"


She doesn't know who did it, but she can't forgive this person.

It's not temporary dislike or annoyance.

He has been wounded all this time, but he has stayed beautiful.

She cannot forgive anyone that hurts someone important to her.

"Hm... but... Senpai's back was amazing..."

She reaches out her hand in a daze.

...It's been a while since she last saw his naked skin so close.

When they first met, he was small as a boy and was about as tall as her.

But in the two years since then, he has grown into a man.


Something stirs beneath the sheets.

Trapped between her body and the bed, her hand slowly creeps down between her legs.

It's different from when he collapsed from a cold.

Back then, it was a cold and nothing more.

Tonight, it was the body of a wounded man.


Thinking about it causes her to space out.

He must train without a day's rest. His body is sturdily built, without even an ounce of useless muscle.

His graceful build is like that of an antelope. It has the beauty of having inner strength, one that allows it to jump up precipices, that is not apparent.

"Yeah... His chest was broad―――he was a real man."

Her outstretched fingers run across the chest that is not here.

She unconsciously runs her fingers across his body.

They run from his chest down to his stomach.

Crawling across the bedsheets, her fingers travel below her belly button and...


Her face turns bright red.

"S-S-S-S-Stupid me...!

I-I'm sorry, Senpai...!"

She quickly pulls her hand back.

She even turns her ears red and curls up on the bed.

It shouldn't be this embarrassing, but her memory is too vivid.

The feel of his skin beneath her fingertips only made her imagination more concrete.



Is that what caused her to heat up?

"Ah――――mm, fuh......――――"

Her heart starts to beat faster.

"Mm...... Ah, ah――――"

It's too late to stop.

...Her body is hot.

Her mind is in a daze, and she can only think of one thing.

Her limbs are heavy, and it feels as if she has turned into a puppet.

"Hah... Hm, ah... Ah, mm... Fuh――――"

...Her breaths are unbelievably hot.

Is it because the heat is escaping from her body?

The heat invades her brain and melts her memory, intelligence, reason, and morals, making her think of only one thing.

"Ah, hah... Senpai... Hm..."

The heat takes over her body, and the limbs are out of her control.

But dirty desire creeps up from within her.

"Ah――――haa, ah, hm――――!"

She doesn't stop.

She moves her fingers, which were just tracing Shirou's body, down between her legs.

"...Senpai... Senpai, Senpai, Senpai...!"

...Her fingers start to move wildly as if to match her breathing.

The wet sound slowly gets louder into something indecent.

"Ah―――hm... No―――I... shouldn't... be doing... this――――"

The feeling of guilt excites her even more.

His wounded body. Thinking about the blood on his back makes her dizzy.

The girl who won't be coming back. The realization that, once again, he is all hers. Many lies.

The dark emotions, unthinkable for her usual self, draw her down into a darker passion.

"Hah, haa, ha, mm...! Sen... pai... Ah, I, I―――ah... Hm... no...!"

But those are trivial matters.

What she's truly glad about is that the boy has come back to her.

"Nhaa...! Ha, haa, ah, Senpai's, fingers―――more―――no, having him back... is enough...!"

...But it's not enough.

Tonight made that clear.

He cares for her, but he tries to protect her by keeping her away.

"Ah, nha, hah, ah...! No, Senpai, I――――I want, you to be, next to me...!"

She knows it's a greedy wish.

Her passion gets worse because it is a wish she should never speak of, a wish that will never come true.

"Mm―――uha, ah, hm...! I'm sorry―――I'm sorry, Senpai, I'm... sorry...!"

―――A heated masturbation.

The repeated repentance cools off the

girl's temporary madness.

"...Mm... Ah...... Haa... ah――――"

She stares at the ceiling absent-mindedly.

The overwhelming self-hatred after the climax is familiar to her.

But a heavier agony assails her tonight.

...The wounded body.

He said he intends to continue fighting, even after receiving such wounds.

"......What should I do? Senpai's going to get hurt even more like this..."

She thinks as her body sweats.

It's a worry without an answer, a problem the girl cannot solve.

She cannot come up with a way to stop him, even if she thinks all night.


"――――I see. I just have to keep him from going outside."

She reaches a simple answer with a calm voice.

Delighted by her sudden insight, she smiles and...

"Right. You won't get in any more danger if you're hurt so badly that you can't walk――――"

Whispers to herself with a sigh of relief.

Scene 23 Intermission Report

It is a room that smells of stone.

The light is not artificial but natural.

The lamp's flame shines on the man's back and illuminates the parchment in his hand.

"―――Is that a report for the Association? You certainly are a busy man, Kotomine."

The voice comes from behind him without revealing its source.

The man on the chair, Kotomine Kirei, moves on to his next task without the slightest reaction.

"Oh, so this is about that usurper.

Hm, 57 victims with five dead. Is this a lot from the supervisor's perspective, Kotomine?"

"―――I can't say much as of this moment. This is the first instance of large-scale unconsciousness, but there's no problem if it stays this way. Either association is aware of the necessary clean-up measures.


"If it continues at this pace, huh? ...Heh, I do not know who is doing this, but they're being quite brazen.

...Have you realized, Kotomine? If nothing is done, this town will become barren of life."

Kotomine does not answer.

He knows what the man wants to say.

The strange shadow that appeared in this town.

It's only sucking up life force right now, but the amount is increasing by day.

The abnormality that first surfaced two days ago will exceed the regulated allowances in a few days.

For the moment, it only causes dyspnea, but it should soon be enough to kill even a healthy adult male in one night.

"But that is needless worry. It should not be an amateur, so it should know its limits."

"Is that so? That worm-user does not seem like it, but such a person will become a curse if you do not take care of it quickly. It is not my style to watch people in this town die."

This statement takes Kotomine by surprise.

This man, who does not care about anyone else, is concerned for the people.

"I'm surprised. What is going on, Gilgamesh?"

"It should not be surprising. I do not like it when people are killed by someone besides me. People will lose their way with boring crime and punishment. Such pain is not entertaining at all."

"...I see. Then you are indeed a heroic spirit.

You use death to save people from the agony of life. Then your wish is death?"

"Of course. This age is filled with meaningless, worthless people. Exterminating them will be doing them a service."

His scorning voice is filled with absolute dominance and dignity.

The priest does not stop his work as he listens.

"―――I see.

You can use the Holy Grail, if that is what you wish. It will be yours unless someone who can defeat you appears."

"Hm? You do not have a wish, Kotomine?"

"I don't have a clear wish. The only thing I have is the desire for clear pleasure."

"Ha―――Hahaha, I see, so you only have pleasure――――!"

The man starts laughing at the simple answer.

It's as if he's delighted and proud of his partner.

"All right. I shall kill because they are disgusting, and you shall kill because it is fun. Our motives are different, but we seek the same thing from the Holy Grail. That must be why you have kept me!"


The priest does not answer.

He merely continues his work.

"Hah―――I do not care even if you do nothing. I shall do as I please."

The man's presence disappears.

The priest glances at the exit of the silent stone room.

"He seems insane, but he is sane at the core. It seems the mud was unable to pollute his soul."

King of heroes, Gilgamesh.

The golden Servant is the most powerful being at this point in time.

The fact is accepted as truth by all. Even Kotomine, the game master himself, does not doubt it.


"There are worthless things, but there are no meaningless things.

...Beware, king of heroes. If there is something that will bring you defeat, it will be just that."

His monologue does not reach anyone.

Lit by the dim light, the priest resembles a prophet seeing into the future.