FSN HF Day 10 (EN)

Scene 00 Naive morning


...I open my eyes.

While staring up at the ceiling, I raise my arm and let it fall to the futon.

"――――It's a bit heavy."

I keep my eyes on the ceiling in a daze, not bothering to get up.

...My body feels dull.

I'm not awake yet, and I feel like I need more rest.

Even though it's morning already, I really don't feel like getting up.

"Hm... Why am I so tired?"

I try to recall what happened.



At the very least, my sleepiness is blown away in an instant.


I look beside me.

No one is beside me. All I see is my lazy arm.

"Oh, so Sakura's already awake."

Then she should be in the kitchen.

Knowing her, I bet she's preparing breakfast and letting me sleep in.

"Man, she always pushes herself if I don't stop her."

I raise myself up.

Immediately, dizziness assails me.

"...Whoa. My body sure feels heavy."

Maybe I'm tired.

A lot certainly did happen yesterday, but, um... I don't think what happened last night would make me this tired.

I haven't been training for nothing.

It must be because I didn't get that much sleep.

"...I couldn't sleep really well. Well, my blood should get flowing once I start moving around."

First of all, Sakura's in a worse state.

And she's pushing herself even harder, so I can't be resting just because I feel a bit tired.

Mustering my resolve, I get out from the futon.


And I get dizzy again.

It's not because of fatigue.

It's because, um, my appearance is very unique, causing me to remember what happened last night.

"......Um. I have to put some clothes on."

I drag the futon with me as I make my way to the wardrobe.


If this is causing me to blush, how in the hell can I greet Sakura...?


I take another deep breath to prepare myself.


It's all right. I've simulated it many times in my head.

It's nothing difficult. I've greeted her numerous times before, so it's weird to be nervous.

"All right, I'm going."

I put gasoline into my empty tank.

I turn the key, kick the gas pedal, and enter the living room where Sakura is.



Sakura, who I thought would still be in the kitchen, is in the living room, putting breakfast on the table.

"Uh――――g-g-good morning, Senpai."

"Uh――――Yeah. G-Good morning, Sakura."

We both greet each other with tense voices.

"Um......... well."

"Uh......... um."

I try to say something, but my head is blank.



―――This is bad.

It's bad to have silence so early in the morning... no, more than that, as a man, I can't trouble a girl...!

"G-Good morning, Sakura...! The food sure looks good!"

I talk stupidly.

...Wait, this greeting isn't any different from the earlier one, you idiot!

"Oh, yes! G-Good morning, Senpai!"



I think Sakura's response is the same as well.

She looks at me in surprise, evidently thinking the same thing.

To her, I must look the same way.


Thinking about it makes me relax.

We were both nervous, but we were looking forward to seeing each other.

"...Phew. This is the third time, but good morning, Sakura."

I give a natural smile and greet her again.

The instant she sees me relax...

"―――Yes. Good morning, Senpai."

Sakura returns the smile and responds for the third time.

And so our awkward breakfast starts.


"Yes, itadakimasu."

Even though we can do all the usual formalities, I'm still nervous.


I eat restlessly.

...Sakura must have gotten over it, as she's eating in a good mood.

...Hmm, are girls stronger in this regard?

"...? Is something wrong? Oh, do you want more miso soup?"

"―――No, I'm still on my first bowl. But it's good. Yeah, it's really good."

"Yes. I'm confident in today's food, so I'm glad you like it."


Her smile makes me choke.

It's embarrassing to be blushing when Sakura's already composed, so I start eating to hide it.

Scene 01 About Rider, who is at the table


I put down the empty bowl.

But the side dishes are still untouched.

It was all I could do to finish the rice and miso soup. I don't even want to think about eating anything else.

But it can't be helped. Forgive me, Sakura.

I want to get away from here and give myself a chance to calm down.

"...Senpai. Um, did you not like the breakfast today?"


Strategic retreat, failed.

It seems I'm the only one who didn't notice that there is no escape.


I hand her the bowl silently.

"Oh, seconds!? I made a lot, so please eat up."

...I take the refilled bowl and resume breakfast.


...I guess it can't be helped. I'll prepare myself.

I'll just have to deal with the fact that I'm blushing, and I won't make excuses for looking at every move Sakura makes.

But still...

"―――Sakura. Isn't she a problem?"

"...? What do you mean by that, Senpai?"

She looks at me in wonder.

In other words...

It seems that the presence of Rider sitting silently next to her doesn't bother Sakura at all.

"Well, by problem..."

I take a look at Rider.

She must have realized she's out of place.

"You do not need to worry about me. Please go ahead and eat."

Her elegance is a match for Sakura's.

"Huh? Were you feeling uneasy because of her, Senpai?"

"It seems so. We fought several times, after all.

I am sure having your bitter enemy at the table with you is uncomfortable."

"That's not true. Senpai doesn't hold a grudge against you."


...This is troubling.

I don't have a grudge against her, but she has a rank of A+ in terms of people I cannot get along with.

"...What shall I do?

It seems he is not eating much because of me. I can leave if I am annoying him."

"I'm saying that's not true! Right, Senpai? You don't mind even if Rider's here, right?"


I'm troubled.

I'm troubled, so――――

Scene 02 Rider mad

...I hesitate to say it, but it's true.

We're going to be together, so I should be forthright with them now to prevent misunderstandings.

"...I'm sorry, but to be honest, I find her hard to deal with. It's not that I hate her, but I get nervous when she's around."

The air becomes heavy.

...Sakura was being considerate, but this only worsens our discord――――

"You need not be troubled, Sakura. His reaction is normal."

"Eh... no, you're wrong, Rider. Senpai is just not used to you for now, so..."

"I do not mind. His current reaction is preferable. He is stating the truth.

...Yes. It seems he cannot lie, just as you said."


I'm surprised.

Rider can smile kindly like that?

"Emiya Shirou. Let me ask you again. You hold no ill will towards me?"

"No. You make me uncomfortable, but I certainly don't hate you."

"That is fine. Please maintain that stance.

I am Sakura's Servant. Sakura's safety is always my priority, and circumstances may require me to attack you again. It is for both our benefit to be on guard against each other."

"R-Rider...! Please stop. Senpai is important to me, so don't say it like that...!"

"...You're right. I shall withdraw my comment about attacking you.

We shall cooperate for as long as you protect Sakura. Please give me your best regards."

Rider bows politely.


I understand her point.

I don't know when she might become my enemy again, but I feel her determination to protect Sakura.

"All right. Let's do our best."

"Yes. That should please Sakura as well. I shall stay in the shadows, so you can protect Sakura in the light."

Rider speaks plainly.

The conversation ends there, and we resume breakfast in the strange atmosphere.

Scene 03 Rider, breakfast? No


To be honest, I can't quite figure out how to deal with her.

But I already know Rider is my ally.

The reason I can't calm down is not that Rider is here, it's that――――

"Aren't you going to eat, Rider? Isn't it hard for you to just sit there when we're both eating?"

Um, I feel bad because it feels like I'm forcing Rider to fast.

"I will not eat."

S-She's mad for some reason.

"Why? Servants get hungry too, don't they? Saber ate a lot, even though she didn't say much."

"She is different from us. I am not interested in how humans consume nutrition. And―――your manners do not suit me."

"Oh. You should've said so if you can't use chopsticks."

"Eh, Senpai?"

"Hold on. I'm going to go get dishes and a spoon for Rider."

"...! ―――Yes, then I'll make an omelet. That'll be quick, right?"


"It's all right. This is your first time eating, right? You're going to be doing a lot of things for me, so please let me do at least this much."

Sakura happily says this and comes into the kitchen.

"Oh, how about we make some soup while we're at it? We still have some consomme, right?"

"Oh, that sounds good. We have some tomatoes, so let's make this in a flash!"

...Sakura starts to cook for Rider.

Rider watches Sakura as she happily starts cooking.

Scene 04 Red card from Sakura and Rider

"...All right. I'll be honest.

But I want to tell you beforehand that I'm not good at flattery or pretty words, so I'd be grateful if you took that into consideration."

I stare at Rider.

I can't imagine what she's thinking, but it seems she knows I'm serious.

"I'll tell you clearly. I don't have a grudge against you. I don't have a problem with eating with you. Even though I find you hard to deal with, I do like you, Rider."

I tell her straight, fighting down my nervousness.

"―――Impossible. Are you not afraid of me?"

"Well, you are scary, but you're on our side now, right?

You've saved me once, and you fought to protect Sakura at school. There's no way I can hate you. ...But like I said, it is a bit tough to deal with you."

"...I do not understand, but you do not seem to be lying. ...Let me ask again. You are not scared of me?"

"I said I am scared of you. I'm fully aware how scary a Servant you are.

...But you're good on the inside, and you're really similar to Sakura. So I can trust you, and I want you to keep protecting Sakura, even if you do make me a little uncomfortable."

Ugh... It feels like I'm confessing my love to her.

She might ask me again if I keep looking at her, so I'll turn away and evade the――――


Crap, what am I saying in front of Sakura...!?

"Sakura. You're mistaken. This is about if I like her or not, it has nothing to do with..."

"I don't care! Well, I now know that you're a cheater who'll fall for anyone with a pretty face!"



Is this the first time I've seen her this angry?

"Wait, Sakura. Calm down. I just like Rider as a person, not a woman. You trust her too, right? It's just like that.

First of all, you say she's beautiful, but you're more beautiful to me. Compared to you, Sakura, Rider is just..."

Wait... I-I just felt hostility from Rider...!

"―――Um, she's equally beautiful, so I don't think we should be comparing who is more beautiful."

...This is bad.

I feel like I'm hastening the inevitable with each word I speak.

"―――Let's stop. This isn't an appropriate conversation for a meal. I propose that we start talking about something else."

I raise both my hands and appeal.

You could also interpret it as surrender.

"No, we're not done yet. This is a good opportunity to learn how you truly feel."

"I agree with Sakura. This is a small matter for me, but we should make things clear."

They both lean forward.

"Senpai. Which one of us do you prefer?

We're talking about your feelings, so you should know the answer."


"Sakura is right. Though it is unimportant, I am curious about your answer."


""Please tell us.""

I feel my back touch the wall behind me.

There's no retreat, and I'm going to make one of them mad the instant I open my mouth.

"Uh... guh."

But the problem isn't an instantaneous one.

This problem I've encountered will continue looming over me in the future.

...Sakura and Rider.

Maybe it's just women's sense of solidarity, but they sure are alike...

Scene 05 Future plans, Sakura, Rider

Breakfast is over, and it's now nine o'clock.

I skipped school today.

Things are getting serious, so I have no intention of going to school until the Holy Grail War ends.

My only reason to go to school was to meet Tohsaka.

Now that the reason is gone, there's no meaning in going outside, and most of all――――

It's too dangerous to have Sakura go outside.


Sakura's been looking healthy enough, but we don't know when she'll collapse like she did yesterday.

Although she recovered, thanks to Kotomine's treatment, she's walking a thin line.

...I don't know what Zouken intends to do, but I can't let Sakura meet him in her unstable condition.

If the crest worm is activated, it'll all be over.

Shinji did it using a drug.

But for Zouken, the one who put the crest worm there, it should be easy to activate just by looking at her.


Kotomine said it too.

That Sakura won't last long.

That I'm the only one who knows about this.

...I can't tell Sakura or Tohsaka.

I have to end the war before Sakura finds out what I'm doing.

I don't have the power to save Sakura.

But the Holy Grail, the thing that is said to grant any wish, should easily be able to save her.

"Senpai? You're making a scary face and acting strange. We skipped school, so I think we can relax..."

"No, we should rest after the war. We have to think about how to win now."

"...Senpai. You still want to continue?"

I'm taken aback by her uneasy tone.


...I vaguely understood, but Sakura doesn't want to fight.

She should know the Holy Grail is the best way to cure her, but she's not even considering it.

...Hatred of battle.

Sakura is terrified of harming others.

She's right, and I have no intention of contradicting her.

Sakura can stay that way.

I'm the one who's made her cry all this time. Therefore, it's my job to fight for her.

"―――Yeah, I'm going to continue fighting. If we could talk it out, I'd do it, but we can't be saying that. I don't think Zouken will release you, and I'm sorry, but I can't give him the Holy Grail.

...There are four more Masters. I'm going to make you win and have you use the Holy Grail."

"...I'm happy to hear you say that. But... can you fight Tohsaka-Senpai?"

"I'll fight her if she gets in our way... Well, I really want to entrust her with something as dangerous as the Holy Grail. I'm sure she can manage it and save you as well."

"...Is... that so? She's a magus. I don't think she will think about someone as weak as me."


I can't say it's not true.

...Tohsaka is a nice person. I already know that.

But with that aside, Tohsaka is a magus.

Last night, she said she would kill Sakura.

Even though that might've been the only choice at the time, she was willing to take it.


If the Holy Grail turns out not to be able to save Sakura, she would surely use the Holy Grail, something far superior to Archer, to kill Sakura.

"...You're right. But still, Tohsaka won't be able to do it.

She can't kill you."

"Eh...? Why do you think so, Senpai?"

"Well, I don't have any proof, but deep down she's an amazing person. I bet the future she chooses is a really happy one where nobody has to die. So it's fine.

Tohsaka will surely save you in the end."

"...Um. So about Tohsaka-Senpai. You... um..."


"...No, it's nothing. I'll believe in her if you say so."

"Yeah. Then again, it'd be a shame to put everything on her shoulders, and I don't want to just hand it to her in any case. I want to be the one protecting you."

I chose to lead Sakura's way, so I can't give that role to anyone else.

I'm going to do my best to make Sakura happy.

"...Um, Senpai. I appreciate your concern. But I don't think you're in a state to fight. Saber-san's gone, and you're enemies with Tohsaka-Senpai now.

There's no need for you to involve yourself in the Holy Grail War. So please go back to your usual life.

...I don't want you getting hurt because of me."

"Idiot. That's not your fault. I'm doing it because I want to, and it's not something I can withdraw from now. You should know that too, Sakura."

I participated in this war as Saber's Master.

I didn't become a Master because I was dragged into it. I became a Master by choice.

Then―――I can't withdraw now.

I'll fight, even if I have to do it alone.

I will see this conflict to its end.

...This is also my atonement for Saber, who lost her life fighting for my selfish goals.

"...Then no matter what, you will..."

"I won't stop. So I think we need to come up with a plan of action. Is that fine with you, Rider?"

"I do not mind. You are correct. What is your opinion, Sakura?"


Sakura agrees with silence.

...Good, it seems she understands.

"All right. We need a plan, but before that..."

I glance at Rider.

...I'm getting used to her presence, but I want to do something about this.

"What is it?"

"It's about your eyes. Why don't you take off your blindfold when you're in the house?

I know about your mystic eyes, so you don't need to hide them, right?"

Isn't it uncomfortable?

"...So my beauty is being spoiled by its appearance?"

"To be frank, yes. Your clothes may be fine, but isn't it hard to keep that blindfold on? You're beautiful, so why don't you take off that sultry thing?"

"That is what he says, Master. I shall consider it, depending on what you say."


Absolutely not!!"



Why is Sakura objecting so desperately?

"Why? Doesn't it trouble you to have Rider walking around blindfolded?"

"N-not at all! First of all, she has mystic eyes. What would you do if you're affected by them on accident?"

"Hm. Would such a thing ever happen, Rider?"

"Yes. My eyes are more like evil eyes.

It would be difficult to keep from targeting you even if I saved my magical energy."

"Whoa, are you serious? You can't control your own eyes?"

"No. Hence my title.

...But I cannot hope for an effect equaling yesterday. You now know that my eyes are mystic eyes of petrification. This recognition weakens the effect that a surprise attack has, so you should petrify at a slower rate."

"I see. So my body won't suddenly go numb like yesterday?"

"It would depend on the situation. The effect will be magnified if you let your guard down."

"Hm. So I just have to not let my guard down, right? Then there's no problem. Even if I'm captivated, you're on my side, so you can dispel me right away."

"Yes. I will not take your life. In that regard, there is no danger."

"No, no, I said no...! Rider's eyes aren't just to petrify others!"

"You are right. Then I shall keep them sealed."

Sakura lets out a sigh of relief.



I don't really understand, but it seems Rider's going to keep her blindfold on.

"...I see. It bothers me, but if that's what you want, I'll have to deal with it."

"Yes, I do not like revealing my face. Please do not bring this up again."

Where did her previous lightheartedness go? Rider is suddenly acting cold now.

...She's hard to understand.

I guess I just can't get along with her all that well.

Scene 06 To the Einzbern forest

"Let's get back on topic. About our future course of action... First of all, you're not to go out of this house, Sakura. It's too dangerous for you to meet Zouken. I'll handle him."

"That is a proper approach. But how will you defeat that magus? Do you have any thoughts?"


...I hesitate to answer if she asks me like that.

There are several possibilities, but I haven't put any thought into them.


...The choice will likely determine our fate.

There are many choices.

Of them all, the most realistic and reliable method would be...

"――――I think I should cooperate with another Master.

She may not become our ally, but she may help us defeat Zouken if we tell her about the current situation."

"Another Master... Do you mean Tohsaka-Senpai?"

"Eh? No, it's not Tohsaka. I know Berserker's Master. Her name's Illya, and I know she'll listen to me if I go to her and talk."

...And to be honest, I can't leave her all by herself.

Leaving Tohsaka aside, I don't know what Zouken will do.

He's the kind of guy that would implant a worm in Sakura and force her to fight.

Illya and Berserker should be many times stronger than Zouken in combat, but we're talking about that monster. I'm sure he will use any means possible precisely because he can't beat them in combat.

So even those two should be careful.

"Berserker... You believe that mad warrior will become our ally?"

"They may not become our ally, but they should at least overlook us for a while. And even if we can't cooperate, I want to warn them at the very least."

The girl that came to this town alone.

Illya was raised as a Master and crowned with the name Einzbern, so she's not a total stranger to me.

"...I see. But Senpai, do you know where this Illya person is?"

"Yeah, she showed me once before. I remember the way. It's a big forest, so I don't think it'll go exactly as planned, but I should make it in half a day."

"Half a day... That means you're going to set out now?"

"Yeah. They say to strike while the iron's hot, and if I head out now, I should be back by nightfall."

I was pressed to make a decision, but this is good.

Illya helped me yesterday, so I want to thank her for that.


It might prove fatal for her if I don't tell her about Matou Zouken and that mysterious shadow.

"I'm gonna get going. I'll come back as quickly as possible, so you rest in your room."

"―――Okay, Senpai. Then please, at least take Rider with you. She can protect you from anything that might happen."

"Oh, yeah. That's safer for me."

...But I can't agree to that.

Sakura is also in danger.

No, she's in greater danger because she can't oppose Zouken if she meets him.

"No, you protect Sakura, Rider.

If Zouken comes, try to avoid battle since that uses your magical energy. Instead, carry Sakura and run away. I'm sure they can't catch up to you."


Rider nods obediently, apparently thinking the same thing.

"See, Rider's saying the same thing. You'll be staying home for today."

"......But it's dangerous for you too. That forest right now is..."

"Don't worry. I'll run away if I think it's dangerous. And Illya isn't interested in anyone that's not a Master. It's not dangerous for me since I'm not a Master anymore."

I pat her on the shoulder and leave the living room.


I'll go to the shed first and find something I can use as a weapon.

Sakura sees me off as I go.

A shinai bag with two wooden swords inside and another bag filled with light food are the only things I'm carrying.

I didn't bring a map or a compass.

It's a route Illya showed me with her magecraft. So all I can rely on is my memory and my instinct.

"...It's before ten. An hour on the taxi, and four hours on foot..."

I hope that's all the time it'll take.

I'll ask the taxi driver to go slow and find the entrance to the forest.

I'll get off the taxi when I find the entrance, and continue on foot from there.

―――I'll make it to Illya's castle before sunset if I take the shortest route.

I'll figure out what to do next once I've met Illya.




I hear a familiar voice from behind me.

It sounds practical, and cold depending on how you hear it.

But my name is said politely, with as much intimacy as she can show.


I almost say the name, voicing my impossible wish.

"Wait. I must speak with you before you leave."

"――――Ri... der."

I turn around and accept reality.

Rider is in front of me.

The girl who used to call me with that tone is no longer in this world.

"Fine, but what is it? I'm in a hurry, so please make it short."

"I only have one question. You said you will protect Sakura. But I have not heard your reasons for doing so, Emiya Shirou."

"Are you saying you can't trust me?"

"Correct. I do not know you as well as Sakura does."


That's a natural question.

Rider protects Sakura, not me.

As a potential ally, she just wants to know my intentions.

"......Phew. I'll only say this once, so don't ask me about this again. It's not that I'm putting undue importance on it. It's just not something to go around telling people."


"―――Look. I like Sakura. Not only that.

I had sex with her last night."

"...It seems so. Sakura's magical energy was stable this morning. Sakura would have been sick again if she did not get outside provision.

―――What of it?"

"That's all. I like Sakura, and I made love to her. That's the only reason I'm protecting her. It's natural for a man to protect his woman, right?"


"...Then you are fighting for Sakura? Your goal is to save Sakura. You have no intention of letting her obtain the Holy Grail for your benefit?"

"Well, I am planning to use it. I don't know what the Holy Grail is, but if it can bring Sakura happiness, I'm going to make full use of it."

"――――Bring Sakura happiness?"

"Yeah. I've made Sakura suffer until now. So I want to compensate for that by making her happy."

Rider just stands there without saying anything.

...It seems she understands why I'm embarrassed to tell people about this.

"―――All right. I answered your question, so it's my turn. I have a request to ask of you."

"O-Okay, I shall answer it to the best of my ability."

"It's easy. Can you not say my name with that accent you just used? Can you pronounce it properly? It's Shirou. Don't drop the 'u' and pronounce it clearly."

"...? ...I-I understand. Shirou is fine?"

"That still sounds weird. You don't have to put any unusual accents on it."

"Um, S-Shirou. Shirou. Shirou. Shirou, no, Shirou."

Rider struggles as she practices pronouncing my name.


She has a sharp image because of her blindfold and her black clothing, but Rider is actually sociable.

I'm just guessing, but I think Rider is a klutz in her private life.

"―――Shirou. ...Hm, so is this the correct pronunciation, Shirou?"

"Yeah, it's perfect. I'm sorry I asked you a selfish request."

"Selfish...? You did not like to be called with the accent I used, right? Then I believe it is right for you to correct me."

"――――You're wrong. I did like the way you called me."

...That's right.

I liked it, so I don't want anyone else saying it the same way.

I know it's a stupid thing to care about, but she was the only one I wanted to hear call me like that.

"I'm sorry. It's really just something selfish. It's not that you're at fault."

"I understand. I shall not inquire about it if you say so."

"Okay, then I'm going. I'm leaving Sakura to you, Rider!"

I wave to Rider and start running.

I'll go to the intersection and catch a cab.

Then I'll go to the suburbs and look for the forest entrance that I only saw once.

Scene 07 The two's secret

――――And she is left alone.

There is no reason for the boy to fight.

The one who is no longer a Master walks into danger while she, the danger's cause, is resting.

That fact depresses her even more.

"He has headed to the forest. ―――Do you regret it, Sakura?"

The servant asks her master.

The girl does not nod, but narrows her eyes and shakes her head once.

"...I can't regret it, Rider. There's no point now."

"You are correct. That was certainly a meaningless question."

"Yes. But it's not all painful. I know it's wrong to say this, but I'm happy. I'm happy that Senpai's doing something for me."

But her face is filled with agony.

The mouth that says she's happy is heavy as if bound by a feeling of guilt.

"But that's wrong. Grandfather will show no mercy. As long as Senpai keeps fighting, there's a chance that he'll die.

And most of all――――"

It's troubling for her if he stays in the war any longer.

It will bring a bad fate down upon them both.

That's why she wants him to simply return to his normal life.

She will not last long.

That being the case, she wants him to live.


At the same time, she clings to hope.

For as long as he fights, she can be with him.

No, it delights her that the person she loves is fighting and getting hurt for her sake.

She doesn't want him to fight.

But having him fight makes her happy.

The two contradictory wishes compete for control within her.

"...What a lie. It's not competing at all."

With a pained murmur, she acknowledges the darkness within her.


She wants him to fight. She wants him to save her. She wants him to answer her to make up for all the times he did not.

For that reason――――he can get hurt.

And she thinks about something she shouldn't.

"Hah, kuh......!"

She clutches her chest.

As if responding to her dark passions, the worm within her stirs against her nerves.

...It was only for an instant.

She imagined him getting hurt for a mere instant, and the worm has begun to violate her once again.

Wriggle, wriggle.

Wriggle, wriggle.

Wriggle, wriggle, wriggle.

The squirming in her body makes her ears ring.

It melts into her blood, causing a chill to run through her body.

The feeling stimulates her, and she thinks her body is lewd and evil.

...The worm that melted into her blood becomes aphrodisiac, heating up her body.

The waves threaten to wash her consciousness away.

She always thinks with her heated head.

That her limbs are too dirtied to be called human limbs.

Sexual desire easily fills her body, and she clings on the ground in a vulgar manner.

Her panting does not stop, and her hips wriggle like mucus.

It is no different from the thing entangling her nerves.

The worm violates her the more she tries to deny it, her consciousness is melted away, and...

――――She feels like she is a worm herself.

And in the end, an ominous feeling dominates her whole body.


"...It's fine. I'm still all right. More importantly, Rider. Please go with Senpai."

"...I shall obey if that is an order. But Sakura. You do not have long to live either. To use me is to shorten your remaining life. Is that fine with you?"

"...Yes. I won't last long anyway.

I'm fine now, but I lose track of what I'm doing if I let my guard down. ...My memory becomes more vague by the day, and I can't feel anything in my limbs anymore. Even my sense of time is going, so that a day doesn't flow properly for me.

...Like today. It feels like it's been a week since I saw Senpai off."

She says it as if it's nothing.

...She has accepted death.

She's fighting the ugliness of clinging to hope, and she has ordered her to protect him.

"―――Understood. I shall obey my master and guard Emiya Shirou."

"Thank you. ...I'm sorry, Rider. If I'm no good anymore, then go make a contract with someone else. I don't want Senpai... but maybe it's okay if it's with you."

She forces a smile.

The Servant in black nods and turns her back to her master.

"...An ill wind blows. I will be using my Noble Phantasm. Is that permissible?"

"Yes. Please bring Senpai back if things turn out to be dangerous."

"I know. But Sakura.

I believe we should be on guard against that priest over the old man."

Rider speaks without looking back.


That's a surprise for her.

This Servant does not state her opinions. She silently does as she is told.

She has never shown concern for her the way she does now.

"―――Yeah. I think so too."

She murmurs as if singing.

Her grief dispelled, she is now filled with languorous elegance.

"―――But don't worry, Rider.

He can't beat me."

She smiles like a girl picking flowers.

Scene 08 Meet up with Rin. Mysterious explosion.

A few minutes' walk from the national highway.

Even though I've never seen it in person, the forest's entrance looks familiar. It's white like morning mist, even during the day.

The dim sunlight and fog steal the sense of time from this place.

"...Whoa. Am I really going to be fine?"

I can't believe how reckless I'm being.

I didn't get lost back then because I was watching it through Illya, but this isn't something I can manage by memory alone.

"―――No, I can whine later. I'm desperate, so I just have to go tackle this."

I put spirit in myself as I put the bag over my shoulder.

It's past noon.

It takes about four hours to reach Illya's castle from here, according to what I saw.

All I can rely on now are my physical strength, memory, and recollection skills――――

I walk through the forest.

The smell of sap is a bit suffocating.

The unpaved path is tiring to walk on.

It's been two hours, and I think I'm following the route Illya showed me.

But it's worrying that there's no sign to confirm that I'm on track.

I can keep walking all day because of my training, but mental fatigue is chipping away at my energy.

If memory serves, I still have two hours to go.

I can easily imagine what'll happen if I don't end up at the castle in that time.

My physical limit is far, but I'll make trivial mistakes with a disturbed mind.

Rehydration and monitoring your condition are your highest priorities during mountain climbing, and you have to worry about which foot you step with and the depth of the bare rock you're scaling.

Even though the forest isn't as dangerous as a mountain, this place has a different kind of danger.

Losing your sense of direction, not knowing where you are...

There's the danger of getting lost, and who knows what beasts you might encounter.

The beasts living in this vast forest are likely to have their territories.

When people stray into those territories, they're usually attacked.

Walking aimlessly is like asking to be attacked, and even a straight animal trail needs to be avoided from time to time.

Fortunately, snakes don't seem to exist in this forest.

All I see are traces of wild dogs, and that's rare too.

I bet there aren't many living things here because of the magecraft of Einzbern on this forest.

But there are a few wild dogs, and there may be far worse things.

"―――Oh, that way is bad. I'll have to watch out on my way home."

I go around the thicket that an animal may be lurking in and make my way according to my memory.

Discretion is the better part of valor.

It's a rule of thumb to simply avoid dangerous places rather than waiting until the danger confronts you and then running away.

"...But still... This forest seems different from the one Illya showed me."

...The air around me feels different.

An ominous chill runs down my back with every step.

―――Don't go any further.

―――Get out of this forest now.

―――Nobody will return alive from this forest today.

I feel like the swaying trees are warning me.

"―――――Come to think of it, this smell is..."

I thought it was sap, but that's not quite right.

...The sweet smell is nothing like the forest.

This is――――


"――――――Hold on."

I take out a wooden sword from my bag.

...I stop, concentrate, and strengthen it within a few minutes.

"―――――Something's coming."

...I hear footsteps from the other side of the thicket.

I hear sounds among the swaying branches.


...It's coming.

It comes out and heads straight for me――――!

I raise my wooden sword.

Tensing my arms, I grip the sword and stand ready.

"That's it, don't move――――!"

"All right, don't move――――!"

We both freeze.




How should I handle this situation?

"...Hey. Can you lower that? This isn't a haunted house, you know?"

...Tohsaka lowers her guard first.

"Oh, sorry."

I follow her example.

"...Hmph. What a strange place to run into you.

I guess I'd better ask, but you're not just scouting sites for a picnic, are you?"

"Of course not. What about you? You're not the type to take walks in a forest. What are you planning?"

"How rude, I do too take walks in the forest. Well, my business today is different."

She protests.

The surprising part here is that she's not denying that she's planning something.

"――――Tohsaka. Are you planning to fight Illya?"

I get right to the point.

"...What if I am? You're not a Master anymore. So you don't have the right or the duty to meddle with our battles."

"――――I don't. But I'll stop you if you're going to fight Illya."

"Why? Are you planning to have Illya join forces with Sakura?"

"That's part of the reason. But you won't come out unwounded if you fight Illya. One of you will end up hurt if you two fight. I don't like that. First of all, I..."

"You decided to fight to stop the battles, right? I see you haven't changed your mind."

Her sharp tone gone, Tohsaka shrugs in resignation.


That's Tohsaka's real face that she had on before that thing happened to Sakura.

"W-What? I can't change it so easily because it's something I decided on."

"I figured as much. Geez, I've suspected this for a while now, but..."

I don't know why.

But Tohsaka gives an exaggerated sigh...

"You're really stupid, aren't you, Emiya-kun?"

...And gives a smile that surprises even me.


"But this is good. You never learn your lesson, but that's what I expect from you. You should do your best as a clumsy person."

"W-What's with that triumphant expression!? You piss me off!"

"Now, now. So I guess you have business with Illya too. You're really planning to talk with her?"

I'm angry, but Tohsaka just stares at me with a smile.



I don't know why, but I can never deal with Tohsaka in these situations. I feel like I'll back myself further into a corner no matter what I say.

"...? Why are you quiet all of a sudden? It's not like you."

"......Heh. Yeah, you're exactly right. I'm going to see Illya, so don't bother me. I'll chase you away if you come following me."

"Huh? Oh, you know where Illyasviel lives?"



Me and my big mouth.

"Good, can you lead me there?

I know the general location, but I only have a really old map, and I can't really trust it. It's great if you know where it is."

"――――Hey now. I told you not to follow me."

"Oh. Can you let me be when you're going to go talk to Illyasviel? If I find her first, she'll be too busy to talk with you."

"...! A-Are you threatening me!?

First of all, you're going to fight her even if we go together, right!?"

"I won't. It's best if we can cooperate with her. Our priority is to kill Zouken, right? I came here to warn her."

"――――! Warn her about what?"

"Matou Zouken is planning something, so I'm going to warn her not to let her guard down. You remember what happened to Caster, right? It'll be to our disadvantage if the same thing happens to Berserker.

But I was ready to fight her even though I only came to warn her. Considering us, we can't just talk.

I thought it can't be helped if we ended up fighting after I warned her. I have to beat her eventually, so this is just a matter of time, right?"

"But you seem to have expectations. Then I don't need to take risks, and things can end peacefully depending on your efforts."


"Hey, don't make a difficult expression! I'll go back without doing anything if you can persuade Illyasviel.

But if you fail, we can beat her together or I'll help so that we can both escape. How about it? It's not a bad deal, right?"

"...Deal or not, you're going to follow me anyway, right?"

"Of course not, that's a false accusation. We just happen to be heading in the same direction."


She's a devil.

But she'll listen to me, so long as I'm guiding her.

Tohsaka will go fight Illya if I leave her be, but she'll stay quiet if I take her with me.

"――――I'm not too sure about the way either, okay?

Don't complain if we get lost."

"You don't need to worry. You're heading exactly the way my map says. We won't get lost with your guide and my map."


I sigh loudly, making sure Tohsaka can hear it.

"All right, I give up. Let's go to the castle together. You won't fight Illya, right?"

"Right, I won't interfere while you're talking with her. She's troublesome if she's your enemy, but she's reliable if she's――――"

"An earthquake...!?"

The trees shake.

I hear explosions in the distance.


This isn't an earthquake. Something like a typhoon is raging nearby――――

"Tohsaka, this is...!"

"――――Berserker. I guess we were a bit too late."

"Wha... Then Berserker's the one raging around!?"

"Yes. We're here, so there's only one person Berserker would be fighting against. ...What will you do? I'm going, but will you stay?"

There's no time to think.


Scene 09 Dead End Layered curse of the Womb Realm Mandala

...I can't act carelessly.

It's dangerous to make a move before I know what I'm getting into.

"I'll stay here. Are you really going to go, Tohsaka...?"

"Yeah. But you're making the right choice. I have Archer, but you're alone.

It's good to be careful."

"...All right. Don't let your guard down, even with Archer, okay?"

"Of course. I'll come back right away if I think it's dangerous."

Tohsaka starts running without turning around.

...The tremors continue.

Tohsaka said Berserker is fighting.

Zouken and Assassin are the only other enemies.

Berserker will not lose in pure fighting ability.

Those two cannot beat him, no matter what tricks they pull.

But―――wasn't that the case against Saber as well?


...I have a bad feeling. I feel like I'm making the same mistake again―――


Darkness falls.

It's not because the light has been blocked.

My retinas are seared by black light, as if I've looked directly into the sun.


My mind, filled with ominous presentiment, is filled with a different kind of uneasiness.

―――A complete darkness in which I have no sense of direction.

It feels as if I'm swallowed into "nothingness".

"......No way......!"

I fumble my way through the dark forest with my smashed vision.

Bam, crash.

I hit trees as I randomly walk on.

"Haa... Haa, haa, ha, ah――......!"

I clumsily charge forward.

I feel blood on my shoulder.

My forehead's been gashed open where I hit it.

―――But I still want something definite.

Running into things and injuring myself is vastly preferable to having "nothing".

"Ha――――Haa, ha, ha."

It's fine.

It's fine. My eyes just broke down because of the sudden light.

The forest is still there, and I still feel the ground beneath my feet.

It's just that my vision has gone black.

But it should go away in time.

...Only a bit longer until my vision returns.

I'm worried what that light was and if Tohsaka's all right, but I'm only going to pull her leg if I go to her with my eyes like this.

I have to concentrate on getting my vision back and escaping this darkness.





..............................Just a bit longer.

My vision should return soon.

I'm not worried about that.

My vision will return. That's a definite fact.


I'm just worried about the sounds around me.

The storm has stopped before I knew it.

I don't hear any crashing sounds, either.

Is there a reason that I'm not hitting trees anymore...?

"―――――Just a bit more. Just a bit more."

The darkness will disappear soon.

I have to wait in this darkness until then.

I'll concentrate on that for now.

I can think later about why the sensation of the forest is gone.

I can also think later about the fact that my vision has already returned.

"......That's right. I have to escape this darkness――――"

I walk through the darkness, feeling nothing.

...Even though I know I'm in a forest, when it's this dark, I start to get bad ideas.

For example...

Like a ridiculous joke that...

I'm trapped in a world of shadows without an exit.

"Ha――――Haha, ha――――"

I keep walking, bitterly laughing at my stupid thought.

I feel nothing.

But it's just a bit longer.

A bit longer.

A bit longer.

A bit longer.

A bit longer, and my vision should return,

and the original scene will be back in front of me――――

Scene 10 Tiger Dojo 33

It is a bit sudden, but...

The entire city of Fuyuki is having a blackout, so we will be training in the dark today.

I don't care, but it's really dark.

Yeah, it's really dark.

...It's lonely.

...Yeah, it's lonely.



..................Hey, Illya-chan.

Can I tell you the truth?

...I don't really want to know, but what?

Yeah. ............Doesn't it feel like there's someone else here?

...!!! Stop it, Taiga. Even if it's a joke, geko...!?

Ahaha! That was a funny scream, Illya-chan!



Hey, don't scare me like that. You're the one lying there making weird panting noises, right?



Liar, who are you, gekoko!?

Scene 11 To the center of explosion

"――――I'll go too. That's what I came here for."

"Then stay behind me. I'll let Archer lead the way. That way you won't get cut down the moment we get there."

Tohsaka starts running.

Archer takes form, gives me a single glance, and takes the lead.

"Please be all right, Illya......!"

I clench the wooden sword in my hand and run after them at full speed.

Scene 12 Shadow swallowing the castle

The girl flees the castle with the black giant.

It is a baffling escape.

She has abandoned her castle, the place designed to offer her the best defense, to run to the forest.

――――Danger is approaching.

The girl was the first one to sense the unavoidable fact.

...The "enemy" is approaching the castle.

Because she felt that the enemy is a great one, she maximized the castle's defense and woke up the giant in anticipation of the enemy.

The giant of steel, Berserker.

Personification of destruction who has his sanity taken away and only obeys the girl.

With her bodyguard and the castle's protection, she has nothing to fear.

She tells herself this, suppressing her unease.


When the enemy drew near, her giant said...


Even the one with no reason left understood that he could not beat the approaching foe.

The girl started running at that instant.

She knows that.

She already knew that.

The thing that reached the outer wall is not something they can match.

The ominous shadow expands with the sun behind it, and it becomes a great shadow to easily climb over the outer wall.

――――They will lose.

With her aside, Berserker cannot beat that thing.

He will lose if he fights it, and Berserker will not be her Servant anymore.

That is the root of her uneasiness.

She ran away from the castle not in fear of her own defeat, but in fear of losing her Servant.

The black giant carries her as they make their way through the forest.

The uneasiness does not go away, but assails her with increased weight.

―――She cannot get away.

The girl vaguely understands that she cannot get away from this uneasiness and fear―――and the black giant stops.

"Oh. Such wisdom. You came out because you know you cannot win."

In front of them is a withered magus.

Next to him is Assassin, wearing a white skull mask.

Matou Zouken.

She figures out right away he is the magus of Makiri that she was informed of when she left her home country.

"―――Matou Zouken. So a person that's not chosen by the Holy Grail is acting like a Master?"

The girl jumps to the ground and confronts the old man.

There is no fear in her eyes.

The enemy before her is not the terrifying one she sensed.

"Hah, chosen by the Holy Grail? Do not speak such nonsense. The Holy Grail does not choose the Masters. The Holy Grail is just a vessel. Are you poisoned by the church, saying that it has a mind and that it consecrates?"


The girl coldly glares at him as he laughs.

...The Holy Grail does not choose, just like the old man says.

Masters are chosen by the Holy Grail, Servants are given form with the Holy Grail's power, and they stay in this world with the help of the Masters.

The rules are intentionally distorted and spread around.

The girl knows that the purpose of the Holy Grail War is actually the other way around.

The Holy Grail is merely something to be filled.

Masters are not chosen, but prepared as part of the ritual.

And Servants are merely tools used to open the gate―――

"...Hah. Aren't you the one who got your mind poisoned?

The Holy Grail that becomes the container has no will, but the Great Holy Grail that chooses the Masters does. You people tried to fill the Holy Grail by summoning heroic spirits because the prototype is here, in this land.

―――Well, I'm sure the Makiri blood declined because you, the person concerned, forgot about such a thing."

Her voice is cold.

The old man accepts her scorn with a laugh.

"Oh, there is no need to worry. Makiri's decline will end now. The matter is about to be completed. The plan was to take part in the next ritual, but I was blessed with good game pieces. My earnest desire is about to come true."

"I see. Then do as you wish. I'm not interested in you. I don't like having vessels besides myself, but you're going to fail anyway. I won't bother you, so why don't you go back to the pit where you belong?"

"You do not need to tell me. The sunlight is tough on this old body of mine, so I'll return to my nest once my business is done.

But―――I get rather uneasy when things run too smoothly like this. I shall take your body just in case. My dearest wish is virtually complete if I can seize you here."

―――Hostility lights up in the old man.

The white skull gets up, but stops in contrast to the old man's wish.


It's obvious why.

The white-masked assassin is overawed by the giant who's protecting the girl.

He has no chance to defeat such a foe.

He will be cut in half with one blow if he steps in――――

The assassin does not move because he is sure of that fact.

"...Heh. Your Servant's a coward, just like his Master. He doesn't have to fight if he's so scared of dying. Do you two value your lives so much?"


There's no reply.

Assassin does not speak, but his master laughs in his place.

"Of course I value my life! My wish is immortality. His wish is for his name to remain forever. We struggle on together for our same goal."

"...Are you mad? You desire the Holy Grail to grant you immortality?"

Hatred shows in the girl's eyes.

His grin widens still further.

It's as if he was waiting for that scornful reaction.

"Of course. Look at this body. It rots by the second, reeking of decay, melts my flesh and bones, and my brain deteriorates and loses its knowledge.

―――This pain. Do you understand the pain of rotting alive?"

"...That's your own fault. A human body cannot endure a hundred years of life. Compensation is needed if you want to surpass that. If it's painful, you can be at ease if you die."


The old body trembles.

The magus shakes, as if wracked by coughing, and...

"Kaka, kakakakaka...! I thought so, Einzbern! You people have had the same thought processes for a thousand years! You are just a puppet, after all! You will never know what it means to be human!"

He laughs from the bottom of his heart.

"...What did you say?"

"――――Fool. Listen closely, daughter of winter.

For people, there is no regret greater than death. The pain of my rotten flesh becoming the nest for worms is like a pus in my brain compared to death.

The sole escape from the pain is to keep myself alive. Saying you will be freed from the pain if you die is proof that you are not alive.

That is why you are a mere puppet. Your hurriedly constructed body should not last for another year. A short-lived artificial product cannot understand human passion...!"

"―――Right, I don't understand. You're an exception even within the humans. You can't accept your life span even though you've lived for that long. I can only think that you're crazy.

Do you want not to die that bad?"

"Of course not. I cannot die. I do not want to die. I have to stay in this world and live on. But I am at my limit. What I need now is a vessel that will last forever without decay.

――――That is why..."

"That's why you want to obtain the Holy Grail? You seek the Holy Grail because you're afraid of death?"

"Hah, is there anyone that does not fear death?

Understand, it matters little what conclusions you come to in your life. You cannot overcome the collapse of your body or the end of the world.

Let this be a lesson to you. If there is a way to prolong your life and if it is within reach――――humans are creatures that will obtain it, even at the cost of the world itself...!"

"―――Then you're saying you'll sacrifice everyone else so you can stay alive?"

"Of course. I would gladly kill everyone in the world if that would grant my wish.

There is no end to human greed.

I am sure you will cut down all the trees in this forest if the trees are a medicine to prolong your life. Even if they may only prolong your life for a day.

Killing a part of the world for another day of life.

That desire shall drive you to go kill every tree in this world."

"You will not care if the world dies because of your actions.

Isn't it natural? Throughout history, humanity has expanded, grown, prospered, and nourished in this way.

There is no space for chain reaction now. If humans are going to eventually die off, nobody will care even if I do not act in concert...!"

The old man speaks happily.

After looking at him in surprise...

"―――I'm utterly amazed. You lost your way to that extent?"

The girl speaks in a voice not her own.

"...Wh... at?"

"Recall where our desire for a miracle came from.

Why we are particular about having human form, and why we are trying to reach an inhuman place while keeping our human form."


His laugh stops.

The old magus squints, as if peering into the distant sky.

"―――Hah, well said for a puppet. So Justicia's mimicry is already imprinted in you."

He distorts his face in hatred and glares at the white girl.

"――――Enough talk. The time for play is over. I need your body, but I do not need your mind. I, Makiri Zouken, will take the Einzbern's Holy Grail."


The old man's shadow creeps across the ground.

...With that, the pressure on the girl increases.

"[wacky len=12]"

The black giant enters battle without waiting for the girl's order.

"No...! Come back, Berserker...!"

The girl's voice does not reach him.

The black giant, accompanied by a whirlwind, mows down the pressing shadow, but――――

Scene 13 Power game

Sounds of wind.

The wind running through the forest and shaking the trees is something I've heard before.


The tremors are growing more intense.

...We're closing in on the source.

It's probably on the other side of that next thicket.

The battle to decide the strongest is raging just behind those dense trees――――


My feet stop.

A second before I burst into the open, I skid to a halt and hide myself.


Tohsaka also hides behind a tree and stares at the disastrous scene in the clearing.

―――The place is literally a battlefield.

There are three Servants fighting.

One is the black giant, Berserker.

Another is the white, skull-masked killer, Assassin.

And the last one――――the last one is...

"...Hey. Could that be...?"

Tohsaka's voice is shaking.


I can't really hear her.

Even though she's right next to me, her whisper doesn't register for some reason.

The third Servant.

I'm seeing the one clad in black armor for the first time.


"――――No way..."

She reminds me of someone I know really well.

"[wacky len=9]――――!"

The black giant howls.

An attack powerful enough to destroy a mountain swings through empty space, smashing down into the ground.


Even the flying rubble does not cause her to falter.

The source of the raging wind must be that black swordsman, and the black figure makes her way through Berserker's sword and the flying clods and attacks at his defenseless body.

"[wacky len=12]"

The anguish is the giant's.

His body of steel can nullify almost any attack.

But the black swordsman cuts it like nothing.

The sword stains the giant's side black, just like darkness consuming light.

"No, run away, Berserker...! You won't be able to come back if it defeats you...! You don't have to fight anymore, so hurry...!"

Illya sounds like she's crying.

"It's useless. You cannot run away after being surrounded by them.

Maybe if it was two against one, but even the great hero will lose here with three against one."

Matou Zouken laughs.

The two Masters, Illya and Zouken, confront each other while their Servants stand in front of them as shields.

In front of Zouken is Assassin, who must have been defeated by Berserker.

In front of Illya is Berserker, his entire body covered in black.

...The ground beneath his feet has turned into a black pond.

It is not soil, but a bottomless swamp, sealing his movements.

Not only that, but black veins are coming out of the swamp, restraining the giant's limbs.

...I know what that is.

That has to be the "black shadow".

But for an instant...


It looks like something I know.


The deafening crash shocks me back to reality.

...The situation is hopeless.

Berserker is strong.

Even though the shadow has nearly engulfed him, he still stands against the swordsman.

But he's at his limit.

The black swordsman charges and slashes at Berserker.

Even if they are equally strong, Berserker's movement is further restricted with each passing second.


The balance will only tip further towards the swordsman the longer they fight.

"――――Hm, the match is decided.

I shall leave the rest to you, Assassin. It will be dangerous for me to remain here. Capture the Einzbern girl as soon as Berserker is consumed and return to me."

His figure grows hazy.

He vanishes from the forest, leaving Assassin behind.

"...Look. That thing swallows anything it sees.

All the more if it is a clump of magical energy. Make sure the girl of Einzbern does not get swallowed."

...His presence, along with his figure, fades away.

Zouken has disappeared.

The only ones remaining are Assassin and Berserker.

And the black swordsman, raising her sword.

"――――No. Even you will die, Berserker. So run away, Berserker."

Illya murmurs in an emotionless voice.

"[wacky len=12]"

What did he make of that?

The giant advances with a roar.


His advance is like a storm.

"[wacky len=12]"

Berserker charges, kicking away the black shadow that has swallowed him up to his knees.

It is an impossible action.

The mud below him isn't the only thing binding him, as the black shadow is coiled all about his body.

He cannot move forward.

Berserker cannot even take a step forward with his body bound by the black shadow.

For that reason, he tore his body apart.

He grabbed his chest, and tore off the black shadow with a sound.

―――He tore off his flesh along with the shadow, going deep enough to expose his bones.

The giant bursts into motion.

With the force of a whirlwind behind it, the next swing will surely destroy the black swordsman.

It will be his last attack.

He has ripped his body apart and is executing this attack on the verge of his death. There is no way his attack isn't fatal.

And in response...

The swordsman meets it with her strong attack.

"No――――stop, Berserker...!"

Illya starts to run.

She dashes frantically to Berserker, as if she doesn't see the shadow expanding at his feet.


I can't do anything even if I go out now.

I have no hope of winning against either the shadow or the swordsman.

But still――――

Scene 14 Rescue Illya-Black swordsman

But still――――I have to stop Illya...!

"No, don't go, Illya――――!"

I jump out from behind the tree.

I grab Illya from behind as

she runs toward Berserker.

...The mad warrior's roar, the strong wind, and an explosion that even takes away my vision.

They all flow into my numb ears at once.

I hold Illya in my arms as the wind knocks me to the ground.

White light fills my vision, and I can't even manage to stand up.


Standing up never crosses my mind.


...My body feels hot.

Something deep within me resonates with the attack.

I don't understand why, but this heat is in resonance with the Noble Phantasm.


My breathing has been deadened, just like my vision.

I can't do anything right now.

My body will not function as a human being as long as that sword is engraved in my eyes.


I'm entranced.

My heart is taken away by something I only saw for an instant.

...That thing is an illusion far superior to the numerous other Noble Phantasms.

There are many that are crafted more splendidly and with better skill.

But the beauty of that Noble Phantasm is not its appearance.

No, to describe this sword as beautiful would only dirty it.

The sword is not beautiful, but sacred.

People's conception, legends weaved only out of hope.

It's not a myth, nor is it inhuman work. It is a crystal trained by heart alone―――and that is why that sword will reign as the strongest fantasy.

―――My vision returns.

The sky is lit with dark-red light and is dark like night.

The light that split the forest must have been darkness itself.

The fire is burning silently, but the air is still cold.

Is it something that freezes oxygen instead of burning it?

The darkly lit forest lowers its temperature.


A swordsman is standing with the black fire in the background.

With Illya still in my arms, I glare at the pointed sword.

I don't feel any hostility from the swordsman.

I fear my death, and at the same time, grit my teeth in vexation.

―――It's different.

She's a different person.

It's not just her hostility.


I don't feel any of the nobility I previously felt from her.

Her helm breaks.

It must have been Berserker's last attack.

Her face is revealed, and although she is completely different, she's still the same.

"Sa... ber."


There's no reply.

The now golden eyes do not reveal anything, but plainly look down at us.


Illya's voice is trembling.

A sword is pointed at her, and Berserker is sinking into the shadow behind Saber.

The defeat of her Servant and her impending death.

Any young girl would tremble in this situation.


I shake off any unnecessary emotions.

I hug Illya harder and put strength into my free right arm.

――――Now's not the time to be spaced out.

I'm going to save Illya.

I'm going to save Illya and return to my home.

So I can't just cower and wait for my death――――!


Saber swings her sword.

She tries to slash at me as I stand up――――and at that instant, parries three arrows shot from her side.


I get to my feet, still holding Illya in one arm.

"Don't stop! Take Illya and run!"

The swords clash.

Archer shot at Saber, and attacked her without pause.



But it doesn't do much.

Even with his godlike speed, Saber easily repels his twin blades.


Archer is acting strangely.

Looking, I see that the black shadow is entangling around his feet.

"―――How unsightly, Archer.

True heroic spirits cannot oppose the layer of the cursed world. Right now, you are no different from the apparitions in this forest."

...The cool voice is definitely Saber's.

She easily smashes the black shadow and...


...Sends Archer flying into the forest behind him.


She struck with enough force to throw him back, in spite of his defense and the shadow holding his feet.


And once again...

Saber confronts us silently.

―――Her eyes.

They tell me she has resolved to kill me if I do not hand Illya over.


Illya lets go of my arm.

It seems she wants me to hand her over, and the last switch is tripped inside my head.

"――――Stay back. Tohsaka is in the forest. She should be able to do something if you make it there."

I push Illya behind me and grip the wooden sword with both hands.

...I hold it at the ready, right in front of me.

I'll drive all of my power and magical energy as soon as Saber charges at me.


That's all I can do now.

I have nothing to say to her.

I can't apologize, nor can I tell her to come back.

I can't say something like that when she hasn't said anything herself.

―――Saber is in front of me as an enemy.

Then the only way to answer her is to fight with all my might.


...I take aim.

I won't even try to take her life at the cost of my own. Saber taught me that such tactics are useless.

An attack with the premise of your death is only effective against an opponent as strong as you.

Against Saber, I can't hope for something as good as a mutual kill.

Therefore, I'm only aiming at one spot.

Her helmet shattered, so her head must be damaged somewhat.

That's where I'm going to strike with all my might.

I'll defeat my enemy and live on.

Unless I get that clear image in my head, I won't even be a match against Saber――――!


She's coming...!

Dodge it, dodge it, dodge it, dodge it...!

I don't care if I look miserable. I don't care if I have to crawl on the ground. Unless I dodge this attack, I can never protect Illya――――


―――I'm dead.

I've fought Saber before, so I know this will be fatal.

The lightning-fast attack comes from the upper left.

Slicing through my neck will be as easy as mowing rice.


My head is still attached.

Saber's sword stopped just shy of my throat.


...What happened?

She silently sheathes her sword and jumps away.


...Could that be her reason?

The black pond expands on the ground.

The "shadow" is about to crawl out of there.

...I'm sure of it.

That's the thing I saw at the park the other night.

An unknown thing that's just like a cluster of curse―――

"My duty is complete. I shall leave the rest to you."

"I appreciate it. This is an easy job. I can make up for losing against the Majnun."

Saber walks over to the black mud.


She sinks into the mud, just like Berserker did.


I watch her until she completely disappears.

―――I don't care why she's still in this world or why she's my enemy now.

Now that we're enemies, all we can do is fight.

That is the nature of this war.


...But still.

I think for a second―――that she wouldn't have been stained black like that if I had been stronger.



Tohsaka's voice brings me back to myself.

―――In front of me are the approaching "black shadow" and Assassin, whose white mask is distorted with a smile.

"Let's run away, Illya...!"

I take Illya's hand and start running.


Illya takes one sad glance at the mud that swallowed Berserker, then keeps back her tears as she starts running.

Scene 15 Distraction

We run through the forest.

In front of me is Tohsaka, leading the way.

Behind us is Assassin, pursuing us through the trees.

"Behind you, Emiya-kun...!"

She must be worried about us. Even though she could've escaped by now, she slows down and turns to look at us.


I know that the enemy is right behind us.

But I can't shake him off.

Servant Assassin is after us.

There's no way I can shake him off when I have Illya with――――

"――――That is far enough. There is no need for you."


I hear an ominous voice right by my ear.

When I look to my side...

I see a white death's head, smiling as he licks the dagger.


The masked figure is knocked away.

While running beside me, Assassin was thrown off-guard by a kick to the side.

"...Hah. So you cannot even kill a kid unless you attack him by surprise, you third-rate?"

Archer does not slacken his pace as he talks.

"I will take the rear. You take Illya and run.

―――Hurry. We'll all die if that thing catches up to us."

Archer is looking at Assassin and something else that is coming from behind him.


...It's after us.

That shadow is coming after us while staining the ground black――――!

"What is that, Archer...!?"

"We can talk later. Run, kid. You took Illya's hand, so protect her until the very end."

Archer slows down a bit and goes behind us.

...At that instant.

Right before he leaves, he gives Illya a look heavy with regret.

I go through the forest with the sound of clashing swords at my back.

As Assassin follows, he is obstructed by Archer's efforts.

"Nu, guh――――"

Unable to sustain the offensive, Assassin is once again forced to retreat.

Their attacks are matched.

Even the daggers thrown at me are shot down, and it's obvious that Assassin is not in control of the fight.

But it's not because Assassin is weak.


Archer repels the multitude of daggers.

His vigor is incomparable to before.

――――The scales of victory are tipping towards Archer.

I don't know why, but he is as strong as a fierce god right now.

"Nu――――how can you still move...!?"

With even his strongest attack repelled, Assassin raises his voice as he retreats.

In response...

"It's simple. I'm not a respectable hero like the others. A heroic spirit that is not pure is no different from that mud.

In other words――――"

Archer must consider it his chance of victory, as Archer charges.

"Although it is not to your degree, I am a distorted heroic spirit as well......!"

He cuts the white skull with one blow.


The black cloak scatters in all directions.

Assassin retreats, clutching at his broken mask.

It is not a retreat to regroup, but a retreat to save his life.

The black Servant runs away from Archer and disappears into the trees.

"Nice job...! We don't have to worry about getting overtaken now...!"

"Thanks for the hard work, Archer. You're tired right? You can return to spirit form and rest."

Tohsaka looks relieved.


Behind her...


It appears, as if born from the trees' shadows.

"Huh, what?"

She looks behind her.

At the same time, the black shadow extends its tentacle and――――

"Toh... saka――――"

I won't make it even if I run.

I'll witness Tohsaka getting pierced by that black tentacle.


But the one I actually see impaled is Archer, who pushes Tohsaka aside.


Tohsaka looks up at Archer without comprehension.


It's the end for Archer.

He's still breathing, and he's not bleeding much.

It should be possible for him to heal himself even if he is pierced, as long as it's not fatal.

...But somehow, I understand that Archer cannot fight anymore.

...That thing kills Servants.

No matter how strong a heroic spirit one is, one cannot beat that black shadow as long as one is summoned as a Servant.

I vaguely comprehend that fact for some reason.

"No way... What... are you doing... Archer?"

...Tohsaka must have felt the same thing.

She calls to Archer with a trembling voice, stands up unsteadily, and――――

"Don't come...! Run away, you fool...!"

Archer's shout stops her cold.

―――The black shadow throbs.

The forest is dying.

All the magical energy here is being sucked by that shadow.


For some stupid reason, it reminds me of a water balloon.

It's like putting more water into an already-full balloon.

It's expanding beyond capacity, and I get the bad image of it explo――――


We'll get sucked up.

If we stay here, we'll be engulfed for sure.

...Archer pulls out the tentacle that pierced him and starts to run to Tohsaka.

Then I――――

Scene 16 World purge, meltdown

Tohsaka is closer to the shadow than us.

Archer is dying, and Tohsaka, still in shock after his injury, cannot move.

Then I'm the only one who can bring her back...!


I let go of Illya and run towards Tohsaka.

I'll still make it.

There are five meters to Tohsaka, and ten more to the shadow. If I run full-speed and pull her to the side, I'm sure I can manage something――――

―――And that thought proves to be a mistake.

The expanded shadow explodes in an instant.

I don't even have time to take her hand.

The shadow tramples over the forest under one breath.

And it mercilessly swallows the prey in its spider's web.

―――My temperature rises.

A fatal fever from the tropics drives my human body crazy.

There's no vaccine for it,

but my body struggles to get away from the heat,

―――and my mind abandons my body and dies first.

Without its soul, the flesh is easily swallowed.

As I melt into the black shadow...

I think I hear the cry of an infant's birth.

Scene 17 Tiger Dojo

Osu! We're starting the Tiger Dojo, the place to save those that could not escape and died even after a strategic retreat.

Yeah, yeah, we're starting. Geez, this is boring.


Why sulk, pupil number one!? I told you it's against the rules to bring emotion from the main story into this dojo!


But I really can't back him up this time.

Hm, this is the worst sulking I've seen out of you. Do you hate the fact that he put priority on Tohsaka-san?

...No. I just thought it wasn't fair for Archer.

Hmm. Some hidden circumstances I don't understand.

Oh, well. Tohsaka-san, Archer-san, Shirou, and Illya-chan all died together in a friendly manner!

Hey, it's no laughing matter, you dumb tiger!

Geez, we're done for today!

You are to go back to the choice and obey Archer's words.

You can't turn off the game today until you get out of the forest!

Scene 18 Blood out

I'll protect Illya.

I can't try to save two people.

Tohsaka has Archer, but Illya has no one.


I have to take Berserker's place――――!

"Get down, Illya...!"

I tackle Illya, forcing her to the ground.

And the instant I cover her body with my own...

My vision and perception is filled with black.


It's hot.

My body is almost blown away.

The condensed and released wave of magical energy rages through the forest as a storm.

It's not there.

My vision is painted black.

If it's this dark even though I can clearly see, a black sun must have come falling down.

My body's not there.

It probably melted from the heat.

My body's not there.

The loss of my sense of touch is more disgusting than the pain.


But that's a problem.

I can't protect Illya unless I have a body.

The black shadow tries to take Illya.

I flail my right arm to drive it off.

Embracing her with that same arm, I press her to the ground.


And I finally realize.

My body's there. My body must be there, or else I couldn't have protected Illya.

...Man, I panicked too much.

All I lost was my left arm.

That's the only part of me that vanished without trace. The rest of my body is still there.

...But I still have the sense of loss.

I only lost one of the two.

But it feels like I lost my whole body.


...It's disappearing.

The shadow fades away without trace, its energy spent.

...Illya's safe.

My ears must be numb, as I can't hear what she's saying.

What... happened to Tohsaka?

Archer is... there.

His red cloak is painted a deeper red, and he's so weakened that he might disappear in the next second.

...How strange.

Why is she here?

"――――Have you gone mad? If you do such a thing, you will..."

"I do not even need to think about it. Two will disappear if I do nothing, but one can be saved if we transplant it.

...This body is almost dead anyway. If I am to disappear, it will not make a difference even if my arm is cut off."

Archer and Rider are talking.

...What the hell is going on?

And in the end...

"One would normally die. One cannot survive after attaching a spirit body to the human body. But the boy and I are an exception. Rin should treat him appropriately once she wakes up."

He tenderly runs his fingers through Tohsaka's hair.

――――My vision fades to black.

The dark sun no longer shines on the forest.


The darkness must be falling on my consciousness.

"――――So this is it. Farewell, Tohsaka."

Archer bids farewell in a voice that sounds just like mine.

Scene 19 Deep desire

The shadow wavers.

The red knight is covered in blood, and Tohsaka Rin is sitting on the ground, dumbfounded.

About five meters away from them stand the silver-haired girl and Emiya Shirou, hand in hand.

...The shadow wavers.

After shrinking like a dead tree, the shadow expands like a blowfish.

No, its poisonous nature is like an uglier deep-sea fish.

The expansion continues without limit, swelling outward and dyeing the forest black.

――――At that instant.

The red knight dies protecting Tohsaka Rin, and Emiya Shirou survives by pure luck.

It is fortunate that the ground is uneven.

The expanding shadow passes over Emiya Shirou, who is in a hollow pit.

But his left arm is above its rim, unable to share in that fortune―――


She wakes up.

It's been half a day since she sent Rider to guard Shirou.

Matou Sakura, who shared vision with her Servant to follow the situation without ever leaving the house, is brought back to reality with that scene.

"Haa――――ah, uh......!"

She feels like vomiting.

Her vision is blurred as if she had lost it, because she cut the shared vision off by force.

Her body is sweating, and as soon as she breathes―――

"Ugh... ha, ahh......!"

What's in her stomach rises up to her throat.

She runs into the dressing room.

She's covering her mouth with her hands, and as soon as she gets to the sink...

"Uh, ugh, uh...!"

She vomits out everything in her stomach.


She stands there with her head down, shoulders heaving.

Her long hair flutters like a curtain, hiding her face from the mirror.

"......No way. Senpai's arm..."

She recalls the nightmare.

...There's no mistake about the vision.

Emiya Shirou lost his left arm while protecting the silver-haired girl.

It melted away without trace from the shoulder down.

"――――What have I..."

Sakura masochistically yells at herself for considering such a thing.

She feels a chill and a strange uplift, not able to think about what happened and what she should do.

All she knows is that she hates herself.

...She previously got the idea that...

If Emiya Shirou were injured to a point where he wouldn't be able to go outside, he would not be in danger anymore.

"No... That was all wrong."

Yes, she was wrong.

It will not solve anything.

Was it simply carelessness that made her wish for him to be hurt?

Now he has been wounded, regardless of her wishes.

Not a wound that will keep him indoors, but one that threatens his very life.

There's no difference between the two.

That's what it means to be injured.

Why did she think that a misfortune to lose a part of one's body is a good thing?

"Ugh――――ah, uh.......!"

The nausea does not go away.

She does not stop vomiting even after throwing up everything.

Gastric juice and blood.

She thinks that the sharp pain in her stomach and the scratch on her throat is like a punishment to condemn her.

...And after a while...

Her nausea finally goes away when the gastric juice runs out, and she regains her composure.

She breathes heavily.

Her shoulders are moving up and down painfully.

She puts her hands on the sink and tries to calm down, as if she's just finished running a marathon.

"―――But Senpai can't fight anymore."

In a trance, she speaks her true feelings.

A short murmur.

Still breathing heavily, she raises her head.

The figure in the mirror is crushed by a feeling of guilt.

The apologetic expression is caused by her worry for Emiya Shirou's well-being.

She truly wishes for his safety.

The mirror reflects a face with a crooked smile.

Scene 20 Artificial Phantasm

――――It's hot.

I'm trapped in a sultry stone room.

The heat radiating from my shoulder is like a plague of microscopic bugs eating my cells.

My shoulder. The place where my arm used to be is covered with honey, and ants are swarming on it so it looks like a carpet.

――――――It's hot.

My body is burning from within.

This isn't like a sultry stone room, but more like a sealed frying pan.

I hear the sound of something burning and realize that I've been scorched black.

――――――――――It's hot.

The heat melts my mind, leaving my body untouched.

Slowly and fiercely.

It burns through my genes as if trying to overwrite them.

...Is this nightmare finally coming to an end?

――――――――――――It's hot.

The hole is sealed so that the ants cannot escape.

――――It's hot.

――――It's hot.

――――It's hot.

――――It's hot.

――――It's hot, it's hot, it's hot, it's hot......!!!!!

The hole is in my shoulder.

I don't know why, but my missing left arm became a gateway, allowing the ants to flood into my body.

And the entrance――――the hole to let them out is sealed with flesh that's not mine――――!

It's changing.

It's changing to something I don't know.

It's coming in.

Knowledge I shouldn't have is flowing into me.

It is his battle experience and battle information.

"Ha――――ah, gah――――!"

This is his Noble Phantasm.

It's not the pair of swords.

Kanshou and Bakuya.

Favoring the treasured swords made by an ancient blacksmith, he himself was a blacksmith heroic spirit.

That's why he creates.

He duplicates everything he sees and understands.


It is not duplication, but projection.

A unique magecraft that reproduces the real thing using an image in the caster's mind.

And―――the heat burning my mind tells me to manage this skill.

"Haa――――ahh, ah――――!"

Don't kid me. That's impossible. It won't fit.

I don't know about projection. I'm not at that level yet.

Cutting corners like this will destroy my body.

First of all, I have my hands full with myself. I can't memorize or use someone else's ability.

I don't have the needed power to begin with, and we're strangers with no connection, so there's no way it will become familiar with my body. No, I won't be able to bear it even if it becomes familiar with my body.

You can't put time out of order or destroy the regularity. Even if you help me, I don't have the skills to handle it――――


...My consciousness slowly returns.

I'm sleeping on an unfamiliar bed in an unknown room.


I raise my body.

I think――――I met Saber at the forest, ran away with Tohsaka, and Illya――――


Our eyes meet.

Illya is beside the bed, staring at me with blank amazement.

"――――I see. So you're all right."

I sigh with relief.

I don't get the situation, but I'm glad Illya's all right.

"Oh, good! You're awake, Shirou!"

"Huh――――wait, Illya...!"

Illya charges at me.


"I'm glad... I'm so glad, Shirou...!"

Hugging me, she buries her face in my chest and repeats herself over and over.



I don't get what's going on, but I can't do anything if she's crying like this.

"Does your wound hurt? I'll make him put on another one if you think it's slightly strange!"

"......? Oh, it doesn't hurt anywhere. More importantly, can you explain to me what happened after th――――"

As I speak...


I feel like a long knife is thrust into me.

"Ha――――gih, guh――――!"

Unable to bear the pain, I tear at my chest with my right hand.

"Shirou...!? Calm down! Don't try to bear it, but try to repress your left arm...!"

"Oh――――left... arm...?"

......I don't quite get it.

I don't, but I want to escape this pain as quickly as possible.

"――――Haa――――Haa, ha――――ah."

...I relax my mind.

Once I start meditating, I quickly understand which part of me is abnormal.

I can control it more or less if I know the origin of the pain.

I just need to create a barrier so that the foreign substance can't enter my body.

"――――Phew. I'm fine now, Illya."

"Yeah, I can tell. I wondered what'd happen, but they don't seem to reject each other, at the very least."


It seems like Illya knows what's causing the pain.


I look at myself and notice that I'm wearing big hospital clothes.

...No, these are more like restraints.

All I can move is my right arm. Everything else is firmly belted down, and I can't take them off myself.

"What are these? Why am I wearing something like this, Illya?"

"U-Um... that's..."

Illya looks away awkwardly.

"I shall explain the rest, Emiya Shirou."


A person I really don't want to see appears.

"She has recovered as well. All I need to do here is to explain the situation, so leave if you have no business."

"...Hah, yeah right. I'm going to leave with Shirou. There isn't a problem even if I'm here if you're not going to do anything, right?"

"I see, there certainly is no problem. But I would like to keep the explanation short. If you will not interrupt, go sit in the corner quietly."

"All right, I guess I'll do so."

Illya passes Kotomine and walks to the wall.

"――――Well. I shall answer your question before I explain the situation. Do not be too surprised, Emiya Shirou."

Kotomine reaches out.

He unbuckles the belts and removes the coverings.


The arm there is not Emiya Shirou's arm.

I can tell even through the wrapped cloth.

...My left arm is not part of my body.

It is a foreign substance that should not be there, attached by opposing the natural Providence.

"Kotomine, this is..."

"It is Archer's left arm. In accordance with Archer's wish, I have transplanted it from his corpse."

"Archer's wish...? Wait, did you say corpse?"

"He disappeared after the transplant was completed. He was almost dead when he was carried here, but surprisingly, he endured until the operation ended. It must be because of his capacity for independent action."


Archer has been eliminated.

Then the remaining Servants are Zouken's Assassin, Sakura's Rider, and...


I don't think I can call her a Servant anymore.

"...Hold on. Archer disappeared, right? Then isn't it weird that his arm's still here?"

"His left arm would have disappeared too if he disappeared before the transplant was completed. But that has been cut and planted to your body while Archer was still in this world. It is a part of a heroic spirit that has been connected to your Magic Circuit, and it stays in this world using your magical energy.

...It has become a part of your body after the transplant was completed. The left arm will remain even if Archer disappears after that. That left arm is already yours now."

"Then... this is really his arm?"

"Yes. You two would have died in your conditions. Archer lost the core that anchored him in this world, while you lost your arm in a mortal wound.

Fortunately, Archer did not have many physical wounds, so he saved your life by offering you his body."


...The left arm that melted.

The heat that violated my mind, and this left arm that is not mine.

Everything tells me that the event in that forest really did happen.

――――I fell in that forest.

And I was saved by Archer after that.

"...But is it even possible to transplant a Servant's body onto a human's?"

"It's possible to just connect them. Spiritual doctors are said to heal the soul and not the body. I guess this priest here is the real thing, in contrast to his looks."

"I accept your compliment, but this is nothing to celebrate.

Joining two separate spiritual bodies is forbidden magecraft. It cannot succeed.

Spiritual bodies... resurrection and restoration of souls are divine mysteries that cannot be handled with magecraft. That is why I thought I only succeeded in shape, and expected him to die of shock, but――――"

"...Shirou and Archer are a special case. I found out earlier that he would pull through if the connection was made."


Illya looks away and lets her eyes wander sadly.

"Oh. Well, I do not know why. All I know is that you two were suited for each other. I was surprised when I started the operation. Even twin brothers would not look this alike."


I flex my left arm to test his words.

...I don't feel anything.

I don't even feel pain. It's like a lump of dead meat.

It doesn't move, no matter what I do.

It's like a hand numbed by loss of circulation.

The sensation of a part of my body not moving brings mental fear rather than physical pain.

...The left arm is just a piece of metal.

One might feel constricted like this if one became a tin man.

"...It doesn't move at all. Was the operation really successful?"

"Do not wish for such an excessive thing. That is all it can do right after connecting it. It shall familiarize with your body in a few days. I told you earlier, but you two are compatible. At this rate, it should heal well enough to give you no trouble in leading an ordinary life."

"But be warned. I am only saying that the magecraft-Circuits are compatible.

No matter how suited you may be to his arm, this arm is the arm of a heroic spirit, something a human cannot handle. No, it is more like a weapon than an arm. It is powerful, but it will swallow you if you use it."

"―――Does that mean I'll self-destruct?"

"Of course. If a human like you uses the arm of a heroic spirit, your body will be consumed by Archer's arm. No, the term blown away is more accurate."

"Your body is spiritually far inferior to Archer's arm. Archer's Magic Circuit will be activated if you use that arm even once.

At that time―――your body will be unable to withstand Archer's magecraft, and it will break down.

Look, it is not that your lifespan is shortened with each use.

The time bomb in you will be turned on once you use it."


...What is that?

In short, that means I'll certainly die if I try to do what Archer does even once.

"......Then this cloth is for that reason...?"

"Yes, it is a seal. The Magic Circuit in your left arm will not be activated as long as you keep it on. Your arm is treated as a different object even if you use magecraft.

But do not let your guard down. Magical energy flows through your body even if you do not use any magecraft. Pain will assail your arm as it reacts and tries to activate.

Your left arm is covered with the Shroud of Martin to prevent that.

It should be able to suppress the infringement from your left arm to a certain extent as long as you keep it on."

"Hold on. To a certain extent? That means..."

"It cannot completely suppress your arm. ...Yes, you will be consumed by Archer's arm whether you use it or not.

If you want to live to old age, become a great enough magus to match the arm. You should then be able to seal your arm without the shroud."

"I estimate it will be about ten years before the arm consumes you. You have that much time. You can become a master magus and control your arm, or you can fail and be consumed. It is not an imminent threat."


This is like I was remodeled without my knowing.

...But it's no use complaining.

I would've died in that forest.

Transplanting Archer's arm was the only way to save my life, so complaining would mean I don't want to live.

"――――I understand. Let me thank you.

...You did another favor for me. Could you please pray that it doesn't happen a fourth time?"

"I suppose I do not need to worry if you can talk like that. Then go outside. Rin is waiting for you in the chapel."

Kotomine heads to the door.

I get off from the bed and put on the prepared jacket.

I can't move my left hand, so I just drape it over my shoulder.

"Okay, it won't hurt if I keep my guard up. Let's go, Illya."

"Oh... yeah, I'm coming."

...I exit and find myself in the courtyard.

The sky is dark, and it's already nighttime.

"I forgot to tell you, but you can easily take off that Shroud.

The choice is always yours. You are free to use Archer's power, but your survival will not be guaranteed.

Do your best with that in mind."

Tohsaka glares at me as soon as I enter the chapel.

...I don't know what I did to deserve it, but I'm relieved to know she's all right.

"Well. Everyone is treated now. Emiya Shirou's arm has been transplanted, and Rin's poison is purified. Is there anything else you require of me?"

"......Of course not. You might claim our lives as collateral if you do us any more favors."

"I see. Then we shall be parting here, but let me ask as the supervisor.

What are you going to do now, Rin?

The Holy Grail War is a failure now.

The outcome is practically decided already, as most of the remaining Masters do not have Servants."

Tohsaka shuts her mouth.

...The match is pretty much decided, just like Kotomine said.

The only Masters with Servants are Zouken and Sakura.

...Ordinarily the last two standing would fight, but Sakura cannot oppose Zouken. Looking at it that way, it's already over.

"Matou Zouken will either recapture Matou Sakura or kill her. It will be difficult to stop him, and you are under no obligation to do so. There is no benefit to kill Zouken."

"Oh, is that because Masters without their Servants can't obtain the Holy Grail?"

"Right. That is why there is no reason to fight. Any more battle is meaningless. You would be wise to stay in your mansion and wait until the war is over."

"―――Thanks for the warning. But I'm not going to forfeit."

"―――I'm surprised. So you cannot give up the Holy Grail?"

"Of course not. I'm still a Master, even if I lost my Servant. Don't assume that I'm going to forfeit just because I'm alone now."

"Oh. I see, you are certainly right. There is one other who shamelessly stayed on the battlefield after losing his Servant. So you cannot give up easily."

"――――Heh, Shirou has nothing to do with this.

This is my decision. I haven't given up yet, and I don't intend to let Zouken win. Neither of those will save her."


I open my eyes wide and look at Tohsaka.

"W-Why do you look so happy? I-I didn't copy you, okay? I'm not giving up because I think I still have a chance of winning. I'm not like you, staying in it even when I don't have any chance."

"―――Yeah, I thought so. That's what I expected from you, Tohsaka."

"......That's annoying in a way too, but it's fine if you understand."

She looks away.

Tohsaka doesn't want to give the Holy Grail to Zouken not because of her sense of justice.

Sakura cannot be saved if Zouken wins.

If we want to save Sakura, Sakura has to obtain the Holy Grail―――or else someone who wants to save her has to claim it.

That's why Tohsaka said she or Sakura has to win.

That's the only reason she's fighting against Matou Zouken.

Tohsaka cannot obtain the Holy Grail anymore, but is still wanting to save Sakura, her younger sister.

"Hm. So what about you, Emiya Shirou? Will you not give up the Holy Grail, just like Rin?"

"No, I won't stop fighting. I have my goals too. I won't let Zouken do as he wishes."

"...I see. I shall not stop you if you want to fight. There is a hopeless difference in your powers, but Matou Zouken is a weak person. I am sure you can devise some plan."



We look at each other silently.

...Some plan, huh?

I can't come up with one by myself, but with Tohsaka, we just might figure out how to beat the old man―――

Our conversation ends.

The treatment is over, so Kotomine requests that we leave, as we are not asking for protection here.

"―――I'm leaving even if you don't tell me to. Hey, do you have a place to go, Illya?"

"...? I still have my castle, and Sella and Leysritt will come if I call to them, so I still have a place to go back to. ...Why are you asking such a thing?"

"Well, it's dangerous to be by yourself, right? I want you to stay at my place if you don't mind. I think that's more convenient too."

"I don't mind, but I have to refuse. That woman is at your place."


Illya answers me in a weird way.


I stare at Tohsaka because I don't understand what she means by "I don't mind, but I won't go".

Oh, she looks like she doesn't want to interfere.

"Oh. So you chose Matou Sakura, Emiya Shirou."


"I do not mind taking care of Illyasviel. Even if she goes back to her castle, Matou Zouken will only kidnap her."

"I refuse. I'm taking Illya."

"No way. I'm borrowing Illya."

"I'm sorry, but I can choose where I want to go."


That is unfortunate. So Illyasviel is to stay at the Tohsaka household?"

"D-Don't say such a stupid thing...! The Master of Einzbern will not go to Tohsaka's house!"

"Okay. Then where are you going to go? You'll have to go back to your castle if you don't want to stay at the church, my house, or Shirou's place."

"I know. That place is my workshop, so I won't go into the care of another Master. I'm going to do things myself even without Berserker."

"Oh, I thought so. You almost killed Shirou once, but he came and saved you in spite of that. But you don't feel any appreciation and you're going back to your castle, huh?

Did you hear that, Emiya-kun? After all you've done for her, she still hates you. She says she doesn't want to stay in that tiny house of yours."

"W-What are you saying, Rin!?

I never said anything like that――――"

"You are saying it. You're not going to Emiya-kun's place because he's unreliable, right? You're saying you're going bacͫ to your castle where you can feel safe."

"...That's true... But I'm going back to my castle because I have to get away from Shirou――――"

"Huh? Oh, I see. So him being reliable doesn't matter because you hate him, huh? Well, why didn't you say that in the first place?"

Tohsaka calmly criticizes Illya.


This is bad.

Just as I'm worrying that this will turn bloody...

"T-That's not true! I never said I don't want Shirou! It's something else that I don't like...!"

"――――Hear that? You're really popular, Emiya-kun."

Tohsaka smiles gently,

and Illya glares at her with vexation.



So whose house is Illya going to...?

Scene 21 Which one?

In the end, Illya will be coming to my house.

Tohsaka and Illya leave the chapel, arguing.

I guess I can say they're getting along.


...Our conversation is over.

It's our problem now, so there's nothing to talk about with Kotomine.

I follow after them and leave the chapel.

But then...

"Do not forget, Emiya Shirou. That body of yours will no longer permit you to fight."

The priest gives his usual warning.

"That's not true. It's just that I can't use my left arm. I can still fight."

"I see. By the way, how is Matou Sakura's condition?"

"Sakura's condition...?"

...That's a bit unexpected.

I thought he was going to make more sarcastic remarks, so why is he suddenly concerned about how Sakura's doing?

"What's going on? What good would it do for you to care about Sakura?"

"It seems you do not understand. I am talking about your body.

Look, Emiya Shirou. Your body is in critical condition, but Matou Sakura is carrying a more dangerous bomb. You will be safe if you do not fight, but she is breaking down with each passing second. That is why you cannot stop fighting, even though you know fighting will only bring you closer to death."


"Emiya Shirou has to fight if you are to save Matou Sakura. But now, fighting is like committing suicide for you.

Therefore―――you must understand that saving Matou Sakura means killing yourself."

"......So what? That doesn't concern you at all."

I chose to save Sakura.

I won't back out on my oath, no matter what happens to my body.

"I see. A devotion to offer your life is beautiful.

But is that woman truly so valuable to you?"


"This is your last warning, Emiya Shirou.

To save a life is to satisfy one's desire.

If you would like to keep Matou Sakura alive―――do not forget this until the very end."


I go outside.

Tohsaka and Illya are waiting for me there.

Illya is looking up at the sky, and Tohsaka is glaring at me like she wants to complain.

"You're late! What were you talking with Kotomine about, Shirou?"

"Well, it was just his usual criticism――――"

More importantly, there's something that's on my mind, but I don't know if I should bring it up.


Are you calling me by my first name now...?

"...Hmph, fine. We're short on time, so I'll get right to the point. This is a serious matter, and we don't have much chance of winning if we go our separate ways. I'll forgive you for what you did yesterday, so you'd better be grateful."

Her manner is pompous, but her words are even more so.

...Um, it's hard to understand, but what Tohsaka wants to say is...

"Tohsaka. Does that mean..."

"Yeah, I'm saying we can cooperate!

First of all, you're unreliable. We're both out to defeat Zouken, so I can cooperate with you!"

Tohsaka continues angrily.


It feels like I'm hit in the head with a hammer.

The sudden request is a great fortune.

"O―――Oh, thank you! I owe you, Tohsaka!

There's no greater help than having you on my side...!"

I take Tohsaka's hand and shake it up and down.

This is troubling.

I know I'm being too happy, but I can't stop myself.

"Hey, I understand! You don't have to thank me, so hold on...!"

Tohsaka retreats quickly.


I don't know why, but she looks at my left arm.

"...Let me ask you beforehand. You do know whose arm that is, right?"


I nod, since it's a matter of course.

Tohsaka then takes a deep breath.

"Then you're my Servant from now on, Shirou.

You were saved thanks to my Servant, so that's natural, right?"

...And makes a ridiculous demand.



I'm really lost.

I try to figure out what Tohsaka means.

"W-What are you saying...!? It's stupid to claim his ownership just because of something like that!"

Yes. Illya can be reasonable, after all.

"First of all, you're completely missing the point. Shirou is mine, so there's no

way he can be yours!"

...I see.

So she's missing the point too.

"Hey, you're the one talking big. Do you think Shirou is yours because you spared him once? Then that goes for me as well. I was so angry when I met him at school that I almost went berserk myself."

"That's just because you're immature. I spared him every day, so Shirou's life is obviously mine. I can choose to keep him alive or not, and you have nothing to do with this, so stay out of this."

"I have nothing to do with this...? Don't take me so lightly! I can't concern myself this much if I have nothing to do with this...!

Archer entrusted me with him, so I'm going to take responsibility and make sure he stays alive!"

I can almost hear their teeth grinding as they glower at each other.


I wait for it to end.


It's going to be troublesome, no matter who wins.

""So, which one is it!?""

It seems they've realized that fighting solves nothing, so they've chosen me to make the final decision.

"What do you mean 'which'?"

"So whose Servant are you? I haven't heard your answer yet, so it's best to clarify it now."

"Yeah. Rin doesn't seem to realize you don't want her, so you have to be clear.

Come on, say it. You're mine, right?"


I don't need to think about it.

The one who has the right to order me around is――――

Scene 22 Rin-sama blushes

"It's Tohsaka. I don't even have to think about it."

"W-Why? Rin's oppressive, greedy, and loud like a myna bird. But you still like her more? Are you a pervert?"

"No. This isn't like that.

This is about whether I'm going to obey Tohsaka, right? Then I'm going to obey her. I can't stop Zouken by myself, and Archer saved my life."

"That's... because Archer is your..."

"I'll give her the right to command me. See, that's just like being a Servant. Tohsaka, if that's what you want, it won't bother me at all."

I confirm with Tohsaka.


"Tohsaka? Hey, don't ask someone a question and then ignore the answer."

"Oh―――y-yeah, I'm glad you understand.

My Archer put his trust in you, so we're working together now. He gave everything for you, so work hard and return the favor."

"Of course. I have to return what I borrowed."

...That's right.

No matter how things ended up this way, my left arm has been replaced by Archer's.

But Archer disappeared without fulfilling his contract with Tohsaka.

It's only right that I succeed the promises he's made.

Scene 23 Illya delighted

"―――Um, I guess it's Illya."

I say the name that popped into my head.

"Yeah! You lucky guy!"

Illya hugs me.

I feel like I'm her brother, so I like how happy she is...

But Tohsaka is really mad, so my happiness adds up to zero... No, I think it's going in the negatives now.

"...Hmph. You've gone to a lot of work to flatter a little girl, Emiya-kun. Or what? Do you like little girls?"

Ow... Tohsaka scornfully emphasizes "Emiya-kun" to criticize me.

Her eyes look like they're blaming the socially weak, sending a wave of pain through my stomach.

"Haha, that's unsightly, Rin. It's unladylike to take out your anger on someone else when you get dumped. That's why Shirou hates you."

"......! D-Don't talk like a grown-up and say such a stupid thing...!

I only talked about common knowledge, and first of all, who was dumped by whom...!?"

Tohsaka roars.

Illya laughs and keeps hugging me.

"See, isn't Rin scary, Shirou?

But don't worry. I'll protect you if she tries to do something!"

Illya makes a big smile and embraces me.

I'm glad.

I'm twice as glad as before, but...

...Please do something about that cold stare of hers that doesn't let me excuse myself.

"What? If you have something to say, come out and say it."

"It's nothing. Your interests are none of my business. I'm not happy, but I'm not going to say anything about it.

――――But more importantly, why?"

She asks me directly.


"Well. 'Why'... what?"

I made my choice without thinking, so I actually don't know why I chose Illya.

"...Unbelievable. Do you really have a thing for little girls?"

"N-No way, you idiot! I-I-I just said it because I felt like it, and I'm Illya's guardian now, so it's natural for me to choose her! Do you have a problem with that...!?"

Man, I'm being illogical.

"Yeah! You're my Servant, Shirou!"

Tohsaka is utterly stunned, Illya is jumping around in joy, and it's a big mess.

"......You're taking a defiant attitude now. Well, I'll let this go, but Sakura certainly has it tough."


I'm curious.

What exactly are you "letting slide," Tohsaka?

"But don't forget. Even if you don't use it, your arm is mine.

―――You have a responsibility to take Archer's place.

Your body doesn't just belong to you anymore."


I can't argue with that.

Tohsaka lost Archer, and my life was saved thanks to his arm.

...Then I have to help Tohsaka in his place.

".........Yeah, you're right. We'll leave the Servant thing aside for now, but I'll leave you in charge of everything.

I don't know all that much, so it's better if you take care of the plans."

"That's right. I'm in charge of thinking, and you're in charge of execution. We're cooperating, so I'll make sure you work hard."

...That's right.

Regardless of how it happened, my left arm has been replaced by Archer's.

But Archer disappeared without completing his contract with Tohsaka. It's only right that I succeed the promise he could not fulfill.

Scene 24 Blade virus

"Then let's part here for now. I'm going back to my house to pack, so you go on ahead."

"......? Pack? Are you going to come to my house?"

"Of course. We're cooperating now, so we have to be together. Illya doesn't want to be at my house, and Sakura's living at your place. Your house has to be the main base, no matter how we look at it."

"Oh, yeah. When you put it that way, it makes sense."

"...Geez. I thought you were firm, but you're pretty loose too. Maybe I made the wrong choice."

Tohsaka sighs and starts walking in the opposite direction.

"...? My house is this way, Illya. Why are you following Tohsaka?"

"It's just for a bit. Rin wants my help, so I'm going to go with her. I'll head over there as soon as we're done, so you go ahead."


Illya's going to help Tohsaka...?

"Really, Tohsaka?"

"Yeah. This is a serious matter, so we need one or two secret weapons. A secret I can't unlock myself might open to an Einzbern magus.

......But I really don't want to find one. If Tohsaka's inheritance, Kishua's keepsake, is just as I imagine, it's not something I can handle myself."

"Then I'm going as well. I'm not interested in Kishua's keepsake, but Zel Schweinorg's treasure chest sounds pretty."

Illya's skirt flutters as she runs off.

"......Kishua? Zel? Schweinorg?"

I tilt my head in wonder.

I've never heard those names before. Are they famous among legitimate magi?

Scene 25 Sacrilege

The guests have left.

The chapel regains its silence and the priest looks up at the statue.

"――――Was it fine to let the Holy Grail go?"

The voice comes from behind.

Where was he hiding? The golden-haired man asks the priest cheerfully.

"I do not mind. I never had any attachment to it. I will not stop the Holy Grail from siding with them."

"You're right. You had no wish from the start――――if your words are true, it would not make sense to stop the Holy Grail."

The man laughs.

The priest's words...

As if to make fun of the fact that he has no wish.


He does indeed speak the truth.

It is just that the golden-haired man cannot comprehend the fact, but the priest has no wish.

Kotomine Kirei does not need the power of the Holy Grail.

All he has is a thorough inquiry.

The Holy Grail merely answers one's wish.

It is a machine to create the desired outcome for one's own question.

Is there a meaning in obtaining the answer that one wishes for?

"Kotomine. Let me ask again. You really have no interest in the Holy Grail?"

"I have no interest in a machine that grants wishes. The same should go for you, Gilgamesh. Our goals are not our wishes. We are merely seeking pleasure because it is more fun that way.

It is like eating food. A wish is something that is answered. But humans will not be saved if a wish grants itself."

The priest keeps staring up at the statue.

――――And beyond it.

To ten years in the past, when he still had a wish.

The man is a child his father was gifted with on a pilgrimage in 1967.

The name Kirei is supposedly a word of a prayer.

The father named his son in the hope he would be pure and beautiful.

The boy grew up according to his expectations. Even as a young child, he had morals and good sense, showing such great insight that people thought he was precocious.

The father was delighted to be blessed with a great successor, and the son knew of his father's delight.

It is a great pleasure for a parent to know his child is gifted. That must have been why the man considered him valuable.

―――Understanding this, the boy grew just as his father expected.

There was no doubt.

His inability to love his father was unrelated to meeting the man's expectations.

The boy named Kirei grew up healthy.

......But there was one point.

He could not understand the "beauty" of which his father spoke.

―――One morning, he realized the inconsistency.

He woke up, raised his head, and knew.

He was not sure why he understood at that moment.

No, he wondered why it took him so long to realize.

In either case, he knew what he had forgotten.

His father prayed for him to be beautiful and named him Kirei.

That had always been his question.

The things his father considered beautiful...

The boy had never considered beautiful.

It was as simple as that.

He considered moths beautiful instead of butterflies.

He considered poisonous plants beautiful instead of roses.

He considered the evil beautiful instead of the good.

He had a common man's sense of morality, recognizing that it is correct to be good.

But by his nature, the boy was only interested in the exact opposite.

Nobody can understand the agony he felt.

Even Kotomine himself was never certain whether it was agony or not.

But he worked hard.

He tried to be pure and beautiful, and pursued something he did not have from the start.

Shaving away the skin, ripping off the flesh, and dislocating the bones.

He even tried looking within his body for what he could not find in his mind.

His father spent over ten years on his pilgrimage wearing thorned shoes.

The distance he walked could stretch to the moon.

It was not for physical pain. For missionaries, the mental pain is far more significant.

The boy abstained from eating during their pious act.

If he was a sinner by nature, then according to the morals he believed in, he needed to punish himself to maintain balance in the world.

Ten years passed.

Unable to reach the epiphany he sought, he arrived at a single conclusion in its place.

It was simple.

In short, he did not have the sense to feel normal happiness.

Good matters that people consider right and find happiness in.

Philanthropy, trust, glory, safety.

Such matters did not delight him, and it's just that he was born with the deficiency.

All he took pleasure in was the suffering of others.

Murder by others, love and hatred of others, degradation of others.

Such negative concepts were the only things that made him feel happiness.

...His misfortune was carrying a sense of morality, even when he had such a mind.

The child understood at a young age that he was not in accord with the world, and he tried his best to overcome it.

He did not surrender to his condition by indulging in twisted pleasure.

He tried to save himself, one who could not find happiness in any normal way, by turning himself into a normal person.

And the path was his creed; to become a priest and preach life like his father.

――――It is said that God forgives everything.

So he thought God would even save someone "who is not born with it" like himself.

But the result was tragic.

He abode by the rules of God, followed the law, and lived modestly, but he could not find any pleasure greater than the pain of others.

He believed in the church's teaching that forbade immorality, yet immorality was all he had.

But there was no anguish there.

From the beginning, he sought after something that did not exist.

He did not lose something he had, so there was no reason for him to grieve.

The only thing that concerned the priest as he matured was the question "why?"

Yes―――at every crossroads of his life.

The pleasure of committing crimes.

One could understand if he reveled in his own corruption, satisfying his urges by committing crimes himself.

Wealth gained from evil deeds.

It would make sense if he entrapped others out of greed and obtained wealth.


What was wrong with him to not even have the option of turning from good to evil?

Who could possibly be born a defective being and end his life still detached from the world?

Do they not come into this world with the premise that they harm the world?

Call of good sense.

Acknowledgment of morals.

Trial of justice.

Every one of these conclude that evil should not exist.

――――But what about it?

If it should not exist, why are such things created?

―――That is right.

If one has a deficiency, one should not be born.

The world hates evil and removes the faults.

But something that was never wanted was given life.

There are beings that exist to be hated and die.

――――The man inquired where the crime was.

His reward for years of anguish and blind devotion was not salvation.

Just... "why?"

It is a pure question, and also anger towards something unknown.

"Then why did you become a Master? You do not need the Holy Grail if you have no wish."


The inquiring words bring him back to the present.

The priest―――Kotomine Kirei nods in self-derision.

"I did not need the Holy Grail. I was just interested in what was inside it.

I sought the Holy Grail ten years ago because it tried to exist.

No matter what it may be, I bless anything that tries to come into existence. That is my job."

"Hah. Is that the case even if you have no interest in what is born?"

"...Of course. Even in the last Holy Grail War, I was not interested in the Holy Grail or its contents. All I had back then was hatred towards a person who was the exact opposite of me."

But the priest ponders.

He can only find pleasure in others' suffering, but he is interested in the end of this Holy Grail War.

Zouken's actions behind the scenes.

Another Holy Grail that is about to be born.

Someone called "all evils of this world" was brought into existence by the people, but not wanted by the people.

If it would conceive such a thing, maybe that is――――

"――――The whereabouts of good and evil. Something that was stuffed in the shell, but never hatched."

The Holy Grail cannot give answers.

The wish-granting machine fulfills its owner's desire.

So no revelation can be obtained even if someone without a wish obtains it.


"What if I do not ask for answers, but instead create something from the Holy Grail that can give the answer?"


The man narrows his eyes.

The priest is smiling in front of the statue.


That smile is that of a dying woman.

That expression is worn by a man with no interest or desire.

"...The answer should come soon. If this question is a blasphemy to God..."

His eyes aren't showing joy.

The priest, like an angel that fell to the ground...

"―――I shall pledge before God.

With all my might, I shall question the Lord even unto death――――"

...Looks up at the distant sky with cursing eyes.

Scene 26 Sweet & spicy

I trudge up the hill.

The town is unlively.

It's still eight or nine o'clock, but the town is desolate and devoid of any human presence.

"――――, ――――!"

Before I know it, I'm stopping and leaning against a wall.

My left arm is burning.

Maybe my tension went away by being alone, but my left arm started to hurt ever since I got to this hill.

"――――Well, of course. Someone else's arm is attached to me, so no wonder it hurts."

...I can't get my breathing together.

My arm gets hotter with every step.

When it gets hotter than my normal temperature, pain attacks my chest from my arm.

"Oh... So that's where it hurts instead of the arm, huh?"

I lean on a fence and take a deep breath.

...I think I understand where the pain is coming from.

Basically, it's trying to cool off.

I don't know how, but my left arm gets hotter every time it moves.

When it overheats, the arm sends the excess to the rest of my body.


That heat is enough to burn me, causing the pain.

The heat enters my body with a sharp pain, and it's more like a cut than a burn.

Every time I feel the red dizziness, I feel like I'm getting a long knife inserted from my shoulders and churned inside of me.

"Guh――――haa, ha――――...!"

...It's not something I can bear many times.

I've had my stomach torn by Berserker and my ribs crushed by Rider.

Even with such experiences in mind, the prospect of getting stabbed by my own body sends a chill through me.

"It's fine, calm down――――it'll calm down if I don't let it get hotter――――"

I try to relax while looking up at the sky.

It's been twenty minutes since I parted with Tohsaka and Illya.

I should've been home by now, but I can't let Sakura see me like this.

...I have to keep the abnormality of my left arm to myself.

"―――Damn Kotomine. What did he mean, it wouldn't interfere with my ordinary life? This can't be handled easily―――"

I place my hand on my left shoulder and press against the arm covered in red cloth.

Hard and rigid as steel, it doesn't even budge.


I've stopped sweating, and my breathing is back to normal.

It's getting late, so I should quickly go home and see Sakura while I still look well――――

"I'm home!"

After taking a deep breath, I holler out and enter my house.

"...Oh... Welcome home, Senpai."

Maybe Sakura's been waiting all this time, because she's already at the entrance.

"...? You don't look lively. I'm glad you're welcoming me home, but I can't be happy when you're making a face like that."

I take off my shoes and go up into my house.

I want to rest for today.

I'll fill her in on what's happened today after I drink a cup of tea in the living room.

"...Wait, I can't do that. I have to tell her what's going on first."

Tohsaka will be coming soon.

I have to tell her about what's going on beforehand, or she'll be on guard against Tohsaka.

"Sakura, it's about what happened today."

"...Senpai. Aren't you going to say anything about that?"


Sakura says something with difficulty.

"What do you mean?"


She keeps silent.

She's looking at my left arm.

"Oh, you mean this? Yeah, I'm sure you're surprised if it looks like this."

It's covered with cloth that doesn't look anything like bandages.

Even if she doesn't know what went on, she would assume something happened to my arm.

"Yeah, I injured it a bit. But it moves fine, and it's all right now. This cloth is just a bother, but Kotomine told me not to take it off.

Well, he's the one who treated me, so I'm going to obey him."

I pat my left arm to show her it's all right.

...But Sakura is even more silent now.

"Sakura...? It's really fine. It looks worse than it is. It's just a scratch. It'll heal right away, so you don't need to worry――――"

"I-It can't be just a scratch...! Your arm's gone now! So how can you tell me that...!?

I won't fall for such an obvious lie! Or are you not telling me because it's meaningless...!?"


Her reply is like fire.

...My insensitivity leaves me speechless.

I haven't even considered how Sakura felt all day today, waiting for me here.


"Oh...... I'm sorry, Senpai. I-I didn't mean to blame you. ...You were so reckless and didn't care about yourself, so I..."

"―――No. Well, you're right, but you're wrong.

I'm not mad because you yelled at me. ...Um, this is the first time I've seen you seriously mad, so I was surprised and was contemplating my actions."

"Eh... Contemplating...?"

"Yeah. It's certainly not good to bluff. All the more if it's to you. ...I probably didn't want to look bad in front of you. That's why I bluffed and tried to act normal.

But now that I think about it, that looks worse. It's natural for you to get mad."

"Oh... No, you never look bad."

I do look bad.

...Man, don't tell Sakura about it so she doesn't get worried?

No, I was just putting on a show to look tough.

"―――Yeah, I'm sorry, Sakura. I lost.

My arm turned out fine, but I couldn't be of use to you."

"Oh―――that's not true...! You were splendid! I-I didn't see it, but you looked really good!"

"Ugh... No, I really was pathetic, so it hurts me if you say that. I couldn't save Illya like I'd planned, and all I could do was come running home."

"...No. But you still came home. I'm really happy because you kept your promise."

"Oh――――yeah. That's good."

I scratch my head.

...But, well...

I'm embarrassed, but happy at the same time.

"...You're right. I guess being alive is good enough."

"――――Yes. You're good-looking. I fell in love with you all over again."


Sakura must have cheered up if she can say something like that with a big smile.

"Uh...... um."

I don't know how to reply to something like that, so...

"Um, what should I say, Tohsaka?"

"Who knows? If you want my opinion, I just don't want you two flirting too much at the door."

...I ask Tohsaka, who is standing behind me.


Our voices overlap.

Sakura and I both jump back at the same time.

"S-Since when were you there, Tohsaka――――!?"

"Why are you here, Tohsaka-Senpai?"

And we give the same reaction again.

"'Since when?' I thought you'd be done filling her in already, but instead I find the two of you having a lovers' quarrel. Geez, do you even understand our situation, Shirou?"

Tohsaka sets down a large bag next to the door.

Behind her is...

Illya, silently radiating a strange pressure.

"I-I don't mind if you want to continue where we left off yesterday, Tohsaka-Senpai.

I'll fight you as Matou's magus as long as Senpai's protecting me."

Sakura clenches her fists and glares at Tohsaka.

...Well, it's more like a frog desperately opposing a glaring snake.

"......Geez. So you haven't heard anything about it?

Look, Sakura. I'm going to put on hold what to do with you. My first priority is to defeat Zouken. We can settle our match after that. ...Well, we won't need to fight after Zouken's defeated, so everything should be fine as long as we can defeat him."

"Eh――――then you're..."

"I'm going to ally with you―――no, with Shirou ―――to defeat Zouken. So it'd be a waste to live separately, right? So I'm going to stay over here and train Shirou. It'll be hard work if I want him to become strong in a short time."

"So I'm going to borrow Shirou for a while. It's going to be rough, but you two don't mind, right?"


Tohsaka Rin sets a schedule even I haven't heard about.

"H-Hold on, Tohsaka. That's too sudden――――"

"Y-You can't do that...!

Nee... no, Tohsaka-Senpai. What right do you have to say that!?"

".........I have to be mentally prepared first, you know?"

I stutter off.

Of course, my opinion is dismissed by Sakura's voice and Tohsaka's glance.

"Oh, so it's fine as long as I have the right? Then it's even less of a problem. It's because of me that he's alive.

Shirou has to do what I say until he repays the favor. You'll give me a place to live if I ask, and you'll make meals for me if I ask, right?"


Tohsaka. Those lines could bring on a big misunderstanding.

"No way... I-Is that true, Senpai...?"

"―――Yeah. I want to object, but what she's saying is true."


"And it's better to have more allies, right? We know Zouken is after you. With Tohsaka's help, we can definitely protect you."

...And Tohsaka is Sakura's older sister.

If possible, I want them to be together, not fighting.

"......All right. I understand if you say so."

Sakura averts her gaze.

Scene 22 Have not experienced Illya

"Then it's decided. I'm coming in.

Come on, Shirou, show me the guest room. I had my eyes on the guest room in the outbuilding last time I was here. Oh, where do you want, Illya?"


"Illya? Why are you spaced out? You were so happy we were going to stay at Shirou's house."

"...That's not true. I was never happy."

A weak voice.

Illya hangs her head and stares at the floor.

...As if saying the small step up is a towering wall.


Let me ask. Where is that woman sleeping?"


What happened to her depressed attitude? Illya's now glaring at Sakura.

"...? Um, Sakura's sleeping in the guest room in the outbuilding."

"I see. Then you can go to the outbuilding by yourself, Rin. I don't care where I am, as long as it's not in the outbuilding."

"Is that so? Then I guess you can have the Japanese-style room."

They're carrying on a relaxed conversation, and it sounds like they're close enough now to call each other by name.

Scene 23 Have experienced Illya

"Then it's decided. I'm coming in.

Come on, Shirou, show me the guest room. I had my eyes on the guest room in the outbuilding last time I was here. Oh, where do you want, Illya?"

"I don't care, but I don't want to be near that woman."

"Is that so? Then I guess you can have the Japanese-style room."

They're carrying on a relaxed conversation, and it sounds like they're close enough now to call each other by name.

Scene 24 Sisters(III)

"Oh yeah. Sakura, this is Illya.

Berserker's defeated, but we managed to save Illya. We're going to have her stay here like Tohsaka, but please give her your best regards."

I introduce Illya to Sakura, and Sakura to Illya.

"Hello, Sakura. I hear you're the daughter of Makiri, but I won't look down on you. It seems you're Shirou's acquaintance, so I'll specially treat you like a human being."

"...You're right. Then I'll act like you do."


That's the entirety of their introduction.

Illya follows after Tohsaka to the living room.



Sakura watches her go with cold eyes.

Dinner commenced like a storm.

...No, it's misleading to use the word storm.

That was more like a calm wind. Since there was no wind, I didn't feel the passage of time, and dinner ended like that.

The atmosphere was painfully tense.

"I'll cook dinner. It's like having soba to celebrate a move."

Tohsaka made dinner by herself after that. I hate to say it, but it tasted better than mine. Sakura might just be even with her in Western food, her specialty.

"――――Y-You're good at cooking, Tohsaka-Senpai."

Sakura was torn apart in shock, and she started eating silently.

I couldn't do anything extra because I was worried about things like Tohsaka's food, the fact that I'm eating Tohsaka's hand-made meal, Sakura's dejection, Illya's tension, and Sakura's tension.

As a result, I couldn't taste how good Tohsaka's meal was. I was just made to realize how perfect Tohsaka is throughout the hour.


"I need to prepare my room, so I'm heading off.

I'll give you the details tomorrow morning, so you should rest for tonight."

Tohsaka even washes the dishes perfectly, then heads out.

"I'm going to my room too. Everyone who went to the forest is tired, so your body won't last unless you get some sleep."

...It must be an insinuating remark to Sakura, who stayed at this house today. Illya speaks without looking at Sakura and gets up.

"...Man, what's up with her?"

Tohsaka is just as expected, but Illya's acting strange.

She's acting as cold towards Sakura as she did towards me the first time we met.

"Why is Illya so aggressive towards Sakura? Do the Einzbern and Makiri families not get along?"

According to Kotomine, Einzbern, Makiri, and Tohsaka are noble families of magi who started the Holy Grail War.

It seems the Einzberns were the highest ranked, so from her point of view, Tohsaka and Sakura must be below her.

"...Man. Don't misunderstand, okay? Illya's saying that because she's moody, but you'll get along with her if you start talking to her.

She's just really shy... Sakura?"

Sakura doesn't reply.

She shakes her head back and forth, and gradually starts falling back――――


I grab her shoulders to stop the fall.

"...Huh, Senpai? Why the scary face?"

...Sakura hasn't noticed.

She looks at me like nothing happened, completely oblivious to her near-collapse.

"No, it's nothing much."

I let go of her.


That must be why she noticed.

"...I'm sorry. I fell asleep because I'm a bit tired."

She apologizes for something she doesn't know about.

"...Well, it's only been a day. You should rest too. Let's listen to Tohsaka and sleep for today. We don't have to push ourselves to stay up."

"Y-You're right, I'll gladly go with that idea. I'll be up and well tomorrow if I get a good night's sleep.

I'll cook breakfast tomorrow since Tohsaka-Senpai treated us tonight. I'm going to get back at her by cooking breakfast you've trained me in."

Sakura smiles jokingly and gets up.

...She looks to be standing steadily.

It won't change anything to follow her to the guest room.

Sakura seems well, so I have to believe in her.

"Yeah. Take Tohsaka down a peg.

You're our last hope. We're cornered unless we can strike back here."

"Please leave it to me. I'll make sure to give her a punch."

"I'm glad I can count on you. ...I'll give you what little help I can.

We'll sleep early today and meet at the kitchen at six o'clock tomorrow. Is that fine?"

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

Sakura bows and heads to the porch.


"―――Um, Senpai. Please don't tell Nee-san about what happened earlier."

Sakura speaks in a tense voice without turning around.

"I know. You just fell asleep, so it's nothing to tell Tohsaka."

"――――Okay. Good night, Senpai."

...She closes the shouji.

Sakura leaves without turning around.


She must have been talking about the fact that she almost collapsed.

Sakura hasn't recovered as much as she thinks.

Kotomine said she won't last more than a few days.

Even ignoring what Zouken will do to her, she is unstable.

That's why Sakura's trying to act fine.

As if telling us...

That she's all right, and that we don't need to worry about her.

"...Nee-san, huh?"

Sakura says that word only when she's alone with me.

And only when she's feeling faint-hearted.

...Sakura calls Tohsaka "Nee-san" when she can't suppress her cries for help.

Their complicated upbringing created a wall between them.

They may be able to return to being normal sisters if that wall is destroyed.

That might be the best thing I can do for Sakura right now.

"...Yeah. They're acting awkward, but they show some hope."

This situation was dumped in our laps, but it may be a good opportunity after all.

Scene 25 Choice

"――――――――, So hot."

I wake up.

My pajamas are drenched in sweat, and my futon is kicked away.

I wipe my forehead and feel that it's wet with sweat.


...I can't think straight.

My brain might be fried from the midsummer-like heat.

I can't figure out what time it is or where I am, no matter how hard I think.


I go out into the yard.

I want to cool off my body more than anything.

...I don't know if the heat is coming from the room or my body.

I'm too lazy to think, so I'll sleep in the shed tonight.

It's cold there, at the very least.

It doesn't matter if it's hot or...

"Guh――――, ah――――!"

A sudden, sharp pain brings me to my knees.

"――――. Ow――――"

I stay crouched, breathing heavily.

...I wake up.

I squeeze my left arm, the cause of the heat and the pain.

The Shroud is still wrapped around it.

The red cloth is restraining my arm.

I can move it, but it's wrapped so tight that the circulation is restricted.

Maybe this cloth is the cause of the pain.

"Maybe my arm's just as it was if I take it off."

The wild idea sounds very attractive.

First of all, I never saw my arm destroyed or transplanted.

It's not that I don't trust that priest, but I'm sure he makes mistakes too.

Maybe nothing is wrong with my arm, and my real arm will be there if I take off this cloth.

My arm isn't steel.

The cloth is just making my arm stiff, so if I remove it――――

Scene 26 Release it

―――My normal arm should be there.

Wha I can't brea my nerves, my nerves

It hurts

I'm alive but where is my sense

It's cold

Death―――― hurry I have to quickly get it back on

It's scary

The arm below the cloth is

It's black

An arm that is not mine――――

"What――――was I doing?"

What was I doing?

I unwrapped the cloth because of this sudden idea.

I don't understand what happened after that.

What has been done to me.

What will be done to me.

It only happened a few seconds ago, but I can't remember at all――――

"――――This is bad. It's really..."

I'll die if I release it.

The priest's words were true.

I don't know what'll happen, but what's under this cloth is not mine.

"......Forget about it. It's just that my arm doesn't move. ...If I think about it any more, I'll..."

I'll slow down because of fear.

That's not allowed.

Archer's arm wasn't transplanted onto me so that I could cower in fear.

"...That's right. I have to think about Sakura instead of my arm."

Sakura wasn't that different from this morning, but I don't know when she might collapse.

...I have to defeat Zouken and obtain the Holy Grail before that.

I have to think about how to do that.

A way to beat Zouken and Assassin with one arm.

...No, they aren't the only enemies.

There are the mysterious enemies too.


I don't know their circumstances.

I don't know what that black shadow is, nor if Saber became Zouken's Servant.

All I know is that she's my enemy now.


...To be honest, I know.

We have no chance of victory.

I don't know what this pain will be like in the future.

The difference in our powers is overwhelming, and I'm not even sure about myself.

How can I protect Sakura in such a state――――?

Scene 27 Do not release it.


I release the depression in my lungs.

Such a ridiculous story.

Why believe in such a convenient deception?

I bet Tohsaka will get really mad before she laughs at me if she saw me like this.

"...It's fine. It's just that my arm doesn't move, so it's not a big deal. I have other things to worry about."

Sakura is a bigger problem than my arm.

She seems well, but I don't know when she might collapse.

...I have to defeat Zouken and obtain the Holy Grail before that.

I have to think about how to do that.

A way to beat Zouken and Assassin with one arm.

...No, they aren't the only enemies.

There are the mysterious enemies too.


I don't know their circumstances.

I don't know what that black shadow is, nor if Saber became Zouken's Servant.

All I know is that she's my enemy now.


...I know the truth.

We have no chance of victory.

I don't know what this pain will be like in the future.

The difference in our powers is overwhelming, and I'm not even sure about myself.

How can I protect Sakura in such a state――――?

Scene 28 Rider's inquiry


I stand up at the sound of footsteps.

I know who it is without looking.

The Servant in a black outfit is silent like always.

She usually doesn't make a sound when she walks, but I'm sure she wanted me to hear her coming.

"What do you want, Rider?"


Rider looks down at me silently.


This is totally unrelated, but Rider is tall. There's something wrong with me too for noticing it now.

"―――What is so funny, Shirou? I have not said anything yet."

"Huh...? Oh, no. You're taller than me, right? Even though we've seen each other many times, I just noticed. I was laughing at myself for how slow I was."

"I see. You seemed like you were in pain earlier, but it appears I worried needlessly."


It might be just me, but Rider sounds angry.

"Anyway, Rider. Were you the one who saved me today? I don't remember, but I think it was you that carried me to the church from the forest."

"...Yes. It was me. Sakura told me to protect you. I only obeyed her order as her Servant."

"―――I see. That was a big help, but that means Sakura used magical energy to use you, right?


"Yes. There is now even less of her scarcely remaining magical energy. I will consume Sakura if she uses me like she did today."

Rider plainly speaks.

There's no pity or hatred towards Sakura.

Rider is only stating the natural fact as a Servant.

"Can I ask you something, Rider?"

"Of course. If you have a question, please ask it."

"...All right. Are you going to kill Sakura if she loses her Command Spell?"

A Master that uses up her Command Spells is first targeted by her Servant.

If they have not established a relationship of mutual trust, Rider will mercilessly kill her Master, using her life to stay in this world until she can form another contract.

...Rider is protecting Sakura out of duty. I see no affection there.

That's why I want to know what Rider's feelings are.


"Tell me. Are you going to kill Sakura?"

"Yes. If Sakura wishes, I would consider killing her to end her agony. But Shirou, I wish for her to live."

"...! ――――Then you won't attack her even if she loses her Command Spell?"

"The binding of the Command Spell does not matter. I will protect Sakura willingly for as long as she remains a Master. I do like her."


"Yes. Is it that unexpected for me to have such an emotion?"

"Oh... I'm sorry, I misunderstood. You didn't look that way, so..."

"You do not need to apologize. I do not engage in proper conversation with Sakura, nor does she talk to me.

But Shirou. Servants are summoned by beings similar to them. You summoned Saber not by chance, but because you two are alike."

"Sakura and I are the same in that regard.

We are not talkative, so it is natural for us to have no conversation. We understand each other without a need for such things."

...I hear warm emotion in Rider's voice.

I imagined her to be cruel because of her appearance, but maybe Rider is actually quite gentle.

"...I see. Yeah, that's great. I'm glad you're on Sakura's side."

"I see. Then it is my turn.

Shirou. You do not know what kind of sufferings Sakura endured through. Do you know what she endured since she was adopted to the Makiri family?"


...There's no way I'd know.

Well, Kotomine told me what kind of things she went through.

"...I don't know. So I don't think I can say anything about it, nor should I mention it."


I'm a magus, and I know what kind of a person Zouken is.

It's easy to imagine what happened, and my imagination should be close to reality.

But――――I should not easily mention that I "understand".

"I thought as much. Sakura did her utmost to hide it from you. I would have killed you if you had claimed to understand."

"...Is that for Sakura's sake?"

"Yes. But it seems such measures were unnecessary.

You are inexperienced and clumsy, but what is at your core is something trustworthy. That must be why you are a salvation for Sakura."

"...For a long time, Sakura knew only resignation. She did not feel pain or suffering, but accepted everything as it was.

But she changed after meeting you, Shirou. You made her regain the emotions she had lost.

The biggest emotions she regained were pain and suffering, but she only had resignation before, and you were the only salvation for her."


I don't really know what Rider is trying to say.

I cannot understand what Sakura has been through, so I don't know why she likes me.

But Rider's words are true because she shares her feelings with Sakura, her Master.

As if speaking for Sakura,

Rider quietly states...

"Shirou. You said you will make Sakura happy.

But for her, these two years were happiness itself."

...With quiet sorrow and appreciation.

"That is all I wanted to ask you.

Happiness for Sakura is to have you alive and for you to be by her side. There is nothing else she wishes for."

Rider presses the question on me through her blindfolds.

...Asking me if I understand what that means.

For Matou Sakura, the fact that Emiya Shirou is fighting threatens her happiness.

So Rider is condemning me for what I'm planning to do with my body.

"But I――――"

...I tightly grasp my stiff left arm.

If I can fight with one arm, I should.

I swore to save Sakura.

I chose to fight for Sakura, and not to stop the war.

So―――if I stop fighting now, I'll be nobody.


...Silence falls.

Rider is silent, and I have no reply.

How long has it been?

"......Are you on Sakura's side, Shirou?

No matter what may happen in the future?"


I don't even need to think about Rider's question.

Emiya Shirou chose to be Matou Sakura's ally.

Then I should nod without hesitation.


I understand, but I can't express my feelings.

'―――No matter what may happen in the future'

Because I realize what those words mean.

"...Fair enough. You do not need to push yourself here, as the answer will eventually come to you. You should be prepared when that time comes."

Rider leaves as if melting into the night.

I watch her disappear, then look up at the sky.



I couldn't answer her because I realized.

The mysterious shadow.

The unstable left arm.

The ideal I sought for years, then threw away.

Everything is telling me.

That once I obtain the Holy Grail, it can make any wish come true.

But―――my wish to provide Sakura happiness is an illusion that can never become reality.

Scene 29 Nightmare(I) [has wacky len]

I see a dream inside the breeding box.

Egg's shell.

Black yolk.

There's no memory of the sea of love.

Reaching the placenta.

The line does not exist from the beginning.

Labor expulsion is not allowed, and is melted into love.

There's no memory of miscarriage.

Swaying as I walk.

Wavering brain is empty,

and the grinding intention is forgotten.

Shivering and trembling.

The dried limbs are like paper balloons.

Rolling across the ground.

Floating comes after maturing.




"Hey, look ▊▊ that ▊gi▊, is▊wet▊?"

Someone approaches with squeaking.

"Hey, it's a pretty good-looking woman. ▊▊▊ barefeet? Damn ▊▊▊ she's ▊▊▊]"

People approach me.

"It's ▊▊▊▊. ▊▊ bored ▊▊▊ want to ▊▊ with us?"

Dried up laughing voices.

I do not remember tempting them.

I am scared, so I should go home.

"Hey ▊▊ why ▊▊ running ▊▊"

"Hold on ▊▊▊▊▊▊? Hey ▊▊ she re▊ ▊!"

"I bet ▊▊ is. You won't walk na▊in ▊▊ town ▊▊"

"Haha▊▊ha! Yeah ▊▊ that's ▊▊ we need to protect ▊▊ or ▊▊?"

"Agreed! I ▊▊ to protect ▊▊ socially ▊▊ wea▊▊!"

"▊▊▊▊ Ha▊▊▊▊ha▊▊▊▊▊ha▊▊!"




They follow me.

They echo loudly in my head,

so my stomach growls.


"Hey ▊▊▊▊ wha▊▊▊, w▊▊▊gih▊!?"

"A-Ah ▊▊▊▊ don't run, help ▊▊ ehhh!"

"Ha, ha, ha, where are you gu――――


"Ow, ow, no, I-I'm sorry, i, hiaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!?"

I see a dream of a breeding box.


I squashed a bug.