FSN HF Day 11 (EN)

Scene 00 Illya Warning

――――Light that destroys my eyes.

The strong headwind pushes my mind and body away from the entrance.

The light is too strong for me to perceive what it is.

My body, exposed to the wind, is rusting with each passing second.

How long will I stay here?

An infinity that is not even a second, and an instant close to eternity.

With no sense of time, years change to seconds.

Therefore, my body is eternally exposed to the wind, polished and clouded like a mirror, and crumbling apart.


Go forward.

This place is painful.

A zero gravity without any handhold.

An airless vacuum.

The world of wind erosion is not a place one can stay in human form.

That's why I move forward.

My volume doubles with each step I take, and it gets harder to breathe.

One step.

Two steps.

The third step is impossible.

I can't go any farther. The wind gets stronger the more I advance, tearing at my body.

But I have to move forward if I want to escape.

The wind is coming from the other side of the light.

The light is the entrance and the exit.

――――This place hurts.

So I have to quickly get to the other side.

A stronger wind is there once I pass the entrance.

Once past the exit, this pain would become lighter.

"Ha――――ah, ahh――――!"

I reach out my hand.

I reach out with all my might.

The light is in front of me.

But I can't reach it.

The polar light destroy my eyes.

I can't reach it no matter what.

It hurts.

I can't reach it even if I cough up blood and reach out.


It's only a meter away.

So why?

Why does it feel like I'm trying to head to the distant polar lights?



I wake up.

"You can't. You'll die if you take it off just because it's painful."


I blankly stare at Illya, standing before me.

"Illya...? Why are you in my room?"

"Because my room is close to yours. I woke up early, so I came to look at you."


It seems she woke up before me and came here.

I don't care about that, but maybe Illya did so because――――

"...Hm. Was I having a nightmare?"

"Yup. You were moaning in pain, trying to pull that cloth off your arm.

Well, I came here because I expected you to do that. I suppressed the pain while you were asleep, so it feels better now, right?"


I now notice that my right hand is on the cloth covering my left arm.

.....Oh man.

If Illya hadn't come, I might've taken it off in my sleep.

"――――I see. Thank you, Illya."

"You don't have to thank me. It's between you and me.

And I promised, right? That I'll help you when you're in trouble."


Her smile captivates me.

I know Illya's just saying that out of kindness, but...

"Fufu, and I wanted to see your sleeping face. You were in pain, but your were trying your best to endure it. You were so cute."

I slam the brakes on my panicking heart.

"――――Illya. It's not good to go into someone else's room without permission.

Mornings and evenings are out of the question. I'm an ordinary guy, so it's troubling."

"Oh, really? How is it troubling? I want to know in detail."

"Ugh―――even that question is troubling.

First of all, you're a girl, so you can't go into a guy's room in the morning. It's dangerous. It's really dangerous. You're not just endangering yourself, you're putting the innocence of an adolescent boy at risk too."

"Really? But that makes even less sense. What's so bad, and what's so dangerous about it? I won't stop unless you tell me why."

The silver-haired girl puts her hand down, gets on all fours, and...

"See, I'm closer to you now. So, why is it troubling for me to come near you in the morning, Shirou?"

"Y-Y-Y-Y-You idiot...!!!!!"

I roll backward head-over-heels while keeping ahold of my futon.

That was close.

Guys experience a certain physiological phenomenon every morning.

I could be given a man's mark of shame if she comes close to me in such an outf――――



I hit the back of my head hard.

"Ah, guh――――that's why... I said it's dangerous."

I make up an excuse.

"O-Okay. I'm sorry, Shirou.

...Um, did it hurt...?"

It hurts.

I saw stars and my head is throbbing, but I can't be whining if I hear a voice like that.

"No, I'm fine. It was a good wake-up call, so don't worry about it."

I shake my head and get up.

My morning issue has calmed down thanks to that.

"...All right. It's about time, so I'm going to go cook breakfast. What do you want, Illya? If there's anything you don't like, say so now."

"Eh? No way, you can cook!?"

"Well, I can cook like everyone else. I don't know about Western snacks... but I guess I can manage pancakes."

Illya's face lights up.

It seems the fact that I can cook is a delightful thing for Illya.

"Hmm... Then do you want to make it together? I thought I'd go get you after breakfast's done, but it's better for you to be in the living room if you're awake."

"Really!? Yeah, I'll go! I want to see you wearing an apron!"

"I see. Then let's beat Tohsaka together with the three of us.

I promised Sakura we'd be cooking together this morning, so we'll have the strength of three with your help."

"――――No. I'm not going if Sakura's there. You go by yourself, Shirou."

"Eh... Why? Because Sakura's there? Do you hate Sakura?"

"No, I actually rather like her. But I can't approve of her because she's not suited for you."

"...? What do you mean by not suited, Illya?"

"It's true. You ought to know why, but you're trying so hard not to notice it. Telling you now won't do any good."

Illya goes out into the hallway.

"And I don't know what kind of trance you were in, but don't keep charging ahead recklessly. You're watching Archer's magecraft, not Shirou's magecraft.

...I know you'll eventually obtain the magecraft, but there's only the possibility right now. Your body will destroy itself from within if you try projection in such a state."


I repeat Illya's word absentmindedly.

At that instant...

The cocking hammer goes down.

The dream I saw while I was treated.

I vaguely understand what it is and what it means.

――――It's probably...

Projection taken to the utmost limit, reproducing every weapon you've ever seen and making them your own.

"...That's right. Archer's Noble Phantasm is 'magecraft' that only he can use.

Archer is a blacksmith heroic spirit that can reproduce any weapon he sees. The power is something you can use too, now that you inherited his arm. You're probably not conscious of it now, but you'll remember the activation spell if you put your mind to it."

"But don't think about using it just because you can. That priest is right. If you remove the cloth and use projection even once, you will certainly die.

...So don't take it off, no matter what. I won't forgive you if you die like Kiritsugu. I'll never forgive you if you leave me alone before I kill you."

Illya leaves.

Her warning contains both caring strictness and murderous hostility.

Scene 01 Bad news

"Senpai, I'm done cleaning the turnip. How are the chicken wings going?"

"―――Yeah, I'm done skimming the foam. Let's cook it once we've cut those into four pieces."

"Okay. What are you doing with the curry powder, Senpai?"

"I'm making the sauce. We'll put it on the sardines. Even if Illya doesn't like fish, she should be able to eat it if it's curry flavored, right?"

"I see, you're smart, Senpai! Then I'll cut the fish, so please check the simmering."

"Huh? No, I can cut the sardine without the knife, so you don't have to. I'll ask for your help when I get to the center bone, so can you make simmered pumpkin with broth and soy sauce? I think we should have at least one sweet dish."

"Okay. Oh, you look like a sushi chef when you're cutting the fish one-handed like that, Senpai."

Sakura goes to the refrigerator.

Sakura must be feeling better after a good night's sleep, because she's in a good mood this morning.


And standing in the kitchen with her is fun for me too.

Sakura is thoughtful and is attentive to my needs, preparing things ahead of time.

It feels really good to cook with someone like that.

"Senpai? Sushi chef, your hands aren't moving."

"Hm? Oh, I was spaced out. We should hurry. It's almost seven o'clock."

I sigh so she can't see and continue cutting the sardine.

Sardine is soft, so it's better to use fingers than a knife. It's something even I, one with my left arm not moving, can manage to cook.

"But when did you learn such a technique? It's not normal to do it with just your right hand."

"It's not a technique. This is about timing and determination. I'm sure you can do it too if you try."

"Oh, is that so?"

"Yeah. Techniques are things like cutting apart a cow with a kitchen knife or making an ice sculpture.

Here, take care of the rest. We'll cook it after you're done, so put it in the bowl."

I move away from the cutting board and walk to the gas burner.

I put the frying pan over the fire and pour some oil onto it.

My body knows how to do this, so I do it absentmindedly.

"Um, Senpai...?"


I vaguely reply.

"...This might be none of my concern, but did something happen between you and Illya-san?"


My hand stops.

But it's only for an instant.

I'm sure Sakura didn't see my disturbance.

"Yeah. We talked before I came to the kitchen. Illya has a lot going on. I really don't know how to answer her."

"...Is that a problem as a Master?

Does Illya-san still want to fight?"

"No. I don't feel a will to fight from her. ...No, I don't think she had such a thing from the start. I think she tried to obtain the Holy Grail as the Master of Einzbern, but Illya had another goal.


...That goal disappeared long before the war even started.

Illya's goal.

Emiya Kiritsugu, the one she wanted to meet, died five years ago.

Then―――what can I do and what should I do in his place?

"Hey, Sakura. Is it all right if Illya stays here if she doesn't want to go back to her country?"

"Oh―――um. This is your house, Senpai. My opinion doesn't really matter."

"What are you saying? This is your house. I can't decide on something important like having Illya stay without consulting my partner."

"I――――I'm your partner...!?"

"Yeah. Who else would it be?"

Neither Illya nor Tohsaka can help me with cooking this perfectly.

"Sakura, the frying pan's ready."

I take the sardine Sakura prepared.

Sakura hands me the sardine with an airy motion.


What is it all of a sudden?

Did she get a fever again...?

"O-Okay, I understand...! I'll do my best to get along with Illya-san...!"

"―――Yeah, it'll be great if you can. Illya said she doesn't hate you, so you should be able to get along with her if you talk with her."

...Yeah, I'll be really happy if that happens.

After the Holy Grail War is over, Sakura and Illya will be here making breakfast without worry.

I'll pay any price for such a wish to come true――――

"Good morning. You two sure are up early on Sunday."


Something amazing just passed by.

"S-Senpai... did some strange person pass by just now?"

"...Ugh. If you saw it too, that means it wasn't just my imagination."

We timidly look into the living room.

The person that shambled over to the table glowers as she pours herself some tea and turns on the TV.

"...I'm surprised. Tohsaka-Senpai isn't a morning person..."


Wait, Sakura.

Doesn't someone who's not a morning person, um, look cuter?

Breakfast starts.

Sakura and I sit next to each other, while Tohsaka and Illya sit across from us.

"Oh, wow. This has some refined taste, Sakura. I guess this deserves to be eaten."

I don't know if Illya is attacking or praising Sakura.

"Geez. I usually don't eat in the morning."

Tohsaka complains as she eats the omelet.


...Then, for some reason, she silently starts concentrating on eating.


Breakfast continues quietly.

The only loud thing is the TV Tohsaka turned on, offfering many topics of information.


―――A familiar scene is on TV.

I can't be mistaken.

The TV is showing a baffling story about a park in Shinto.

"......A missing person in central park? ...A lot of blood around the area...?"

It's a pretty vivid incident.

An old man was jogging in the park, found a trace of blood, and reported it to the police.

A policeman came to the scene and found what appeared to be one person's worth of blood and pieces of the apparent victims.

...But it seems the pieces are just scraps of flesh, and that they don't even weigh fifty kilograms when gathered together.

"...The police are trying to figure out the four victims' identities... wait, why four people? There was only enough blood for one, right?"

"That's probably because the scattered flesh came from four people.

I'm sure there were only leftovers, but that must have been enough to figure it out."


By 'leftovers'... do you mean this is a Servant's―――Zouken's doing?"

"Who knows? I can't tell if Zouken had a hand in this. But I'm sure that shadow did this. See the corner of the screen? The grass has turned black. It's exactly like when the shadow appeared in the forest."


Tohsaka states simply.

But I'm not convinced for two reasons.

"Why? No matter what that shadow may be, it hasn't done anything like this before. It has sucked up magical energy from people, but it never, um..."

Directly killed people like this.

"...You're right. The only reason I can think of is that there aren't any enemies now. There aren't any Masters now that can defeat them straight-on. So that means they can do whatever they want without worrying about whose attention they may get, right?"

"―――Does that mean they're being indiscriminate?"

"...I don't know. I'm the one that said it, but it doesn't seem like it. Even if Zouken and that shadow are related, I'm sure this was an unforeseen accident.

I'll bet my omelet that Zouken is surprised to hear this news as well."

...Tohsaka's omelet is gone as she speaks.

Her hawk-like eyes are looking at the only untouched omelet on the table, mine.

"......Hm. Why do you think it's an unforeseen accident?"

"It's not cleaned up. With the blood aside, Zouken's not someone that would leave pieces of the dead body behind. In other words, Zouken was not at the scene, and that shadow was the only thing that ate there."

"―――I see. ...Then one more thing. How do they know there were four victims? There was only one person's worth of blood, and there was only one person's worth of flesh."

"It's the shape, not the weight. I'm sure there was four of something people only have one of. That way, you'd know how many victims there are without any identification.

See. If there were four left hands in a pool of blood, anyone would know how many victims there were."

Tohsaka states simply.


I imagine the scene and my appetite quickly goes away.

Scene 02 Future plans

After breakfast...

"Shirou. We have to do some things, so come with me."

Tohsaka takes me to the dojo.

I had no reason to refuse and I also wanted to talk to Tohsaka, so it was a timely offer.

It was, but...

"Hey. I only wanted Shirou. Why are you all following him?"

Tohsaka is unhappy at the unexpected guests.

"...Um, you're menacing, so I thought it's dangerous for Senpai to be by himself."

"Hey now. I made a pact with Shirou, so I won't attack him. You know that, so why did you follow us, Sakura?"

"B-Because it's my role to protect Senpai."

"...You declare, huh?

Then how about you? You should know what I'm going to do. Did you come to heckle me?"

"No. I'm here for the same reason as Sakura.

I know what you want to do, but I don't know how you're going to do it. I came to make sure you don't do anything strange to Shirou."

"...Oh well. I'm going to tamper with his body for his own good, so don't jump to conclusions and interfere, okay?

We don't have time to be taking things slow."

She must have prepared it before breakfast, as Tohsaka's bag is at the dojo.

It's full of equipment like what I saw at her house, and it's easy to guess what'll happen, but...

"Sorry. Can I say something beforehand?"

"What? Don't tell me now you don't want anything that hurts."

"Of course. Nobody wants anything that hurts.

Anyway, any normal person would run away after seeing these things with no explanation."

The other two nod.

I have two reliable supporters this time.

"I'm sorry I'm not explaining things to you. I know I'm not normal compared to you. You can go somewhere else if you have any complaints."


Tohsaka's sulking, unhappy about the three-on-one situation.

"No, I'm not complaining. I have a vague idea of what you might be doing. That's why I'm putting every trust in you. I'll trust you no matter what you tell me to do. I promised you last night, right?"

"H-Heh. Then why did you stop me?

If you don't have any questions, then sit and be quiet."

"No, this isn't about that. I want to make sure what our future course of action is. We have to decide now what we should be doing."

...Everyone's expression changes.

What I just mentioned is a problem we all postponed last night.

What we will fight against, and what we will do.

We can't back out after we make our decision.

No, we already can't back out, so this is just a statement of our resolve.


"I'm not going to take part in battles. I'll fight if someone attacks me, but I don't intend to start a fight myself. I don't know what'll happen even if I win this Holy Grail War."

"...I feel the same way as Illya-san. I don't think I can beat Grandfather.

The match is pretty much decided, so I don't think Grandfather will come attack us if we stay quiet here..."


...Tohsaka doesn't say anything.

I don't know what she's thinking, but I want to believe she has the same opinion as me, since she's not agreeing with Illya or Sakura.

"―――You're right. I agree with concentrating purely on defense.

Sakura stays here to defend against Zouken.

Rider is with Sakura, so she should be able to defend Sakura and Illya if she concentrates on defense."

"Tohsaka and I will try to come up with a way to defeat Zouken.

We'll be attacked eventually even if we stay here, and we can't leave them be. We don't know if something like this morning's news is going to happen again."

Tohsaka doesn't interrupt.

It means she intended for the two of us to fight Zouken, no matter what her true opinion may be.

"I can't ignore Zouken, but I can't ignore the shadow either. Tohsaka and I will start patrolling the town tonight, so Sakura and Illya are to stay here and keep watch."

I confirm the plan with everyone.


"W-What are you saying, Senpai...!?"

"Sakura...? What? It's nothing ridiculous, right?

Tohsaka and I are the only ones who can fight, so we have to beat Zouken."

"That's the ridiculous part...!

You can't use one of your arms anymore! Do you really know what that means...!?"


"...I don't get it. You're acting strange. Why are you going to fight even after what's happened to you?

You should know that things are out of your hands now because you actually took part in it. So why are you saying such a ridiculous thing?

I was relieved because I thought you wouldn't fight with one arm, so why―――"


Sakura is trembling.

She's hanging her head as she trembles at her words.

I don't know why she's trembling.

The only thing I can do is to answer her question.

"Sakura. I'm going to let you win. That's why I'm fighting.

Yes, I don't want to ignore Zouken and the shadow. But more than that, I want the Holy Grail. Nobody's making me do this. This is a selfish wish of mine."

―――That's right.

It's a selfish wish I had ever since I decided to be Sakura's ally and not everyone else's.

".........Is that for my sake?"

"―――Yes. It will be for your sake if we can remove the crest worm from your body."

"...It's all right, Sakura. If there's no chance of victory, we'll make a chance, and we won't fight while we don't have any chance of victory.

There's still danger even if we have a chance, but there's always a risk, so I can't promise you I won't get hurt.

―――But I'll definitely come back. I told you I'd protect you, right? So I can't fulfill my promise unless I'm by your side."

"Sen... pai..."

Sakura looks down painfully.

It looks like she's apologizing.

"――――All right, can you stop it there?

Our course of action's already determined, so it does no good to whine.

Sakura and Illya are to stay here. Shirou and I will patrol the town at night. We won't carelessly attack Zouken even if we find him. We'll chip away at their force only when we have a chance of victory.

That's our future course of action, right, Shirou?"

"Y-Yeah... It'd be great if that's your decision."

"――――Heh. I don't even need to tell you."

"And, Sakura. Kirei couldn't completely extract your crest worm, but he suppressed its action. So it can't run wild unless they use a drug on you like Shinji did.

But at the same time, Zouken can't be the winner as long as you stay here in this house. He's going to come take you sooner or later, so refusing to fight is not an option. How can you say you won't do anything knowing that?"

"That may be true, but―――Grandfather shouldn't do anything rough if we don't do anything―――"

"Sakura! Stop being so submissive. Zouken isn't your grandfather or your master. Do you still think he's human after all the terrible things he's done to you!?"

".........No. I've never thought he was human."

"Then prepare yourself. Shirou and I will be fighting outside, so you have to fight here too.

If Zouken attacks this place, you have to get away at any cost. The Holy Grail cannot be completed as long as Rider isn't defeated. You have a hope of being saved as long as Rider's alive."

Tohsaka's voice is firm.

...Is it the dignity of the older sister?

Sakura nods and replies that she understands.

Scene 03 Tohsaka Sensei's lecture on magic(Drastic measure edition)

And after that.

I ask why she brought me here to the dojo.

"Let's see. Why don't you get naked to start with?

No matter what we end up doing, nothing would go right unless I take a look at what kind of a body you have."

And she gives me a ridiculous reply.




I continue in a small voice because she's more surprised than I am.

"What? Is that such a shock, Sakura?"

"I-It is...! You want Senpai to be naked!? What are you thinking, Tohsaka-Senpai...!?"

"I'm thinking about Shirou, of course.

You're in danger, but Shirou's also in a lot of danger. You should know too that we have to get a lot of things done now."

"...That's true... but..."

"If you know, then don't butt in.

Hey there! Don't just stand there and take off your top! I'm going to put on a warding sign, so I can't do it if you keep your shirt on!"

Tohsaka glares at me.


But Sakura's stare is painful.

It's uneasily asking me if I'm going to go along with Tohsaka.

"Hurry up. We won't make it before tonight's patrol unless we give your body some time to familiarize itself with it."


This is no time to be embarrassed about something like this.

I don't want to take my clothes off, but taking off my top is like getting changed, so it shouldn't be a big deal.

"...Man. All right, Tohsaka. So, what do I do now?"

"Come here. I'll transplant a small part of my Magic Crest onto you."

"...! Over there!? You mean like this!?"

"Of course. I have to touch your body with my left hand, comprehend it, and share my warding crest with you. It'll tickle and hurt, but bear with me."

Tohsaka wiggles her fingers.


...I can't run away after coming this far.

I give up and go near Tohsaka.

...Um, Sakura's stare is more painful now.

"I'm going to start now, but let me confirm beforehand. I said before that I'll put a switch in you, but I won't do that.

In your state, it's too dangerous to be able to turn your Magic Circuit on and off so easily."

"O――――Okay, I got it."

I manage to reply with a high-pitched voice.

It's natural that I'm acting strange and can't breathe.

I'm naked, and Tohsaka is near me.

It'd be more strange not to be nervous!

"Hey. You don't seem to be calm. Are you listening to me?"

"――――I'm listening. I'm listening to you."

"......? All right, then.

So this operation is to suppress magical energy.

Your body is unstable right now, and we don't know when Archer's arm might flow magical energy into your body. I'm going to put needles into your left shoulder, belly button, and your throat, so that your left arm won't be connected to you unless you really want it to be."

"This is also a countermeasure against the shadow.

That thing sucks up magical energy just by being there. The sign I'm going to carve into you will also have resistance to magical energy, so you should be less burdened when facing that thing."

Then, Tohsaka places her hand on my chest.


I barely stop myself from jumping back.

"Oh, was it hot? Can you bear it? I'm going to transplant the Magic Crest from my arm, so I can't lower the temperature."

"No――――I don't care about it being hot or cold."

Tohsaka's hand is soft, and her touch sends a shudder through my heart.

Every time her slender fingers run across my chest, my temperature rises by a degree.

"......All right. I think I have a grasp of your chest. Next is your belly button, but this is going to hurt. I'm going to put my finger in, so try not to move. Don't worry, it won't injure you, and I won't move it around much."

"Hey――――what do you mean by move it, Toh... saka――――!"

My body convulses.

―――My stomach.

Having Tohsaka's hand on my stomach is bad enough, but something rigid tears through my skin and into my body――――!

"Haa――――h-hold on, that's, ba――――"

"I-I said it's going to hurt. Don't make noises like that, it's distracting. It makes me feel like I'm doing something wrong!"

"A-Are you stupid――――!?"

My face is going to get redder if you say something like that, you idiot!

"...Humph. I'm done with the belly button. All that's left is your shoulder and throat, so stay calm and don't run away."


I would really love to run away right now.

I would love to, but doing so would seem like I'm conscious of Tohsaka and I won't be able to excuse myself.

"Come on. I'm going to do the same thing to your shoulder, so suck it up. Grit your teeth and don't make any weird noises."

"O――――Okay. I'll try my best."

It's embarrassing, so I look away from Tohsaka.

It's not just my face that's blushing. I think my entire body's turning red.

I'm blushing even though I know this is only for magecraft, so I bet Tohsaka's having a hard time too.


How can I ever face Tohsaka again after committing such a disgrace...?

"All right, that's it. I'm going to put away the equipment, so you go cool yourself off."

Tohsaka grabs something that looks like a first-aid kit and goes to the corner of the dojo, where her bag is.


My face is still red, but I'm finally able to calm down and take a deep breathe.



Sakura twiddles her fingers, looking like she wants to say something.

"...Sakura? W-What's wrong?"

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

She takes a look at me.

Then she takes a breath, as if preparing herself...

"Um, Senpai...! W-We, um... made love, right!?"

...And she asks me a ridiculous question.


My face, which had finally calmed down, passes its boiling point and turns red again.


I feel dizzy.

Just recalling what happened that night is so stimulating that it makes me forget about our current situation.

So for Sakura to ask me fro confirmation like this, when I'm already off-balance from Tohsaka, is like getting hit twice as hard――――

"Um... Senpai?"



This isn't the time to be speechless.

"――――Yeah, I did make love to you."

"R-Right!? Then it's strange for you to lose your composure against Nee-san!"

Sakura looks up at me unhappily.

...I finally realize why her stare was so painful earlier. It's because she was sulking.

"I-I'm sorry. But Sakura, this had nothing to do with Tohsaka, and, um, it couldn't be helped."

"I-I know, but please bear with it! You're m-m-my lover!"

"―――――Ugh. I... know that, but..."

I couldn't fight against it.

I'm a guy, and I've admired Tohsaka since I got into this school, so I couldn't help it.

"...I'm sorry. I'll try to bear it next time. I'll do my best not to lose my composure."

"...Really? I'll get mad if this happens again next time."

She stares straight at me.

Repentant from the bottom of my heart, I tell her I'll do my best.


I only realized it just now, but...

Having three girls under the same roof might be a really stressful thing.

Scene 04 Sisters(IV)

It's eleven-thirty now.

With lunch coming up, the kitchen is filled with a noisy, forbidding atmosphere.

"Um, Tohsaka-Senpai. I'm thinking of making a dish that everyone can eat from. Do you have anything you don't like?"

In the kitchen...

With the refrigerator at her back, Sakura speaks timidly.

In response...

"I see. Then I'll make mapo tofu."

...Tohsaka cuts her off and selfishly starts cutting the tofu.

"―――They aren't getting along. What were you thinking, letting them cook?"

Illya sits Japanese-style on the cushion and speaks without reserve.

Hm. It seems even Illya can tell Tohsaka and Sakura are tense.

"It's just going to get worse if you leave them be.

You should know that, so how did you let it come to this?"

"It just sort of happened.

We were wondering about lunch. Tohsaka said she'd make it, and Sakura said it was her job. Neither one would back down, so I took both their ideas and suggested that they make lunch together."

"You said that? ...I see. No wonder they can't back out now."

Illya seems to understand and takes a sip of tea with proper manners.

As expected from a princess. She shouldn't know the proper etiquette, but she's elegant even with something as simple as this.

"But Shirou. Couldn't you have made lunch? Why did you get Rin and Sakura to do it?

Tohsaka and Matou are enemies, and Rin wants to kill Sakura."

"That was only up to yesterday. Tohsaka is working with us because she doesn't want to fight Sakura. And they aren't enemies. They get along, and I entrusted them with lunch because I thought it would go well."

"Huh―――they get along!?"

"...? Is that so surprising? Illya and I are friends even though we were enemies, right? Then it should be the same for Tohsaka and Sakura."

"Eh... Well, Shirou and I are special..."

"Being special has nothing to do with this. You'll understand if you watch. Tohsaka is being more blunt than usual, but she warns Sakura every time she does something wrong. It means that..."

"......She's concerned about her. But she's putting on a cold face and ignoring her because she doesn't want her to find out."

"Right. And Sakura knows that, so she's making mistakes she normally doesn't. She's concerned about Tohsaka too."

"...Now that you point it out, I can see it. Then what? They want to get along, but they're too embarrassed to start talking?"

I nod.

I don't know about Tohsaka, but I know how Sakura feels.

Sakura likes Tohsaka, and she wants Tohsaka to like her.

Or she would never call her Nee-san.

"...I see. So Rin is clumsy, in spite of her appearance."

Impressed, Illya murmurs and looks in the kitchen.


I follow her example and look in the kitchen.

They must be half done with the cooking.

Standing side-by-side in the small kitchen, Tohsaka and Sakura are making their dishes.



One holds the frying pan while the other holds the ladle, but neither says anything.

...And after a silence that even gets us nervous...

As expected from sisters, they start talking at the same time.

"What? Go ahead, I'll listen to whatever you have to say."

"Oh... um, it's really nothing. Didn't you want to say something?"

"...It's nothing. Well, different people cook differently, right? So I thought it might be useful if you can teach me some of your flavorings."

"Y-You're right. I'd love it if you could teach me your recipes, Tohsaka-Senpai."


"...That's it? I don't believe this. At this rate, they'll be like that forever."


It's scary that I can't deny the possibility.

Tohsaka is normally dominant, but why is she so shy when it comes to Sakura?

And Sakura too.

She calls Tohsaka Nee-san when she's with me, but she's reserved when she's actually with her.


"Huh? Oh, yes, what is it, Senpai?"

"I need to talk to you. Can you come here?"

"Senpai? Is there something outside?"

"No, being outside isn't the important part. I just wanted to talk secretly."

"Um... talk secretly...? Um, is this something you can't let Nee-san hear?"

"That's it. That's exactly what I want to talk about."


"I'm talking about how you address Tohsaka. You don't call her Nee-san when you're with her. It's obvious that you really want to call her that."

"Eh―――you mean it's obvious to Nee-san!?"


I just made that up, but it seems Sakura is more reserved about her sister's feelings than I thought.

"N-No, Tohsaka doesn't know. I don't know why, but she's really dense when it comes to you. ...But in the worst case, she might think that you hate her."

"T-That's not true...! It's natural for Nee-san to hate me, but I'm happy to be with her. I never even dreamed that we could make lunch together..."

"Right. Then why don't you just be honest with her? Even someone as dense as Tohsaka can't possibly miss it if you tell her straight-out. Then you should be able to..."

Sakura should be able to realize by herself that Tohsaka wants to get along with Sakura.

"...Um, Senpai?"

"―――It's nothing. Just go call Tohsaka Nee-san.

I'll bet you she changes so much that it's funny."

"...Would it really turn out like that? I think having someone like me calling her 'Nee-san' will only bother her.

I'm a magus of Matou, and I can't do everything like Nee-san can. Tohsaka-Senpai is probably disappointed that a failure like me is her sister."

"You idiot. Don't bring other things into a sister's relationship. You like Tohsaka, and she's your big sister, right?

Then there's nothing more important than that. I'll guarantee it. There's mutual love between you two. To be honest, there's so much love that I'm a bit jealous."

"Eh... I-Is that so?"

"Yeah. So you call her Nee-san.

I think Tohsaka believed in it, just like you did. So there's nothing to be scared of. It's for her sake too. Please call her Nee-san."

"――――――――For Nee-san's sake."

...I don't know what's going on in her mind.

But after putting her hands together, as if praying, and thinking it over...

"Okay. I'll do my best."

She smiles softly in thanks.

――――We return to the living room.

Sakura exchanges a glance with me, takes a deep breath, and heads to the kitchen.

"Welcome back. Sakura's tensed up. What happened?"

"Hm? The rest depends on her courage. Well, I'm sure it's going to go well."


I sit down on the cushion.

"―――Nee-san. Can I finish this fried chicken?"

"Yes, all that's left is to fry it, so I'll leave it to you... wait, Sakura, did you just..."

"Okay. If I'm doing the chicken, can you cut the lettuce, Nee-san? I'll leave the serving to you."

"O――――Okay, that's fine, but..."

...Everything goes still.

They both fall silent, and the tension is much greater than before.



Not even breathing, they stare at one another.

"......Um, is it strange, Nee-san?"

"Uh――――i-it's not that. I was just surprised because I've never been called that way."

"...Then, um..."

"I-I have nothing against it. You're free to call me whatever you want, and I'm calling you by name. Well, it could get confusing because there are two Senpai here, so that should make things clearer."

Tohsaka makes it sound like it can't be helped and looks away.

...But Sakura should be able to tell that she's blushing and can't hide her smile.

...Their joint work got even more awkward after that.

They messed up so many times that lunch turned out to be a disaster. The fried chicken was covered in pepper, the mapo tofu was hot as hell, and the rice cooker was never turned on, so we ended up eating without rice.

But Tohsaka and Sakura both looked happy, smiling at every opportunity.

"...Geez, they sure are clumsy."

Illya sounds dumbfounded as she eats mapo tofu that's hot enough to numb your tongue.

I nod back silently and gratefully eat the food they made.

Scene 05 Choice

I return to my room to rest after lunch.

Tohsaka had something to do, so she went to her room with Illya.

"I'm going to take measures against Zouken with Illya's help. It should take some time for the crest to familiarize itself with your body, so you can rest for the whole afternoon.

You'll just get in our way even if you're here."

That's how it is, according to her.

We have no way to oppose Zouken right now.

So all I can do is to wait for whatever Tohsaka's preparing.

Sakura has returned to her room.

Sakura was feeling dizzy while we were cleaning up after lunch.

I wasn't worried because she seemed well this morning, but Sakura is no different from a sick person.

Tohsaka and I told her to rest if she's feeling even a bit tired, so Sakura is back in her room now.


I check out how my arm's doing.

It didn't move at all before, but I can manage to move my elbow now.

It's still numb, but I feel no pain.

If I'm to talk about pain, the crest Tohsaka planted hurts more.

My shoulder, throat, and belly button.

It feels like bolts are in those areas as if I'm Frankenstein.

"My left arm is borrowed, and my body is held together with bolts, huh?"

It reminds me of cyborgs one would see in science fiction movies.

It's an interesting idea, but I can't laugh it off.

...I was going to check how my arm's doing, but I didn't even stand in front of the mirror.

It's almost two o'clock.


Scene 06 Rin and Illya

I'll go see how Tohsaka and Illya are doing.

I'm curious about what they're up to, and there might be something I can help with.

"Nope. You're just a bother, so get out of here."


One second after I knock, she kicks me out without time for a rebuttal.

"Hey, what's with that attitude? It could get scary later if you kick away someone's goodwill."

"What goodwill? We're going to be using the Tohsaka and Einzbern's secret magecraft, so there's no way we can show it to other people.

I'm glad to know you want to help, but your behavior itself is harmful. I'm sure you don't want us finding out about your secrets, right?"


...I see.

When she puts it that way, I see her point.

There are things I can't tell her, even if we're cooperating.


"Tohsaka. Why are you wearing glasses?"

"...Why? ...What, does it look funny?"

"Well, it's not funny, but―――"

Her honor student style has upgraded, and she looks like some president now.

"―――It really suits you."

"...I-I see. I don't really know because I only wear glasses when I'm alone, but... it doesn't look funny?"

"No. I might be tricked into believing that you're an honor student even though I know your true nature. Are you trying to hide your character?"


Hm? Did the room suddenly get cold?

"Tohsaka? Um, I'm suddenly getting chills running down my back."

I ask her with my eyes if it's just my imagination.

"Oh, what a coincidence. My shoulders are shaking too, Emiya-kun.

I'm thinking I should settle my match with you. If you have enough free time to be walking around, how about I train you until you can't walk?"


...Scary. She's serious.

It seems she really wants to punish me for walking around when she told me to rest and save up my energy.

"...Sorry, I was being careless. I'll go rest in my room like you told me to."

"...Hmph. It's fine, but don't you have something else to do if you can walk around like that? We aren't the only ones who might need your help."

"...? Who else needs my help?"

"Right in the next room. For her, having you by her side is a big deal. You should know that. You're the source of Sakura's energy."


My face burns up.

It's really embarrassing to have someone else say that.

"Oh, okay, I understand. If I can go see Sakura, I'm going to."

I nod awkwardly like a robot.

"Of course you can go.

...Geez, you're usually rough, but you're really careful in the stupidest things, idiot."

She shuts the door.

Sakura's room is right next door, not even a meter away.

"Calm down, calm down―――I'm just going to see how she's doing."

I take a deep breath and glare at the door of the next room.

I-It's not like I have a guilty conscience.

I'm just going to check if Sakura's really resting or not.

Scene 07 Cute girl

Come to think of it, I haven't seen Rider all day.

Considering her, I'm sure she's keeping watch on Sakura from a distance, but I have to greet her if she's around.

Rider is nowhere in the house.

There's her room, but it didn't even look like it had been used.

Then a place where she may like and where Sakura's room is in view...

This is the only place I can think of.

The shed is the only spot that has a good view of Sakura's room, is concealed, and is unoccupied.

"Are you here, Rider?"

I call out to the empty shed.

"I am standing by. Do you need something, Shirou?"

Rider must've been in spirit form, as she suddenly appears.



I came to greet her, but I get tense when I actually stand face to face with her.

I don't care about Rider's personality to keep everyone distant from her, but as a guy, her overexposing outfit is troublesome.

"...I asked you if you had any business."

"Oh, no. I really don't have any. I haven't greeted you today, so I just wanted to say good morning."

"―――I see. You must have a lot of free time."

Her response is direct.

But this is within my expectations. This is actually easier for me to handle because this is what I expect from Rider.

"Yeah, I'm bored. I have some free time, so I'm just walking around. Are you guarding Sakura from here?"

"Yes. I am Sakura's Servant.

I will not protect you or Tohsaka Rin unless she gives me an order to do so."

"Really? I'm glad to hear you say that."

I sigh with relief.

I was worried, but it seems Sakura isn't pushing herself.

"Thank you, Rider. Please give Sakura your best regards in the future as well."

I wave and head for the yard.

"―――Please wait. I have a question."


I stop in front of the door.

"What? There aren't many things I can answer."

"No, this is about you, so you should be able to answer.

―――Emiya Shirou. I do not understand your previous statement.

I refused to be your guard. How can you call that a good thing?"

"Huh? Oh, that's your question?

I'm sure I'd sleep better with knowing you were guarding me, but I'm a guy, and guys are supposed to protect themselves.

Tohsaka is... well, I'm sure she would deal with anything that came her way."

"......You are going to protect yourself with that body of yours? It only sounds like a bluff to me."

"It is. We're the weaker ones, so we'll lose unless we bluff.

...Well, to be honest, I can't help but feel uneasy. But I still want you to keep this stance. It will tire Sakura if you move around. I don't want Sakura to use any more magical energy."

"―――I see. Moving about will certainly burden her.

I burden her just by taking form. So you do not want me to take on excess work?"

"Right. I just want you to protect Sakura.

And if I ever get killed, can you protect Illya as well?"

"...How convenient of you. You know I am a burden, but you want to rely on me in the worst case?"

"Yeah... Is that asking too much?"


Rider doesn't answer.

Her blindfolded eyes stare directly at me.

"Um... why not make a deal? I'll definitely help you if you're in danger. It's give and take, so can you take Illya into account as well?"

"I cannot respond to that. There is a high probability that you would already be dead if I were in danger. Your proposal is not attractive."

"Gah. You're right. It's meaningless if I'm dead before you're in danger. ...Oh, I'm sorry. I was really being convenient."

...But I'm troubled now.

That means it's better to take Illya to a safer place.

She doesn't want to go the church, but leaving her alone in her castle is even more――――

"―――Geez. You really are unreliable."

"Huh? Did you say something, Rider?"

"Yes. I said I will consider your proposal. If you save me when I am in danger, I shall definitely do as you wish. Is that all right, Shirou?"

"Oh―――really...!? I was being really convenient, you know!?"

"This is reasonable. It is only if you save me first."


I'm stunned.

...Um, I'm glad that Rider accepted my proposal, but, more than that...

"Rider. Did you just smile?"

"No. There was nothing to be happy about, so there is no reason to smile."

"But you were smiling, even if there wasn't a reason. It was really subtle, so I almost didn't catch it."

"That is not possible. You are mistaken as I am denying the fact."

Rider declares.

Hmm, now that she mentions it, maybe she's right.



Hm... The air is getting strangely tense now.

I was going to go back to the main building, but I'm concerned about Rider.

She's silent and cold like always, but it seems like she has something she wants to say.



The air gets tense as if we're facing off.


I know this is abrupt, but Rider is tall.

Long hair, slender limbs...

I've only seen it once, but her face under the mask was beautiful.

Tohsaka and Sakura are beautiful too, but Rider has an entirely different sort of beauty.

"Do you have a question, Shirou?"

"Huh? Oh, it's not much of a question, but can I ask it?"

"I do not mind. What is it?"

"Okay. You're tall, Rider. Exactly how tall are you?"

I ask her straight-out.


Why is she backing up?


"N-No, it is nothing. Please do not mind me."

"...All right. So, how tall are you? You're taller than me, so you must be over 170."

"I-I will not answer that question. Please ask me something different."

"You won't answer? You don't know how tall you are?"

"N-No, that is not the case. ...Regardless, please ask me something different. I will be angry if you persist in this."


Rider is obviously disturbed.

The usually cool Rider is flustered, so could it mean that――――

"Rider. Are you self-conscious about your height?"


Rider freezes.

It seems I guessed right.



We both shut our mouths.

She must not be able to bear the silence...

"...I-Is it strange...? For me to be worried about such a thing?"

"Huh? No, I was just wondering why, and not because I found it strange. Why does it bother you?"

"...Is it not obvious? A tall woman like me is unsightly, unattractive――――"

"Why? It's good-looking."

Actually, she's asking too much.

I want her height. Really.



And silence again.

It finally occurs to me that I could be distracting her from guard duty.

"Um. Am I bothering you, Rider?"

"...Yes. I am hiding in preparation for Matou Zouken's surprise attack. However, it will do little good if you are talking to me like this."

"Right. Then I'll be going back now. I'm sorry I bothered you."

"Oh―――hold on, Shirou."

She stops me, and I turn around for a second time.

Rider bites her lip in annoyance, then...

"―――If you have free time, please go nurse Sakura. It really matters to Sakura if you are there with her or not."

"Oh... you're right, I'll go right away. Sakura pushes herself when I'm not watching. I'll go see if she's really resting or not."

Rider's right.

Sakura's room is near here, so I'll take care of her this afternoon.

"―――Oh. That's right. I remember why I came here."

I turn to Rider for the third time.

"W-What is it, Shirou?"

"Good morning, Rider. I haven't greeted you yet, right?"

Good, good.

It'd just be stupid if I forgot to greet her when this is the whole reason I came here.


"―――Good morning, Shirou. Then I shall also say something I held back."

Rider regains her composure and looks down at me coldly.


"You waste effort on useless matters. It is too late for a morning greeting. It is already after noon."

"Ugh, I'm sorry. I honestly forgot about you until just now."

"I thought as much. Please take better care in the future.

And please forget what I said earlier."

"...? What do you mean?"

"How you must think I am a nuisance. I misunderstood you, so I take it back."

"I don't think you're a nuisance."

"I understand that. I would expect no less from a person who comes out to greet me."

―――She smiles.

I'm not mistaken.

She's really smiling.

Scene 08 Earnest

I'll go see how Sakura's doing.

She did go back to her room, but I'm worried if she's really resting or not.

Scene 09 Distant twilight(I)

"You there, Sakura?"

I knock quietly.

"Oh, Senpai...?"

I hear a sluggish voice.

"Oh, please hold on. I'll get changed right away...!"

She must've been sleeping, and now she's scrambling to meet me.

After two minutes...

"Sorry to keep you waiting. Please come in."

"Oh... okay, excuse me."

I suddenly get nervous that I'm about to enter a girl's room.

I've been here before, but the situation is different.

Sakura wasn't conscious back then, but now she's opening the door and inviting me in.

"So, is anything wrong, Senpai? I was sleeping, so I don't know if anything went on."

"Oh, it's nothing like that. I didn't come here because something happened. I just came because I was worried that you weren't resting properly... but――――"

It seems I woke her up as a result.

"Aha, then I passed. I was resting like you told me to."

"Yeah. I'm sorry for waking you up. You should know about your own body. You wouldn't push yourself and move around if you're sick. ...It seems I was caring excessively."

I contemplate my actions.

But Sakura starts laughing.

"...Ugh. I'm worrying too much?"

"No, that's not true. You're pretty sharp.

To be honest, I wanted to continue cleaning.

I was thinking about sneaking out if you didn't come."

"Whoa... sneak out?"

"Yes. I didn't want to rest when I feel fine because it makes me feel like I'm sick. So I wanted to act normal, in spite of what you told me.

But Nee-san got mad and told me not to be foolish.

She said it's a bother to you two if I push myself and collapse."


...That's right.

We stopped Sakura from doing the laundry after lunch.

She wouldn't listen to me, but when I was wondering how to convince her, Tohsaka came to help.

But it wasn't anything nice...

"If you collapse, we'll have to kill you."

...As her harsh words would indicate.

"...Yeah. Tohsaka was mad."

"Yes. Nee-san scolded me."

Sakura sounds happy.

......I see.

She knows that Tohsaka cares about her, no matter what she said.

"Then you have to rest.

No matter what you may think, your body's tired. Tohsaka and I can go outside without worries if you're resting like this."

"...You're right. But I'm really healthy. I'm just not feeling well right now, and I'll be back to normal tomorrow. This is just like that cold, and I'll get over it in a day."

"...You idiot. I know I'm not one to talk after I woke you up, but you should rest. Sleep, if you can.

I'll come wake you up for dinner, so you just relax until then."

I get up to leave.



Sakura grabs my shirt.


"Um――――I'm going to sleep like you told me to, but...

Um, It'll make me happy if you're by my side."


Sakura rarely demands something.

She must not want to burden others, so she tries to do most things by herself.

But Sakura is asking something from me right now.

Well, this is nothing, but it must be the most selfish thing she can think of.

That's why she looks so uneasy.

I'll do any favor she asks of me, but she only asks trivial things like this.

"――――Okay. Then I'll stay here a bit longer."

I suppress my urge to embrace Sakura and manage to tell her.

"All right! Then I'm going to go brew some tea! I'll treat you the best Chinese tea!"

Sakura heads to the door in a hurry.

"Hold on. I'll brew the tea, so you stay in bed. You're putting the cart before the horse."

"Oh... Y-You're right. I'm acting strange."

Sakura hurries back to her bed.

I pat her head as I pass by and go to brew us some tea.


This situation is more nerve-wracking than I thought.

I'm alone with Sakura.

She's right before my eyes, and I can see her bare neck and her captivating breasts.

That alone, um――――reminds me of what happened that night, and I don't know where to look.

"But to be honest... I knew you liked Nee-san. Because you're always so happy in front of her."

...So everything Sakura says goes over my head.

I'll lose control if I look at her too closely.

...I'm a man, you know?

Recalling what happened that night makes me want to push her down and get a taste of her body again.

"...Isn't it? I'm not attractive like Nee-san. And you seem to like Illya-san too.

...Um, do you not like girls with big breasts?"

I take a deep breath and calm myself down.

I can't push her down when she's not feeling well―――wait, having sex with her will help her.

Then it's not bad.

It's not bad, but――――


―――That's right! Tohsaka is next door, first of all!

They'll notice right away if I do such a thing, so I'm sure they'll look down on me for doing it so early in the day――――

"......Wait, Sakura...? ...Um, did I do something to make you angry?"

Realizing that Sakura is unhappy, I come back to the real world.

"...No, you haven't done anything. That's the problem."


"...Um, I said something very suggestive. You weren't listening, though."

"Ugh... I'm sorry. I was spaced out. Um, I think we were talking about Tohsaka..."

"Yes. We were talking about Nee-san. I was asking if you're happy now that Nee-san's staying here."


...That's right.

I was asking Sakura about our situation.

"So how is it? You like Tohsaka, right? So doesn't this make you happy?"

"...Yes, it is delightful. But I'm also feeling uneasy. Nee-san is my ideal, and she has many things I could not obtain. That's why I want to look away when she's near me, and I can't be honestly delighted.

It feels like I'm being condemned by Nee-san and myself for what I'm doing."


I can understand Sakura's point.

It's painful to have your ideal in front of you because it makes you feel inferior.

...Well, I do understand, but...

"...Sakura. Your ideal is someone like Tohsaka?"

I ask timidly.

Tohsaka might punch me if she was here.

"Yes. I've always wanted to be like Nee-san. Oh, it's not as a magus, but as a girl.

Nee-san can do anything, and she's always dignified. I want to be as cool as her."

Sakura sounds happy.


I hate to admit it, but Tohsaka certainly is cool.

She's really manly in the sense that she takes responsibility for what she says.

"...I see. But you couldn't see Tohsaka until now, right? Something about the agreement between the two families. So how do you know about her?"

"You can't help but wonder.

Nee-san and I don't remember about when we were small.

It was so long ago.

But we both knew that we were sisters."

"That's why we were more interested, and we watched each other from afar.

We never sat down and talked, but I heard a lot of rumors about Tohsaka-Senpai, who was a year ahead of me."

"――――Oh. You must mean the rumor that she's a perfect honor student.

Now that you mention it, you never run out of things to talk about her since she's famous."

"Yes. And it's not like I never met her.

She would often greet me at school and come watch the archery club."

"...And I would always think at those times. That I'm content that she's watching me. I'm happy that she's worried about me, and I knew she would hate me if I ask for more."

"......? Why would she hate you?"

"...My magecraft is not like Nee-san's. There is no set limitation on how you use your magecraft.

Senpai's magecraft is to accomplish something and to create a phenomenon. There is no restricted goal set from the start."

"Hm... You're right. Strengthening is one of the only things I can do, but you can use a strengthened object to do all sorts of things."

"...But the Matou magecraft is different. Matou's magecraft is limited to 'stealing away from others'.

There is no other use for it. It only feeds on other people's pain, and there is no teaching to return their happiness."


I can't just nod in response to that.

I don't know what kind of magecraft she was taught at the Matou household.

The magecraft she was taught is a heresy, and Sakura is ashamed of it.

...The problem between Sakura and Tohsaka is the difference in their family's magecraft.

The more Sakura hates the magecraft of Matou, the more self-loathing she feels――――

"So you hate magecraft of Matou?"

"Senpai. That's like asking someone if she hates breathing."


Sakura looks up and starts talking like Tohsaka.

"I don't like it or hate it. I just couldn't live without it.

I was adopted by the Matou family for that reason alone. If I hadn't been able to succeed them, I would have died."


"Oh, please don't make a face like that. The teaching was certainly strict, but it wasn't as tough as you may think."

"And if you want to talk about strictness, it's not even close to your training.

I'm fine with getting hurt by others, but I'm scared of hurting myself.

I want to live, so I can't end it myself.

I don't mind other people cutting my wrist, but I'm scared to cut it myself."

"But you can do either. ...Um, I've seen your nightly training.

I-It was only once, though. I forgot something here, came back, heard something in the shed, and went to check it out."

Sakura bows her head in apology.

But I don't want her apologizing for something like that.

"No, you don't have to apologize. That's carelessness on my side. I'm a failure as a magus if I can't notice the presence around me."


"More importantly, when was that? Was it right after you started coming here?"

I really hope so.

I'm improving, even though it may be really slowly.

If I didn't notice Sakura's presence recently, that means I haven't improved at all.

"...It was last summer. It's the day Fujimura-Sensei brought a watermelon."

"――――I see, that's good."

I sigh with relief.

I guess I can excuse myself if it was half a year ago.

"...So, um, Sakura. ...Well, what did you think?"

She's the first person besides Kiritsugu who saw me training in magecraft.

I practiced in front of Tohsaka these past few days, but that's different from the training I do in the shed.

So Sakura's opinion is like a test.

Sakura is Matou's magus, so I might be able to get a good score――――

"Umm. I guess I'll use my right to remain silent. I'm not Nee-san, but it'd be terrible if I put a score on it."

"Ugh――――does that mean I got a failing score?"

"Ahaha, you can say it's a really bad failing score."



Sakura doesn't seem similar to her sister, but she actually is.

"But Senpai. That's the only time I saw it. ...No, I couldn't see it again because I was too scared."

"...? Too scared...?"

"Yes. Not only that, but I thought many times that I should stop you.

...Your training isn't normal. It looked to me like you were stabbing your own throat. It's not that I imagined it, but it really did look that way. ...Your training was that dangerous."

I understand what Sakura wants to say.

Creating a Magic Circuit is close to death for me.

My body would explode if the concentration in me is off by a few millimeters.

But isn't that an ordinary compensation for a magus?

Kiritsugu was the one who told me that death is a magus' constant companion.

"―――Really? I hear that it's like that for all magi. Maybe it looks dangerous for me because I'm unskilled."

"You're wrong. It's not a question of skill. First of all, you're special in that you can use magecraft when you don't have the talent.

magecraft is not something you use, but something you teach the body. No magus creates a new Magic Circuit for each spell the way you do."


"I'm talking about the final result.

...Every night, you did something that could kill you. Nobody forced you, and you didn't get anything out of it. But you stubbornly continued."

"...I think that's something even Nee-san can't do.

You follow through on what you've decided until the very end, regardless of whether it's right or not. So you're probably the strongest one out of all of us."


I-It's really embarrassing if you say something like that with a straight face.

"Y―――You idiot, I'm not giving you anything, not even if you flatter me!

F-First of all, Tohsaka's the strong one! A-And I don't know what kind of a magus you are, but you're the successor of Matou, and you also have Rider...!"

"No, you are strong, Senpai. It's not because of your Magic Circuit or your talent, but because your mind is pure.

...I knew that from the very first time I met you.

I knew you would never betray anyone."


I don't know how to respond when she talks seriously like that.

"...Thanks. I'm glad you said that, even if you're just flattering me."

I'm embarrassed, but I tell her how I feel.


Smiles happily and looks straight at me.


This is bad.

The distracting thoughts I shook off earlier will return if she makes a face like that.

"...Um, I guess I'll get going now. You're sleepy too, right? There's always tonight, so you should rest well in the afternoon."

I cough intentionally.

I look to the wall... to Tohsaka and Illya on the other side.

"Y-You're right. There's tonight too, and Nee-san is next door."

She must understand how I feel, as she blushes and starts muttering.

...I bet I look like that too.

"Then I'm going back to my room. I'll come get you when it's dinnertime."

"Oh――――please hold on, Senpai...!"

"...? What is it?"

"U-Um... I'd be really happy if... you could stay here until I fall asleep..."

I bitterly smile at her intermittent words.

Actually, it's something I want to ask her if I can.

She's so timid that she probably doesn't even know how much I've fallen for her.

"Okay. I'll stay here if I'm not a bother. I'll go after you fall asleep. Is that fine?"

"O-Of course! I'll do my best to stay up!"

But Sakura...

I'm glad you're saying that, but that defeats the whole point.

Sakura suddenly falls silent once she lies down.

She must've been tired. It looks like she suddenly got sleepy once she laid down.

But still...

"But Senpai. I'll get well if I rest today, but what about your arm?"

She must have no intention of going to sleep, as Sakura keeps talking.

"My arm is doing fine. It doesn't hurt as long as I keep this cloth on, and it's slowly starting to move. At this pace, I'm sure it'll move fine by tomorrow."

"That's good. It's been a while since Nee-san treated it, right? It looked like it was just first-aid, so I thought the effect might've worn off."

Sakura smiles with relief.

"――――. What do you mean, it's been a while?"

"Nee-san's at fault too. She's free to transfer her crest, but the Tohsaka's Magic Crest will never familiarize itself with anyone not from the Tohsaka family. She should know it was just a makeshift that won't even last seven days."

Sakura says it like it's nothing.


"Won't even last seven days...?"

It sounds very out of place.

"Yeah. It's about to wear off, so you have to get properly treated. My magecraft can't solve the root problem, so I'll ask Rider if she has any good ideas――――"

Sakura looks sleepy.


I can't reply.

...I can only convince myself that Sakura is saying strange things because she's about to fall asleep.

"...You're there, right, Senpai?"

"Yeah, I'm here."

"...Good. Please stay by my side, Senpai.

I have nightmares if I'm alone, so please――――"

...Sakura slowly closes her eyes.

Her breathing becomes more gentle, and she goes into a deep sleep.

I turn off the light and leave her room.


I saw Sakura fall asleep peacefully, but I don't feel any peace of mind.

So please―――keep watch and be on your guard against me.

...I think that's what she said unconsciously...

...Right before she fell asleep.

Scene 10 Distortion

"I'm coming in, Sakura."

He opens the door without waiting for a reply.

He has never waited for his younger sister's reply before opening this door.

"What, she's not home yet? What a slug."

He clucks his tongue and walks into the room.

Scratching at the wall, Matou Shinji wanders through his sister's room like a blind dog.

"Sakura. Are you in the basement again? What're you doing down there, ignoring me?"

He keeps asking questions that will not be answered.

There is no one in the room.

His sister has not been home the past few days.

It is obvious that the master of this room is not here, but Shinji wanders through it all the same.

"It's just like always. Haha, it really is like always!"

He throws the clock that touches his hand.

The sound of shattering glass is more annoying than he thought.

"Where the hell are you? Keeping a secret from your brother? Why the hell is everyone doing as they please...!?"

He starts throwing things like mad.

...This is like always too.

This outlet has been his daily routine for the past few years.

It is his best opposition that began three years ago when he found out the truth.

――――The Matou bloodline came to an end when he was born.

The noble family lost its power, becoming mere humans.

The only special thing is the accumulated knowledge.

The once noble family of magi is fated to perish in this Far East country.

He has known this since he was young.

The Matou family was a family that passed down secret techniques.

But it is all in past tense now.

As the Matou are no longer able to use magecraft, they are to blend into society as ordinary people.

But he did not think so.

Their Magic Circuit faded away, leaving them unable to perform their secret techniques.

The bloodline of magi ended for Matou in his father's generation, and he knows that he does not have the right to succeed the Matou name.

But the Matou family still has the records.

The bloodline perished, but the accumulated knowledge is not lost.

――――That itself is "special" enough for the boy.

He thinks he is different from others.

The Matou family have been chosen.

That will not change, even if they lose their power and cease to be magi.

He was proud of himself because he was born into a special family to be raised in a special way.

Even if he is a failure as a magus, he is a child born into the chosen family.

...But a new child slipped into the chosen family.

His father adopted a girl who had none of her own.

It all happened more than ten years ago.

The girl named Sakura became his little sister from that day on.

At first, he hated his new sibling.

He did not want any outsiders coming into the special Matou household.

But the boy started to accept his sister day by day.

The girl named Sakura was silent and ordinary, no more capable than a guard dog.

It is a waste of time to be hostile against someone like that, and it is more charming if one is to consider her a servant.

He looked through books, memorizing magecraft he could not use, to remind himself that he was the Matou heir.

He was the only one who could enter the study.

His adopted sister could never be named the successor, so she had no right to trespass there.

His sister would live as a normal human being, never being taught the family's surviving knowledge.

This fact greatly satisfied his pride.

A family of magi has only one successor.

He knew that, so he did not question their separate upbringings.

Only one could learn magecraft.

Then it was only natural that his sister be raised apart.


He felt sympathy for his sister.

They lived in the same house and had the same parents, but he was the only one who could call himself special, and he pitied his sister for not being chosen.

It is like a compassion of a superior being looking down onto others―――and it is his most reliable pride.

The brother treated his sister as a failure.

The sister feared her brother and always looked down, as if avoiding his gaze.

He thought it was because of shame, and he despised and loved her for it at the same time.

Until he found out the truth.


That was all he could manage when he accidentally found the room.

A room he has never been told about.

Knowledge that was not taught to him.

Talent that was not given to him.

Everything was in the room.

A naked girl lay in the middle of the room.

Around her were swarms of black worms and his terrifying grandfather.

And his father glared at the boy as if he was a nuisance, an attitude he had never taken towards him.

And that ended it.

Everything he believed in, everything that constructed him was turned upside-down.

It was not him that was special.

It was not his sister that was kept at a distance.

It was not her that was pitiable.

And it was not her that was looking down on the other person――――

His life completely changed.

Since he no longer needed to hide anything, his father took a defiant attitude towards his son. He started spending more time with the boy's sister instead.

His sister did not say anything, but would just hang her head like always.

She still acted as though running away from his gaze when she would say...

"I'm sorry, Nii-san."

...As if pitying him. She said it with the emotion that he once felt for his sister.

"Ha――――Haha, hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!"

He laughed.

It was funny.

It was so funny that he wanted to kill.

The one he had thought was his pet was actually his master, and he was just a fool.

Which one is the funny one?

It must be both.

At that time, as he went back to the mansion with unsteady steps, he realized.

The world had not been turned upside-down.

It had been like this all along.

The inverted one―――the one who was misunderstood was him.

It is just that he finally realized his own miserableness.

The three years after that were only pain for him.

His father died, and his grandfather only cared about Sakura.

Matou Shinji became just like air in his house.

He was treated as an object whose existence did not matter, and that truly was the case.

She pitied the air.

She apologized.

Though she never spoke the words aloud, she apologized every time she saw him.

She apologized for taking Matou Shinji's place.

"Why are you apologizing――――?"

She could've just ignored him.

Then he wouldn't have hated her, wouldn't have clung to hope.

Sakura apologized.

Apologizing means submitting something.


"――――Then you're mine from now on."

Considering all the contempt he had endured, he saw nothing wrong in accepting this.

"Hah――――is she still over at Emiya's?

Even though she's the successor of Matou. Even though she's the successor of Matou. Even though she's the successor of Matou――――!"

The room shows no signs of life.

But that is to be expected.

Matou Sakura's "room" is the underground worm's nest, and this is merely for show.

The master of the room does not care how much he breaks the things in this room.

This room is no different from the doorplate that hangs at the entrance.

"Yeah, but you still apologize...! 'I'm sorry, I'm sorry'...!? Don't disobey me if you think you're sorry...! If you feel guilty, keep compensating for it! If you know you've been sold out to this house, be mine...!"

He scratches the sheets.

Something that was his.

Why did a doll that did not think or resist leave him?

"――――You took her. You took her, Emiya."

That was his miscalculation.

He knew she was attracted to Emiya Shirou.

That thing that held no interest in anything started to say things after getting to know him.

She gradually regained herself, and in the end, she betrayed him.

He trained her to never disobey him, but now she chooses a total stranger over her own brother――――

"That's why I said it wasn't safe to have her over at Emiya's. But that old bastard spouted some bullshit about keeping watch on that house――――!"

His grandfather does not even try to take Sakura back.

He said it is fine as is, and moreover, confined him to this house.

"――――You watch. I'm going to make you pay for this, Sakura. You should never disobey me――――"

...That's right.

If a doll is disobedient, he'll just reset the relationship to be like it was before.

If she gained hope to become human...

"...Yeah. I just have to destroy her hope again, just like before."

He laughs.

The clouded window reflects a face as ghastly as a skull.

Scene 11 Signs of disaster

It's afternoon now.

Tohsaka seems busy and Sakura's sleeping, so I should make dinner.

My left arm moves even though it reacts slow, so it shouldn't hinder me if I'm to make something simple.

"Hmm... I guess I can make fried swordfish and simmered meat and potato."

I check the contents of the refrigerator and decide the menu.

There are two additional people eating now, so the food gets used up quickly.

I should find some time to go to the shopping district tomorrow.


Everyone must've liked having dinner ready when they came here, since they all seem to be in a good mood.

I'm worried that Rider isn't here, but I'm sure she has her reasons.

Her top priority is guarding Sakura. So maybe she has no intention of spending time around Tohsaka, who may end up being her enemy.

"...Will Rider come eat later on?"

I'll pack it up and take her some if she doesn't come.

Rider seems to like desolate places, so I bet she's either in the dojo or the shed.

"Oh, so you're good at this? Sakura's good at Western food and you're good at Japanese food?"

Tohsaka picks up the fried swordfish and looks at me in surprise.

It's golden fried with a scent of ginger, with an elegant soy sauce taste. She seems to really like it.

"I like this one better. I'm glad you're good at cooking."

Illya eats the potatoes in satisfaction.

...It's unfortunate that she's only eating the "potato" part of the "simmered meat and potato", but I'm glad she likes it.


Sakura is tilting her head in confusion, chopsticks in hand.

"Sakura? What's wrong? You don't have any appetite?"

"...Oh... Um, I do, but Senpai?

The simmered meat and potato doesn't have any sugar in it. It tastes strange."


I-I made such a stupid mistake on something I'm so used to cooking...!?

"Damn, hold on...!"

I serve myself out of the big dish in the center and try some.


.........That's strange.

This tastes normal.

"Sakura. Does this taste weird?"

"Weird? Didn't you use salt instead of sugar?

I don't taste anything sweet..."

"Really? Isn't it supposed to taste this way? Well, it does taste different because there's something in it to bring out the flavor. But this is something you can't readily copy and make."

"I don't know since this is the first time I've had this dish, but it's good. It's sweet and easy to eat."

Sakura looks dissatisfied as she reaches out for seconds.

...One bite, two bites, three bites.


"Huh? Oh, it seems I ate a piece that wasn't simmered. I'm sorry I said something weird. Your food is good like always."

Sakura smiles and keeps eating.


Sakura keeps eating like nothing happened.

I was worried by Sakura's odd behavior, but she seemed well enough after that.

In fact, she asked for seconds three times.

Sakura kept eating and finished off the food while Tohsaka stared at her in surprise.

Scene 12 Tohsaka Rin(III)

It's past ten o'clock.

"It's about time. Let's get going, Shirou."

Tohsaka finishes preparing and appears.

"――――I know. Please watch the house while we're gone, Sakura."

Tohsaka and I head out to patrol the town as planned.

...It's stupid that this is our only measure against Zouken, but it's all we can do for now.

We need to defeat Zouken, Assassin, Saber, and the black shadow.

...They aren't ones we can defeat head on.

We have to sit tight until the countermeasure Tohsaka is preparing is completed.

But we can't just stay at my house.

According to the news this morning, Matou Zouken has started to attack ordinary people.

We can't match them right now, but we should at least patrol the town so that there won't be more victims.



We put our shoes on silently.

We know how dangerous it is to go out into town at night.

Zouken is only after Sakura, but we should get in his way if we're walking about.

...In the worst case, it'll be a repeat of our encounter in the forest.

Considering that, we can't be talking lightheartedly.

"...Hey. What are you doing?"


We don't have anything to spare, but Tohsaka glares at me and――――

"You don't need to see us off. Go back to your room, Sakura."


――――No, she's not glaring at me.

She's glaring at Sakura, who is standing in the hallway.

"N-Nee-san. I'll go too. It's dangerous for you two to go out alone, so..."


...That must be why she's here.

I appreciate her concern. but our plan is already determined.

"No. You should know you're Zouken's target. Please stay here with Illya and protect yourself."

"I know. But you can only use one arm, Senpai. And Nee-san doesn't have a Servant, so..."

"Don't be ridiculous, Sakura. It doesn't change the fact that you're our enemy. I can't trust you with my back when I don't know when you'll turn into Zouken's puppet."

"...But, Nee-san."

"You just concentrate on protecting yourself. If you feel sorry for us, please don't trouble us about this. Just let Rider protect you and Illya."

"Tohsaka, you――――whoa, hey...!"

"Hey, don't just stand there. Let's get going. While we stand around, he could be out there attacking somebody else."

Tohsaka grabs my hand and drags me outside.

"Oh――――just be careful and watch the house, Sakura...! I'll leave Illya to you...!"

I leave with Tohsaka pulling at me.


Sakura doesn't say anything and stands at the entrance, lonely.

"Hey, wait, Tohsaka! I'll follow you, so let go of me already!"

"Humph. It's your fault for being slow."

Tohsaka lets go and comes to a halt.

"...What's with that face? If you have something to say, then spit it out."

And it's like this all of a sudden.

Tohsaka is acting defiantly.


If it bothers her that much, she shouldn't have said it in the first place.

"...Man. Then I'm saying it, Tohsaka. It's about what happened now, but don't say such things to Sakura. Sakura isn't like that because she wants to be."

"I know. But that's why I have to be firm with her. If we aren't, Zouken will be sure to take advantage."

"...This is a good opportunity, so let me straighten this out. I don't feel any sympathy towards Sakura.

It doesn't concern me if she's Zouken's puppet, and I have nothing to do with what happened to her after she was adopted to the Matou family. It does no good for me to say anything about her problem."


"Look. I'm at your house not because Sakura is there, but because you're there.

My goal is not to save Sakura, but to obtain the Holy Grail.

I'll keep watch on Sakura for that goal, and I don't care even if she hates me for it. That's why I'll say things like that, and I'm going to keep treating her as my enemy."

"...So it won't bother you at all if she hates you? Her feelings don't matter because she's a complete stranger?"

"That's right. Do you have any complaints?"

"You idiot. Of course I do."

...Man, this is not like Tohsaka.

She should be able to say it like it's nothing. Instead, she's clenching her fists like she's trying to convince herself.

"All right. If you want to act that way, then go ahead.

Sakura knows how you feel, no matter what kind of attitude you take towards her."

"Huh―――what do you mean by that!?"

"I'm talking about how important Sakura is to you. I'm an outsider and I notice it, so it should be obvious to her."

"――――That's a misunderstanding. I just..."

"There's nothing to misunderstand. People can't get seriously mad about things they don't care about. You're strict to Sakura for a reason. You don't say it, but she's still your precious sister."

"W――――What are you saying, you idiot!!? Stop saying such snobby things!!!!"

Tohsaka's face turns red with anger.

But I don't feel the usual intensity, and I know why.

"Oh? Was it a bother?"

"It is a bother. Isn't it obvious?"

"I see. Then while I'm at it, I have something else to say. I want you and Sakura to get along. She likes you, and you like her. So I don't like it when it's this awkward between you two."

"...Hey now. She has to be my enemy. Making friends with her now won't do any good. I wouldn't even know where to start."

"Isn't it fine as is? Have confidence in yourself, Tohsaka. Even I can tell that you're being a good big sister."

"――――E-Enough with the chatting! We're going to the place they showed in the news this morning!"

Tohsaka looks away and starts to walk.

I reply to her absent-mindedly and follow.



She calls my name without looking at me and...

"Um, thanks. That made me, um... happy."

Tohsaka grumbles, embarrassed.

...There's nobody at the central park.

The park that's deserted even during the day is even quieter after the murder yesterday.

The park is not a place for relaxation within the business district, and it is no different from a desert in an uncultivated land.

"...A murder, huh? It seems people are treating it as an accident rather than a murder case. Well, I guess you really can't call it murder when you can't tell who died and what the missing body parts are."

I still see traces of blood on the grass.

...It looks like a bucketful was spilled in four separate areas.

The darkened patches have some distance between them, probably because the victims frantically tried to escape.

"Tohsaka. You said this might be Zouken's doing, but what do you think now? Do you still think so after coming here?"

"......Let's see. I thought it might be the black shadow's doing, but it doesn't seem that way.

All the magical energy in the area would be swallowed if that thing had appeared. But the magical energy here isn't exhausted. ...Well, I still think the incident here was an unexpected meal."

That's all the information we can get out of this place.

Tohsaka and I leave the site of the tragedy behind us.

...We didn't find anything in Shinto.

Maybe Zouken is not active tonight, probably because the incident yesterday was so vivid.

The date's about to change.

A riverside breeze blows as we trudge home.


"Tohsaka. Sakura is the successor of Matou, right?"

I suddenly feel like asking the question that was on my mind for a while.

"Why are you asking that now? I have nothing to hide."

"No, that's not what I meant. If she's the successor, that means she's a magus, right? So I'm wondering what kind of magecraft she uses."

"Oh, I see now."

"...Yeah, I hear Matou's magecraft is in bindings and coercions. I also hear that the Command Spell wouldn't have been possible without Matou."

"Oh. So Sakura's magecraft is restriction? But then..."

On that day...

The magecraft Sakura used when the crest worm tortured her must have been Rider's power.

"......I don't think it's restriction. That's the Makiri's forbidden magecraft, and it's not their strong point.

But it's meaningless to think about it. Sakura doesn't have the magical energy to use magecraft. The crest worm will feed on such excess energy first, so she shouldn't be able to use magecraft."

"...I see, that's good. So, how good is Sakura in your eyes? Is she about as good as you, considering she's the Matou successor?"

"We have about the same number of magecraft-Circuits.

Did you forget that we're sisters?"


That's right.

That's why they wanted to adopt her in the first place.

"Oh, so she's about as good as you?"

"I don't think so. My attribute is 'five elements', and hers is 'imaginary element'. But the Matou family has a water attribute, so they changed her by force. What do you think would happen to a bird that has a potential to fly if it's put in water?"

"It'll die, or..."

"Yes. Adapting to the water would be all it could do.

She would've had great success as a magus of Tohsaka, but she's no different from you because she was forced to change into a magus of Matou.

No, you're much stronger than her because you train your body."

"Then let's say you and Sakura fought using magecraft..."

"I'd win ten times out of ten. With her magical energy capacity, Sakura would never get past my barrier."

...I see.

I couldn't figure out what kind of magus Sakura is, but I got to know their power balance.

Tohsaka isn't one to bluff, so she must be speaking the truth.

"...But I'm embarrassed. I never knew Sakura was a magus, and I don't know how good she is. I'm a dumbass for pretending to be her guardian all this times."

"Hey now. The crest worm eats the magical energy in her, so you'd never know she's a magus even if you're by her all the time."

"...And she did her best not to let you know. So don't say such a thing in front of her, okay?"


She doesn't even need to tell me.

Sakura is Sakura, even if she is a magus.

First of all, I'm not that skillful.

No matter who Sakura may really be, I can only treat her like I always have.

"You're right. If you say so, I'll just treat her the same as always.

I won't even think about asking for her help as a magus. That's fine with you, right?"

"Of course. If you were going to rely on Sakura, I would've taken her to my house."

Tohsaka's kindness makes my heart jump.


Tohsaka really is a good sister.

"But I don't think that's possible. Sakura smiles when she's at your house. If you talk about surprising, that's what surprised me the most."


A look of happiness on her face, she says something odd.

"Smile? But Sakura, is, um..."

She's always like that.

"Yeah, it was needless worry on my part.

I can't talk to her that much, so I watched her. I went to the archery club every day after she started coming to our school."

"―――――Yeah, I know that, but..."

"...Yeah. And I realized after a while that she never smiled."



...Something I'm hearing for the first time, but I can't deny what she's saying.

Come to think of it, Sakura always looked gloomy at school.

"Well, the only exception was when you were there.

She smiled whenever you came to the archery club.

In short, Sakura's only cheerful when you're in front of her."


Her words should make me happy.


"...Sakura doesn't smile in front of people?"

...They seem to hide a dangerous truth.

Scene 13 Release of the seal-Overture of breakdown

It's past one o'clock when I return to my room.


I sit down on my futon.

Our patrol yielded nothing.

All we did was confirm that this morning's news was real.


Enemies we must defeat.

Just thinking about them sends cold, nauseous feelings through me.

Even a human could match Zouken or Assassin.

But those two are different.

I don't even know if the black shadow has a concept of death, and Saber is someone we don't even stand a chance against.

But―――as long as there are victims, we can't just ignore them saying we can't beat them.

"...Archer's arm, huh?"

I put my hand on the red cloth.

...I have a weapon.

I don't know how far this will get me, but I do have a weapon.

The question is if I can manage it, and if my body can withstand it.

".........I guess a bit is fine."

I untie the knot on the red cloth.

The cloth loosens up, and blood flows into my arm.

At that instant.

I think I heard a beast's howl.

I'm stabbed.

My whole body is pierced.

Is this pain? If this is pain, then the pain I've experienced until now isn't pain.

It hurts, it hurts, it hurts, it hurts.

The floor's ruggedness. The softness of the futon hurts. It feels like I'm sitting on a mountain of swords. The air is poisonous, and I die three times as I breathe it in. Birds are chirping in the distance. The wind is strong. There's no moisture. My skin dries and turns into sand. Flowing, scouring, crumbling.

Tongs are inserted from the hollowed holes.

Thirty-two enter where my shoulder used to be.

They carefully, accurately, and elaborately pierce my internal jugular vein, trachea, spinal cord, sympathetic nervous system, lobus superior pulmonis, lobus medius pulmonis dextri, lobus inferior pulmonis, main artery, heart, diaphragm, spleen, stomach, liver, gall bladder, and colon.


It's crumbling.

Time slows to an impossible crawl.

I see sixty-trillion cells crumbling apart at the rate of three four naught per second.

"―――――, ―――――――"

There is no pain.

There is no pain.

There is no pain.

There is only fear.

The end roll invades with amazing speed.

The flashback stops with fantastic image.

Death before my eyes, death past me, death at the moment, the pain is not physical, but only the explosion of negation every time death is thrown at me――――

"Haa, ah――――.........!"

...I hear a sound.

The sound of my head striking the floor.


...My eyes are hot.

I realize I've been crying.

"Ah――――Ahh, ah."

Desperately, I stifle the scream building in my throat.

I curl up, push my head against the floor, grab my left arm with my right hand, and just cry.

"――――Ah――――Ahh, ah――――"

I'm scared.

The thing I've been missing since the fire ten years ago.

I'm scared.

A natural fear for any living thing.

I'm scared.

For the first time in my life, I want to run away from my end.


It's not because dying will hurt.

It's not because I want to live.

It's just because it fills me with dread.

"――――Ah...... Kuh."

I tie up the red cloth.

I tie the knot tight, so that it'll never come loose again.

"――――No. This isn't good."

I groan and cry.

The priest said I'll die if I use my left arm.

That's nonsense.

I'll die if I take this cloth off.

My body might be able to bear it, but my mind will die.

My consciousness crumbled away when I loosened the cloth and my shoulder touched the outside air.

I could not bear it. I cannot live without this cloth.


If this arm is a contradictory existence that people should not associate with,

my body, its death foretold, runs to the terminal station,

the ship, with a crack in the bilge, can only sink into the ocean depths,

the passengers unaware, too late for anything――――


――――My breath is running wild.

"――――Ah, guh."

――――I had a bad dream.

...I wipe the sweat off my forehead.

I can't stand up.

I stay cowered, bearing the strange pain.


...I can't remember.

My left arm hurts.

It hurts so much that I want to cut it off.

I try to recall why it hurts, but I can't remember how to recollect anything in the past.


The pain goes away.

I gather up my consciousness.

It must be because I was asleep.

The dispersed memories look as if they can be cooked nicely, just like chopped onions.

See, I can add color with soy sauce, add flavor with pepper, and add some potato starch to complete the dish.

"Whoa――――that sounds nasty."

I murmur to myself.

My head is good for nothing, but I can still manage to come up with a conclusion.

In short, I don't have to eat something that's not good.

My left arm is already gone.

Nobody relies on something that's not there.

Therefore, Emiya Shirou has no weapon.

This foreign body is something I must suppress using all my life,

and will contaminate me for the rest of my life.


Suppressing it with the cloth is meaningless.

If I want to rid myself of this poison, there is only one way.

"―――, ―――――"

But I still hold on to my left arm.

A gun is pointed at my forehead.

An image of a trigger.

The trigger is my left arm.

Once pulled, the gun will fire, blowing my brains from my skull.


I shudder.

I hold my breath and stare at the white wall.


Clutching my arm, I lie down.

...I close my eyes.

My whimpering finished, I decide to get some sleep for tomorrow.

Scene 14 Connection of minds [H]

...A small sound.

I awaken to the sound of footsteps.


I wake up my dozing mind.

It's almost two o'clock.

...It hasn't even been thirty minutes since I fell asleep.

I get up, still unconsciously holding on to my left arm.


Outside the room.

I call out to the hallway where the footsteps came from.

It's not that I know who's there.

I just thought Sakura might be there.


......The door opens.

Sakura steps through into my room.


Biting her lip in embarrassment, she looks down as if unsure of what to say.

"......I'm sorry, Senpai. I, again..."

Sakura apologizes.


But I'm the one who should apologize.

The reason why Sakura's here.

I know well enough the pain she has to go through.

The crest worm feeds on her magical energy, so Sakura periodically needs to receive more from a magus.

"―――I'm sorry. I should've gone to see you as soon as I came home. I'm sorry for making you suffer."

I get up.

...What was I thinking?

I was so caught up with my left arm that I forgot about Sakura. I can't be forgiven even if I apologize.

"Um, Senpai...?"

"Yeah, I want to make love to you, if that's all right with you."

I use my left arm to pull her to me.

I want to take the lead to make up for forcing her to come to me.


"S-Senpai...!? Are you all right...!?"

"Oh, it's nothing. I just felt a bit dizzy."

―――Damn, that's pitiful!

I unconsciously used my left arm and was reminded of the pain.

Still, it shouldn't hurt so long as I have the cloth on, so what am I frightened about?

"...Oh, I have to take my clothes off. Can you take yours off too, Sakura?"

I shake off the dizziness and look at her.


"Oh... S-Senpai...! I have a suggestion...!"

I don't know if she's happy or nervous, but Sakura says something strange.

"...? Suggestion?"

"Oh, yes. You're tired from the patrol, right?"


...How should I answer?

I can't deny it because I really am tired, but I'm not tired enough to not have sex with Sakura.

Actually, I want to have sex even if I am tired.

"...Um, I'm tired. I'm tired, but I still want to make love to you.

So you don't have to be concerned about me.

...Well, you came all the way here, so don't stop now."

I'm ready to go.

I'll be troubled all night if Sakura stops now.

"――――Yes, so I have a suggestion. I'm sure you're tired, so let me start off."


Sakura smiles.

I nod, even though I have no idea what she's talking about.


I gulp.

...At Sakura's request, I'm still standing.

...On the other hand...

Sakura is naked and on her knees in front of me.

"...Hm... It's already hard――――"

"...Sakura, are you really-"

"...Yes. It's all right, Senpai. I can make you feel good."

Sakura takes my half-erect dick and gently holds it up.

I feel her breath on my crotch.


My dick expands.

I get nervous and excited.

I never thought I'd feel Sakura's breath on my penis.

"Hm... Ah."

Sakura's tongue touches my half-erect penis.

"...Ah... Hm, mm, mm..."

Something rough touches my head.

A needle-like sensation lances into me from the tip.

She only licked me, but it feels like she's caressing my whole back.

"Ah, ha... hm, hm... hm, how is it, Senpai...?"

......She doesn't need to ask...!

Sakura traces my penis with her tongue, as if savoring the taste.

Her tongue crawls across my member.

Feeling the faint sensations, it instantly arches up.

"Kya...! Oh... it's so hard..., hm... I have to hold on to it..."

My meat stands erect, almost touching my navel.

But Sakura takes it and pulls it down.

She gently grasps it with her slender fingers and puts the head in her mouth.

"Hm... kuh, hm...! Ah, hm, ah, it's so big... hm... my mouth is numb..."

Sakura's tongue rolls around my tip as if licking on something sweet.


I can't hold it back and I start to let out my pre-cum.

"Ah... You're starting to feel good, Senpai... Hm, hm, nn, ah――――"

She drinks it down.

Sakura licks my urethra and moves her tongue carefully over my head.

The juice keeps spilling from me.

She licks behind my shaft, my head, and even my rims.

"Hmm... ku, hm... fu, hm..."

...I'm already hard.

My nervousness is gone now.

"Ahn―――it twitched again... Aha... It feels good, right...?"

She licks it with familiarity.

Her lips press against my tip.

Her fingers gently stroke my sensitive genitals.

Her thick tongue tickles me, but stimulates me at the same time.


My penis enlarges in response to Sakura's tongue.

It stands fully erect, clear liquid dripping from it.


"Ah, hm, haa...! Oh, it's so much... It's like it's crying... it's so――――"


Sakura kisses and drinks from it.

"Hm... hm... ah, hm――――"

―――She gulps audibly.

The stimulation from her red tongue doesn't cease.

"...Hm, fu, ah, is it here, Senpai...?"

...This is how Sakura feels towards me.

She caresses me with sweet kisses.

She touches me as if touching something dear and tender.

"Ah, fu... Yes, I'll do my best... so... please feel better..."

Her touch is not intense, but full of deep affection.


There's no way her careful movements wouldn't feel good.

Sakura doesn't move her face because she's only licking the tip.

Her hot breath hits my fired member.

"...Ha... Nha, ha... Haa, hm..."

Her ragged breaths.

Sakura breathes, her shoulders moving up and down.

The slight movement causes her large breasts to shake.


Her soft touch, her sensual body.

Heat starts to gather in my testicles.

"Hm...! ...You're feeling good, right? Hm, it's moving... Aha, it's like it's alive."

She laughs innocently.

...Did she feel my desire?

She runs a finger playfully along the vein.


"Oh...? You don't like it...? ...Fufu―――then I'll do this."

She pushes on my shaft, making rhythmical sounds.

She pushes her fingers as if pushing on a pressure point.


The soft pleasure takes a sudden change.

"Amazing... There's more... ahh, hm... hm..."

...Sakura licks up the juice with her tongue.

In its place, her saliva drips down her lips.

"Ahn――――I'm getting wet. Hm, hm... Is this better for you...?"

Sakura wipes it with her hands and uses it to wet my member.

She takes her slick hand and slides it across my shaft.


The sensation.

My penis is wet with liquid from Sakura's mouth.

"Am... hm, fuh... Hm, hmm... Ahh... hm..."

Sakura licks it and kisses my head.

"Hm, uh...... Nha, ah, fuh...!"

Maybe she can't breathe out her mouth because it's filled with my penis.

Air blows out of her nose and along my organ.

"......Sakura, I――――"

I want to let it out.

Sakura's only sucking the tip, so the stimulation isn't that strong.

It's a nice sensation, and my body could bear it if I wanted to.

"Hm, ah, Senpai...?"


But my mind is at its limits.

"Sakura, I..."

I reach out to her shoulders.

"Hm... You're coming, Senpai? ...Please leave it to me... I'll let you finish off."

She puts the tip in her mouth.


She surrounds my tip, lightly nibbles on it, and gives me the stimulation I want.

"Hm―――Hm, mm......!"

She sucks hard.

Her tongue rolls around the rim.

The rough top of her tongue and the slippery bottom of her tongue attack me continuously――――!

"...! No, Sakura, I'm coming...!"

"Hm, okay... Please let it out, Senpai―――"

―――Sakura pulls her mouth away.

I'm about to explode.

She grabs the root of my shaft and squeezes the cum out of me.


"Hm――――Hm, hm――――"

My cum surges out.

Sakura opens her mouth and catches my cum.

"...Ha, ah―――it's still coming out... hm... You're still hard, Senpai――――"

Her fingers slide across my shaft.

She strokes it, trying to squeeze out what's left inside.


"Hm... hm... Did it feel good, Senpai...?"

Sakura drinks my cum with an expression of ecstasy.

...She looks lascivious and beautiful at the same time.

The thick liquid drips down her chin and her breasts.

Smiling, she lets it run down her body.


It's not enough.

I want to drive Sakura crazy.

"Hm......... Senpai...?"

I grab her hand and pull her to my futon.

"――――Let's continue. I want to put it in you so that I can feel you."

I embrace her hot body.

"...Okay. If you're doing it, Senpai."

Sakura leans against me, accepting my offer.

...My penis is still rock hard.

My lusts won't go away with just one orgasm.

I can only think about following my instinct and piercing it in Sakura.

"Eh...? On top of you...?"

"Yeah, you're doing it today, right? Just spread your legs and move yourself."

―――I lie down and have Sakura come on top of me.

I didn't have anything specific in mind.

I just thought I'd be able to connect deeper with her this way.

".........Um, like this...?"

Sakura puts her knees on the floor and sits over my crotch.

Sakura looks like she feels awkward being on top, but all that's left is to drop her body.

"...Um, Senpai. I..."

"It's all right. I won't do anything until you get comfortable. You can move at your own pace."

".........Okay. If you say so."

Sakura nods uneasily and slowly lowers herself.

"Hmm, it's here, right...?"

She takes ahold of me and guides me into her.

The tip touches her slit with a wet sound.

She must be aroused already.

It's so wet that there's no need to caress it.


She holds my penis and pushes it into her.

"Ha, ah――――nha......!"

She must not be able to adjust her height, as half my penis is inserted in one breath.

"――――Sakura, put your strength in your legs."

I grit my teeth and try to bear the sudden pleasure as I direct Sakura.

"Oh, yes... You're right..."

She must be nervous, as her walls are different from before.

They still wrap warmly around me, but they don't squeeze.

It seems Sakura doesn't have the composure to concentrate on her hips.

"Sakura...? You have to lower yourself."

"...Oh, okay..."

But she doesn't.

She just looks away awkwardly.

"What's wrong? Is there a reason you can't?"

"U-Um... It's because... you can see everything in this position..."

That's what's causing Sakura to get nervous.

Embarrassment and hesitation.

She caressed my penis so intently, but it seems having her vagina seen is embarrassing.

"It's fine. I want to see everything.

I got into this position so that I can feel you the most."

I reach out.

I wrap my arms around her waist so that I can ease her nervousness.

"......! Y-You said you won't move, Senpai...!"

"Yeah, I won't move if you do it. Come on, lower your hips if you don't want me to move."

"......Hm... You're mean, Senpai."

Sakura sighs and closes her eyes as if to bear the embarrassment.

"...Hm... Ahh... ah, hm...!"

She slowly lowers herself.

―――As she said, I can see everything from here.

Sakura's weight causes my penis to penetrate deeply into her.

I can clearly see her slit and her clit showing underneath her pubes.

It's wet between us, and she's overflowing with her desires.

"Hm... This is certainly embarrassing. Did you have an orgasm back then?"

"Ah... ah... No...! I-I only started feeling good after being in this position...!"

She gives a cute excuse as she keeps lowering herself.

She must have wanted it so bad that she can't stop herself now.

"Ha, hm...! No, Senpai's looking, but I want it in deeper――――"

Her knees completely bend.

Sakura's soft butt touches my thighs.

"Ah... ha... hm, haa... ah... It's all in, Senpai――――"

Is it painful to have all of it inside?

Sakura breathes out and tries to bear the foreign substance within her.

"...All right. Then lift yourself up now. Keep moving until you get used to it."

"...Hm... All right. I'll keep moving, Senpai."

She slowly lifts herself.

My penis is gradually exposed to the outside air.

"...Haa... Haa, haa, ah...!"

―――It doesn't take long for Sakura's body to accept it.

She moves up and down.

The slow movement slowly speeds up.

"Fua, ha, hm――――! Haa... Senpai, this is scary...!"

...Sakura's breaths heat up along with her body.

―――Her figure.

A woman is shaking while breathing heavily.

Just watching Sakura's voluptuous body pours gasoline onto the flames of my desire.


I'm beginning to forget about my promise not to move until Sakura gets used to it.

But my penis pulsates before anything.

"Ah, ha...! Ah, it's hitting me, it's coming in, ha, fua――――!"

My meat pushes inside of her.

As its arched back, it pushes up on her stomach.

"Hm... Ah, my stomach――――ah, hah...! Amazing, it's so full...!"

She must like it as she starts to move faster.

"Kuh... haa...! Ah... ahh...! Hm, it's deeper than before...!"


She'll pull me in at this pace.

My reasoning will be burned by Sakura's hot walls.

"Ah... hah, ahh...! It's heavy, and I can't stop my butt...!"

This position gives me too much pleasure.

My penis goes in and out like last time, but the sensation is different.

Is it because she's on top of me?

Sakura's body is more sensual than last time, and she seems to be wetter.


The feel of her weight on me is so lovely that I reach out unconsciously.

"Hm... Your hand, Senpai...!"

I cover her breasts with my hands.

"I'm so glad―――please touch them... Please squeeze them, touch them as you like...!"

―――Her breasts are soft, yet firm.

Letting my male instincts take over, I dig my fingers into her breasts and fondle her hard nipples with my thumb.

"Hya...! Ah, mm――――!"

Her body arches back.

I circle her areola and roll her nipples between my fingers.

"Haa... ah, haa... Do my breasts feel good...?"

Her pink nipples grow still harder.

Sakura's body grows even hotter.

"Ah, hm...! Ah, it feels good...! Please feel it, Senpai――――!"

Her butt moves in a rhythm.

...The love juice starts to fill the air with an obscene smell.

My crotch is damp with her fluids, dripping down with every movement.

"...Ah, haa, ah――――no, Senpai―――i can't hold it any longer――――I can't stop my hips...!"

Sakura puts her hands down on my chest.

Her walls were only accepting me until now.

But suddenly, it's like it was the last time.


―――She undulates inside.

The honey pot that only accepted me until now suddenly starts to attack the foreign body.

The numerous walls surround me, entangle me, and suck on me.

It's moving in a complex manner, but it still only gives me pleasure.

It reminds me of a carnivorous plant, slowly digesting its prey.

"Hm, fua, ah.. mm, ah...! Ahh... this is good...!"


Sakura's hair tosses as she moans.

Her love juice helps the rubbing friction, urging to move faster.


"Ah... hm...! Amazing―――it's driving into me...!"

"―――――――, ――――"

I'm pushing my hips up before I know it.

Did Sakura drive me to do it, or did she start to go crazy because I started to push my hips up?

We move apart and collide like magnets.

"Ah, hm, ahh...! Ahh, ahh, oh, ah, haa...!"

Sakura's body shakes in response to the thrusts.

She takes it with all her body, begging for me to go deeper still.

The tip hits the ceiling.

The wet walls protest, but accept me, and the hundreds of walls caress the tip.

"Ah, ahh...!!! It's deep in me...!

You're deep in me――――!"


The semen reaches my urethra, waiting for its release.

If I can, I want to let it all out.

Not only my semen, but every liquid within my body.

"Ah, ah――――"

It's abnormal.

She feels too good.

Her body sucks on me, as if trying to devour my whole penis.

The pleasure is limitless.

"Ah―――Ah, haa―――!! I can't put power in my body... Senpai, I can't stay up, ahh, haa...!"


I support my falling body with my hands.

I can't bear it either.

I can't bear it, but I can hold on a bit.

Sakura's calling out to me, so I want to finish together.

"Ah―――I'm glad――――you're coming in――――Senpai, I'm glad, I'm glad, Senpai...!!!!"

For as long as Sakura calls out to me, I'll love her.

Until I break apart.

―――I push up.

I ram myself into her to respond to her call.

"Haa, ahh, kuh, ah――――! Haa, it's good, please thrust it in, Senpai...!"

―――Our minds melt together.

Her breasts shake with our movements.

It must be because Sakura is up on her knees.

Sakura is bracing herself with her legs.

So she's putting strength into her sphincter, causing her walls to squeeze me harder than before.

"Ah, it's gonna rip...! Senpai, ahh, ah, hm, ahh――――!"

...Sakura isn't moving anymore.

I'm the one doing the thrusting.

―――I thrust so hard that I might break her.

My urge to ejaculate is already over the limit.

I can't hold it back with my will anymore.

It should already be over.

But my ejaculation is held back.

I'm not bearing it, but something's holding it back as I keep thrusting into Sakura.

"No, ha, no, ahh, no―――I'm gonna go crazy... Senpai... More, Senpai...! Ahhh, ahh, fua, haa――――!!!!"

The pleasure just keeps accumulating.

The light of pleasure almost fries my brain.

But I still lust for Sakura.

"Nha, haa...! More, Senpai...! Please break me more, ah, I love you, ah, you're breaking me, ah, this is like a dream, I always wanted you to embrace me, Senpai―――Senpai, Senpai, Senpai......!!!"

"Haa, ah, ah!"

―――Which one of us is broken?

It feels like she's sucking up my energy.

It's similar to something...

It doesn't matter.

I don't care.

Sakura is the only thing I care about right now.

"Come, haa, nhaa...! Yes, ah... deeper...! Don't let me go, no, Senpai, I don't want to let go...!"

My sensations run wild.

My sanity escapes into oblivion.

Yes, I'm crazy.

Then why not forget about things I don't want to think about: my tired body, Sakura's perverted actions, my left arm that I want to cut off――――

"Ha―――Sakura―――Sakura, Sakura, Sakura...!"

Cracks run across my vision.

The thing that held me back starts to disappear.

"Ahh...! Ah, haa, ha――――I'm coming, no, I'm gonna come before you...! Together―――Senpai, Senpai, come together with me――――!"

"Yeah――――me too...!"

The urge to ejaculate.

It's about to unload everything from the very root.

"Hm, ah――――ah, Senpai――――!"

I slam my cum into her pussy along with my penis.

"Ah――――hm, ah――――......"

Her walls convulse.

In a trance, Sakura strokes her stomach, filled with my cum.

"......Hm...... I have to take all of it―――"

How conscious is she?

My cum flows out of her slit, dripping down indecently.

"...Oh... No, it's flowing out..."

Sakura squeezes, as if unwilling to let it go.


My penis convulses and lets out what is left inside.

...And I'm done.

My penis loses its power, turns flaccid, and stops pushing apart Sakura's vagina.

"Ah......... Haa........."

I somehow manage to keep my sanity while the pleasure assails me.

...I push her waist and let myself out.

"Oh――――it's out..."

A shudder runs through her.

Sakura takes a deep breath, and...

"Fuaa... I reached orgasm, Senpai――――"

She falls onto my body.

――――My reasoning disappears.

My energy is gone, and I released all of my magical energy.


...The power in my mind turns off.

I can't think of anything.

I can't recall what happened tonight, the pleasure that was only pain.

"This is just like――――"

It's like it was a dream.

...I fall into a deep sleep.

My tired body forgets about the fact that Sakura came to this room, the uneasiness in my mind, what happened tonight, and...

...I go back to the light sleep I was having an hour ago.

Scene 15 Connection of minds [Realta Nua]

…A small sound.
I awaken to the sound of footsteps.

I wake up my dozing mind.
It’s almost two o’clock.
…It hasn’t even been thirty minutes since I fell asleep.
I get up, still unconsciously holding on to my left arm.

Outside the room.
I call out to the hallway where the footsteps came from.
It’s not that I know who’s there.
I just thought Sakura might be there.

……The door opens.
Sakura steps through into my room.

Biting her lip in embarrassment, she looks down as if unsure of what to say.

“……I’m sorry, Senpai. I, again…”
Sakura apologizes.

But I’m the one who should apologize.
The reason why Sakura’s here.
I know well enough the pain she has to go through.
The crest worm feeds on her magical energy, so Sakura periodically needs to receive more from a magus.

“…I should’ve gone to see you as soon as I came home. I’m sorry for making you suffer.”
I stand up.
I was so caught up with my left arm that I forgot about Sakura. I can’t be forgiven even if I apologize.

“Um, Senpai…?”

“I know. If you’re ready, let’s start right away.”

Sakura blushes and nods.
…There’s nothing for her to be embarrassed about, but maybe Sakura feels the act of sucking blood is somehow indecent.

“Ah… but, um…”
She looks down, seeming troubled.
Oh, right.
We can’t start like this.
She bit my finger before, but this time I can share my blood in a more practical way.

“Wait a second. I think it was in the desk.”
I stand up and turn towards my desk.

But I unconsciously tried to move my left arm.

“S-Senpai…?! A-A-Are you all right…?!”

“… No, it’s nothing. I just felt a bit dizzy.”
Damn, that’s pitiful.
I used my left arm and was reminded of the pain.
Still, it shouldn’t hurt so long as I have the cloth on, so what am I frightened about?

“Let’s see… all right, here it is.”
I rummage through the desk with my right hand and pull out a box cutter.
I push out the blade with a clicking noise, checking whether it’s gotten chipped or dull.

I can’t make Sakura bite me, so I need to make myself bleed instead.
It’d be easier if I had a syringe or something, but unfortunately I don’t keep that kind of thing on hand.
So in this case, all that’s left is to quickly cut my arm and let the blood flow.

“What did you mean by ‘all right’?”
My right hand is holding the box cutter. My left hand and the arm attached to it are wrapped up.
…This is stupid of me.
If I’m holding the cutter in this hand, then of course I can only cut the other arm. Even loosening the cloth hurts, so cutting it is out of the question.


But my left hand can’t move well enough to hold it.

I think about what to do, and…

I hear the echo of a howl.

There’s still time, it says.
I don’t need this arm, it says.

Think about it. Just loosening the cloth causes you that much pain.

So there’s still time. There is a blade in your hand.

You’ll waste your life on sealing that invasive thing away.
You’ll live in perpetual fear of that explosive that could go off at any time.
Even just its timer will be enough, so gouge it out with this box cutter.

I freeze, holding the box cutter.
I’d decided not to hold onto this regret anymore, but holding a blade brings it back all of a sudden.
My heart hammers, cold and mechanical, and my eyes go out of focus.

“Um… Senpai?”

Her voice breaks the spell.
I lower the box cutter and breathe deeply.

“Sorry. I was just thinking. It’s nothing important, so don’t worry about it.”

“R-Really…? But, Senpai, you look…”

“I’ve just got heartburn. It’s nothing compared to what you’re going through right now.

Just wait. An injury as small as this will only take---”

I move the box cutter lightly.

The pain was really nothing to worry about, only a small sting.

“Oh… All right, this will do it.”
The blood flows more quickly than I’d thought.
Now, to give it to Sakura---



…I drop the box cutter.
Sakura stares at the cut on my arm, and the trail of red liquid running along it.
She goes limp as thought her fright until now had been just an act.

There’s an intoxicated look in her eyes.
Her moist, parted lips and pale throat move greedily.
She twists her body as she crawls across the futon towards me on all fours.
It’s as if some sleek beast has taken Sakura’s form.

I don’t know what to say at this sudden change.
…All I can do now is hold out my arm, dripping with blood to the wrist now, to Sakura.

“Ah… mm…”

The blood drips from my fingers.
It dribbles between her soft, wet lips.
The blood continues dripping onto Sakura’s outstretched tongue.

Sakura raptly licks my fingers.
I don’t feel the pain from the cut, only the softness of Sakura’s tongue at my arm.

It’s happening again.
The irresistible sensation is coming back.

“Ahh… mmm… It’s delicious… Senpai”
The sight of Sakura licking my arm is beautiful and captivating.
As though she hadn’t been frightened just moments before, Sakura’s charm stimulates my mind.

“Ha… ah, ah---”
…It’s as though she’s lapping up honey.
Sakura’s lips gradually approach the cut.
They cover the still-bleeding wound.

That indescribably pleasant feeling is back.
All the strength goes out of my shoulders. It’s a bewitching sweetness, different from when she was licking my fingers.

I grit my teeth and hold back my voice.
My blood is being taken, but the pleasant feeling pours in in its place.
The pain from the cut becomes dim, and I can barely feel my right arm anymore.

Sakura is pressed to my arm, drinking deeply.
I know this is to replenish Sakura’s magical energy, but to think it would be this sweet

“Mm, mmm…”
Sakura’s murmuring voice stimulates my nerves.
The pleasure of her drinking my blood reaches all the way to the shoulder. My left arm is filled with pain and fear, while my right is filled with pleasure and loss.


I embrace Sakura.
Holding her in the arm from which she’s drinking, I bring her close to my chest. Still, she keeps drinking as though it’s something delicious.

“Haa… ah… Sen…pai… my… Sen…pai---”
The pleasure of the honey being sucked intoxicates me more than Sakura’s soft body, or the feeling of her lips at my arm.
A hard-to-describe urge arises in my mind.
I want to hold Sakura so tightly that she breaks.

---She continues to suck.
It feels like she’s sucking up my energy, not only my blood.
A thought enters my hazy mind.

It reminds me of something.

It doesn’t matter.
I don’t care.

“Ahh… mm… your wound… is already”

…How long did we stay like this?
Sakura reluctantly separates her lips from my arm.
…My head is heavy. It feels like Sakura is still drinking from me.
My mind feels like it’s floating through the air.
Still, I try to see if Sakura is okay.

“Ahhaah… Thank you for the meal, Senpai---”

Sakura looks down remorsefully.
With that, maybe because my magical and physical energy have been used up, the last of my tension disappears.


…The power in my mind turns off.
I can’t think of anything.
I can’t remember the gentleness of Sakura’s arms, or the pleasant feeling of her sucking my blood.

“This is just like---”
It’s like I just dreamed of giving Sakura my blood.
…I fall into a deep sleep.
My tired body forgets about Sakura dressing my wound and returning to her room, the uneasiness in my mind, what happened tonight.

I go back to the light sleep I was having an hour ago---

Scene 16 Nightmare(II)

――――It is in a red sea.

The familiar scenery is submerged in seawater, turning the town into an aquarium.

Instead of air, something thick flows into the throat.

The more it gasps for breath, the more of the heavy, watery substance it sucks in.

So this has to be underwater.

It gasps out that it is painful.

It originally lived on land. It cannot possibly live underwater.

It tries to reach the surface, and it eventually reaches the highest place in the town.

The suffocation does not abate.

It looks down at the town, lungs burning from lack of oxygen, and curses the peacefully sleeping townspeople.

It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts.

There's no air here.

There's no pain here.

It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts.

It drags corpses behind it.

Its body is bright red with blood.

It hurts. It hurts. Need more. It hurts.

In its black hands are many corpses.

The distorted hands grasp many dead bodies.

Need more. Need more. Need more. Need more.

It smashes them, dyeing itself red.

Need more air.

The air hurts.

The water pressure is uncaring.

The water pressure is unbearable.

It smears the red blood all over its body.

It probably thinks that the blood is the only watertight protection it has to live in this water.

It reaches out its twisted hands.

Illuminated by the moon, the dark hand becomes a giant shadow and descends to crush the town――――


She wakes up.

She's breathing hard from her restless sleep.

Astonished by the dream's realism, she hugs her feverish body.

At that instant...

Her hands are wet with blood.

"Ah, ah――――!"

She shuts her eyes and pulls her hands away.

...But when she looks again, they are clean.

Although she knows it was just a hallucination, she can't stop trembling.

She trembles.

She trembles like a broken machine.

She trembles so violently that bolts might spill from her ears.

All the parts in her body will spill out like that―――and the image is so frightening that she cannot stop trembling.

"――――My face. Yeah, I have to go wash my face――――"

She heads to the bathroom.

She makes it only a few steps.

Her quaking limbs will not follow her orders.

She braces herself against a desk.

"...Ah... Ah――――"

Her vision wavers.

She can't make it to the door. She can't even see it clearly.

She can't remember what kind of a dream she was having, or why she got out of bed.

"...Ugh... Ah."

She's broken.

She can't remember anything.

She can't think of anything.

There is nothing but lust and hunger.

She wants hot skin, breath, sensation, penis, semen, and kind words.

Her empty but mushed-up insides plead for more sex.


She lies on the desk and shakes her head.

Fear and infinite self-hatred.

Something is wrong.

Why hasn't she had enough?

A few hours ago, she was loved, just like in her fantasies, but it hasn't filled her up at all.

It felt great, and she thought there could be no greater happiness, but she's not the least bit satisfied.

She's probably empty, and that's why he alone cannot fill her up.

But she doesn't want anyone else.

She wants to be his for much longer.

She wanted it at the cost of time, emotion, and other people, so why didn't she do so? And she naturally realizes that she can eliminate all the things she just thought about.


She feels dizzy.

It's not so far-fetched.

What's scary is that...

She really thought that it would be fun.

"Ah――――uh... ugh...!"

She leans on the desk.

She keeps her collapsing body steady.

The frightening dream becomes clearer every day.

The frightening dream becomes less frightening every day.

She is breaking down.

Until now, it was only her body.

But now, she is beginning to go mad.

"...Uh... uh, ugh."

Moans escape her mouth.

Her vague memory is no problem.

It doesn't matter if she cannot remember what happened a few hours ago.

She's not scared of being in bed forever.

She is terrified of becoming something else.

She doesn't want to become a bad person.

If she slowly breaks down like this, she will go crazy in the end.

She will probably become something that will cause him the most trouble.


That's what terrifies her.

It's scary to go crazy. It's more scary than anything else.

If she does, he will not touch her, nor will he love her.

She won't be able to be with him. She won't even know if she is with him.

Not only that. If she loses her mind, he will be with another woman.

She doesn't want that. She really doesn't want that.

She always thought he should be with someone else, someone better suited to him, but she can no longer accept that.


He is already hers.

...That's why it's frightening.

She's scared of what she might do.

"...Ugh――――uh, kuh――――"

She knows, yet there's no salvation.

She cannot tell him of this disfunction.

If she tells him, it will be back to the cold for her.

She cannot return to the cold now that she has known warmth.

She wants to...

Keep smiling at him.

But she knows what will be lost if this continues.

Her wish is just a desire.

She wishes for one person's happiness, yet her happiness requires the ruin of that same person.

If she cannot do so, she should just break down and disappear.

If she's going to go crazy, she should disappear now and become a monster in a place with no people.

That should be the best choice.

But she still clings to it.

She wishes for more because it's warm and happy here.

So why?

Why is such a normal desire forbidden to her?

"No――――No, no, no, no...!"

She shakes off her weakness.

She's not envious.

She's not holding any grudges.

She justifies her decision, saying that she merely wants to stay here.

"No――――this isn't me."

She shakes her head in denial.

She shuts her dark mind with an empty head.

―――There are no happy endings.

She turns her eyes away from the obvious conclusion.

"Ugh――――uhh, ugh――――"

...Her hazy mind is already experiencing another nightmare.

Forcing down her wish to be saved, she keeps on crying.