FSN HF Day 12 (EN)

Scene 00 Blank memory

It's morning.

My mind slowly



It's morning.

As my mind slowly awakens, I sit up.

It's past eight o'clock.

I'm late for school.

Well, that's not really true since I'm not going to school, but it makes no difference to the fact that I slept in.

"Whoa. I have to make breakfast."

I get up and get changed.

I can't avoid looking at the cloth wrapped around my left arm.

".........All right."

I swing my arm as a warm-up exercise.

It's fine.

It rises up to my shoulders, as I intended.

It's getting better day by day.

There's still no sensation, but at this rate...

"What're you doing, Shirou? Breakfast is already over."

"Huh? What? What?"

Illya is in front of me.

I should be in the living room, but I'm in the shed for some reason.

"Are you listening to me, Shirou? I'm asking what you're doing here."

"Y―――Yeah, I'm listening. Good morning, Illya. What a strange place to meet up."


That was an odd reply on my part.

It seems I'm not awake yet.

"Shirou? You're not feeling well?"

"Huh? Oh, no. It's just that I'm only half awake, so give me a minute."

I shake my head.

My body is dead tired, but my sleepiness goes away.

"――――All right. So, answering your question, I don't have any business here. I just made a stupid mistake because I was half-asleep."

"I see. Then let's go to the living room! I'll prepare your breakfast."

Illya happily runs across the yard.

The sky is nice.

It's bright blue, as if trying to wash away yesterday's gloomy air.

I take a deep breath, and the cold, refreshing air fills my lungs.

"――――Hm? Did Illya just say she'll make breakfast?"

That's the first thing I say after I'm fully awake.

Illya's breakfast... I'm looking forward to it, but I'm also worried at the same time.

I'm pretty sure that Illya has never even held a knife before, let alone cooked.

"Oh... I should go keep an eye on her."

I run across the prickling grass to the living room.

And I'm astonished once again.

I must've been really out of it.

What was I thinking, coming here in my bare feet?

Four minutes after Illya...

I get up on the porch after wiping my feet.

"Oh, Senpai."

I run into Sakura as she comes out of the living room.

"Good morning, Sakura. ...I'm sorry about this morning. I overslept, and it was past eight when I noticed."



Maybe she didn't hear me. She's just looking blankly at my face.


I reach out, afraid that she's sick again.


"G-Good morning, Senpai!"

Or maybe she isn't, because she greets me with lots of energy.

"Oh, you're full of energy. So I'm guessing you feel well?"

"Y-Yes, I'm doing great, thanks to you. You gave me energy!"


Sakura sounds awkward.

...Being energetic is a good thing, but I get uneasy seeing her so restless.

"What's wrong, Sakura? You're acting weird. First of all, what do you mean by me giving you energy?"

"Um―――well, um, last night..."

"In your room..."

Sakura trails off, blushing furiously.


I remember now.

No, there's no way I can forget about it.

Last night...

I had sex with Sakura.

And it was our second time.

We did it more furiously than the first time, and I lusted for Sakura's body.


Blood rushes to my head in an instant.

I almost think that there's no blood left below my neck.

"S-Sakura... The thing last night..."

That wasn't a dream, right?

Sakura is still blushing, but she shakes her head and looks at me critically.



I thought my face couldn't get any hotter, but I guess I was wrong.

...Um, last night was amazing.

Sakura's service, our animalistic sex...

It was so stimulating that my mind labeled the event a dream and filed it away in the corner of my memory――――no!

"Sakura. Um... I'm sorry I was rough yesterday."

Ignoring the blazing heat I feel, I apologize.

"―――Okay. But I was happy, Senpai."

Sakura smiles and gives a lethal reply.


She got me.

Sakura's so cute that I want to push her down right here.

I would've lost it for real if the sound of the TV hadn't come from the living room, and...

"Shirou? Breakfast's ready."

...And if Illya hadn't called for me at exactly the right time.

"S-So I'm going to go eat breakfast! I-I'll talk to you later about this!"

I pivot like a robot and head to the living room.

My limbs move awkwardly as I force down my desires.

Scene 01 Illya's breakfast

"Here's your breakfast, Shirou!"

Illya hands me a plate as soon as I enter the living room.

On the plate are blackened toast, a runny sunny-side up egg, and cut tomatoes.

"Oh, thanks."

My head's still dizzy, but I sit down at my usual spot and start biting on the toast.

I decline to comment on the toast, but the egg is done pretty well. Maybe she copied someone, or perhaps Tohsaka taught her.

Anyway, I have to give her a perfect score if this is her first time cooking.

"It's good."

I crunch on the toast.

Illya doesn't seem happy or proud, but simply watches me in satisfaction.

I'm not giving in to her happy mood, but I decide not to ask why the toast feels like coal.

It's good.

Having your toast black or hard is a matter of personal preference.

"It is a problem. You'll get sick if you eat something burned like that."

"You idiot. The burned spots are the best, whether it's rice or toast."

"...Hey. Are you all right, Emiya-kun?"

"I'm saying it's good. And I guess doing it rough is all right."

"You must really be half-asleep. This isn't time to be saying such carefree things, you know?"

Tohsaka looks at the TV.

The TV is on, showing the morning news.

――――Is this deja vu?

The news seems to be a story I've already seen―――and my mind sharpens up.

The captions on the screen.

An incidence of unexplained comas occurred in Shinto last night.

The residents lost consciousness overnight.

It's being treated just like the other mysterious comas, but it's different from before.

The area of the incident is 50 meters in diameter.

It used to only happen in one building at a time, but the damage is spread much further now.

...And that's not the only problem.

At the end of the report...

Beside the triple-digit number of victims is a new list called "missing people".

"Tohsaka, this is..."

"Yes. Fourteen missing people. I'm sure there'll be more once they look into it. Well, it looks like about a tenth of the people were completely swallowed."


My mind freezes.

I unconsciously...

"Do you get it now? I don't know if this is Zouken or the shadow's doing, but it makes no difference to the fact that there are more victims now.

At this rate, a whole section of the town will be swallowed in a few days."

Squeeze my left arm.

"――――Tohsaka. Are the missing people dead?"

I ask to confirm.

Tohsaka looks away, which is answer enough.

"...That's all. I understand how you feel, but feeling guilty can come later.

Look, they're starting to do as they please because they think we can't do anything about it. They can do ridiculous things because they're taking us lightly.

So I don't even need to say what we need to do, right?"

Tohsaka quietly gets up.

...There's only one place she could be going.

Tohsaka does not urge me to join her, but goes ahead to the dojo.

Scene 02 Determination

"So. First off, how's your arm doing, Shirou?"

Tohsaka cuts right to the chase when I get to the dojo.

"Well, I can move it fine. But that's not what you're asking me, right?"

"Right. I'm asking you if you understand Archer's arm."

Illya is watching us silently.


...I swear Tohsaka doesn't know what this arm is.

She doesn't know about the fear I felt last night.

It'll be over for me if I take this cloth off.

She doesn't know my body will be destroyed if I let this arm free, let alone use it.

――――I recall the sensation.

Unavoidable death.

It felt like being buried alive.

Utter obliteration, where the world is covered beneath something mysterious and ends in silence.

After just a glimpse of it, my mind repeated to itself in terror...

That I cannot use this arm.

I'll die if I use it.

Without some sort of miracle, I will definitely die.

"How is it? It's been a day since I transplanted my crest, so it should be working now.

Answer me. Do you know what you can do with Archer's arm?"


...Hold on.

Tohsaka's question is not exactly what I'd been expecting.

I thought she wanted to know if I could use the arm.

"Um... so you're not asking me if I can suppress his arm, but if I know what his Noble Phantasm is?"

"O-Of course! It'll be terrible if you use Archer's arm, so there's no way I'm going to let you! Or what!? Were you thinking about using it!?"


Tohsaka's seriously angry.

"Uh... No, but I thought that's where the conversation was going..."

"What are you talking about!?"

"...Geez. Let me tell you. I forbid you to use Archer's arm, no matter the situation.

And don't even consider using it without my permission.

...Um, you're taking Archer's place, so it'll trouble me if you die."


Tohsaka's serious.

...I take back what I said earlier.

She knows.

She's a much better magus than I am.

She knows more than me about what'll happen if I free this arm.

"So, how is it? Do you understand what Archer's Noble Phantasm is?"

She repeats the question.

I don't know what kind of an answer Tohsaka is expecting, but...

"Geez. Why don't you just tell her, Shirou? That you knew what it is since his arm has been transplanted."

"Wait, is that true, Shirou?"

"Ugh―――well, I think so. Archer's Noble Phantasm is his projection magecraft, and it's reproducing weapons, right?"

I have a vague idea, but I can't be sure, so I'm still half in doubt.

"...I guess I didn't need to be so nervous. So, you're already connected to it.

That's helpful in its own way, but why didn't you say anything, Illya? If Shirou knew about Archer's projection magecraft, I didn't even need to ask him."

"You didn't ask. You're the one who wants Shirou to do projection, so it's your role to ask. It's nothing I should butt in on."

"What's that? Are you going to say we're stopping after all that preparation?"

"That's for you two to decide.

You'll certainly win if you can reproduce the gem sword. That's why I gave you a hand. But I only helped you because it's my obligation. It's not because I agree with your plan."



Judging by their conversation, Tohsaka wants me to project something――――

"Can I say something? So in short, you have something you want reproduced?"

"Yup. I need you to reproduce something for me.

We can't match Saber or that shadow. So we have to create something in place of Servants, a Conceptual Weapon that exceeds the Servants."

"Conceptual Weapon――――? Is that the fixed magical item that executes a set phenomenon?"

"Yes. It's an Outbreaker that defeats its opponent using the weight of its concept rather than physical damage. I'm going to have you project a special Conceptual Weapon that has been passed down through the Tohsaka family."

"The goal is to make something that can match Saber's Noble Phantasm.

You saw Saber's Noble Phantasm that defeated Berserker, right?

In terms of raw power, Saber's weapon is the strongest.

I'm sure even the shadow would be destroyed by a blow from her Noble Phantasm, and we can't dodge or block it if it's used against us.

Conversely, we can manage a fight if we can make a sword that exceeds Saber's Noble Phantasm, even if it's an imitation that breaks easily."


...It's a sound argument, and a natural conclusion.

If Saber's Noble Phantasm is their strongest weapon, we just need to prepare something that outperforms it.

Make a weapon that is stronger than your enemy's.

It's the simplest and surest way to win.


"...I don't know. I can't project such a strong Noble Phantasm. No, first of all, I've never succeeded at projection magecraft――――"

"Yes. I'm sure you've never been able to do the kind of projection that we magi are familiar with.

But your projection isn't on that level. You were merely doing it wrong because you didn't know how.

But you now have Archer's knowledge, so you just need to trace it. With Archer as your example, you will succeed."


Tohsaka sounds confident.

But even so, I have no confidence in myself.

"Look. I've told you before, but you're a magus that uses projection, not strengthening.

You might not be able to make a replica with the same power as the original, but you should get close to it if you follow Archer's theory."

"Our role is to back you up.

We'll prepare the materials to be as close to the original as possible.

Illya is analyzing the blueprint that you'll be using during projection, and I'm preparing the materials that were used to make the real weapon."

"...It'll be a little longer, but it's up to you after that. If you can reproduce my master's pass, even if it's just the shape, we have a chance of victory against Zouken."



So they're going to prepare the blueprint and the materials, and I'm supposed to put it together?

I have no problem if we can defeat Zouken that way.

I'll happily go with her plan, but―――

"Let's assume I really can project this weapon.

If that's the case, we won't need any materials. If you show me the original, I can copy it.

We can try it right now instead of waiting for you to get ready."

"Are you stupid? If it were that simple, I would've had you try it two days ago.

Look, you'll be able to project once at most, and the projected weapon is certain to have flaws.

But that's meaningless. We can't have you make an imitation like the failures in the shed that look the same on the outside, but contain nothing on the inside."

"...Hm. But I can only make such imitations."

"That's why we're backing you up.

We're preparing materials that are as close to the real thing as possible to compensate for the required knowledge and magical energy, and have you fix it in place with your image.

It's simple addition. We add your image and the materials we prepared to achieve a better result."

"...Well, I'm sure we don't need the material or the blueprint if you use Archer's arm to project it, but that's not possible.

This is the only way to prepare a weapon without relying on that arm."

"So we're strengthening what's there using projection, huh?

...Yeah, that does sound..."

It sounds plausible, and we might be able to do it with practice.

"But I don't know if it'll succeed or not.

I wasn't able to consistently use strengthening magecraft until I became a Master. I don't think I can do something like that on the spot."

"Oh, that's all right.

I'm going to have you train your projection and practice retrieving Archer's knowledge."

"...I see. That's good for me too, but you look happy, Tohsaka."

"No way. I've been playing with building blocks with Illya for a while, so I'm just thinking how refreshing it is to talk with a bad student."


...Ugh. I get the chills, recalling the weird sensation from yesterday.

Tohsaka got me naked, came close to me, and stuck her fingers in me.

Nothing happened then, but if we're going to do that again today...


I might get a big scolding from Sakura, resting in her room.

"So, do you get it now, with all jokes aside?

I want to confirm everything one last time."


"I'm asking if you're okay with this plan.

We'll be relying on your projection.

I won't let you use Archer's arm, but his influence will still poison you as you imitate his magecraft. Knowing that, are you still okay with this plan?"

"Hey, I have no complaints if we can defeat Zouken. And it's promising if you're the one training me in magecraft."

"...I'll be honest here. Using Archer's magecraft means releasing the seal on his arm.

In short, I'm telling you to take off that Shroud while we're training projection."


My mind freezes.

Take the Shroud off?

Release this arm that terrified me, made me cry, and made me shake in the corner, just by loosening the cloth?

――――I don't even need to think about it.


Scene 03 Noble fool

"――――Okay. If that's what it takes."

I muster all my resolve.

"I'll go with your plan. I need to take this cloth off, right?"

And I manage to nod.

"......I see. So it's as I expected."

"What is it, Tohsaka? Is my answer not good enough?"

"No. I just reaffirmed that threatening you is meaningless.

I didn't think you'd be okay with taking the Shroud off, but your answer is satisfactory."

Tohsaka looks away, clearly displeased.

"Hey, you're acting strange, Tohsaka. It took a lot of effort to agree to that, and now it feels like I'm at fault here."

"Yes, I am the strange one.

Your response was exactly what I wanted, but actually hearing it made me mad."

"But Shirou. I've already said this, but I won't let you use Archer's arm. That means never taking the Shroud off.

I'm not one to talk after testing your determination like that, but don't ever say you'll take the Shroud off.

...If you do, there'll be no turning back."

Scene 04 Blame for persistence

―――I can't do that.

I recall the pain from last night.

The indescribable agony and the certainty of impending doom frighten me to the core.

But more than that...

I'm scared of what I'll do when I free this arm.

"...No. I can't take this off. Once I do, it can't be undone."

Forcing down the fear, I make my decision.


"Good. It's troubling if you take that cloth off so easily."

Tohsaka is pleased, even though I refused.

"......? Tohsaka, I said I can't do it."

"I know. I'm sorry, but that was just a test.

I thought I'd warn you ahead of time since you have a dangerous side to you. I would've tied you down if you agreed."

"...Test? ...You tested me, Tohsaka?"

"Oh... Yeah, I wanted to know what you thought.

Look, I've already said this, but I won't let you use Archer's arm. That means never taking the Shroud off."

"I'm not one to talk after testing your determination like that, but don't ever say you'll take the Shroud off. If you do, there'll be no turning back."

Scene 05 Training start

It sounds more like a plea than a warning.


I grasp my left arm that's covered by the red cloth.

I don't want to take this off either.


"...Then what about imitating Archer's magecraft?

I won't be able to draw out his magecraft unless I take this off, right?"

"Right. So I'm going to have you loosen the Shroud a bit. That won't break the seal, and the reaction from the arm should be small, right?"

"........Yeah. Then what you meant earlier by taking off the cloth is..."

"Yes. I just meant loosening the cloth slightly.

But that's still a big deal, so I tested your determination."

"You would have to do this eventually, anyway.

You don't want to keep that on forever, right? You won't be able to manage it in the future unless you can at least put it back on. Like taking a bath or if it comes undone somehow."

"Oh―――you're right."

"Right? So you should at least get used to what happens when you loosen it.

The crest from yesterday seems to have familiarized itself with your body, and your magical resistance has increased. Illya will protect your consciousness, so I think you'll be able to keep it unbound for about five minutes."

"Illya...? So you want us to suppress Archer's arm together?"

I look at Illya, who has been quiet all this time.

"No. I'm only going to protect your mind, so it's your role to endure the flowback from Archer.

You have to retrieve his experience, so you need to bear with it, not block it off."


If Illya cuts off the flow of magical energy from Archer, I won't be able to learn his techniques.

Even if it's poison for me, I have to taste it to understand its content.

"...All right. So I'm to loosen the cloth and bear the flowback from the arm, right?"

"Yes. Make sure to close your eyes and concentrate within yourself.

It's just like opening the Magic Circuit, so it should be easy, right?

Your body just needs to experience Archer's projection technique. Don't worry about trying to understand it."

"――――I'm sorry, but I'm gonna leave for a bit.

I'll leave the rest to you, Illya. Please train Shirou while I'm gone."

Tohsaka suddenly gets up and leaves without hurry.

"......? What's up with her?"

"I don't know. I think she forgot something.

But you have things to do yourself, Shirou.

I'm against something stupid like loosening the Shroud, but I'll help since you promised her. Let's finish this before she gets back."

Illya comes behind me and lays her cold hand on my back.


"Just close your eyes and meditate.

I'll protect your mind and loosen the Shroud once the Magic Circuit opens up.

I'll time it, so you just have to bear the flowback of magical energy. Be sure to make desperate efforts, or the reaction will definitely swallow you."

Illya talks without emotion.

I nod back and close my eyes.

...I quietly gather my senses and create another nerve inside me.

This step has gotten much easier over the past few days.

Once I complete the line of light running through my back...

"I'm going to give you a needless warning.

Rin only knows the pain of having a heroic spirit's arm transplanted onto you. She doesn't know what this is going to cause. She has no idea what this is going to do to you.

But it can't be helped.

I'm the only one in the world who knows about the relationship between you and Archer."

Illya is saying something strange in a voice too vague to hear clearly.

Scene 06 Sisters(V)


She leaves the two of them and comes out into the yard.

"What's going on, Sakura? Weren't you resting in your room since you're sick?"

Tohsaka Rin coldly regards the girl before her.


Matou Sakura looks down uneasily.



There are no words between them.

Rin mercilessly condemns the outsider, Sakura,

who is at a loss for words, feeling beholden and inferior.

"Sakura. If you're here because you're worried about Emiya-kun, go back. I'll pretend I didn't see you."


Sakura trembles a bit.

Her older sister is bitter.

She corners Sakura, even when she knows of her uneasiness.

"No, Nee-san. I just..."

Pushing her resolve, Sakura looks at her ideal, her older sister.


"You don't need to explain. I'm telling you to go back to your room.

I'm not going to let you in the dojo, no matter what you tell me."

Rin cuts off the girl's utmost resistance.

"Why can't I go in?"

"Do I really need to spell it out? You're our enemy when we're acting as Masters.

Look, Sakura. Even if you and Rider are just staying in the house without fighting, it doesn't change the fact that you're under Zouken's control. There's no way we can train in front of such a person."


Faced with the cold words, Sakura can only stand there.

Tohsaka Rin is serious.

Unlike Shirou, her sister is worrying about when she might fall under Zouken's sway and become their enemy.


Rin probably assumes they will end up as enemies.


She bites her lip.

But she can't talk back.

As Rin says, Sakura can fall into Zouken's hands at any time.

Her body is getting worse every day, and her memory is becoming more vague.

Her only respite came when she slept, but now she's begun having nightmares.

...It'll be no surprise if she goes crazy at any time.

"That's right. Walking around when you have no magical energy only bothers us.

You don't know when you might collapse. Well, I'm sure you won't collapse right now since you've settled down, but Emiya-kun will worry if you push yourself.

...He'd be even more cornered if that happens. That's not what you want, right?"


Rin is absolutely right.

Sakura drops her gaze further, biting her lip helplessly.

"Do you understand? Then get going. I'll go get you at noon, so rest until then."

She nods.

Rin turns her back to her younger sister.

As if to tell her...

...That she's just a nuisance.

"H-Hold on, Nee-san...!"

"What? You still have something to say?"

"Yes. I understand your point. I'll go back to my room.

...But please tell me. What are you going to have Senpai do?

You know he can't fight anymore, right?

But you're seeing him, and what more are you going to make him do...!?"


She stops before leaving.

Matou Sakura's appeal is born of desperation.

A fury of emotion that the quiet girl has never shown.

Though surprised, Rin answers her with the same coldness as before.

"I'm teaching him magecraft. We can't beat Saber, Zouken, or the black shadow as we are right now.

So I'm going to have Shirou draw magecraft from Archer's arm. That arm is filled with his experience, and that experience will flow continuously into Shirou if we loosen the Shroud, forcing Shirou to level up."


As a magus of the Matou, Sakura knows that this is a reckless plan.

What her sister intends to do is just torture.

It's like pouring a hundred units of fuel into a container called Emiya Shirou that can only hold ten.

Even if ten thousand units are poured, the excess will overflow, and the container will only hold ten.

But that will only be painful.

Emiya Shirou will gain from less than a tenth of the agony he goes through.

And most of all―――a person with a normal mind will never be able to endure it.

If you set a mud puppet against a tidal wave, the puppet will be washed away.

That's what loosening the Shroud means――――

"That's absurd! Senpai's body won't last if you do such a thing...!

No, not only that! Senpai trusts you, Nee-san. That's why he's accepting your reckless plan.

I'm sure he'll take that cloth off in the end if you tell him...!"


Sakura does not look down.

She stares straight at her sister.

To that...

"...You're right. But, Sakura. He would take the Shroud off himself even if I don't tell him to. I realized it when I was talking to him earlier.

......Honestly. In the end, he'll take it off like it's nothing, no matter how strongly I warn him."

Tohsaka replies in a powerless voice.

"Eh... Nee-san?"

"Yes. I know that, so I had to suggest a plan that wouldn't make him take it off.

If he knows we can manage without having him take the Shroud off, he won't do it unless it's a last resort. So my role is to make him create a weapon within set limitations.

I'll have him rest after that. I'll even confine him, keeping him out of combat until the Holy Grail War is over."


She's telling the truth.

Tohsaka Rin is showing as much consideration as she can.

...But that is her mind as Tohsaka Rin.

As the successor of an old family lineage, Sakura knows the other side of Rin.

"Nee-san. I understand that you're concerned for Senpai's safety.

But that's it. If you find out that you cannot beat Grandfather with the current method, you will end up using him.

You're a magus of Tohsaka. You will use Senpai as a tool to win... to protect the law of magi."

They are not questions, but statements of fact.

The Tohsaka heir closes her eyes and...

"――――Yes. If our current method fails, and if Zouken and the shadow continue their rampage―――I'll have Shirou use Archer's arm. It's only natural if his life is the only thing at stake."

...She makes a declaration with her head held high.

"...That's selfish of you. Senpai never wanted the Holy Grail. He became a Master by chance. So it's wrong to force him to keep fighting."

"――――Hmph. It seems you misunderstand, Sakura."

"Look. I'm not forcing him, and even if that's true, Shirou has no right to object. His life was saved because I gave him my Archer's arm. But he hasn't tried to cut it off yet.

That means his life is mine now.

He's my Archer as long as he doesn't get rid of his arm."

"Do you get it? Shirou is my familiar until this war ends.

There's no reason for you to butt in. As long as he wants to fight, I'm going to lend him my powers, and I'm going to borrow his power."


She cannot say anything.

The girl cannot say anything back to her sister, who is full of intimidating confidence.

"―――Is that all? Then go back to your room. Didn't I tell you you're just being a distraction?"

Tohsaka Rin turns around and heads to the dojo.

The girl watches it as if it's a distant scene.

...The familiar yard is vast.

There is nothing around, and it feels like nothing is within reach.

In that artificial solitude...

"―――I see. So you're taking Senpai as well, Nee-san?"

...The girl murmurs something without emotion.

Scene 07 Blank memory


I don't know when Tohsaka got back, but she's in front of me.

"――――Huh? What are you doing, Tohsaka?"

" "

" "

" state right?"

" rather lunch Rin and Sakura Sakura more "


...That's strange.

Why are they talking secretly in front of me?

"Tohsaka, Illya."


Maybe my throat is bad, as I can't talk in a big voice.

"Hmm... All right...

Hey, what are you two talking about!?"

Their conference abruptly ends.

"Ah, ah, ah."

Oh, it's back now.

It seems the loud voice did the trick.

"What? You said my seasoning is new to you. So you don't like spicy food, Shirou?"

"Your food makes my tongue numb instead of just being spicy.

We already decided to have Sakura cook lunch, so let it go already. Shirou said he wants Sakura's stew too."

It seems they're talking about lunch.

"Hey, now's not the time to――――"

I stop halfway into my sentence.

I see the clock and find out it's almost noon.


...Something's nagging at the back of my mind.

Nothing's strange. The dojo's the same as always, but I'm getting chills.


Tohsaka left at nine o'clock.

Information I don't know in my head.


I responded to their conversation


in my head are details of every weapon

Illya said something concerning

the pain of the white arm

skipping 40, and 26 times

the memory disappeared and returned.


I hit my forehead with my fingers.

It's fine.

The dizziness is gone now.

"Shirou? What's wrong? You're going to the shopping district with Illya, right?"

I look through my memory.

I did indeed say we'll go shopping together.

"Yeah. Let's go, Illya."

I shake my head and start walking.

"...Hey. You're acting strange. You were fine when we put the Shroud back on. Did the fatigue just catch up to you?"

"Hm? Oh...... Yeah, I'm a bit confused, but it's all right."

This is nothing compared to the pain from yesterday, and my body feels fine.

I was just a bit dizzy, so there's no problem at all.

Scene 08 Lorelei

I go outside with Illya.

We can't spare the time to go shopping often, so we'll have to push ourselves and buy about three days' worth of groceries.

"Then let's buy a lot. What do you want, Illya? Well, we have to start with today's lunch."

"Aren't we having stew for lunch? You said so earlier."

"O―――Oh yeah. It's good if it's decided. Sakura makes white stew, so let's go look at the chicken meat."

We head to the familiar butcher.

We're buying three days worth of groceries after all.

We can't waste money, so we have to walk around to find cheap, high-quality goods.

―――And after thirty minutes of fast-paced store-hopping...

"Aha, we bought a lot, Shirou!"

Illya looked bored while we shopped, but she's laughing now with the groceries in hand.

"―――I'm sorry, I bought too much. Are those too heavy, Illya?

This bag is lighter, so let's swap."

I hold out the lightest of the seven bags I'm holding.

"No, it's not heavy, so I'm fine.

Should I carry one more bag? You're carrying lots of bags and you look like grapes."

"Well, I'm fine too, but grapes? That's a weird comparison."

"Yeah. You're more like a clown with balloons, but grapes are cuter, right?"

Illya chatters happily, then starts running.

"Hey, wait, Illya. It's not heavy, but it's hard to run with these."

It's not heavy, but I'm scared of the tofus and eggs breaking.

I'm scared, so I sigh and follow after Illya with quick steps.

That's the biggest compromise I can make, since I was put in charge of buying groceries.

...So I follow after Illya while being careful with what I'm carrying.

Illya must like it,

because she looks really happy.

Illya stops running and starts to walk beside me once we get to the intersection.

"♪Die Luft ist k[uuml]hl und es dunkelt,

Und ruhig flie[szlig]t der Rhein.

Der Gipfel des Berges funkelt

Im Abendsonnenschein♪"

Illya's singing.

It's a familiar melody.

I think I heard this song in school when I was a kid.

"♪Die sch[ouml]nste Jungfran sitzet

Dort oben wunderbar.

Ihr goldnes Geschmeide blitzet,

Sie k[auml]mmt ihr goldenes Haar♪"

I can't see her expression since we're walking side by side.

There's no way for me to check...

what kind of a face she's making as she sings,

or how she's feeling as she walks back home.

"♪Den Schiffer im kleinen Schiffe

Ergreift es mit wildem Weh.

Er schaut nicht die Felsenriffe

Er schaut nur hinauf in H[ouml]h♪"

A familiar melody.

The simple song is easy and kind, but because of that, it sounds lonely.

――――Illya's probably happy.

That's why she's singing as we walk home.

But I think of another reason at the same time.

It's natural for Illya to sing.

She could only sing by herself on her way home, as she had neither friends to talk to nor a father to wait for her.

"♪lch glaube die Wellen verschlingen

Am Ende Schiffer und Kahn

Und das hat mit ihrem Singen

Die Lorelei getan♪"

On the side of the road.

I look at the tall concave mirror.

In the mirror is me, holding many groceries, and a girl, singing with her eyes closed.


It's nothing.

It looks like normal siblings going home after shopping.

It looks so natural that it makes me imagine.

...What if Kiritsugu were between the boy holding the bags and the singing girl?

How happy would that be?


I call out to her.

"Hm? What is it, Shirou?"

She turns back innocently.

...That's because she's suppressing her true feelings.

Illya's killing her own emotions.

Illya's kept something bottled up within ever since Archer disappeared.

That's why we can hang out like this.

Because Illya can't smile like this unless she keeps her true self hidden.


I'm the same way.

I'm postponing something I already know.

I'm running away from what I have to say.

I just went along with Illya's lie.


...Illya probably gave up.

She stopped pressing the problem on us, and going along with our end.

That's fine.

If Illya likes this relationship and wants to keep ignoring that, I won't lose anyone.

But still...

"Illya. If you have no place to go back to after the war―――"

There's something wrong with me.

I'm about to say something I don't have to.

But I have to say it while I still can.

...I'm going to go crazy.

I'm going to go crazy, so...

"Illya. Do you want to live at my place?"

I have to ask her before I go crazy.

...She stops.

Illya answers in an emotionless voice...

"You mean that as Kiritsugu's son?"

...Looking quietly at my face.


Kiritsugu's son.

What Kiritsugu couldn't do, what Kiritsugu abandoned.

I'm Kiritsugu's son, even if I'm not blood-related, so I must assume his duties.

I have to face this girl not as Emiya Shirou, but as Emiya Kiritsugu's son.

That's what Illya is asking me.

And of course――――

"Yeah. I'm my father's son, and I like you. That's the only reason I want to live with you."

"―――Are you serious? Are you going to take Kiritsugu's place?"

"No. I can't be Kiritsugu, and I can't take his place. Kiritsugu and I are two different people. There's nothing I can give you as Kiritsugu."

"But I like my father. I want to do what he couldn't.

So despite how much you hate him, if you could bring yourself to forgive him, even a little――――"


"I want to live with you, Illya.

Can we make up for what we couldn't do until now? I'm fine with the way things are right now, so can't we live together?"

...There's no reply.

Illya looks down, and after shaking her head...

"That's not possible. I can't live long, and you can't live long either. So it's not possible to live together."

She refuses me with a bright smile.

"―――Can't... live long?"

"You know that already, right?

...Yes, one of us might be able to live a bit longer if the other is sacrificed. But I think having both of us is impossible. If I'm alive after the war, that means you're dead."

"See, it's impossible. There's no place for me in your house if you're not there."


Illya's voice contains conviction.

The silver-haired girl describes an ominous fate like a prophet.

"...Heehee. But it's a bit vexing. I wish you'd said it a bit sooner.

If you had... fate might've taken a different turn."


I don't get what Illya's saying.

I don't get why one of us has to die, or why she has given up and can say such things with a smile.

"―――Don't be stupid. That'll never happen.

Even if Zouken's after you, we'll beat him before he can do anything. That's why you're helping Tohsaka, right?"

"...Yes, but that's the problem.

Don't tell this to Rin, okay?

The projection of the gem sword. You can't reproduce the Tohsaka heirloom using Rin's method."

"Because your projection isn't projection magecraft.

Normal projection magecraft would let us layer a projection onto something that's close to the original and strengthen it.

But your projection is different. You can't give something form unless you create it from scratch based on your image.

Because your magecraft is not projection, but putting shape to your mind."

"What――――how do you know that?"

How does she know the nature of Archer's magecraft?

"...That's why it's impossible. You have to use Archer's arm to make what Rin needs. But you already know what that means.

...It won't just be partial loss of memory like earlier. If you use it even once, you won't be yourself anymore."

"You're just a bit confused because of everything that's happened with you, Sakura, and me.

So I'll forget about your offer.

You know it too, right? You can't choose all, and you can only save one."

Illya turns her back to me and goes up the hill.

I can't hear the familiar song anymore, and her words linger in my ears.

Scene 09 Memory lost


A crashing sound comes from the kitchen.

This is the fourth time this afternoon.

"I-I'm sorry, I'm okay...!"

Sakura's voice comes from the kitchen.

...Tohsaka must be tired of scolding her, because she just sits there quietly.

It's before six.

Sakura is making dinner, as she requested.

Tohsaka and I were kicked out of the kitchen, so we're waiting for dinner without doing anything.


...The sound of a dropped plate.

In just half a day, I've grown used to hearing the sound of Sakura's mistakes.

...It all started earlier today.

Sakura couldn't make her stew after we returned from shopping.

When we came home, she was clearly not feeling well.

"I'm fine. I might have a fever, but I can still make lunch."

I'm sure Sakura could've made lunch.

But I can't push her when she has a fever.

At around two o'clock, Tohsaka and I managed to persuade her to take a nap.

And at the time, we promised her...

"Then I can cook if my fever goes down?"


And later in the afternoon...

Sakura was starting to cook in the kitchen after more training that ended before I knew it.

"Oh, welcome back, Senpai. Please hold on, dinner will be ready soon."

Sakura goes back to work, full of spirit.

But I can instantly tell she's just bluffing.

'You must be tired, so go ahead and rest.'

Sakura doesn't back down, even when I tell her Tohsaka and I will do the cooking instead.

"Geez. Please don't be so overprotective. I'm a Master too. This is nothing compared to fighting."

Maybe she's being obstinate, as Sakura does not back down.

On top of that, she wouldn't even accept any help from Tohsaka or me.

Tohsaka's surprise is so unexpected that I'm stunned.

"B-But Nee-san is training Senpai, so I can't be the only one doing nothing.

I want to be of use, like Nee-san.

...And this is a role I've had for a long time. I want to keep doing it."

...This must be one thing Sakura can't give up.

It'll only make you uneasy if you can't do something that's been part of your routine for a long time.

'All right. I'll leave you in charge of dinner.'

Tohsaka started to criticize me.


"――――Okay! I'll do my best, Senpai!"

It was nothing compared to Sakura's joy.

"All right, thanks for waiting!"

A cheerful voice echoes through the room.

Sakura starts putting the dishes onto the table.

"Oh, seasoned rice. That's a complicated meal you made, Sakura."

"Yes. You bought some good clams and shrimps, so I went with seafood tonight.

The rice is cooked along with clams, the shrimps are steamed with minced meat, the squids are ethnic-styled, and I made some hamburger steak for Illya-chan."

She's filled with confidence.

Everything looks delicious, like she put all her heart into it.

I'm pretty sure the secret ingredient is her high spirits.


Clap Clap Clap

The three of us at the table clap.

"I didn't know how it'd turn out, but it seems this'll be worth the wait. Thanks for the meal."

"I'm not going to hold back either. Can you pass me a fork, Shirou?"

"Here you go. Then I'm going to have some as well."

"Okay. There's more, so please eat up."

I bow and reach out for the steamed shrimp wrap.

It's bite-sized, looking more like steamed dumplings.

It looks pretty, with the topping of green onion, ginger, and radish sprout.

I was worried about letting Sakura cook for all four of us, but this is more than――――


...I freeze.

All three of us make a sour face for an instant.

We continue eating as if nothing happened.

...No, we can only continue eating.

None of the food on the table is good.

It's not that they're terrible.

But everything seems to lack something, and the taste is out of balance.


An awkward silence.

We don't make eye contact, but wordlessly continue eating.

...But it should be impossible to keep deceiving Sakura.

She's the one who made it.

She'll notice right away once she starts eating.

Our silence is only delaying the problem.


I look at Sakura.

...She must have realized it by now.

Sakura should be shocked, but...

She hasn't even taken a bite yet.


I keep looking at her.

...What's going on?

Sakura is looking down at her bowl and chopsticks with a troubled face.

...After a moment's hesitation, she reaches out.

The chopsticks fall.

She quickly grabs them, and reaches out for the bowl.


I can't keep watching this.

...Sakura keeps repeating the same action.

She reaches out for the food with clumsy hands.

But she drops her chopsticks every time, and picks them up in a hurry.

...It doesn't seem like her fingers are merely numb.

It looks so clumsy that it seems like she's forgetting how to use the chopsticks every time she picks them up.

"U-Um... oh..."

...She doesn't see it.

Sakura should know how obvious it is to us, but she doesn't notice.

As if telling us she's all right, she keeps going through the same motions.

...She awkwardly picks up the food, quickly brings it to her mouth, puts it in with some difficulty, and then tries to remember how to use the chopsticks again.

She's trying so hard that there's no way I can ask if she's all right.

Tohsaka doesn't notice.

Or rather, she keeps eating as if she doesn't notice.


I do the same.

We pretend not to notice Sakura's abnormality and finish dinner silently.

I decide to clean up afterward.

Sakura wanted to, but I stopped her.

It doesn't seem like she can handle it, and I don't want her to find out that she can't do something she's so accustomed to.

"Just go back to your room, warm yourself up, and go to sleep. A little rest took care of your fever from before, right? Then―――"

Your fingers will work again if you sleep and rest.


I unnaturally stop myself.



Sakura bites her lip and looks down.

"Sakura. It's not like you'll be like that forever. It'll just take longer to get better if you push yourself when you're sick.

None of this is your fault, so you should rely on us a bit."

"T――――That's not true...! I'm not sick at all!

My fever's gone, I can remember what happened yesterday, and I know who you are...! There's nothing for you to be worried about. So please don't worry――――"

"...You'll be fine, even if we don't worry about you? Don't be stupid. I'll be direct if you're going to push yourself."

"You took two hours to make dinner. You dropped a plate seven times, and you seasoned the food all wrong.

You screwed up the salt and used too much pepper. It didn't even seem like your cooking. Enthusiasm is fine, but it's counterproductive if you can't get results."


"Do you get it? You think you're well, but you're still sick. That's the only thing that'd make you mess up.

...I'm angry, okay? Starting tomorrow, you're barred from the kitchen. I'm not going to let you push yourself until your fever breaks."

Without waiting for her reply, I pull her to the guest room.

Her steps are heavy, but I ignore them and take her to her room.

Scene 10 Shadow swallowing the town

Tohsaka is waiting at the door.

It's ten o'clock.

I know it's useless, but it's time to go patrol the town.

"...That was fast. How's Sakura?"

"I made her go to sleep. I'm sure she was tired. She fell asleep soon after she laid down."

"I see. Then we'll leave the rest to Illya and Rider. We can't see Rider, but I'm sure she's guarding Sakura from somewhere in this house."


Rider is protecting Sakura, just like she says.

I'm sure she's remaining in spirit form to ease the burden on Sakura.

'She probably will not last a few more days.'

...I recall the priest's words.

The crest worm in her body will take her magical energy as long as the Holy Grail War continues.

It's dangerous to put form to her Servant in her condition, and she should save her energy for emergencies.

That's why Rider is in spirit form.

"You look gloomy. Do you want to say something?"


Something I want to say...?

How stupid. Of course I want to say something.

"Tohsaka. Can we beat Zouken tonight?"

We have no time to waste.

Sakura is weakening day by day.

If I'm to believe the priest's words, she might die tomorrow――――

"That's impossible. We can't match him right now.

...I understand your rush, but you have to be patient if you want to save Sakura. We can't help her if we die."

"―――We won't fight yet. ...Okay, I understand that. Then..."

"You want to say there's no point in patrolling? Shirou. Is beating Zouken all we want to do? No, right? You don't want any innocent people getting involved and dying, right?"


...That's right.

I know. I know.

The patrol has a meaning. Even if we just run away if we find them, we have to do everything we can so that there won't be victims like yesterday.


What did I swear to protect more than that oath――――?

"...Shirou...? Are you all right, Emiya-kun...?"

"―――Oh, I just felt a bit dizzy. I'm sorry, Tohsaka. I wasn't thinking."

"You don't have to apologize. Sakura's in danger, but you must be tired as well.

I was actually going to have you acquire projection in three days, but you worked hard and succeeded it today. I understand that you want to fight now."


I'm able to use projection after just today's training...?

"What? Did I say something weird?"

"―――No. Um, the training was so hard that it took everything I had to get through it, so it doesn't seem real."

"Yeah, you were absorbed in it. But you were able to project a dagger on your last try, thanks to that.

Well, your success rate is below ten percent, so you need to keep practicing."


...Well, I guess that's how it was if I was that into it.

That's probably why it was late afternoon when I noticed.

―――When we get to town, I realize something's wrong.

Tohsaka must notice as well, because she shuts her mouth and concentrates on the surroundings.

The scene's the same as always.

It's past ten o'clock, and the town is dark and quiet.

There's no one out on the streets, and there is no sound.

...It's become familiar since the Holy Grail War started. A quiet, nighttime atmosphere.


"――――――――It's quiet."

Tohsaka murmurs beside me.


It's quiet here.

The town has been quiet at night these past few days.

It's the deepest silence, the deepest sleep.

But still...

The silence tonight is quieter even than that.

"...Hey. Was it like that over there yesterday? It's not unusual for the houses to be dark, but even the streetlamps are off."

Tohsaka is looking down the road that leads to the Ryuudou Temple.

The opposite direction from Shinto, right into the suburbs.

There's no light there, and it looks like a black wall.

"――――――Let's go."

I step into the dark town.

Tohsaka is silent.

...This is something we don't even need to think about.

We both know what happened.

It's contradictory.

We know we'll have to admit the truth if we go, but we start walking, hoping that we'll be proven wrong.


What did I feel when I first saw it?

A black wall, completely obscuring the other side...

The instant I pass it, I understand what happened in this area.

The town is too quiet.

It's not that the town is asleep.

This is nothingness, devoid of any human presence.

It's total stillness, brought on by the death of everything in the area.

I get dizzy.

There's no change in the town.

The area――――about fifty households are standing in the darkness with no change.

There's no sign of broken doors.

There's no sign of broken windows.

And of course, there are no cranes to remove the roof and take everything out of these houses.

And at the same time...

The presence of the hundreds of people who should live in this area is gone.

"――――Emiya-kun. Let's go in that house."

She puts on gloves and goes into a nearby house.

She goes by the gate.

She opens the front door.

She walks through the hallway.

She goes up the stairs, looks through the second floor, confirms that it's empty, and goes back outside.

"――――The people in the blacked-out houses are..."

Tohsaka says they're gone.

The town is like always.

The buildings haven't even been scratched, and there are no corpses.

It's so clean that nobody would notice the abnormality even in the morning.

But still...

This area looks more barren than that time.

We look through a few more houses, but it yields the same results.

The buildings have no damage, but the people in them are gone.

All that's there are traces of magical energy.

Every building, road, and ground.

The black afterimage is stuck everywhere.

I know that thing caused this disaster.


I feel dizzy.

I feel like vomiting.

Corpses without corpses.

Blood without blood.

The desolate town, engulfed by the shadow.

I'm walking in such a place...

So why does an unrelated image pop up in my head?

...But it's not unrelated.

It can't be unrelated if it comes to mind.


Remember. Remember.

You know this. You know this presence, this smell.

It happened back then too.

What did you imagine when you saw it for the first time?

'――――Don't realize it.'

It's the same.

No, something heavier engulfed this area.


That time too.

Why did you...

...Imagine such a thing?


I have no positive proof.

I have no reason.

I have no motive.

I have no evidence.

'――――Who is this similar to?'

That can't be.

It's impossible.

I can't admit it.

But the more I think...

'――――If I become a bad person...'

I have no proof, so I'm made to believe that my intuition is right.

Yes. Because the sensation is...

'――――Stop. Don't think about stupid things.'

...Too similar to the heavy nightmare that comes after making love to ▊▊▊▊▊▊―――

"Shirou? Why did you stop? Is something wrong?"


I shake my head to dispel the dizziness.

...It seems the traces of the shadow are getting to me.

"No, I just feel nauseous. Don't worry about me and go on."

"Really? ...That's bad. So its lingering presence affects you, even with your increased magical resistance.

...Well, I guess that's to be expected with the amount of magical energy. You can't engulf a town unless that's the case."

"Oh―――it's not like I'm out of energy. I just felt sick, so it didn't take anything from me."

Tohsaka understands.

More importantly, we have to find out what happened here.

"......So. What happened there?"

"Well... It's eating, just like all the other incidents. It's just that the scale is much greater.

Guessing from the traces, it didn't go to each house individually. It probably engulfed the area like a tidal wave and melted into the ground. It must've been hungry. It wanted to finish the food in one mouthful."

"But it seems it doesn't like inorganic stuff. It went past anything that wasn't alive, only digesting what was.

...If there's any comfort, it's that they disappeared right away. There was no time to feel any fear or pain."

A boundary field of dissolution.

Tohsaka explains that it's like the boundary field Rider set up at school, but much stronger and instantaneous.

"The problem is that I couldn't detect the magecraft, even though it's so powerful.

...If that shadow did this, it means this is not its magecraft, but just an ordinary action. In short, the dissolution in this area is like tossing around in its sleep for that shadow."

...I see.

But it's over.

The shadow is satisfied with the food and disappeared. There's no way or reason for us to follow it.


There's no reason to keep patrolling.

The damage has already been done, and we can't do anything without a way to sense the shadow.

We thought we could save people if we rushed to the scene when the shadow or Zouken was attacking them.

But it's meaningless now.

Because we have no way to find that shadow, and most of all...

"―――I suspected it, but that thing is growing every day. It'll be an unstoppable monster the next time it appears."

...We have no chance of victory right now.

Scene 11 Chess

A complete silence.

But they are not the only ones enjoying the spectacle.

No, that expression is incorrect.

The girl and the boy.

They are both still willing to fight, so they are not enjoying the spectacle.

Only inhuman minds are able to enjoy this spectacle.

"―――My, it is troubling if it does not know moderation.

I let it alone for my good, but I may have to eliminate it soon."

The old man laughs.

The man and the white skull roam around the desolate town.

They are watching the girl and the boy.

The old man watches his enemies with pleasure.

There is no hostility in him.

How can he detest people who are not his enemies anymore?

For him, they are no different from rocks by the roadside.


But it's different for the white skull.

For him, an enemy is an enemy, no matter how weak they may be.

He will eliminate them if they stand opposed, and he will assassinate them if they are too strong to match.

That's his code, a rule he must obey.

"―――We can kill them here."

He tells his master.

The boy and the girl are full of openings.

In this land of death, they stand defenseless.

It only looks like sick people asking for death.

So he believes that he should be compassionate and kill them here.


"No, that is too wasteful. We let them live until now, so it will be uninteresting to kill them here."

The old man has no compassion.

This thing that wears human form is rotten to the core.

"―――Hm. How about this scenario, Assassin?

There is a sacrifice. A piece of meat that is ignored, cursed, and hated by the human world. This meat does not try to hate the world. It tries to not hate the world as long as it has at least one ally on its side."

"My, it seems love is precious and strong. The meat cannot hate the world no matter what happens to it. It's intently trying to suppress its mud, believing that hating equals denying its ally.

So anything you do to the meat is ineffective. It accepts everything because it believes in the one and the only hope. It does not hate the world because it contains hope, and it does not let out the curse within it."

"But―――what would happen if it were rejected by its only ally?

From the start, it has been denied by the world. If it is betrayed by its only hope, there will be no morality to stop it."

"...Then you would like the boy to give the final push?"

"Exactly. He should be the one to draw the curtains. It was an unexpected growth, but he made it last so long. Then I should give him the pleasure of killing it."

The old man laughs.

Sadism and joy are contained in the laughter.

The chattering of the teeth is like a white skull shaking in the wind.

Scene 12 Mind's thirst [H]

We return home before midnight.

It's because there's nothing we can do, and we can't afford to waste energy patrolling to no end.

――――My feet are heavy.

It seems the fatigue of the training is finally hitting my body.

My body is like lead, and my eyelids droop if I let my guard down.

...I'm sleepy.

My mind must be more tired than my body.

Every part of me craves sleep, and I want to pass out right here in the hallway.

"Welcome back. How was the town, Rin?"

Illya is waiting in the living room.

...I don't see Sakura.

That's natural.

Because Sakura is...



Sakura should be sleeping in her room.

"It was already over. How's Sakura?"

"Nothing happened. She's sleeping in her bed, and it doesn't seem like she woke up. I think she's doing well since she has spare magical energy from Rider not taking form."

"I see. But please be careful. It's over if she goes out of control again."

Tohsaka's tone is the same as ever.

Even after seeing those empty houses, she's acting normally.

"I'm going to sleep since I'm tired. What are you going to do, Illya?"

"I'll rest as well. Tomorrow is iron making. We might fail if I don't get some good rest."

Illya leaves with a "good night".

"Then I guess this is it for tonight. You should rest too, Shirou. I don't know if you can tell, but you're really pale."

...My body feels heavy.

I can still lay out the futon in my current state, probably because it's a habit.


I fall onto the futon.

Looking up at the ceiling gives me enough composure to make me think.


I think with my weary mind.

I think about my left arm.

The loosened Shroud.

I was in so much fear and pain last night, but today was like nothing.

I have no memory of anything being painful or scary, and the day ended in a flash.

The answer's right there if I seriously think about it.

I think about Illya.

She said she can't live with me.

She said she wants to, but can't.

She said she can't live long.

She said it as if it were common knowledge.

About that black shadow

I think about Sakura.

She is losing her freedom with each passing day.

It's because the crest worm is sucking the magical energy from her.

It's not Sakura's fault.

It's not her fault that her body's like that.

All I can do is to give my magical energy to her.

She should be able to maintain herself if I have sex with her and if I keep giving her magical energy.

I close my eyes.

Illya said saving everyone is impossible.

I can choose only one.

I've already made my choice.

"...Senpai? Are you back...?"

I hear a voice from the hallway.

"I'm awake. Come in, Sakura."

I raise my body. I want to see Sakura even though my head's not working.

"Excuse me. I'm sorry, but I came since I heard sounds. ...Um, I never told you good night."

Sakura is like always.

She's reserved, considerate, doesn't say what she wants, is at a loss, and still smiles at me.

She became surprisingly beautiful in the past year, and she's so cute that I want to embrace her when we're alone. And she's someone I promised to keep protecting.

"Um, that's all. I feel well, thanks to you. I can sleep well tonight, so I wanted to tell you that there's nothing to worry about."

Sakura is like always.

But that's just a matter of course.

She can't be different.

There's no need to push myself and make love to Sakura tonight.

It's not as though Sakura's asking for it like that night.

"...Senpai? Um, am I disturbing you...?

You look really tired and sleepy..."

"Sakura. Were you sleeping like I told you?"


I just ask what's bothering me.

My tired head can't think at all.

"Yes, I was sound asleep.

I saw another scary dream, but I was able to bear it since you were there until I fell asleep."

A scary dream.

I have to ask her what kind of dream it was, but...


I can't say anything, reaching out for her long hair instead.

"U-Um, Senpai...?"

"―――――Come here, Sakura."

I lower my hand to her shoulder and pull her to me.

"U-Um, Senpai, I-I-I...!"

"I want to have sex with you tonight. You want to?"

I murmur, still embracing Sakura.

Sakura doesn't fight back, but buries her face in my chest.

"――――Yes. I'm very happy."

She relaxes and leans on me.





I have sex with her.

I can't hold it back.

I've done it with her twice, but her body is limitless and new, like I'm having sex with her for the first time.

There's no end to my lust.

There's no end to my urge.

From the start, my reason has been obliterated.

I don't want Sakura, but...

"......! Nha, ha――――!"

I just want to violate her.

I want to mercilessly thrust into her.

And I actually do.

Sakura's voice does not reach my brain.

I can only hear my violent breathing.

"I-It's good―――Senpai, you're―――"

The sex was normal only at the start.

After that, I thrust my hips as if to break Sakura, and I kept ejaculating as if to make her explode.

If it's not enough, I just have to fill it up.

If it's not possible with one try, I just have to try more.

I'll keep it up until morning if that's what it takes.

"Fua――――ah, ah――――!"


I hear a beast's howl.

My brain only hears myself.

Then this wild, hungry voice must be mine.

It's Sakura that needs to be satisfied,

but I want it more than her.

"Good―――it's good, Senpai...! Please give it to me deeper, ahh, ah――――!"

There's no sense of time.

The morning is too far away.

I ejaculate again, and the power in my body disappears.

I tried to keep watching this dream until morning, but the power in my body goes off after two hours.

I fall asleep holding Sakura's hand.

"Yes――――Senpai, I――――"

I feel Sakura's weight on my chest.

We feel each other's warmth as we fall asleep.

...The haze of lust clears from my mind.

―――What good did this do?

Maybe I merely confirmed my uneasiness by having sex with her――――

Scene 13 Mind's thirst [Realta Nua]

We return home before midnight.
It’s because there’s nothing we can do, and we can’t afford to waste energy patrolling to no end.

---My feet are heavy.

It seems the fatigue of the training is finally hitting my body.
My body is like lead, and my eyelids droop if I let my guard down.

…I’m sleepy.
My mind must be more tired than my body.
Every part of me craves sleep, and I want to pass out right here in the hallway.

“Welcome back. How was the town, Rin?”
Illya is waiting in the living room.
…I don’t see Sakura.
That’s natural.
Because Sakura is…

Sakura should be sleeping in her room.

“It was already over. How’s Sakura?”

“Nothing happened. She’s sleeping in her bed, and it doesn’t seem like she woke up. I think she’s doing well since she has spare magical energy from Rider not taking form.”

“I see. But please be careful. It’s over if she goes out of control again.”
Even after seeing those empty houses, she’s acting normally.

“I’m going to sleep since I’m tired. What are you going to do, Illya?”

“I’ll rest as well. Tomorrow is iron making. We might fail if I don’t get some good rest.”
Illya leaves with a “good night”.

“Then I guess this is it for today. You should rest too, Shirou. I don’t know if you can tell, but you’re really pale.”

…My body feels heavy.
I can still lay out the futon in my current state, probably because it’s a habit.

I fall onto the futon.
Looking up at the ceiling gives me enough composure to make me think.

I think with my weary mind.

I think about my left arm.
The loosened Shroud.
I was in so much fear and pain last night, but today was like nothing.
I have no memory of anything being painful or scary, and the day ended in a flash.

The answer’s right there if I seriously think about it.

I think about Illya.
She said she can’t live with me.
She said she wants to, but can’t.
She said she can’t live long.
She said it as if it were common knowledge.

About that black shadow

I think about Sakura.
She is losing her freedom with each passing day.
It’s because the crest worm is sucking the magical energy from her.
It’s not Sakura’s fault.
It’s not her fault that her body’s like that.
All I can do is to give my magical energy to her.
She should be able to maintain herself if I keep sharing my blood with her and give her plenty of magical energy.

I close my eyes.
Illya said saving everyone is impossible.
I can choose only one.
I’ve already made my choice.

“…Senpai? Are you back…?”

I hear a voice from the hallway.

“I’m awake. Come in, Sakura.”
I raise my body. I want to see Sakura even though my head’s not working.

“Excuse me. I’m sorry, but I came since I heard sounds. …Um, I never told you good night.”

Sakura is like always.
She’s reserved, considerate, doesn’t say what she wants, is at a loss, and still smiles at me.
She became so surprisingly beautiful in the past year that I want to embrace her when we’re alone. And she’s someone I promised to keep protecting.

“Um, that’s all. I feel well, thanks to you. I can sleep well tonight, so I wanted to tell you that there’s nothing to worry about.”

Sakura is like always.
But that’s just a matter of course.
She can’t be different.
It’s not as if she’s blushing and snuggling up to me like before.

“…Senpai? Um, am I disturbing you…?

You look really tired and sleepy…”

“Sakura. Were you sleeping like I told you?”
I just ask what’s bothering me.
My tired head can’t think at all.

“Yes, I was sound asleep.

I had another scary dream, but I was able to bear it since you were there until I fell asleep.”

A scary dream.
I have to ask her what kind of dream it was, but…


I can’t say anything, reaching out for her long hair instead.

“U-Um, Senpai…?”

“---Come here, Sakura.”

I lower my hand to her shoulder and pull her to me.

“U-Um, Senpai, I-I-I…!”

“You don’t want to?”
I whisper as I hold her in my arms.

Sakura doesn’t fight back, but buries her face in my chest.

“---Yes. I’m very happy.”

She relaxes and leans on me.

And so I hold Sakura very, very tight.
I can’t hold myself back.


I just wanted to do this with Sakura.
I wanted to hold Sakura many times until I lose consciousness.
And I actually do.
Sakura’s voice does not reach my brain.
I can only hear my own breathing.

It’s Sakura that needs to be satisfied,
but I want it more than her.

There’s no sense of time.
I tried to keep having this nightmare until morning, but the power in my body goes off right away.

I fall asleep holding Sakura’s hand.

“Mm, mm………… Senpai, I”

I feel Sakura’s warmth on my hand as I fall asleep.

…And my calm self speaks.
The haze clears from my mind.

---What good did this do?

Maybe all you did was finally confirm a certain unease by indulging in Sakura.

Scene 14 Nightmare, awakening

――――I'm seeing the scary dream again.

"Something" is walking.

Something scary that kills people whenever it walks.

...I'm watching it from behind.

I don't want to watch, but I can't look away.

This is a nightmare.

A nightmare I'm seeing over and over.

But to be honest, I feel a sense of intimacy with it.

It was scary at first, but I'm getting used to it after a while.

Most importantly, that thing does not have an evil mind.

That thing is something similar to me that merely eats in a different way.

" "

" "

" !"

...It's the same tonight.

Why do they all come?

Does it release some scent that attracts men?

No matter how many it kills,

no matter how many days it continues to kill,

the food comes to it.

It eats.

It smashed up the food when it first started, but it must be getting the hang of it recently.

There's no need to smash up the food.

It just needs to pull it in and swallow it.

It can eat the body and the soul like that.

Sing and go.

It's in a good mood tonight.

It has never shown any emotion, but it seems to be happy tonight.

I feel an affinity with it.

I'm very happy tonight too.

Because this is the first time.

Senpai asked for my body for the first time.


There's nothing to be afraid of now.

I keep seeing this nightmare, but it's all right.

The world looks so beautiful and kind now that Senpai's looking at me.

So I feel like continuing this bad dream, and going to look for another meal.


"―――You are certainly working hard. Double the amount tonight?"

I meet someone that's scarier than the nightmare.

It runs.

The thing that never felt fear ran away from the person.

Golden hair and red eyes.

The person that has the same smell as me.

The golden Servant that...

"You should die now, girl. You will not be able to die if you become familiar with it."

...Warned me before to kill myself.

; " "

Run away.

From what?

Run away.


Run away.


My dream doesn't end.

The thing panics and flees into the back alley.

But that's the end.

"I was hoping for a poorly-made Holy Grail, but I never expected to reach the actual thing. It is a waste, but..."

"I will do the selection myself. Curse yourself for being too compatible."

In an instant, the thing is showered with weapons.


That's strange. It hurts.

That thing is the one that was stabbed, so why am I in pain?

That thing is the one that's dead, so why am I on the ground?

I'm dreaming, so why――――

Why is my body cut up?


It hurts.

It hurts even though this is a dream, Senpai.

Pink, squishy stuff is hanging obscenely from my stomach.


I try moving my hands to put my intestines back in, but my hands are only connected by flaps of skin.

Legs―――there are legs, but I'm torn off from my waist down.


When I cry out, it hurts as if lightning hit my back.

But I can't jump up because I don't have my limbs.

Why am I...

"You're still alive? You're clinging to your life too miserably, girl."

――――He shows no mercy.

The golden man snaps his fingers, summons a blade that's bigger than my body, and comes to cut my neck.


A bad dream.

This is a bad dream.

This is like the bad dreams I've had.

This isn't happening, and I'll be in Senpai's house when I wake up.

...So I have to wake up soon.

Because it hurts.

It hurts so much that I could die, so if I don't wake up, I'll really――――

"Ah――――Ah, ah.........!!!!"

But I don't wake up.

I don't wake up from the dream.


Help, it hurts, help, help.

Quick, wake up, or I'll really――――

But I don't wake up.

I don't wake up from the dream.

The dream.

I can't escape from my dream, Senpai――――

――――And the woman falls.

The woman, pierced with numerous Noble Phantasms, crawls on the ground like a bug.


She is still conscious.

Her life cannot be saved by any means, but she still frantically tries to move her limbs.

"You're still alive? You're clinging to your life too miserably, girl."

A scornful death sentence.

The golden man―――a heroic spirit called Gilgamesh mercilessly readies the final attack.

"...I don't want to die... Senpai finally accepted me... I want him to feel more of me―――"

She must not see anything now.

The woman babbles about her mundane wish.

Reaching out with an arm that's missing from the elbow down.

As if to cling to the small happiness she finally obtained.

"No... I don't want to die, I don't want to die...!

Because―――Because if I die now, Nee-san will..."

"That is unsightly. Do not trouble me."

The guillotine descends.

The dream ends.

Still covered in blood, the woman's consciousness disappears in the dirty back alley.


By the time he turns around, it's too late.

"――――You have alrea-gah――――!!!???"

He is swallowed, beginning with his feet.

There's no way to run.


It takes longer than usual.

"...It hurts. It doesn't heal because it's not enough."

She starts to walk.

Her stomach is growling.

The only driving force in her brain is hunger.

Is she still not satisfied after consuming a heroic spirit with energy worth a few hundred thousand souls?

"...It's not enough. This isn't enough at all."

It's as if she's driven by a fever.

For the first time,

she starts walking to the breeding area out of her own will.