FSN HF Day 15 (EN)

Scene 00 Finale, replay

―――Let's make the final decision.

The outcome of the battle is decided.

Or more accurately, it was decided a long time ago.

This end has been determined ever since you lost Saber.

'...But Shirou. To oppose that thing is to go down the most difficult path.

Please keep that in mind.'

That was said by the girl who fought with you as your sword until the very end.

The night you parted with her.

You promised to keep fighting by yourself, stop the shadow, and end the war.

There was hell.

There has to be a meaning to why you survived that hell.

There has to be a meaning to why you must keep living.

It's not that you miraculously survived while everyone else died.

It's merely that one person was saved by the sacrifice of everyone else.

You hated that.

To break through reality, all you could do was become a superhero that can save anyone.

I don't know what those tears were.

He destroyed the Holy Grail, denied his battle because it was wrong, and frantically searched for any survivors.

No matter what his intentions were, his tears saved you, and you were able to start walking on a new path with him.

But you were left alone on the path.

The man who led the way died, leaving the dream to you.

'Yeah―――I'm relieved.'

Emiya Kiritsugu swallowed the sins for which he couldn't atone and left this world.

―――He couldn't save anyone.

So he wanted you to be able to save someone.

'If you are to deny everything you've done.

The crime will judge you―――'

...I know.

I know what it means, and I have to atone for it using all my life.

I killed the me that I believed in for ten years.

The me that was killed will feed on me.

And this is the embodiment of that crime.

A saint's shield is useless.

Archer's arm will eat away at me, forcing me to atone for my sins.

It will bring an end far worse than death.

That's right.

It's only one arm. Now that you survived, you won't die even if you cut it off.

So why?

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

A girl that longed for her father, but lived seeking revenge.

She almost cried, but smiled and swallowed her words so that we could live together.

Saying we can't do such a thing.

We can't live long together.


'―――Goodbye. It was fun, Onii-chan.'


This is the final decision.


Scene 01 Dead fin

...I lose the will and the desire to get back up.

I close my eyes as if falling asleep.

There's nothing ahead of me.

My Holy Grail War ends here.

Or rather, it never really began.

Scene 02 Tiger Dojo 36



Rejected! Quickly go back to the previous choice and redo it!

I never raised you to be such a coward!

That's right!

Quickly come rescue me!

Exactly! The main story's reaching its final stage. Nonstop development awaits you.

There are only four more Tiger Dojos.

If you came this far, run to the ending without dying.

Osu, you are exactly right!

I feel a bit lonely, but you won't make it ahead unless you're that determined!

Yes, well said, pupil number one!

Well, I wish you luck!

Scene 03 Save Sakura. Bring back Ilya.

"――――Of course...!

What about the match is decided!? I can't back out now...!!!!"

"That's the spirit. It seems there is no need for hospitalization."


"...That is my line.

You and Rin were abandoned at the door.

I wanted to leave you two, since you made a rather ugly pair as abandoned children go, but you were also dead on your feet. Had I done nothing, there would have been two dead bodies in front of my church. A church cannot afford that image, so I had no choice but to treat you."


...I figure out the situation I'm in.

This is the chapel.

There's nothing wrong with my body. The energy that was swallowed by Sakura's shadow has recovered.

I lost consciousness back in my yard. It must be the same for Tohsaka.

Rider probably carried us here.

Rider has no means of healing wounded people.

Kotomine was probably the only one she knew that could heal us.

How long has it been?

The time is――――

"It is three in the morning. You have been sleeping for about twelve hours since you were carried here."

"――――Twelve hours!? That's half a day...!"

I get up from the chair I was lying on.

I can't lie around like this...!

"Kotomine, where's Tohsaka!? She was there too, right!? Where is she!?"

"I have Rin resting at her place.

You only had your energy taken away, but she had her magical energy taken away. It would normally take seven days to recover, but the land of Tohsaka is good for her.

If all goes well, she should regain consciousness by tomorrow afternoon."

"―――I see. So her life's not in danger?"

"No. The soil of that land is special. It is a ley line that is said to have been home to vampires. Rin is her family's heir, so she will be back to her impudent self if I keep her buried for a day."


I think I heard something I'm not used to hearing, but I decide not to ask about it.

Let's hope he doesn't literally mean "bury".

"――――I see. Thanks for the care."

I leave the church.

I know what I have to do.

Follow Sakura.

Bring back Illya. Bring back Sakura.

Protect the one I love.

So what if the fight's outcome is already determined?

I still have the power to fight.

So this is no time to be hesitating.


There's no time.

I can't waste time going back home to find a weapon.

...No, these people can't be fought with weapons from my house.

Sakura and Saber.

Zouken and Assassin.

If Zouken is after Illya, I have to assume all my enemies are at my destination.

"So, where are you going, Emiya Shirou? I do not know the situation."

"...? It's obvious. Illya went with Sakura to protect us. She said to go to the castle if Sakura wants her formal dress. I don't know what this formal dress is, but they're likely heading to her castle."

"Formal dress...? No, never mind that. Matou Sakura has become your enemy? Then the victor of this Holy Grail War is decided."


It's irritating, but Kotomine's right.

Zouken and Sakura.

Sakura is obviously the superior Master, but she can't disobey Zouken.

...I don't know what she's trying to do with Illya, but it'll end once she meets Zouken.

No matter how much Sakura refuses him, the crest worm in her body will control her.

"――――Hey, more importantly!

Why are you following me!?"

"It will be too much for you alone. If Illyasviel has been kidnapped, I cannot just watch quietly."


I stop at the unexpected reply.

What did he just say――――?

"Too much for me? So you're going to help me...!?"

"Are you discontent? You will be fighting against the greatest force.

Now that Rin cannot help you, my powers should be of assistance."


There's no way I'm discontented.

I'm happy for any help, but――――

"Why? There's no reason for you to help me."

"Of course not. It is just this one time. Do not consider me your ally after we rescue Illyasviel. We can never understand each other."


"It is simply for mutual benefit.

Furthermore, they defeated all my Servants. Is that not a good enough reason?"

...There's no lie in his words.

A lot has happened between us, but he has never lied to me.


Scene 04 Death penalty

"―――I refuse. You're Sakura's enemy. I can't trust you with my back."

"I see. I thought I could be of some help, but this is unfortunate."

The priest stops.

...I have no time to waste.

I have to follow after Sakura as quickly as possible.

It's daybreak when my taxi arrives at the forest.

A student taking a taxi at three in the morning is suspicious enough, so wanting to be dropped off in the outskirts must've been too much.

After twelve tries, I finally found a taxi that'd drop me off at the forest, and it's already morning by the time I finally get there.

...This is my second time here.

Using my memory, I head to the castle.

...I couldn't reach it the last time I was here.

It's because I met Illya, who was running from the shadow, on the way.


...I check my left arm.

I lost my arm at that time.

The shadow nearly killed me, and there was nothing I could do about it.

It's the same now.

I have no way to match the shadow even if I encounter it, and they also have Saber.

...It'll be the end once I encounter them.

If I'm to get Illya back, a surprise attack will be the only way.

I'll rescue Illya without Sakura noticing.


What should I do after that?

What can I do to Sakura?

How can I return Sakura to the way I knew her?


I have no answer.

All I can do is to try to catch up to them as quickly as possible.

I emerge in a familiar place.

It's been two hours since I entered the forest.

The sun should already be up, but the trees are still shrouded in morning mist.

...This is where I stopped last time.

If the scene Illya showed me is right, the Einzbern castle should be near here.

A bit more.

A bit more, and I'll reach the enemy base.

I come out into a clearing.

An empty, circular space within the vast forest.

The castle I saw through Illya's eyes is standing there, just like I remembered.

There's no one around.

It's strange that there's no watch anywhere, but I can't back out even if this is a trap.

Going in from the front entrance is out of the question.

Sneaking in from a window on the second floor would be good.

"―――I'll go to the back. I can get in through the back door if I have to."

There's no watch, even in the back.

I climb up a tree and force my way into the second floor.


I jump inside, breaking the window.

In spite of my forced entry, the castle is dead silent.

"...Are they not on guard? Are they taking me lightly because I'm alone, or..."

Have Zouken and Sakura left already?

...That would explain things.

It's been almost a day since Sakura took Illya.

I don't know why they came here, but maybe they've already finished their business――――

"―――No, there are human presences. And―――"

A bizarre atmosphere shrouds the place.

An overwhelming flow of magical energy clings to my skin like heavy fog.

...This has to be it.

This is what Sakura's magical energy was like after the crest took control.

"It's thicker on lower grounds..."

Sakura's on the first floor.

...I can look for the stairs and head down, but I should find Illya first.

I can't do anything if she's with Sakura, but I have to go save her if she's trapped somewhere in this castle.

All the doors are unlocked.

From the second floor to the third. From the third to the fourth.

I check every room for Illya.

And in the very back of the fourth floor...

I come across a storeroom that's unlike any of the others.

"You here, Illya...?"

...I call out in a whisper.

It must be storage because the room is littered with junk, obstructing my view.


If Illya isn't here, she must be with Sakura on the first floor――――

"Who is it...!?"

I turn around at the sound of footsteps.

Standing at the door is...

...A familiar woman in a white dress.


She's Illya's servant, Sella.

"Please go home, Emiya-sama. My lady does not wish to see you."

"Eh... Hold on, you mean Illya...!?"

"...Please call her Illyasviel-sama. You do not have the right to address her in that manner."


I'm overawed by her ice-cold voice.

"That is all of her message. Make haste if you value your life. You will die if you stay here, Emiya-sama."

Sella bows and leaves.

"...Wait, wait, Sella...!"


Maybe it was unexpected that I called her name, as she stops and looks at me.

"Yes? I cannot tell you where my lady is, nor where your friend is. My only duty is to give you this message."

Sella talks without emotion.

...I freeze at the sight.


It's not her attitude that bothers me.

...She's like her.

I don't know why I'm thinking this, but Illya and Sella are alike.

Their faces, demeanor, build, and age are different, but it feels like they're sisters―――

"...I will be leaving if you have no business. Please do not let my lady's consideration go to waste."

"Oh―――no, Sella. I came to save Illya, so I have no intention of bothering you.

You're Illya's servant, right? Then you should know that we have to get Illya out of this castle."

"How rude.

But as you say, she needs to be freed as quickly as possible."

"...! Right? Then tell me where she is."

"...I cannot do that. Furthermore, there is no longer any use in telling you."

Sella quietly backs away.

"Wait, I――――!"

At that instant.

A black dagger is fired at me from where Sella was.


...My legs give way.

Pain wracks my body, and I retreat to the window.

In front of me...

...Is a white skull glowing in the dark.

"Haa――――, ――...!"

I grope blindly for the window.

...But what good will it do, even if I find it?

This is the fourth floor, and a dagger has pierced my chest.

I'm losing blood, and I should lose a third of my blood within the next minute.

"You were a fool to come here alone."


"I am not like the magus. I shall quickly free you from the pain."


I twist my body.

I don't care if it is the fourth floor.

I run to escape the death that stands before me...

But my carotid artery is cut when my hands are on the windowsill...

The skull grows hazy.

"Sleep. Salvation will not be given to you, but it should be better than being eaten by that monster."

My vision blurs.

...On the verge of my death, I feel regret.

Even though I couldn't waste any time, coming here by myself was reckless―――

Scene 05 Tiger Dojo 36

Oh, he died.

Osu. Excessive bleeding and falling to his death. There's no hope of survival.

I don't think I even need to say it, but the cause of this death is because you went against them by yourself.

If there's a chance to join hands with someone, go ahead and do it for a better result.

What? Then it's also good to join hands with people like Caster and Shinji?

Hm. No, consider their personalities.

First of all, you don't even get those choices.

What a failure. I wanted to see a route where Shirou and Shinji cooperate, or where you join hands with Caster.

Kiii! Don't talk about the rejected routes! Time and resources aren't infinite!

It's the spirit of the cook to put the most effort into the tastiest part!

Okay, I'll leave it at that.

So, you just have to join hands with Kotomine?

...Hmm, I guess so.

I understand not wanting to cooperate with that priest, but throw away your personal feelings and fight together.

Osu, I understand!

Yesterday's foe is today's friend! It's a common turn of events in a manga!

Yup! Everyone's part of the family! It's a good phrase! Use it!

That's right! Take full advantage of him and throw him away once you're done!

Hey there, don't talk too honestly.

Scene 06 Duo

"...Do what you want. I don't know what your intentions are, but neither one of us likes Zouken."

"I see, common ground is important. I do have some relation to that old man."

We start down the hill.

We leave the church together without looking at each other.

Dawn has nearly broken when we reach the forest.

"Wait here. You may go home if we do not return by the time the date changes."

He stops the car on a road near the entrance of the forest.

Kotomine arranged for the car.

"So how are you going to help me?"

"Hm. Our method of transportation, to start out with."

...After that conversation, Kotomine immediately prepared a car and driver.

That alone is helpful.

It's past three in the morning. Not many taxis would take a suspicious student out to the outskirts right now.

"It is possible that only the boy will return.

That is not a good situation. Do not wait for me and go back to town as fast as possible in that case."

Kotomine gives orders to the driver.

The driver nods silently, then opens the trunk.

"――――Emiya. Take the weapon."


He throws a long, thin object at me.

"Whoa. Is this a sword?"

It's a slender sword.

It's like a rapier.

It's a sword made for thrusting, not slashing.

But the blade's a bit too thick, and it looks like it'll be hard to use.

It's like Assassin's Dark made into a sword.

"This is a weapon?"

"Kiritsugu preferred guns, but unfortunately, submachine guns are the only firearms I have right now. Bullets aren't effective against ghosts, and you're not trained to use them in any case. That's better for you, since you're a magecraft user."


I lightly swing the sword.

...It's oddly-balanced.

It weighs about a kilo, but the tip is heavy.

It's more like an arrow than a sword.

"...Is this a special weapon of the Church? I feel magical energy from it."

"It is called a Black Key. It is not magecraft, but sacrament.

It is our exclusive right, used to fight spirits. If you use your magecraft on that sword, it should be of some use, even against a Servant."

That's if I can hit them with it, he adds.

"Make sure you do not get into a situation where you have to use it.

―――Let's go.

It's been almost a day since Illyasviel was kidnapped.

The place may be empty already, but we'll think about that after we get there.

We should at least be able to find out where Matou Sakura went."

The priest, unlike me, goes into the forest empty-handed.


I take a deep breath.

I put the sword into the sheath and follow after Kotomine.

I take the lead.

I use my memory to head to the castle.

...I couldn't reach it the last time I was here.

It's because I met Illya, fleeing from the black shadow, on my way to the castle.


...I check my left arm.

I lost my arm at that time.

I was almost killed by the shadow, and there wasn't a thing I could do about it.

It's the same now.

I have no way to match the shadow even if I encounter it, and they also have Saber.

...Once I run into them, it's all over.

If I'm to get Illya back, a surprise attack will be the only way.

I'll rescue Illya without Sakura noticing.


What should I do after that?

What can I do to Sakura?

How can I take Sakura back to my house?

"Hold on. Do not tell me you intend to bring Matou Sakura back."

"Wha... O-Of course I intend to. I want to save her."

"Don't even try.

We cannot match Matou Sakura... no, that shadow. It will swallow us without giving us a chance to talk. You should know that better than me."



It'll be just like when I confronted her in the yard.

But still――――

"Let it go this time. We will have our chance if we can put Illyasviel under your care. If you wish to speak with Matou Sakura, that can come after we prepare something that can match her."


A force that can match Sakura, who has an overwhelming amount of magical energy.

...If anyone can prepare such a thing, it'll be Tohsaka.

I'll have to project the gem sword we were planning to use against Zouken and the black shadow――――

"Damn...! Okay, so I'm supposed to concentrate on saving Illya for now, right...!?"

"Right. Then let's go. We don't have time."


I slap my cheeks to boost my spirits.

This isn't the time to be feeling timid.

I have to save Illya.

Sakura said she'll kill her.

...I won't let her die, and I won't let Sakura do such a thing.

All I can do right now is to get Illya away from Sakura.

Then I'll concentrate on that for now――――

I emerge in a familiar place.

It's been two hours since I entered the forest.

The sun should already be up, but the forest's still covered in morning mist.

"――――...She's here. The curse over this forest is definitely hers."


Kotomine says something strange as we keep running.

...The curse over this forest?

Can he see such a thing?

"Kotomine. By curse, do you mean you can pick out Sakura's presence?"

"It is more like a resonance. ......Well, I do not care. But if we are to fight Matou Sakura, I will retreat.

Putting you aside, I cannot harm Black Sakura. I have no chance of winning even if I fight her."


Well, I have no chance of winning either. But...

"Hold on. What do you mean by 'Black'? Sakura's Sakura. She's just possessed by the shadow, and she'll quickly...."

"She'll quickly be back to normal?

I explained that to you before. The only way to return her to normal is to separate her from the shadow."

"There are two ways to do so.

Eliminate the main body of the shadow, or wait until Matou Sakura materializes it.

You have no way to defeat the shadow right now. All you can do is protect Sakura's mind until the shadow is born."


But I don't know how to protect her mind.

...The Command Spell covering Sakura's body...

If that's what Kotomine means by Black Sakura, then isn't Sakura slowly turning into the shadow?

"...Kotomine. When you talk about materializing the shadow, do you mean Sakura turning into it?"

"No. I'm sure there is some sympathy, but the main body of the shadow is in the Holy Grail.

What is transforming Matou Sakura is inside the Holy Grail, but that is still her shadow.

It cannot exist without her. The main body does not have form, so it exists in the material world by being her shadow."

"What's inside the Holy Grail will not come into this world unless there is an incomplete Holy Grail called Matou Sakura.

But once it is born, it will be a separate entity. Once it is separated from her, the curse tainting her should stop."

"...Kotomine. You say born, but is that thing inside Sakura?"

"Of course not. If it were, the matter would be easily solved. We would simply need to extract it from her body.

The main body of the shadow is within the Holy Grail. Matou Sakura is merely a host that gives it energy and form."

"But Sakura's the Holy Grail, right? What does that mean?

Are there many Holy Grails?"

"Yes. I explained to you in the beginning. This land has a Holy Grail, and they summon the Holy Grail into the Holy Grail the people prepared.

The main Holy Grail―――the magecraft circle and the brain that governs the rules of the ritual called the Holy Grail War. That is the Holy Grail on this land that Einzbern, Tohsaka, and Makiri prepared."

"――――The Holy Grail in this land――――"

All the laws... Summoning the Servants, making the Masters fight, and calling down the Holy Grail.

If the Holy Grail War is man-induced, then it's obvious that there's also a man-induced cause.

Then―――if I find that large-scale magecraft circle and destroy it, I may be able to purge the shadow invading Sakura's body―――

"Do you know where that is, Kotomine?"

"I have a guess. Ask Rin if you would like to know the entrance.

The Tohsaka family are the supervisors of this land.

The Einzbern cooperated with them two hundred years ago to secure a land for the ritual. Rin, the successor, should know where the place is."

"But―――that is all after we save Illyasviel. If Zouken obtains Illyasviel, she and Matou Sakura will be disposed of as the Holy Grail.

Matou Zouken has no intention of using the main Holy Grail. For him, the two women are enough.

Your idea of destroying the main Holy Grail is meaningless."

"D-Don't be stupid! I'm not thinking about such a thing!"

"Really? I think it is the most realistic solution for you. It's strange that you wouldn't go through with it."

"―――Shut up. So why didn't you tell me about it?

If you'd told me at the beginning, I would...."

"You would have destroyed the magecraft circle? Nothing would go so smoothly. My goal is the completion of the magecraft circle, after all. I cannot let you destroy it."

"I told you that we will be enemies after we rescue Illyasviel. My goal is different from yours.

I am interested in what comes from Matou Sakura―――no, what is trying to become her. Unlike Zouken, I have no wish."

"...Don't bullshit me. You're the same as Zouken. You're using Sakura to create something and make it yours."

"Make it mine...? Of course not. I have no interest in it after it is born. In any case, no human will be able to control it.

What will appear is a phenomenon called hell. If Matou Sakura becomes that, I will die just like everybody else."


What is that?

Then his goal's just...

"―――Are you insane?

You want to turn Sakura into such a thing, knowing that you're going to be killed...!?"

"Yes. My role is to bless whatever is born.

That will not change, no matter what it is or what situation it is in.

There is a life and a will to be born. I cannot oppose that.

Emiya. If there is a pure wish in this world, it must be the desire to be born."

"But what's in Sakura is――――"

"It is not evil.

Humans can earn happiness just by existing.

As they grow, they will learn of new happiness, of more advanced and complex pleasures."

"But humans are not happy at the moment of birth.

An embryo does not have the knowledge to know what happiness is.

Humans start from zero, learn what is fun, and learn what is right.

The beginning is at zero.

There is no good or evil. There is only the fact that it is allowed to exist in this world."


"Good or evil. The person's knowledge will decide that.

If there is any responsibility, it lies with the environment and the 'self' that raised you.

There is no crime in receiving birth.

That is why I will bless even the birth of a devil."

"―――This is the way I have lived.

This way of living is mine.

Even if what Matou Sakura gives birth to is hell, it is hard to change my nature."


...I don't understand.

I know he's serious.

He knows he'll die, but he's still going bless the evil that will be born through Sakura.

...I'll never be able to approve of this man.

But it's true that he's trying to save Illya and release Sakura from Zouken's control.


Thoughts that are in conflict.

Lives that cannot coexist.

But we have the same goal right now.

"―――I can trust you, right?"

"I said we will be cooperating. I will trust you with my back."

A reply without hesitation.

...That's all that's there right now.

I have an ally that's better than anyone.

I'll just think about rescuing Illya and getting out of this forest safely――――

Scene 07 Succeed from deep

Ah――――Ah, ah――――ah――――

The space is filled with black fire.

The luxurious rooms are burned away by meaningless gasping.

Ah――――Ah, ah――――ah――――

The blazing fire is like a heat haze.

The formerly shapeless shadow breaks through every wall and floor in concert with the host's pain.

Ha――――uh, ah―――ahh, ah――――!

The black heat haze dances in tune to the melody.

Each time the figure at its center curls up, claws at her throat, and gasps in agony, the old castle's beauty is disfigured further.

―――But this is nothing to grieve over.

This desolate winter castle has been forgotten by everyone.

Nobody has lived here or seen it, so it makes no difference even if it's destroyed.

"Ah...... Ua... ah... aaahh, ah......"

The hall has turned into the shadow's kingdom.

Writhing in agony, the woman in the middle is both its king and its slave.

It has already been a day since she arrived at this castle with Illyasviel.

Matou Sakura's transfiguration is reaching its final stage.

As she's one with the shadow, having a physical form is torture.

Her mind is being engulfed by pain and the impulse to destroy.

...If that were all, she would be able to bear it.

She's used to physical pain.

But―――the pain of having her existence denied is something she has never experienced.

The shadow should not exist.

This world has no blessings to offer it.

"Uh...... Ah... ah... ah......!"

She tears at her throat.

She cannot breathe.

The air is poisonous.

Matou Sakura is turning into a deep-sea monster, so being on land is like being in a vacuum.

"Ah――――Ahhh, ahhhh......!!!!"

That's why she dances around like mad.

Her sanity broken, she takes out her anger on everything she sees.

She keeps appealing to the unconcerned world about her pain.

About her misfortune and her pain.

"――――Well. It is about time. She remained Matou Sakura for longer than I expected, but she will turn into the vessel with one more push."

Two shadows watch the spectacle.

An old magus, Matou Zouken, and his Servant, Assassin.

"...One more push? I am tired of hearing those words. The match is over. I am the only Servant you need. Have her take in the remaining two."

"I know. But she does not try to kill the Servants she has absorbed. I do not know if it is her shallow wit or cowardice. Saber and Berserker are still trapped within her. She should kill them, but she keeps them alive."

"...Interesting. So Saber is not the only one?"

"No. It is probably to keep me in check, but how thoughtless of her. The more Servants she controls, the more magical energy she must draw from the Holy Grail. It is a supply of magical energy the Holy Grail receives from the Great Holy Grail, but magical energy is not the only thing that flows into her.

She is accelerating her transfiguration by letting the Servants live. Her sanity will be lost and she will turn into an ideal tool even if I do nothing."

The old magus laughs, watching the girl's suffering.

There's affection in his eyes.

He loves her.

What he originally considered a mere experiment grew beyond his expectation to grant him his dearest wish, immortality.

It would be strange not to love her.

To the old magus, Matou Sakura looks like a beautiful bride.

No matter how much she fights, she will be his in the end.

It doesn't matter even if she obtains power, controls many Servants, and retains her sanity.

Their hierarchy was set eleven years ago.

The old magus can kill Matou Sakura merely by closing his eyes and opening them again.


...But the white skull is different.

He's the symbol of ill omen, the wind that brings death, so he's sensitive to those of his kind.

"―――The magus makes light of the matter, but―――"

Will everything turn out well?

The situation will not change, even if the girl loses her sanity.

She reacts to people with hostility.

In that regard, she's already acting the way she will once her mind is lost.

Matou Zouken is conceited.

Even if she goes mad, she will not obey his command.

"......Magus. There is a way to control her, yes? Her defensive instincts are excessive. Your voice will not reach her if she loses her sanity and can no longer tell ally from enemy.

If that happens, you cannot approach merely by hiding your hostility.

She is the kind that will eliminate her enemies by foreseeing the 'result' called her death."

"Oh, I see, that is promising. That makes it even better as the container."

The old magus laughs.


Falling silent, the masked figure stares at the crumbling hall.

...He cannot approve of the magus's plan.

He says his goal is immortality, but his method seems distorted.

No, he's a rotting human from the start.

It's natural that he's crazy, but the old man's procedure seems inconsistent――――

"Haha, did you hear that, Assassin!? She's begging me for help now! Good, good! It feels like we're eleven years in the past!

The pressure of being denied by the world itself must surely be painful, Sakura!

But endure it. Your body can endure it. Remember all the days of pain and solitude over the last eleven years!

For what did you bear the thousands of tortures!? What did you give your body to the tens of thousands of worms for!? That's right; pain of that degree is nothing to you! That's how I raised you! That's how I trained you!"


It seems the old magus can hear the girl's voice.

Assassin can only hear groans, but she must literally be begging for her life, begging for help.

"Yes, I will help you! You are my masterpiece! I shall see it through! But I can only save your body. Your mind did not follow me through the eleven years of training.

You escaped the pain by accepting it, so you should not be able to bear that resentment. But you can rest assured, as I will guarantee the strength of your flesh! You can bear it! Your flesh shall put on Avenger!"

The old magus continues to laugh.

Assassin looks at him emotionlessly and steps back.

"Hm? Where are you going, Assassin?

There is a slight possibility of danger. I need you here to protect me from her."

"...I do not mind, but why are you concerned about the black Holy Grail and not the white? Why are you letting the legitimate Holy Grail we obtained roam freely?"

"Oh, that. Illyasviel is cooperative. She exists only to open the gate, as is her duty. She does not mind what we do as long as her goal is achieved."


"Do not be so doubtful. The Holy Grail you desire is that girl. Keeping your name in history and becoming the original. Your wish to be eternal through record will be granted by Einzbern.

But I need her to keep her original form. Homunculi are outside my expertise. You can let her be until they prepare her formal dress."

".........So you will not force them, you say?

But――――do we have such liberty?"

"Of course we do. We have no more enemies.

It was unexpected that Emiya's boy and Tohsaka's girl were alive, but they aren't important. Nobody is foolish enough to fight after being shown that much difference in power."

"We cannot take it back if we rush things out of needless worry and allow Illyasviel to die.

It is her role to open heaven's gate. We shall show compassion and let her carry out her duty――――Assassin?"

"―――Stop. It seems there is someone that foolish."


At that instant, the white skull disappears.

Assassin sensed the intruders and hurried out of the castle without hesitation.

The enemies are already running outside.

They have slipped through the unwary magus's guard and are about to exit the castle gate.

"――――Oh. So you are determined to die, boy?"

But he hasn't been careless.

Illyasviel cannot run away.

Einzbern's longstanding desire is in her core.

The white girl will help him even if he doesn't force her.

It's foolish to run away with such a girl.

Even if they escape the forest with her, she will come to the land of the Holy Grail, the land of the origin.

"Hah. I have left her alone, but it cannot be helped now.

―――It is your turn, Sakura. You cannot be saved without Illyasviel. If you would like to be freed from that pain, go trample upon them without mercy."

With a loud laugh, the presence of the old magus recedes.

...A shadow is cowering in the hall.

The shadow that shrouds the entire hall has become a black swamp, from which two dark figures emerge.


The girl no longer feels agony.

It's not that she's accustomed to the poison now.

It's merely that...

"............I see. You came, Senpai......"

...Pleasure has surpassed her dark pain.

"...So that priest's with him. How stupid of him. He came to be eaten?"

She raises a finger.

To the direction of the castle gate. The direction the trespassers have gone, where they are running even now.

"Go. You can kill anyone but Senpai. Kill anyone else, no matter who they may be."

The black giant is released.

The unleashed hound roars and disappears with a sudden gust.

"But then―――you won't be able to tell who that is, though, Berserker."

She smiles.

Slowly, she leaves the kingdom of rubble with the black swordsman.

Scene 08 Ilya found

We emerge into a clearing.

An empty, circular space within the vast forest.

The castle I saw through Illya's eyes is standing there, just like I remembered.

There's no one around.

It's strange that there's no watch anywhere, but I can't back out even if this is a trap.

"Kotomine. Can we get up to the second floor from that tree?"

Even if they don't know we're here, it'll be suicidal to go in from the front door.

It might be useless, but I have to do everything I can.


If we wish to sneak in, we should use an unused waterway, but they aren't the sort to fall for such time-consuming methods.

They will notice our intrusion once we enter the castle. I would like to go directly to where Illyasviel is held captive and escape immediately, but――――"

The priest looks up at the castle, pondering.

...He narrows his eyes as if trying to look through the wall, staring at each window in turn.

"―――What a surprise. It seems they really do think lightly of us, Emiya."

A happy voice.


I've never heard this tone from him before, so I doubt my ears for a second.

"W-What, Kotomine? Did you find something?"

"I did.

―――Let me ask. Do you have experience in mountain climbing, Emiya Shirou?"

"............Don't tell me..."

"I mean free climbing, of course. It is vertical, but there is no overhang and there are enough holds. We can maintain a secure footing. It will be easy to climb this wall without tools. Compared to a wall of ice, this is like walking down the street."


Kotomine puts his hand on the wall before I can stop him.


He presses himself against the wall and climbs up.

He's going slow, but I see how stable he is.

"What are you doing? If you cannot find the points, copy me. You should not be so weak that four stories are too much for you.

―――Oh, and leave the Black Key. We can pick it up on the way out."

The priest continues to climb as he speaks.

"―――He's serious."

I throw down the sword and get on the wall.

...He must have picked an easy section to climb. The rocks are pretty rough, so I can manage to get ahold of them.

You don't just use your strength to climb up.

Knowing if the next hold is safe, knowing if the small hold can support your weight, knowing if there's another hold after you move...

A vertical climb is like a puzzle of improvisation.

Even if the goal is a meter away, you have to go back down and try a new route if you can't find the next hold.

A route to the destination.

The technique of thinking two or three steps ahead only comes with experience.

That's experience I lack, so I have to copy exactly what Kotomine does.

I'll instantly fall if I miss the target by a few centimeters or grip the handle with the wrong force.

"――――I can't believe it. You let an amateur do something like this?"

I grumble as I climb up.

...Well, it's ridiculous, but it's not totally reckless.

Normally, one climbs like this near the top of a mountain.

The wall isn't the only thing a climber fights against.

Just as the deep sea is a sanctuary that humans cannot violate, high places are also a sacred place.

There's not enough oxygen above the altitude of six thousand meters, and untrained people cannot stay there for more than a few hours.

Nausea, dizziness, brain edema from lack of oxygen, and finally, death.

This is a hell that gets worse the higher you go.

And intense cold. Your bare skin would freeze, and even a slight scratch would turn into necrosis.

Climbing is done in such extreme environments.

Compared to that, merely climbing a wall is hardly impossible.

"――――But still――――"

...It's still hard.

I can only use the tips of my fingers.

I have to put my weight there and support my body using a small foothold.

I can't keep up with him unless I've trained every inch of my body...!

"Hm...? Hold on, she moved. I thought it was above, but it's actually below us. Emiya, go down to the third floor window and go inside."

"Hey―――are you crazy?!"

I'm not a spider, so I can't do such a thing――――

"Kotomine, there's a window...! How can I go inside!?"

"I don't care, break through it."

"...! You fraud, if it was going to be like this..."

It would've been so much easier if we'd just gone inside using that tree――――!


I jump into the castle.

I break the window and jump in using the same motion.

I grab the wall with both hands, swing my body at the window, and kick my way in.


I roll across the expensive-looking carpet.

My body was falling when I swung my legs.

If I'd kicked out a bit later, I would've hit the wall and landed back-first on the ground.

"Damn, I'd die if I fell on my head from the third floor..."

It's dangerous to kick into a window and roll while scattering glass shards, but it's no worse than expected.


―――The instant I raise my head...

All trifling matters escape my mind.


I forget I'm in enemy territory.

I recall what happened in the yard.

Illya told me goodbye with a false smile.

"――――Unbelievable. Why did you come, Shirou? There's nothing you can do now. Are you going to waste your effort again?"

A cold voice.

Illya puts on a cold face.


I'm used to it.

I'm used to seeing that face on her, but...

"You still don't understand? You can leave Sakura to me. This is my duty, so you can just go home and..."

"Idiot. Don't say dealing with the aftermath is your duty."

I slap her across the cheek, unable to forgive her.

"Wha―――― H-How dare you...! It's not like a gentleman to slap a lady's cheek! I-I won't forgive you if you do such a thing to me!"

"It's me that won't forgive you, you idiot...! I'd be punching you if you were a guy, you bad girl...!"

I yell back at her.

I'm happy to be able to see her, but I'm really angry.

"W-What!? I didn't do anything to make you mad! I went with Sakura to fulfill my role! It was the best decision I could make, so you don't have the right to complain――――"

"Shut up, I don't care about that...!

Look, I don't know about your role. I just came to bring back a bad girl who ran away selfishly.

I won't be tricked, no matter how much you bluff and pretend you're all right. I'm going to take you home as long as you don't want to be here...!"

"Wha―――― W-Who's bluffing!? I'm not hating it. This body is made to be a Holy Grail. I don't like becoming the key for them, but if I can use the power of the Holy Grail, Sakura will..."

"That's called a bluff, you idiot!

......Look, I don't care about the Holy Grail. Illya is Illya. If you want to stay as yourself, just ignore all of this. Don't sacrifice your life for someone else...!"


She looks away.

She bites her lip and...

"That goes for you too, Shirou―――――――"

...Murmurs something I can't hear.

"...Fine. Let's say I don't like this whole thing. What about it? We can't beat Sakura nor run away from her.

It's impossible to get me out of the castle. That's why Zouken's letting me roam freely.

He'll overlook you for now, but you won't make it out of the forest if you're with me."

Her red eyes reject me, telling me to go back.


Scene 09 Bring Ilya back.

"I'm still taking you home. I'm not going back by myself."

I don't even need to think about it.

There's no alternative in my mind.


Illya just stares back at me in surprise.

I take her hand.

"Let's go, Illya. We'll go home before they find us."

I pull her small, light body and start to walk.

"I'm stunned. Anything I say to you is useless."

Illya starts to walk without resisting.

"Really. There's no way this will turn out well."

She happily closes her hand over mine.

Scene 10 Bring Ilya back.

"I'm still taking you home. I'm not going back by myself."

I don't even need to think about it.

There's no alternative in my mind.


Illya just stares back at me in surprise.

I take her hand.

"Let's go, Illya. We'll go home before they find us."

I pull her small, light body and start to walk.

"I'm stunned. Anything I say to you is useless."

Illya starts to walk without resisting.

"Really. There's no way this will turn out well."

She happily closes her hand over mine.

Scene 11 Bring Ilya back.

"I'm still taking you home. I'm not going back by myself."

I don't even need to think about it.

There's no alternative in my mind.


Illya just stares back at me in surprise.

I take her hand.

"Let's go, Illya. We'll go home before they find us."

I pull her small, light body and start to walk.

"I'm stunned. Anything I say to you is useless."

Illya starts to walk without resisting.

"Really. There's no way this will turn out well."

She happily closes her hand over mine.

Scene 12 Emotion

"What are you waiting for?"


Kotomine jumps in through the window I broke.


Illya pulls her hand from mine and stands on guard.

"Oh, wait, Illya...! He's on our side. We're cooperating just this once. We made a quick team."

"What!? No way, you're working with this guy!? Shirou, you can't, he..."

"We can talk later. Let's go outside before they catch up to us."

"Eh, kya――――!?"

―――He moves in an instant.

Kotomine grabs Illya's arm and jumps out the window without any hesitation.


I dash to the window.

...Kotomine has already landed.

Illya is in his arms.

At once, she shakes off his grip and slaps his face.

...She hit him so hard that I can hear it from up here.

"――――This isn't the time to be amazed. So he wants me to jump...!?"

There's no time to hesitate.

I can manage this height if I land properly.


I charge as much magical energy as I can into my feet.

I can't strengthen my own body, but this should soften the landing――――

――――Or not!!!!!


I jump down twenty meters and roll the instant I hit the ground.

It's only the third floor, but the third floor of a castle is very high up.

In a normal house, it'd be somewhere around the eighth story.

"That hurts... I thought my brain would pop out."

...Damn, my feet are so numb that I can't even stand.

But I'm lucky that it's grassy here.

If this were asphalt, I would've broken my legs, and then I'd never be able to escape.

"I'm surprised. You're tough, Shirou."

"Indeed. It is amazing that you jumped from that height without using any magecraft. ――――Are you suicidal?"

The two stare at me.

Setting Illya aside for the moment, Kotomine's comment makes me forget about the pain.

"Shut up! I had to do it because you jumped! I don't want to do this ever again! You'd normally break your leg, and I almost fainted right when I started the jump!"

"But you have no injuries. You have no right to complain... But it is certainly a surprise. Why did you even consider jumping from that height?

Even a magus would not think about jumping from that height without using a spell."


Well, I was left behind, and since Kotomine jumped with Illya, I thought I'd look bad if I didn't do it too――――

"It's not Shirou's fault. Archer's influencing his mind as well as his body.

That's why his body's so tough. He thought he could handle that drop the way Archer could."

"...Eh? What does that mean, Illya?"

"I see, that is reliable. Please demonstrate that strong attitude during battles. Here's your sword."

He throws me the sword I left here.


"You can run, right? Our lives depend on it now."

Kotomine turns to the castle gate, telling me there's no time to talk.

And in challenge to him...

"[wacky len=14]"

An odd sound shakes the winter castle.

"...I thought so. You kept him in this world, eh, Sakura?"

―――That roar was definitely a signal fire for the hunt.

Telling us that the most fearsome hound has been unleashed.

It's like a death sentence placed upon a fleeing prisoner by an honorable, yet ruthless, lord.



My mind shifts into full alert.


I hear the name that embodies danger, and every last ounce of composure is squeezed from my body.


"We'll retreat. We can do nothing even if we fight him. We will be killed once he catches up to us."

Kotomine leads the way to the castle gate.

"Don't look back, Illya...! Forget about him, Berserker isn't like before...!"

I take Illya's hand and start running.

―――We can't be holding back now.

If that mad warrior is after us, the only way for us to survive is to run with all our might for the whole three hours to the forest's edge...!

―――It's hard to breathe.

A darkness I can't ignore no matter what is overtaking us.


I run through the forest.

I still don't see anything behind us.

All I hear is the sound of raging wind.

The pursuer is not a hound, but a huge monster.

As he cannot slip in between trees like us, he instead follows by knocking aside whatever blocks his path.

...It feels like we're being chased by one of those heavy drills used for digging tunnels.

It's like there's a black wall bearing down to engulf us.

"Ah... haa, ha... no, I can't run that fast...!"


I slow down to Illya's pace.

...This is bad.

The enemy's speed and ours are about the same.

He'll catch up to us in a minute if I try to run while carrying Illya――――!

"No...! I'll stay here, so escape by yourself, Shirou...!"

"He hasn't caught up to us yet...! Get on my back! One little girl's weight is nothing...!"

"Idiot, that's not true...! If you do that, he'll be on us in no time for sure...!"


What should I do?

Should I carry Illya and run, or―――

―――Or will I fight that monster?

And I can't even match Assassin.

Fight one-on-one against the strongest Servant with this borrowed sword――――?




Please don't make me.

There's no way in the world I can beat that monster...!

I'll die if I stop.

He'll definitely kill me.

The moment I face him, my body will be sliced in half, my torso crushed by strength like a machine, all while I'm still conscious, and――――

"―――There is no need for that. I will carry Illyasviel."


We both turn around.

―――I don't even have time to be surprised.

Kotomine walks over to us, picks Illya up, and starts running.


He's fast...!

Kotomine has a good build.

With his height, he should be able to easily carry Illya and run.

But we're in a forest.

Even though the ground is uneven, trees are scattered everywhere, and his arms are full, he's not slowing down――――!


I run full-speed after him.

We're at equal speed now.

Kotomine is carrying Illya while I'm running without any shackles.

In a forest where we might trip at any moment, we run at a pace of a hundred meters per seven seconds.


My heart's beating rapidly.

This isn't normal.

I'm running too quickly.

It's not possible for a human to run at almost fifty kilometers per hour through this terrain.

My left arm throbs.

It feels like my left arm expanded beneath the cloth.

...This is probably what Illya was talking about. Archer's battle experience isn't the only thing flowing into me. His physical abilities are flowing into me now.

An overdose of strength-enhancing drugs.

The poison seeps into my body, letting me demonstrate abilities beyond my limits.

――――That's fine.

Even if this may be contamination too great for a Geiger counter to measure, I appreciate it for now.

But Kotomine's different.

I don't sense any usage of magecraft or leak of magical energy.

It's unbelievable, but he's running with Illya in his arms without any magical assistance...!

"Hey, are you really human...!"

"Not as much as you. But have you noticed? We can get away if we maintain this speed. It seems he cannot see through his eyes."

"...!? He can't see?"

"That is the only reason I can think of.

He is faster. The trees in the forest are like pebbles beneath his feet. But he has yet to catch up to us, which must mean something is wrong with him."

Kotomine plainly talks.

I don't know why he's talking about this with such disinterest, but...

"...We can manage to get away. So it all depends on our cardio!?"

"No. It seems things will not be that easy."

A voice filled with hostility.

Before I'm able to tell what he means...


My left arm writhes.


I see a white skull.

Assassin slips through the trees beside us, as if laughing at our attempts to escape...!


By the time I realize how much trouble we're in, it's already too late.

On the other side of the trees is Assassin, raising his left arm over his head and――――


Someone parries before it can pierce my skull.


I gasp.

There's only one person that can do such a thing.

Kotomine, still carrying Illya, parried the attack that was fired without any indication...!

"―――How annoying. He never appears when your hands are free, but he shows up as soon as you're preoccupied."

Kotomine slows down.

...The priest frowns and glares at the black assassin keeping pace with us.


"I will leave Illya to you. I shall take care of him in turn.

I am a priest, after all. I have experience with exorcising evil spirits."

Kotomine stops and lets Illya down.

"Wha――――are you serious!?"

I pull the bewildered girl towards me.

At the same time―――three daggers are fired like bullets...!


"――――It's sharp, but too direct. The course of the attacks is too easy to read for an assassin."


I doubt my eyes.

Assassin fired three sword flashes.

The priest easily knocked them all aside――――!

"[wacky len=12]――――"



Damn, that was close! He'll catch up to us if we slow down here...!


This is no time to be indecisive.

I have to go ahead with Illya...!

"It's fine, right...!? I'm going, Kotomine...!"

"That is what I am telling you. You do not need to worry about me."

―――I hold Illya in my arms.

I can't run as fast as Kotomine, but this is still faster than having her run with me...!

I turn my back to the priest.

The dark roar is coming from another part of the forest.

It's surely coming closer while destroying everything in its path.

I have nothing to say to Kotomine.

Trusting him with my back and running with all speed will be my best reply.

―――And right when I'm about to start off...

"―――Emiya. Do not kill the person if the one you saved is a woman.

Having her die in front of you hits you pretty hard."

The priest says something strange, his voice heavy with self-derision.


"It's just a meaningless warning. Hurry. If your only pursuer is Berserker, you should be able to escape. The rest of the fight is up to you, Emiya Shirou."


I nod and start off.

―――Their shadows recede into the distance.

His back is so far away.

...I have a bad feeling.

I think we will never see each other alive again.

Scene 13 over load

―――It's a bit abrupt.

But driving away evil spirits is not a priest's duty.

A priest preaches about the teachings of God, but doesn't drive away evil spirits.

Their god is one and absolute. Supreme and all-knowing. A spirit that created the perfect world.

Such a god would never allow evil to disgrace the world that he created.

But evil still exists, corrupting men and tainting the world.

God's world is being desecrated by something that should not exist.

This is how they defined the contradiction.

That even the evil that threatens mankind is a necessary part of the world. It is something worthy of love.

In this regard, evil is a messenger from heaven.

If what brings out the goodness of men is holy, it follows that what brings out the malice of men is evil.

They are both angels sent by God.

As one who teaches the word of God, the priest has no right to eliminate them.


Evil does exist, corrupting men and tainting the earth, producing gruesome tragedies surpassing human knowledge.

At times, the trials from heaven made people realize how powerless God is.

The inhuman deeds of the evil caused people to desire for miracles from the great God.

Consequently, an exception was created.

Apostles, humans that carry out the will of God instead of spreading his word...

Trials that should be observed.

Heresy that should be denied.

People who possess what should not exist, the 8th Sacrament.

Executors, destroyers of evil devised by the 120 Cardinals, were born.

They drive away darkness, purging all things that are not part of God's teachings.

They hunt down that which doesn't exist in the doctrine, so they're not bound by the doctrine.

Their immorality is forgiven.

There's only one thing they must protect: the great name of God.

For this purpose, they will destroy the evil that God created.

That is the only difference between them and the Exorcists.

"―――Executors, eh? I hear the Church teaches to be frivolous as the pigeon, yet adaptable as the snake. ...I see that you are no exception."

The white skull laughs.

The priest Kotomine Kirei doesn't answer, but checks his weapons.

Five Black Keys on each side, and a Command Spell on his right arm, unused since the last war.

These armaments are more than sufficient against a low-ranking spirit.

But he cannot kill a Servant even if he hits every one of his weapons.

Even if he may be nameless, Assassin is a heroic spirit.

He can't possibly defeat a heroic spirit unless he has a weapon of the "Scripture" scale that the selected Agents carry.

"What's wrong? It looks like your weapon is a projectile weapon as well. Would you like to try a match?"


The priest doesn't move.

He stares at the skull that lurks between the trees, listening to the sounds in the forest.

Rustling leaves.

The breath under the mask.

The sound of slowly melting flesh.

And the mad warrior crashing into the distance.

"...He went that way, as I thought. It seems you are not doing well with Matou Sakura, Makiri Zouken."

He talks while staring at the skull.

"――――Ka. Kaka, kakakakakaka!

I see, so you felt my presence, Kirei!

Why did you stop in spite of that? You could have used the boy as bait to escape.

So why are you conducting such a good deed as to be the bait yourself? Do not tell me you are moved by kindness!"

The laugh echoes through the forest.

The white skull slightly wavers.

The priest doesn't even move his brow.

"――――I did not intend to save Emiya Shirou.

I merely had business here."

And he speaks with no sign of hostility.

"Oh? You had business with me?"

"Of course. Either way, Emiya and I will not get out of the forest. I know we will both die eventually.

Then―――it is only natural to do something for yourself before you die, correct?"

"Hm......? Then you do not mind what happens to Illyasviel? You came to rescue her, right?"

"I care not. I can do nothing, even if I defeat Assassin here and move to help the boy. Whether Emiya Shirou succeeds or fails to save her is no concern of mine."

He holds three Black Keys in his left hand.

The priest stares at the skull in front of him while holding the swords in a fan form.

"...Oh. Then you stayed here because..."

"Yes. I must keep Illyasviel from you, or..."

...The hostility disappears.

The white skull melts into the forest without trace.

"―――Or kill you here."

―――The blades run.

The sword held by the priest and the daggers flung by Assassin clash...!

"Ku, haha, hahahahaha!

I see, so that's why you came to die! Fine, Kirei. We have unsavory ties. I shall see through the battle of the Church's outlier――――!"

The laugh echoes.

The holy man who wards off evil meets Malak al-Maut, knowing it's impossible to win――――

"Ha――――Haa, haa, haa, ha......!"

I run through the forest with Illya in my arms.

I can't turn back.

It feels like a black wall would be behind me if I turn back, which would kill my spirit to escape alive.

I don't have energy to waste on that.

He'll catch up to us if my resolve wavers.

He'll catch up and kill us both.

"――――Ah, haa, gah, ah, ah......!"

; " "

It feels like my feet will tear off.

Illya may be light, but carrying someone still slows me down.

Making matters worse, the forest isn't the best place to run in. Each step nearly causes me to trip.

"Ah――――! Haa, ah, ah, haa......!"

; " !"

Faster. Faster. Faster. Faster.

He'll catch up to us unless I run faster.

The presence behind me is getting closer by the second.

This is no time to be moving this slowly.

I have to run faster――――run fast like Kotomine and run away with Illya...!

"――――――――Ah, ――――――――guh...!"

; " !"

My heart feels like it's about to explode.

It's painful. I can't breathe.

The muscles in my legs are about to tear apart, and my bones are screaming to break.

"――――――――, ――――――――!"

; " !"

It's painful.

How long have I run for?

I'm running frantically through the forest with Illya in my arms.

I've covered five kilometers already.

Then again, I'm so short of breath that I can't think, so it might've been twice that.

I ran full speed without slowing down.

"[wacky len=13]――――"


; " !"

But it won't go away.

I'm running full speed, my heart and muscles are about to stop, and yet the presence behind me is getting larger.


; " !"

Illya is heavy.

Oxygen is heavy.

My legs are heavy.

Death is heavy.

I'll die if he catches up to me.

I'm burdened with the fear of being killed in a single blow.


" !"

I mentally kick myself before I can falter.


Just don't think and keep running.

So what if my legs are about to rip off? What's the point in worrying? Think about that when it actually happens.

For now, I just need to get out of the forest as quickly as possible.

Fill my chest with gasoline. Turn the key and ignite the engine that's stalling with fear. Keep the gear at the top. Remove the brakes.

"Ha――――ah, ah――――!"

" !"

Run. Run. Run.

Run to shake the uneasiness from my back.

Run to ignore the fear behind me.

Run so I won't think negative thoughts――――!

"[wacky len=14]――――!"

Shut up.

Don't yell in my ear. My eardrums are about to burst just because of my breathing. I can't spare the effort to listen to your loud voi――――

"No, stop, Shirou......!!!!!!!!"


Illya screams in my arms.

My mind reacts to her frantic warning before my body does.


I stop.

My feet slide to a halt in the dirt, and I put Illya down on the ground.


I ready the sword I had on my waist and create a Magic Circuit at the speed of 200 miles per hour.


Nothing comes to mind.

In an instant, I manufacture everything without even thinking about it.


I resist the impact with all my strength.

The whirlwind comes from the side.

The pursuer has attacked us from the side, smashing away all the trees in his way――――!

――――I'm sent flying.

All it took was one blow.

The Black Key, which I strengthened to be as strong as diamond, is bent like melted candy.

The impact goes through the sword into my body, permeating damage from the tip of my head to my toes.


I'm flying.

The attack I made with all my might was deflected like nothing.

――――I'm no match against him.

I'm no match against him.

Emiya Shirou isn't allowed to even stop that monster.

My body's floating in the air.

No, I'm flying.

I'm like a thrown lance, hurled dozens of meters by the impact.

I might fly back to the castle.

That's how much stronger he is. Escape is impossible.

Time has stopped.

I'm still flying, and I should die when I fall to the ground.

Having seen the difference in our power, I accept my fate, but...

"No way... No, Berserker..."

...I see Illya crying in disbelief, with the black monster in front of her.


I frantically reach out.

I stop my flying body by hitting myself against a tree.


It feels like I've been hit in the back with a hammer.

My heart, already pushed to the point of bursting, expands still further. It cries in pain as though there's a crack running through it.


I can only draw a single breath.

I need oxygen, but it feels like I'll explode if I take another.

"Haa, gu, haa――――――――!"

But my body moves.

That single breath gives me the strength to run.

I use all of my Magic Circuit to move my muscles and―――

"Hey, what's wrong, Berserker? It's me. Can't you tell?"

Entranced, Illya doesn't move.

She just calls out in a weak voice, trying to deny the unrecognizable figure before her.

...That's the black enemy's true identity.

Kotomine said his eyes can't see.

He's right, but he's not accurate.

...That Servant has no eyes, nose, or mouth.

His glowing, red eyes are there to emit hostility.

His body is covered by the black mud, and the wound he received from Saber is left alone.

...That's something completely different.

Engulfed in the mud, he is a monster who can only destroy.

He doesn't even see who he's attacking.

The mad warrior can't recognize Illya's figure, let alone mine.

"[wacky len=14]"

He raises his axe-sword against the living thing in front of him.

The priest is about to end his life.


Kotomine Kirei leans against a wall, staring at the white skull.

His outfit is slashed up.

He's breathing hard, with three Black Keys as his only remaining weapon.

"Hm, this looks like the end. I should commend you for lasting this long against a Servant."

The old man's laugh echoes through the sky.


Assassin remains silent, in contrast to his talkative master.

Battle is merely work for him.

The dirks that go for his opponent's vital spots are also weapons to measure the strength of his opponent.

He measures his opponent's mobility with the first dagger.

He measures his opponent's action principles with the second.

He always keeps seven meters between him and the opponent.

He maintains a distance at which only projectile weapons are useful and measures his opponent's skill.

If he cannot kill his opponent in one blow, he will force his opponent to a place where he can.

He will drive them into a corner by cutting their limbs and tiring their bodies.

For Assassin, the daggers are merely preparation for his fatal attack.

He uses them to analyze his target's skill, creates the perfect opportunity, and smashes his enemy with his evil arm.

It's just a chore for Assassin, bringing him no joy.

It's a boring chore, but the priest is better prey than he expected.

He has used at least twenty daggers already.

Although he uses them to determine his opponent's skill, each one is still meant to kill.

The priest has blocked them and reached this ruin.

He dismissed the priest as a mere human, but his powers are admirable.


But this is it.

His energy drained, the priest leans against a wall and stares at Assassin.

He has three hidden Black Keys left.

The seven he threw were all dodged.

"Then this is the end. Show him some grace, Assassin."

The skull wavers.

Assassin fires the daggers without motion.

Aiming for the temple, pancreas, and diaphragm.

The priest challenges the lightning flashes with his Black Keys.

There is a term called "fatal attack."

A move that will kill, a move that will determine victory.

This is it.

The three daggers are a feint.

Kotomine Kirei will die the instant he deflects them.


The wing flaps.

The cursed arm, the one-winged spear, is developed.

―――It's an unavoidable attack.

Assassin knows the priest's capabilities.

He knows his prey is tired and wounded.

―――That is why this will kill.

The prey should prevent death from the dirks.

But that will be all.

Even if he saved up his energy for a counterstrike, his body is incapable of carrying it out.

After repelling the three daggers, all the priest can do is jump sideways.

And only three meters at that. He cannot escape the arm―――!

――――The cursed arm stretches out.

The priest has no fear.

He's prepared for it.

He knows that the daggers are a feint, that the cursed arm will strike him the instant he repels the daggers, and that he has no way to avoid it.

No matter what he does, he will die.

That is why...


The only thing he can aim for is a double-kill―――!


The skull laughs.

The cursed arm going for the heart and the Black Keys cross.

But there's no problem.

Assassin's cursed arm is the only one that will directly hit the target.

The Black Keys will certainly hit him.

But how unfortunate. No matter what magecraft he puts on the swords, the Black Keys cannot kill Assassin.

The three swords will pierce through Assassin, sticking to the tree behind him.

But that's it.

The priest will inflict injury, but will have his heart torn out in turn――――!

Assassin's arm does its job first.

His Noble Phantasm, Zabaniya, sticks to the priest's chest and creates a fake heart.

But he feels no solid response.

The man's heart gives no reaction, as if it's empty.


At that instant, the impact hits him.

The three Black Keys hurl Assassin backward, nailing him to a tree.


There are two surprises.

One is that the Black Keys have sealed his movement.

And the other is...

"Impossible! Why are you not dead, Kirei――――!?"


The priest's black outfit flutters through the air.

He jumps.

The inhuman action is like a cannon firing.

Amassing his strength and releasing it, he covers ten meters in an instant.

Up to the trees above.

He instantly seizes the head of Matou Zouken, the one who has been observing the battle.

"Hm――――What are you doing, Assassin...!?"

It does not need to be said.

His bodyguard is sewn to a tree by the Black Keys.

To Assassin, this is only a scratch.

But the holy nails make it impossible to save the old man.

"I will kill. I will let live. I will harm and heal. None will escape me. None will escape my sight."

Why challenge an enemy he knows he cannot defeat?

This has always been his announced intention.

"Damn you...!"

"Be silent. You'll bite your tongue off."

The priest grabs his head and drops to the ground.


"Be crushed.

I welcome those who have grown old and those who have lost. Devote yourself to me, learn from me, and obey me.

Rest. Do not forget song, do not forget prayer, and do not forget me. I am light and relieve you of all your burdens."

He shows no mercy.

The priest smashes the old magus's body on the ground, crushes his bones, and slams his head against the wall.

"Ha――――I see, so you will kill me!? Very well, do as you wish. But what will change? Do you think your wish will come true!?"

"Do not pretend.

Retribution for forgiveness, betrayal for trust, despair for hope, darkness for light, dark death for the living."

He walks.

Leaving a smear of blood across the stones as he goes.

"Hahaha, hahahaha! Such a hopeless wretch! Do you still seek mundane happiness!? Do you not understand that such a thing does not exist for you!?"

The blood and flesh paint a picture on the wall.

All that remains of the old magus is his head.

His body has been ground away against the stone.

And not even half of his head remains.

Even with his brain pasted to the wall, the old magus gives off his last laugh.

"Relief is in my hands. I will add oil to your sins and leave a mark.

Eternal life is given through death.

――――Ask for forgiveness here. I, the incarnation, will swear."

"You will never find it. Kirei, you were defective from birth. Just stand and watch, never fitting into the world...!"

"――――Kyrie eleison."

――――The laughter is cut off.

The shape that can't be seen by human eyes withers away.

Baptismal chant.

Within the systematic basis of their magecraft, the teachings of God are considered the greatest weapon against spirits.

The key of providence that eliminates wandering souls.

It sublimates the wish of the five hundred-year-old magus with great mercy.

Scene 14 Nine Bullet Revolver

Time is stalled.


I don't want this, Berserker...!!!"

Illya pleads to the giant.

But he doesn't even try to figure out who is talking before he swings his sword――――


I run.

I was flung about ten meters.

This distance is nothing. I'll definitely make it if I run.

One breath. The blood, drugs, and propellant running about my body are like a jet stream, and the igniting thought is like an electric charge――――!

―――I step in.

My body feels light. Time seems to stand still.

―――I'll make it.

I'll definitely make it. But even if I do...

―――I couldn't do anything with the Black Key. I couldn't match him.


―――I search, retrieve, and create it.

What can beat him.

What can match him.

―――It's clear.

It can be nothing less than the sword he carries―――!

――――I block it.

Projection succeeds as a matter of course.

" Ah."

A crack.

A crack runs through the axe-sword I projected.

At the same time...

"[wacky len=15]!"


I'm hit with feedback that's almost strong enough to kill me, punishing me for using something forbidden.

I'm flung away.

My axe-sword shatters beneath his second attack, and my body slides across the ground like trash.


My consciousness is fading.

I can't think.

I can't think even if I gather up everything.

My left arm revolts.

My blood overflows.

The restraint is still on my left arm, but my intelligence is half lost, and I feel a chill as though it'll never return... The ominous feeling will turn out to be true, and I'll start losing what I value the most.

"Ah, ――――"

I'm enveloped by a rushing wind.

I'm enveloped by intense light.

I lost it, I lost it.

I lost it amidst the agony.

I can't find it, even though I search.

My mind turns into a grain of sand within a desert, lost to everyone, drying up, drying up, drying up, drying up――――

"Shirou! Get yourself together and find yourself...!"

There's Illya.

I'm on the ground.

I'm about ten meters away from the black giant.

His red, glaring eyes are looking around, as if trying to find me.


My consciousness returns.

This is no time to be on the ground.

My body still moves.

The only external wounds are scratches from tree branches.

It's just pain. My tongue tries to gasp for air. There isn't any oxygen in my body from all the running, so I want air.

That's all.

What's important is inside my body――――I don't really want to know what condition it's in, but I can still fight――――!

"Let's get away from here, Illya...!"

I grab Illya's hand and stand up.

My body's all right, but I need air.

I have to get out of his range to regain my breath――――!


"...Why? Shirou, do you even understand what's happening to you?"

Illya pulls away, as if denying my assistance.


Something's wrong.

Berserker is right behind her.

I'm myself, my head's not working due to oxygen deprivation, and I can't think why Illya might say such a thing.


"......I'm sorry. But it's fine now. Run away by yourself."


Illya hangs her head.

I can't think straight.

I can't, so I get pissed off instead.

"Man, don't throw a tantrum now! Let's go, Illya! Now's not the time for that!"


I pull her arm.

Her small body. Her desire to help me with that tiny body feels sacred.

"Hey, what are you doing, Shirou!? I said you've done enough...! You can still make it alone, so run...!"

She hits my head.

I ignore her.

"Shut up...! I wouldn't be here if I could do that...!"

And I pull her close.


Illya's eyes ask me why.

She's got to be kidding me.

I don't even need to explain myself――――!

"I don't have a reason! I'm just selfishly protecting you! Look, an older brother protects his younger sister!"

"What!? Are you stupid? I'm not your younger sister!"

"It's fine! I'm an older brother since you called me Onii-chan! Even if we're not blood-related, you're still my younger sister!"


The black giant turns to us.

"Run, he's coming...!"

I can think later.

For now, I have to get away from him as fast as possible...!

――――It's a bit strange.

I'm pulling Illya and running at a speed far beyond Emiya Shirou's capabilities.

I come out into a familiar clearing.

"Ah, haa, ha, ha――――!"

Illya's the one breathing hard.

I'm not out of breath, maybe because my body's numb.

My lungs are burning from lack of air, but I'm not breathing.

I'm just like a corpse.

My heart's gone on strike.

"Oh... I'm... fine... I can... run...!"

Illya's fingers are unnaturally hot.

She's never had the energy necessary to run.

Her design didn't account for ordinary human exercise.


I have a headache.

Knowledge I never knew flows into my mind.

Thoughts are useless.

I have to get away for now.

The mad, senseless giant is close on our heels.

I somehow widened the gap between us, but I can't hope for that speed again.

My legs are shaking, and I calmly analyze that I can only run for about ten more meters.

Illya can't keep this up either.

There's nothing here for us to hide behind, even if we wanted to.

Well――――hiding wouldn't accomplish much, since he can't see anything.


But we're fortunate.

There's a crater.

It's a scar on the earth made by Saber's Noble Phantasm.

"This way, Illya――――!"

I take Illya's hand and jump into the crater.

The trench easily holds two people.


I lean against the dirt.

Raising my head for air, I see the sky.

A small cut-out patch of sky, as if I'm looking up from underground.

"Haa――――ah, ah――――"

I just focus on breathing.

For a bit, I relax and rest my body.


But it's only for an instant.

The giant will not lose its prey.

No matter where we run, he'll track us down and kill us.

"......Ah.........! .........!"

The suppressed voice is from the girl beside me.

Illya's frantically hugging herself so she won't be a burden on me.


This is the end.

We can't run away, and we can't take much more of this.

I look down at my left arm.

The sole weapon to overcome this situation is waiting for its release.

I'll die.

Kotomine said this is the switch of a time bomb.

I recall the pain.

Using projection nearly broke me.

I can't imagine what the pain would be like if I released my arm.

The firing hammer is always in my head.

Untying the red cloth is the same as putting a gun in my mouth and pulling the trigger.

Once I remove the cloth, the firing hammer will go down.

My brain will splatter out the back of my head, and everything will end there.


I have to be determined.

The answer's already there.

I need to bring Illya back and save Sakura.

I know what that means.

I have to protect Illya, defeat the shadow, and remove it from Sakura.

I wished for a miracle that I can't hope to accomplish.

I'm still wishing with all my might.

I know it's a dream that I can't make come true, but I've never even thought about giving up.


Then I have to go.

I have to save Sakura and Illya.

It's impossible.

Sakura's facing death, and only destruction awaits her.

Someone said it'll take a miracle to save her.

――――That's right.

Aid that's impossible with human powers.

If I'm to perform a miracle that exceeds human capabilities, I'll need an appropriate compensation.

I can't protect myself and someone else.

If someone has to take Sakura's place in order to save her...

The ground's trembling.

The embodiment of the storm is closing in.

"―――I'm going. I'm going to defeat him, Illya."


She looks up in surprise.

Illya notices that my right hand is on my left arm.

"No...! You can't do that! You won't come back once you use Archer's arm...! You'll die. No, you'll be killed first! You haven't done anything wrong, so you don't have to go that far...!"

"I'll bear it. I'll somehow bear it even if I almost die, so you don't have to worry about me.

Oh, and let me correct you. I've done bad things too."


"Then I'm going. Wait here, Illya."

I pat her head and walk away.

I get away from Illya.

I'm going to attract his attention and fight him head-on.

I have to get away from Illya so she doesn't get involved in the fight.

"――――It's time."

I place my hand on the knot by my shoulder.

The knot by my wrist is tight, so if I'm going to take the cloth off, it'll have to be from up here.

I just need to pull it all off after that.

Then I'll be assailed by pain that's ten times worse than all I've suffered until now.


Kotomine said it's the switch of a time bomb.

The fuse will be lit once I take it off.

I don't know if it'll explode in the next minute or the next day.

All I know is that I can't put out the fire once it's lit.

―――My mouth goes dry.

Fear doesn't go away with determination.

I want to scream out of sheer dread.

―――If I'll be sane or not.

I'm scared of myself.

My death is only natural.

I'll be killed even if I stay here.

If I'm going to die either way, I'll choose the method that'll keep me alive longer.

So there's only one thing I'm scared of.

And that is the possibility of losing my mind before my body dies.


Will I be able to bear the pain?

I might lose my sanity and forget about Illya and Sakura.

I might even forget the promise to protect them.

That's what I'm scared of.

That's the only thing I'm scared of.

That's why I sealed it.

I know I can't use this arm even if my life's at stake.

...Berserker's appearance isn't somebody else's business.

I'll be like him if I give in to the pain and lose my mind.

No, the fear will always be with me so long as this arm exists.

This arm's the embodiment of a nightmare that seeks to kill me.


Why did I keep this arm in spite of that?

――――Then cut it off.

There's only one reason.

This arm exists to be used, and he entrusted me with it because it will be needed.

He said I'll be judged by myself.

Illya said I haven't done anything bad.

"Yeah――――that's good enough."

The atonement lies here.

I betrayed myself and sacrificed many lives.

There's something I can't give up, and that's why I continue to live.

I put my hand on the red penalty.

Live or die.

I take a deep breath and rip the clot――――

At that instant.

The world crumbles apart.

" [p]


Blowing despair.

A strong wind that's going faster than a hundred meters per second.

A fierce wind that doesn't allow the existence of living things, let alone allow one to stand up.

Therefore, it's not a wind.

It's steel, and my body's crushed by the pressure.

" [p]


My eyeballs are squashed.

My back sinks into the wall.

I can't lift my hand or fingers.

My blood flows backward.

My mind is bleached white.

There's no pain.

Feeling pain and enduring it are too human-like to happen here.

" [p]

Ah, ah."

I'm melting.

I can't even groan in protest.

There's nothing.

I have no way to fight it off.

I have to move forward, but I can't move a finger.

" [p]

Ahh, ah."

I'm melting into whiteness.

My body and mind impassively crumble apart.

Go forward.

Why am I here?

Keep going forward.

For what am I here?

Go to the other side.

Why am I fighting?

Pass through the wind and move forward.

" [p]


――――I'm disappearing.

My body lost already, but I clench my teeth, not letting my mind lose... but my mind is disappearing.

I won't make it.

I can't move, no matter how hard I try.

I can't stay, no matter how determined I am.

I try to clench my right fist with my whole existence on the line.

If I can, I'll be able to hang in here.

If I can move any part of my body, I can use that to move forward.

I can't move a finger, let alone make a fist.

My left eyeball is crushed.

The rush of the wind ruptures my eardrums.

My vision fades away.

Within it...

I see an unbelievable image.

" [p]


He's standing.

He's standing in this wind.

He's standing, walking to the other side.

―――As if it's a matter of course.

The wind of steel has no effect on him. He walks forward, his red coat billowing behind him.

" [p]

Ahh, ah."

Strength is back in my jaws.

I grit my teeth.

My right hand is already in a fist.

The red knight takes no notice of me.

Set in a stern expression, his face is slightly turned away, showing no interest in me as the wind rushes to engulf me.

For him, this result was expected.

Emiya Shirou cannot stand against this wind.

He knew there's no future for the man who betrayed himself and wished for something out of his reach.

He's right.

The crimes I've accumulated will judge me.

But he...

'――――Can you keep up with me?'

As if to scorn me, as if to believe in me.

He's waiting for me to get there.

" ――――It's not 'can you keep up with me.'"

My vision fires up.

I force as much heat as I can into my body.

My limbs cut through the wind like giant swords.

"You keep up with me――――!"

I pass the red figure with all my might.

"[wacky len=14]"

I step up onto the ground.

The wind's died down.

There's about thirty meters to the black giant.

It'll take him less than three seconds to close this distance.


The outcome of this battle will be decided in the next three seconds.

My mind's clear.

I know the scope of my power.

Projection using creation concept, basic structure, composition, production technique, growth experience, and accumulated years.

A Reality Marble that inverts the world engraved on your soul, the embodiment of the mental world using theory of magecraft, the world egg.

Inheritance of battle technique, experience, and physical strength from Archer. Correction. Failed to read physical strength. I'll still be killed in one blow.

Reality Marble, "Unlimited Blade Works", isn't usable.

Archer's world and mine are different. I can't reproduce it.

I can only reproduce what Emiya Shirou has learned, or the Noble Phantasms he has recorded.

If I'm to use a Noble Phantasm from my left arm, I have to search within "Unlimited Blade Works" for the Noble Phantasm best suited for the situation and reproduce it.

But be warned.

Projection is a two-edged sword.

If you use it once, it will――――


I hold my breath and put all my magical energy into my left arm.

I only need to understand the weapons I can use.

I already know the precautions.

I have to move forward.

I have to go beyond that wind and defeat myself――――

"――――Trace, on."

I stare at it.

I see through his giant sword.

I open my left hand and grasp the imaginary handle of the weapon that has yet to exist.

An extraordinary weight.

Emiya Shirou cannot handle this giant sword.

But―――my left arm will definitely reproduce the strength of my enemy.


It breaks.

A part of my brain explodes.

My bones break, not being able to withstand the overflowing magical energy. It's unsightly like apple skin.

"Here I come――――――――"

There's no need to worry.

will reinforce the broken parts.

I will give my undivided attention to killing him for certain.

"[wacky len=12]!"

He notices me.

His hostility now has a focus.

Recognizing my use of magecraft as a threat, his eyes move.

They're like ominous stars.

The giant gives a death cry and runs to kill his enemy.

―――Mad warrior.

The giant is insane, but still the same.

He's still fighting his battle against Saber.

He is blind and insane, his life has ended twice over, and his body is rotting, but he's still fighting to protect Illya.

――――――――――One second.


The running giant won't stop with one blow, and normal projection is useless against him.

Tracing won't do the trick.

I can't beat that giant unless I use projection past my limits.


"――――Trigger, off."

Nine in my head.

I use all twenty-seven magecraft-Circuits in my head and smash it in one blow――――

――――――――――Two seconds.

He's right before me. His massive sword is upraised.

Torrent and swirling vigor.

He steps forward, and I confront him by also stepping forward.

Upper arm, collarbone, windpipe, temple, diaphram, rib, testicles, and thigh.

I take aim at the eight targets.

"Set――――Nine Lives Blade Works."

I surpass the crashing speed of sound using godspeed―――!

"[wacky len=5]―――......!"

But he doesn't fall.

His entire body has been torn through by his own weapon, but Berserker's still alive.


I step forward.

His weapon is in my left hand.

I'm faster.

I can land a finishing blow before Berserker, who's missing an eighth of his body.

I raise the giant sword up to his chest and thrust it like a lance.

"[wacky len=16]――――!!!!"

But I lost.

I put all I had into it.

I used every ounce of the unfair advantage I have, but it still wasn't enough.

Berserker's attack draws near.

It's swung down with hurricane force.


I twist my body.

I use all my abilities to evade his attack.

I saw it coming.

So I can dodge it.

Berserker's attack will only graze my head.

――――But that will still kill me instantly.

Even a grazing blow from that monstrous blade will be the end.

A direct hit can even destroy the ground.

Even a brush with the tip of his sword will scatter my head like tofu.

The giant sword comes crashing down.

My vision freezes the instant my head is blown away.


The sword swung with blinding speed...

...Is stopped with blinding speed.


The deathblow never comes.


The black giant is looking forward.

Not at me, who's under him.

He's staring at the white girl who emerged from her cover.

I pierce him.

Without hesitation or mercy, I drive the giant sword into his heart.

There's no counter-attack.

Berserker exhausts the last of his life force and crumbles to dust, for good this time.

...And at that moment.

As his red eyes fade away, they remain focused on the girl, telling me to protect her.

――――The battle ends in an instant.

It really does end in one breath.

The boy, with trembling lips, said he was going.

He suppressed his fatigue and fear, put his hand on the red restraint, and walked away from the girl.

She went out to stop him.

She hesitated for a second, wondering what she could say. She couldn't come up with anything, yet still followed after him.

It wasn't even ten seconds.

But that slight hesitation determined the outcome.


She emerges, following the boy.

The battle has already ended.

The giant who once protected her disappeared, his eyes fixed on her.

Wind blows through the clearing, as if signaling that the conflict has ended.

The figure is all that's left in her vision.


The battle has ended.

It's not the power of the heroic spirit's arm.

Using his own power, the boy fought against his death and won.

The girl keeps staring at his back.

He will never turn around and look back again.

He has released the Shroud and defeated the giant. His figure looks heroic and powerful.

There's no doubt left in him now.

He cast away all agonies when he released the cloth and used projection.


The girl keeps watching him, filled with sorrow.

His body looks like someone else's now.

―――It's a foolish and sacred end with no return.


I resume breathing.

My left arm burns, and I ache all over.

Snakes with electricity are in my body, wriggling around like mad.


I can't stay standing.


I have to quickly cover my left arm with the cloth and escape this pain, or the time limit will come.


But I can't do that.

Suppressing my left arm and resting...

...Comes after defeating her.


I endure my pain and stare at her so I won't lose spirit.


Maybe she's been following Berserker all along. She slowly comes closer to me, as if resuming the giant's task.

......Seven meters.

Saber stops once I am within range.



We face each other straight-on.

―――I'll be killed.

After my fight with Berserker, I can't move anymore.

I'll be cut in two without being able to fight back.


Even if I were in perfect shape, I wouldn't be able to beat Saber.

I can't project anything stronger than her Noble Phantasm.

So there's no competition.

To beat Saber, I need an appropriate user to use his Noble Phantasm that equals her Noble Phantasm.


There's a contradiction already.

Saber's Noble Phantasm is the strongest.

There may be heroic spirits whose Noble Phantasms exceed hers, but there are no such people in this Holy Grail War.

If anything can beat Saber, it'll be her own sword.

Therefore, a contradiction.

Saber's the strongest Servant in battle.

...Sakura did have extraordinary amount of magical energy.

But even Sakura wouldn't be able to defeat Saber.

Saber is literally invincible now that she's released from me and has a great source of magical energy.

"―――What a futile effort. I warned you that you cannot save Sakura, and this is the result?"

There's no emotion in her voice.


That's the signal.

She mercilessly comes to take my life.


So what?

I can't be killed here.

I can't lose, even against Saber.

I may not be able to beat her, but I should be able to escape with Illya――――

"But you are fortunate. I have no time to spare for someone who will soon die in any case. Sakura is calling for me."


Saber turns around and walks off.

"...No. It is not merely luck. You earned your life with your own hands. You defeated Berserker. Your determination yielded this result."

Saber leaves without turning around.

...I can't call out to her.

She's my enemy.

No matter the reason, I'll thankfully accept the fact that she spared my life.

I'm covered in wounds, leaving me nothing to spare.


I stifle my pain and turn my back to Saber.

I have to leave the forest with Illya.

...Saber's not my only enemy.

Even if I do separate Sakura from the shadow, Zouken will get in our way.


I know what happened and what's going to happen to my body.

I can project three more times at most.

...No, even projecting once is dangerous if I don't want any physical defects.

I can't fight Zouken and Assassin in this condition.

There'll be no point if my body explodes after I beat them.

Then I should keep my last projection to keep my promise with Tohsaka.

Then there's still hope, even after I die.


I hear Illya's voice from somewhere.

"...Yeah. Let's get out of this forest as quickly as we can.

We won't be able to get away if Saber―――no, if Sakura changes her mind."

I can't see Illya.

My heart's thumping loudly, jumping around inside my skull.

Scene 15 Death of a saint

―――Purification by the holy word.

The priest's exorcism disperses Matou Zouken's spiritual body.

Only two figures remain.

One is Kotomine Kirei, leaning against a wall with wounds all over his body, his cloak red with blood.

The other is the masked assassin, bound to a tree by the Black Keys.

"―――You completely eradicated the magus, Executor. Did you know he was just a collection of worms?"


He turns to the voice.

Assassin is no longer there.

The only things on the tree are the Black Keys and a small trace of blood.

"...I've known him for a long time. I knew he was a spirit that used worms to tamper with this world. It would do no good to rip his body to pieces. If one were to kill him, one would have to completely eliminate his body, or..."

"Attack the spirit itself, as you did, eh?

I see. The magus had a strong binding to the world, but he's vulnerable to the holy words of the Bible.

Exorcist, eh? One might say you were Matou Zouken's natural enemy."


The priest doesn't answer, but checks on his wounded body.

The bleeding has stopped.

He's out of weapons, but he suffered no fatal wounds, and his strength should return once he rests for a few minutes.

"So, what are you going to do, Assassin? Your Master is gone. My holy words should have an effect on you now that your source of magical energy is gone."

"...I would assume so. My body will soon disappear. Without a Master, I am no different from the wandering spirits in this forest. My body will degrade to that of a lowly spirit within a day, and I shall disappear from this world."

"Correct. I can harm Servants without Masters.

So, what will you do? Will you avenge your Master?"

"I am not so foolish as that. He suffered defeat because of his own arrogance. It is not my fault.

But still, something does not make sense, and that I must ask of you."

"You must mean how your Zabaniya failed.

I believe you obtained your arm from Shaytaan, but it will have no effect on me as long as it bears the name of the fallen angel.

That arm punishes humans, so it cannot curse one of its own kind. As my heart is not human, it is strong against such a curse."

"――――I thought so. Your heart was the same as that girl's.

You must already be tainted."

The priest doesn't answer.

He merely smiles ironically.

"...But how did you know? You could not act as you did unless you knew my arm would have no effect on you.

Your intention was to have me use my Noble Phantasm, correct?"

"Yes. I already knew about your arm, Assassin.

A cursed arm that creates an image of the target's heart and swaps it with the real heart.

That's how you killed my Servant."

"――――! Then you..."

"Yes, I watched it until he died.

It's natural that I knew about your arm. Your blunder was made the instant you killed Lancer."

"――――Damn, that was indeed a blunder."

Assassin tut-tuts in self-deprecation.

His hostility disappears at the same time.

He must be satisfied with the answer, as he quickly retreats.

"...So he went to look for another Master.

I'd assume his next Master would be Matou Sakura―――"

That's not a problem for the priest.

It's fine as long as Matou Zouken doesn't kill Matou Sakura.

Zouken's wish is immortality.

He can achieve his wish by having Sakura's body turn into the Holy Grail.

The curse in the Holy Grail will not hatch if the old man is alive.

It's meaningless if Sakura becomes his tool.

She needs to remain a Master.


'――――You will never find it.

You were defective from birth―――'


He gets dizzy.

It must be because of the fatigue and loss of blood.

The priest leans against the wall and closes his eyes.

It all happened ten years ago.

'Defective from birth――――'

The man did everything he could after accepting the fact.

He couldn't understand morals, but had common sense. So his teenage years were spent trying to overcome his defect.

But it never happened.

The man's purgatories and sufferings were entirely useless.

And his final attempt was a woman.

It's a simple story.

Every human wishes to love one of the opposite sex, have a family, and die peacefully.

Even if one may detest the peace, one can only dream about it.

This man is no exception.

He wished for such a thing, even though he felt no fascination in it.

He loved a woman, trying to earn ordinary happiness.

The man chose a woman with no future.

She was terminally ill, only expected to live for a few years.

Did he choose her because of that, or was that his only choice?

He still doesn't know.

Their life together lasted for about two years.

The man tried to love the woman.

The woman tried to love the man, did love him, and even had his child.

But the result didn't change.

It was because the man derived his happiness from the woman's suffering and his child's despair.

The more he tried to love, the more their suffering saved him.

The contradiction didn't make the man suffer. He doesn't even know if he suffered.

But the more the woman tried to cure him, the more he wanted to see her grieve.

The woman was a saint. She was sickly, but she was still a saint for him.

It need not be said how faithful she was or how deeply she understood his anger.

That's why the man was in despair.

No human will ever understand him and try to heal him to her degree. And this woman still could not fill the void within him.

Then――――there was no need to live and question right and wrong.

He was born defective.

His birth was some kind of mistake.

He concluded that if his existence was a mistake, it was best to disappear. And he went to bid goodbye to the woman before he died.

He made her his wife as an experiment, so it's his natural duty to go tell her of his end.

The woman loved Kotomine.

Kotomine tried to love the woman.

That's all there is to this story.

The end came relatively quickly.

"I could not love you."

That's all the man said in the room made of stone.

The dying woman smiled. She was unable to stand up, because her body was now composed of just skin and bone.

"―――No. I love you."

With a smile, she took her own life.

There was no way to stop her, and stopping her was meaningless.

The woman had a fatal disease. She would eventually die. He knew that when he chose her.

The woman, covered in blood, looked up at the man and smiled.

"See. You're crying."

He wasn't crying, of course.

It's just that the woman saw it that way.

The woman used her death to prove to him that he could love, and that he deserved to live.

The man silently left the room and broke away from the teachings of God.


He certainly felt sad.

But not because she died.

The man, at that time, thought...

'How terrible. If she was going to die, I wanted to kill her myself.'

He grieved over losing the chance to enjoy her death.

――――It happened long ago.

He can't remember her voice or her face.

But sometimes he thinks,

'I wanted to kill her.'

Is that for his pleasure, or―――

Is it grief over wanting to kill the one he loved with his own hands?

He cuts off his thought process whenever the answer flickers in his head.

It's something that should be hidden forever.

The woman's death was meaningless.

Her devotion couldn't change him.

But the man didn't want to consider her death to be worthless.

―――So he stopped searching for answers.

...It all happened long ago.

The memory of the man who feeds on others' misfortunes.

The man later meets his nemesis.

Emiya Kiritsugu.

A magus that cast away what the man might have wanted――――


He opens his eyes.

It seems he fell asleep.

He checks his condition, starts to walk to catch up to Emiya Shirou, and...

"――――No, you can't go anywhere.

Because you die here."

...Is interrupted by a girl.

She has completely changed.

Her black outfit is her shadow.

She's covering her body with her own dark magical energy.

―――The amount and the presence of her magical energy is beyond human capabilities.

She's at the same level as pure heroic spirits, the Counter Guardians.

"...You are completely tainted, Matou Sakura.

You cannot change to that degree unless your mind is attuned to the curse.

―――So you've accepted the fact that you're a human-eating monster."

Even though the priest wished for it, he still criticizes the girl.

As if to blame her for being intoxicated with her power.

"...Hah. But is it wrong to be drunk with your power?

It can't be helped.

Everyone picked on me too much. I think I would've endured it longer if everyone was nicer to me."

"――――Oh. Endure what?"

"Myself, priest-san.

I finally understand now. I hate this world.

The Tohsaka family that threw me away. Nee-san, who lived without any troubles. My scary grandfather and my pitiful brother. The people living peacefully without knowing about my pain."

"I can't allow such things now.

...I know I'm just taking my anger out on others. I know it's wrong, but I still think this way.


I wonder what kind of face the people who haven't helped me will make when they realize I exist."

The girl smiles, as if it's a sacred pleasure.

The priest doesn't change his expression.

He keeps staring at the girl as if regarding something foul.

"You have changed, Matou Sakura. I see, your darkness was one of the qualities to adapt."

"Yes, I've changed. I'm not the old Matou Sakura. That weak girl doesn't exist anymore.

...Yes. Everyone tormented me until now. So I'm just getting back at them. The me who sat there and endured is gone."

She laughs.

Double personality.

The original Matou Sakura disappeared, and the other personality surfaced.

That's the only logical reason for her change.


"―――What are you talking about? You don't need to hide it, Matou Sakura."

The priest quickly denies it.

"W――――What do you mean?"

"I said there's no need to hide it.

You are not another personality. You were swallowed by the mud and have become addicted to violence, but you are still Matou Sakura. You don't need to prepare another personality to excuse yourself."

Her face stiffens.

He's absolutely right.

The girl grits her teeth and glares back at the priest.

"What are you saying!? You're the one who made me like this...!"

The girl's shadow reacts to her hateful voice.

―――A blazing infringement.

The shadow covers the ground in an instant.

"I won't deny it. I kept you alive so that you would remain its Master. You measured up to my expectations, and you are about to give birth to Avenger.

You have easily accomplished what I could not."

"It wasn't easy at all...! You don't know how painful it was, how much pain I'm going through right now...!"

"I don't know, and there's no need to know. I'm not so mad as to listen to a girl's complaint."

"――――! ............I see.

You're right. I don't want you to know.

I won't let you feel compassion. I'm in a position where I can make anyone realize whatever I want."

She smiles cruelly.


The priest retreats without any hesitation.

He quickly backs away, like when he captured Matou Zouken.

―――The priest retreats with one jump.

She may have vast magical energy, but she's still inexperienced.

She has no experience with battle, and she's unskilled as a magus. It's easy for him to retreat.

"―――How foolish. Do you think you can get away from me?"

She smiles.

The priest falls to the ground at that instant.


He rolls down.

He falls to the ground, coughing up blood.

"Haa――――hm, guh......!"

It doesn't stop.

He can't stop coughing up blood. Every time he tries to breathe, it wells up in his throat.

"How does it feel to have someone grab hold of your heart? Your life's under my control, no matter where you are."


"You died ten years ago. Emiya Kiritsugu shot your heart and you died. But you stayed alive because of one reason."

"You're that... hmm, who was it? It's the Servant I ate before, but I guess his name doesn't matter.

That gold person was showered with the contents of the Holy Grail, which connected him to it. But it couldn't taint that man, so it flowed into you, his Master. Right?

And you were resurrected.

Avenger. Your life was saved because Angra Manyu supplied you with magical energy."

"Ha――――I see. Then this is..."

"Yes. You're connected to Angra Manyu. But I'm Angra Manyu.

――――So I squashed it. I destroyed the fake heart that kept you alive.

I can squash your organs too if you want.

I can pull out your insides, no matter where you are."

She raises her hand.

How can she say 'if you want'?

The girl has no intention of keeping him alive.

No matter how much he may beg for his life, she'll laugh as she kills him.

He'll give her back his fake life.

Because it's hers.

Even if it's just a speck next to her total magical energy, there's no reason for her to let the priest keep it.

"Goodbye. I appreciate the fact that you saved me."

She grasps her slender fingers together as if to twist apart an invisible doll.

A crushing sound.

The priest's body is squeezed like a rag.

One more twist.

The priest will die in the next second.

But right before that...

"――――! Ah, uh, ah――――!?"

The girl doubles over in pain.

...She coughs up blood.

She scratches the ground, as if begging for help.

"Ku――――it hurts, no... don't... come in――――!"

The shadow expands.

...What happened? The shadow on her body expands, then slowly shrinks back to the original size.

"......No way...... Berserker lost...?"

There's no other explanation.

Berserker was defeated.

He died, dissolved into pure magical energy, and was consumed by her, the Holy Grail.


Her mind distorts.

The personality called Matou Sakura is pushed even further into a corner now.

...She can't move any farther, but the great soul pushes her against the wall.


...She'll disappear.

She'll disappear.

Matou Sakura will disappear.

"――――――――Before that..."

She thinks of killing the priest, looks up, and is annoyed by her failure to follow through.

"――――Fine. He's... going... to die... anyway."

There's no one at the ruin.

On the ground where Kotomine Kirei lay is his blood-soaked outfit.

Scene 16 Truth-Antihero Angra Manyu

We reach the forest's edge faster than I expected.

It's probably because I had Illya's guidance.

The car I arrived in is gone.

We started walking to town, stopped a car, and got a lift.

We're both filthy after running through the forest, making us look really suspicious.

So I jumped out in front of a car to stop it, and Illya used suggestion on the driver to make him pick us up.


I never thought I'd get a ride like this.

"We're home, Shirou. Let's go in."


We're back at my place in an instant.

The sun's setting.

It seems I fell asleep on the way back.

The sun has set by the time I make it to the living room.

It's past seven o'clock already.


Something's wrong.

Time's passing by too fast.

It was afternoon when I stepped into the house, so it's not possible for it to be night as soon as I step into the living room.

"Illya. Isn't time passing by too fast?"

I talk to Illya, standing beside me.


But Illya isn't there.

Illya is...

"Hm? The dinner was good, Shirou."

...Already in the living room, saying strange things.


"Yeah. I was surprised you wanted to get energy before anything, but I'm glad we did. You were so enthusiastic while you were cooking."


There are remnants of dinner on the table.

There are dishes in the sink.

Come to think of it, I feel pretty full.

It seems I really did make dinner.

"......That's strange. Did we have this in stock?"

"Nope. That's why we were dropped off at the shopping district to get some groceries."


I look through my memory.





I guess that's what happened.

"I see. I guess I'm talking nonsense. So we had dinner, huh?"

"Yeah. All that's left is to rest."

"Hm―――yeah, we have to rest. I'm going to go change in my room. I need to talk, so please stay up. I'll be back right away."

Illya nods.

I raise my hand in apology and leave the living room.

And the next thing I know, I'm in my room.

The instant I step out of the living room, I'm on the floor in my bedroom.

"Ah... Guh――――!"

I wake up because of the piercing pain.

A sword's pierced in my chest.

That's the first thing I imagine because my chest is hot and numb, and it feels like my life is draining out from it.


There's no sword, of course.

It's just an illusion.

The left side of my chest is simply rebelling against my left arm.

But I finally realize.

My sense of time.

The intermittent scenes are...

"...I see. It's not my sense of time that's odd."

It's just that my mind is screwed up.

It's not that I have no memory. I just can't record the events into my brain.

I can't hold events in my mind unless I concentrate on them.

It's natural that I can't remember anything that happened after I left the forest.

I can't stay conscious unless I'm in pain, like now.

"――――――This is bad."

I frantically grasp at my fading consciousness.

Unless I consciously focus my mind, Emiya Shirou will disappear.

Only pain or the utmost concentration can preserve my memories.

In short, I have to maintain the level of concentration I had when I was trying to insert the Magic Circuit into my spine.


...I'm stumped.

I can't keep this up forever, and I don't know how long it'll work.

"...Wait. That means I shouldn't sleep."

Once I fall asleep, I won't be able to wake up.

Once I fall asleep, "Emiya Shirou" will never return.

Even if my body's unwounded, my mind would be scattered.


I raise my body.

I search through my desk. I need a small blade. Something I can hide in my right hand that'll dig into my flesh if I make a fist.

I can't keep up the concentration I have during training.

I have to clench my fist every time I relax so that the pain will keep me conscious.

"...Oh. It's not a blade, but this might do."

I find the crystal from that day.

...The pendant I found beside me after I was killed by Lancer.

I don't know how much magical energy was originally in this, but now there's not even enough for one strengthening magecraft left in it.

...That's right. Now, I can clearly think about who this pendant belongs to, and who could have saved me that night.

After all, she was the only other person at school at that time. I don't know why she saved me, but she wouldn't need a reason to save a life.


My consciousness starts to fade away.

I'll think about it later.

I'll fall unconscious if I think about happy things and relax.

―――I check my condition.

I released the seal on my left arm.

I put the Shroud back on it, but it's only there to ease my mind.

According to Kotomine, the switch would be tripped if I used Archer's arm.

He said there'd nothing I could do after that.


But I can still move my body.

The problem is my mind, but I can stay conscious as long as I stay awake.

As for projection... I can probably project three more times using Archer's arm.

I know I can manage it once.

I'm scared about the second time.

The third will be fatal. I think my body will self-destruct, even if my mind's still alive.


I close my eyes and strain my ears.

...I hear creaking sounds along with my heartbeat.

...The thing invading my body from Archer's arm.

It gets harder to suppress his Reality Marble the more I use his Blade Works. Eventually, an infinite number of blades will be created inside my body instead of outside.

...I don't even want to imagine what'll happen.

A thousand blades will pierce my body from within, killing me instantly.

"―――――Don't kid me. I won't kill myself."

I'm in a hopeless condition.

I accept the whole situation.

But I reject the facts as they stand.

I won't die, and I won't self-destruct.

Not waking up after I fall asleep is just a product of my frightened imagination.

―――I'll be saved.

I'll be saved once I do everything I need to.

It's meaningless otherwise.

I said I'll protect Sakura no matter what.

So I can't just die selfishly.

"―――That's right. I have to contact Tohsaka first."

I don't have time.

I'll go to her house.

I'm worried about whether Kotomine's all right, but he's not my ally anymore now that we've saved Illya.

I can't ask for his help again, but the promise to...

It's past nine o'clock.

I thought I came back right away, but it's been two hours already.

"―――Sorry to keep you waiting, Illya. I'm going to Tohsaka's house, so let's go together."

"Rin's house? I don't mind, but why?"

"Eh... why? We have to meet up with Tohsaka. And I'm worried about how she's doing.

Kotomine said she'd heal by tonight, but I can't really trust him. If she's not doing well, I'll need to look after her."

"Okay. That's fine, but Shirou..."

Illya points to the wall.


"I'm glad to know you're worrying about me. As you can see, I'm all right.

But if you were that worried about me, I wish you'd have come by my house before heading off to the forest."

"T-Tohsaka...!? When did you get here...?"

"I was here about an hour ago. I heard from Illya what happened at the forest."

Tohsaka's in a bad mood... No, she's angry.

It seems she doesn't like the fact that I went to the forest without her.

"I can't help it. I thought I had to act as quickly as possible, and Illya was in serious danger.

...Right, Illya?"

"......Yeah. I wasn't locked up anywhere, but I could've been taken to the Great Holy Grail and had my heart taken out at any time.

Zouken wanted to open the gate as soon as he took control of Sakura. I would be dead right now if Shirou and Kotomine had come a bit later."

"―――See. I wouldn't have made it if I'd waited for you."

"Who knows? So it all depended on Sakura, right? Tell me the truth, Illya."

"Oh, you can tell?

Yeah, there was a bit more time. Sakura's strong, so she won't easily break. I think there was about one more day to spare until she lost herself and fell under Zouken's control."

"I thought so. You shouldn't pamper Shirou too much. A little strictness is just right for him."

"―――You're right. I'll be grateful if you see to that."

The two criticize me.

But if the time limit was a day, I don't think we would've made it if I'd waited for Tohsaka.

I was faced with an important choice in the forest, but in exchange, I'm able to regain the time the three of us can spend together.


...I concentrate hard, since I'm starting to relax.

It seems the tension faded away during the conversation.

"......Hm......? Hold on, Illya.

You said Sakura might last one more day. Then the remaining time we have is..."

"Half a day at most. ...No, no matter how hard Sakura tries, Avenger is about to be born. Once that happens, she will change completely. Nobody can save Sakura, and nobody will be saved."


Tohsaka and I frown at the strange word.

"Yes, Avenger.

It's the eighth class in the Holy Grail War. It's a 'violation' that the Einzberns summoned by breaking the rules.

That's what tainted the contents of the Great Holy Grail.

It's the main body that assimilated with Sakura, projecting the shadow because it couldn't go into the outside world.

It's something that should not exist, consuming human lives to take form."

"That's Avenger―――an anti-hero that the Einzbern Master summoned in the third ritual."

"You know about it, Illya...!? You know what that shadow is, and what Sakura's possessed by...!?"

"Yeah. I got the information out of Sakura, so I understand what's going on.

What we have to do. What, exactly, you've made into your enemy."

Illya closes her eyes once.

...Is that resignation?

Illya sighs and then stares at us.

"What I'm about to talk about is the heart of the matter, and it's nothing that concerns you two. You shouldn't be burdened with this.

Shirou, Rin. As you two are the last Masters in the Holy Grail War, I shall tell you the truth."


Tohsaka looks at Illya in surprise.

I do likewise.

Illya shows calmness and emptiness as if she's someone else.

"Everything started two hundred years ago.

No, the journey of those who seek the Holy Grail began long before that. But two hundred years ago, the ritual was begun in this land."

"I'll start from there.

The Holy Grail grants any wish. Einzbern, Makiri, and Tohsaka cooperated to conduct a ritual to summon the Holy Grail.

That's how the Holy Grail War came to be. A murderous battle between seven summoned Servants to determine the ownership of the Holy Grail.

Magi who are chosen as Masters become the hosts of the Servants and kill each other until only one magus remains.

That's the ostensible reason for the Holy Grail War that you two know of."

"You don't look surprised, Rin. So you had some idea of it, huh?"

"...Somewhat. I knew all along that I was being used, but I didn't mind it too much.

I'm reaping the benefits by using somebody else's system. We're both using each other.

I'm not stupid enough to get angry over something so trivial."

"Really? Then I don't have to explain that the order is reversed? How about you, Shirou? Did you already know that the process of making the Servants fight is unnecessary?"


...Well, I did know.

Servants are summoned by the Holy Grail.

The heroic spirits are summoned to determine whether the summoner deserves the Holy Grail.

Once summoned, they make a contract with a Master to stay in this world and obtain the Holy Grail. Then they go out to defeat the other Masters and Servants.

...In and of itself, that's not a problem.

But once I found out the defeated heroic spirits are absorbed into the Holy Grail, something felt off.

Heroic spirits―――Servants are only a factor in determining which Master is suited for the Holy Grail.

So why are they taken into the Holy Grail after their purpose has been served?

"...So does that mean heroic spirits are needed for the Holy Grail War, and Masters are just a tool to summon them?"

"Right. In the ritual of the war, Masters are mere receptors to summon the Servants. Once they've done that, they can die at any time.

The heroic spirits are the only ones needed to complete the Holy Grail.

Heroic spirits are pure souls separate from the time axis. Though they are outside of this world's logic, they can still influence it."

"That's the power they needed.

They tried to exit into the outer world using that power.

That's the real purpose of the Holy Grail in this land.

The Holy Grail Wars were waged to create a phenomenon, a miracle, that is still out of human reach."

"That's the great ritual to attain immortality that's said to have been lost by the Einzberns.

Not a heroic spirit or a holy spirit, but a soul of a mere human that's fated to disappear from this world. Bringing it about is an act of God."

"―――The name of the miracle is 'Heavens Feel'.

It's the golden cup that's the third of the five existing True Magics."

"S――――True Magics!? You mean 'those' True Magics...!?"


The air tenses up.

Illya says that the Holy Grail is a ritual to perform a True magecraft.

True magecraft.

A divine mystery that cannot be reached with magecraft. An impossible phenomenon that cannot be achieved by modern people.

It's the ultimate goal of every magus, and those who achieve it are called "sorcerers" with envy and awe.

There are five True Magics acknowledged by the magecraft Association.

As I'm not even in the Association, I have no way to know, but I've heard that there are five True Magics and that there are about four sorcerers.

"W-Wait...! So the Third True magecraft is the materialization of the soul!? But Servants are materialized souls too...!"

"No. The system does use a part of the Third True magecraft, but the heroic spirits are summoned.

Servants aren't alive as part of this world or time. It's too imperfect to be the Third True magecraft. And heroic spirits can take form in this world without the help of True magecraft as long as they have a host."

"Heavens Feel is not a spell that duplicates a soul perceived in the past.

It's actually a spell to make an existence of a higher dimension that can take a spirit form and still influence the physical world.

It takes a soul and elevates it to the next level of life."

"Next step――――that's certainly serious, but...

Even though the details are different, all True Magics are a way to reach the origin! What does it have to do with the Holy Grail?"

"No. First of all, there's only one administrated land in Japan that can activate a True magecraft.

I know the ley line in Fuyuki is first-class, but there's not enough distortion to connect to the origin."

"Right. It's not distorted enough to reach the origin. That's why you make a hole. If the path is obstructed, you have to destroy the wall yourself, right?"

"The Holy Grail War is the process of destroying the wall.

The process accumulates enough magical energy to grant any wish. But that's just a secondary matter for the Einzbern family. And it was also an advertisement to call for the Masters, the sacrifices."

"The Einzberns only needed a giant magecraft circle that could store great amounts of magical energy without attracting the notice of the magecraft Association.

The head of the Tohsaka family at that time cooperated with them.

This country doesn't receive much attention from the Association, and there aren't many first-class lands that rank next to Aozaki's land.

Fuyuki City was almost the perfect test site, meeting all the requirements."

"You should be able to figure out the rest.

There are two kinds of Holy Grails that govern the Holy Grail War.

The Holy Grail in this land and the Holy Grail Einzbern prepares.

The former is a magecraft circle that uses the land administrated by Tohsaka.

This is called the Great Holy Grail.

The key that the Einzbern family prepares for each ritual is called the Holy Grail."

"The Great Holy Grail administers the system of the Holy Grail War. The Holy Grail collects the souls of the defeated heroic spirits and acts as the reactor core to activate the Great Holy Grail."

"And once the Holy Grail collects enough souls to activate the Great Holy Grail, it uses the heroic spirits' souls to open a hole.

The Great Holy Grail fixes the small hole created when the heroic spirits return to their original place after their roles are fulfilled. This opens up the passage to the origin that humans cannot reach."

"Of course, this is just the first step. Your wish isn't granted even if the hole is opened. The path to the origin is too far."

"But―――the one who obtains the Holy Grail gains access to unlimited magical energy.

The other side has large quantities of unused magical energy unlike anything seen on this side. For an ordinary magus, it's nothing short of a miracle."

"......I see. So the Great Holy Grail is the magecraft circle which serves as the foundation, and the Holy Grail is the key to activate it.

The Holy Grail Wars must occur on a sixty-year cycle to accumulate enough magical energy to summon the heroic spirits."

"There's no way you can carry out such a summoning with one person's magical energy.

The Great Holy Grail draws magical energy from the land slowly so as not to deplete it, and once it's full―――"

"Yes, it summons the heroic spirits as Servants.

But you need an incentive to summon the heroic spirits. They won't heed your call unless you give them what they want.

That's why the Holy Grail was prepared to reward them."

"...Well, that's a deception from the start.

The Einzberns just wanted the souls of the heroic spirits.

They didn't care about their rank. They just wanted strong souls.

To hide that fact, they created the Holy Grail War as a cover. They deceived the Servants and Masters and made them kill each other."

"...Well, I guess that started from the second ritual.

The first was conducted in a foolishly honest manner and failed right away because the three families fought for its exclusive right."

"So the rule was made starting with the second ritual.

̠ Outsiders were called and made to fight for the Holy Grail.

Masters from outside the families were just an inconvenience after the Servants had been summoned, so it more efficient to have them killed in battle.

It was convenient for the three families because they could legitimately kill their collaborators."

"Unbelievable. So the rule for Masters to kill each other exists because they couldn't decide who gets the ownership by talking and had to resort to violence?"

"Yup. But choosing the last magus standing proved to be an even better method than expected.

It's just like you. There were Servants and Masters that found out they were tricked, but it seems they didn't care. It's because you obtain the Holy Grail if you win."

Tohsaka's convinced.


...In short, the Holy Grail War is not a battle to obtain the Holy Grail, but a ritual to escape to the outside world.

Attempts to reach the outside world.

According to hermeticism, there's a power that governs dimensional theory outside of this world.

It's called the 'swirl of the origin', and it's a coordinate that's considered to be the beginning of all things.

It's the start and the end of all creation. It's the seat of God, recording everything and able to create anything.


But I really don't care about that.

My father would've understood what a big deal it is, but it doesn't concern me.

What's possessing Sakura is much more important to me than how it all started.

"Illya. I don't care about the real purpose of the war. It has nothing to do with us, just like you said.

More importantly, tell us about the thing you mentioned earlier."

"It has nothing to do with us!? We're talking about True magecraft here! And the Third True magecraft at that! It's the taboo out of all taboos that's been kept a secret even within the association!

If you're a magus, you can't ignore something like this――――"

"I can. ...Man, why do you have the wrong idea, Tohsaka?

This isn't the time to be talking about something that can't succeed anyway."

"C-Can't succeed? What are you basing that on?"

"Hey now. I don't know why, but the Holy Grail War has never had a victor. That means there's something wrong with the ritual.

...First of all, how will you explain what's happening to Sakura? If the Holy Grail's a path to reach True magecraft, does that mean Sakura's like that because of True magecraft?"

Maybe I convinced her, because she shuts her mouth.

"So, Illya. Why did the Holy Grail War turn out like this?

Kotomine said there's something in the Holy Grail.

So is this that Avenger thing? And he's not in the Holy Grail, Sakura or Illya, but in the magecraft circle you called the Great Holy Grail?"

"Oh, Kotomine would know, wouldn't he?

He's a magus tainted by Avenger, just like Sakura. He already knows what's inside the Holy Grail."

"Eh...? Kotomine and Sakura are the same...?"

"That's right. This concerns you two.

This is about what Zouken's trying to obtain, what's changing Sakura, what's hiding in the Holy Grail, and what's tainting the souls of the heroic spirits.

Its class name is Avenger.

The heroic spirit that's about to take a living form through the power of the Holy Grail, a successful example of the Third True magecraft."

"...What? What was all that about True Magics not having to do with this? It does concern them."

"No. Avenger's materialization isn't True magecraft carried out by the Holy Grail. From the start, it is a heroic spirit with that specific attribute.

It can take form within the Holy Grail because it's Avenger.

The Holy Grail merely summoned an avenger that can use the Third True magecraft, so it doesn't mean that the Great Holy Grail used the Third True magecraft."

"......? So in short, it's a monster that can materialize?

It's someone who can embody the Third True magecraft even if the Great Holy Grail doesn't?"

"Yes. It all started during the third ritual.

The first one was a failure. Einzbern was defeated quickly in the second war, and in desperation, they summoned a spirit that specialized in killing."

"They used an old scripture, a foreign folklore they obtained, as catalyst to summon the worst evil possible.

They summoned what they shouldn't have summoned to kill all the other Masters, to activate the Great Holy Grail, and to keep all the achievement to themselves.

――――The spirit's name is Angra Manyu.

A murderous anti-hero that embodies every curse in this world."

"――――Angra... Manyu?"

...Hold on.

Angra Manyu is the name of the ancient Persian devil.

It's the embodiment of evil, the greatest devil in Zoroastrianism. It fights a nine-thousand-year battle againts Ahura Mazda, protector of human goodness.

Zoroastrianism is a story mainly about the battle between these two gods. It's the first religion to come up with the doctrine of duality, the angels and the devil.

But the story contains no hero named Angra Manyu.

First of all, how can someone crowned with the name of the king of devils become a heroic spirit?

"That's not possible, Illya. The Holy Grail can only call on heroic spirits, and you don't need the Holy Grail if you can reproduce phenomena on the divine spirit level.

No, first of all, there can't be a heroic spirit with the name Angra Manyu. Even if there was, it would be a nameless evil spirit that left no mark on history. Even if it were summoned, its soul wouldn't be compatible with the Holy Grail."

"...Illya. What did the Einzberns' Master summon?"

"I said Angra Manyu, Rin.

...He was certainly nameless, and not a devil. But a hero with the name Angra Manyu did exist."

"...Yes, the story takes place a long time ago. Insanely long ago, in a very small world.

It was a hero that lived in a small, nameless village that practiced Zoroastrianism."

"I don't know how distorted their doctrine was.

I don't know what led them to that idea.

But they lived cleanly and righteously in accordance with their precepts.

People are supposed to value goodness, protect the light, and live virtuous lives.

For these people, segregated from the rest of the world, this supplication was absolute. It was probably the only source of human pride that they knew."


The people in the village earnestly wished for everyone to live in peace.

So everyone could be free from malice and live pure, upright lives.

They renounced such human concerns as hunger, conflict, love, and hate. They were proud to be worthy of God's blessing."

"But it was impossible.

People can't be freed from malice just through clean, righteous living.

From the moment we are born, there is evil in us. You must take certain measures if you want to separate evil from yourself.

And――――those measures were taken."

"They came up with a way to save not just their small village, but the whole world.

It's hard to make everyone do good.

But you can prove everyone's goodness.

...You just need one person.

If one person embodies all the evils of the world, the rest of the people cannot be evil, no matter what.

They seriously believed in such a simple, child-like theory."

"And one young man was chosen as a sacrifice.

They captured him, carved every cursed word onto his body, forced every sin imaginable upon him, and held him responsible for all evils in the world.

That's all.

A small world. But an ultimate evil was born in this one complete world."

"The people cursed, scorned, feared, yet adored this man.

They believed they were pure and righteous, since all the world's evil was within him.

They seriously believed it'd save everyone in the world and created a devil.

To demonstrate human goodness, they continuously tortured one man until he went insane. No, they would not allow him to die until he succumbed to old age."

"...The name of the devil that corrupts men.

He was given the name Angra Manyu, and was irrationally hated by everyone in the world."

"I don't know if he really did turn into a devil during the process.

But everyone in his village believed him to be so, and they treated him accordingly. They hated and feared him, but he was the proof of their goodness. They revered him as the sign of their salvation."

"He was the object of everyone's hate, but he saved people.

His existence pardoned everyone of their evil deeds.

Though his method was unusual, he still saved people.

He became a hero for the villagers."

"And a hero was born.

Hated by people, losing his self... Someone who transformed into exactly what they wanted. A helpless sacrifice that came to represent all the world's evil."

"―――That's the anti-hero Angra Manyu.

An ordinary person without any special talent that was determined to be all evils of the world.

The king of devils that approves of all six billion evils in Zoroastrianism. He's a curse made by a concept of ancient people."

Illya finishes her story with no sign of bitterness or contempt.


Kotomine introduced me to the term when the war started.



If Illya's story is true, the guy who turned into Angra Manyu is still burdened with all the sins.

It's because that's his reason of existence.

A heroic spirit who's had six billion sins pushed onto him.

...If a guy like that is summoned, all that'll happen is a big massacre.

It'd only be natural for him to hate people, and first of all, everyone around him established him to be evil.

...Angra Manyu.

So the man is using Sakura to take revenge on the people... no, to carry out the role people pushed onto him?

"So I understand the story of Avenger... Angra Manyu.

But why is he in the Holy Grail? He's just an ordinary person, right? Even if he's given a devil's name and treated like one, he's still just a human.

That wouldn't turn him into a monster capable of eating the entire town."

"...Yeah. Angra Manyu is human. He was just an ordinary man, but was forced to become a heroic spirit. So there wasn't any problem, originally."

"...The Einzbern family summoned Angra Manyu in the third war.

But the summoned heroic spirit was weak.

The anti-hero was defeated in the early stage of the war, and the Holy Grail took him in. The Master of Einzbern grieved how this ordinary human could be a devil that destroys the human world."

"...Yes. The heroic spirit was merely human.

A human that cursed the world.

A human who everyone wanted to represent their evil.

...So he had no power. He was merely constructed by the people around him.

But everything reversed the instant he was taken in by the Holy Grail."

"The Holy Grail grants wishes.

When defeated, Servants are reduced to raw magical energy and are taken in by the Holy Grail to await their release. They lose their individual personalities and stay in the Holy Grail as an omnipotent power.

But Angra Manyu was different. He was a heroic spirit that others wished for. He was intended to be evil, regardless of his personality."

"――――No way. Could he..."

"Yes. The Holy Grail grants every wish.

He was a mere human, but wasn't treated as one. So he was an embodiment of people's wishes.

So―――the instant Angra Manyu was taken in by the Holy Grail, the Holy Grail accepted a wish."

"An existence that should not be.

The heroic spirit constructed from people's selfish wishes was finally given flesh within the wish-granting Holy Grail.

...Five hundred years under the Makiri and a thousand under the Einzbern are nothing.

After all, he's an ideal human that has been wished for since the age of gods, over two thousand years ago."

"That's what that shadow is. It finally obtained form as a heroic spirit.

Angra Manyu used Servants' colorless magical energy to embody all evils of the world.

Wanting only to be evil.

It slowly matured with an ability to curse all six billion people."

"―――Then what? The contents of the Holy Grail have already been tainted by him? The wish the Holy Grail grants is already determined, and the fourth war took place only to store up the magical energy needed to give him form?"

"Yes. I don't know how much Kiritsugu knew about Angra Manyu.

But believing the shadow leaking from it to be dangerous, he destroyed the Holy Grail."

"And his course of action was right.

No matter what the previous Angra Manyu was, the Angra Manyu that formed inside the Holy Grail is real. It will become the greatest evil in the world, a devil that will kill every human being alive."

"But thanks to Kiritsugu's resolve, Angra Manyu was left unborn within the Great Holy Grail.

Kotomine and Sakura received parts of it.

Zouken must've known that a Servant was about to be born in the Holy Grail.

That's why he implanted a piece of it in Sakura, creating a link between her and that Servant.

He made Sakura a Master so that she can control the Servant once it emerges."

"No matter what Avenger is, it's still a Servant. No Servant, no matter how strong, can disobey his Master.

That's Zouken's plan. He wants to use Sakura to obtain Angra Manyu."

――――Hold on.

Does that mean Sakura has a contract with this Servant, Avenger?

"Are you serious? Even if Sakura controls Angra Manyu that way, she can't resist the taint of the magical energy.

She's already changed that much when Angra Manyu is still inside the Holy Grail, so her personality will disappear completely once it comes out. Then being a Master won't matter."

"That's fine. Zouken isn't worried about Sakura's personality. What matters to him is her body and its connection to Angra Manyu."

"He's planning to take over her empty body after her personality disappears.

...I don't think you know, but Zouken can take over anyone's body as long as the worm bearing his soul exists. That's how he stayed alive until now.

From the start, Sakura was just a body to eventually possess."

――――Then what?

The thing possessing Sakura.

If what's changing her is a contract with a Servant――――

"Zouken kidnapped me, probably because he didn't want to let Sakura open the gate.

He wanted me to take the role of the Holy Grail, allowing him to take over Sakura's body once she became Angra Manyu's Master."

"I guess he plans to take over Angra Manyu in time, since a soul given flesh is a living example of the Third True magecraft. It's like speaking ill of a perfect God because you're a human with desires."

"......The definition of God's creation... It's something that's made from people's wishes, but not affected by people's intentions.

Well, I bet any god will turn into a devil if it reflects Zouken's personality. That must be why Kotomine considered him his enemy."

"I get it. That's enough, right, Shirou?"


Tohsaka's voice brings me back to the present.

"It's not 'huh'. We know our enemy, and we know Zouken's intention. Then we don't even need to talk about the rest."


...We don't even need to talk about the rest, huh?

She's right.

What's in the Holy Grail.

The disaster from ten years ago will be repeated if he comes out.

...No, that's an understatement.

He'll kill countless people if we let him be.


Sakura's creation will take many lives.


I can't allow that.

Then I have to stop it.

I have to make whatever sacrifices I can to keep Sakura from being burdened with more deaths.

――――Stop Angra Manyu.

I have to end the war before he emerges from the Holy Grail.

"I guess you understand now. We have to fight and win.

And there are only two ways to do this.

Kill Sakura, Angra Manyu's Master, before he comes out. Or destroy the Great Holy Grail before he comes out."

"...The former's the more certain method.

Sakura and Zouken will surely get in our way if we try to destroy the Great Holy Grail. We won't be able to do it without defeating them.

So it's easiest to defeat Sakura."

"Yeah. Fight Sakura and separate her from Angra Manyu. That's the easiest way, and the plan's easy to understand."

"Oh. You have no problem with going after her?"

"...That's the only thing we can manage right now. If Angra Manyu is what Illya says it is, it's not something humans can match. We lose the instant it comes out.

Then we have to take the quickest and surest route.

More importantly, Tohsaka. I don't mind fighting, but do you know where Sakura is?"

"That's not a problem. If Illya's right, there's only one place the Great Holy Grail can be. Right, Illya?"

"...Yes, you're right, Rin.

Angra Manyu is about to be born, so Zouken is at the Great Holy Grail.

The degraded ley line. The origin that was chosen by the three families two hundred years ago. Angra Manyu is being conceived in the large cavern underneath the Ryuudou Temple."

"――――Under the Ryuudou Temple..."

...That's where Sakura is.

That's where we'll be heading, the place where the Holy Grail War will end.


I take a deep breath and allow my tense mind to relax slightly.

The cold pendant in my hand settles my thoughts.


Fighting Sakura.

Tohsaka isn't lying.

It's just that our methods are different.

Tohsaka must intend to finish the war by killing Sakura.

But I'll end the war by saving Sakura's life―――


My body trembles.

The house is beset by pressure, making the air feel like water.



The instant we realize the pressure's coming from the shadow, we run out into the yard.

Scene 17 Separation

――――We go out into the yard.

The whole world is covered by the shadow.

My entire body is numb with fear.

...The black shadow is standing in front of us.

It can crush this house if it wants to.

The difference in our power is obvious.

It has transfigured to an existence that's unlike anything I've ever seen.


...The black shadow does nothing.

It's not Sakura, but a shadow shaped like her.

The real Sakura is under the Ryuudou Temple.

The thing in front of us is a virtual image.

"――――Hmph. So you're sending the shadow instead of showing up yourself? You've gotten arrogant during the short time you've been away."


Does she not hear Tohsaka's provocation, or does she not hear anything at all?

Wavering in the moonlight, her shadow looks lonely.


Her eyes look at me.


Weak, as if she'll reply like always if I just reach out.


But I don't.

What I must do is determined.

I can't say anything to her, as doing so would weaken my resolve.

She looks away.

After hanging her head for a moment,

"Did you hear the whole story from Illyasviel, Nee-san?"

She confronts Tohsaka with a cold voice.

"Yeah. I heard about what's possessing you and the abilities of what's about to be born from the Holy Grail.

So, Sakura. Let me ask. Do you have any intention of cutting ties with Angra Manyu?"

Tohsaka's voice is the same.

Completely cold, showing no concern for Sakura.

"No. I said the weak me disappeared, didn't I? I was able to obtain this power, so I don't intend to let it go. I couldn't even if I wanted to.

...This is how Matou Sakura has to live from now on."

"I see. Then one more thing.

How complete is the Servant you're boasting about? Illya said it's coming out soon, but what do you have to say as the mother? Is it already born?"

"...Of course not. When that happens, this town will be consumed in a second.

I can't allow that yet. Senpai's still here.

So I won't let him out as long as I still exist."

"Oh, so there's no reason for us to hurry, huh? So you're going to keep Angra Manyu inside as long as Shirou's with me?

That's good, Shirou. Sakura seems well enough."

"...Don't be ridiculous. You should know how much longer I'm going to last.

Please run away with Senpai. I won't last long. I don't know when I'll disappear. I might only be able to hold out for one night."

"So I'm warning you before that.

...Nee-san. Please take Senpai and run far away. Then I can be at peace and take his life with mine."

Sakura says she's going to kill him using her life.

Tohsaka trembles a bit.

Is that because she believes her, or...

"...Humph. You don't know when you're going to disappear, huh?

You're wrong. You just don't know when you'll run out of patience."


"Oh well. I don't know how you're going to kill Angra Manyu, but you can kill yourself without hesitation if I run away with Shirou?

You'll kill the Servant within the Holy Grail along with you, right?"

"...Y-Yes. So please run away.

I-I don't want you to see me change. It's fine as long as Senpai gets away.

So――――please don't come after me anymore, Senpai."

She's desperately begging us.

Sakura's shadow can kill us right now, but it asks for salvation by letting us go.


But I can't answer her wish.

I can't leave Sakura and run away, nor can I let her kill herself along with Angra Manyu.


"We'll go there. We'll go and kill you for sure."

Tohsaka breaks away from her sister.


"What did you expect? As Tohsaka's magus, I can't ignore you. And I can't believe you even if you say you'll kill yourself.

Don't you get it, Sakura? You're not making any sense. You want to kill, but you're telling me to run.

Geez, you're trying to act like a good girl because you're in front of Shirou."


"Oh, you can make a good face. That's what you should've done from the start.

So, is that all? Then get lost. You don't have to hurry since we'll go see you right away.

Look, Sakura. I'll kill you with my own hands."

Tohsaka declares with voice that even contains kindness.

...The shadow wavers.

After freezing on the spot like a statue...

"Yes――――I'll be waiting for you, Nee-san."

...It smiles violently and disappears.

The shadow covering the house recedes.

Tohsaka and I are the only ones remaining in the yard.

――――I get dizzy.

I thought I was concentrating, but it seems I was agitated after seeing Sakura's image.

...It seems Sakura's not the only one that's running out of time.


You heard what Sakura said. But what're you going to do?

If you want to run, I won't stop you. But if you do, that'll be after you project the gem sword."

"You don't have to confirm with me. I won't run away, and I'll somehow project the gem sword.

We're cooperating, right? Then I'll follow up by doing things you can't do."

"...I see. That's good, but do you understand, Shirou?

Coming with me means killing Sakura. The same goes for the gem sword. You're going to prepare a weapon that I will use to kill her."

"...Yeah. The gem sword thing is contradictory. But Sakura's out of our control, and projecting the sword is a promise we made. If projecting the sword means we can match Sakura's shadow, then it's something we definitely need to do."

"Oh. So..."

"Yeah, I'm taking the opposite measure. I'm going to end this war by saving Sakura. I've decided to be Sakura's ally."

"Even if letting Sakura live means killing everyone else?"

"We don't know that yet. There should be a way to save Sakura and not let there be any more victims."

"...I don't know about that. Sakura's already killed many people. Is it justice for you to save such a person, Shirou?"

――――Her inquiry is decisive.

A sin I can't talk myself out of.

She puts it into words, and I finally...

"―――That's right. I'll protect her even if she's not human. I'm going to protect her from everything, including the part of her that wants to kill me.

That's all I want to do. That's what it means to be someone's ally, right?"

...I'm able to tell her what I think.

"......Geez. You really can just come out and say it."

I nod back, feeling no shame.

"......I see. Well, I knew there was no point in arguing with you, but I didn't think it'd go this far. You beat me."

"Huh? Where are you going, Tohsaka?"

"I have to go prepare for the battle.

Sakura gave us that warning because she really doesn't have time to spare. So I have to get ready quickly."

"That's true, but we were talking――――"

"We're done talking now. In short, you're going to save Sakura as long as you're still alive, right?

...Hmph. Fine, do as you want. I'm not going to say anything now. Go struggle to your heart's content."


Where did her nervousness go? Tohsaka looks angry now.

"But don't get me wrong. This is in exchange for making the gem sword.

I'll leave you in charge of Sakura as long as you're trying. I won't do anything until you can't move anymore.

...That's good, right? You might be able to save Sakura, if you try hard enough."

Tohsaka leaves with that.


The uneasiness in my chest goes away.

We're thinking oppositely.

But Tohsaka still wants to save Sakura.

Then I can entrust her with Sakura.

We both like her.

Then Tohsaka should be able to save Sakura.

Scene 18 Record of the Great Holy Grail

It's ten o'clock.

Tohsaka said we'll prepare for battle and go to the Ryuudou Temple before the date changes.

"Well. I'm going to have you project the gem sword, but how do you feel? Can you project it while suppressing Archer's arm?"


...I see.

Illya hasn't told her how I took the Shroud off.

"Well――――um, yeah..."

"Oh, that's good to hear. Then the rest is up to Shirou and Illya.

The Azoth Sword, which is as close as we're going to get to the gem sword, Shirou's projection, and Illya's support. We may not be able to replicate it, but if all goes well, we should at least be able to reproduce half of its original ability."

Tohsaka hands me a dagger.


The dagger is a ritualistic equipment.

It might be something she favors, as it looks well-used.

Not only that. Even an amateur like me can feel how much magical energy is stored in this thing.

...Well, this is nothing compared to the shadow, but it's still a hundred times more than my magical energy capacity.

"...This is amazing. You had something like this up your sleeve?"

"Of course it's amazing. I used all the jewels I had, which contained ten years worth of magical energy."

Tohsaka sulks, like she didn't want to use them.

...She seems generous, but maybe she's really stingy when it comes to money.

Well, with that aside...

"Hmm, but is that really okay, Tohsaka? You don't have any left for yourself if you've used everything you have, right? I know you're still not fully recovered, so can you still fight?"

"Well, I can manage to move around. But I haven't healed to the point where I can use magecraft again."


"You don't need to worry. It's fine as long as you can project the gem sword. The sword has absurd powers said to have even stopped the 'falling moon'."


I don't get what she means, but Tohsaka has great confidence.

...Well, if she's so sure of herself, I won't worry either.

"Let's start, Shirou. It'll take a long time to project that sword, even for you. We have to get started or the date'll change."

"You're right. Then let's go back to your room. If we're not someplace where you can relax, our chances are lower."

Tohsaka heads back to the living room.

"Oh, hold on. I'll do the projection in the shed.

And I want to be alone with Illya while I do it, so can you wait in your room?"

"Why? I have to be there in case something happens, right?"

"There's no need. It's a bother if you're here.

Shirou gets distracted easily, so we might fail if you fall and get his attention when it counts the most."

"...Hey, that's rude, Illya."

Tohsaka complains with a sour look.

She's not arguing back, maybe because she can't deny the possibility that she'll screw up at a crucial moment.

"...All right. Then I'll wait outside the shed. Is that all right, Illya?"

"...I guess it can't be helped. That's the biggest compromise we can make."

"Rin. Don't come in until I tell you to if you want us to reproduce the gem sword. I'll call for you if something's about to happen, so please stay outside until then no matter what."

"You're being persistent. I said I understand. I won't come in even if I hear Shirou scream."


It doesn't really matter, but I wish she'd picked a better example.

"Well, let's go, Shirou."

Illya goes into the shed.

I decide to ask Tohsaka something before I follow.

"Tohsaka. Can I have this sword?"

"...? You're going to be projecting using that. The Azoth Sword will go away once the gem sword's projected."

"Yeah. You can have the gem sword, so can I have this in return?

See, this might break if I fail. I can't concentrate, thinking how you might get angry if I break this."

"...Geez. Fine. You can have the Azoth Sword if that'll help you relax."

"Thanks. Then I'm going to go do my best."

...I shut the door.

I can't let Tohsaka see this.

I'm sure she won't stop me now, but she'll definitely feel responsible.

If I'm to smooth this out, I have to tell her I used it after everything is over and get retroactive approval.

"...Are you ready, Shirou? You've released Archer's arm already, so I don't need to explain the steps, right?"

I nod.

Illya tells me to sit down, and I do so.

"But Illya. I can only project what I've seen or what Archer made. I have no information on the gem sword. I can't project it even if we have a blueprint and a dagger that's just like it."

"I know. I'll first have you come inside my memory. I haven't seen it either, but the record of the gem sword is in me.

Tohsaka's great master was there when the Great Holy Grail was made.

I'm sure the sword was there at that time."

"Whoa, Illya――――"

"Just close your eyes. I'll keep your body here and send your mind somewhere else. We did this before. I'll send your vision into my memory, so analyze the gem sword there.

...I'll release your left arm once you're inside. You'll be hit by the pressure of two hundred years and the invasion from your arm at the same time. Brace yourself and try to finish the projection as fast as you can."


Illya's voice is trembling.

...Her arms are as well.

"...I'll take you to the gem sword, so you just need to hold your breath. Clear your mind and don't look at anything unnecessary. You just need to draw out his Zelretch――――"

――――Space splits.

Is it because all my senses are within her memory...

or is it because my left arm is released?

There's no pain, the cognition of pain doesn't matter now, I'm swallowed by my injury, I'm falling into a swirling maelstrom of pain.

I don't know where I am.

I don't know who I am.

I don't know what it means.

It's a large circuit.

Multi-layered Crests are carved on a bare rock that's over fifty meters in radius.

It's like a large observatory, rotating by itself in the deserts of Arizona.

The circuits cover the area in many layers.

The geometric figures turn in place.

A white girl stands in the center of the beautiful spider's nest.

Her name is Lizleihi.

Lizleihi Justizia von Einzbern.

She's the magus that devised the Holy Grail War.

The great magus who was called the winter saint. A magus accompanied by Makiri Zouken and Tohsaka Nagato.

The Great Holy Grail is activated.

Justizia becomes the key reenacting the ancient True magecraft.

Yes. The Holy Grail is just a Holy Grail without her.

Her will is needed for Heavens Feel.

The old man knows as well as Makiri and Tohsaka do that the Holy Grail is a mere wishbringer.

――――My vision narrows.

The world expands.

I concentrated on something needless. I did, so my body was ripped in half.

The world is too big for this small body.

I'll eventually see nothing.

The process behind this two-hundred-year-old ritual doesn't matter.

There's only one thing I need to look at.

I concentrate on the man standing in front of the Great Holy Grail. I concentrate on the dagger in his hand――――

――――That's the original.

A ritual dagger with a jeweled blade.

The kaleidoscopic gleam sears through my eyes and into my brain.

"――――――――, ――――――――"

I understand the instant I see it.

I understand that I can't comprehend it.

All I can imitate is its shape.

I can't analyze its structure and project it.

What kind of a magical theory was it constructed with?

The old man's dagger is still a mystery, even if I use Archer's arm and every last piece of knowledge in heroic spirit Emiya.

It's alien technology.

The old man is embodying general knowledge from a far future, beyond the reach of modern man――――

"――――. ――――......!!"

I'm repelled.

I can't be repelled.

I can't reach it.

Not reaching it is unforgivable.

I reach out.

I reach out.

I reach out.

My eyes are burned out, my brains are burned out.

I extend my left arm for dozens of meters, extend, extend, extend――――――――

"Stop! Come back, Shirou...!"

I hear Illya's voice.

But I'm not there yet.

I don't even have my fingertips on it.

I can't back out now.

How can I back out after seeing that miracle, the ultimate one...!?

"Give up...! Do you want to disappear, Shirou!?"

Get there――――

Get there―――――――――

Get there――――――――――――

Get there―――――――――――――



"Haa, ah.......!!!!!!!!"


Did I jump myself, or was I pushed back by something?

I'm flying, and I land on my back.

"Ha――――ga, ah――――!"

My left arm pain .

My tongue my fingers the trembling won't .

"Ah――――uwa, ah, ah――――!"


, .

"Stay ! I'll Shroud !"

"Haa, guh, ah..........!"

A big knife stabs me from the side.

It's so uncomfortable that I repel the one wielding it――――

"Oh... Ouch――――"

And I realize I just punched Illya.

"......! I-I'm sorry, Illya, I――――"

She pats dust off herself and gets up.

...Good. She's not hurt.

"I told you not to look at unnecessary things, you idiot!

...Geez, I'll let you off the hook this time since it paid off, but I won't forgive you if you disobey me again!"

She points at my face as she scolds me.


Feeling something hard in my left hand, I look down.


......I managed to project it.

It's projected, but it doesn't seem like the one I saw.

First of all, I don't feel any magical energy in this thing.

Tohsaka's Azoth Sword is many times better than this, and this blade wouldn't cut paper.

"Yup. I have a lot to complain about, but thanks for your hard work, Shirou. Your projection was perfect. You showed me a flawless blade works."

"Uh――――I don't know, but is this any good? It looks pretty crappy."

"That's fine as is. The sword is an extraordinary demonic sword that can only be used by Schweinorg's lineage.

Well, I guess it's fate. Sakura is receiving the protection of the third and Rin's going to try to use the second. It wouldn't end up as mere investigation if the Association were here. Every department would be running to put them on trial."

Illya laughs.

"...Wow. So this dagger is that amazing?"

"Yeah. To be more accurate, it's a multi-dimensional refractory phenomenon, Gem Sword Kishua Zelretch Schweinorg.

It's called Gem Sword Zelretch, and it's the old magus's favored sword and Tohsaka's heirloom."

"But the sword wasn't passed down the Tohsaka line, just the blueprint.

It's an assignment from the sorcerer that the Tohsaka magi must pursue for a long, long time."

"Assignment from a sorcerer... Wait, the great master Tohsaka was talking about is a sorcerer...!?"

"Yeah. But Zelretch is an oddball among the sorcerers in that he still associates himself with this world, so I'm sure he has other apprentices.

I don't think Zelretch is in this world, but he might show up once Rin's capable of making the gem sword by herself."


He's not in this world, but might appear all of a sudden? Isn't he just a wanderer that likes to travel?



I let my guard down.

I get dizzy.

I clench my right fist, feel the pendant digging into my torn flesh, and keep my consciousness.

"――――, ――――"

I steady my breathing so Illya doesn't notice.

My limbs――――I still feel my limbs.



I thought I'd lose something if I used projection, but I'm not missing anything yet.

My head's still working.

The biggest proof is that I can check on my condition.

I should be able to use one more projection.

―――No, I have to use it.

I have to save Sakura in a way different from Tohsaka.

Archer's arm will make it poss-

"So means. In short, the True magecraft parallel worlds. So his nickname Kaleidoscope "


" ? , ?"


I can't understand her.

It's not that I can't hear her. She's just speaking in a language I don't understand.

She's talking in some strange language and holding something dangerous in her left hand.

...Tohsaka's holding a sword I've never seen before.

Never seen before?

That can't be.

I projected (I think) that sword just now, and my left hand is empty, so it must mean I handed it to Tohsaka.

"Shirou? from .

Was the projection ?"


I get a chill.

My memory's vague.

I can't recall anything.

My understanding and the details don't match up.

"Guh――――, ..........!"

I clench my right hand.

My eyes finally focus in exchange for dripping blood.

"――――Um, Tohsaka."

I get up.

My limbs are light compared to my disconnected head.

They're so light that I think they may be empty inside.

"It's not 'Tohsaka'. Illya and I will go test it out, so you should rest―――wait, what's with your hand...!"

Tohsaka grabs me.

Her speed is surprisingly slow, but...

"Eh......? Why do you have this...?"

My mind isn't working, and she has ahold of my hand before I know it.

Tohsaka's looking at the pendant in my palm with astonishment.

I don't know why she's surprised.

But I have this because...

"Shirou. Why do you have this? And are you crazy, holding it this tight?"

"Why? I just have it as a charm. This is..."

...Something I picked up.

Why did I pick it up?

It's something I shouldn't forget, but I can't remember.

But the stranger in my left arm knows what it is better than I do.

"......Um, it's something important. I have to have it on me until the end."

Words that are not mine come out of my mouth.


Shirou. I also have that pendant."


Tohsaka takes out a pendant from her pocket.

It's certainly the same.

It's a simple design for a jewel user like Tohsaka, but I think something simple like this brings out her beauty.

"Wow, they're the same."

I nod back.

"No. Mine's empty, but there's still a bit left in yours. It's not significant, but I'm sure there's a meaning behind the usage of it."


"Keep that. It might come in handy."

Tohsaka puts her pendant away and walks off with Illya.

"Hey, Tohsaka. Where are you going?"

"I need to talk to Illya. I'll let you rest for an hour, so stay in your room.

And I'll get seriously mad if you don't treat your hand right away."


Tohsaka's bad temper borders on outright hostility.

She takes Illya, who follows her without a word.

Scene 19 Confrontation with Rider

".........Oh well. I guess I'm saved."

I have to find out what happened to me before I start moving around.

I'm still conscious.

I can figure out the situation if I don't let my guard down.

"......So. Why am I here?"

I think about why I'm here in the shed.

Sakura's warning.

Sakura warned us to run, and Tohsaka said she'd fight.

Then―――that's right, we have to go beneath the Ryuudou Temple.

"So... Why am I lying in the shed when we have to go to the Ryuudou Temple?"

I'm on the ground.

I realize that I'm inside the shed.

My right hand is hurting.

Thanks to that, my consciousness is back.

"―――――Damn. Pull yourself together, idiot."

I get up and check how my limbs are doing.

...Don't lose spirit.

I'm certainly losing something at hopeless speed.

But it's not fatal.

At the very least, I should be able to fight normally until the day dawns.

"You look terrible. Do you recognize me, Shirou?"


I quickly turn around.

...In the back of the shed...

Shrouded in darkness just beyond the moon's reach, there stands a Servant in black.

"Rider. You..."

"Yes. I was watching you.

My mission is to protect you, but Sakura is my Master. So long as she is the one trying to harm you, I can offer you no assistance.

That is why I did not help you in the forest. It was your own fault to be attacked by Berserker."

Rider explains lightly.

...She speaks without emotion.

It seems she was waiting for me to be alone.

"...I see. Then you came here to..."

"To kill you. You and your allies are Sakura's enemies. Thus, I cannot let you meet her."

Rider's holding a nail-like dagger.

...I feel her hostility creeping up my spine.


Rider's serious.


Scene 20 Escape out the shed- Rider leaves

―――I can't be killed here.

It's two meters to the door.

I can get there in one step if I jump with all my strength.

The problem is that Rider can close the distance long before I get outside.


Rider emits hostility that can be taken as anger or dejection.

...It might be because the shed's dark, but she looks like a giant snake.

"―――――, ―――――――"

I concentrate only on the signs of her attack...

"―――, Hah――――!"

And I avoid the dagger that's swung at me before I jump back.

"I did it!"

I jump out into the yard.

The rush of dodging a superior opponent's attack and the joy of escaping makes my heart beat faster.

But that's enough pleasure for now.

The fight just began. I now have to beat Rider somehow――――


I don't feel anyone coming after me out of the shed.

Rider slowly appears from within.

"...I have lost interest. You cannot kill Sakura with your skill. There is no need for me to kill you here."

She disappears into the night.


Rider's presence disappears.

Maybe she's left the grounds.

I don't feel her hostility anymore, and I don't think she's coming back.


Did she let me go?

If my suspicion is correct, she might help us if the opportunity arises―――

Scene 21 Fight back using projection- Rider leaves

―――I have to use Archer's arm.

I can't match Rider.

I can't afford to use any more projection, but it's better to take chances if she's going to kill me...!

"――――Trace, on."

I activate my Magic Circuit, not daring to take my eyes off her.

...I won't make any weapons until the last second.

I'll project something and counter her the instant she attacks me――――!

"......Projection. I cannot use you to your full potential, but an excellent swordsman would be able to use you as a Noble Phantasm."


Rider's hostility dissipates.

Rider steps back and relaxes, as if she's read my mind.


"I will let you go. I cannot use you.

...How ironic fate can be. If Saber were here, she would have been your partner."

Rider's presence disappears.

Maybe she left the grounds after leaving the shed.

I don't feel her hostility anymore, and I don't think she's coming back.


Did she let me go?

If my suspicion is correct, she might help us if the opportunity arises―――

Scene 22 Rider's question


She once asked me...

What was it?


It was...

Scene 23 Will I be able to fight until the very end- Rider leaves

...She asked me...

If I'll be able to fight until the very end.

"......Rider. I'll fight until the very end. I want to save Sakura, just like you want to protect her. I don't know what result it'll bring, but I can't run away.

...I'll fight Sakura to save her. If you're going to stand in my way, I'll do whatever it takes to kill you."


There's no reply.

After a long and heavy silence...

"I understand your determination. But you cannot save Sakura like that."

...She leaves with those words.


"You fight in your own way. I will save Sakura in mine."

The voice comes from afar, and there's no indication she'll return.

...Rider goes into battle alone, without returning to her Master or relying on us.

Scene 24 Will I not give up until the very end- Rider leaves

...She asked me...

If I won't give up until the very end.

"......Rider. I'll fight until the very end. I want to save Sakura, just like you want to protect her. I don't know what result it'll bring, but I can't run away.

...I'll fight Sakura to save her. If you're going to stand in my way, I'll do whatever it takes to kill you."


There's no reply.

After a long and heavy silence...

"I understand your determination. But you cannot save Sakura like that."

...She leaves with those words.


"You fight in your own way. I will save Sakura in mine."

The voice comes from afar, and there's no indication she'll return.

...Rider goes into battle alone, without returning to her Master or relying on us.

Scene 25 Sparks liner high

The clock strikes midnight.

It's twelve o'clock, the promised time.

I wrap the Azoth sword with cloth and tuck it under my arm.

This is my only weapon. The only other thing I'm taking is the pendant.

"Shirou, Rin's calling for you. She's waiting outside, so she wants to meet up there as soon as you're ready."

Illya's going to stay here.

It's partly because Zouken's after her, but I'm also having her stay here because she's my hope.

"I see. So she's out there, huh?"

"Yeah. She looked like she wanted you to come quickly, so she'll probably scold you again if you don't hurry."


I nod and get up.

There's no pain in my left arm now.

It's just that my human functionality is eroding.

I can't tell what I'm doing if I stand still.

"Then I'm going. Be careful, Illya."

"See you, Shirou. Please come home with Sakura and Rin before the day breaks."

I wave goodbye to her and leave.

―――The air's rumbling.

Pressure that crushes the spirit of anyone who comes here.

Wind must be blowing far above me.

If I strain my ears, I can hear it howling.


...I know this atmosphere.

It's the reenactment of the event ten years ago.

The air is thick with curses. Even people who are not magi should feel the ominous air of this place.

"This feeling... Is Sakura at the Ryuudou Temple?"

"No, we have no business at the Ryuudou Temple. The gate above must be the ostensible gate for the Masters that want the Holy Grail.

...If we want the Great Holy Grail, we have to go down instead of up."

...The forest's dark.

We climb the mountain using the moonlight that filters through the clouds.

We push our way through the tree branches.

There's not even an animal trail in this place, so we even have to climb down rock walls.

"Hm―――it should be around here, according to Illya... Do you see anything like an entrance, Shirou?"

"What do you mean, 'like'?"

"Like a crack in a rock that we can slip through, or a suspicious-looking shrine. It's an entrance, so I don't think it'd just be a pit."

"...Don't be ridiculous. The stars are out, but I can't see anything in a forest at night――――"

...Oh, I can.

We must be behind the temple, because I see many dead trees.

There's no sign of human influence. There's nothing here but dead trees and a small stream.

"...Small stream?"

Hold on.

That means the water's coming from somewhere.

"Stop. ...Wait a second. I'll take a better look."

Following the sound of water, I figure out which direction to search.

...The stream isn't coming from the mountaintop, but from a rocky outcropping.

I can't see all that well in the darkness, but the rocks are large.

The formation looks like a natural gate, and the water's coming from behind them...

"...It looks like a cave. ...It might be a dead end, but..."

"What? Did you find something?"

"Yeah, let's go check. It's this way, Tohsaka. Watch your footing."

We pick our way down to the stream.

...It's more like a spring flowing out from the rocks.

The stones are piled atop one another where it starts. There's a crack big enough for one person to fit through.

It's like a snow hut made from rocks.

You can see that a huge boulder is blocking the entrance, so nobody would even try to go in it.

"It's a small cave... But it's a dead end. The water seems to be coming from the rocks."

"No, this is the place, Shirou. Try touching the rock in the back. Your hand will go right through it."


I try placing my hand on the rock.


I don't feel the rock, and my hand goes through the space instead.

"Wow. Is this some kind of illusion?"

"It's a kind of a boundary field. ―――Let's go."

Tohsaka goes into the darkness without turning back.


Once we go into the enemy's lair, there's no backing out.

I take a deep breath and follow after her.

The sound of scraping on a hard surface.

I progress down the wet rocks using my hands.

The ground slopes steeply downward.

...The weight of the darkness is stifling.

Unless I keep my back to the ground as I move, I might fall into the endless dark.


I lay flat on my back as I slowly descend.

......It's dark, and I can't tell how far down this path goes.

My breathing echoes in my ears.

"Shirou. I'm going to ask you now."


Tohsaka, the one leading the way, suddenly speaks up.


"The gem sword. Why did you make it for me?"

She sounds blunt, as if she's just asking to kill time while we're descending.

"Why ask?"

"―――I've told you I'm planning to kill Sakura.

Can you really give me a weapon, knowing that?"


I nod in agreement.

Well, Tohsaka certainly has a point.

"I'm not okay with that. But I can't save Sakura without you. It's better to have two people instead of one.

And projecting the sword was a promise.

I couldn't keep one of my promises with you, so I wanted to keep the other."

It happened a long time ago.

I asked for Tohsaka's help after I lost Saber.

Tohsaka responded to my call for help, and I made a promise with her.

To let her win.

I promised to make her the victor.

...I can't keep that promise anymore.

So I have to keep the other promise with her.

For the girl I used to admire...

For Tohsaka Rin, who believed in someone who had nothing at the time.

"I see. You're pretty faithful."

"Yeah, but not as much as you."

Silence returns to the darkness.

The conversation ends.

We continue our descent without looking at each other.

A long path that seems to lead to hell.

The path spirals downward, and just as I'm thinking we're over a hundred meters underground...

The dark cave changes completely, accepting us.

The path that could only accomodate one person widens up and leads on.

There's no need for light.

The cave is illuminated by a dim green glow, probably from some kind of luminous moss.

The path is saturated with life force.

It feels too lively.

An air of birth, filled with vigor and the joy of life.

An immense amount of odo, and magical energy so strong that it's almost visible.


It makes me want to vomit.

The warmth of life should be dazzling, but instead it's something rotten, making me want to look away.



I have no words to say to her.

This is a land of death.

Talking to each other to soften the tension would only cost us our lives.

"―――Let's go. From now on, look out for your own safety first."

...Tohsaka heads down the path, to the source of the black air.


I see something red on the ground.

It's a trace of blood.

The blood is leading to the back.


Did someone come here before us?

And someone wounded badly enough to leave behind a trail of blood?


"...Sorry. I'll be right there."

I shake off that train of thought and head on.

I can't be worrying about others.


My consciousness fades away if I let my guard down.

I'll disappear if I worry about needless things.


I tighten my grip on the pendant.

Letting the pain clear my head, I step into the green darkness.

―――A warm wind hits my cheeks.

At its end, the path opens into a cavern.

It's about as big as the schoolground.

It's too dark to make out the ceiling, but it must be about ten meters up.

I don't detect any signs of life.

An unforgettable underground space that looks like the moonscape that I read about a long time ago.

And there...

Waits Saber, filled with absolute hostility.

She's the only one here.

I don't see Sakura, Zouken, or Assassin.

The only one blocking the way here is the girl who has turned black.



There's no reply.

...Of course.

Saber's duty is to eliminate any intruders.

She's the gatekeeper and the executioner.

Saber's the strongest Servant Sakura has, so she can fight us by herself.

"...Hmph. It doesn't look like we can talk her into letting us through."

Tohsaka lowers her stance and reaches for the gem sword she's hiding behind her back.

―――She must intend to fight her head-on.

I don't know what kind of ability the sword has, but she's going to fight Saber.

But that's not a good idea.

We still have a countermeasure, since we know Saber's powers. We can't use our only secret weapon when Zouken and Assassin are still waiting for us――――

"Wait, Tohsaka...! Saber's――――"

"Rin. I have no reason to fight you. Please do not attack me. I will go against Sakura's orders if I kill you here."


Speaking in the same quiet tones as before, Saber stops Tohsaka in her tracks.

We comprehend what she means right away.

"...What are you doing? You're keeping watch here, right?"

"Yes. I am to eliminate anyone that passes by here.

That is Sakura's order. But―――"

"I'm an exception. Sakura wants to see me, huh?"

Saber nods.

"......I see. She must be serious."

She mutters.

...After taking a deep breath, Tohsaka walks over to Saber.


"Sorry. I guess that's how it is, so I'm going ahead."

Tohsaka walks on without hesitation and passes by Saber.

And right before she disappears...

"Shirou. I don't know what'll happen to you, but I believe in you. So you'd better live up to my expectations."



I can't understand if you complain to me without telling me what I should be doing.

"I-I'm saying it'll just be a pain if you come complaining after everything's over! ...Um, make sure you're not too late if you want to save Sakura."

Tohsaka disappears, her hair fluttering behind her.


...Thanks, Tohsaka.

That gave me strength.

In short, she told me to come help her while she keeps Sakura at bay.

"That is impossible. You will die here, Shirou."


Her hostility expands.

Tohsaka left, leaving me alone.

So she doesn't have to hold back anymore, huh?

"...Oh. Isn't your job to kill anyone that goes on from here? But I haven't even taken a step forward."

"―――It is only a matter of time. You would never simply turn and leave."

Saber's right.

Retreat isn't an option. I have to keep going forward, even if she's in my way.

"―――Heh. That's right. You sure know me well.

I was always troubling you because I wouldn't listen. I guess you still remember I'm stupid."

I move my dry tongue.

I don't feel alive at all.

I couldn't even hit Saber once when we sparred in the dojo, and she wasn't even using a tenth of her powers.

There's no way I can beat her.

My neck will be cut the instant I cross blades with her.

So I have find an opening.

If there's no opening, I'll make one.

I have to get her attention, even if it means talking with her or appealing to compassion.

...The start of the battle isn't when the blades first meet.

I have to use everything I can to find a way to beat her.

"You talk too much, Shirou. Do you crave death so badly?"

"That's scary, Saber. ...But you have your sword sheathed. You're saying you'll kill me, but you still haven't tried to attack."

"...That is the rule. I shall spare you until you step forward.

But that will not last. You need to go to Sakura. I do not need to move, as you will come to me once you lose patience."


I've failed already.

Saber has no openings for me to exploit.

She's content to stand still and wait for me to act.

"......Damn. I guess I have to fight you head-on."

I breathe out the air in my lungs.

There's only one possible way out of this.

Archer's arm.

I have to use projection to defeat Saber, just like when I fought Berserker.


I already know I can't beat her that way.


My mind is .

cut limbs protect the senses from the headwind―――!

"―――Trace, on."

I create the weapon.

The swords that have the least burden on me out of all the projections.

The symbol that Archer wielded for all his life: twin steel blades.

Yang-sword Kanshou, yin-sword Bakuya.

They don't have any special abilities, but they're strong swords.

They won't shatter from one or two blows, even against Saber.

"―――Archer's swords. You choose not to imitate my own, Shirou?"


...With an effort, I gather together the shards of my consciousness.

...What did Saber just say?

Did she ask me why I won't project her sword?

...I can't waste my energy like that.

...It takes too long to project such a powerful Noble Phantasm, and I can't handle that holy blade in any case.

I should be able to imitate it if my enemy's not moving, but I won't have time to use the sword's true name against her.

"...No, that does not concern me. The only thing that matters is that you armed yourself.

Insignificant though it may be, I will regard it as a hostile action."

Saber's body wavers.

She holds the black holy sword.

"Come. A body such as yours will last only a few minutes."

She offers my dying body a quiet invitation.

―――I take a step forward.

My first move, predicting Saber's counterattack, how to avoid it... I throw everything away and kick the ground.

I swing the yang-sword Kanshou.

In a heartbeat, I close the ten meters between us, concentrate everything I have in my left arm, and swing down with all my might.

―――My attack's parried.

Ignoring it, I swing the yin-sword Bakuya.

But it does no good.

Saber wards off my attacks harmlessly, and her invisible sword lunges to pierce my throat――――!


Which one of us is surprised?

―――I don't care.

What kind of miracle is it that's executing the attacks Emiya Shirou cannot execute and blocking the attacks Emiya Shirou cannot block?

―――I don't care.

What's the flashing light, the force that renews itself every second?

―――I really don't care about it.

―――It's an overdrive that leads to death, as well as a calm sleep.

My body moves like a superhuman.

My blades move like lightning.

My mind reads ten steps ahead, ensuring five more seconds of survival for each attack I parry.


I can only manage to defend.

The only attack allowed for me was the first; the rest of the time is spent fending off her attacks.

I've already blocked thirty attacks that could've killed me.

"Haa――――ah, guh――――"

Time stops.

My body can't keep up with my mind.

My limbs can't keep up with the extracted experience.

―――This is why I chose Kanshou and Bakuya.

I didn't only project the weapon.

I reproduced Archer's battle experience along with the swords.

It's not perfect, but my abilities are now close to his.

"Haa, haa――――haa――――"

That's why I can manage.

My vision wavers with each blow I deflect, but I can bear it.

My mind and flesh are scraping off, and my existence is fading.

My body screams with each of her attacks, and I'm beginning to see my death, a mere thirty steps ahead.

There's no fear.

All I have is...

"Ha, ha―――haa, haa, haha, hahaha...!"

...The joy of being able to keep up with her.

I can fight.

I'm fighting her.

I don't care if this is borrowed knowledge and borrowed techniques.

I'm exchanging blows with Saber――――!

―――There might be a chance of victory.

Saber won't use her holy sword.

Maybe because it'll break the ceiling if she uses it, or maybe it's some other reason. Either way, Saber's fighting me using only her sword technique.

If that's the case, I can still manage.

There should be an opening since Saber isn't using her holy sword...!

"Haa――――ha, ah――――!!!!!"

I move faster.

I shift into high gear and step on the gas.

The Shroud on my arm is irritating.

I hate myself for only being able to project one more time.

――――Extract it.

Deeper, wider, closer to the limit.

I can keep fighting Saber if I can extract it.



My body jumps back.

Saber's attack pushed me away, so I jumped back to regroup.

"Haa―――......... Haa, haa, haa――――"

I try to catch my breath.

Every muscle in me is on fire.

It feels like the heat [ͷrap text="inside"]inside me is coming out of my pores.

"Haa――――Haa, ha――――"

With Kanshou and Bakuya in hand, I stare at Saber.

I jumped ten meters back.

Even Saber will need to take two steps to close this distance.

With this buffer between us, I can relax.


I get my breath back in no time.

I look down at my body for a second.

―――I don't care.

So long as they don't kill me, I don't mind these swords.

It's a problem that my movement precision's going down, but I fortunately don't feel any pain.

I can block five more attacks from Saber.

I can't tell what'll happen after that.

So I have to find an opening within the next five attacks and strike with everything I've got.

"―――Impossible. You cannot harm me like that, let alone defeat me."


Saber quickly shoots down that idea.

"――――Why? I'm keeping up with you."

"How can you say that, knowing your condition? ......No, you are charging ahead with this reckless plan because of your state. Your body is at its limit, even thought you do not bleed and your flesh is turning into swords. I shall obliterate you with this next exchange of attacks."


...I know.

I already know that.

But I have no other option.

I can only project one more time.

So I have to defeat Saber with the swords I have right now.

"...I won't know until I try. I'm going to attack with more power next time. If I overpower you even once in the next five-"

"Shirou. Why are you conserving your energy?"


Her words contain a deeper meaning.

It contains so much feeling that it clears up my broken and crazy mind.

―――What good is keeping energy in reserve?

...That's right.

I'll die if I can't beat Saber.

But I still have one more trump card.

I'm saving the last projection to save Sakura.


That'll be meaningless if I can't make it to where Sakura is.

"―――But that's..."

It means giving up my only shot at saving Sakura in order to beat Saber.

I can't do that.

It won't do any good to die here, but there's no point if I can't use projection once I get to Sakura.

"―――Shirou. I will return to Sakura after I defeat you.

Do you understand? Rin will have to face Sakura and me together."


That's impossible.

Tohsaka won't be able to fight the two of them at the same time.

But conversely―――if Sakura's alone, Tohsaka will――――

"Yes. She will save Sakura if I am not there."

There is a meaning.

Saber has to stay here because I didn't run away.

Sakura is facing Tohsaka without her greatest protection.

―――But that's only for a moment.

Sakura can call her Servant back at any time.

Sakura would call for Saber if Tohsaka corners her.

Once that happens,Tohsaka will lose.

Then what I need to do is keep Saber from going to her Master.

"――――Saber, you..."

"Shirou. Is that all I am to you?"

―――My heart stops.

No, my heart already stopped a few seconds ago.

My body's breaking down already.

My fate has been determined ever since I took the Shroud off in the Einzbern forest.

The body without sensation and the mind without a self aren't afraid of death.

I don't even know what fear is anymore.

But I've clung to life to save Sakura.

If my wish can be granted, it doesn't matter how it happens.

"...Heh. So it's not like dying here won't accomplish anything."

I'm determined now.

Tohsaka will have to face Zouken, Sakura, and Saber if I don't take Saber down here.

There is a meaning if I can decrease her opponents.

Even if I can't save Sakura, Tohsaka will do it if I give her the chance.

"――――Trace, on."

I close my eyes and use projection for the third time.

But these twin swords are the only weapons I'm going to read.

I still haven't comprehended their full capabilities.

I'm going to pull out Archer's tactics and Kanshou and Bakuya's true nature.


The instant I connect myself to Archer's arm, the remaining forty percent of my mind is reduced to twenty.


I forget names.

I forget the names of a lot of things.

My name included.

Go further.

Find it, find it, find it.

It has to be there.

The method I couldn't come up with, the stance that will guarantee a kill should exist.

He favored these swords.

Then there's no way he hasn't come up with an ultimate attack to get him through the countless battles――――!


Ten percent left.

Leaving myself behind, I draw from the well of experience.

Two curves.

Yin and yang are attracted to one another.

Consecutive projection.

Keep the basic technique.


Divine skill, flawless and firm

Strength moves mountains

Blade cuts water

Life approaches the Imperial Villa

Two great men, shared life


―――I reach it.

I reach Archer's fatal attack, the true meaning behind Kanshou and Bakuya.

What I'm about to do is my limit.

My last three attacks.

My enemy readies herself, able to feel my determination.

...Who is that?

All the names were blown from my mind, but this enemy is called...


I don't have time to be thinking.

I have to move while I still can.

"―――Divine skill, flawless and firm."

I have to surpass my enemy in this exchange of blows.

I throw them.

I charge them with as much magical energy as I can muster, and I throw them from both sides.

Targeting the enemy's neck.

The two blades draw an arc so they intersect right on the enemy.

The blades draw a beautiful cross.

No hero can come out unscathed after being trapped between steel-penetrating Noble Phantasms.


The enemy blocks them like nothing.

She easily redirects Kanshou and Bakuya that attacked from both sides at the same time.

―――She escaped the attack.

The twin swords are supposed to come back to me even if they're deflected, but she redirected them behind her.

I'm unarmed now.

The enemy closes in on her unarmed opponent.

I charge.

"―――Freeze, out."

"The same weapon...!?"

The twin swords block her attack.

The projection was all completed.

Using the image I've prepared, I create Kanshou and Bakuya anew.


That Noble Phantasm cannot match me...!"

She unleashes her fatal attack.

But right before that.

"――――Strength moves mountains."

A surprise attack comes from an unexpected direction.


She uses her cognition-like instincts and avoids the Bakuya that flew at her from behind.

Taking advantage of the perfect opening, I strike using Kanshou―――


And she blocks it with her sword.

―――She's a monster.

She blocks both the surprise attack from the back and my attack containing full force.

And she destroys Kanshou that I attacked with.

If she isn't a monster, what is?


"―――Blade cuts water."

If I weren't fighting a monster, I wouldn't need this arrangement...!

"Another one...!?"

Kanshou attacks her from behind again.

I don't even need to say that it's the one that was thrown and deflected.

Kanshou and Bakuya are twin blades.

They attract each other like magnets.

So―――Kanshou automatically returns to me as long as I have Bakuya――――!


The enemy avoids the surprise attack with godlike reflexes.

And I smash Bakuya into her unguarded chest―――

She even blocks my final attack.


Time freezes.

We take an instant to assess each others' condition.

My attack has ended.

Two pairs of Kanshou and Bakuya. She blocked the simultaneous attack from four blades; with all my weapons destroyed, I can't do anything more.

The enemy is at her limit too.

She destroyed my weapon at the cost of leaving herself open.

So there's nothing more.

This battle has ended with a stalemate.

We're both defenseless, and in a second we'll be back where we started.


I still have more.


The enemy's expression freezes.

My last ten percent disappears.

―――Life approaches the Imperial Villa.


I pass my limit.

I create another pair of swords in my empty hands.


―――Two great men, shared life......!

I slash her defenseless body from both sides.

I remembered it.

I say her name in my final moments.


But it's a shame.

I can't tell if that's something to regret or be proud of.


Anyway, I've defeated my enemy.

That attack was perfect.

Then I should rest now.

My heart's still beating.

I should be able to stand back up after I wake.

So for now...

I'll sleep a bit.


The twin swords are swung from both sides.

She saw them coming, but couldn't do anything to defend herself.

Her body cannot catch up to her thought.

Having blocked two surprise attacks from the enemy, her limbs are occupied for just the briefest of moments.


She falls on her back.

...This attack's fatal.

Kanshou and Bakuya splattered her organs out and crushed her spine.

"Ha, ah, guh......!!!!"

She groans in pain.

An impact with the force of an explosion.

She has fatal wounds, but she's still alive because she's a Servant.

"Ah... Ah, haa..........――――"

And to add, she has natural healing powers.

She has strong regenerative abilities, coupled with an almost infinite source of magical energy.

One has to crush her head or heart if one wants to kill her.

She'll heal within ten minutes if she's left alone.

But――――conversely, she cannot do anything for ten minutes and has to accept any finishing blows.

"Haa..... Ah――――You have grown strong, Shirou."

She calls out to the boy lying on the ground.

His wound is fatal too, but he should be able to move.

It should be easy for him to stand up and stab her heart.

"...No, that is wrong. You were strong from the start."

She talks to herself between ragged breaths.

The match is decided.

Accepting her impending death, she calls out.

"Please end this battle. My body will regenerate if you do not hurry."


There's no reply.


She turns her head.

She looks at the boy lying right next to her.


There's no one there.

The boy's heart's beating, and he's still breathing.

His eyes are open, staring up at the ceiling.

But that's all there is.

His mind was destroyed the instant he used projection for the third time.

...The one whose limits held her back, and the one who went past his limits.

The result is the one lying beside her.

"――――Then I have won, Shirou."

There's no emotion in her voice.

She's used to it.

She's seen many enemies risk their lives and die meaninglessly.

That's what it means to be strong.

A hero is someone who cuts down his foes using everything he has.

"―――Seven more minutes. Can you release Sakura by then, Rin?"

She looks up at the dark heavens.

There are no tears to be shed.

The heroic spirit of the sword quietly waits for the battle's end.

―――A tremor rumbles in the distance.

She doesn't care which way the scales have tipped.

Her heart contains only the slightest trace of pity.

...Tohsaka Rin and Matou Sakura.

No matter which one survived, the one who would bless them is no longer in this world.

Scene 26 Tiger Dojo 38

This is one end. You've fought well. Sob

Huh? Aren't you going to get mad like always and call him a wimp?

This end is peaceful in a way.

It's like Saber-chan's end in "Heavens Feel".

Oh. ...Well, Shirou did win against Saber in a one-on-one fight, so I guess he's satisfied.


But we'll carry out this dojo like always.

So, why did we reach this end, pupil number one!?

It's simple! I think it's because you fought Saber one-on-one! Osu!

That's right! I tell you every time to prepare a trump card when going into the final battle, so why don't you do your best!?

Master, then what's the trump card this time?

An ally!

Anally? That sounds really funny, master!

Stop with the jokes!

To be frank, you need a partner!

Even in this situation, there should be one Servant who might cooperate with you!

Convince her somehow before you go into your final battle!

Okay... But master, she quickly runs away.

Recall the conversation you had with her before. There's only one answer. She'll become your ally if you give her the answer she wants.

Well, this dojo is over.

The long battle is about to reach the grand finale!

Please check out the grand finale of "Fate/stay night" with your own eyes!

Bye! Let's meet again in some other Tiger Dojo!

Scene 27 Preparation for battle Tactics

...That's right.

She asked me under the starry sky.

If I'll be on Sakura's side until the very end.

The words I couldn't say to her back then.

I can tell her now with confidence.

"Rider. I understand how much you care for Sakura.

You're stopping me now because Sakura will suffer if you let me go, right?"

".........Yes. Are you still going to kill Sakura in spite of that?"

"I'm not going to kill her. I'm going to save her.

Rider. I'm going to protect Sakura until the very end. I'm going to choose Sakura no matter what."

"So―――please lend me your power. Tohsaka and I can't do this alone. If you care for Sakura, please help us."

"――――――Is that...

Your answer to my question from the other day?"

I nod.

"............Very well.

But I will not fight unless there is a chance to win. What do you expect of me, Shirou?"

What I expect from Rider?

There's only one thing.

Rider's the only one out of all the Servants that can oppose Saber's Noble Phantasm, Sakura's strongest card.

"―――I have some questions before that. Can you still use your Noble Phantasm?"

"Yes. Sakura still supplies me with magical energy."

"Right, next question. Are Servants still spirits even if they take physical form? So you can't hurt them with normal weapons?"

"...Let's see. A normal Servant will be able to nullify them, but those consumed by Sakura are another matter.

Having received bodies from Sakura, they cannot return to spiritual form.

Strong magical weapons should be able to penetrate through their shadows."

"――――I see, then it's decided. There's a chance of victory, and the roles are clear.

Rider. I want you to beat Saber one-on-one. To be specific――――"

I whisper in her ear.

...I know nobody's listening, but I'm just making sure.

"――――I see. I can definitely penetrate her guard with that.

It is a pure contest of power. Nothing is left to chance."

"Right? ...Well, if there is a problem..."

"It is your skill and my trust in you."

I nod.

Rider puts a finger to her mouth, thinking...

"Fair enough. I shall trust you and accept you as my temporary master."

...And agrees with a smile that takes me by surprise.

Scene 28 Goodbye, thank you

The clock strikes midnight.

It's twelve o'clock, the promised time.

I wrap the Azoth sword with cloth and tuck it under my arm.

This is my only weapon. The only other thing I'm taking is the pendant.

"Shirou, Rin's calling for you. She's waiting outside, so she wants to meet up there as soon as you're ready."

Illya's going to stay here.

It's partly because Zouken's after her, but I'm also having her stay here because she's my hope.

"I see. So she's out there, huh?"

"Yeah. She looked like she wanted you to come quickly, so she'll probably scold you again if you don't hurry."


I nod and get up.

There's no pain in my left arm now.

It's just that my human functionality is eroding.

I can't tell what I'm doing if I stand still.

"Then I'm going. Be careful, Illya."

"See you, Shirou. Please come home with Sakura and Rin before the day breaks."

I wave goodbye to her and leave.

The house is dead quiet.

Ten years.

Many things happened here, and I have a lot of memories.

This just happened recently.

A morning scene that was part of my life for a year and a half.

The shed is dead quiet.

It's my small workshop that I frequented like my room.

Here I trained hard every night, hoping to be like Kiritsugu.

She'd wake me up from time to time when I slept in.

It feels like it happened long ago, but I even remember how the air smelled.

The room is dead quiet.

A room that was only used for the past couple days.

I don't have many memories here.

Only Sakura comes to mind.


I sigh and lean against the wall.

I can't remember.

I can't remember what happened in this house or all the things I did.

But still.

Sakura's face comes to my mind just by walking to these places.

"――――Wow. I..."

...She really means a lot to me.

My consciousness is fading, and my memory is a mess.

The ten years in this house are ambiguous in my head.

But―――I can still remember.

I can clearly remember Sakura, no matter what part of me goes away.


I take a deep breath.

What must be done has been determined from the start.

"All right――――let's go, Sakura."

Taking a firm grip on my consciousness, I leave Sakura's room.

There's nothing left.

We once made a promise here.

We knew it wouldn't come true, but we encouraged each other.

I'll do it again now.

What was that small hope used for?