FSN Prologue Day 01 (EN)

It was a thrust like lightning.

A spearhead thrust to pierce my heart.

Trying to dodge it would be useless.

Being lightning, it's invisible to the human eye.


The lightning that tries to pierce me...

...Is repelled by the moonlight that tries to save me.

Clang, a beautiful sound.

No, the sound before me is heavier than steel.

The armor she is wearing is not beautiful at all and as unrefined as the cold night.

The sound wasn't beautiful at all.

It was actually the sound of steel.

It's just that the knight is beautiful enough to turn it into a charming sound like a bell.

"―――I ask of you. Are you my Master?"

She asks in a voice that lights up the darkness.

"I have come forth in response to your summons.

From this time forward, my sword shall be with you and your fate shall be with me. Now, our contract is complete."

Yes, the contract has been completed.

When she chose me as her Master...

I'm sure I swore to help her too.

The moonlight still lights up the darkness.

As if following the knight's example, the shed again falls silent.

Time has stopped.

The scene lasts less than a second.


I'm sure I'll remember this scene vividly even when I've gone to hell.

The face slightly turned.

The quiet green eyes.

The instant becomes an eternity.

The blue outfit symbolizing her sways in the wind.

――――A faint blue light filters in.

The golden hair shines in the moonlight.

This is a story from ten years ago.

...I'm watching someone I know very well.

A tall man with a deep-featured face, who to my knowledge has never told a joke, is patting my head.

No, that's not quite right.

I guess he doesn't know how much strength to use. So to be more accurate, he's grabbing my head and mashing it around.

I guess that's only to be expected.

After all, that's the first time he's ever patted my head.

"I'll have to get going now. You know what to do now, right?"

I answer the deep voice with a polite "yes".

The man patting my head nods once, lets go, and stands up.

...So, that was it.

If I'd known then that it was our final moment together, I would have made him laugh with my best jokes.

I had practiced telling jokes a lot, in hope that I could bring a smile to his grave face.

I guess you could say I was sad that I couldn't tell him any of them.

"Put the Association in your debt by the time you mature. I'll let you decide what to do after that. You should be able to take care of yourself."

Even though he said such things, I guess he was still worried.

He told me about the heirloom jewels, the jewels inherited from the master, and how to manage the basement.

As he was telling me all the things I didn't yet know, I realized even as a child.

―――That most likely...

He wouldn't be coming back.

...A war had started.

Not a war between countries, but a war between people.

But the only ones at war were seven people.

In a situation like this, the word "war" should be unsuitable, but here it's a different story as the ones in conflict are magi.

The seven magi, each from a different faction, had started to compete for unknown reasons and killed each other in unknown ways.

The man standing before me was one of them.

He too was in a position to kill or be killed.

He must have known more keenly than I did that his time was near.

"Rin, the Holy Grail will appear eventually. It is our duty as the Tohsaka family to win it. More importantly, if you want to be a magus, you can't avoid it."

Once more,

he patted my head, and left.

That was the end.

That was the last time I saw the man, who entered the Holy Grail war as a master and died. The man who was my teacher as well as my father.

"Take care, Father."

I see him off politely.

I knew I was on the verge of crying, but I shed no tears.

I loved him.

He was a great father and a great magus.

Among magi, there are only obstinate people.

In the whole world, I don't think anyone had a better character than his.

He taught me as a teacher and loved me as a father.

That's why I decided...

To choose my path according to what he left me in the end.

'――――Rin, the Holy Grail will appear eventually.

It is our duty as the Tohsaka family to win it. More importantly, if you want to be a magus, you can't avoid it――――'

In the end, he left me those words as a magus and not as a father.

That is why at that moment, my path was determined.

"――――All right. I'll do my best to be a proper magus―――"

It's only natural for a student to follow the words of their teacher.

Since then, through many twists and turns... I, Tohsaka Rin, have matured.

It has been ten years since the winter day on which my father went to war.

I haven't exactly been waiting for this moment, but I am excited.

That's only natural.

The event I have never forgotten about is about to start――――


Something is ringing.

Brrring. Brrring.

"...Shut up. Stop it."

The sound doesn't stop.

It rings loudly as if I'm an enemy.

"...What? Come on, I was up late last night, so..."

It should let me sleep in a bit longer.

No, it has to let me sleep in.

I was deciphering my father's will until early this morning, and I've used up too much magical energy.

In other words, my mind and body are dead tired.

"Ah, geez――――you're really stubborn."

Brring. Brring. Brring. Brring.

The alarm clock doesn't speak my language.

So why does the ringing sound like it's telling me "You're going to be late"?

"...Late... Being late is bad..."

Though that depends on the situation.

I'm a good student, but maybe I can get to school at the last moment just for today.

"...That's right... I set the alarm thirty minutes early, so I should be able to sleep for thirty minutes more..."


Isn't that strange?

"...Set it thirty minutes early...?"

I look at the alarm clock drowsily.

The clock is pointing exactly at seven.

I usually get up at six thirty, so the spare thirty minutes have already been used up.

...Oh, why can't I think when I wake up.


I stare at the alarm clock for several seconds.

Shutting it off, I decide to get out of bed.

Passing through the cold hallway, I enter the cold living room.

It's seven o'clock on the last day of January.

Fuyuki City is usually pretty warm in the winter, but this morning it's as cold as any other city.

I can even see my breath indoors, and on top of that, there's no one else in the house to warm it up.

"Heater, heater..."

Turning on the heater, I head to the bathroom.

At times like this, living on your own is inconvenient.

If there were someone to wake up before me, the living room would be warm by now.

I wash my face at the sink.

I brush my long hair and get ready.

A cold morning, a cold sink.

The only advantage is that the cold water clears your sleepiness completely.

I tie my ribbon and I'm all ready.

All I have to do is eat breakfast and head out.

Looking at the clock, it's only a bit past seven, and I'm a bit disappointed.

"Man, I guess I don't have to run after all."

Then again, I would never do anything as clumsy as running to school anyway.

It is the custom of the Tohsaka family to act with composure and elegance at all times.

Taking a custom like that seriously must mean that my family originated from a very high-class background indeed.

Owning this old western-styled mansion is proof of that and on top of it, the Tohsaka family is a bloodline of sorcerers able to use the power of "magecraft".

If you're talking about age, our family has an ancient history.

"...Well, it's not something I can brag about."

Actually, I can't speak openly about it at all.

―――Oh, by the way. I, Tohsaka Rin, am a magus―――

Who on earth can I brag to like that?

magecraft is just what it sounds like... magecraft.

I don't care if you get ideas like abracadabra or whatever.

You can just think of us as people who do strange things by casting spells.

―――Oh, though it's not like we fly around on brooms or make stars appear with a wave of a wand.

...Well, we could do that, but we don't bother as it's kind of meaningless.

We're basically heretics who hide ourselves from the world.

We're prohibited from standing out and even if we weren't, we would rather be at home studying magecraft.

On top of that, the word sorcerer is completely inaccurate.

To be precise, there are only five sorcerers in the world.

Things no one can do, things beyond the ability of modern science... The ones who can make such "miracles" are the ones we call sorcerers.

Miracles that can never be achieved, regardless of time or effort... those we call True magecraft.

Those things that are mysterious, but achievable with time and effort... those we call magecraft.

That's why what I do is called magecraft rather than True magecraft.

It's complicated, but that's how it is, so just accept it.

Well, to be honest, the modern world doesn't recognize the existence of magi.

As we believe, control, and learn things that are immeasurable, our existence is incompatible with the modern world.

Because it's kind of meaningless.

Going to a normal school and becoming a normal adult will bring you far more happiness than studying magecraft.

Human technology is great.

In the past few hundred years, it has been leading the way ahead of magecraft.

Nothing is impossible for humans.

The miracles once only possible through magecraft are now "tools" and not miraculous at all.

―――Still, magecraft has its good points.

Just as there are things possible only through science,

there are also things possible only through magecraft.

It was the master of the Tohsaka family who said that if science is moving toward the future, magecraft is moving toward the past.

Something about the past and the future ending up at the same place, everything always running toward the zero point.

Let's put off all these difficult discussions. They should wait until we're old.

Finishing breakfast, I grab my bag.

"―――Oh yeah. I should bring the pendant."

I don't really want to take the thing to school, but it'd be a waste just to leave it here.

"This thing is a hundred years old after all. It's by far the greatest jewel in the house."

No, that's an understatement. It's much stronger than that.

I found this after decoding Father's will last night. It contains the equivalent of ten years of my magical energy.

There was said to be an heirloom, and this might well be it.

We, the magi of Tohsaka, are skilled at the transformation of power. We put our magical energy into jewels whenever we have free time.

To put it simply, the jewels are bullets and we are the gun.

The only other thing I can say I received from my father is the Magic Crest of the Tohsaka family engraved on my left arm.

In essence, this is the proof of the successor, and it's like a tattoo that condenses all the inherited magecraft of the Tohsaka family.

"...It hasn't started yet, but I guess it doesn't hurt to be careful."

I put the pendant, which can now be said to be my father's memento, into my pocket.

"This is the last resort. Pretty much anything is possible with the magical energy contained in this."

It's seven thirty.

I should get going or I'll be late for school.

"Schlie[szlig]ung. Verfahren Drei."

I weave my words with magical energy quickly.

Being a magus, I can't let my guard down when leaving my house.

Even though there's never been a single robber, wandering child, nor a stray cat.

...And I don't think my neighbor has ever come to say hello, either.

"...Well, I don't really care. But not even a stray cat? What's up with that?"

I look up at the mansion I've grown so accustomed to over the years.

Fuyuki is certainly a strange city with many Western-styled houses on this side of town and an area full of Japanese-styled houses just beyond the intersection.

I guess it's because many foreign families came to live here a long time ago, but even so, I don't see many foreigners around here now.

There's a foreigners' cemetery in the new city across the river, but it only has the graves of the first generation of families.

"Maybe the soil of Japan didn't suit them."

I'll go to the church and ask the priest sometime.

He knows about lots of boring things.


Stepping outside, I feel a certain incongruity.

"What's up? It's quieter than usual..."

It's especially quiet with no sense of the morning's noisiness.

At seven thirty, the street should be filled with students going to school and people going to work.

"...Well, I guess there are days like this."

Perhaps everyone slept in today.

It's unusually cold, so I bet everyone's still wrapped up in their warm beds.

"Hm... But even so..."

It's strange that I haven't seen even one student so far.

At seven thirty, you can usually see people in uniform here and there.

But I'm the only person at the school gates, and it looks like the clubs are just starting their morning practice.

In other words, the only explanation is...

"Oh, Tohsaka? You're up early today."

"...As I suspected."

With a small sigh, I turn to the girl who addressed me.

"Morning. It really is cold today, huh?"

This girl, speaking so frankly, is Mitsuzuri Ayako.

She's my classmate in class 2-A, and there are a lot of stories about her.

"Good morning, Mitsuzuri-san. Please excuse the abrupt question, but do you know what time it is?"

"Huh? It's almost seven. Are you still asleep?"

She waves her hand in front of me, wondering if I'm alright.

She is one of the few friends who know I am not a morning person.

...In other words, she thinks I'm not fully awake yet.

"I guess the clocks at my house were an hour fast. All of them.

Not just my alarm clock, but the wall clocks as well."

Really, just what's going on here?

Did Father arrange for all the clocks to go mad when the pendant was removed from the basement?


"Don't worry, it's nothing. Anyways, are you off to morning practice as usual?"

"Yeah. The archery club has lots of problem students and one good member quit. So I have to get them to look good to attract the new freshmen in April."

"I see. There's always something to worry about, isn't there?"

"You can say that since it's none of your concern. Oh, do you wanna come? The guys will love it if you come and watch."

"――――Archery club, huh?"

I have three acquaintances in the archery club.

One is Ayako, the person before me right now, and the other two are people I barely talk to.

And for one of those two, the word acquaintance doesn't really suffice.

I became friends with Ayako because I had been watching the archery club from afar.

"All right. I'll go if all I have to do is watch. I have nothing else to do this early anyways."

"Great, let's go right now then."

The impressive archery range is one of our school's outstanding aspects.

Perhaps the director is just interested in archery, but the range is much too fancy for a mere school club.

"Come on, there's still time before practice, so let's go in and have some tea."

Happy about something, Ayako drags me in by the hand.

It's a bad habit of hers. She talks like a guy when she's expressing her true feelings.

As Ayako said, there's no one in here.

While sipping hot tea, we prepare for today's class.

The tea tastes really good in this open winter environment.

"Well, I'll come straight to the point. How's it going, Tohsaka? Have you found a reliable partner yet?"


As there's no one else around, Ayako comes straight out and asks me a ridiculous question.

"...Huh, that's a really direct way of asking.

Judging from your tone of voice, you've already found yours?"

"No comment. I'm going to keep it a secret until you tell me. So what's going on? Looking at your tired face, I feel like I'm right."

"Another no comment... but, you'd probably see through my lies. Unfortunately, not yet on my part.

How about you? I assume you don't have time to take it easy either."

"True, but things aren't looking good for me. I could get one right away, but it's not that kind of matter, you know? Our future depends on this, so I can't just compromise."

"I see. So you don't want to choose hastily and lose to me?"

"Of course not. The important part is making you lose. What I get comes second."

She laughs boldly.

"――――Geez. We really are alike."

"Yeah. When we first met, I warned you we'd have this kind of relationship."

Yes, she did indeed.

I was certainly surprised when at our first meeting, she said "We'll probably end up with a 'kill or be killed' relationship".

Or in other words, "Unless we go all out against each other, we'll never really be friends".

I agreed with her on that, and that's why we've had a friend-or-foe relationship for two years.

"By the way, why are we talking about this?"

"Why? You're the one who started it, Tohsaka.

You said there's something wrong with a woman never having a boyfriend, so we decided to see which of us could get a boyfriend before the third year."

"...Oh yeah. Just tit for tat, I suppose. And did we say the loser would obey the winner for a day?"

"Right. Even kids don't make promises like that nowadays, but it's not like we're sore losers.

Whatever the result, the loser will obediently follow the winner's orders. Just thinking about it gets me excited."

Ayako laughs.


She's so serious about this. Mitsuzuri Ayako is such a difficult person to deal with.

...Though, I can't wait to beat Ayako either, so neither of us are people you want to deal with.

"I see. But, Mitsuzuri-san? It's fine to enjoy yourself, but you should take care not to get your objectives wrong. You know that's not the only point of the contest, don't you?"

"I know. I can't call it a complete victory unless I beat you with a relationship you would really be jealous of.

Well, that's the biggest problem for us. No matter how good a guy it is, there's no point if we can't bring ourselves to love him."

Ayako sighs heavily.

To my knowledge, Mitsuzuri Ayako is said to hate men.

Rumors are never to be trusted, however. As she suggested this match, rather than hating men, I think she just didn't have a chance.

―――But, that aside.

"Hold it. What do you mean, 'us'?

I'll say it right now, but I'm not cold-hearted like you. I'd have no problem loving a guy."

"Oh, that's a lie. Or you're fooling yourself. There's no way you'd ever be concerned about a guy.

You've never given one good response to any of the confessions made to you. If you had even the slightest interest, you'd think of going out with them. But you keep declining, so it must mean you're not interested in men."

"You're not thinking enough. Couldn't we say I'm declining because I already have someone I like?"

"Wow, that's a good answer. I like that, it's romantic."

Ayako nods seriously, not making fun of me.

Her sigh says, "wouldn't it be nice if that was the case."


I really can't keep anything from her.

"You're right, I think so too."

Well, it's exactly as she says.

I know myself how cold I am.

"I admit it. I know nothing when it comes to love and relationships."

"Exactly. You're the one who said we're alike.

...Oh, it's almost seven. Let's leave the secret talk there. You never know when someone might walk in on us, and we should act like proper students."

"Well, I never knew you had social manners like that. It was worth getting up early just to hear that."

"Heh, not so much as you. My social manners are nothing compared to yours. You hide yourself so much it almost seems like you're a different person."

Ayako gives an exaggerated sigh.

Both of the teas she made are now empty, and it's my turn to make it.

"So, why don't you join a club, Tohsaka? I won't listen to any lies about not having the athletic ability. I'm still bitter that I lost to you in all aspects in last year's physical testing."

"Oh? But you beat me in lung capacity. And also in weight."

"Ahahaha! All right, I'm three kilograms heavier than you!

...Hey, being heavier isn't something to be happy about, you fox!"

Ayako slams on the table.

"Be careful, you might spill the tea, Mitsuzuri-san. You're the captain, so you should treat this place with care."

"Shut up. I'm your rival first and captain of this place second.

Naturally, if there are no members around, I'll go after you."

Ayako looks at me with narrowed eyes.

This girl has her own sense of beauty and she always says,[r]

"Beautiful people have to do some kind of martial arts."

She's a bold person experienced in most martial arts.

She joined the archery club with no experience and is now the captain as if it were only natural.

She's probably one of the top three people in the school you should never disobey, regardless of gender.

"Oh, isn't it a problem to claim you're not the captain if there are no members around?"

"Of course not. I'm the captain in name only, so all I can do is keep an eye on the problem members.

There are people better than me, so it's not a very dignified captaincy."

"Really? But Fujimura-Sensei says that your skills are outstanding."

"Ugh... Well, if she says so, that gives me some confidence. Yeah, I guess it's no good to think about people who don't come here any more. Yeah, if Fujimura-Sensei said that, I guess I should take being captain more seriously."

"That's right. Speaking of which, it's almost time for the club members to arrive, right? I'll get going but you stay and be a good captain."

"What, you're not going to stay and watch?"

"I wouldn't understand. Watching from a distance is fine, but outsiders shouldn't be in the range, should they?"

Just as I rise, someone enters the range.

"Good morning, captain."

"Ah, morning, Matou. You're alone this morning?"

"...Yes. I'm sorry I couldn't be of help."

"Nah, it's okay. If he doesn't want to come, there's no point forcing him to."

Ayako addresses the club member who just entered.

"Well, I'll be going. See you later, Mitsuzuri-san."

"Yeah, see you later, Tohsaka."

"...Thank you for coming, Tohsaka-Senpai."

"Thanks. You take care too, Sakura."

I leave the range trying not to interrupt them.

"Ah, Tohsaka, good morning. I'm lucky to see you so early."

Bad luck. I've run into someone I don't want to see.

"Good morning, Matou-kun. You're early today."

"Of course. As the captain, I have to come early as an example to others."

This smiling guy is Matou Shinji, of class 2-C.

He's the vice-captain of the archery club and owner of the hearts of half the girls in this school.

Kind of an idol, good looking, good grades, sociable, and kind to girls.

I'm not too well-informed in such areas, so I've only heard all this from my classmates.

"Really? I'm sorry to interrupt your good mood, but you're missing a word, Matou-kun. It's an important word, so I don't think you should forget it."

"Hm? What do you mean missing a word?"

"You're missing the 'vice-' part, vice-captain. You should watch out. It makes no difference whether you're the captain or the vice-captain, but if you put a lot of weight on it, people might think you're concerned about it, right?"


You're right. I'll be careful from now on. Thank you, Tohsaka."

"I've done nothing to earn your thanks, but I guess it doesn't matter if you think otherwise."

Bidding him goodbye, I leave the range.

"Hold on. You came to watch, right? Then you should stay and watch. You're very welcome here."

"I'd rather not. I don't want to interrupt the morning practice."

"Don't worry about that. If anyone's bothering you, I'll just kick them out, so come in for a while."

"...I'm saying I don't want to be a bother.

Besides, it's not like I'm interested in archery.

I don't like watching people I don't know practicing."

"What? You didn't have any interest in archery?

...Oh, so that's why you were watching us after school."


I don't know what he thinks the reason was, but he's undoubtedly making a big misunderstanding.

"―――Oh, so you knew, Matou-kun?"

"Yeah, our eyes met many times, yours and mine. After I shot, you would always be looking at me, right?

I wanted to call out to you, but it's the rules, you know? We can't raise our voice on the range."

As if happy about something, Shinji moves in closer to me.

His smile carries a sense of superiority.

"I guess I misunderstood. I thought you liked archery, but you actually have no interest in it, right? So why were you watching the range?"


Oh, I see now.

Yes, the conversation could certainly have been taken that way.

"Can you move away, Matou-kun? I really don't like people coming so close to me."

"Uh? Tohsaka, what?"

"Honestly, it seems you still don't understand.

...It's not my style, but I'll put it in terms even you can understand.

Matou-kun, I'm saying that I have even less interest in you than in archery. Frankly, I never even knew you were in the range, and I'm not about to start looking out for you now either."


As if I've angered him, he reaches out for me violently.

I easily avoid it and turn my back on him.

"Goodbye, Matou-kun. It's good to have some ego, but you shouldn't let it grow too large."

"Tohsaka, you...!"

He sounds like he wants to say more, but it doesn't seem like he's going to scream or come after me.

...Geez, he really is all show.

If he was just a little bit more mature, he wouldn't be so much trouble for the people around him.

From the back of the school where the archery range is based, I enter the school building.

It's past seven, but I can't see anyone in the hallway.

"Oh, Tohsaka-san."

"...Good morning, Fujimura-Sensei."

"Yes, good morning, Tohsaka-san. I'm so happy you greeted me properly."

The strange woman seems to be crying of happiness.

...It's hard to believe, but this person of surpassing friendliness and cheerfulness is a teacher at this school.

"Uh, Sensei... is there a way to greet you improperly?"

"Of course there is. First years always greet me properly, but the older ones never greet me by my last name. You shouldn't copy their rudeness, okay?"

"...I don't really understand, but I won't be rude to you, Sensei."

"Good girl. Oh, I wish everyone was as good as you, Tohsaka-san."

Fujimura-Sensei waves goodbye and leaves.

Fortunately, she isn't my homeroom teacher.

Fujimura-Sensei teaches English.

She has such a kind face, but she also has a black belt in kendo, and I hear she was respected as the "Tiger of Fuyuki" in her student days.

...Though, that's a bit strange.

Wouldn't a tiger normally be feared, not respected?

Apparently in a good mood, Fujimura-Sensei heads for the archery range.

For some reason, she's in charge of the archery club and not the kendo club.

It's almost seven-thirty.

I can see a few students doing club activities outside, but there's no sign of anyone in the school building.

But still...

"――――Gah, Tohsaka."

I bump into someone who greets me rudely.

"Oh, Student President. Are you patrolling the school building this early in the morning? Or perhaps taking care of the club rooms? Not that I care, but you're certainly diligent."

"Huh! What are you planning? What are you doing here? You're not in any clubs."

"I just felt like it. I don't get up early like your family does, Ryuudou-kun."


The Student President makes an unhappy face.

For some reason, I seem to be his enemy.

I really don't know why.

...Perhaps it's just because I said "skip the temples, they're boring" in a meeting to plan for the field trip.

"...Let me ask you a question, Tohsaka. Have you been staying at school until late at night recently?"

"Nope. You should know I always go straight home, Ryuudou-kun."

"Of course. This is my job, so naturally I know about everyone."

"I see. So you don't even have to ask, right? I don't know why you're asking, but isn't it bad to force student council jobs onto outsiders?

You should collect information on your own. Don't rely on outsiders like me."

"Idiot, how are you an outsider!?

Don't think I don't know how you worked your evil deeds on our Treasurer, you fox!"

"Oh, you misunderstand. I was merely working out how much each club should receive because Mitsuzuri-san asked me to.

I think it's only right for students to take an interest in where their money is going."

"...H-How can damaging our Treasurer's psyche enough to keep him off school for a week be 'only right' for any student? As always, I'm amazed by your way of thinking."[l]

"The same to you. You should keep a watch on those under you.[l]

It's not fair to favor the non-sporting clubs."

"I know that. That's why I had intended to deal with the matter myself――――"

"Issei, the repairs are done."

――――And then.

A guy appears who I didn't expect to find here.

"Ah, sorry Emiya. I'm the one who asked for help, but it seems like you're doing all the work. Forgive me."

"Don't worry about it. So, where next? There's not much time left."

"Yeah, the AV room is next. It seems it's been working badly for a while, but it finally died."

"It can't be fixed if it's dead. It would be quicker to just buy a new one."

"...True, but it'd help if you could take a look at it. It might be dead to my eyes, but only faking it to yours."

"I see. Well, let's take a look."

The Student President leaves with the male student.


My thoughts have stopped at this sudden event.

The guy with wrenches and spanners in hand turns back as if remembering something.

"You're up early, Tohsaka."

And with that, he leaves.

...Was that supposed to be a greeting?

The student whom the president called "Emiya" leaves quickly.

Emiya... that would be Emiya Shirou, from class 2-C.

"...That's fine, but..."

How can I put it?

I just think it's hard to tell whether a guy who looks at home holding a wrench is useful or scary.

It's seven thirty in the morning, and there's no one in class 2-A.

"Well, I guess I'll study ahead."

I sit at my desk and work on a few math problems.

There's thirty minutes until homeroom... I guess I'll just be bored until my classmates arrive.

Fourth period ends and the noisy lunch break begins.

Our school has a cafeteria, but half the students stay in the classroom.

Actually, most of the ones who stay are girls.

The cafeteria food is rather roughly made, so girls tend to dislike it and as a result...

"Ah, um, Tohsaka-san...! W-Would you like to have lunch with us...!?"

...Girls end up eating lunch together like this.

"Thank you, Saegusa-san, but I'm afraid I'm eating at the cafeteria today. I slept in this morning and didn't have time to make lunch."

"Oh, I see... I'm sorry to invite you without realizing that. I guess I'm being a bother."

Saegusa-san looks downcast as if apologizing.

She's one of the calmest in a class full of calm students, and a kind person who cares about me for some reason.

"I don't think so. It just happened that way today, so don't worry about it. Please ask me again tomorrow."

I smile at her from the bottom of my heart.

"Oh, yes. I guess even you sleep in from time to time."

My smile must have relaxed her as she returns it with her own.


Her smile is cute.

Saegusa Yukika-san isn't the most beautiful person, but her smile warms the hearts of everyone around her.

"Yes, that's right. I try not to let it show, but I actually sleep in quite often. I'm not in any clubs because I can't get up in the mornings."

Saegusa-san's expression reveals her surprise.

Her presence really relaxes me, but I can't just have fun talking.

If I keep talking to people like this, I'm bound to reveal my true self.

"Well, I'm off to the cafeteria. Enjoy your lunch, Saegusa-san."

"Yes. You too, Tohsaka-san."

We exchange a warm goodbye and she returns to her group of girls.

It seems she's eating with Makidera-san and Himuro-san.

Oh yeah, Saegusa-san is the manager of the track team.

Makidera and Himuro-san are the track team's hopefuls.

Makidera is a friend I sometimes go window-shopping with, but I don't know Himuro-san that well.

"Oh, you were rejected, Yukicchi? Didn't I tell you Tohsaka wouldn't bring lunch? If you want to eat with her, you'll have to make her lunch too."

"...Maki, can't we just go to the cafeteria too, then?"

"No way. There isn't enough room in that place for people who bring their own lunches. And even if we did sit with Tohsaka, the men's glares would be annoying as hell.

Like last vacation! We went to hang out together, but she's the only one who got any attention. Don't you just hate people who have to show off their beauty like that?"

Makidera speaks without thinking as the girls surround Saegusa-san's desk.

In contrast to her nasty mouth, she's a Japanese beauty who looks wonderful in a kimono.

"...Um, I think that Tohsaka-sama can hear you."

In contrast to Makidera's loudness, Himuro is the cool, steady type.

"Ack, crap, Tohsaka heard that? Ugh, she's really glaring at me...!"

"Uh, I-I don't think she's glaring at you, really..."

"She is. She's scariest when she's smiling. Come on, take it easy Tohsaka. It's us we're talking about, right? I bought you taiyaki, remember?"

She waves her chopsticks, puffing out her cheeks.

The knowledge that this girl's hobby is collecting wind chimes just shows that the world is far too complex.

...Anyways, it's not good for Saegusa-san to keep watching this.

She's panicking, seeing Makidera continually talking bad about me.

"Don't worry, Saegusa-san.[l]

And Makidera-san? I'm the one who paid, and it was crepes, not taiyaki. You should fix that habit of yours of changing the facts you remember, or I might have to reconsider things next time, okay?"

"Ugh. That smile is really scary."

Makidera hides behind the lid of her lunch box.

Saying goodbye to the three of them, I leave the classroom.

I shut the door behind me.

...And then,

"Man, come on! There's no big difference between crepes and taiyaki, they're both just sweets wrapped up!"

Makidera's words are ones no girl should ever speak.

"...Taiyaki and crepes, the same...!?"

Is she really a girl? Are all sweets the same to her?

Perhaps she just has very convenient taste buds that can't tell a 500 yen crepe from an 80 yen taiyaki, but...

Why you... I could have saved 420 yen if I'd just bought you taiyaki to begin with...!

"...Why am I getting mad about this?"

I guess I'm still tired from last night.

The cafeteria would be too much effort, so I'll just get a drink and some bread and eat on the roof.

I buy lunch and head for the empty rooftop.

It's a convenient location as no student would come near it in the wintertime.

It's too cold to eat, but that's a small price to pay for being able to eat without worrying about other people.

"Well, lunch comes first."

I start on my tomato sandwich and hot lemon drink.

It's a simple lunch, but the taste is much improved in this peace and quiet.


I finish my sandwich and my hot lemon drink.

...I'm a bit tired.

It's a difficult balance, being a good student while trying not to be too social.

It's my vanity... no, my conviction, that I must be number-one both academically and physically.

If I am to be a student, I want to be the best, and it's unthinkable for me to dishonor the Tohsaka name.

So that's why I'm a perfect student, flawless in all aspects.

But at the same time, I also have a dangerous job as a magus, so I shouldn't associate with normal people.

Normally, any magus whose identity is discovered has no choice but to eliminate the witness.

...I don't want to do that.

So inevitably, my social life has become a shallow one.

I only hang out with Makidera on weekends, and I try to refuse invitations from friendly people like Saegusa-san.

Even though I'm the best honor student in the school, I live trying not to become too important to anyone.

Though, sometimes when I'm tired like this, it makes me think that this life is rather boring.

"Oh, it's time already?"

I finish my hot lemon drink and stand up.

I should stop drowning in sentimentality and go back to being the usual Tohsaka Rin once I go down the stairs――――

"Homeroom is at an end. Those of you on day duty, finish the daily report and check the locks.

Those of you without club activities are to go home quickly."

2-A's homeroom teacher exits after repeating his usual line.

As far as I know, this line hasn't changed all year.

"Tohsaka, you're going home already?"

"Yes. There was an event with Matou-kun this morning, so I'm heading home before it becomes a bother."

"Haha, I thought so. Matou was in a bad mood this morning, so I thought you must've given him a hard time."

"I see. Did I cause you any trouble, Mitsuzuri-san?"

"Not at all. It's normal for Matou to torment the younger students, and I think that kind of thing will be good mental training for him."

"I see, that's good. Well, I'll make up for it some other time."

"All right. Don't be put off and come by again!"

I head straight home.

It's not like I don't have any business with the archery club or the student council, but I haven't had enough free time for them these past few days.

Once I leave school, Tohsaka Rin is no longer a student.

The rest of the day is not for myself as a student.

Instead, I must become a magus of the Tohsaka family―――

Back at my house, I'm greeted by the blinking light on my answering machine.

"―――It's unusual for me to get any messages. It was... just as I thought, it's you, Kirei."

I already know what he's going to say, but he'll be scary later if I don't listen.

When I press the play button, I hear a familiar voice.

"It's me. I'm sure you know, but tomorrow is the deadline, Rin.

It's a problem for me if you take it easy. There are only two remaining seats.

I must ensure all the Masters are arranged quickly."

This priest shows no mercy as he gets right to the point.

"If you wish to abandon your right to become a Master, contact me today. It takes some time to dispatch a substitute magus."

Liar. Someone like you would be able to arrange a substitute in no time.

"You already show signs of the Command Spell. Quickly, summon your Servant and open the Command Spell.

Unless, of course, you're not planning to be a part of this Holy Grail War. If you value your life, you should run to the church quickly."

The message ends there.

...His words are concise.

He's telling me that if I am to fight, I should get ready by today and if I'm not going to fight, I'm an eyesore and should just retire quickly.

"...Heh, you don't have to tell me that."

Well, it can't be helped.

Today is as late as the deadline can be extended.

Fortunately, I was able to decode Father's will last night.

My preparations are ready.

All that remains is―――yes, obtaining the qualification to enter this fight...

"The Holy Grail War... a fight to the death for the one and only Holy Grail. A ritual of the Holy Grail passed down for hundreds of years, huh?"

The magi who participate in the Holy Grail War are called Masters.

This is not so much a rank, rather it indicates "one who is in control".

The requirement to enter the Holy Grail War.

That is to summon a familiar called a Servant, and to form a contract with it.

No matter how great a magus a person is, one is not considered a Master until he has a Servant under him.

Servants are beings very different from normal familiars.

The methods of summoning and controlling them are different as well.

A magus planning to enter the Holy Grail War usually prepares a catalyst to summon a Servant, but....

"...Really, I wish Father could have left me something with a connection to Saber."

I don't have anything with any "connection".

I can summon a Servant.

If I wanted to, I could summon one right now and form a contract with it.

The town's sacred ground is under our jurisdiction.

As the daughter of the Tohsaka family which has protected this town through the generations, I will not lose to magi from elsewhere.

But that said... I guess you can't go out to sea without a compass. Or perhaps I should say things are completely unplanned?

"...Servants are attracted to symbols.

If you want to summon a strong Servant, you need something that has a connection to that Servant."

In other words, a sword, armor, talisman, bone of that Servant, or something like that... something valuable beyond belief.

"...I was hoping there'd be something like that in Father's will, but... No, this is a great trump card too. But still...."

The pendant I found last night in the basement is one of the best Artifacts in its class.

It's great in its own way.

It's great, but it won't help me to summon my servant.

"...Huh! It's fine. I can do it without help from that sort of thing. After all, there can't exist any Masters capable of handling Saber other than myself."

―――All right, I've decided.

I don't want to make Kirei complain any more by postponing it any longer, and it's not like me to wait until the last second.

It'll come down to just trying it.

I'll face the summoning tonight with full power and obtain Saber by force...!

Late at night.

The clock is about to strike two.

This is the best timeframe for my magical energy.

The peak of my magical energy is at exactly two in the morning.

Since this will be my first and last chance, I can't afford any mistakes.

"―――Withdrawal within elimination, engrave four areas and surround with the summoning circle... right."

I engrave the circle onto the floor of the basement.

You don't need a large-scale summoning to summon the Servant.

Servants are called forth by the Holy Grail.

As the Master's priority is to keep the Servant in this world and to supply them with enough magical energy to substantiate, the Holy Grail takes care of the summoning.

"Bare and silver and iron. Stone for foundation and the Grand Duke of contracts. My great master Shveinorg for the ancestor.

A wall for the descending winds. The four gates shall close and come out the crown. Let the three-forked road to the kingdom cycle."

Still, I continue with the greatest concentration.

I draw the magecraft circle, normally written in blood, with my melted jewels.

...I'm using half the jewels I've saved up, so I can't fail for financial reasons too.

"Enclose. Enclose. Enclose. Enclose. Enclose.

Five times for each repetition.

Just destroy the enclosed time."[l]

...It's almost two in the morning.

Completing the magecraft circle passed down through the Tohsaka family, I face it with all my power.


I flip the formless switch inside me.

I feel a sensation as if the contents of my body are being exchanged.

The usual nerves invert into circuits transmitting magical energy.

From this point, Tohsaka Rin is not human.

I shall become a part of the tool to attain mystic power.

...I am melting from my fingertips.

No, I am being filled from my fingertips.

The magical energy I am taking in is so concentrated that the original senses of my body are being repainted.

So, being filled is the same as being destroyed.


The power that fills me is pure magical energy from the air.

It is absorbed by my body, which has become a circuit, and transformed into a different form of magical energy.

The body of a magus is nothing more than a circuit.

A circuit to connect the spiritual and the real.

We call the result of this, the many mystic occurrences it has made real, magecraft.

...My body is burning hot.

An illusion of myself growing horns.

An illusion of wings growing out of my back.

An illusion of scales forming on my hands.

A sensation of being in water.

...I start to sweat.

Stab, stab. Swords are driven into my body.

This is the pain caused by my human body rejecting itself as the Magic Circuit.

No matter how great a magus you are, a human is human.

This pain will result as long as people use magecraft in a human body.

But I do not loosen my circulation.

At the end of this pain, on the verge of elimination, lies the place of "connection".


...A pain running through my left arm.

The Magic Crest starts up on its own to help me, and as a result, violates my nerves even more.

The harvested magical energy in my blood.

If that is burning iron, then the Magic Crest itself is like a nerve made of thorns.

It runs through my body like a centipede with fangs―――


I lose myself within that pain.

And at the same time, I feel that I have reached my goal.

My overly sensitive hearing keeps recognizing the sound of the clock in the living room.

Ten more seconds until two in the morning.

The power within me is perfect and flawless.

"――――――――I announce."

Let's start.

I take the magical energy I've absorbed and turn it into "fixed" magical energy.

And now...

I have only to empty out the magical energy within me to move the engine called the summoning circle...

"――――I announce.

Thy body shall be under my command, my fate shall be determined by thy sword.

Follow the call of the Holy Grail. If thou wouldst obey this mind and this reason, then answer my call."

My vision closes.

The fifth element, said to be unperceivable by human eyes, is before me.

So, in fear of being broken by it, vision shuts itself down.

"Make an oath here.

I am the one who shall become the virtue of all afterworld.

I am the one who shall lay out the evil of all afterworld.

Thou art Seven Heavens clad in the Three Great Words.

Emerge from the ring of control, guardian of balance...!"


It's so perfect, I feel like I'm tugging on a whale with a fishing rod!

I've drawn the strongest card for sure...!

Geez, I can't wait for my vision to return.

My vision should recover in a matter of seconds and there will be the summoned Servant right in front of me...



Nothing is nothing.

There is no change.

I've raged out that much ether and nothing has formed.

And on top of that...

I hear an explosion from the living room.


I run.

I keep running without thinking.

I run up the basement stairs and into the living room.

"...The door's broken!?"

The living room door is crooked.

There's no point in turning the handle.

The door doesn't open, even as I push and pull it.

"...Geez, you're in my way...!"

With a crash, I kick through the door into the living room.



The instant I walk into the living room, I understand everything.

The living room is in a big mess.

It's full of rubble that must have fallen from the ceiling, and there's one man sitting on it cockily.


Without a doubt, that is the cause of this mess.


But there's one thing more important than that.

The wall clock is still ticking away time, having escaped destruction.

...That reminds me.

Yes, that's right. Come to think of it, every clock in my house was an hour early today for some reason.

In other words, it's one in the morning right now.

There's actually one more hour until my magical energy is at its peak.

"...I did it again."

I can do most things just like everyone else, but I have one hereditary curse.

That is, to make the biggest mistakes at the most important times....

"...Well, what's done is done. I should reflect on my actions."

I am mad at my own stupidity.

Still irritated, I glare at the man sitting there like he's important.

"So. What are you?"

"Those are your first words? I guess I've been called to a terrible Master."

The man in red gives an exaggerated shrug.

"Maybe I'm the most unlucky of all," he adds.

...I do declare.

This guy has a twisted personality.


But this would be the Servant?

Since they call it a familiar, I thought it was something shapeless, but this is human-like.

...No, that's wrong.

Just standing here, I can tell this thing has outrageous amounts of magical energy.

Don't be fooled by its appearance.

This is certainly an existence far beyond human, a "ghost" that has reached the level of spirits as a human.


I can't be overwhelmed forever.

That thing is mine.

So, I'll have to change my thinking from now on.

"―――Just to check, but you are my Servant, right?"

"That's what I'd like to ask. Are you my Master? This is the first time I've been summoned so roughly, so to be honest, I still can't grasp the situation."

"This is the first time for me as well. I'll have to refuse that kind of a question."

"I see. But when I was summoned, you were not in front of me. Explain to me what's going on."

"Really? Don't joke around and tell me you're like a newborn chick who can only determine your Master when you open your eyes."

The unknown Servant frowns.

It's a rather vague response, and I cannot tell if he's angry at my complaint or impressed at how correct I am.

"Well, anyway, what I'm asking is. You're my servant and not anyone else's, right?

Until we clarify this, I have no obligations to answer any other questions."

"...That's what you say after failing your summoning? In this case, I think there are other things you should say."

"There's nothing else. We have to clearly determine who's the master first."


The Servant raises his brow.

Perhaps because it was an imperfect summoning, this guy isn't even trying to hide his dissatisfaction with me.

"Hmm. So we have to define who's master, huh? Your actions are full of mistakes, but it seems your mouth is rather better.

―――Yes, I certainly agree with that opinion. Unless we make it clear who is the stronger and who the weaker, it'll be hard to handle each other."

The Servant looks at me meaningfully as he lays on the rubble.

"Who's the weaker...?"

"Yeah. I am a Servant, so I'll accept this Master-Servant relationship. But that's only according to the contract, right?

Who's superior and if the other is worthy to fight alongside with. That's a different story.

―――Well? Are you a magus worthy to be my Master, young lady?"

The Servant grins.

He smashes my house and that attitude like he's king makes me angry enough, but now he asks me if I'm worthy to be a Master...!?

"―――I'm not asking for your opinions.

All I'm asking is if you are my Servant or not."

I glare at him.

I will not lose to someone who looks down on me this frankly.

"Hm, I see, I see. So you're saying such an obvious question isn't even worth answering? How courageous. Your spirit is that of a splendid Master, but...."

"I s-a-i-d, don't get the order wrong...!

It's the duty of the summoner to confirm first. Now answer me. You are my Servant, right...!?"

I step forward, ready to attack depending on his answer.

"―――Geez. You are a stubborn young lady. We're not getting anywhere this way.

...I guess it can't be helped. Let's say I am your Servant. In that case, would you be my Master? Just hypothetically."

"O-Of course...! If you're my Servant summoned by me, who else but me would be your Master...!?"

I somehow cool my boiling head and glare at this rude guy.

"Oh, I see. Well, let's suppose that's true.

Then, where's the proof that you are my Master?"

The Servant talks nonsense, grinning.

He must think I'll panic about this proof of Master thing.

"Here. This is proof that I'm your Master, right?"


I show him the Command Spell on the back of my right hand.

Heh, don't think I don't know anything.

My father talked a lot about Masters, so I know about the Command Spell.

"Are you satisfied? Are you still going to complain?"

I thrust before him the proof that I'm a Master.

The Servant in the rubble looks confused, then...

"...Man. Are you serious, young lady?"

His face clouds with discontent.

"Wha... what do you mean, am I serious?"

"I mean, that way of thinking. So you're a Master if you have a Command Spell? A Command Spell is only a tool that governs the Servant.

Geez, you act like a Master just because of that?

What I wanted to see was, are you worthy for me to pledge my loyalty to?"

"Ah... uh."

T-That's true, but... you'd normally think of the Command Spell when talking about the proof that one's a Master.

"...So, what? I'm not fit to be a Master then?"

"I'd like that, but no go. Since you have the Command Spell, it seems you are my summoner. It's unbelievable, but it seems you really are my Master."

He gives an exaggerated shrug of his shoulders.


―――This is bad.

My boiling point is so low, it seems I won't be able to cool down in time.

"I'm not happy, but I'll accept it.

You're my Master for now. But I have conditions as well. From now on, I will ignore your opinions. I will decide how to fight, and you will follow my plans.

This is the best I'll compromise on. You don't mind that, right, young lady?"


Uh, I think this is it, Father.

I'm almost at my limit.

"...I see. You accept unhappily, but what do you mean about ignoring my opinions? You're my Servant, right?"

I ask him in a trembling voice, just in case.

There's the issue of the Command Spell too, so this is my last warning, the biggest compromise I can make.

And to that...

"Yeah, in name only. So, formally I'll obey you. But I'm the one doing the fighting. You can hide in the basement here and stay there until the Holy Grail War ends.

That way, even an inexperienced person like you should make it out alive."

He tells me he has no hope for me with eyes full of disdain.


"Hm, are you angry? No, I will respect your position, of course. I am called to help my Master win after all.

My victory is yours, and I shall give you everything that I earn in this fight. You shouldn't have any complaints about that, right?"


"You wouldn't be able to use the Command Spell anyway.

Well, you can leave the rest to me. You just worry about your own safe...ty...!?"

"I'm pissed―――!

Fine, if you say that, I'll use it!"


There's no holding back now. I've no sympathy for a twisted guy like him...!

"Wha... you're not...!?"

"Exactly what you're thinking, you rude scum!

"Vertrag...! Ein neuer Nagel Ein neues Gesetz Ein neues Verbrechen―――!"

(I announce to the Command Spell! By the order of the Holy Grail, give the law of obedience to this one, my Servant!)

"You idi...! Wait, are you insane, Master!? Who would use the Command Spell for something like this...!"

"Shut up!

Look, you're my Servant! You have to obey every single one of my orders, okay!?"


―――The symbol on my right hand throbs.

The three Command Spells.

The essence of the Holy Grail War, the three claims to the Servant's unconditional obedience, is now used.

"A-Are you not even thinking...! Using the Command Spell for such a general thing...!"

Huh, it's too late now.

...First of all, I wasn't expecting this either.

I hate myself so much, I want to die.

To go ahead and use the important Command Spell for something like this...!


Leaving the ruined living room behind, we move to my room.

In front of me is the Servant who should be "absolutely obedient" from my Command Spell.

He's there, but...

"...I see. I understand your personality now, Master."

How exactly is this "absolutely obedient"?

"Just to make sure... do you understand how important the Command Spell is, Master?"

"I-I know. It's the right to give your Servant three orders, right? What about it?"

"...Geez. Look, the Command Spell forces the Servant to act according to an order.

It doesn't merely stop their actions, it strengthens their actions as well.

For example, I can't instantly teleport to somewhere far away. But if you command me to 'go' using your Command Spell, then assuming we have enough magical energy, such things become possible.

This is what is meant by unconditional obedience. It is the three crystallizations of a great magecraft that allows a Servant to surpass limits on their ability even they can't control. Well, only two now."

"I-I know that. It's fine, we still have two and that order I gave you isn't useless, either."

"...Man. This was certainly a miscalculation on my part.

The Command Spell works poorly on broad orders.

For broad and long-lasting orders like 'protect me through this' or 'win this battle', the power of the Command Spell weakens. The force will last a long time, but since the associated pain is weak, some Servants will be able to disobey.

In contrast, a single, simple order like 'deliver the next blow with all your power', or 'don't break that glass' is absolute, and even the most powerful Servants will find it hard to disobey.

...So, I think you can guess what I'd like to say next, Master."

"...I get the idea. So you're saying a broad, long-lasting order is meaningless, right?

If the effect is weak, Servants can act against it. It's better to make a single absolute order than to give weak ones, right?"

"Right. Basically, the Command Spell is a way to bring about miracles beyond our abilities. Stupidly using it for orders that can be achieved by other means is unforgivable.

The Command Spell you just used is exactly that. Whether or not I'll obey you is something that we could have solved by discussion. Even with the command, something like 'obey my every order completely' is beyond even a hundred Command Spells."

"Ugh... so the Command Spell I just used was meaningless...?"

"...Normally, the answer would be yes. But it seems that your abilities as a magus are on a completely different level."


Is he happy or unhappy?

The Servant has a smile on his face as he sighs.

"On a completely different level... you mean....

Hey, you. Tell me honestly your condition right now."

I have a gut feeling, so I ask him boldly.

"Yeah, that's what I mean by miscalculation.

That Command Spell should have only changed my attitude to 'well, I'll respect Master's opinions slightly'.

But right now, I feel a strong bind from your words. If I disagree with you, let's see... it seems like I drop a rank.

In other words, it's like my body feels heavy when I go against your will."

The Servant shrugs his shoulders as if to say it's a pain.


...That means the Command Spell wasn't meaningless, and it worked in my favor?

But this guy speaks as sarcastically as always, and it doesn't seem like he's any weaker at all.

Though, even if he is weakened when going against me, I doubt even ten of me could take him on...

"Let me take back what I said before, Master.

You are young, but you are an outstanding magus.

It was my mistake to patronize you and try to keep you out of the battle. I apologize for my rudeness."

He adjusts his stance and bows his head politely.

"Uh―――hey, stop it. We argued a lot, but they say both sides are usually at fault in this sort of thing..."

"I see. I'm glad you understand."

"...You changed your tune quickly."

"Well, it was a miscalculation, but not an unwelcome one. If you're this talented, I have no objections to your involvement in the battle."


Uh... he seems to be saying he's found a powerful Master, so...

"So you accept me as Master even without the Command Spell?"

"Of course. I wasn't clear back then as I was just summoned, but we are completely connected now. If you're really a magus, you should be able to feel the connection from the contract."


Hm, now that he mentions it, my body does feel strange.

It feels like the nerves, once closed within me, are now pointing outwards.

...And on top of that, part of my magical energy is flowing into the man in front of me.

"I see. Servants are called by the Holy Grail, but what keeps them in this world is..."

"Right, the power of the Master. Servants stay in this world by receiving magical energy from their Masters."

"The magical energy you supply is sufficient. There might be problems with your experience, but your ability is outstanding.

A normal magus would pass out after summoning a Servant, but you're still full of energy.

The Command Spell earlier, and this amount of magical energy... you're definitely a first class Master."

"...! H-Heh! Praising me now won't do you any good."

A bit embarrassed, I avert my gaze.

...I wasn't really expecting this.

I'm forcing him to obey with the Command Spell, but for a Servant, a being superior to humans, to honestly accept that I am his Master....

"...So? Which Servant are you?"

I collect myself and finally get to the point.

"You can't tell from my appearance, huh? Ah, excellent."


No, I was just mistaken before.

This guy is certainly making fun of me.

"...All right, this is a question from your Master.

You're not Saber, are you?"

"I'm sorry, but I don't have a sword."


...As I suspected.

This is natural, though. I mistook the time, the summoning circle didn't work, and I even summoned the Servant to the wrong place.

It was all too clumsy to call Saber, the strongest Servant.

"...What a blunder. Using that many jewels and not calling Saber... it's too appalling to face."

"...Hmph. Well, I'm sorry I'm not Saber."

"Huh? Uh, well, it was a big mistake and I regret it, but it's my fault, so..."

"Yeah, Archer isn't too flashy, I know.

All right, I'll make you regret your abuse later on. And I won't accept any apologies when that time comes."


...This is unexpected.

The unknown Servant seems disappointed by my fixation on Saber.

"What, did I get on your nerves, Archer?"

"I get it. But keep your eyes open as I will definitely show you how lucky you are."

Archer protests with narrow eyes.

The air he carries is offensive, but his behavior seems childlike and pure.

...You know...

He might be a pretty good guy.

"All right. Then be sure you make me regret it later on, Archer.

If you do, I'll honestly apologize."

"Yeah, and don't you forget it, Master. Know how great the one you summoned is and be grateful.

Though, even if you do apologize then, I probably won't be satisfied."

Archer grins again.

Huh, maybe he does have a twisted personality after all.

"Well, fine. Leaving that aside, which heroic spirit are you?"


Archer doesn't answer.

His sarcastic tone disappears, and he frowns seriously.

"Archer? Your Master is asking you a question."

"That's... a secret."


"I can't answer the question of who I am, because―――"

"Hold on. If it's for a stupid reason, I'll be pissed."


Oh, that face again.

Archer must be really troubled as he opens his mouth like he'd rather not say anything.

"―――It's because I don't know myself."

...Wait, what was that..?

"Whaaaaaaat!? Are you making fun of me!?"

"...I didn't mean to insult you, Master.

But this is what you get for your failed summoning. It seems my memory is confused. I know who I am, but things like my name and origin are a bit vague... Well, they're trivial things to be missing, so we shouldn't worry about it."

"Don't worry about it? Of course I'm worried about it!

If I don't know which heroic spirit you are, I can't tell how strong you are!"

"Oh, that's no problem. It's a trivial matter."

"Trivial, you say? How can I make a plan when I don't know how strong my partner is!? There's no way we can fight like this!"

"What are you saying? I am the servant you summoned. Naturally, I am the strongest."


The knight in red looks at me with absolute confidence and trust.


My thoughts freeze.

There's no dishonesty in Archer's words.

He thinks more highly of my power than I do, even though we've only just met.


...My face is burning.

Geez, I'm definitely blushing.

Why am I so weak against unexpected things?

"...Well, fine. It'll make no difference that no one will know your true identity. They do say that to fool your enemies, you must first fool your allies..."

I say this to hide my embarrassment, looking away from Archer.

Well, I can find out later how good a Servant he is.

For now, I have a higher priority.

"All right. I shall not question you about your true identity for now.

So Archer, here's your first task."

"Already? You are aggressive.

So, who's our enemy―――"

As he's asking, I throw a dustpan and broom in front of him.


"Clean the room downstairs, please. You made that mess, so be responsible and clean the place up."


He stands there blankly for ten seconds.

After recovering his thoughts, he grabs the broom ready to make an objection.

"Hold on. Just what do you think a Servant is?"

"A familiar, right? He's a bit insolent, so he's difficult to control."


Archer swallows his words.

I don't intend to take back my words, and I do have a trump card.

"Objection. I refuse such an ord―――"

"Really? This is an order as a Master. Doesn't your body feel heavy when you go against your Master's wishes?"


"Well, I'm sure it's nothing to you, but the penalty would continue until you clean up the living room. Won't it be dangerous to fight in such a condition from tomorrow?"


He groans for a few seconds, clenching the broom.

The Servant in the red coat, Archer, closes his eyes in dismay.

"Understood. Damn you, Master."

He acknowledges my request gracefully.


It's getting late, so I should rest for tonight.

I can decide about how to treat him after I wake up.

―――The day of fate comes to a close.

No, this night is the start of fate.

There are six including myself now.

Once the last one summons a Servant, the seventh one who is not yet a Master, this Holy Grail War will commence.

It's not far ahead.

The battle I've waited ten years for is about to commence....