FSN UBW Day 14 (EN)

Scene 00


Caster regains consciousness.

Protected by Kuzuki, Caster looks around the temple.

...This is it.

The surprise attack won't work on Caster anymore.

Tohsaka is tired and I can only project two more swords.


If Caster uses "her" in this situation, we will never make it out of here alive――――

"......Phew. I thank you, Master. I would have been defeated without you."

"You do not need to flatter me. Just get Saber. We cannot take them lightly."

"Yes. That is a good decision, Master."

Caster points to the woman on the altar.

The visible binding of the curse.

And when Caster tries to release it...

"―――Yes. If only you had done it a few seconds sooner."

Above me.

I hear a soft voice from the stairs leading up.


It is Caster that notices the strange event first.

Kuzuki doesn't notice.

It is because Kuzuki cannot detect magical energy.

Caster moves.

Above her Master...

Above Kuzuki Souichirou's head...

Are floating numerous swords.


She must have figured out that her injuries will prevent her from blocking them with magecraft.

Caster uses her body to protect her Master.

"――――Trace, on."

The murmuring voice from above says those words.


...The sounds end.

The swords appearing in midair come down at one target and pierce one body.

The numerous blades rip and tear the meat, then disappear like an illusion.

What's left are many traces of blood.

"Ah...... guh...... ah..."


Having become his shield of her own free will, she now turns her bloody body to the man behind her.


Kuzuki is silent.

In front of him is the skewered Servant.

...Maybe there's no need to hide it now.

The robe is removed from her head, and the woman walks over to her master with a bare face.

"Ah―――Ah, ah――――"

...Her body is collapsing.

With a dying body, the woman looks up at her master who has not twitched a brow.

Her slender fingers run across the expressionless face.

"Oh――――are you okay, Master?"

Her voice seems clear.

There is no change in Kuzuki.

He only answers with a simple "yes" and does not even look at Caster.

"Good. It would trouble me if you died."

She looks as if it is fine.

...No, the woman smiles knowing what kind of man he is.

"But this is cruel. I finally found a wish..."

The fingers running along his cheek fall down.

Beginning at her toes, Caster's body is disappearing.

"You do not have to grieve. I will make your wish come true."

She smiles at the simple answer.

She smiles as if seeing a short-lived dream.

"That is impossible. Because my wish..."

―――Was being fulfilled until now.

The witch collapses as if going to sleep.

...The purple robe falls.

The robe without its wearer fades and disappears as if following her.


Kuzuki does not even look at her. His attention is focused on the man above.

The knight in red who should be above me.

――――I get a headache.

It's not just because I've abused projection.

The muttered spell...

The spell he said is smashing my brain with nausea.

―――――'Trace, on'.

That's what he said.

He said the exact words of the spell that shouldn't be used by anyone else but me.


Archer comes down the stairs and stands in the temple.

Tohsaka is watching him with surprise.

"......Archer... I thought so, but... it's true?"


Archer does not answer.

He is only watching his enemy, Kuzuki.

"...Treacherous friend, huh? You were going for this from the start, Archer."

"Yes. But this is more like the Trojan horse.

I had to defeat the Greek hero. So this is more appropriate as a comparison."

Archer shows no guilt even though he has betrayed Caster in front of us.

"I see. I guess it was Caster's mistake for drawing in a guy like you."

Kuzuki does not change his tone even in front of a betrayer.

He still has the will to fight.

He is not a magus and he has lost Caster, but he has the will to continue fighting.

...He readies himself.

As Caster is gone, Kuzuki's strength must have dropped substantially.

His "snake" is still there, but Caster's strengthening that made his fists into steel is gone.

But still, Kuzuki faces Archer like before.

"I see. I will not stop you if you want to continue."

Archer readies his twin swords.

Their duel has begun.


Is that all right?

Kuzuki said he has no interest in the Holy Grail.

A Master in name only, he merely went along with Caster.

Then there's no reason for him to fight now that Caster's gone.

"―――Hold on. Why are you continuing, Kuzuki? You were only doing as Caster told you. Caster's gone now, so there's no reason for you to fight anymore."

I glare at them, gritting my teeth against the pain.


Kuzuki narrows his eyes a bit.

"Right. I do not have a reason to fight. Like you, I had no interest in the Holy Grail."


"But this is something I have started. I cannot stop midway."

That's it.

That's all the reason he has.

――――The battle starts.

The battle should end in one blow.

Even if Kuzuki has superhuman fighting abilities, he's fighting a Servant.

He can't be a match just by being "superhuman".

Even though this is called a battle, it is actually just disposal of the loser.

The fate of the loser...

It is the battle between Masters to kill and be killed, and that is the end they have to be ready for. One shouldn't fight at all if he can't accept that.

But still――――

Scene 01

――――If I can save him...

Is it wrong to want to prevent his death if I can?

I don't care if I'm called soft-hearted.

I know it's just hypocrisy.

To defeat another Master means killing them.

We fought, prepared to kill each other.

I know how unfair it is to stop them now.

But still.

I decided to fight so that I could save people. I can't ignore a life that can be saved.

"――――Stop. The match is settled. You guys don't..."

I suppress my headache and try to stop them.

At that instant.

Kuzuki moves.


Kuzuki must have taken my voice as a signal, as he rushes Archer in a flash and lashes out at his temple.

Any ordinary man would have his skull crushed, but Archer does not dodge it.

His head moves from the impact.

The knight in red takes Kuzuki's blow,

and pierces Kuzuki Souichirou's chest at the same time.

Scene 02


I have no right to stop them.

Even if he was Caster's puppet, Kuzuki did not stop her.

He did not stop Caster from sucking magical energy out of people, and he even supported it.

Then―――even if he's not a magus, Kuzuki is a Master.

To defeat other Masters means killing them.

We fought, prepared to kill each other.

Kuzuki does not want any help and has not admitted defeat.

The man in front of me will only stop in death.


How can I, a Master, stop them?

...And after a moment's confrontation, Kuzuki moves.

Kuzuki's fists haven't weakened at all.

They reach out like snakes to smash Archer's temple.

Archer dodges it by a hair and pierces Kuzuki Souichirou's chest as if to silence him.

Scene 03

There's only silence.

Nobody says anything, and I have nothing to say in any case.

Kuzuki Souichirou died.

He was silent until the very end, and he died on the path he chose without showing regret or hope.

...I have a headache.

Is my Magic Circuit compressing my nerves?

Or can I not forgive Archer for killing Kuzuki?

Or am I pissed at myself for not having the right to say anything to him?

I can't tell, and my headache only gets worse.


I turn around at the sound.

With Caster's disappearance, the bonds must have broken.

Saber is on the floor in front of the altar.

"Ah... Hm..."

Saber painfully breathes on the floor.

That makes me forget about my headache.


I run to her.

Even this short distance is an annoyance.


She raises her head.

Saber sighs in relief as she sees me run to her and――――



She tackles me with her shoulders and pushes me away.

She pushes me forcefully to the side.

My body flies for a few meters and lands on the ground.


I land on my back.


I shake my confused head and look up.

At that instant――――

I hear steel hitting steel.


Saber is there, fully armored.


Numerous swords lie on the floor, right where I was standing before Saber tackled me.

"―――Damn, I missed."


Says in a bored voice, facing Saber.


Saber, who can barely keep her body standing, glares at Archer.


I don't even need to ask why she's glaring at him.

He shot those swords from behind to kill me.

Saber saw that and instantly pushed me away.


Tohsaka watches him in astonishment, and Saber readies her sword while breathing heavily.

Their situations are different, but they both have wonder in their eyes.

Why is Archer trying to kill Emiya Shirou when Caster's dead already?


The only calm ones are Archer and I.

...It's not that surprising.

We hated each other from the start.

We opposed each other, unable to get along.

I don't know why, but I just cannot approve of him.

...The reason behind it...

If "that" is really the reason for us not being able to approve of each other...

It is natural for him to want to kill me.


I get up.

Saber must have been desperate.

She tackled me without holding back, so I can't breathe properly.

―――That just makes me more determined.

This is all she could manage when she tackled me with all her might.

She doesn't have enough power left in her to even fight me.

It's suicidal for her to confront Archer in such a state.

"Archer, what are you doing...!?"

Tohsaka draws near Archer.

...It's natural.

Archer switched to Caster's side to attack her by surprise.

Now that it succeeded, there's no reason for him to attack me.

"The acting's over, right? We beat Caster, so I won't let you do anything selfish now...!"

"Let me...? I do not get it. Why do I have to ask for your permission? You're not my Master or anything."

"Eh... Archer...?"

"Our contract has ended. I am free now. Do you think I will subject myself to human control?"


After staring up at the knight in astonishment, Tohsaka gasps in sudden realization.

"No way, Archer..."

"I will act to achieve my objective.

But it is troublesome to have you around."


Tohsaka jumps back.

She gets away from Archer, tries to run towards me, who is still on my knees, and...

Her movement is stopped cold.

A swarm of swords about two meters high.

They pierce the ground, drawing a circle, and become a circular prison.


It's a circle big enough for one person to fit in,

and Tohsaka is trapped inside.

"I will not let you interfere after I've come this far. Our contract has ended, so the binding of the Command Spell does not exist anymore.

That is the only reason I sided with Caster. I needed to break the contract to nullify that Command Spell."

Turning his back to the imprisoned Tohsaka, Archer starts to walk.

Not towards Saber, but towards me, still on my knees.

"I thought so―――but why, Archer!? Do you still want to kill Shirou...!?"

"―――Yes, I will kill Emiya Shirou with my own hands.

This is the only wish I have after being reduced to a guardian."


Power returns to Saber's body.

She musters her strength and moves between Archer and me.

"Archer. Do not tell me you are..."

"...Yes. You asked me once, right? Whether I had pride as a hero or not.

Of course not. I cannot have such a thing. Only regret fills my mind.

―――Saber, I shouldn't have become a hero."


The aggression fades from Saber.

...What did she figure out? Her enmity towards Archer is gone.

"That's it. Step back, king of knights. You'll disappear right away if you act recklessly when you don't have a Master.

Emiya Shirou does not have his rights as a Master. Your wish cannot be granted even if you support him."

"―――I cannot do that. Even if he is not a Master, our contract will not go away. I have sworn to protect him and to be his sword.

...He knew nothing about the Holy Grail War, but he responded to my oath. I cannot betray his trust."

She readies her invisible sword.

But I don't see the usual valor or strength in her stance.

"―――I see. Then you can die here along with the fake master."

Twin swords appear in Archer's hands.


...! Saber can't even take those swords right now...!

"――――You idiot. Run, Saber...!!"

I get up and reach for Saber.

Did she do it to get away from my reach?


Saber pulls herself together, kicks the ground, and charges at Archer.

――――The battle ends after a few blows.

Saber, the one who overwhelmed Archer before, falls to her knees, unable to stand for even a few seconds.

...The sword isn't even in Saber's hands now.

After resisting Caster's Command Spell for so long, she has no magical energy left.

Unable even to breathe, she puts her hands on the floor, desperately trying to hold her disappearing body together.


Archer raises his swords.

The twin swords are swung down onto Saber.



I jump in from the side and stop them using all my might.


I ready my twin swords.

I hold the instantly-projected weapons and glare at the knight in red.

"...Hm. I thought you would stay quiet for a bit longer. But I guess you cannot bear having a woman killed in front of you."

"―――Shut up. I'm the one you want to kill. Fight the right opponent."

I confront him.

We both have twin swords in our hands.

Our physiques are different, but our stances are the same in every regard.

"It is real if imitation goes that far. But―――can your body withstand that magecraft?"

A sneering voice.

...My limit is near, as he says.

My headache does not stop and my Magic Circuit has its limiter full from all the projection magecraft.

...My brain will explode before I get slashed if I fight him while retaining the image of the twin swords.


"I warned you before. I told you that you cannot use projection. A magecraft beyond your powers will destroy your body. You are now paying the price of the magecraft that has kept you alive, Emiya Shirou."

Archer charges in.

"Ku――――shut up, dammit――――!"

To that.

I frantically move my swords as if slashing my headache away.

――――I swing my arms.

My techniques are all a copy of my enemy's.

My weapon is copied and my technique is copied.

Therefore, I cannot match him.

I couldn't match him even if I were in top condition.

An imitation can get close to the original, but never surpass it.

I could not match this man from the start.

The man told me to drown in my ideals and die.

The man said that my life is a false life.

I could not object to those words because he was my ideal.

A power to make the impossible possible.

An existence that saved many people and became a heroic spirit.

It was I who wanted to become such a person.

That's why I can't match him.

The man in front of me is the end of that road.

He is my ideal, becoming strong to save people, so――――


My swords shatter.

I was able to block his attacks, but my twin swords disappear.

...I can't stay conscious.

My body isn't hurt, but my insides are bleeding and about to give out――――

"Do you understand now? That is the limit of Emiya Shirou. It is an appropriate end for a guy who kept pushing himself, right?"

He raises his sword.


As I try to figure out with my dazed mind if the sword will come down from the right or the left...

"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―――"

Tohsaka's gallant voice echoes through the temple.


That must have caught his attention.

The sword slows down a bit. If that's the case――――

"Kuh, ah――――"

I can dodge it even with a body like this...!

I roll on the floor and get away.


Archer clenches his teeth, but looks at Saber instead of pursuing me.

"―――Obey me! Then I shall entrust my fate to your sword...!"

Tohsaka reaches out towards Saber from within the prison of swords.

Saber runs to her using her last power and...

"I will accept your oath under the name of Saber...!

I shall accept you as my master, Rin―――!"

A contract that should have originally been made...

Saber finally obtains a Master that is appropriate for her.

Violent wind rages.

She must have gotten back her true powers by obtaining a true Master.

Saber is unlike anything she was before.

"――――――, Wha-"

I'm not the only one that gasped.

Even Archer is fascinated.

Rising swirls of magical energy and armor that can never be damaged.

There seems to be no end to this overwhelming power.

―――This is Saber.

The heroic spirit of the sword said to be the strongest Servant―――!

"―――Damn. I was going to let her make a contract with Rin, but the order is getting mixed up."

Archer murmurs while looking at Saber. He must not have enough to spare to pay attention to me now.

"So, what will you do now, Saber?

Since you have made a contract with Rin, you truly have no connection with Emiya Shirou now――――"

"I believe I told you, Archer. My oath with Shirou will never go away."

Saber is firm.

Archer clucks his tongue and grips his twin swords again.

"Rather, what are you going to be doing now, Archer? I will stop you with all my might if you try to kill Shirou.

Now will be the time to rethink. You do not think you have a chance to win against me now, right?"

Saber's warning is true.

Saber would not lose even to Berserker now.

No matter who he may be, Archer cannot match Saber.

He should know that more than anyone, but...

"―――Hah. How can you be so confident when all you got back is some magical energy...!"

Archer charges.

Their weapons clash.

Archer charges in at Saber like a red bullet and attacks her with all his might.


Saber receives the blow like nothing.

Neither the size difference nor Archer's momentum matter.

Saber repels Archer's swords without flinching.

Archer, the one who attacked, is the one who retreats.

The attack made with all his strength, a blow that should not need to be repeated, is―――


―――Not only is it blocked, but his body loses balance as well.


Archer steps back.


Saber's sword attacks him like surging waves of raging fire――――!

Archer can only defend against her attacks.

Saber's sword will kill him if he tries to counter.

No, first of all, he does not have anything to spare for a counterattack.

The only resistance Archer is allowed is to block Saber's attacks until he runs out of energy.

And that should not take long.

The magical energy in Saber's sword scrapes away Kanshou and Bakuya with each attack.

The twin swords cannot take any more, and Archer's arms should be powerless by now.

The match is settled rather quickly.

Archer falls to one knee, unable to stand against Saber's assault.

Saber swings down her sword as if to finish him off.

Archer blocks it by crossing his twin swords in front of him.

The battle is at an end.

Even though he blocked Saber's blow, Archer cannot move.

Saber's sword will split his head in two if he loosens his power on the twin swords.


Archer puts power into his arms to stop Saber's blow.

Sweat forms on his forehead and he's breathing hard.


In contrast, Saber's breathing is normal.

It is impossible for Archer to beat Saber in hand-to-hand combat.

"―――This is it, Archer.

It might have been different if you were in perfect condition, but you cannot fight on with your depleted strength."

"You were worried about me earlier,

but that goes the same for you. You should have no magical energy left since you used that many Noble Phantasms to defeat Caster.

Furthermore, you do not have a Master to keep you in this world. What can you do when you have no supply of magical energy?"

"Hah―――that is needless worry, Saber.

Servant Archer has the ability to remain even after the Master is gone. I should be able to stay in this world for two days even without a Master. That is enough time for me to kill that kid."

"Ridiculous. Are you still talking about such a thing...!? Are you saying your wish is not the Holy Grail, but to kill Shirou...!?"


Archer doesn't answer.

His cold eyes stare at the troubled Saber.

"...How can it be? Archer, your wish is a mistake.

Why―――Why do you wish for such an end? Even if you do so, you..."

――Will not be saved.

Saber bites her lips and stops herself from saying so.

"...Heh. I'm mistaken, huh?"

The muscles on Archer's arms bulge.

He looks at Saber once,

"That is my line, Saber.

How long are you going to hold on to that foolish wish of yours?"

He says so with eyes staring far away.


Saber's sword loosens up.


Using that opening, Archer gets up and kicks Saber with his freed leg...!


Even though she's knocked back, Saber lands gracefully.

The situation hasn't changed at all.

Saber is protecting me and facing Archer, who has Tohsaka trapped within a cage of swords behind him.

The distance between them is five meters again.

"...Phew. I knew it, but I cannot match you in sword techniques, huh?"

With that, Archer empties his hands.

The twin swords disappear and he confronts Saber unarmed.

"...Archer. Does that mean you will give up now――――?"

"Of course not. You're misunderstanding me. I'm Archer. I'm not someone who fights using a sword to begin with."

With those words...

"I am the bone of my sword."

He begins this spell in a voice I can't hear.

"Stop, Archer! I do not――――"

"Saber. Someone will eventually appear to release you.

It does not seem like it is this time―――and I will probably have a connection with you again next time."

"Unknown to Death. Nor known to Life."

His spell echoes through the temple.

...There's no change.

A long spell like that should affect the surroundings.

magecraft influences the world.

But his spell does not affect the world, but instead―――

"But that is still far off. Right now, my objective is to kill Emiya Shirou.

If you are going to try to stop me――――I will not hold back against you even in this world."

He raises his left arm.

Does that complete his spell?

"[block len=3]―――unlimited blade works."

He clearly speaks out and changes the world.

――――Fire runs.

It runs across the floor and looks like a white line.

Is the surrounding fire a boundary line?

The color of fire fills my vision and paints the temple.

After that, my surroundings are replaced by [wrap̠text="this"]this strange world.


Pain fills my brain.

―――I can tell.

I understand what this magecraft is, what this absurdity is.

I shouldn't be able to understand, but I can tell what this is whether I want to or not.

And that――――

...Makes my brain boil.

In short, this is a steel manufacturing factory.

Burning fire and turning cogwheels.

A field of swords without owners extends to the horizon of the desert.

All the swords in the ground are famous.

Kanshou and Bakuya originally came from this world.

An almost infinite projection of weapons.

Innumerable weapons make this place seem like a wasteyard.

The knight in red reigns at the center of this kingdom of rubble.

"This is――――"

The confused voice is Saber's.

Inside the illusionary fire that is not even hot, she watches the knight in blank amazement.

"―――Reality Marble.

A great forbidden magecraft that puts form to the user's mind and violates reality.

So you're not a swordsman nor an archer, but..."

"Yes. I was a magus before I became a heroic spirit."

Tohsaka sounds disinterested.

...Could it be?

Did she... already know... Archer's true identity?

"―――Then Archer. Your Noble Phantasm is..."

"I have no such thing.

I did not wield any holy swords nor demonic swords. The only thing I have is this world.

If a Noble Phantasm is the symbol of a heroic spirit, this Reality Marble is my Noble Phantasm.

I can reproduce and store any weapon that I see the original of. This is my ability as a heroic spirit."


Saber gasps.

She looks with blank amazement at the extending graveyard of swords in the desert.

The ashen sky and steel wasteland, devoid of all life.

"This is... your world, Archer?"

"Yes. I do not mind if you would like to test it out.

I shall reproduce that holy sword of yours."

"My holy sword...? Are you saying that, knowing its true identity, Archer?"

"Of course. A weapon of such rank cannot be perfectly reproduced, but I can get it close.

What will happen in that case? Will the people around us survive when the two holy swords clash?"

"Wha――――Archer, you...!"

"Yes. Do not use your holy sword, Saber. I will have to oppose you if you do.

In that case, the ones to disappear would not be us, but the people around us.

...Knowing you, you would protect that kid at the cost of your own life. Even I will die if I project the holy sword.

In that case, only Emiya Shirou would survive. That would be pointless."

Archer raises his left arm.

The swords behind him float up one by one.

"―――Do not oppose it.

You should not die instantly if you are lucky. You can have your Master heal you after it is all over."

Archer points to Saber.

The numerous swords point towards Saber.

All of these weapons are sure to kill.

"―――You can dodge them, but in that case, give up on the kid behind you."

And he gives the command.


The numerous swords are shot.

Saber does not move.

She confronts them, intending to deflect all the weapons using her sword, even prepared for her own death――――

"―――――Trace, on."

I can't think because of my headache.

My Magic Circuit can only handle one more projection.

My insides are burned up and almost melted.

But such concerns vanished when I saw this world.

Before I realize it, I have jumped up, run to Saber, and am glaring at the annoying swords.

"Shirou!? No, quickly――――"

I don't care.

For now, the oncoming 18 swords. Analysis of all of them cannot be completed with my eyes alone, so my senses run wild and...

Go past the fastest speed, go faster and faster and faster...

They approach.

Something like a cocking hammer goes down in my head.


I stick out my left arm.

I have no doubts.

I've copied him so many times.

If there is nothing wrong with the theory...

"―――Be ridiculous, dammit...――――!!!!"

...There is no way I can't reproduce the rain of swords in front of me――――!

...Broken pieces fly around.

When I open my eyes, his Reality Marble has disappeared.

The only things there are the broken pieces of swords and...

"Haa――――ah――――, ah, ha――――!"

...A hellish nausea as if my organs have come up to my throat.


After glaring at me in disgust...

"Hey―――Archer, you――――!?"

He takes out Tohsaka from the cage of swords and restrains her.

"......! ............!"

Tohsaka struggles to get away from Archer.


What did he do? Archer places his hand on Tohsaka's neck and renders her unconscious.

...And he leaves the temple.

With Tohsaka in his arms, Archer jumps to the stairs leading up.

"...Where are you going, Archer?"

"To a place where there won't be any intrusions.

I am out of magical energy as well. I do not have enough power to defeat both of you."

"――――Are you taking Rin as a hostage?"

"No, she is an exchange. As long as I have her, that kid has to come after me.

But more importantly, Rin is your Master now. Even if you want to protect that kid, you should not be able to put his life over your Master's."


I bear my nausea.

I strain my fainting mind and listen to what he has to say.

"――――The... outskirts."


I say so with a shaking throat, not even able to look up.


"―――I said the forest in the outskirts of the town. There's an empty castle there. We won't cause trouble for anyone there."


"You want to complain to me, right? Fine, I'll listen.

I also have complaints against you."

My vision flickers.

Even as I speak, I feel sick, as if in another dimension.

"The forest outside the city... I see, the Einzbern castle is there.

There certainly should be no interruptions there.

―――Hah, that is good determination, Emiya Shirou."

"...Shut up. But..."

I don't want to hear meaningless things.

If I do hear them, I won't be able to hold this nausea in and I might vomit out my organs.

"―――Do something to Tohsaka before then.

And I'll kill you with Saber for sure."

I make this oath.

I violently scratch my forehead, tearing off the skin in an attempt to silence my headache.

"All right. I shall guarantee a day of her safety in deference to the specification of the place.

―――But hurry. I don't have time, as I have no Master. My body should not last two more days.

I might kill my hostage out of anger if I cannot kill you in that time."

...Leaving an annoying laugh, Archer disappears.


I slump to the floor, unable to keep my eyes on him.

"Shirou...! It is too early for you to use the same projection as Archer...!"

An arm comes and supports me as I start to fall.

"......I'm sorry, Saber. He got Tohsaka."

I suppress my headache and manage to get up.

"Shirou... that is fine. Rin is safe. Archer should not do anything to Rin.

You are in more of a danger right now. You should leave Rin to me and rest at your place."

"......No. I don't have such time..."

I try to finish, but I start to faint.


I can't even complain, huh?

"I will listen to you later. I will take you to your house for now. That is fine, right?"


...I don't even get to object.

Saber supports me and starts to walk to the stairs.

Scene 04

"Shirou. Are your wounds all right?"

"Huh――――? Oh, yeah, it's fine. I feel good, and I can still use my circuits."

"...I see. That is good."

Apparently having run out of things to talk about, Saber awkwardly ends the conversation.


We've been like this for an hour since we came home.

We don't have the composure to be celebrating Tohsaka's safety, nor did we celebrate our reunion.

The situation isn't good at all.

The last Servant, Gilgamesh.

As long as he has the Holy Grail, we have to fight him.

...We don't have any plans to beat him. The more we think about it, the more we realize it's hopeless.

It's only natural for us to grow quiet.


But I don't think that's the only reason we're quiet.

...This is probably the end.

This will be the last time we will go into battle like this.

No matter what the results may be, what awaits us does not change.

The Holy Grail War will end.

After that―――the three of us won't be able to talk like this.

Looking back, it was only a course of about ten days.

I never had time to think back about what happened the day before, and I was too busy with all the events that came up one after another.

...But they weren't just painful events.

Looking back at it, these past ten days are precious memories that can't be replaced.


That's why we're keeping our mouths shut.

We don't want to admit the obvious truth.

The decision should be clear to all of us already.

We can't say it because we don't want to end it like this.

"―――Then I'll say it.

I'm going to avenge Archer. He betrayed me and he was a twisted guy, but he's Shirou."

Tohsaka has made up her mind.

She says that she will fight Gilgamesh.

She clearly states that she will end this fight.

"How about you, Shirou? I'll have Saber come with me no matter what, but I can't force you to fight since you're not a Master.

It seems that goldie really hates you, so I think he'll go after you first if we fight him."

Maybe Tohsaka's trying to be considerate by offering me an escape.

But I'm already determined.

I can't let Gilgamesh be.

I intuitively know that the Holy Grail shouldn't exist.

But there's a bigger reason for me not to back out of this.

――――You defeat him.

He left those words and let me survive instead of him.

...The man who only denied Emiya Shirou.

As I have made him admit his defeat, my path is determined.

"―――I'm going to defeat him. I chose to fight. He'll complain to me unless I keep my word until the very end."

"...I see. I won't stop you if that's what you decided."

"Yeah. And I can't just ignore the Holy Grail.

If the Holy Grail is what he says it is, we have to destroy it. We'll completely destroy it so something like this will never happen again."


Saber has fought with the objective of obtaining the Holy Grail.

Her hesitation and reluctance aren't easily overcome. But still...

"―――I understand.

If the Holy Grail is what Gilgamesh says it is, it should not exist in this world."

She kills her wish and assents.

"―――――All right!"

I get up and head to the kitchen.

I put on the apron.

I tie it behind my back and roll up my sleeves.


"W-What? Did you come up with a good idea?"

"Huh? No, I'm just going to make something. You two are hungry, right?"

I ignore the astonished party and start preparing dinner.

"It's all decided. Now, we just need to act like always.

We'll eat dinner together and go beat him after that."

I take out a bowl and a frying pan.

I'll use everything I have in the refrigerator.

I'll forget about everything tonight. I'll make a delicious feast.

"―――You are right. Let us eat dinner like always. That suits us."

"Yeah. Then I guess I'll help as well. Oh, Saber. Can you go prepare the bath?"

The serious atmosphere disappears like that.

The living room suddenly becomes more lively.

This will be the last night with the three of us.

We're doing our best to keep it like always and to have a good dinner.


After eating dinner consisting of Western, Chinese, and Japanese food, we start the customary strategy meeting.

"So you are saying the Holy Grail is at the Ryuudou Temple?"

"Yup. I guessed that the Ryuudou Temple would be the summoning spot this time. I was using a familiar to spy on that place, but it was eliminated just a bit earlier. I'm sure that the goldie is there."

"...Ryuudou Temple... That is troublesome.

We can only enter that mountain through the front gate. Gilgamesh should be waiting for us there."

"Yeah. But on the other hand, it's easier on us because we know where he is.

He's troublesome, but stopping the summoning of the Holy Grail takes priority.

It would be ideal if we can destroy the Holy Grail while Saber keeps him busy."

"Hold on. Isn't Saber the only one who can destroy the Holy Grail? We can't touch it, right?"

"Right. We can't destroy the summoned Holy Grail. But we can destroy the vessel before it's summoned.

To be more precise, we're stopping the Holy Grail before it's activated."

"Hm? What do you mean by stopping the Holy Grail?"

"...I really don't want to think about it, but from what I heard, the Holy Grail is Illyasviel's heart, right?

But I think the Holy Grail is a set with Illyasviel's body, her Magic Circuit.

He didn't want Illyasviel to be the Holy Grail, so he pulled out the core of it, her heart."


He has to implant the heart into a magus's body to activate it as the Holy Grail. There are only two remaining Masters: me, and one other.

Since I'm here, the one he will choose to be the foundation of the Holy Grail is――――"

"Shinji...!? But Shinji, um..."

"Doesn't have a Magic Circuit, right? ...I bet he doesn't care.

He wants to make an incomplete Holy Grail, so I'm sure he'll implant it into an incomplete Master."

"...Even if its bloodline is extinct, the Matou family has hereditary traces of magecraft-Circuits.

Even a closed circuit will be forced to open if something like a nuclear fusion reactor is implanted into him."


...Then that would mean we'll have to detach the Holy Grail from Shinji, huh?

I don't know what it means to be the Holy Grail's foundation, but, if possible, we'll have to stop it.

"But I do not think Gilgamesh will allow that.

Does it not mean that stopping the Holy Grail is to defeat Gilgamesh?"

"...Yeah. It's obvious that he's protecting the Holy Grail, so we have to do something about him first."

"Yeah. I think he's waiting for us at the mountain gate. The only route we have is the mountain gate because our greatest force, Saber, can only enter through there.


"...I see.

I will rush the mountain gate by myself.

Rin and Shirou will sneak into the Ryuudou Temple from the back while I do so.

The boundary field on the Ryuudou Temple is meaningless for you two."

"Exactly. ...You will need to give your absolute best, but just keep him busy. We'll come help you as soon as we stop the Holy Grail."

"―――Hold on. That's reckless. Saber won't be a match for him.

She can't keep him busy."

"Huh? What? You seem to think pretty highly of him, Shirou."

"True. He is a strong enemy, but I will not lose easily if I go into defense.

Please tell me what that opinion is based on."

"Oh, that's not what I meant. From what I see, Saber's stronger than him.

I'm sure of it. I'll bet on it too."

"...? Then why are you saying that?"

"You can't beat him as long as you're a heroic spirit.

...Yeah, Saber won't lose if he only had the same Noble Phantasm as Saber. We don't even need to compare the two's skills as swordsmen."

"But his power isn't power as an 'individual'. A soldier can't beat war itself no matter how strong he is, right?

He's a heroic spirit of that kind. You'll be defeated unless you're a 'war' just like him."

"......? ...So you are telling me that my attributes are not fit to fight him?"

"Yeah. Tohsaka, we can't let Saber fight him without a plan. There's no way she can win unless we have some sort of a countermeasure."

"Hey... I know that already.

That's why we're going to think about it now."

"Hm. Then you have a plan, Rin?"

"Hey now. I won't conveniently come up with an idea in a flash.

His Noble Phantasm is a war, like Shirou said.

The outcome of a war is decided by how much force you have, right? It's not how well you can handle the weapon. It's how much force you can prepare――――"

"......? What's wrong, Tohsaka? Why did you shut up all of a sudden?"

"...I see. That's why he treated you like an enemy. Since the heroic spirit doesn't have his own Noble Phantasm, there is no original. Oh... wait. That means..."

"...Rin? What is wrong? Why are you behind me?"

"I-It's nothing...! I'm going to think, so just talk it over with just the two of you...!"


Saber and I look at each other.

...Well, I'll leave her alone if she has an idea.

"...Then I should avoid fighting Archer one-on-one, correct?

But I have backup from Rin.

I can use my Noble Phantasm with her support. I believe there is a chance of beating him before he can use his Noble Phantasm."

"Your Noble Phantasm...? Not Invisible Air?"

"No. Invisible Air is only a sheath.

I can use my holy sword if Rin allows it.

This is the sword that previously destroyed the Holy Grail.

"―――I see. Then it'll all be up to Tohsaka?"

"Yes. There will be a big burden on me as well as Rin if I use it. I will probably use up most of her magical energy."

"Did you hear that, Tohsaka? How much magical energy can you spare?"

"M-Magical energy I can spare? How do you know what I'm thinking about...!?"


"...N-No, it's nothing. I told you to leave me alone. I know about Saber's Noble Phantasm.

She should be able to use it twice with our magical energy.

We're going to use it once against the Holy Grail, so you can only use it once against Gilgamesh."

"...I see. Um, Saber. That's what Tohsaka's saying, so what do you think?"

"...I do not know. If Archer has every existing Noble Phantasm, he should have one that can equal mine. After that, it depends on whose is stronger."

"...I see. So it's going to end up being a fight between the Noble Phantasms, huh?"

...Then Gilgamesh is likely to win.

I can't let Saber fight such a hopeless battle―――

Man, I can't think!

She's been acting strange.

Why does she keep on looking at me like that?

"Hey, Tohsaka. Come out with it if you want to say something. You have an idea, right?"

"――――I-I don't have an idea! I can't say such a thing here, you idiot!"

She yells at me and looks away awkwardly.


"No, it's nothing. She's acting weird, so let's ignore her and keep planning."

We continue with the strategy meeting with just the two of us.

...But as our "brain", Tohsaka, won't talk, we can't come up with anything.

"――――We can go with the previous plan if you guys can't come up with anything.

We'll head out before dawn. Everybody is to rest until then."

Our course of action is decided by Tohsaka.

――――Some time passed after that.

It's almost midnight.


Tohsaka told me I should take a nap, but I can't sleep in a situation like this.

We're going to settle our score with that Servant in a few hours.

Since we are heading out before dawn, everything should be over by the time the sun rises.


I can't just lay here and not do anything.


Scene 05

"―――Yeah. I can't sleep in this situation."

A plan against Gilgamesh.

If we are to fight that cold-hearted enemy, I'll have to come up with some plan.

Someone will die if we head to the Ryuudou Temple as we are now.

Compared to that, thinking until the very last minute is nothing.

"Are you awake, Tohsaka?"

I knock on her door.

"......! H-Hold on! Don't come in!"


I thought Tohsaka would be sleeping, but I guess she's still awake.

More importantly, she's in a panic.

After a few minutes of rustling sounds...

She must have calmed down.

After taking a breath I can hear even outside, Tohsaka opens the door.

"So, what?"

Tohsaka glares at me as soon as she sees me.

"Well. I want to continue our conversation from earlier. I want to keep talking about how to fight Gilgamesh."



Why are you glaring at me?

"Tohsaka. Are you in a bad mood?"

I ask the obvious.


That's the obvious response she's going to give, but I have to ask.


"...No. That's not true."

She gives a strange response.

"Tohsaka. Are you sick or something?"

"No! ...Geez, just sit down!

I'm going to give you a plan to beat Gilgamesh since you can't come up with any!"

Tohsaka pulls me inside, locks the door, and walks to the back of the room.


I move to the center of the room for now.

I sit down on the cushion and face Tohsaka, who is sitting in a chair.



And an awkward silence follows.

Tohsaka is silent even though she's the one with the plan.

"Tohsaka. About Gilgamesh..."

"...I know. You don't want Saber fighting him, right? You're especially kind to her."

"Hey, that's not the point here.

I'm saying that we should switch the roles since Saber won't fare well against Gilgamesh. If Saber is defeated, you'll be his next target."

"......Humph. You say switch roles, so what are you thinking?

I'm going to pass. That goldie used his riches to collect all the magecraft-resistant equipment in the world.

I'll do much worse than Saber. That should be the same for you as well, right?"


That's... true, but...

...I can't get those eyes out of my head.

Archer definitely told me this.

That the golden Servant...

That only Emiya Shirou can match Gilgamesh.

Scene 06

I'll go talk to Saber.

...Even if we're able to defeat Gilgamesh, Saber will leave once the war ends.

Saber will destroy the Holy Grail herself and be relieved of her duty as a Servant.

I won't be able to see her ever again.

...A last conversation.

I want to save something between us before we go into our final battle.

"Shirou? Why are you here?"

"Oh, I just felt like coming to see you. Oh, am I a bother? Were you meditating in preparation for the battle?"

"Eh―――n-no. That is not true.

I am happy since I wanted to see you as well, but... Um, I thought you went to Rin's room."

"...? Why would I go to Tohsaka's room? She didn't call for me."

"Y-You are right. Please do not worry about it since it was just my imagination.

I-I thought that would be for the better, but I guess that was my concern."


Saber is acting even weirder.

...I don't know why, but I guess she'll blush even more if I let her be.

"What's wrong, Saber? You're acting weird.

Did something happen?"

"I-I am not acting weird! I am merely resting in preparation for the battle.

But what about you, Shirou? I thought you were going to sleep so that you can go to the Ryuudou Temple in perfect condition."


If she asks me like that, I can't tell her it's because I wanted to see her face.

I can't tell her, so...

"...Hm, I couldn't sleep either. I just thought I'd drink tea with you since I'm awake.

I think Tohsaka's busy, you know?"

I come up with an excuse on a whim.

"Tea...? Even though we will be fighting the king of heroes in a few hours?"

"Yeah. We can't rest because we're so tensed up, right?

Then have tea with me. I'll make you the best tea."

I invite Saber by force.

My face is all red and it's embarrassing, but I want to drink tea with Saber.

"Yes. It will be my pleasure to have tea with you, Shirou."

Saber nods kindly.

―――If it's decided, I should hurry up.

I'll go to the kitchen, brew the Chinese tea I bought for a special occasion, and I'll treat Saber―――


We didn't do anything but drink the tea.

We didn't talk, not even a single word.

We just absent-mindedly stared at the dojo.

We watched the wooden floor we used to train on.

"Shirou. Please go see Rin. Knowing her, I am sure she has her new idea thought out."

"Oh, really? I guess I'll go if you say so."

I get up and leave the dojo.

"I shall see you later, Shirou."

"Yeah. I'm gonna go check on your foul-tempered Master."

I leave the dojo while Saber sees me off.

―――That ends our final time together.

I didn't leave anything definite.

I couldn't make any sure promise, no sensations I would be able to recall, no proof at all of Saber's existence.

...But I think this is right.

What's left are memories that fade away.

So I'll cherish this trifling event and hold it strong in my heart.

"Hey. Are you awake, Tohsaka?"

I knock on the door.

"...I'm awake. Don't you have to sleep? I thought you were talking to Saber in the dojo until a minute ago."

"Oh, were you watching?

...I see, you can see the dojo from your room.

You should've come, Tohsaka. It would've been better to have tea with the three of us."

"............That's fine.

............That's not fine at all.

Well, come on in. I was about to go talk to you anyways."

Hmm. Those are surprisingly biting words.

"...All right. Excuse me."

I tilt my head in wonder as I enter her room.

"I guess you're pretty calm. What were you doing with Saber?"


Tohsaka glares at me the instant I see her.

"Oh. I was only drinking tea with her.

We can't be training when we're going to be fighting soon. I can't use up extra energy."

"Extra energy――――y-you're right. We can't be using extra energy."


Why did she become so quiet?

"...Tohsaka. Are you in a bad mood?"

I ask the obvious.


That's the obvious response she's going to give, but I have to ask.


"...No. That's not true."

She gives a strange response.

"Tohsaka. Are you sick or something?"

"No! ...Geez, just sit down!

I'm going to give you a plan to beat Gilgamesh since you can't come up with any!"

Tohsaka pulls me inside, locks the door, and walks to the back of the room.


I move to the center of the room for now.

I sit down on the cushion and face Tohsaka, who is sitting in a chair.



And an awkward silence follows.

"Tohsaka. About Gilgamesh..."

"...I know. You don't want Saber fighting him, right? You're especially kind to her."

"Hey, that's not the point here.

I'm saying that we should switch the roles since Saber won't fare well against Gilgamesh. If Saber is defeated, you'll be his next target."

"......Humph. You say switch roles, so what are you thinking?

I'm going to pass. That goldie used his riches to collect all the magecraft-resistant equipment in the world. I'll do much worse than Saber. That should be the same for you as well, right?"


That's... true, but...

...I can't get those eyes out of my head.

Archer definitely told me this.

That the golden Servant...

That only Emiya Shirou can match Gilgamesh.

Scene 07

...I'll think by myself for while.

I still have time.

I might come up with that Servant's weakness if I recall everything that happened during this Holy Grail War――――


I jump up.

"......I can't believe it. I fell asleep."

I probably fell asleep because I could not think of anything.

I fell asleep, and before I noticed――――

"......Oh. Good, it's not even one o'clock yet. I only slept for about half an hour."

I couldn't imagine my embarrassment if Tohsaka had to come wake me up after I'd slept all night.

"That was close... I can't let Tohsaka see me like thi――――"

"......Shirou, are you awake?"


I get up, suppressing my pounding heartbeat.

"I-I'm awake! I'm totally awake!"

I reply while trying to make myself look straight.

"I see. Then can you come to my room? I have something important to talk about."


Tohsaka goes back to her room without noticing how sleepy I sound.


I don't get it, but I should go see her if she has something to talk about.

"Excuse me. So, what do you want to talk about?"


What's going on?

Tohsaka glares at me the instant I see her.

"Tohsaka. Are you in a bad mood?"

I ask the obvious.


That's the obvious response she's going to give, but I have to ask.


"...No. That's not true."

She gives a strange response.

"Tohsaka. Are you sick or something?"

"No! ...Geez, just sit down!

I'm going to give you a plan to beat Gilgamesh since you can't come up with any!"

Tohsaka pulls me inside, locks the door, and walks to the back of the room.


I move to the center of the room for now.

I sit down on the cushion and face Tohsaka, who is sitting in a chair.



And an awkward silence follows.

"Tohsaka. About Gilgamesh..."

"...I know. You don't want Saber fighting him, right? You're especially kind to her."

"Hey, that's not the point here.

I'm saying that we should switch the roles since Saber won't fare well against Gilgamesh. If Saber is defeated, you'll be his next target."

"......Humph. You say switch roles, so what are you thinking?

I'm going to pass. That goldie used his riches to collect all the magecraft-resistant equipment in the world.

I'll do much worse than Saber. That should be the same for you as well, right?"


That's... true, but...

...I can't get those eyes out of my head.

Archer definitely told me this.

That the golden Servant...

That only Emiya Shirou can match Gilgamesh.

Scene 08

"...Tohsaka. Don't get mad and hear me out.

I'm going to fight..."

"You're going to fight him, right?

...Oh, so you realized it too, huh? Gilgamesh's natural enemy is Archer's magecraft."


I open my mouth in surprise.

"Huh? ...You said you're going to fight him when you haven't realized that?"

"Uh―――I didn't have any proof, but I thought that I might have the best luck against him."

".....Oh. I don't know who told you that, but you're right.

What makes Gilgamesh so strong is the number of Noble Phantasms he has. But to put it another way, one can match him if one has the same number of Noble Phantasms."

"――――The same number of Noble Phantasms..."

It means I need to reproduce all the Noble Phantasms he takes out.

"...That's right. He was calling you guys fakers. That's probably because he saw you two as a threat. Heroic spirit Emiya would be a complete match for him."


That's true, but...

"...But that's impossible.

I can barely manage to project one of Archer's swords.

I can't keep up with his Noble Phantasms, and I don't have enough magical energy to do so."

"That's if your magecraft is just like it was until now.

But you remember what Archer's Noble Phantasm was, right?

You can match Gilgamesh if you can use that magecraft―――that Reality Marble."

Tohsaka stares at me.

But I can't live up to her expectation.

"That's impossible. The Reality Marble is the ultimate forbidden magecraft. I don't know how to use it, and Archer used magical energy several times my capacity to create that world. That's totally impossible."

"...Yeah. I know it's impossible.

But you should know how to use it because all your magecraft is rooted in that.

'Strengthening' and 'projection' both stem from your Reality Marble.

I'm sure it'll be a piece of cake once you have the necessary magical energy."


She's talking about impossible things.

I have no way to do it, so this is more impossible than for me to go to the moon.

"......Okay. Let's say that's the case. But it's still impossible. I don't have the magical energy to set up the boundary field or maintain it.

He must have trained his Magic Circuit for a long time, but I don't have the magical energy――――"

"I know.

So, um... See, Gilgamesh said it too, right? Magi take it from somewhere else if they can't supply it themselves."

She murmurs.

"...? He did say something like that, but what about it?"

"Geez! ...So, um, I have to do something about the insufficient part."

Tohsaka blushes furiously, her voice trailing off to a whisper.


I know.

I'm a magus, even if I may be an amateur.

I know what Tohsaka just said.

"T――――Tohsaka, that's..."

"...There are only a few ways for magi to tune in, right? We're of the opposite sex and we don't have time, so it's the most efficient way since it's like a contract..."


I'm going to have sex with Tohsaka to connect with her so that I can use her magical energy.

"...Ah, uh?"

My head explodes.

My memory of the past few days gets blown away once I think about what Tohsaka said.

――――It's Tohsaka we're talking about.

She's a female student I admired, recently got close to, realized her honor student appearance is fake, got attracted to her even more anyway, and my heart won't stop beating rapidly when I'm near her... So why did it turn out like this?

"...What? We're just going to be having sex. I think it's much easier than fighting with your life on the line."




That's strange. That's weird. You skipped too much. H-Heh, you won't trick me this time. You already made too much fun of me. I won't be fooled so easily!"

Tohsaka is staring at me.

Her gesture is more convincing than any words.

"Ah, guh――――――――"

My boiling head is heated up even more.

Tohsaka's gesture is so unfair that it deserves dozens of yellow cards in soccer.

"Guh――――hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on......!

Why does it have to be that!? It's sex we're talking about! We're making love, we're making babies, and we're going to be embracing each other naked!? You can't do that with me!"

I blurt out with a broken head.

My hands are sweating and my vision blurs.

But still...

Even though that's what I'm saying, my body is going against my will.

I've been trying so hard not to notice, but I can't get my eyes off of Tohsaka.

Like her soft-looking breasts.

Like her long, smooth, black hair.

Like her shoulders that look slender and soft.

Like her gorgeous thighs coming out from under her skirt.

I'm fascinated by all of her feminine parts――――


She looks at me.


...I know.

We should do this if it'll help us match Gilgamesh and keep Saber out of danger.

We're magi, so we shouldn't have to think twice about doing this to win.



I gulp.

I frantically restrain myself with my reasoning.

But still...

"......You don't want to do it with me, Shirou?"

Wait, why are you asking such an impossible thing, you idiot...!?

"That's not true...! There's no way I wouldn't want to do it with you!"

As I speak, I realize my own stupidity.

Tohsaka has to be embarrassed as well.

But she suppressed it to bring up the idea.

That's enough to kill me, so why am I making her say such a thing?


I take a deep breath.

I have to be calm.

If this is the last thing we can do, I have to prepare myself.

"――――I'm sorry. Let us do so if you'll let me.

I shouldn't have panicked if that's the only way that'll let us beat him."

I stare back at Tohsaka, mustering all the courage I have.

"...I'm the one who should apologize. I didn't think you would dislike it so much.

...I should have explained to you in detail."

Tohsaka looks down awkwardly.

With that...

"―――――No. It's not that I didn't want to."

I correct her even though I'm cornered.


"I'm saying you're wrong. I like you and it's not that I don't want to. I can't breathe because I'm so happy. This is like a dream come true."


"But―――that's exactly why I didn't want this to be for something like a contract."

My face is burning.

My face is burning hot, but I manage to say it.

"...Um, that's..."

"Yeah. I wanted to do it with you with nothing else in the way. So I thought this was unfair."

I said it.

I said it with a boiling head.

I can't think straight, but I'm telling the girl in front of me how I feel.


...Her stare is hurting me.


It gets awkward, so I look away from Tohsaka and scratch my cheek.



Something suddenly touches my lips.

"Heehee. I just kissed you."

"......!!!? T-T-Tohsaka...!?"

I quickly pull back.

I must have acted funny, because the one who kissed me...

"―――Okay. Then let's do it with nothing else in the way."

...Speaks with a smile that rattles my brain―――

Scene 09

"What is that――――?"

The first thing Saber sees after getting to the lake is a giant mountain of meat.

She is not a normal knight.

She fought many monsters back when she was called a hero.

She has even fought "dragons", considered the strongest of the fantasy races.

But even Saber falters against the mountain of meat.

It is not because of its ugliness.

It is because she can tell that the lump of meat and the curse flowing out of it are the same as her.

"A Servant―――can a Servant turn out to be that different if the summoning is done in the wrong way?"

Or is that the power of the Holy Grail?

She stares at it and shakes her head.

"Rin...! Where are you, Rin...!?"

She runs to the lake and yells to the other side.

She is hesitant to enter the black mud.

It is not because it would be unpleasant.

Her instincts tell her that as a half-spirit, she cannot touch it.


She hears a voice.

It is weak, but she hears her Master.

She looks at the mountain of meat and――――


She steps forward without hesitation.

'―――Hold on...! No, don't come in, Saber...!'


Saber stops.

She stops her feet and glares at the mountain of meat while holding up her sword.

"But Rin...!"

'Just don't...! You'll turn into this if you touch the mud. Please stay there and get ready to use your Noble Phantasm. This thing will explode soon. Use your Noble Phantasm on this before that...!'

Saber cannot nod to her master's words.

...She can tell that the lump of meat is about to hatch.

The squirms are turning into throbs and the mud is spreading ever further.

The lake has turned black, and the mud is spilling onto the ground.

...That thing is growing.

The world's restraining power will be activated if that thing is left alone.

It is natural for her to destroy it with her holy sword.

But to do that―――

"Please get out, Rin...! I can do it once you get out―――!"

'...Yeah. All right, I'll leave it to you. But go ahead and use it if I don't make it out on time.

...The contract between us will go away, but you should be fine if Shirou is alive.'

"Do not say such a thing...! I do not care. I can handle this curse――――"

Saber runs to the black mud so she can get to that lump of meat.

But her body does not move.

Her body stops when she tries to go near the lake.

"Rin, did you use the Command Spell――――?"

'...Of course. I can't let the only one who can destroy the Holy Grail die.

I told you it's all good. I'll easily get out from here. You can rest assured and stand by with your Noble Phantasm.'

She sounds calm and composed, like always.


But it does not need to be said that it is just a bluff.

―――The island of meat on the other side...

There is nowhere for her Master to run.

"―――Yeah, right. Well, talk is cheap."

She murmurs while being surrounded by arms made out of the meat.

―――The situation is hopeless.

Matou Shinji was saved.

...She ripped off the blood vessels and nerves connected to the meat to let Shinji out.

One can say he's "alive", ignoring all the after-effects he may have.

No, he looks like he is just unconscious, so one could say that he is healthier than the girl carrying him.

"...The problem is after that. I guess it would be desperate if it gets its heart taken away. Will it let me go if I give Shinji back?"

She slowly moves while she stares at the numerous tentacles.

But there is no exit.

The tentacles are blocking the way out to the lake.

Even if she escapes the tentacles trying to swallow her, she will not be able to get past that wall.

"......Crap, my powers..."

She almost falls along with Shinji, but she desperately keeps herself up.

She went through the cursed sea and even performed neurosurgery to separate Matou Shinji from the mountain of meat.

She went as far as using her reserve magical energy that she hadn't used for ages, but――――

"...Guh... That idiot. He took too much of my magical energy without any reserve. ...I'm all empty now thanks to him..."

She bears the dizziness as she complains.

But she's not serious.

And it wouldn't matter even if she did have more power.

The tentacles around her are not moving because their target is standing still.

They should react right away once they find out that the thing in their body is poison.

Tohsaka Rin and Matou Shinji are alive because they do not have magical energy to be consumed.

"......! ...But I guess this is it... It's getting hard for me to stay standing――――"

Her vision becomes hazy.

Even though she has a foothold, she is still on the mud.

Her nerves are getting further infiltrated with each passing second.

She will become the new core of the Holy Grail if she falls down onto the meat.

――――But before that...

"...I'm sorry, Saber. You probably won't obey me, so I'll force you to do it."

She has one more Command Spell.

That's enough for her to order Saber to use her holy sword.

"......And I have to apologize to you too.

I couldn't... save... Shinji――――"

'Just run. I do not want to hear such whining.'


She stops her collapsing body.

That voice.

The voice coming into her head is definitely that of the Servant she has made a contract with.


There's no time to waste.

She knows his personality all too well.

He told her to run, so he must have done something that she won't escape unless she does as she's told―――!


She runs.

The arrows coming down from the sky are literally a heavy rain.

They destroys the tentacles, the ground, and everything in her path――――!

"Ah, ku――――!"

There is no time to turn back.

She runs full-speed while carrying Shinji.


She jumps into the lake.

The arrows have swept the black mud away to make her an escape route.

It is only for a short while, but there is only dirty water between her and the opposite shore.

"Hah, hah――――!"

She runs across the lake while carrying Matou Shinji.

She runs with all her might, mud splashing around her.

"Please, Saber...!"

Her magical energy replies to the yelling voice.

There is no need to check.

The golden sword mows down everything in its path with its overwhelming power.

The mountain of meat is cut in half and breaks down.

The black mud evaporates, and the light turns the lake into a flat field.

Scene 10


It is a waterfall of light that eliminates everything.

She looks for it inside the light.

The red cloak...

The knight that she first made a contract with, who came back to fulfill his role.

Scene 11


It is a waterfall of light that eliminates everything.

Bathed in the light, the swordsman accepts that her battle has ended.

"―――This is the end. My battle is over."

Who did she say that to?

The wielder of the holy sword is on her knees and watches the light with a flood of emotions.

―――The Holy Grail is breaking down.

The thing she sought, the thing that should have saved her.

She destroyed it with her own hands and finally realized her mistake.

One boy and one hero.

The man that got twisted at the end of his ideal was still a boy.

His regrets are so heavy that they cannot all be carried.

His crimes are so deep that they cannot be atoned for.

But there was something he did not give up on.

The knight in red finally arrived at an answer at the very end.

Then―――she has to move forward as well.

The end where she took her hands off of the sword.

She will run past that hill under her own will.

"―――The contract is complete. You are victorious, Rin."

The holy sword fades away.

She still has some magical energy left.

She can stay in this world if she pushes herself.

If she can―――she would like to see what awaits them in the end.

"―――But that is not my role. Shirou has Rin."

Her body continues to disappear and the knight vanishes from this world as if engulfed by the light.

Like a brave gust of wind.

The king that sought the Holy Grail sets off for the hill of destiny without leaving a trail of memories behind.

Scene 12


I oppose the longsword with a longsword.

The swords break each other and the shards are sent flying.

"Damn, do not――――"

A curved sword appears behind him.

"...Overestimate yourself, kid――――!"

But I pull out the curved sword by my feet faster than him.

And I swing it straight at him―――!


Gilgamesh retreats.

I close the distance at once, pull out a sword, and slash at him.

"Guh, why...!

Why am I losing to a lowlife's sword...!?"

I crash my swords against the appearing Noble Phantasms.

"Haa――――Haa, haa, haa, ha――――!"

I'm not thinking.

My body and mind will fail if I stop.

That's why I will keep moving forward.

The instant I see his Noble Phantasm, I reel in the exact same one and swing it with all my might――――!

"Impossible―――am I being cornered by such a sham...!?"

"Fuh, hah――――!"

The sounds of swords crashing echo through the area.

He cannot handle my attacks and has to destroy my weapon with his.

―――That will be the cause of his defeat.

He is the greatest heroic spirit, as he has over a thousand Noble Phantasms at his leisure.

But he is only an "owner".

He does not have one weapon, so he is not a "wielder" who can use his weapon to its maximum potential.

Even in this world, I am no match against any other Servants.

I cannot match the ultimate one even with infinite swords.

Gilgamesh must have the ability, but I do not.

Therefore―――this is the only Servant I can match.

As we have the same ability, as we are both "owners", I am always one step ahead of him since my swords are there, ready to be used...!

"Damn――――Damn, damndamndamndamn...!!! I did not think I would have to use my sword against a lowlife like you...!"

Gilgamesh raises his hand.

The sword appearing behind him is the demonic sword, the only sword that does not exist in this world――――!

"I won't let you――――!"


I swing my twin swords.

The Kanshou and Bakuya I reel in slice off Gilgamesh's arm that tries to reach for his sword――――!


The weapons stop.

His arm and sword fall to the ground, leaving him defenseless.


My body acts before I can think.

Confident in my victory, my limbs move to slash the king of heroes――――


He jumps back.

Barely avoiding the twin swords, Gilgamesh retreats still further.

"Kuh―――you are stronger than me here...!"

Gilgamesh admits his defeat and tries to retreat.

"I won't let――――"

I won't let him escape.

I'll lose if he regains his composure. I have to settle the match right here――――!

"...You go, dammit――――!"


He must have realized he will not be able to escape, as he pulls out a Noble Phantasm from behind him.

But I'm faster.

I'll surely――――




Our voices overlap.

The change happens in an instant.

The light coming from the lake eliminates the hill of swords.

A great magical energy has smashed away the already-disappearing Reality Marble.

――――That's fine.

The match is settled.

I can beat this Servant by slashing him with my twin swords.

But after the Reality Marble is blown away...

A black void.

A void big enough to swallow a human being.

It appears before me――――right on Gilgamesh.


Gilgamesh looks down at his body in astonishment.

...His body is being swallowed.

The golden Servant is swallowed by the void appearing on his body.


Did he want to say "wait"?

The void mercilessly swallows the Servant.

...There was no way for him to escape.

The void was open on his body.

There is no way one can escape something that is on their body.

"――――What was that...?"

I stand there, dumbfounded.

The void in front of me is shrinking.

...I don't know what this is.

But it seems Tohsaka and Saber were able to destroy the Holy Grail.

My only guess is that the aftereffect created the black void to eliminate Gilgamesh.

"......Phew. Anyway, now..."

Everything is over.

My twin swords disappear.

The magical energy in me fades away.


And at the same time, fatigue assails me.

"...Damn. This is bad, I can't walk."

I want to go see how Tohsaka's doing, but my body will not move.

...Well, I'm sure she'll be all right since Saber went to go save her.

"――――Right. I guess..."

I can rest a bit.

And after I take a deep breath...


A chain wraps around my arm.


I gasp.

The chain drags my body towards the void.

"Ah, kuh...!"

I put power into my body, but I can't resist.

My feet slide across the ground towards the void...!

"Ku――――fool. Does it not know Servants cannot become the core......!?"


He's appearing from the void.

But―――his body has melted here and there.

So that void must melt everything it swallows......!

"Guh, damn...!"

I try to get the chain off of me, but it doesn't even budge.

This chain even restrained Berserker. It's not something I can pry off...!

"Ah, guh――――"

I'm being pulled towards it...!

I'll be swallowed like him if I go near that void...!

"Damn, are you trying to take me with you...!"

"Hah, I have no intention of dying...!!

Stay right there until I pull myself out, you lowlife!"


He's arrogant even in this situation...!


But what can I do?

I can't get this chain off of me.

I'll be swallowed into that void along with him.

Even if I hold my ground, he'll pull himself out.

It means I'm going to die either way――――

Scene 13

―――If I'm going to die either way, I can't let him escape...!

"No way――――"

I wrap the chain further around my arm.

I grab onto the chain so that it won't let me go.

"――――Don't come out into this world again...!"

I don't resist the pull and throw my body into the void.

"Fool―――are you insane......!!!!?"

I roll down.

I fall into the eternal darkness while my body is being melted away.

A black mud that melts my skin, shaves off my flesh, and removes my bones.

My body is taken away and the soul called Emiya Shirou falls into the darkness.

Is it because the fall was so long?

I feel like I'm going up after a while, and...

I'm swallowed by a big, grail-like sun.

Scene 14

"......! Haa――――"

I feel dizzy.

I can't brace myself anymore.

...I'll die.

I can't endure it at the very end.

Should I loosen up since I can't brace myself?

If I do so, I should be able to push him back into the void――――

"―――Don't take me so lightly...! I won't let you take me with you...!"

I gather my courage.

Will my arm rip off first, will his chain rip off first, or will he come out first?

I don't care either way. I'll fight until the very end and die gallantly...!

"...Heh. You can do that if you wish, but dodge to your right before you do that."


I turn around instantly.

I look back at the compound which has turned into a flat field.

――――At the same time, something passes by me.


...The chain is released.

Looking like he saw something unexpected, Gilgamesh lets go of the chain.


I fall on my butt.

I sit there dumbfounded, and the void shrinks and disappears in front of me.

"That... was――――"

I can't stand up, and just look behind me to the flat field.

――――Dawn is near.

The one with the rising sun behind him is the knight in red.


I complain without thinking.

But I'm smiling happily for some reason.

"――――Heh. Well..."

I have nothing to say to him. I guess I'll stay quiet so I can sleep.

A golden field that is now deserted.

Seeing the knight standing there and Tohsaka running to him, I lay on the ground.

Tohsaka should say everything I want to say to him.

―――So I'll sleep for now.

We'll end up fighting if we see each other again, and I'm not used to parting with myself.

...And for the final time...

I engrave my ideal into my mind so that I won't forget it, and I close my eyes.

The land below him is like a wasteland he once walked on.

There is nothing here.

There is nothing, as everything was blown away from the mountaintop.

――――The battle has ended.

The battle for the Holy Grail has ended, and the curtain is about to fall on his battle as well.

He does not know how long it was.

But the accumulated wish that should have bound him forever is gone now.

The end quickly permeates into him and takes away his body's form.


He looks towards the voice.

She should not have the energy to run, but she is running with ragged breathing.

He watches it in silence.

"Haa, haa, haa, ha......!"

The girl that ran up to him looks up at the knight.

―――The red cloak fluttering in the wind shows no trace of what it used to be.

The cloak is cut everywhere, and his armor is cracked and torn.

His existence is weak.

Standing there haughtily, the knight begins to disappear from his feet up.

"Ar... cher..."

The rising sun is in the distance.

A golden light is emerging from the horizon.

"Too bad. Well, that's what happened. Give up this Holy Grail, Rin."

He must not have anything special to say.

The knight in red says trivial things.


That gets to her all the more.

The knight who is about to disappear is still acting like before.

He is her partner that she spoke cynically with, ran through the battles with, and trusted her back to.

She can declare that those days were "fun".

――――And it is still there before her eyes.

He has remained in this world to save her at the last moment.

He lost his Master and received the king of heroes' Noble Phantasms.

His body was disappearing, but he did not come to her and ask for help, and he instead watched over this battle.

And the end is in front of her.


The girl cannot think of what to say.

It is always like this for her at the most crucial times.

She loses her cleverness when it counts the most.


The knight smiles a bit.

He knew that from the start.

The clumsiness of the girl is a dear memory for the knight.

"―――W-What? You don't have to laugh at me at a time like this!"

She looks up at the knight.

"Oh, excuse me. It's because you look so terrible.

I was just amazed at how worn-out we are."

He smiles while he talks.


She gets a lump in her throat after seeing his regret-free face.

The instant she wonders if he should really disappear...

"Archer. Form a contract with me again."

She says something she shouldn't.

"I cannot do that. I do not know if you will keep your contract with Saber, but I am not qualified for that.

And I do not have a goal anymore. My battle ends here."

His reply is free of doubt and his will is strong.

His face is as bright as the rising sun, and how can she force him when he's making a face like that?

"......But! But...


'won't be saved'.

The girl swallows her words and hangs her head.

That is not something the girl should say. And it's not something that is solved by keeping the knight in this world.

"―――Man. I do not have any attachment to this world, but..."

It's troubling to have her cry.

For him, the girl always has to be a positive, indulgent realist.

He was always encouraged by her figure.

So he wants her to stay that way until the very end.


The girl looks up at the voice.

Her face looks cute, trying to hold back the tears.

Rather than expressing the attachment he feels, he looks at the boy lying in the distance.

"Please take care of me. I think you know, but I am unreliable.

―――Please support me."

The knight says so as if it's somebody else's business.

Those are words of parting.

...The future might change.

If a girl like her stays with Emiya Shirou, the hero Emiya should not be born.

His words contain such hope.

"―――――――Ar... cher..."

...But even if it ends up that way, the already existing knight will forever be a guardian.

The boy and the man are two different existences.

They only have the same starting point, and he is an ideal that the boy dreamed of.


...There is no salvation available for this knight.

There is nothing to give to him, as he has already died and become a phenomenon.

She nods in spite of that.

She cannot give him anything, so she will give him her best smile.

He asked her to take care of him.

She smiles so that she can answer the trust he put in her.

"Yeah, I know. I'll do my best. I'll do my best so that he won't get twisted like you. I'll do my best so that he will be able to like himself...!

So you should also――――"

―――forgive yourself.

She does not put it into words.

She looks up at the disappearing knight with a flood of emotions.

――――How much salvation did it bring?

After engraving the girl's smile into his memory with pride...

"I found my answer. It's fine, Tohsaka. I'll do my best from now on as well."

A breeze.

The knight has finally rested his wounded body, without waiting for the girl's reply.

"――――Heh. I never got to complain to you."

She wipes away her tears and talks to the one who is not there.

Her voice is clear, and the girl is standing firm again.

It is only natural.

She does not have time to be depressed after he made a face like that.

She says goodbye to the ground that the knight was standing on and runs to the boy laying on the ground.

―――Within the golden sunrise...

The smile he had was like that of the boy.

Scene 17

―――Before that, there's just one more conversation.

Just as they exit the forest, and when the sky is beginning to lighten up...

Before they go to the church, she informs him of the fact she has kept hidden.

"I'll tell you right now. There is only 'one' of the pendant that you gave back to me."

She does not tell him what that means, and he does not inquire about it.

It is because such matters are unnecessary when they are about to face their greatest enemy―――Caster.

The one and only pendant.

The one he found in her room and returned to her.

The one he found on that night and put into his desk.

Now is not the time to ask about the contradiction.

"...That's all that I need to tell you.

The pendant you found in my room is something Archer returned to me on the day you were attacked by Lancer.

I thought he went and picked it up for me..."

―――The decisive battle is near.

The tall church can be seen in the horizon.

Tohsaka says she wants to confirm one last time.

Our roles are already set.

Lancer will draw Archer and Saber away from Caster.

We will use that opening to attack Caster.

Lancer asks ironically if we would be able to beat her by ourselves. To that...

"...Yeah. I'm sure I can outwit Caster if I can fight one-on-one with her."

Tohsaka answers with confidence.

...I don't know what she means by outwitting her.

She didn't tell us even when we asked, so it must be a plan that will have a lower success rate if we know about it.

Then what I need to do is fulfill Tohsaka's demand.

With all my might, I will keep Kuzuki from protecting Caster.

If I need them, I will project his swords as many times as necessary.

...I close my eyes and dive inside myself.

The Magic Circuit inside of me is stable.

―――magecraft beyond one's ability will destroy the caster.

Half of my body became numb the first time.

It was easy and nothing happened to me the second time.

There's no guarantee the third time will be the same, but I don't think it's a problem to project his swords.

My body is stable.

The Magic Circuit that was hard even to construct is easily activated now.

It's like there's a fake nerve behind my real nerves, and they are reversible with the push of a button.

I'm trying to convince myself that it's because I've gotten used to it.

―――I can easily prepare the swords.

Projection has become my primary weapon.

It's a big improvement over ten days ago.

It's not only my magecraft. My sword technique has improved as well.


The reason behind it...

No, I try not to think about the reason.

It's more important to beat Caster and take back Saber.

Asking myself stupid questions can come after the battle.

The headache gets stronger as I near the church.

It's just like when I was looking for Tohsaka, but I avoid thinking about that.

The morning light is gray.

The sun is blocked off by clouds, obscuring the dawn's brightness.

The sky above is gloomy.

The sky is more gray than black, and it reminds me of that time ten years ago.

―――It should rain soon.

An impure gray sky.

Beneath it stands that man.

"I knew you would come, considering your personality."

He stares at her with cool eyes.


Tohsaka doesn't say anything and stares back at him.

"So what is the plan you've prepared? You're not the type to come attack without one."

He sounds joyful.

To that,

"Yeah. I'll be fighting you."

The spearman in blue answers as he appears next to Tohsaka.

"I'm surprised. You made a contract with a new Servant already?

Man. I know I'm not one to talk, but you're pretty fickle. Switching sides may have been a good idea after all."


"...I don't care, Shirou. Don't let him provoke you."

She stops me, still staring at Archer.

...But it's obvious looking at her face.

She knows he's baiting her, but his words still hurt.

"...Heh. I didn't like you from the start, but―――it seems you're rotten to the core."

"Oh. Does betrayal irritate you, Lancer? And you're not even the one who got betrayed. How faithful of you."

"―――I'm not supporting the young lady over there.

I just don't like Servants like you."

"A hero's pride, huh? ...Man, everyone says the same thing.

Even Caster had such a ridiculous thing. What good is honor once you're dead?

I honestly can't understand how you people think."

"You don't have to. I'll make it easy so you don't have to think about it."

―――There is no more need for words.

All that remains is the intent to kill,

with Lancer's sharp and Archer's calm.


...They are about ten meters apart.

The confrontation of the knights in blue and red is just like that night.


Tohsaka calls out to the blue back.

"You two go inside. I'll catch up once I beat him."

"...I know. But Lancer, Archer is..."

"Yeah, I'll go easy on him. I need him to crawl and beg your forgiveness."

He speaks without turning, grinning at Archer.


I'm glad you're the one who came to help us."

We go around the two as we head to the church.

The guard, Archer, lets us through unchallenged.

No, he has to let us through.

Archer is already confronting Lancer.

Lancer will pierce him if he lets us distract him.

He can either attack us and leave himself open to Lancer, or he can fight Lancer and let us go.

―――If he really is guarding this place, the choice should be obvious.

We run around the courtyard and open the door to the church without hesitation.

Behind us...

"―――Man, this is troublesome."

"What is, Lancer?"

"Well. I can't go easy after she makes a face like that.

That's troubling, right? She's a great Master, but I'm not one that can readily betray my Master."

"...You are too easy-going, Lancer. Do you know the saying 'grass is always greener on the other side of the fence'?"

"Heh, what are you saying?

There's no way I'd know such a phrase―――!"

Scene 18

"We don't have much time. We'll beat Caster before their match is decided."

"I know. Let's cut the talk from now on.

―――Um, You're sure you're okay with fighting Caster alone, right?"

"Yeah. I'm sure I'll be thoroughly cornered, but don't help me. You can just concentrate on keeping Kuzuki-Sensei away as long as possible."

We go past the main area and head to the door leading to the courtyard.

I won't hesitate if Tohsaka says so.

...But I don't know if it's possible for me to back Tohsaka up, even if she's cornered.

My opponent is Kuzuki. I won't be able to dodge his attacks if I'm paying attention to Tohsaka.

―――Caster's presence is getting closer.

The church is filled with her magical energy as she must not be hiding her powers anymore.

I bet she already knows about our raid.

"―――――Trace, on."

I carefully knit together the illusion using eight steps.

I'm getting the hang of it. His swords are in my hands within a minute.


I feel a light headache.

Even though I'm getting used to it, it takes a toll on my body.

Projection is damaging my body deeper than I realize.



Was it my imagination?

I think Tohsaka hung her head for a second.

We go down through the darkness.

We run down the stairs and come out into an open area.

And after that, we jump down into the temple like I did before.

"Oh. You guys are like monkeys, jumping down like that.

I don't know why you're in such a hurry, but use the stairs if you're human."

We land in the temple.

This was supposed to be a surprise attack, but Caster greets us with composure.


Kuzuki Souichirou is standing next to Caster.

...I don't feel any enmity or bloodlust from him.

That's his battle posture. His clear murderous intent is hiding the scariness of that man.

In that regard, he's more like an assassin than Servant Assassin.

Saber is on top of the altar.

She's just like she was two days ago.

Saber hangs there, her head bowed.


I'm relieved we made it, but on the other hand, I'm worried about why she's so quiet.

I think Saber was in pain before.

She was shivering and gasping, resisting Caster's magecraft with all her might.

But she's dead silent now.


I have a bad feeling.

It's great that Assassin's not here, but if this bad feeling comes true, we won't get out of here alive――――

"I'm here, Caster. I thought about it thoroughly, but I've decided to have you eliminated.

You're an eyesore, you get in my way, you annoy me, and I hate the way you look. You're like some backwoods hag with that purple robe of yours."

Tohsaka insults Caster, hoping to break her composure.

She slowly closes the distance between them as she talks, radiating confidence she probably doesn't feel.


...I shouldn't be concerned about Saber either.

Tohsaka is facing Caster by going counterclockwise, so I walk clockwise.

Caster and Kuzuki. If we are to separate them, we have to attack them from different sides and isolate our enemies.

"―――Heh. Letting you go seems to have given the wrong impression. Why are magi so reckless nowadays? No wonder Archer gave up on you."

Tohsaka's insults must have worked, as Caster is glaring at her.

I move while she does so.

I move to the other side of Tohsaka, to a place where I can attack Caster from behind.


Kuzuki watches me in silence.

......I thought so.

There's no way that this man would not notice our trick.

Kuzuki knows what's going on.

That we are trying to isolate our enemies and that Tohsaka has some plan.

Even with that in mind, he's letting Caster do as she wishes.

...It's not that Kuzuki is controlled by Caster.

He is acting of his own free will.

But still―――his passivity is like that of a puppet.

A Servant skilled in magecraft as the backup,

and a Master skilled in hand-to-hand combat.

Their roles are reversed, and I think their natures are reversed as well.

Caster seeks the Holy Grail frantically, while the Master protects her without question.


That makes me think.

What if Caster was the Master and Kuzuki was the Servant who protected her? Maybe they wouldn't have fallen so low if that were the case.


Tohsaka glances at me.

It means our positions are perfect.

Then―――the match will be settled when either one of us attacks.

It doesn't matter if we get defeated or if Tohsaka beats Caster before that. Our fight will end right here.

"Well, let us start. This is the third time I've fought you. I'm getting tired of seeing your face, so I'll settle this right here."

Tohsaka takes a step towards Caster.

"You're talking big. I doubt this, but please do not tell me you honestly believe you can beat me.

In that case, we don't even need to fight. I'll let you go again so that you can go fix that brain of yours.

"Of course I can beat you.

Isn't that right? There's no way a first-class magus like me would lose to a third-class magus like you."

"―――I see. I guess it can't be helped.

It seems I need to discipline that arrogant mouth of yours, little lady."

They get ready at the same time.

With a few meters between them, they act like mirror images.

That's the signal.

I attack the defenseless Caster...


And of course, I'm stopped by Kuzuki.

...The ghost-like assassin is in front of me.

I can't spare any attention for Caster and Tohsaka's fight.

He knows what I intend to do.

He will not let me buy time.

Letting out the "snake" that even cornered Saber, Kuzuki Souichirou comes to take my life.

――――I can hold him off for a minute at most.

It should be the same for Tohsaka.

But originally, with our opponents reversed, we had no chance of victory.

Close-range fighting or magecraft, we have no way to beat our opponents who surpass us in skill.

―――But looking at it the other way, we can at least put up a fight.

Tohsaka would be killed in an instant if she fought Kuzuki.

I would be killed in an instant if I fought Caster.

In contrast, we might not be able to win, but we won't be killed in an instant with this match-up.

...So in other words.

This battle is not about how to beat one's opponent.

Instead, this is a contest to see how long we can hold off an opponent of superior skill.

Scene 19

――――The two weapons clash.

Twin swords and lance: the attacks are executed to take their wielders' necks.

There's no hesitation in those attacks.

Each strike is meant to kill.

Even Lancer makes no exceptions.

Even though he told Tohsaka Rin, his ally, that he would "go easy", that becomes secondary once the battle starts.

It merely means that if his lance happens to miss Archer's heart and if it does not kill him instantly, he will refrain from finishing Archer off on the spot.

Even in that case, his enemy will die in due time, but Lancer just needs to drag him to Tohsaka Rin before that happens.

Lancer does not care what happens after that.


The red demonic lance invades the enemy territory.

The lance breaks through Archer's defense each time it is thrust.

It is not like that night.

Archer cannot block Lancer's attacks now as he could then.

It is only natural.

This is their second battle.

Lancer was under the Command Spell's bind.

To learn his enemies' strengths, his Master told Lancer,

"Fight against everyone. But do not defeat them. Survive your first battle against any opponent."

That is the only order he was given.

He has followed such an unreasonable command, and this is his first "battle without any binds".

Therefore, it cannot be like the last battle.

There is nothing binding Lancer, and Archer is now forced to fight the fastest heroic spirit.


A strained voice escapes Archer's mouth.

Even his hawk-like eyes cannot follow Lancer's spear.

The lance's movement is a point to start with.

And it is a flash of light now.

He cannot discern the lance coming at him.

Even Lancer's movements are becoming invisible now.


He has been able to block such attacks until now because he had experienced them in a previous battle.

He is doing what he can―――using his inferiority as a weapon to block Lancer's furious onslaught.

He is controlling where the attacks come.

The knight in red limits the oncoming attacks by leaving fatal openings.

Of course, he will die if he does not dodge the attacks.

But if he can choose between instant death and getting slowly cut up, he prefers to risk instant death.

Otherwise, it all will have been for nothing.

Fortunately, Lancer is still taking Archer lightly.

Or rather, he is lost in the joy of battle.

If they are to keep on assaulting each other like this, he can think of another thirty ways to "show an opening".

Prediction using the information obtained. Planning using cultivated battle experience.

Those are the nerves of steel, the "mind's eye" that one obtains through training.

This is nothing extraordinary.

This is the only skill he possesses.

It is not innate like Saber's "instinct", but it is a simple weapon that anyone can gain through hard work.


Lancer backs off and stops for a bit.

He looks the red archer over, as though dissatisfied.

It is obvious who is going to win.

Archer has no chance of victory in hand-to-hand combat.

No, that has been obvious from the start.

If Archer is an "archer" like his name states, this cannot be a match unless he's shooting from a long range.

But still, he blocked the attacks.

He is inferior and should not last a few more blows, but he blocked Lancer's full-force attacks.

―――Is Archer strong, or is Lancer going easy on him?

He laughs.

He already realizes that Archer is a mysterious Servant.

He can admit that Archer is strong in that regard.

But――――it is unthinkable for Lancer to be going easy.

The first attack was aimed at the neck to chop his head off.

The second attack was aimed at the heart to destroy his body.

He cannot be going easy.

He shouldn't be, but――――

――――It is certainly true that he wasn't trying to kill Archer.

How does one know that this sort of fight is serious?

A battle between Servants is a battle between Noble Phantasms.

The fact that he is fighting Archer without using his is proof that he is going easy on him.

The reason behind it...

...Must be the "thanks" he heard earlier.

"――――Damn. Are you kidding me―――!?"



The weapons clash harder than before.

The two spring apart in a shower of sparks.

The full-force attack by Lancer is nullified by the full-force attack by Archer.

They are about five meters apart.

It is a distance Lancer can close in an instant.

"―――I don't get it."

The spearman in blue murmurs.

"You switched to Caster's side even though you are this strong? You and Rin would've had no trouble with Caster."

Lancer stops emitting murderous intent, but there's no opening in his stance.

At that, Archer smiles a bit.

"―――I'm surprised. You're still saying such things?

Lancer. I chose the path that has the highest possibility of victory. I do not care what Rin thinks, but I am sure there is no better plan than this."

He speaks confidently, with no sign of guilt.

The knight in red shows no regret about betraying his master.

"I see. I guess it was stupid of me to ask."

Archer agrees.

Lancer snorts and slowly raises the tip of his lance.

"You are certainly good at fighting. Your tactics will get you through many battles.

―――But that is not the right way. Your swords are lacking in pride."

His fighting spirit roars up.

Even faced with this, the archer in red still smiles.

"Fortunately, I do not have any pride.

But what about it? Will the name of the hero be disgraced? Hah, do not make me laugh, Lancer. You can wash away disgrace with results.

You can feed your meaningless pride to the dogs."


In an instant.

The slightly relaxed atmosphere changes.

――――The air freezes.

The magical energy to disturb the order of the world, the demonic lance that inverts cause and effect, is raised.

His murderous intent is incomparable to his previous ones.

Though the tension must make it difficult even to breathe...

"You said 'dog', Archer?"

The blue-armored spearman growls in a voice that could drive the crows from a battlefield.

"Yes, Cu Chulainn. If you have pride as a hero, you should get rid of it right now."

"――――Well said. Then you can die first."

Lancer jumps back a great distance.

It is no longer a matter of thrusting his lance.

There are over a hundred meters between them now.

Lancer leapt back to the entrance of the clearing and crouches on all fours like a beast.


Archer's senses freeze.

Is it fear or awe?

Either way, Archer understands right away...

The meaning of Lancer's retreat.

He knows that his enemy's next attack is literally a fatal attack.

"You know about Gae Bolg's ability, right?"

Lancer, with his limbs on the ground, raises his waist.

It's just like a sprinter waiting for the signal gun.


Archer has no reply to spare.

The knight in red throws away his swords and immerses himself in his own mind.

But will he make it?

Lancer's posture...

If his demonic lance is just like the legend, a Noble Phantasm to block it cannot be anything superficial.

"―――Here I come. Take this attack as your farewell gift...!"

The blue panther runs.

Even his after-image is a blur. Lancer speeds to Archer like a whirlwind.

There are a hundred meters between them.

Lancer is not going to thrust his lance using that whole distance to gain speed.

The blue figure crouches.

After running fifty meters in an instant, the spearman suddenly leaps up from the ground.

His body flies through the air.

He holds the demonic lance, said to always pierce the heart once it is thrust, over his head.

Space distorts.

―――According to legend...

That lance scatters numerous spearheads once it is released.

In other words...


The lance of causality joins with the words to form a tapestry of action.

The spearman in blue arches his back as if drawing a bow...


...And he smashes down the attack with a roar――――

...This Noble Phantasm is a throwing attack by nature.

A lance that never misses the heart.

A cursed Noble Phantasm that cannot be avoided and will attack the enemy even if it misses.

That is Gae Bolg, lance of destruction possessed by the hero that never lost in his lifetime.

As it is hurled using all of Lancer's magical energy, it can be neither dodged nor blocked.

―――Therefore, it is fatal.

There is no way for anyone to survive once they are targeted by the demonic lance...!!

The bullet approaches.

In a split second, the knight in red closes his eyes as if accepting his death...

"――――I am the bone of my sword."

The thorn of light blazes forth.

And right before the thorn of destruction coming from the heavens strikes Archer...

"Rho Aias――――!"

Its true name shakes the very air as it is spoken.

The lance crashes into the shield.

The lance of death that penetrates every wall and outmaneuvers any evasion.

That lance has been stopped.

Radiating a storm of heat, the lance of sure kill is stopped by Archer's "Noble Phantasm".

The seven flower petals appear from empty space and shield Archer from the demonic bullet――――!

Who would know?

This shield is Aias. The only shield said to have repelled the javelin of the great hero in the Trojan War.

There are seven barriers shaped like flower petals, and each layer is as strong as a castle wall.

It is a boundary field Noble Phantasm that is said to be invincible against projectile weapons.

A thrown lance will be defeated by this shield without penetrating even one of the petals.

At the very least, Archer does not know of a lance that can penetrate this shield.


The lance of sure kill drills through the shields like it's nothing.


The sixth petal is destroyed.

Only one remains.

The demonic lance reaches the seventh layer that has never been broken.

The unstoppable thorn of the demonic lance.

In the face of that power...


With a roaring spirit, Archer puts all his magical energy into the Noble Phantasm――――!


After landing, Lancer glares at the Servant in front of him.

...Archer has wounds all over his body.

His raised arm is barely attached.

His face is strained in pain, not only from the wounds on the arm, but also from the agony in his head.

"――――I'm surprised. I did not think there was a weapon that could penetrate the Aias.

Your lance is stronger than the original Gungnir."

The knight in red praises the spearman in blue from the bottom of his heart.


But Lancer does not hear him.

His strongest attack.

The attack that made him a hero has been blocked.

He is so angry that his glare should be able to kill someone.

But the anger is almost erased by his wonder.

...This is too strange.

It is true that Archer is a mysterious Servant.

His identity is unknown, he carries twin swords even though he's an archer, and now he shows a shield that can even block Lancer's strongest attack.

It is absurd.

There is no such hero on this planet.

"――――Who are you?"

"I'm just an archer. Your analysis was not incorrect."

"Bullshit. An archer would not have a shield to block a Noble Phantasm."

"I guess you can, under the right circumstances.

But this is the result. I used up most of my magical energy, one of my arms is destroyed, and Aias is shattered.

...Man, that was the greatest protection I had."


Lancer only glares at Archer.


"More importantly, have you noticed, Lancer?

It seems Caster is in trouble. She is no longer supervising us."

Archer raises both his hands as if in surrender.

"...I see. I knew it. That was your intention from the start, huh?"

"Of course. I told you, right? I will only take the route with the greatest chance of success."

"―――Heh. I really do hate you."

Saying so, Lancer turns his back to Archer.

...His work is done.

His role of keeping Archer busy is meaningless now.

There is no more need for him to side with Tohsaka Rin.

The spearman in blue starts to walk away and―――

...Lays down on the grass to wait and see.

Scene 20


I desperately parry the oncoming fists.

Kuzuki's fists are live "snakes". Even if I barely dodge them, they change their paths to come bite me.

That's why Saber was seriously wounded.

Saber was bitten by Kuzuki's "snakes" because she had the reflexes to dodge them.

But I don't have such reflexes.

I can't dodge them, and first of all, I can't even see his fists.

I can't dodge them when I can't even see his fists.


My shoulder. Kuzuki's fist grazed my left collarbone.

"Hah, guh――――!"

It's just like a bushhammer. It feels as if my shoulders are being crushed and I almost drop my swords.


I bear it and parry the fist going for my temple using the sword in my right hand.

"Ah, guh――――!"

I desperately retreat.

I pitifully retreat while Kuzuki closes in, not revealing any hints of how he advanced.


――――I shudder at his stance.

I won't be able to withstand the next attack.

It's miraculous that I was able to parry the attacks until now.

It doesn't feel real. I hoped that I'd be able to protect myself and buy time for Tohsaka until she defeated Caster, but such hope disappeared after I took the first blow.

Kuzuki Souichirou took our previous battle into account.

I was able to fend off Kuzuki as he attacked Tohsaka back then.

So I thought I'd be able to fend him off again if I had Archer's twin swords.


In other words, it means that I won't be able to do anything without them.

Kuzuki knows that.

What he did first in this battle was try to take the swords away from me.


The sword in my right hand is destroyed.

―――The fist, strengthened with Caster's magecraft, shatters my sword with a few blows.

"――――Trace, on......!"

I immediately reproduce the shortsword.

I can't hope for high results with a forced projection, a quickly prepared sword.

As a result, the twin swords start to lose their precision.

"Guh―――haa, haa, ha―――......!!"

I can't breathe right.

I frantically block Kuzuki's fist with the shortswords.

I just follow the twin swords. In copying Archer, Emiya Shirou's limbs have far exceeded the limits of his body.

And then there's this headache.

Something is scraped away inside of me every time I project something.

It's not the sensation of using up magical energy.

It feels like my precious magecraft-Circuits are disappearing one by one, every time I make a sword.

I'm almost all out.

I might be able to make two more.

I'll die when my magical energy runs out.

But first of all...

Can I stay alive until my magical energy runs out―――?



I'm flung away.

Kuzuki's right fist. The fist he hadn't been using was suddenly thrust like a lance.

I shielded my chest with my blades.

In that instant, my swords were destroyed, and the impact flung me away.

I feel something hard on my back.

...I must have been pushed back about five meters.


I try to draw a breath and realize that I can't.

The penetrating impact has numbed my heart.

I can't breathe, and I can't move.

It's only for a few seconds.

In the few moments it takes my heart to resume its work...


The devil approaches.

This is it.

This man could kill me if I dropped my guard for only a second.

With me like this, he has time to do it six times over.


I glare at the enemy.

Even if my limbs won't move, there's something I can do.

First of all, I'm not suited for melee combat.

Emiya Shirou's weapon has always been his magecraft.

Then―――it's not over yet.

My role is to keep Kuzuki busy. I can't give up without fulfilling my role――――!



The sound didn't come from right in front of me.

The image of the sword disappears from my mind.

Kuzuki, who was approaching to twist off my neck, stops.

Something is happening behind Kuzuki.

It happened to Caster, with the altar behind her.

Tohsaka is also at a disadvantage.

No, her burden is greater, as she fully understands the difference in their powers.


Caster points her finger with a composed expression.

The magecraft is "aero", plague wind.

Caster does not need to cast her magecraft.

For a witch that lived in the age of gods, incantations are unnecessary to connect herself with the world.

Caster is always surrounded by divine mysteries of ancient lore.

For Caster, magecraft is something she commands.

It is just like ordering her guard dog to attack.


She nullifies it with her treasured jewel.

She does not have the time to cast a spell, and she cannot match Caster with simple magecraft from the Magic Crest.

Their skills as magi are as far apart as heaven and earth.

To bridge that gap, she must use the power that she has spent a long time gathering.

Crystallization of magical energy that she has stored since she was born as a magus.

For this battle, she is prepared to use all nine jewels remaining from the original ten.

"Fufu, you are doing well. I didn't think you had such a trump card, little lady."

Even though her magecraft is nullified by pure magical energy, Caster keeps her smile.

Caster can continue using magecraft indefinitely,

while the girl must oppose Caster using jewels as amplifiers.

The difference between them is self-evident.

No matter how many jewels she might have, it cannot be more than ten or twenty.

There is no way Caster can be defeated with such a small arsenal.


She nullifies the electric charge with the seventh jewel.

She has six jewels left.

With six more spells from Caster, her last resort will be exhausted.

"Oh, you cleanly block them. You really are cute. You do not have to use up the whole jewel if you're only protecting yourself."

She does not react to the giggling voice and takes out another jewel to get ready for the next attack.

...As Caster says, the jewel will not break if she uses it to protect only herself.

The jewel should be able to protect her about three times.

...But she cannot do that.

Caster's magecraft covers the whole temple once it is cast.

Kuzuki should be protected by Caster, but he is an exception.

If she cannot nullify Caster's spell before it is completed, Emiya Shirou, who is keeping Kuzuki Souichirou busy, will burn and die.


Therefore, it is meaningless to protect just herself.

She cannot allow him to die like that, and besides, the whole plan revolves around Shirou keeping Kuzuki busy.

"Oh, will you keep protecting him? That is good faith, but how long will it last? The result is clear if all you do is defend."

Caster moves her finger.

"―――――――Sechs. Ein Flu[szlig], ein Halt...!"

She makes the first move this time.

Her jewels will run out and she will be killed if she keeps defending.

Caster's magecraft and her jewels.

The magical energy contained in them is the same, so it means she can beat Caster if she makes the first move――――!


But there is no way to exceed Caster's spellcasting.

If Tohsaka Rin is the fastest because she can perform magecraft directly by releasing the jewels,

Caster is also the fastest as she is capable of creating divine mysteries with one word.

There is no "first move" in their battle.

This is merely a clash of power against power.

The first one to run out of magical energy will die.


"F[uuml]nf, Drei, Vier......!

Conclusion Sword of Fire Synergism

Riesig und brennent, das ist ein Ende――――!"

She just needs to force her way through.

She unleashes a barrage of jewels to penetrate Caster's magical energy――――!

Jewels five, three and four are released in succession.

Moreover, she uses the treasured fourth jewel to add a synergistic effect.

This magecraft is beyond her limits.

'You can't use magecraft surpassing your own level.'

The one who said so is breaking the rule to execute this attack.

The attack will destroy not only the temple, but the whole church if Caster does not defend against it.

But the witch in purple blocks it like nothing.

―――No, she did not just nullify it.

Caster has swallowed all of her magical energy inside of her robe.


Tohsaka stands there in astonishment.

...Behind her, she can hear the sound of his defeat.

Sounds of breaking swords and his body slamming against the wall.

The match is about to be settled.

She has nothing she can do and her body sways.

She staggers forward as if overwhelmed by despair.

"Oh, this is it? You still have more jewels, right? Why don't you keep going and try until you run out?"


She has no spirit to answer her.

...No matter how many jewels she may have, that was her greatest attack.

If even that attack is useless, then she cannot hurt Caster even if she has a hundred jewels――――

"I see. It seems you finally realized that you won't be a match no matter what you do. But it was fun. It has been a while since I last competed in magecraft.

Yes, you have value just because of that."


She stops herself from falling, holds in her nausea with her hand, and glares at Caster.

"Is it vexing? But this is reality. Actually, you should be proud.

Even though I did play with you, you forced me to compete in magecraft."

Then Caster points at her...

As if to pronounce her death sentence.

"Disappear. It is a matter of time before that boy loses against my Master.

Let us finish before that."

Caster slowly whispers her death.

―――That opening.

She has been waiting for this.

"Stark―――Gro[szlig] zwei."

She only needs to say one phrase to release it.

She hangs her head and smiles as she murmurs.



I doubt my own eyes for a second.

Tohsaka and Caster.

Their battle of magecraft has ended with Tohsaka's defeat.

Tohsaka slowly staggered forward as if asking for Caster's forgiveness, and Caster released her magecraft to finish her off.

――――At that instant.

Tohsaka nullified the magecraft.

That's fine.

That's not surprising.

The surprise came after that――――Tohsaka charged in and attacked Caster――――!

Tohsaka throws herself into hellfire.

Nullifying the magecraft and using it as cover, she attacks Caster.


Caster's surprise is that of a magus.

She could not have predicted that a magus, defeated in magecraft, would attack with bare hands.

I didn't expect it either, so it must be like heresy for Caster, who is an excellent magus.

And it's not just some desperate move.

Tohsaka closes in and hits Caster in the chest with a move from Chinese martial arts.


A shattering sound.

Tohsaka's fist must be "strengthened" like Kuzuki's, as her attack easily penetrates Caster's defense.

"Ha―――you're a magus and you're fighting bare-handed...!?"

"Sorry...! But self-defense is required knowledge for magi nowadays...!"


I'm fascinated by her combination.

Tohsaka drops after the first attack.

Putting her hands on the floor, she sinks below Caster's knees.

To Caster, who lacks any experience in hand-to-hand combat, it must look like Tohsaka disappeared.

She executes a strong sweep.

She lashes out her foot with all her might as if to cut off Caster's legs――――!


Her feet swept from beneath her, Caster lands on her back.

But it doesn't end.

After the sweep, Tohsaka gets up with her back turned to Caster, uses the turning momentum to attack with her elbow, and――――

"Take this...!"

Stopping her turning, Tohsaka punches with all her weight――――!


Caster's body is knocked away.

Taking the punch directly, Caster is smashed into the wall like me.


With her back to the wall, Caster moans dizzily.

"Got you――――!"

They are separated.

Tohsaka kicks the ground to cover the few meters in between them.

The match is settled.

Caster cannot move, and her wound seems fatal.

The battle only lasted a moment.

The match is decided within five seconds after I was smashed into the wall by Kuzuki.

Caster doesn't have the energy to fight back.

Tohsaka runs to Caster with Saber-like speed and executes her finishing blow.

"Strengthening" of a few seconds using magecraft.

Tohsaka intended to fight Caster like this from the start.

Caster only saw a magus in Tohsaka.

She challenged Caster at magecraft so that she could achieve her one-time surprise attack.

And the plan worked.

Caster has been deceived and has lost completely.

Tohsaka has won the battle.


"―――No. That is it, Tohsaka."

If not for this man's monstrous ability.

If Tohsaka ran to Caster like a hurricane, he ran like the devil's wind.


Tohsaka stops.

Kuzuki Souichirou, the one who was in front of me until now, is standing in front of Caster.


Tohsaka moves.

The instant Tohsaka feels death, jumps back, and shields herself...

Kuzuki's attack that blew me away strikes Tohsaka in the face.


She guarded her face with both her arms and jumped back, but she's still sent flying.

Tohsaka smashes into the wall opposite me, her arms dangling as if broken.

"You lost your chance. Your lack of experience shows in your inability to kill her after four strikes."

He speaks plainly.

...But that's not Tohsaka's fault.

The reason she lost her chance is because of me.

If I had kept Kuzuki busy, Tohsaka would have beaten Caster.

―――This is my fault.

My weak fighting skills were unable to stand up to Kuzuki's ability, and our once-in-a-lifetime opportunity was lost――――

Scene 21

The sky is still gray.

We leave the now-empty church.

"Oh. So you guys are done, huh?"


I see a familiar spearman in front of me.


Saber glares at him while supporting me.

She's so tense that she might slash him if he takes another step.

"...No, you're mistaken, Saber. He helped us."

"Huh...? Did Lancer help you, Shirou?"

"...Yeah. ...Don't fight him now if possible."

Saber stares at Lancer in astonishment.

...It seems he's enjoying Saber's reaction.

"I understand... but why, Lancer? Are you conspiring?"

"Huh? Oh, are you stupid? Of course I'm conspiring. I won't help someone unless I'm plotting something secretly."

Lancer's words are blunt.


I knew he was that kind of guy, but he's thorough as he's making fun of Saber as well.

"Hm. What is so funny, Shirou?"

"Eh...? Was I laughing...?"

"Yes, you were. I guess I was mistaken. It seems I do not need to support you if you are well enough to laugh."

Saber is mad.

...It's bad, but I'm relieved.

Saber is just like before.

Our connection is lost, but she's here just like before.

Then――――what's there to regret?

"...Sorry. I guess I let my guard down. Now's not the time, right?"

"―――No. We should rest for now even if we are to rescue Rin. ...Lancer, I do not know what your intention is, but your job should be over. Leave now. I will not fight you here."

With this, Saber goes down into the clearing.

"......? Hey, everything went well―――or I guess not. What happened, kid?"

"Archer took Tohsaka. We're going to go rescue her."

Suppressing my dizziness, I meet his gaze and answer him.

"...What? Hold on, what's going on?"


...I'm sorry, but I don't have any energy left.

I'm not able to explain such a long story, I should go home and――――

"Archer's objective is to kill Shirou. He has abducted my Master, Rin, and requested a one-on-one fight with Shirou if we want her back.

Her life will not be guaranteed unless we go to him within a day."


It helps me out if you can do the explaining, but it does nothing to explain the situation to Lancer.

"――――Damn, he really did it this time."


He takes off his friendly face and grits his teeth.


"So, what? He betrayed that young lady not only once, but twice?"

"Uh... yes, that would be the case. What about it...?"

"―――This isn't the time for that. ...Damn, I've changed my mind.

This was the only help I was going to offer, but let me help you a bit longer. I won't be able to have peace of mind like this."

Having said this, Lancer starts walking.


Saber watches Lancer silently.

...I understand how she feels.

He's saying that he'll come with us.

"...I say. What kind of magecraft did you two use to get him on our side?"

Saber sounds more shocked than amazed.

Unfortunately, I don't have the energy to reply, as my wounds are starting to hurt again.

...No, first of all...

I'm the one who wants to ask that question.

Scene 22

――――And I recall his dream.

The memory of the guy that was set up as a hero.

The story of a knight whose end came at a place I can't reach.

This hill is his world.

This desolate land is what the man who kept on fighting for others obtained.

I guess he smiled and died in satisfaction in this place.

"――――He's seriously stupid."

...That's right. It just makes me mad.

He tried his best, worked hard even though he's an ordinary person, and finally obtained a miracle with his blood.

Then it'll be a lie unless he becomes happy.

If he made many people happy, he should become happier than all of those people combined.

But he did not receive such a reward.

What he obtained in its place was the fate to be summoned as a "guardian" after his death.


That's right. Why didn't I realize that simple fact?

The guardians are summoned into every age.

Doesn't that conversely mean that they are summoned from every age?

From the present and the past.

Heroic spirits can even be summoned from the future.

Since guardians are pushed into a "seat" away from the time axis, the concept of time does not exist for them.

As soon as one becomes a heroic spirit, they sublimate into something other that what they used to be when they were human.


It is possible for a guardian to be summoned into the place and age they lived in when they were alive.


It's vexing when I think about it.

It's because neither of them is saved.

The one that watches his previous self...

The one that watches his eventual self...

They will both be hurt by the gulf between them.

I know the end of this big idiot who tried to be of help to others.

He became a guardian by choice.

He thought that it would be great if he could keep saving people even after he died.

He could not save people when he was alive because he was powerless. But he believed he could avert every tragedy as a heroic spirit.

Thinking so, he made a contract with the world, gave his body after his death, and saved a hundred or so people.

He believed that he would be able to save more, tens of thousands of people, after his death.

――――But such hope was betrayed.

Heroic spirits are summoned only into hell.

They appear only when the world is about to be destroyed by people.

Humans are beings that will perish from their own doings.

So the process of destruction must always be the same.

He was summoned only into these "hells".

In the land of death where the ones he wanted to save were already dead, he killed even more humans.

The boy who stated he just doesn't want to see anyone cry...

...Could only see crying humans forever.

There's only one thing I can say.

He has been betrayed by many things.

And in the end, he was betrayed by the only thing he believed in, his ideal.

―――I am the bone of my sword.

Steel is my body, and fire is my blood.

I have created over a thousand blades.

Unknown to Death.

Nor known to Life.

Have withstood pain to create many weapons.

Yet, those hands will never hold anything.

So as I pray, unlimited blade works.

...That is the only spell given to him.

What is that?

I'm so mad that I want to hit him and scold him.

I, Tohsaka Rin, have never had any hardships in my life.

So I might not have the right to say it, but I believe in working hard and going through pain. It's wrong not to be compensated for your fights.

That's why I'm angry at his uncompensated life, and most of all―――I can't leave him be because he ended up cursing his life.

'You're my Servant, so I'm only going to do what I believe is right.

I'm not as loose as Emiya Shirou, but I do have some things I cannot give up.

I won't give it up no matter who's telling me so―――'

...That's right.

That's why I decided...

That as long as I'm his Master, I will believe in my path like he used to do.

That's about all I can show to him.

That's the only way I can repay him.

It might have been meaningless, but still...

I do it so that Archer, the one who lost his own past, can realize that his life was something he can be proud of――――

"Ah...... Hm......"

The first things I notice after I wake up are the sensations in my limbs.

They hurt and I can't move them.

"......I'm tied up."

I'm sitting on a chair and slept in a bad position.


...I don't want to admit it, but this is the worst possible situation.

I can't do anything.

My hands are behind the chair and restrained by something like handcuffs.

It goes the same for my legs, and I can't even stand up.

The handcuffs and the shackles are magecraft resistant, and my Magic Circuit is so messed up that I can't even create magical energy.


Now that I've checked my situation, I survey my surroundings.

...It's cold.

This room made of stone has no heater, and it is a ruin that hasn't been used in a while.

It's dark outside the window. ...From the looks of it, I think it's around ten o'clock at night.

"So. What do you intend to do, Archer?"

I glare into the darkness.

...By the pillar...

The knight in red is sitting on a pile of rubble.

"It's nothing. You're just bait to lure out Emiya Shirou. You should know that."

"...Heh. Shirou would come even if I'm not here. You should know that."

"―――You're right. But it would be inconvenient if you're there with us. I'll have you stay quiet here until the matter is settled."

Archer says so without appearing in front of me.

There's no sign of his previous friendliness.

He is a calm "cleaner" now.

"I see. So you will kill Shirou no matter what?"

"Yes. Such a soft person should die."

He answers as a matter of course.

I can only see the shadowed side of his face from here.

His expression is cold, and he looks like he has a mask on.

That――――makes me seriously angry.

"...Heh. I know without being told that Shirou's soft."

I breathe in.

It'll end once I say this.

My Archer will never return once I say this.

I take a breath and glare at the guy in the shadows.

"But I love that soft part of him.

He should be like that. I'm saved by having a guy like him."

"But what about you?

You went so far, but you think that holding a selfish ideal is wrong?

You fought over and over for other people, you got betrayed over and over, and you were forced to clean up after them over and over―――!

Were you disgusted with humans after that, Archer...!?"

I get even more angry as I speak, and I'm screaming it out now.


...Archer doesn't answer.

The face in the shadow is a face I've never seen before.

Scene 23

'―――You cannot save everyone.'

When I heard this from the man I believed could save anyone, I felt resistance.

'―――Look, Shirou.

A superhero can only save the people he has sided with.'

I didn't like those words either.

I didn't want the superhero himself to say these things.

...Since that time, Emiya Shirou's whole life may have been focused on overturning those words.

There's no need for sacrifices.

Nobody will get hurt if you work hard and do your best.

My father should have yearned for that as well.


'Yeah――――I'm relieved.'

...I cannot look away from his last moment.

Tohsaka told me such a life is unnatural.

...I know.

I realized that a long time ago.

There's no world where nobody gets hurt,

nor can one seek happiness without hurting others.

Such a utopia does not exist anywhere in this world.

Emiya Shirou's search for superheroism is just hypocrisy.

'There is nothing at the end of helping people.'


I know that without being told.

'It is a false life that can save neither yourself nor others.'


Even if it may be true, I won't let you say it.

I don't care if anyone other than him denies it.

But I won't let him say it.

We have the same beginnings, and even if I may eventually become like him―――no, all the more if that is the case. That is why I have to deny him.

As he does not approve of the former Emiya Shirou...

I will not approve of him as long as I exist.

...Even if this dream may be a distorted one.

If I have believed in it and if I am going to believe in it, I――――


I wake up.

I look at the clock right away and see it's eleven o'clock right now.

"Are you awake, Shirou?"

Sitting Japanese-style, Saber greets me in a calm voice.

...It's been half a day since I came home from the church.

She must have watched over me ever since I fainted.

"Yeah, I'm awake. My body's fine. I'm not tired and my headache's gone."

I get up from the futon.

My limbs are fine now.

The Magic Circuit I overused is still exhausted, but it hasn't burned up.

"――――Are you going, Shirou?"

Saber suddenly asks.

The answer's obvious, so I silently nod back.

"...I see. Then I shall go with you.

But, Shirou. Rin is my Master. It is my role to save her. I will stop Archer, so..."

"No, you got it backwards, Saber. I'll fight Archer."

I interrupt Saber.

She looks at me uneasily.

"...No, Shirou.

Archer is your―――"

She hesitates to finish her sentence.

"I know. I've probably known who he was from the first time I met him."

I've opposed him without reason from the first time we met.

I stubbornly hated him, thinking that I could not approve of him.

...It's natural.

People can only look away when faced with their own mistakes.

"...Yeah. But that's why I can't approve of him. I have to settle my score with him."

I stand up.

My body feels great.

There's only half a day left until the deadline. ...I can't spend any more time resting.


"...I don't have any right to say this, but please, Saber.

I'll fight Archer. Don't help me, no matter what happens."

I bow as I ask Saber.

"―――There is no need to act like that, Shirou.

I shall obey if that is your wish.

I have sworn to be your shield. I shall observe your fate until the very end."


Her answer is perfect.

Her clear voice sweeps away the uneasiness within me.

"Thank you. It's reassuring to know that you'll be watching me."

"Yes. I am glad you are like that, Shirou."

She smiles back.

We're prepared for departure now.

We leave my house.

Who would have thought I would go to that castle again?

"―――Hey. You guys aren't listening to me, right?"



We both turn around.


Come to think of it, Lancer was still here.

"...Oh. You have more free time than I thought, huh?"

It just slips out.


He must be self-conscious, as he doesn't try to retort.

"Lancer. I do not know what you are planning, but there is nothing to gain from following us.

Archer is a Servant without a Master.

I do not think your Master would want to defeat such a person."

"I know, I know. I have no intention of fighting Archer. You can rest assured that I won't butt in on the fight."

"...Then why are you going to come with us? If you want to settle the match with me, I can do it right here."

"No, I'll pass on that. I have no intention of fighting against your Master. Rather, I want to sell her some favors. I want her to be in debt to me."


Saber glares at Lancer,

and Lancer ignores her.

"―――Okay, do as you wish. We can use all the help we can get in saving Tohsaka."

"Shirou...! Lancer is an enemy. You cannot make such a rash decision――――"

"That should be all right. He's twisted, but he won't lie. First of all, he's not the sneaky type. He'd come fight us straight on before he would try to trick us."

"Hm... That is true, but..."

"Well, I'll turn him down if you don't want to. But he'll follow us even if we let him be. So isn't it easier for us to have him near us where we can keep watch?"

"Hm―――you are getting better at making excuses, Shirou."

"Well, a lot has happened.

Well, that's it, Lancer. We won't concern ourselves with you, and you don't bother us. Let's go together if that's fine with you."

I say to the guy that's watching us with a smile.

"Good enough. Wow, you guys are a great combination.

Saber's stubborn, so I'm glad you're more mature now."

"T-That is not true! Shirou is the stubborn one. You do not know how much trouble I have been through!"


Are you going to tell me if I ask? Fine, we have some time until we get to the castle. Let's entertain ourselves on the road with your stories."

"――――! W-Why do I need to explain such a thing to you? You have nothing to do with this!"

Saber roars at Lancer.


I guess Saber doesn't get along well with Lancer.

But I never thought Saber would get angry like Tohsaka.

"――――Oh well.

Let's get going. We don't have time to be playing around. We have to get to the castle as quickly as possible."

I leave the two and start walking.

"S-Shirou...! I am not playing around!"

She must still be mad, as she yells at me.

Lancer follows us from a distance.

It's midnight right now.

I know how far the castle is from here.

We should make it in time.

――――We'll probably get there around dawn.

We start to walk to the masterless old castle.