Loop 16

Day 1

True Beginning Heaven's Feel Backnight 3

How many resurrections does this make, I wonder?

I can hear voices.

Cursing at me, the one that, while sinking into death, fell past it again and again.

Unable to escape death, they cry that it's unfair that I get to live again.

My entire body hurts. Hurts enough to suffocate. The voices of accusations beset me. DIE. GIVE UP. SERVES YOU RIGHT. I CAN'T SEE. They grow stronger each time I hear them. I want to die. I can't stand this. FILTHY. DISGUSTING. I CAN'T SEE ANYTHING. I waNT TO Die. I don't want to hear this. If I have to go through this, I don't want to come back to life.

But I even got used to that.


Then get it over with and kill me.


Then go ahead and enjoy yourself.


Yes, I've already repented again and again.


Right, it's all somebody's fault.


That's because I'm not dressed up.


...This mirror is foggy.


Yes―――that's right, a human isn't capable of doing this.

I move past the many voices and begin to breathe again.

...It's not that painful from here on. Rather, I could even feel relief. As long as I get away from that prison, what comes next is close to the joy of birth.

Prison. Yes, that place matches the description of a "prison."

Slander, insults, derision.

The stripping of human rights, dignity, and freedom.

An afterlife derived from that should be known to any person.

Suffering for an eternity, without pause.

In Buddhism, it's called the hell of uninterrupted suffering.

...But, that is vaguely different from where I came from.

There wasn't only pain.

That place had eternity and emptiness.

Both were beyond reach and had no meaning even if they weren't.

That's why it was painful.

Because even if I gained them by some miracle, I could never understand what wasn't meant for human hands to hold―――

“―――kh, ugh......”

I raise my body from the sofa.

Still feeling drained after a resurrection that I have dealt with for the umpteenth time, I check if I have control of my left hand.

“Yo. Wide awake, eh, Master?”

...The now typical morning greeting from my Servant.

He is sitting with his back turned away, still working on his puzzle apparently. It could be solved in just a matter of minutes, but he took a liking to it.

...That part of him is just like a child's.

If only that innocence showed in his regular behavior.

“―――Tell me. Was I able to take Assassin down with me?”

“Nope. A one-sided defeat it was.

That straight right punch of yours hit air, while his Zabaniya blew your head off.

You just had to see it. Slapped you on the head and your brain went boom. Blow off your whole torso it did.

Now turning a brain into gunpowder to blow somebody up? That's a pretty complicated way of killing somebody, 'course, if he already had his hands on your brain, he could have just pulled it out.”

My Servant's prattling cheerfully.


I imagined my body without its upper half and sickened myself as a result.

...I recall my fight with Assassin.

I met Assassin's Master by accident at the forest behind the school.

The enemy consisted of just one lone Master. As I saw no Servant, I charged into combat.

The enemy Master was a skilled doll user and controlled countless automata as if they were his own limbs. The French dolls, equipped with precise killing mechanisms, were a threat, but I was well acquainted with the doll recipes.

I also have had experience in fighting in a free-for-all with the monsters nesting in the city, so it was a simple matter to overwhelm the Master.

―――If only one of the dolls had not worn a skull mask.

“A Servant...!?”

The moment I realized what he was, I was hit by multiple poisonous needles.

Assassin. A class where one specific Heroic Spirit is chosen, but whose abilities change with each Heaven's Feel.

As the "name" that was the source of the word "Assassin" was one that multiple assassins inherited, a different one would become Assassin for each war.

Assassin is a group, not one being, and of them, the "Assassin" selected this time was a midget of a height no taller than up to an adult's knees.

...Was he like that when he was alive or was this a special characteristic exaggerated by becoming a Servant?

Assassin did not have the build of a dwarf that would appear in a fairy tale. He had a form as cultivated as that of an acrobat.

He could have been a clown from a circus.

A worthless Heroic Spirit with a small body. However, it was a strong advantage for the class of Assassin.

Not only did it make detecting his presence difficult, the area that could be hit was overwhelmingly small.

His speed was among the fastest of the Servants. Tracking his body racing through the trees with unmodified eyes was difficult.

In addition―――no, rather the reason for the name was the one-hit "Noble Phantasm" he possessed.


By the time I fully understood the disadvantage I had on this terrain, my legs were immobilized due to the poison.

I was confident that I could catch him on a flat plane with nowhere to hide, but in a forest with many obstructions I was helpless.

Knowing that, I made my final bet using my life as the gambling chips.

I used the left side of my body to lure Assassin out of the shadows of the trees.

Assassin would judge that I could not retaliate, and then move towards my left side at lightning speed.

I would then counter-attack with a full-force straight right into him.

The timing was perfect.

A charging Assassin couldn't dodge either right or left and couldn't completely nullify the effects of the impact by blocking. That was the weak point of having a small body.

Yet not even that slowed him down.

Just before impact, he jumped and landed on my fist with a comical plop... on my straight right, the one I prided on having a speed of 80km/h... and as a counter!

“――――――No way.”

I do have a rich record of sorts in combat, but this was the first time that I had seen an enemy scuttle towards me on my arm.

I was reminded of unbelievable miraculous deeds such as standing on top of a lance.

Assassin extended his left hand to my face and―――my consciousness was cut off at that point.

“......What a nightmare.”

I mutter.

“What's wrong? Body still stiff?”

“No, my body is perfectly fine. I have grown used to resurrection, as well.

The soreness I am now enduring is thanks to you. I remembered the very last moment, the feeling of having my forehead touched by Assassin's hand.”

“Oh. Whoops, my bad. Sorry for my lack of consideration.”

Cackling, he continues with his puzzle.

What he's really laughing at is my own failure.

This is nothing like teasing.

That man is the host of a personality disorder that makes him laugh over sad news as much as over anything inappropriate.

“...I have grown used to that, as well.

So Avenger, did you carry me back?”

“Nope, I was killed, too. We're both back to the first day since I got wasted just before twelve.”


There's been almost no progress.

How many days have passed since I woke up in this mansion?

We haven't even passed the fourth night yet.

...I guess it's this lack of dependability that has caused me to grasp the earring in my pocket unconsciously.

I took it with me when I left my country. It's probably some kind of a protective charm. I don't remember why I had brought it, but it must be something like an amulet, judging by how carefully I kept it tucked away.

“But you know, it really wasn't your fault, Master.

I mean, that Assassin was just too messed up. I was sure that you would hit him, too.

Well, it's not worth torturing yourself over, now is it?

You've got me as a handicap. You ought to be proud of yourself, making that guy use a Noble Phantasm in your first fight with him.”

“Nonsense. No matter how well I fight, it means nothing once I di―――”

No, that's our advantage.

I haven't made full use of it yet, but this Servant can bring the dead back to life.

As long as our contract is still in effect, I will continue to be resurrected.

“I see. Yes, there is nothing wrong with continuing in this manner... no, this would be your weapon. We ought to make use of it. Mutual destruction is good enough.”

Right, by gaining information on the enemy, eventually we will be able to defeat them using the appropriate preparations to ensure victory.

“―――We have the advantage.

Now that I know Assassin's physical traits, all that has to be done is to somehow lure him onto flat terrain.”

I clench my right fist.

At this rate, I don't have to wait for the enemy Masters to be weakened.

A perfect victory is achievable.

If I eliminate them one by one straight out, even the Association would treat me a li―――

“My, my, you sure are the adaptable one, aren't you, Master.

And here I thought you would be depressed over losing all the time because of me being useless.”

“Eh?―――N-no. Well, yes, but...”

...Come to think of it.

What am I thinking? Even if I do have this ability, I have been defeated again and again.

...I'm becoming careless.

Had I tried hard enough, I should have been able to defeat Assassin.

But instead, I am taking my time, prolonging the final battle until I feel that I have learned enough about his abilities.

It is as if―――no, that couldn't be true.

As the representing magus of the Association, I am only fighting battles that can't be lost.

“Well, it's not like we're losing time, so I don't really care. But, you know, we are spending more time than necessary.”

The Servant stands up.

Leaving the puzzle unfinished, he walks towards the entranceway.

“Let's keep on going. There are still places you haven't checked, right?”

Led on by the Servant, I also rise up from the sofa.

Carrying Rach over my shoulder, I grip the earring in my pocket one more time, and leave for the Heaven's Feel.

This is going to be a little sudden, but...

Bazett Fraga McRemitz is a strange woman.

First, her outsides and her insides are weird. They don't match.

Now, on the outside, she looks my personal favorite, the dignified mature woman.

What's on the inside, though, is a lowly coward with low self-esteem. To hide that, she has put her body and psyche through some rigorous training.

My guess... nah, rather, what I'd like to be true, is that she's the kind of woman that likes bullying herself. Has to be that. Yep, after all, she was able to build herself more than normal.

The armor that was the "able woman" produced from all of that is sure a stout one. Good looks and structural strength all but guaranteed.

Except, when one moves in a suit of armor, some holes have gotta show up, and that's where I sometimes get the opportunity to see the real Bazett underneath.

I don't have to bother saying what that's like. Something protected by a suit of armor for years ought to be kind of like a smooth boiled egg without a shell. Refreshingly cute enough to make me want to munch parts of it away.

But the thing is...

Now matter how adorable the insides might be, the armor she built up for over 10 years is too stubborn.

Once she gets into mission―――battle mode, she'd probably pluck off whatever delusion or lust for any man.

Here's an example that just happened:

“I am hungry. Let us go obtain nutrients.”

That came out of nowhere.

After she beat the crap out of those monsters, she said that as if she was measuring a pulse.

“You may come along. I am sure that you are not satisfied with just the mana that is being supplied by me.”

Said a Master that was awfully caring of her Servant.

Except. The place she barged into without any hesitation was the GyuudonBeef Bowl store right in front of us.


Even I knew about this. The cheapest, worst, and most common place to eat in Shinto.

I should refuse. Even if there's nobody around, there are other places to get a meal. There's also one of those expensive places that fit Bazett just 100 meters ahead.

But she still picked the place in front of us.

No mistake. She picked it because it just happened to be the closest one around.

“Do you have a problem?”

“Nah, not really a problem, it's just odd?”

“Then let us go. Remember to materialize yourself.”

She is unstoppable.

In the end, Bazett paid for the food coupon in a snap, got gyuudon and miso soup for two, gobbled it all down in 3 minutes flat, and went outside.

“...? So there was a problem?”

“...A kind of a combination of being a problem and being weirded out. Did your stuff taste any good?”

“There was a large amount. The soup was excessive.

However, the time it took to prepare was less than a minute. I find that wonderful. Let us use that store from now on.”

That's all she had to say about it.

She could get away with having meal time be nothing more than a way to get nutrition.

Unrefined and unreasonable is what it was.

We are looking at the base of one of the known Masters.

We discovered that no one was inside after a thorough investigation.

“Avenger, can you disable the lock on the gate?”

“Hmm... well, I might be able see how it works if it's a simple one, but you'd be able to do it for sure. You're the great magus from the Association, after all.”

“Lock picking is not among my specialties. I will entrust this to you.”

And that's how I ended up doing it.

My Master is weak at this kind of delicate work, apparently. Made for total violence, she is.

“Okay, then. I've been entrusted. Give me some time, this one's going to be a little tough.”

I shove my arm into the root of the tree in the garden to the side of the door.

Astral bodies are useful for stuff like this. Magic can be overlaid on my own circuits, somehow.

10 seconds.

20 seconds.

30 seconds.

40 se―――

“Uwaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!!!????? W-W-W-What the hell are you doing, lady!?”

She just plain out smashed the whole damn thing open to oblivion!

“I am raiding. Cover me.”

That's her excuse.

No, that wasn't even an explanation, and more importantly, this isn't a raid.

Putting her leather gloves on, Bazett charges into the enemy's base with no hesitation.

Unrefined, unreasonable and lazy is truly what it was.


We have finally reached the park.

Physically, I'm only a little tired, but mentally, I'm quite exhausted.

If I could dematerialize, I'd be able to cut the physical fatigue, but since I can't, I have to walk on my bare materialized feet.

“Water, water―――”

I am heading for the park fountain.

There are drops of white liquid on the road, starting from the top of the hill and leading to where I am now.

The leftovers of the milk that I've been soaked with, in other words.

“Hey. Don't move away. We're on the same side, aren't we? Come closer, Master.”

I swivel around.


Whoah. Bazett's laughing.

“...Okay, look. All this happened because my Master didn't think before she acted. I'm looking like this because I jumped in harm's way to save your ass.

While I'm at it, I came all the way down here without washing myself off at the mansion's tub or some other places' because you told me to.”

So I followed all of her instructions and this is my reward?

What kind of a spoiled princess does she think she is?

“Oh, I am thankful for your efforts. Had you not been there, I'd be the one like that.”

Like hell you are.

Shit, I think I'm going to give her a big hug to not leave her out on the fun.

“What is the matter, Avenger? The water is that way. Perhaps milk got in your eye?”

I am so going to kill you.

If we're going to do things cow-related, I want to give "bull vs. matador" a try. Then again, there is no way I'd ever catch that walking weapon.

“Tch. Ah, shit. I should have ignored that trap. Nuts, missed an event.

...No, seriously, I did lose out on beholding the wonderful scene of an unlovable woman like Master drowning in milk!”

“Avenger. I order you as your Master, shut up and wash your body now.”

"Alright," I said and went to remove the filth from my body.

Once the excess is removed, I can dematerialize.

While I'm covered with that milk, dematerialization is impossible.

Could have been an anti-Servant trap, but it might also have had a more dramatic effect on a normal body.

Anyway, we haven't found anything worthwhile in that mansion, and on the way out―――(it is activated when intruders leave, I bet) we set off the trap on the entranceway.

“...But, why milk?

Don't tell me there's some kind of belief about animal tits being wards in this country.

Didn't think so. I'm seriously thinking this is just supposed to be a prank, ain't it.”

“Maybe, maybe not. It is a merciful one, however.

You are lucky that it was new, fresh milk, right, Avenger?”

She tries to find the good points to this while smothering her laughter.

That's not what the problem is, lady.

We continue our patrol.

To kill the monsters and to find the Masters. Bazett wanders the city under the pretense of both.

What a roundabout way of doing things.

This isn't to win the war.

Bazett is looking for something else.

The fact that Bazett herself doesn't realize that is what's roundabout.

She's anxious because she can't totally forget that. Makes me want to have a certain idiot, who forgot about his own power, follow her example.


She's acting a little strange.

Maybe she had some bad experiences at a bay. After looking at the sea for some time,

“Avenger. We have fought many Masters.

The Servants accounted for are Saber, Archer, Caster, Rider, Assassin, and you.

The only enemies that we have yet to encounter directly are the Master and Servant of the Einzbern.”

“Yeah, that'd be right. Of course, I'm not really happy that so far there's been nothing but black marks.”

“...Yes. We have yet to have one sure victory. No matter how exceptional the familiar a Servant may be, this should not happen.”

Bazett grinds her teeth.

Not from the pain of defeat, but because her mind is trying to rouse itself up.

“I know that I am being apprehensive, but I would still like to hear your opinion.

...Do you, do you think we can win?

It is a fact that we are inferior in strength, but if we continue like this, one of these days we...”

One of these days we should win the war, is what her eyes were asking.

We're losing because we don't have enough experience.

If Bazett uses me a little for fighting, and if I tell her what my real Noble Phantasm is, there is no Servant we can't handle.

...A victory pattern of sorts is going to be picked up anyway, whether we want one or not, so I really don't need to tell her now, but...

“One of these days we'll stop losing.

But before that. Master, you're using "we" instead of "I" now for this talk about winning.”

I just had to point that out because I found it amusing.

“Ah―――n-no, did I? I, I didn't mean that consciously, but...”

“Now that's interesting. So, you trust me unconsciously, is that it?

What, is this love? Can I interpret that as love growing towards me as a friend?”

“D-Don't be ridiculous.

So, what proof do you have that we will not lose? Tell me honestly, without hiding anything.”

“I don't have proof yet, but there will be results eventually.

You've got a trump card that can take out Servants, right?

Just like that, I've got a trump card that'll stop a Servant for a little while.

With this much, the rest is up to how we use them. We'll work on the timing for that from now on.”

“Trump card...?

Do you have multiple Noble Phantasms?”

“Nope, I only have one. Resurrection, well... that's not me, that's an ability that got added on later when I became Angra Mainyu.

My Noble Phantasm is a copy of Avesta, you see. Well, I'll tell you more when we go back.”

Avesta is a support-type Noble Phantasm that records events by its own volition. On the level of an automatic typewriter, basically. Absolutely useless in a fight.

The advantage is that it is able to put into words emotions that are indescribable and ones that you wouldn't even be aware of.

A Noble Phantasm that's incapable of harming anyone―――befitted the name of Avesta, the book that inscribes all things correctly.

My Noble Phantasm, yeah, it's just a little bit of an imitation of that, but―――

“Anyway, if you want to stop losing, you're going to have to get serious too.

In combat, you're the best of the Masters.

It's possible for you to defeat a Servant with your bare hands if something goes wrong, so what's with the low self-esteem?”

“...That is... true... I have no intention of losing even if I am dealing with Servants, except all I can do is fight.

I believe that I am the worst of the Masters in other skills.”

“So what? There's nothing wrong with that.

Hrrm, wonder why you're feeling guilty about being tough. Pretty damn ugly, that kind of attitude, I mean.”

“Wha. I, I don't feel guilt, not at all.

I have no feelings nor regret towards any of those I have killed.”

“Oooh, that's reassuring, iron woman. Keep fighting with that attitude.

'Course, if you go overboard, I'm going to look pretty dumb. Lady, as you are right now, you're 10 times stronger than me, you know.”

“Y-Yes, I am well aware of that.

After all, on the very first day, I had the painful experience of just how useless you are in a battle.”

“Right, right. Oh yeah, but when it comes down to a human killing competition, I'm number one. Natural inclinations, you see.

...Wait, maybe not number one. I'm either second or third.”

“? There's a better murderer than you?”

“Yep, that's right. There's this dog and spider. These guys, you see... I just can't keep up with them no matter what I do. I can match up in quality but speed? Speed's on a different level.”

Never ever got into a competition with them or even met them, but I understood it as a hard to alter fact.

This is just like how a spider can spin a web from the moment of birth.

I learned that's how the rules were from the point I was called Angra Mainyu.

“Hm. So as a Heroic Spirit you are bound by the condition of "not being able to win in speed," I see.

Avenger. You told me that you are called Angra Mainyu, but that should not be your true name. What was the name that you had when you were alive?”

“I told you, I don't know.

As I said, I don't have one. If Angra Mainyu is too hard for you to pronounce, you can call me just Angra.”

“That cannot be true. You should be able to remember your own name.

...I take that back. I, of all people, should not be the one to be saying this. However, a name is the beginning of everything.

A name given at the moment of birth, if you think about it, is the expression of one's life. If you cannot remember, you should not be able to whistle with that kind of ease.”

“Damn, you're dense. Get this, I have "no" name. It was taken from me when I was treated as a hero.

Back where I came from, curses, if nothing else, were first rate goods. It's been stripped from me by curses, so I don't know what birth name I was called by.

Even if you order me to remember, that record just doesn't exist anywhere in the world anymore.”

A name, if you think about it, is your own life, huh?

That song tongue of yours, Bazett. I can't just sit back and lose to her, so I guess I'll tell her a few things.

This is a common, old story.

In it, there is a man whose life is saved by his friend. To save the man, that friend died.

The man took the name of the friend who died to save him, and from then on, saved the lives of many.

This was to give what remained in the world after, his deeds, his life, everything, to his friend who had wagered his life for him.

This isn't a story with a happy ending, not at all.

To get to the point, that man died long ago when he swore to lie about his own name and use his friend's.

“Then, your birth name is no longer...”

“Doesn't exist, nope. But I like the name I have now, since I've been called this longer than my birth name.

I've got some attachment to it and it's got a homely feel to it.”

“I see. You have lost your birth name, but your next name was one that you have grown fond of as you became a hero.

Even if it is a title, it is a name that gained daily applause. Of course, you would like it.

...Forgive me. I must apologize to you. I came to a hasty conclusion and ended up showing you unwanted pity.”

“Mm―――well, you don't have to worry about that, and it's nothing to apologize about.”

It's okay to come to a hasty conclusion, but pity is bad. If you're going to pity me, come back with love instead. Please love me, that's it.

“Well, as a penalty, let's put the spotlight on you next.

A name's a life, right? Your full name sounds like a big deal, there's got to be some big stories along with it.”

“M-My stories when I was younger?

Ah, no, why not stop here. They would only bore you out. There is nothing that you would enj-”

“Hey, it's okay, even if they are boring.

See, you're apologizing, aren't you, Master? Don't worry, as long as it's something I haven't heard yet, it's interesting to me.”

“...I understand. It really is true that the source of all disasters is the mouth, I see.”

That's absolutely right.

Oh yeah, most myths have something good happening after a disaster.

It'd be nice if my Master could get that kind of special reward, too.

“That is all there is to my work record. Are you satisfied?”

“...Well, I got an objective understanding of it.”

―――Bazett's story told only the straight truth.

Bazett's family came from an ancient magus lineage, starting back as far as the age of gods, apparently.

They were originally a great rune house that served the gods and were granted a special ritual that the other lineages didn't have.

You could say they were the super-elite.

Except, they set themselves up in the middle of nowhere and they didn't have anything that could be called a clan.

Elite, but elites without fortune or fame.

Only prestige was up in the highest classes, but the reality of what made that up was a country training hall dedicated only to barely passing on the "ritual" to one child in the family in each generation.

Bazett, the successor to that house, strove to learn the "ritual" since she was born, and reproduced that ritual as if it was nothing, just like her ancestors.

"Gods Holder.Tradition holder"

A magic trait that was passed down continuously since the age of the gods, different from magic circuits... to think it was able to last for thousands of years... that's a shock.

Yeah well, from what I heard, it wasn't so much from the genes of the bloodline, but from a pathogen that was living in a particular something that was kept for generations; something like that.

Bazett, who finished her training and gained the name Fraga, didn't say why she joined the Mage's Association.

But I could figure it out even if she didn't talk about it.

Basically, she wanted to train herself in front of many people to overcome the pressure of guilt.

Bazett ignored her parents' objections and contacted the Association. The Association invited the unexpected new nobility into their ranks.

The Association welcomed their new comrade, one that passed on the lost arts, and Bazett was invited into the Mage's Association with much fanfare.


What awaited her was a welcoming that was just a welcoming by form. Didn't look like there was a place in the Association for Bazett.

Magi are very conscious of competition, despite being an exclusivist lot. The Mage's Association, which has protected its authority for hundreds of years, is a place of power struggles rife with scheming on the inside.

They want the power to appeal to the outside, but on the inside, newcomers that shine too bright are worse than incompetent underlings.


There hasn't been a seat for a new house to sit in for centuries in the Mage's Association.

Even so, Bazett tried her best.

Overdoing herself even for the Association where she was unwanted, she would be smoked just because she showed results, be treated as a tumor-like authority figure. In the end, the Association would send her to the front lines to get rid of her.

The sealing enforcers.

The job of the Mage's Association's prized crazies, the equivalent of the Holy Church's heretic inquisitors, the "Mediators."

A sealing order refers to the restraining, capture, and lifetime confinement of those uniquely gifted magi and those magi that broke a taboo under the name of "protection."

Bazett was chosen to be one of them.

The rest is simply flying around the world solving problems, obeying the orders of the Association for years, probably. Doesn't get the equivalent reward for all of that, but she's still faithful to her job.

That was the background of Bazett Fraga McRemitz.

There's a lot that I want to make jabs at, but the point I want to do it to the most would be,

“Y'know, there's absolutely no men in it at all. Just magic? Give me a break.

What, don't you have a boyfriend in your hometown?”

“I do not nor do I feel the need to have one.”

“Don't need one, what the hell? Even if you don't need one, they're there normally. Where's the daily fun without one?”

“I am used to solitude.

I am not sad nor am I lonely. Even if I cannot fill in the feeling of lacking something, I can keep on moving along.”


This looks severe.

Need or don't need, lonely or sad, lacking something or your other half; what a bunch of nonsense.

This lady, she's never had a man in her life.

“Mm... hey, are you a virgin?”

I am looking at my partner very seriously.

Just like how a squirrel would nibble on a walnut. With honesty, diligence, and sometimes sharpness.


Master inches a half-step back.

“―――I, I have had some work-related experience, but I do not understand the point of the question. I don't think that kind of matter has anything to do with the Heaven's Feel.”

Ah, it does.

Now it's mighty fine of you to think that way, but I wasn't messing with you just for fun's sake.

I messed with you for fun's sake because there's some connection to it.

“No, there is a relation. I'm talking about whether you're strong as a human being.

Master, you shouldn't overlook love. It is the strongest motivating factor in human behavior.”

Okay, vengeance is pretty strong too, but after that's done with, there's nothing left in the end.

Explosive power is strong, but it doesn't offer much of a future, so its overall energy is low.

“I, I don't understand your point. What I do know is that you are making fun of me.

Angra Mainyu, I have had enough of your non―――”

“Hey, this is serious stuff.

I'm talking about love, you know love? It's one of the most powerful basic emotions. Human beings can become strong because of love, right?

That building block has fallen out of you for one reason or another.

Since I'm fighting with you, I'm a little interested.”

I give her a serious answer.


She also listens to it seriously.

“I, I cannot trust you. Your love is the wicked sort.

A-And first of all, this sort of topic should not be talked about so lightly.”

It'll lower its value, huh?

Another charming comment, eh.

“Why's that? It's okay not to take it all that seriously, not as if it's something to be embarrassed about.

"Please love me." That isn't the emotional expression you say when you're lonely. You say that when you want to have more fun when you're already having fun.

"I love you." That's a common greeting.

Or is it that you don't like all of the people you meet? If that's the case, it's you that's making enemies.”

“Fine. I will take that advice into consideration.

...For a boy, you sure are a smooth talker.”

“Well, thank you. Thing is, I might act like a brat, but I'm not a kid. Okay, doesn't make me an adult, either.”

I had stopped being a child, is what I meant to say.

“Is that so. You look like a normal noisy juvenile delinquent to me. One that is 5 years younger than me.”

“Oh? Master, how old are you?”

“Twenty-three years old. What about it?”

“Get out of here!? You're that young!?

I thought you were almost 30!?”

Whoops. "Kill me" meter is heading into critical zone.

“―――Amusing. And what made you think that, Avenger?”

Yep, the mouth really is the source of all disasters.

“...I mean, your history on your own sounds pretty long. You're too used to your job, right? Just try telling me when you moved out into the adult world.”

“......It was when I was 15, but I do not think that it was too early. As I had been training until that time, there was no problem in terms of ability.”

“...Uh-huh. So from that point on, you've been wearing that costume, huh?

I see. Yeah, I can see how 23 years of that can stiffen somebody up.”

Now it made sense. The armor she is wearing is a masterpiece seasoned by years of service.

“Were you listening to what I was saying? I said my career is 8 years long.”

“That's the number of years you've been wearing that armor. What I meant was your inept war record.

...Geez, if an average person's childhood is about 10 years, that would make you already 30 years old.”

“So because you were already 10 when you were born, and add that in, that'd put you over the big Three-Zero, wouldn't it.

Fifteen years older than the current me, eh? That's quite the―――? Hrm...? Hey, so my gut instincts about you being closer to 30 were right.”

I nod gruffly.

I think she is fed up with me from the bottom of her heart. She just stands there without saying a word.

“Breaktime is over. Let us return to the city and continue the investigation.”

“Gotcha. Let's backtrack as we usually do.”

I walk ahead of Bazett.

“...Are you implying that I am an idiot?”

“Huh? That's because you are an idiot.”

It's not bad in terms of balance.

A brat that stopped being a kid.

An idiot that threw away being a child from the start.

“Eh? Heeeey, Master?”

Bazett stops dead in her tracks.

She doesn't move an inch. Maybe she found something.

“What, find anything interesting, Master?”

I approach her while scratching my head.


“...I wonder what is wrong with me.

I hate to admit it, but it is as you say, Angra Mainyu.

I am an idiot. To be said that so straightly, I cannot completely deny it.”

She said with a natural tone of voice.

“――――――What. Nobody ever told you before?”

“No. There had not been anyone around me like you that would say things directly.”

This woman has absolutely no luck.

There are plenty of good men that would say that much, yet you just didn't have the luck to meet any.

“I did not know about this. To have my weakness pointed out by someone means that I have been acknowledged. It is slightly irritating, but I feel more at ease, somehow.

...Yes. Being this relaxed when I am with you seems just right. After all, it is not worth the stress for only me to be tense.”


I've gotta stare at it for a bit, it can't be helped.

This kind of sight is rare among the scenery that I will eventually grow tired of. I'd only find it here.

“Then shall we be off, Angra Mainyu? We will be going to the industrial region of Shinto next.”

“Ok, Master. And if you're going to call me by my name, call me Angra. It's too long, right?”

“? There is not much of a difference between Angra and Angra Mainyu.

...If you would like me to shorten it, then I will call you by Angra, but I feel that it sounds too normal of a name.

It is a common name and does not seem right for a Heroic Spirit.”

“Stop worrying about weird stuff.

...Huh. Oh yeah, you'd be concerned about it. Master's name isn't a normal one, eh.

Would have been better if you were in my position―――oh wait, they're both masculine names, aren't they.”

Yeah, bland names like Angra, Henry and so on are much cuter when compared to Master's.

The name "Bazett" is very ugly. Kind of sharpish, or lacking in femininity are some of the ways to describe it.

“―――Angra Mainyu. I thought I told you that a person's name is their life.

I take it that you are you prepared for the consequences of turning one into a joke?”

“No, no ma'am. Don't have any of that preparation or any complaints about Master's name, no ma'am.”

“Very good. I forbid talking about this from now on.”

So with that said, we dance back to the city of the Holy Grail.

The night patrol is, well... fun in a way.

I understood a little the feeling of continuing this for days and days.

Just understanding it does not mean that I can possess anything.

The night will continue forever as long as she wishes it to.

The woman that I am contracted to is unconsciously trying to making this battle go on longer.

A repetition without end and continuation.

The light will one day disappear, regardless.

Even if the form remains, the tin will dull out.

No matter how bright, something that has already been seen before does not have the light of birth.

Just like an eclipse.

Blackened, never to shine again.

“――――――, sigh

I'm acting like an idiot.

Thinking of whose wish this was won't change a thing.

Town・Day 1 For your forgetful self

There are no signs of human presence in the chapel.

The priest, Kotomine, has deceased... well, officially, he has gone missing. A replacement had come, but he had returned to his country some time ago. The church, as a result, was sealed off.


I rest myself on the bench.

Left in solitude like this, many piled up questions start to appear in my mind.

There are several things I ought to think about.

Among those, the first and foremost―――

“What Onii-san is forgetting, right?”

So says the blond boy standing by the altar.


“Hello. You looked like you were having some trouble, so I came to give you a hand.”

He walks towards me slowly.

I'm having flashbacks of the former priest's figure that once existed in this chapel.

He would pinpoint my worries precisely and expose a truth I didn't want to know.

“What I am forgetting, huh. And you would happen to know?”

“Yes, I do. Both Saber-san and Sakura-san should be quite perplexed by now. Why would Onii-san be slacking off, that is.”

Slacking off...?

I'm not aggressively trying to get to the bottom of this predicament, but I was under the impression that "slacking off" had a different nuance to it...?

“Slacking off? So what have I been skipping out on?”

“Your daily training. Onii-san, you haven't been using magic at all, have you? Did you go practice in the storehouse even once since the war restarted?”

“―――Ah, that's just because...”

It's not that I didn't know how; no, I just didn't have the opportunity to practice.

The significance of this revelation warranted only a, "Oh, that's right."

“That is significant. It's a little abnormal for a training maniac like Onii-san to not practice just because there's no good opportunity.”

“......Mrm. Yeah, that is true...”

Just as the boy said, the very idea of Emiya Shirou failing to train himself is abnormal.

So that was the real cause behind this uneasy feeling.

The question is, why had I forgotten this fundamental habit?

If there is an "enemy," then was this feeling itself some kind of sorcery planted by the enemy?

“I was forgetting my magecraft training―――Wait, does this mean I can't use "reinforcement" anymore?”

“That's not possible. Onii-san, you only carelessly forgot about your own powers. You just haven't used them.

People can work with most of what they know, but they can't venture into the unknown. They don't know how, that's why they can't do anything.”

“A―――, ah.”

Clang. The gears start turning.

The abilities that had not been activated simply by existing, gradually begin to move.

“That's right. I haven't lost my circuits. I can fight back whenever I want to.”

What I forgot was the way of fighting.

This is the wrought iron that no one else could copy, that no one else knew, possessed only by the magic-user by the name of Emiya Shirou.

“Yep, yep. But you should know that it's suicide to go into real combat without trying it at least once. Please don't forget about practicing in the usual place.”

I guess that's all he had to say.

The boy begins to leave the chapel, same way the former priest would.

“...Thanks for the advice.

But is it really okay? You were probably told not to get involved, weren't you?”

“Mmm, I really shouldn't. I'll get scolded, definitely. She's scary when she's mad.

Before, she used to insult me with her sarcasm, but now she'd plain ignore me. It's pretty tough. Porca miseria.”

“?? Porca what??”

“It's slang. She... wasn't brought up very well.”

Say what.

Blondy just went up the stairs with a gloomy expression.

“―――Well, as long as I made some progress.”

That fundamental factor I forgot.

I remembered what the one weapon that Emiya Shirou... no, actually, I remembered the fact that he has a weapon.

As soon as I have a spare moment, I'll have to restart that training.

Emiya Residence・Start of Night Things to do

Emiya Residence・Night Map Awakening (fake)

...My heart is throbbing.

A clear objective is thickening the blood throughout my body.

“...Now I see. This is why I've been coming to the storehouse for no reason at all.”

My body continued to plead even as my mind was unaware.

Go there.

Take back your former self.

Know your weapon.

Without it, I can't fight alongside Saber. My body remembered that truth.

Sitting in a full lotus position, I focus my nerves.

“...Now, let's see how well I can still use it.”

How long have I not done this?

Seeing as I can't recall even that, I might have problems just activating the circuits.

...I've no confidence in myself.

With the intention of going all the way back to the basics, I'm buried deep in myself.

But it seems that all my worries were pointless.

Activating my circuits and attempting reinforcement magic succeeded without a hitch.

“...Huh. It isn't that big of deal when I know what I'm doing.”

Anticlimactic, but I suppose this is what it usually feels like to get out of a slump.

Also, surprisingly, this was interesting in itself.

This was the first time that it felt "fun" to train and use magic.

...I can finally go further.

I think of the "sniper" that I shouldn't have seen yet.

I have finally remembered what my own weapon is.

Now, I'll polish this power for as long as time permits―――

Day 2

Streets・Day 2 Angel and a diamond

It's come to be a late lunch.

To calm my stomach's screaming, I take my lunch and head for the park.

The park on this clear autumn day seems to be almost as busy as it would be on a weekend.

The benches are pretty much all taken. Looking for a place to sit down, I walk along the riverside.

From the mouth of the river, I can smell the salty fragrance of the autumn breeze. No wonder it's starting to feel cold.

But thanks to the deep blue sky and bright sunshine, even those are forgotten before long. The weather is truly refreshing today.

On the other side of the row of swaying radiant golden ginkgo trees―――

The voice of children cheering and the sound of a ball being bounced around reach me.

Soccer. A game of soccer, huh?

Yep, did that. Together with Shinji.

It was a snowy day, very unusual... Back then, Shinji lost one of his shoes... Well, whatever.

Having found a nice grassy spot near the playground, I sit down cross-legged. Won't be long before I'll be able to see the outline of my stomach. It's got to look like a deflated soccer ball already.

Wasting no time, I take out my two-tier container, and dig in wholeheartedly.

As soon as my consciousness comes back, I look up, still munching. Out on the field, four vs. four―――eight kids are struggling with the ball.

Munching on my soy sauce-boiled burdock, I keep watching the game.

What I thought was a mere child's play is actually looking pretty good.

Looks like the attack and defense are well aware of their roles. Despite having an unusual number of players, this isn't just a kids' game, it's more of a mini-match.

Having watched for a while, I notice that the two kids on the inside are clearly different, their passes quite nice looking. Seems like they're going easy on the rest. Must be the local soccer club members or something.

...Thinking that, I see one energetic guy, just vigorously kicking the ball forward. Falling victim to feints in an amusing way, he keeps pitching forward.

Seeing that pitiful but persistent little figure, I suddenly got an urge to help him out. And it wasn't just me who felt that way.

From the opposite end of the field, a jeans-clad figure is cheering in his support.

And not in the usual cheerleading way, but rather expressing her own joy and sorrow, relaying it as the match progresses. The kids seem to notice it too, feeling awkward whenever they hear her voice.

Definitely not Japanese. The hair is a pretty golden color. A white, slender, girl-like figure―――

...And I definitely remember seeing the huge lunchbox at her feet before.

Wait, now that I look at it, aren't those MY shirt and jeans?

“Alas, so close! Keep on pushing!”

Saber...? Yep, no mistake.

That blue ribbon. Definitely Saber. Actually, now that the weather is nice, she did say that she was going out sometime during the day.

“Yes, like that! Perfect! Worthy of praise!”

But the moment I stand up, about to wave to Saber, who's completely immersed in the game―――

One of the kids stops the match and turns towards her. The other kids start gathering, too.

“Oh? Is it over already?”

“Oh, a woman... whatever. Nee-chan, shut up!”

As the kids come closer, Saber looks around her nervously.

“―――By "Nee-chan," do you mean... That is me, correct?”

“Not like there's anyone else! We don't care if you watch, but be quiet, would you?”

“Yeah. It totally messes up the rhythm.”

Several kids voice their agreement.

“I apologize for my careless actions. I always happen to see a great number of people cheering on TV. And so I thought I could attempt a little. When a point is scored, like this... a wave started by a mass of people, also quite a spectacle―――”

Bending then straightening her knees, Saber meets the kids' unimpressed stares.

“...I beg your pardon. I will watch quietly from now on.”

She bows her head deeply. Suddenly, a ball drops on her lap.

“Maybe you want to play with us? Well?”

And the one who threw it is that very same reckless kid from before.

“...Would that be alright!?”

Taking the ball, her eyes are shining.

“Stop that, Geros.Barfer

“Shut up!”

“She's a foreigner.”

“You idiot. Where'd you see a Japanese-only team noawadays?”

“Yeah, now that ya say it.”“Can she play, though?”

“Nee-chan, where are you from? France? Germany?”

“England... I am English.”

"Ohh!" the kids all let out.

“England? Don't they have soccer as the national sport and stuff? Like sumo in Japan.”

“No, they don't. That's, like, Germany or Brazil who did that.”

“England has that thing, one that looks like cross between gateball and baseball. Forgot the name.”

“The heck is that? Isn't that just golf?”

“Golf is Scottish. But the one that soccer came from is definitely England.”

“Wow, ya sure know your stuff.”

The boy that called out to Saber clicks his tongue.

“What, wasn't that Spain...?”

“...? Yes?”

Saber nods, perplexed.

“If you're English, then you must be good at soccer.”

Says the boy with glasses.

“No, that is, I have yet to try it.”

“Ya kidding! And you were watching right up there! Are women, like, not supposed to or something?”

“"Socca," is it? No...”

Saber is looking at the ball in her hands.

“I was always interested... but days after days of training, and I never had a chance. However, I often watched soldiers amuse themselves with it. I believe I understand the rules a little, as well.”

“By passing this ball between your allies, you need to deliver it to the goal denoted in the enemy camp, is that correct?”

“Right, but everyone knows that.”

“Training with soldiers and stuff, who are you, Nee-chan? Military?”

“Well, something like that.”

“Ah, an SDF clerk?”


“Ah heck, just when we get our hopes up, a total newbie. One more thing to trip over, eh, Geros?”

“Aw, shut up.”

Before long, I see them choose a representative from each team and, with rock-paper-scissors, decide which team is going to take the foreign player on. Soon, Saber goes out on the field, surrounded by the kids.

I'll leave them be, for the time being.

Should there be trouble, I could always just come and force my way through the crowd. But let's not do that now.

Continuing where I left off with the chopsticks, I resume the meal. A mischievous thought crosses my mind and I slide over to a nearby tree, hiding myself in the shade―――

“Nee-chan, incoming!”

“Not "Nee-chan," it is "Saber"!”

As she's protesting, her intent gaze is following the ball that was sent high up in front of her.

"Trap!", comes the voice of a boy behind her.

“Huh? A trap? Where!?”

“Block with your body!”

“Got it!”

The awkward game continues for a while.

No matter how short she is, she still looks out of place playing alongside kids.

But Saber herself pays no notice, her face shining brightly. Even the kids, feeling the joy, soon stop going easy on her and begin the real match.

That's when it really became a sight worth seeing.

Mimicking the kids' movements, right before my eyes, she's starting to get used to handling the ball.

In a span of a few minutes, her moves changed completely. Even as the ball goes out the field, she casually brings it back into the game.

And even the opposing team can no longer just kick the ball towards the safety zone, their passes becoming more cautious.

Speaking of which, the soccer club member-like kid that I noticed a while back... as expected, Saber is chasing him, but he manages to keep her at bay with feints.

Suddenly slowing down, he kicks the ball in a direction entirely different from where he's looking, tricking Saber hilariously.

But that's not happening a second time. As if preparing for a long-range kick, he just tosses the ball to a nearby teammate. Seeing through the maneuver, she quickly catches up.

Finally, the ball is hers. Unfortunately, the four teammates are still behind her. She's all alone right in the middle of the enemy field.

As if unsure what to do next, she looks back. The response comes back to chase her in a mix of cheers.

“It's wide open!”“Shoot!”

Saber's face suddenly becomes serious.


The opposing team has gone on attacking too deeply, and looks like they're now short-handed. The defender, also goalkeeper, hurries back to the net.

Gliding along the grass, she dribbles towards the goal. She is now facing the goalkeeper one-on-one.


A straight shot, without a trace of hesitation.

Deeply intimidated, the keeper cowers in fear.

Grazing the top of his head, the ball flies up, hits the top bar, rebounds, and soars high into the sky.


“Awesome shot.”


As if to silence the disappointment, out comes the energetic boy's cry.

“Not over yet! Keep pushing!”


Looking up, the ball, that has already become but a black dot in the sky, is now being pushed back by the headwind.

Aiming for the landing spot, Saber dashes back.

In a real game, a ball that has crossed the line in the air would be an out. But this place has its own rules. In other words, the ball is still in play.

“As if!”

Struggling to regain the lead, the opposing team comes running back and surrounds her.

Using her torso and knees as a spring, Saber leaps up in the air, easily over a man's height, and―――

―――grabs the falling ball.

Her shirt floats in the air as she lands. In front of the dumbfounded kids, Saber throws the ball.

Behind the petrified goalkeeper, the net is shaking.

A goal... sort of.

“How about that!?”

Striking a triumphant pose, she turns to face the kids, only to be met with blank stares.



She hurriedly tucks her now messy shirt into the pants.

“D-Did you see it? The jeans got a little loose...”

“T-That's not it!”“As if you could, you idiot.”“I saw it.”

Joining in with the kids' reddened cheeks, the palm of my hand meets my face.

“Stop fooling around, Nee-chan! This ain't football, ya don't use your hands!”

“Eh? So this is not football?”

Being put on the spot, she's getting nervous. Well, it's not exactly undeserved.

“Aren't ya mixing it up with rugby?”


She questions with a blank face.

“So what everyone has been referring to as "Socca" is, in fact, the game where you cannot use your hands?”

“'Course you can't!”“Hand ball! It's a foul!”


“However, I saw a scene where the ball was caught and thrown on TV―――”

“The only one who can do that is the keeper! That guy's the keeper, didn't I tell you from the start?”

“Yeah, that's me.”

Once again, the boy playing as the goalkeeper raises his hand.

“Oh... so that is what you meant.

A blunder on my part. I will be careful from now on.”

Raising her drooped head back up, Saber folds her arms, deep in thought.

“Hm. So the rules of "Socca" in Japan are rather complex. In my country, all you have to do is put the ball inside the goal.”

“Anything goes, basically?”

“Yes. Kicking the ball is a good way to cover a lot of distance. But right in front of the goal, it always ends up in a fight where the ball is carried by someone rushing towards the objective.”

“Hitting people is a super-foul!”“Red card, red caaard!”

“...So what if the ball hits a tree or a wall? That's alright, isn't it?”

“There ain't no trees on the field.”

“The matches were often held on the street rather than on an open field...”

“Huh? On the street?”

“Are you really English?”

“Now that you say it, I am not even sure...”

Well, yeah... In the age of kings, what Saber had watched must have been a predecessor to what is known as "soccer" today. But then, it's Saber we're talking about. The form might be a little different, but anything that involves moving your body around, she'll get used to in no time.

But that's not what worries me...

“In other words, it's all about judging the movement of the feet.”

The kids exchange semi-amazed glances.

“Well, there's also heading... but you're a girl.”

“Ya think a girl can shoot like that?”

“Hm. Very well, I will not hold back on the next one.”

“Gah, ya weren't even serious?”

“It looked like it could hurt someone, and thus I held back.”


The kids have suspicion all over their faces.

Pushing Saber outside their circle, they put their heads together and start whispering.

And as usual, the energetic boy's voice: “Ya kidding me!”“No frigging way!”, plus“Yeah, right! It's always my fault!”and other noises. What a lively fellow.

Soon, they break up, and turn to face Saber once again.

“Alright, listen up, Nee-chan. Another match, from the start! What do you say?!”

“A match, you say? Very well. I accept your challenge. I never got the chance to redeem my failure, either. The finale was not satisfying enough.

And I have a feeling all of you are yet to run out of breath.”

Here we go.

Saber's unique trait―――and her weakest point, her inability to accept defeat!

The kids' faces turn pale.

Even if she's a beginner, they realized who they're dealing with.

As can only be expected of the king of all beasts. No matter if your opponents are a bunch of little kids, asking her to take it easy is pointless.

And thus starts the rock-paper-scissors game to separate the living from the dead.

After a series of shouts have finished resounding throughout the playground, the teams are decided. As the two groups separate, Saber seems confused.

“The numbers do seem different from before. They have five people. We have four, including myself, don't we?”

“It's a handicap.”

“You're worth two people, Nee-chan. So it's actually 5 on 5.”

“That ain't it. Geros may as well not be there, he doesn't count.”

“...Shut up.”

Before starting the match, they've picked someone to go buy some drinks, and are now giving him their requests. Aside, the conversation with Saber continues.

“But even then, I am also a beginner...

And Geros, you're on the same team―――”

“Don't call me Geros!”

Caught unawares by a remarkably loud scream echoing throughout the playground, the kids go quiet for a moment.

However, the silence doesn't last long, and is now being replaced by a debate about drink brands.

“Gora.”“Pudding shake for me!”“Me too.”

“No way!”

“Moyashi-ame.”“Dr. Pepper, hot.”


“Fine! Will be back when I find it! Better drink it!”

“Definitely black tea for me. In a bottle, if possible.”

“Wait! One more should come, too!”

Having procured the drinks, the kids are sitting on the grass in small groups, stretching legs and taking a break.

Saber is kneeling down next to a boy sitting cross-legged.

―――For some reason, she looks restless.

Looks like she remembered that, unlike usual, she isn't wearing her skirt. Carefully checking around her, she timidly tries the cross-legged pose.

..."How's that?" her satisfied expression seems to say.

Hiding myself deeper within the shade, I feel a tinge of regret.

―――That's a lie. In fact, I am barely suppressing the laughter that's threatening to break out.

Saber starts talking to the energetic boy beside her.

“It looks like I used an inappropriate nickname just now. I apologize for being overly familiar.

...However, is it alright to leave it like this?”

“It's not like I'm mad or anything. Sorry for raising my voice there.”

Another boy plops down on his stomach beside them.

“See, that guy is real good being a goalkeeper. Not afraid of the ball and stuff.”

“Splendid, is it not?”

“But I want to actually play! As a forward, out in front!”

“Not that you've scored even once.”


“So, when was that? Taking a shot right in the stomach, from this close. Ouch.”

“I see. So that's why you get called Ge... mumble, mumble...”

“Yep. That's why.”


“It is nothing to be ashamed of. It is an honorable injury.”

“Not like throwing up is a foul.”

“Huh? What's his name before that? He said something, didn't he? "I'll be Gerston from now on," or stuff.”

“Wasn't it Garickson?”

“......Nah, not that.”

Scratching his head, the boy tries to remember.

“See, in Spain, in the Liga Espanola, there's this one awesome striker.


“Ah, that guy.”

Right that moment, Saber's eyes flip wide open, and her gaze fixates on the boy in front of her.

“W-What now. Stay away.”



“Are you Tristan?”

“Told ya, I'm fine with "Geros." It's embarrassing, stop it already.”

“A magnificent name, is it not?

Tristan. You should definitely have yourself called that.”

“I-It's not like it's my real name. And seeing how bad I am at soccer, it doesn't even fit.”

He says, pointing at the proud-looking Saber.

“That does not matter.

For a young boy like you, in any age, it will be your greatest desire, above all, that will encourage you when you leave for the battlefield.”

Confused, "Tristan's" cheeks start burning red.

“Not scored a single goal? You soon will. Let us do our best. We, all four of us, as a team.”

Taking the initiative, Saber stands up straight.

“At any rate, when the game is finally at the "seventy seven vs. eighty eight" stage, every point scored by every player is a chance―――”

“Nee-chan, that's basketball.”

“There ain't no three-point goals and stuff, either.”

“Weird foreigner.”


―――The game begins.

Just prior, Saber kept insisting that Tristan should come out in front, but...

“If you want to win, you're going in front. The goalkeeping is my job and no one else's.”

He absolutely wouldn't budge.

Saber's side is outnumbered. Goalkeepers aside, the teams are three on four. With this few players, a difference of even one may end up affecting the match far more than expected.

Once the ball is theirs, the basic strategy is to attack while passing it between Saber and one other player.

However, that leaves one defender to back up the two of them. Just one. Not exactly reliable.

On the other hand, the opposing team, in addition to having one defender, can use the remaining player as a midfielder for both offense and defense in a much more soccer-like manner.

Looks like the kids didn't mention anything about an offside rule. In that case, for Saber, with her speed, it would be advantageous to press deep within the enemy side, I'd guess.

However, the passes get cut too often, the attack soon crumbles, and the entire team is forced to defend. Saber's team is clinging on to its field and can't make a move.

A cry comes towards them from the goal. The keeper himself cannot advance in front; instead, shouting at the top of his lungs, the boy points out the best spot to attack.

Now is the chance. Gracefully stopping the ball that was cleared by her team, she is advancing forward. Her dribbling, picture-perfect.

A world of difference from before. With this, neither allies nor enemies will catch her. That's right. Opposed by the numerous enemies, Saber is literally playing two roles.

The opposing team's defender stands in her path.

Slowing down, it looks as if she's about to pass the ball to her teammate on the other side. Suddenly, turning her body around, she dashes forward yet again.

A feint. Having artfully handled the opponent, she leaves him behind. Well done. Now, only the goalkeeper remains.

“A chance!”“A preemptive strike!”

Her teammates cheers' intensify. Never stopping her feet for even a moment, Saber nods. Even the goalkeeper already has the vision of her last shot appearing before him. Seeing the image of a roaring lion approaching from the front, he knows he is already dead.

“I will not miss this time.”

At an even greater distance this time, she finally assumes the shooting position. Is it confidence? Or maybe just compassion for the keeper, giving him time to run away?


A flash of her foot, like a bow releasing an arrow.

A gunshot-like sound reverberates through the field. My cheeks shiver, as if having received an electric shock.

“W... wow.”

Covering their ears, the kids are petrified.

―――Did she break the sound barrier?

She did say she'll be serious―――and get serious she definitely did.

Y-Yeah. It's Saber after all, haha...

This is the end. Fearing the worst, I look over the goal.

What's left of the kid, a gaseous mist of red particles... isn't there. Huddled behind the goal post, the poor kid finally dares to crack open his eyelids.

There's no ball, and neither is there a gaping hole. All that's there is a soft breeze swaying the net.

“Awesome, like in a movie!”

“The keeper's dead.”“Nah, he isn't!”

“So where's the ball!?”

The agitated kids turn towards Saber. With a shamed face, she points towards the sky.

“...I am sorry.”


A mix of angry cries, screams and shouts of joy pierces the autumn sky.

Like a boomerang, or maybe some kind of a UFO, the pitiful remains of the ball, split into a big "Mitsubishi" shape, come flying back.

“Oh no, Saegusa's ball broke!”

“Eeek! Nee-chan killed it!”

“Ain't my problem! 'Cause it's Kouta nii-chan that will be mad!”

“So what about the match?”

“Oh yeah, one more time, pleease.”

“But there ain't no ball!”

...Saber hangs her head in shame.

In the meantime, the remains of the ball finally land in the nearby thicket.

Having received the full force of the impact, the synthetic leather has split magnificently, straight-line burn marks evident on the surface. The latest victim to witness Saber's deadly attack.


I hesitate for a while.

Shall I watch the match till the end, or shall I leave before they notice me?

I want to keep watching, but I ought not to interfere with this development―――

“...But looks like there's not much choice with this.”

Much as I hate to, just because there's only this thing I could do. Because "Trace, on."

Mourning over their fallen comrade, only "Tristan" manages to not fall into despair.

“So what, it's just a ball!”

“But Saegusa won't have money for another one.”

“N... no way. There's no hope.”

“I will compensate―――”

“It's no use. There's no way our Nee-chan would take money from others.”

“That is unfortunate...”

“So Geros should go bring one, he lives nearby.”

“Oh, but mine got lost in a river.”

“Ah, yeah. The one in that PK was Geros', wasn't it?”

“First time I saw a penalty shot from that distance.”

“Shut up. I'll grow up and get it back one day!”

“I am terribly ashamed of myself...”

And then suddenly, the soccer ball comes back. Leaping high above the ground, it is now in Saber's hands. The scar marks are still there, yet it definitely holds air.

“Eh, what!”“Where did it come from?”

I'm still watching, but now from the thicket behind them, lying on the ground. The kids huddle around Saber, gawking at her hands.

“It's fixed...”“Scaary~”

“Surprise! Nee-chan, are you a magician!?”

“N-No, magic is my weak point...”

“See, it came back! Right!?”

“It's gotta be living. Meaning, a revival?”

“This is...”

“Indeed. This ought to be magic.”

Saber's holding on to their precious ball tightly.

“...Alright then.”

Now that the secret is out, it's time to retreat.

Saber's innocent joy of playing soccer with the kids would be spoiled by seeing me here.

“I'll just ask her about the outcome of the match when I get a chance.”

Sneaking around, I quietly leave the playground.

Right then―――where should I go for the afternoon...

Ryuudou Temple・Day 2 100 views of corpses

I am making my way along the forest path to the hill behind the temple.

Today is another nice day. Once I pass through this curtain of trees, a view of the fresh blue sky and the mountains should be waiting for me.

My field of vision expands.

The spectacle that greets my eyes is that of a pile of corpses.

But the one who'd thrown down that abstract sight here wasn't me.

It was the man with the same origin as me, the one who had profaned that holy verse.

White sunlight burns my eyes.

There are still traces of summer left here at the Ryuudou Temple.

“Augh, too bright―――”

Looks like the strong sunlight has blinded me for a second.

As if all the colors had been inverted, the scenery appeared black for just an instant.

Though I'm sure he's been aware of my presence for quite a while, he didn't spare so much as a glance in my direction.

Everything else I just saw may have been a hallucination caused by vertigo, but he sure isn't.


We regard each other with only silence.

What we saw, or thought we saw, was the same.

The first to break the silence would prove his own impurity.

The tension is exacerbated by the sound of insects.


I look closely at that familiar back.

Now that I think about it, why isn't he wearing his red mantle?

I can understand that it would be too hot to wear it in the summer, but it's already fall. No, more importantly, he isn't the sort of guy that would remove his armaments like that because of the weather.

But still, the sun's getting in the way.

This is a favorite spot of mine, but having this many nuisances here is enough to make me want to pick a fight.


You wouldn't have happened to have been somewhere high up wearing that outfit, would you?”

The forehead that the arrow has pierced recalled the pain that it will eventually feel.

“And what if I have? I don't believe I happened to have seen you within my range.”

“I thought so. I haven't seen you at night, either. I just felt you were there.”

At any rate, I have to cause everything that could possibly happen to occur.

Kill or be killed.

Once I cause both to happen, I only have to choose the outcome that's more convenient.

“...My turn to ask questions. Are you patrolling Fuyuki with Saber during the night again?”

“I am. I haven't been to Shinto, though, for some reason.”

Or, more precisely, I couldn't go.

“I wouldn't recommend you do. Stay away from Shinto after dark. If you try to cross the bridge from Miyama, you'll be needlessly attacked.”

“Huh? What, don't tell me you're the troll guarding the bridge.”

“The Shinto area is my shooting range.

Those who enter will receive warning shots.”

From what he's saying, he's driven back the other Servants already.

Because of that, Lancer, Rider, and Caster couldn't come near Shinto at night.

Lancer's place of residence ought to be the church, which would mean he probably had to camp out in the mountains.

Well, leaving that aside.

“...Oh ho. And that includes me?”

“You're an exception. I will shoot you between the eyes without any warning.”

He's not lying.

The bowman's intent to kill me is real.

“You're really still out to kill me, huh? With Tohsaka gone, now's your chance, is that it?”

“Obviously. With Rin involved, it would get complicated. My Master dislikes battles that don't produce results. On the other hand, she is quite the warmonger.”

I'll agree with that.

As much as she likes competition, Tohsaka isn't the type that goes looking for a fight. But if one starts, she's the kind that would get involved, and as long as she's in it, she'll aim to come out on top.

“Yeah, if Tohsaka were around, she wouldn't let you do as you please.

She'd wait and observe the situation until a battle began once she heard that the Heaven's Feel had resumed.

...Which reminds me, I haven't asked you yet.

Archer, what do you think about what's going on?”

“I don't intend to fight as a Servant.

However, as I have been entrusted with watching over things in Rin's absence, I cannot ignore it.”

“...Well, well. A little more aggressive than the other Servants, huh. Anyway, you want to get to the bottom of this just like me.”

“Not willingly. That's why I'm not wearing my mantle. This kind of thing isn't my fight.”

Aha. So that's why I found him here without it.

Archer hasn't gotten serious yet. He's just fulfilling the minimum requirements as the watchdog left behind while Tohsaka's gone.

“So can I interpret that to mean you won't take part in the restarted Heaven's Feel? You're just playing the part of the superhero defending the peace of Shinto, right?”

“Yeah. You, on the other hand, are an exception to that.

――――There's no need to wait until dark. If you want, how about we just kill each other right here?”

Archer responds to my murderous urge.

"I thought you'd say that," I muse as I unconsciously grin, and...

“―――That was just a joke. I don't feel like fighting here.

And don't forget, if this is an extension of the Heaven's Feel, the fighting's gotta be done in the night.”

I smoothly evade his urge to kill me.

“This would be a good place to end our conversation.

See you later, Archer.”

I begin to head back down the mountain.

“―――Fine. I will mean it when it concerns you.

As a reenactment of the unfulfilled Heaven's Feel, I will kill the two of you with everything I have.”

Provocation and readiness are in his voice.

The bowman has proclaimed that he would fight not just me alone, but Saber and her Master.

―――If that's the way you want to play it, great. Let's meet again once I'm ready.

That noble declaration wiped his coarse lust for blood away.

This is our license to kill each other.

An invisible letter of challenge has definitely been passed between the two of us.

Emiya Residence・Start of Night Things to do

Night・Streets at night (patrol)

Night・2 Decisive battle

We step onto the boundary of Miyama and Shinto.

I recall the words he had said to me a while back.

How many times have I been shot?

Once? Several times?

Whenever I crossed this bridge...

I ended up being defeated by you.

I feel my pulse quickening.

The blood that has been sleeping starts flowing, and the rusted circuits start activating.

―――Sorry to keep you waiting, partner.

My preparations are all in place.

I'm coming to take you down―――

The bridge is deserted, save for Saber and me.

Tonight, with no cars on the roadway, not even the sound of the wind blowing from the sea reaches my tensed-up thoughts.

“...This brings back memories. Back then, we went to the church together just like this, didn't we?”

“Yes. Shirou, who still had not understood what it meant to be a Master; I, who had not become your Servant yet; and Rin, who had still been our enemy.

Looking back on it again, we truly were an odd trio, weren't we?”

We're laughing off the memories of the night from half a year ago.

This, too, is a fragment of these precious days, but I cannot afford to get distracted now.

“...But Saber, you were in a pretty sour mood.

Granted, having just met, we couldn't talk that much, but you were totally silent all the way to the church.”

“Of course I would be. Now that it is over, I can tell you - the way I had been treated was infuriating.

If you were going to disguise me, there ought to have been a better way of doing so.”

Saber is picky when it comes to disguises.

Memories of the numerous expensive outfits she had been wearing last time... during the Fourth Heaven's Feel, it seems.

She did mention that she had also been dressed up as a man, in a black suit. Kiritsugu must have had a lot of trouble with Saber's inability to dematerialize, as well.

“Hmph, it appears that you have something to say. Very well, as an apology for that incident, let us settle this no―――?”

“Saber, above you!”

Saber repels the round that has been fired from four kilometers away.

Magic circuits, on.

I drive reinforcement magic into my eyes.

“I can see you, Archer.”

Two pairs of eyes that should not be able to meet, met.

Each one is now aware of the other, an enemy that neither should have been able to see.

The battle has begun. Tonight, I will cross this bridge...!

“Guh―――!? Shirou, what on Earth was that...!?

No, how did you detect it before I did...!?”

“We'll talk later! Here comes the next!

We're too confined down here. Bring me up, Saber!”

“U-Up? Up to where, Shirou?”

“To the spot that's higher and wider than this one.

I have a feeling today's been booked for us.”

“The expressway on top of the bridge―――Indeed, although our footing and field of vision here are much better here―――”

“Saber, incoming at ten o'clock! Find out where's it coming from!”

―――The second shot.

An interval of 20 seconds. A memory that grazes past my brain tells me that there are three shots left.

“I, I have located him...!

I cannot tell what is happening precisely, but there is a sniper on the roof of the Center Building...!”

I expected nothing less from Saber.

We gained a lot by confirming his position from that last shot.

“What is the meaning of this!? That is―――no, there is only one person who could!

Why is he targeting us? I cannot believe it. How can it be that Archer, of all people, would want to fight in this war!?”

“I don't know. All I know is that he's dead serious about beating us.

―――What other reason do you need right now?”

“It is as you say, Shirou. I will atone for my error later. Now is the time to intercept Archer with all our powe―――!”

The third shot.

A grace period of two more shots.

With the fifth, Saber's knees will give out, and the sixth will kill me.

These are the unchangeable results that had been drawn out from this tactic.

...Archer's sniping is increasing in power with every shot.

Each time Saber deflects one, he puts more magical energy into the next.

The firing interval this time was 25 seconds. The next one will likely be 30.

These intervals are his weakness.

If we can attack him right after he fires, before he can charge the next round, we'll avoid the same fate that's felled us before.

―――But how?

He's four kilometers away from us at a straight shot. On the roads we'd need to take to get to him, the distance is double that.

With Saber's Noble Phantasm we can put up a fight, but Excalibur affects too large of an area.

There is the risk of sweeping down not only Center Building, but even the surrounding buildings. And on top of that, we're dealing with Archer.

Knowing Saber's attacks as well as he does, he must have a defense against Excalibur.

The best way to fight a skilled sniper is to get close enough to engage in hand-to-hand combat.

But it would be impossible to get that close without him noticing us.

So if that's the case―――all we have to do is close the distance at an extreme speed before he responds...!


I fixed her with a meaningful stare.

With those hawk eyes he's using to watch us, the movement of my lips would give us away.

This fight will be decided in an instant. I can't let him discover what we're planning to do.

“―――It is possible. However, my magical energy alone is insufficient.

Forgive my rudeness, but even adding your own to mine, Shirou, we would not have enou―――”

“There's enough. I've still got this on me.”

The last Command Spell remaining on my left arm.

“Shirou...! No, that is our last resort!

And even if I should succeed, who will protect you!?”

“I cannot agree with this. We should retreat and reorganize our strategy―――!”

“I'm afraid we can't. After all, we already tried that once.”

Saber by herself could retreat.

But with me here, both of us will be killed.

To cross this bridge, I've got to bet everything on our timing, on this moment.

I might be able to start over again from the beginning, but I can't redo just this part.

Therefore, I'd better give it everything I've got.

Losing the Command Spell is no big deal.

All that matters is the fact of having defeated him, even if only once.

―――The fourth shot.

Saber's ability to repel his shots has reached its limit.

“I'll back you up with the Command Spell. Saber, can you do it?”

There's no time.

Any way you slice it, there's no greater speed than this.

“...Honestly. You're always so quick to make these decisions.”

Saber lowers her stance.

She looks like a carnivorous animal, tensing up the moment before it springs.

“―――Your orders, my Master. After all, I am your sword.”

Her blade becomes visible.

Cutting off all excess magical energy flow to the sword, Saber pours all of her power into her own body.

“Time it to the next shot...! Fifteen seconds...!”

The firing hammers fall, one by one.

Getting the timing right isn't all I have to do.

I have two major problems.

It would be after the Command Spell was released that the true worth of Emiya Shirou would be tested.

“―――Command Spell, trigger on.”

Ten seconds.

Command Spells allow for the temporary strengthening of Servants.

A powerful technique that converts that tremendous magical energy into energy for Servants.

Enough power to fill even Saber's enormous circuit.


The king of knights, one who ruled over the battlefields in the age of legends, shall be reborn.

The order about to be given with the Command Spell is "Fly."

This was no metaphorical flight. As literally as the order states, Saber will "fly" in a single leap from here to the roof of the Center Building.

Saber had once fought Rider there in the past.

A reenactment of that fight―――no, if movement is limited to a straight line, then by raising the amount of magical energy for the time she is in the air, the distance covered in one jump will increase.

If all of the magical power of the Command Spell is used solely to let her "fly," then it shouldn't be impossible to reduce the great distance between us down to zero...!

“In accordance to the vow of the Holy Grail, I, the seventh Master, order thee.”

Five seconds.

Opposing us is a nameless bowman.

The Heroic Spirit of wrought iron that uses the Noble Phantasms he traces as arrows.

The name of the arrow being trained on us is "Hrunting.Hound of the Red Plains"

―――Adjustment, plus five seconds.

The delay increases. The bow, drawn back to its greatest extent, further increases its own power to combat Saber's magical energy combustion.

The problem is in the timing.

It would be too risky to launch her first, or at the same time.

As Saber herself would become an arrow, if she leaps before Archer fires, he will aim at Saber.

Therefore, it has to be done immediately after the shot.

In that tenth of a second after he lets his arrow go, that's when we strike.

After Archer fires his full-force shot and before he charges the next round,

no, immediately after he releases the arrow,

she will drive her sword right through him―――

The roar of their swelling magical energy.

A showdown that seems enough to shake the moon.

Five. Still too early.

Three. My Command Spell feels like it could tear off from the strain.

One. The creaking of the bowstring. His fingers decide the target.


“Go, cut that bastard down―――!”

―――A flash that reduces the time needed to cross a distance of four thousand meters to nothing.

All of Archer's magical power, concentrated into the single enchanted sword, his arrow, glides through the air, carrying sure death to its target.

The name of the traced sword is "Hrunting."

An enchanted sword that will continue its assault on the target as long the archer continues to aim, even if it is deflected by Saber.

Even if Saber could guard against it, that wouldn't change the result.

No, the moment that Saber deflects is the same moment that the arrow roars toward its target.

As long as Saber expends her energy on defense, Archer's victory will remain unshakable.

That's right.

As long as she expends her energy on defense.

“―――――, !”

A mere instant, not even a fraction of a second.

The instant that his fingers released the bowstring and fired.

The defense, Saber, disappeared from the bridge.

The bowman saw through to his enemy's true intention. But it is too late.

The arrow has already been fired.

Which one of them has now confirmed their victory?

Should there be a bowman that can shoot his mark several hundred meters away, he is still bound by an ironclad rule.

An arrow, once fired, cannot change its target.

Whatever arrows that guarantee a definite hit he may have, a bowman cannot resist this law.

Yet―――it is by conquering that law that he is the Heroic Spirit of the bow...!


The arrow is changing its path. No, it is a path that was meant to strike two enemies from the start.

He's turned that same rule back on us. A launched Saber has no means of dodging.

The arrow transforms into a demonic bullet that will shatter the King of Knights.

An unavoidable death, one nobody could escape.

―――Yet. It is by rising above that fate that she is the Heroic Spirit of the sword...!

Light crosses light.

A tilting balance, as if it were passing through.

The blue light rises to the heavens, as though singing its victory.

The red light plummets to the abyss, as though lamenting its defeat―――!

Leaving a huge shockwave in her wake, Saber is released.

The timing was perfect.

However―――a simple Command Spell won't break through this bridge.

With my face to the blinding wind so powerful it shakes the handrails, I stare down the approaching bullet.

Time stops.

In a blank space of time shorter than a second, blood charges in my veins.

One second after I used the Command Spell.

No time to image.

No time needed to image.

That which I had forgotten, I'll use it all for this moment―――!

“, Hah―――, hah.”

The tension and fear take my breath away.

My left hand is burning.

I can see my death, approaching in zero seconds.*


I gasp for breath, my tongue hanging out like a tired dog's.

Laws of physics and magic are rushing about.

Time to formation: zero seconds. Time to direct impact―――*


―――That spectacle... Archer certainly witnessed it.

An attack that poured all his power, down to that required to breathe, into his left arm.

The sparking of the traced Noble Phantasms.

The tearing of layers of muscle.

Coupled with a death-defying counterattack, that boy defended against it miraculously.

As far as the outcome of the battle, the bowman still has the potential to win.

The boy's shield is broken, while the arrow, though repelled, still remains in flight.

That arrow will soon reverse its course and find its target right between the boy's eyes.

...That's right.

As long as the one who fired the arrow is still intact.

“―――Less than two seconds after the fifth shot was fired.

How stupid of me, to have not readied my swords before notching the 6th shot.

...It seems that when I reoriented myself towards my main occupation, I took it a little too far.”

How ironic.

It has always been this man's style to use tactics unlike those of a bowman.

This Servant, who preferred close-quarters combat with his twin swords to the bow, couldn't respond to Saber's attack because he had returned to using his true method of battle.

“It was a shot worthy of the name of Archer.

Had your Master been with you, it would not have ended this way.”

“―――Heh. Don't be ridiculous, Saber.

If THAT had been here, I'd never have even gotten the chance to fight you.”

He answers her praise with laughter.

His lips curve into an expression not of contempt, but of fraternal respect.

“Tch―――I'm at the end of my rope. Got anything else to say, Saber? Remember the duty of the victor - if you've got questions, go on and ask 'em.”

A light sound, as of sand being dispersed.

Nothing so awkward as the shedding of blood occurred.

Even a Servant bleeds - while he's still alive.

But when that life is definitively severed, all that remains is for him to return to ash.

“―――No, I have nothing to ask of you.

If you felt the need to take arms, there must have been a just reason for it. I cannot take anything more from you.”

A soft chuckle escapes from Archer.

Should he take Saber's courtesy as kindness or cruelty?

When in battle, the knight carried both within her.

...There had been a time when he found that contradiction, that self-destructive strength of the heart that would have eaten away at a mere human holder, to be beautiful.

No. Even now, he can't make himself forget it.

Long ago, there had been a meeting.

It probably hadn't lasted even one second.


Even should he fall to the depths of hell, he will recall that image vividly.

Locks of hair illuminated by the moonlight.

...If he shuts his eyes, even now that image will remain in his heart.

“I lose this time, it seems―――I'll be the first to go, Saber.

Do your best at being fooled by me.”

Scattering without gallantry, Archer is destroyed, his bitterness in defeat all that is left.


Sheathing her sword, Saber bites her lip.

Above her hangs the black moon.

It is almost as if something toxic would drip from its cup-like silhouette, slowly, down onto the victor to poison her.

One hour later.

I drag my body, exhausted from the one attack, up to the roof.

Saber stares up at the sky.

The taut expression on her face makes me hesitate to call out to her.

“―――Shirou. You came to pick me up?”

There is no vitality in Saber's voice.

Archer isn't here... which means she has defeated him.

She has no wounds that I can see, but leaping that great a distance must have been painful.

“Sorry I'm late. Saber, are you all right?”

“I was not injured. But Shirou, what about you? You are quite pale.”

“...Doesn't feel so bad, but you may be right.

I've been shivering for a while. My strength's probably down since I used up all my magical energy.”

Even I have to admit that that was crazy.

Back there, I was so abnormally exhilarated that I couldn't think of the consequences.

“Let us go back home for tonight.

We can begin patrolling Shinto starting tomorrow. For now, your recovery must take precedence.”

“...Yeah, you're right. Getting this beat up makes it pretty impossible to do any more.”

We leave the roof.

“Shirou. Did we really do the right thing?”

“Yeah. If I had to say, I'm sure we made the right choice.”

No doubt about it.

One more event cleared.

...The battle of the bridge marks the end of something.

Archer has been defeated, the anomaly continues running rampant, and the night of the fourth day goes on in idle slumber.

Completion is still a long way off, but for now, I'll rest.

Even if this wish will go unfulfilled for now.

If I keep moving forward, then one way or another, I will see the end.