Loop 28

True Beginning Heaven's Feel Backnight 4

I awaken from the darkness.

It's October 8th again, as usual. We're back at the start.

“Let's see, my Master is―――still asleep, as I thought.”

As always, a beautiful defenselessness, the kind that arouses nearby men (namely me).

She looks like a normal girl when she's sleeping. Whenever I see her like this, I get an overwhelming urge to violate her.

It's probably because she's always wearing that armor once she's awake.

Thinking of her in terms of a certain "rule of 10," then the woman sleeping here so peacefully is, after subtracting 10 from 23, a mere brat of 13, right on the cusp of puberty.

...And with this in front of me, it would be weird if the urge DIDN'T arise to play some kind of prank on her.

“―――But, well...”

Now's not the time for that.

This time, Bazett did a good job.

Using my Noble Phantasm and Bazett's Mystic Code together to maximum effect, we defeated Master after Master.

In the end, we even crushed Saber, who, up until now, had turned the tables on us every time.

"Verg Avesta.False Copy of Inscribed Creation"

My Noble Phantasm, which sealed Saber's movements away by inflicting a fatal wound... or at least what seemed like one, on her.

The trick behind it is this: it's a curse of retribution.

A curse that inflicts the victim's wound upon the attacker, as well.

If I were slashed across the chest with a sword, then my opponent would feel the same pain,

and if my arm were cut off, my attacker would lose feeling in his arm as well.

It's nothing but a passive Noble Phantasm, but it has the huge point in its favor of causing an "absolutely enacted" retribution.

Originally, this sort of reversal curse had hardly any effect on Heroic Spirits with strong magic resistance.

Against one with magic resistance as strong as Saber's, it should, on the contrary, just make the damage to me even worse.

But once the conditions for its use are met, "Verg AvestaFalse Copy of Inscribed Creation" will completely ignore its target's magic resistance.

There are just two.

It can be used only once against the same target,

and the one who casts the curse must not have died yet.

When I told Bazett about my Noble Phantasm, she said,

“Keeping yourself alive really is your specialty. With a Noble Phantasm like that, nobody should be able to kill you.”

and got angry for some reason.

It was as though she were saying she couldn't forgive a guy who dwells in such a perfect safe zone.

But it's nothing so convenient as that.

Verg Avesta isn't the kind of Noble Phantasm that invokes itself. I have to carefully determine the right time to use it.

I also have to be able to call out its name to activate it.

“Oh... In other words―――instant death... would be bad?”

How very insightful.

It should somehow go without saying, right? If I die, then the curse won't reflect back to the attacker.

“...I'm sorry; I jumped to a conclusion again.

Your Noble Phantasm is certainly difficult to use.”

You said it. If what I have it reflect is just a shallow wound, then the damage to the opponent is small.

On the other hand, if I try to take serious damage, I could die the instant I receive the injury.

The preparations I have to make to use it are difficult for sure, but what I have to avoid at all costs is the case where Verg Avesta doesn't kill the enemy.

I can't even aim for a simultaneous strike with theirs.

I can't deliver an attack with enough power to kill, because I can't reflect an attack strong enough to kill me in the first place.

Therefore, about the best I can hope for is to "take a nearly fatal wound, then somehow survive long enough to send it back at my attacker." It's a really roundabout way of doing things.

But that was more than enough for the me this time around.

That's because I got a Master with an ace up her sleeve that equals the power of a Noble Phantasm.

A quasi-Noble Phantasm... nah, it'd be a mistake to call it that.

It is one of the few that, after the passage of untold millennia, has remained until the present day, a true Noble Phantasm.

The Noble Phantasms of Servants are just objects that they owned while they lived, and are nothing more than lost legends today.

But Bazett―――no, those of the Fraga bloodline have stubbornly kept charge of and handed down that sword until the present day.

Fragarach's abilities are those of a simple ray of light, but its additional effects are truly interesting.

It can't be invoked for use simply through being charged with magical energy; rather, it's an interception armament specialized solely in countering. It won't be awakened unless faced with the opponent's greatest attack.

As soon as the enemy starts that attack, Fragarach will activate itself on them before they can finish it.

Fragarach is an attack with the power to reverse time.

As for the result of its use, look at how Saber went down for your answer.

Once it comes down to a face-off between two Noble Phantasms, nobody can stand up to Bazett.

No other Noble Phantasm has nearly enough speed or power to match it. Fragarach's defining characteristic is its ability to overturn anything.

As far as I know, there's nobody else with a freaking ridiculous Noble Phantasm like this... well, except for that one guy, maybe.

I'm repeating myself, but in a fight between Noble Phantasms, Bazett is pretty close to a god of war.

Then the rest is simple.

I use my Noble Phantasm to its maximum effect to pave the way for her. I drive the enemy Servant into a corner and lead them into using their own Noble Phantasm.

And after I do, it's showtime for Bazett.

The timing of Fragarach's invocation or the difficulty of activating it are of no concern to me.

Whatever kind of pain and hardship is felt by the body of a human tasked with bearing a cursed sword from the age of gods, it makes no difference as far as I'm concerned.

Bazett's never made so much as one wrong move in all this time.

As a partner, that's probably the part of her most worthy of praise.

Thanks to that, she was even able to beat Saber.

Only the Einzbern Master remains. The last ticket Bazett needs to realize her heart's desire is almost within her grasp.

Or I should say, the fact that things have gone this smoothly so far means we must have odds about as high as the stars in the night sky above on our side.

To put it bluntly, there was about a 1/4000 chance that it would turn out so well.

More than the number of stars that can be seen with the naked eye.

“―――Still, that doesn't change the fact that we've gotta start all over from scratch again, does it.”

Bazett's eyelids begin to flutter.

She takes a pained-sounding breath, but then, as though relieved, lapses back into calm silence. Should be another twenty seconds or so before she wakes up.

...Well then. Once she's awake, she'll be itching for a fight as per usual, so I guess I'll go hide myself in the corner, where I can shake and tremble in fear.

If I try messing with her like usual, there's a very good chance she'll send my head on a permanent vacation from the rest of my body.

No matter how I look at it, we're reaching the end.

Scratching my head at the trivial but lingering attachment I'm still feeling, I retreat into the safe zone.

“nnh―――, ah......”

...My consciousness slowly returns.

Overwhelmed with a fatigue so heavy that my body feels made out of lead, I take another deep breath and feel fulfilled.

I've repeated this ritual countless times now, rebirth after rebirth.

Once again, I've returned from that horrid abyss of death and come back home.

No, rather, I've ended up back here again.


Why again?

Even though I was certain I'd defeated Saber this time...!?

“Even though they didn't beat us... we didn't lose, not even once.”

After a rebirth, my eyesight is always fuzzy for a while.

I survey the unlit room.

As usual, Angra Mainyu is there, off in a corner of the room fiddling with that puzzle.

“Yo, looks like you're up, Master. How does it feel to have your life restored?”


The same greeting as always.

Like every time we return to this night after a defeat, I confirm the usual matters with him.

“Avenger... what am I, or rather, what are we doing here? We beat Saber, the day ended, and after that―――”

I have no memories after that.

I have no memories of the fourth night after defeating Saber.

“After that, we came back here. You should already know why. You've experienced it so many times already, after all.

He appears as no more than a shadow, almost hidden from view.

All I can sense of him is his presence in the room.

And he's grinning. The laughing face of a demon that delights in watching human torment.

“Angra Mainyu...!

Answer me. What is going on...?!

We beat Saber. And Rider, and Assassin, and Caster, and Archer! The only ones we still have to take out are the Einzbern and Berserker...!

So why? Why are we back here at the first day again...?!!!”

I slam my fist into the sofa.

My body, still stiff from rigor mortis, moved through the force of my anger alone.

My Servant... Angra Mainyu hasn't moved from the corner of the room but remains there, gazing at me as he grins.

“...Why will you not answer me? You are my Servant, are you not? Your role is to cooperate with me so we may fight and win together, so what is this?!”

Irritation and disappointment send the words rushing out of my mouth like water through a burst dam.

...Well, of course. I knew from the start that this Servant was not to be trusted. I don't know why I'm letting myself feel so disappointed.

“There's no reason why, Master.

I seem to remember already telling you this, but the two of us can infinitely continue in this Heaven's Feel.

Just as we defeated Saber, the fourth day ended and everything went back to how it was before. Every time you die, someone else gets the Grail, or the fourth day ends, we return to this night.

No exceptions. As long as we're part of the Heaven's Feel, we keep repeating these four days.”


“―――Knowing all that, then why would you ask a question like this now, huh, Master?

Pretty selfish of you, wouldn't you say? You've cheated death again and again and returned to this night each time. Every time you lost, you got to start over with a clean slate. So I'd appreciate it if you'd spare me the complaints, okay?

Because, after all―――you've gotten through by relying on that convenience without questioning it all along. I'd say now's not the time to start doubting it.

Wicked laughter.


I try to stand, but fall onto my knees on the bed.

I still can't move my legs... How pathetic. My body without proper blood circulation and my personality that lets Avenger rile me up so easily, they make me feel about as cool and composed as a child.

“...Avenger. Let me get this straight.

It doesn't matter whether we win or lose. When the fourth night comes, we're automatically sent back to this night.

...In exchange for being protected against death in these four days, we can only live in these four days.

This―――is the rule of the immortality that I obtained.”

“You've got it! Way to get right to the point!

Come to think of it, I really ought to have told ya that right at the start, eh?”

My Servant begins whistling in an entirely exaggerated display of high spirits.


Of course, an explanation like that doesn't begin to solve this riddle.

There's still a veritable mountain of questions I need to ask him.

First of all―――

“Why does the reset happen every four days? Is that the limit of your powers?”

“Who knows? I don't understand the reasoning behind it myself. Sure is a good thing that it wasn't every one day instead, am I right?”

“...Is it possible for us to get past the fourth day without relying on your Noble Phantasm?”

“Who knows? And anyway, it's not my Noble Phantasm, but a special privilege granted to you who made the contract with me. You're the one who decides what we do, not me.”

“―――In that case, we need to win the Heaven's Feel within these four days, right? Once we do, it will mean the end of this phenomenon too, correct?”

“Who knows? We haven't tried it yet. Though it sure would be nice if it did. The way things are going, we'll be stuck in these four days until I don't know when.”


I grit my teeth.

There's no use in talking to Avenger if he can't answer my questions, or rather, if he doesn't feel like giving me any serious answers.

"We'll be stuck in these four days until I don't know when―――"

Up until now, I thought that all I needed to do was win against the others without dying myself.

But the reality of it is, as long as I'm restricted to within these four days, they become a boundary that I cannot move beyond.

Four days.

Whether or not I can defeat the other Masters in four days.

“―――I can't. Not in only four days, no matter what I do.”

I can't defeat six Masters in four days.

This time, no, last time, when I beat Saber, I was at my limit.

We got incredibly lucky in those last four days of battle.

Of everything that these repetitions have taught us, that last time was just about the most perfect conceivable playthrough possible.

And even then we weren't able to reach Einzbern. However I make my way through them, at the very end of the four days, a single enemy still remains.

“So do I need to change my methods...? No, that's just as idiotic.”

If I wait for the other Masters to come find me and try to take me out, I'd just be inviting an early end to the cycle. Even if I did that and fought to the furthest limits of my strength, it wouldn't be enough to make a difference in the end.

In the first place―――I only have three uses of Fragarach available for head-to-head fights like the one against Saber.

One I need to use against Einzbern, and one against Saber.

So the last one I should use on a Servant that can't be separated from their Master, right? When I've tried to fight like that, I didn't even make it past even the second day.

...Moreover, the other Masters aren't our only opponents.

That swarm of unknown familiars, and the magus controlling them.

Say that by some unthinkable miracle we were able to win the war. Even after that, we'd still have this eighth enemy, who we've never so much as seen before, with their sights on the Grail to get rid of―――

“...What a farce... with things like this, it's almost as though...”

As though solely for the sake of continuing the Heaven's Feel, I'll have to keep fighting forever.

As long as my contract with Avenger is in effect, I can never move beyond these four days.

So in that case, I just need to break that contra―――

“What's up, Master? Something on your mind?”

“Ah―――no, I just felt a little dizzy all of a sudden. It hasn't been that long since I reincarnated, after all.”

...No good. That would be impossible.

Then there's only one solution.

Abiding by the terms of my contract with Avenger, I must win this Heaven's Feel.

Even though I already know it's impossible, I must destroy the fetters that bind me to these four days.

“That all your questions? Aww, and here I was, all ready for you to really let me have it.”

...The shadow's smile vanishes.

...He's getting on my nerves.

That guy's been completely lacking in motivation from the start.

Even though he's the one who brought me out here, he acts like he doesn't care a thing for the war and keeps saying stuff like, "All I need to do is kill enemies, right?"

Without any clear goal, he's just going along with it.

He's going along with the Heaven's Feel without paying the slightest mind to my troubles.

It's like―――he's just enjoying this fighting that goes on forever.

“...That's right. You already said it before, didn't you? "Let's continue this war." Not "let's start it," or "let's end it." You said, "let's continue it," didn't you, Angra Mainyu?”

Avenger's abilities gave us these four days.

...So does this mean everything is going just the way Avenger wants it to?

The repetition of these four days occurs because of this man's wish to continue the fighting and killing―――

“...Avenger. I already asked you this, but is our enclosure within these four days something you created purposely? And is resurrecting your Master each time just part of the deal?”

“Yeah. Resurrecting the dead isn't one of my powers. All I can do is return everything to the starting point.

As long as we have this contract, Master, you will never die.

As for why the four-day limit, I don't know, either.

...Maybe that Einzbern Master does, though. They're the ones in charge of the Holy Grail, so they could know all about the trick behind our situation too.”

The words that Avenger... no, that Angra Mainyu speaks are without falsehood.

He's telling me the truth, or at least that's what I want to believe.

“...Avenger. What will you wish for on the Holy Grail? When I asked you before, you gave a nonsensical answer, but in truth―――”

...this state of affairs is what you wish for... I swallowed those words down unspoken.

...I can't go saying that now.

I have no proof that it's true, and besides, I have a hunch that the moment I speak those words, from that moment on he and I will be enemies―――

“My wish hasn't changed... But what about yours, Master?

What'll you wish for once we win the Heaven's Feel? Or even before that, what kind of wish was it that brought you here to Fuyuki City?”


The smile has disappeared from the shadow's face.

From out of the shadows, Avenger's eyes bore into mine, his face deadly serious.

“Ah―――no, I...”

...What was I going to wish for, exactly?

A wish. My wish.

I don't possess such a thing. If you forced it out of me, I'd probably say that to win the War and obtain the Holy Grail is my goal.

“But no, wait...”

That's wrong... The moment I think that, dizziness assaults me.

Something I'm searching for―――the thing I want even more than the Holy Grail is...

“Yo. Just what the heck are you looking for?”

“...I can't remember. My memory is still shaky at best.”

“For real? Are you even sure there was something in the first place?”


I fixate my glare on the shadow.

...The blood is finally returning to my numb feet, and I find I can move them freely again.

“―――I've had enough of our pointless chat for now, Avenger.

Racking my brain trying to figure you out as a Servant isn't worth my time, so I'll just pretend my first impression was right for now.”

“What a pity. Just when I thought that we were getting all nice and cozy, I'm right back to guilty until proven innocent in your book, eh?”

“If it bothers you so much, then maybe you shouldn't be so―――no, it's just that I need to be on my guard.

Avenger. Starting tonight, we're changing our strategy. To win this Heaven's Feel, we must figure out what's causing your ability to be limited to a period of four days first.”

There's no possible way we can win this war in only four days.

In that case, we just need to find out why everything ends once those four days have passed.

“I see, I see. You're pretty sharp, Master.

Just one question. How do you propose we do that? You're talking about investigating something that even I don't have a clue about.”

“Why, you yourself already figured out how we'll do it.

It will be a suicide mission, but it's definitely worth trying. And besides, cheating death is the one useful skill we have.”

But it won't do to go rushing headlong into things.

...With the situation the way it is, I can't trust him.

That's why I need to find someone else who knows about Angra Manyu and the other Heroic Spirits.

“―――Hey, wait up. I was just joking before.

Let's not do this and say we did, how about that? You've gotta be crazy, wanting us to launch ourselves face-first at the enemy stronghold like that! I'm telling you, we're setting ourselves up for a trip to a world of pain!”

Whether or not that's how he really feels, Angra Mainyu is opposing me with all his might.

The way he's looking at me with those pleading eyes, I can't help but think he looks like a puppy, and I'll admit that it's somehow charming. But I'll be damned if I let his calculated attempts to gain my sympathy throw me off track.

“My decision is firm. Make the preparations, Avenger.

Our destination is the forest on the outskirts of town. By the day after tomorrow, we should reach the Einzbern castle―――”

Shouldering my rucksack, and with the disgruntled Angra Mainyu in tow, I put the mansion behind me.

Force of habit guides my hand into my pocket, and I tightly grip the earring inside it.

...Please, let good luck go with me.

That at the end of our struggle towards that winter castle, I may find the answer I seek.

True Beginning Rin comes back

―――Once again, I had a dream that just made no sense.

“―――, mh―――”

I now have a headache, probably caused by my irregular schedule of going to sleep and waking up all at different times.

It's just before six o'clock in the morning.

The sunlight outside is already quite strong, and the air slipping in through the cracks quite chilly.


Another Heaven's Feel is happening at night.

The city of Fuyuki meets its end on the fourth day.

A newcomer that did not exist until now has appeared.

With one shake, I clear all those incoherent thoughts from my head.

Neither seen nor heard before, fictitious yet real, pleads the runner next to me.

“Alright, I should get started.”

I shake off the remains of my wild thoughts.

The dream I saw today is what's being prepared for the cultural festival.

It didn't seem all that unclear.

The sky is bright and clear.

Let's go and spend another day selfishly filling up an empty room.

“I'll go on ahead, then.

You, too, Shirou, Sakura-chan, make sure you're not late!”

Fuji-Nee hurriedly takes off for work.

The time is just past seven o'clock.

The atmosphere at the table usually takes on a carefree air once she leaves, but today, a dangerous topic has been brought up.

“Um, Senpai. I think there's something wrong in town, could this―――”

“You mean, it feels the same as during the Heaven's Feel. Shirou would know all about that.”

It's been several days since the atmosphere in town changed.

Saber and Rider got an inexplicable urge to fight.

Despite having brought the topic up, eventually we decide, not knowing anything new, that everybody should just keep investigating at their own pace.

“Sakura. It's about time to leave for school.”

“Ah, you're right. Thank you, Rider, I'll clean up right away.”

“No, Shirou and I will take care of cleaning up, you can―――”

“Seems like we have a guest. I'll answer the door.”

“...Could it be the newspaper solicitor again, perhaps? If that's the case, it will be quite a burden for Sakura.”

Rider stands up, a sense of bloodlust drifting slowly through the air.

Seems like the problem with frequent soliciting has gotten particularly bad around here.

“Oh no, there's no need, Rider. Should it be, in fact, the newspaper guy, Sakura's victory is all but certain. Being her field of expertise, interrupting her might actually end up badly.”

“Huh...? If you say so, I shall just watch carefully... Is it really true that Sakura is well-prepared to deal with that sort of issues?”

“She's amazing, actually. Champion-rank. But she did say that's hard to do when someone you know is nearby, so let us leave her alone for now.

Let's just quietly wait for―――”

"Wait for her to come back," is what I was going to say.

Total time required: thirty seconds.

Having already repelled the overly persistent salesman, our champion―――

“I'm back. I'm afraid there'll be no seconds, everyone.”


―――Our champion has come back.

“What's with everyone stiffening up all of a sudden?

...Ah, could it be I've gotten a wicked ghost or something stuck on my back?”

“Oopsie, I did make sure to exorcise them all before departing... Guess that leaving it to the budget-constrained first-years was not a good idea.”

Tohsaka Rin keeps grumbling, saying something disturbing.

And in the back, stands an embarrassed-looking Sakura.

“So? What kind of a ghost do I have behind me?

The long black-haired, out from beneath the willow, grudge-holding type?”

Just how much of it was intentional, I wonder. Despite the joke, the air remains tense.

“It's nothing like that, Nee-san, there are no apparitions clinging to you. I'm behind you, it's alright.”

“Oh? That's good. It felt like a pretty strong stare, I was getting worried. I see, so that's just Sakura behind me.

Sorry, there were no ghost issues, after all.”

“Yes. If it were me, I'd rather talk it out rather than hold a grudge. "Don't get uppity after having just appeared out of the blue," like that.”

“Hehe. You sure got gutsy in just one month, Matou-san.”

“And you, Senpai. Don't act like the head of the household after being away for a month.”

"Ahahahahaha," the sisterly affectionate laugh.


This is definitely scary.

We're going to die.

The next time these two open their mouths, the Emiya residence will turn into a living hell.

That's why I said that seeking help from London will end up in a worse disaster...!


However, being the true master of Emiya residence...

I will not allow Kiritsugu's inheritance to become the devils' battleground.

“...Hey! That's enough, both of you.”

Prepared to die a honorable death, with no one to pick up my corpse, I get up from my seat...

“And anyway, how about we stop the joke right around here, Sakura?”

“Right. I admit that was a bit of a poor taste.”

"Tic-toc," echoes the clock.

My half-risen back and stretched out arm stop mid-air.

“――――What was that just now?”

“A good preemptive strike, no?

Just a popular joke from overseas that I've tried reenacting with Sakura.”

“Yes. When I went to greet her at the entrance, Nee-san claimed it would get you, Senpai.”

They look really happy.

Like two friendly mischievous cats.

“...Okay, I got that. I'd like you to pick your jokes more carefully, but I'm definitely glad that it wasn't serious.

Putting that aside, why are you here, Tohsaka?”

A nod from everyone around.

“What do you mean, "why?" There was a SOS sent out, of course I'd come.

It's not like I'd come back just to play around, I'm busy enough as it is.”

“? SOS? From who?”

“From Emiya-kun himself, no? "I don't care what it is, just hurry and come help us," that's the insistent message you sent me, didn't you?”

“??? No way. That I would call upon my death by asking Tohsaka for help? I may have given away my mortal life, but my soul, too?”

“...That's quite a remarkable comment. Who do you think I am, anyway? The one dealing with souls got to be a devil or something?”

“That's exactly it. Put your hands to your heart and think back.

During the summer break, the mess you made at Illya's castle. What would you call that miscreant if not a devil?”

“Ugh... T-That was an emergency, a tough decision had to be made.

I-It's not like I had to sacrifice you because I wanted to, Emiya-kun.”

As you'd expect, even she thought it was inexcusable. There's no end to her laments.

That's good, very good. Back then, I very narrowly avoided being reborn twice, and it looks like even Tohsaka is reflecting on her actions.

―――Well, anyhow...

“Anyways, so you're saying that you got the SOS signal that I don't remember sending out, and came back right away because of it?”

“That's right. Had you not asked, do you think I'd have returned so soon?”

“...abandoning all your London matters, too?”

“Yes! Any complaints!? I couldn't help it, I was so worried I couldn't sleep after reading that!

B-Besides, Fuyuki is under my jurisdiction, what's wrong with just coming to see how things are going without being asked?”

"Hmph," she turns her face away.

And so, her luggage in hand, she turns back to the hallway.

“At any rate, I'll be staying here for a while.

Should you have anything to talk about, come to my room around nighttime. I will go have a look around town during the day for you, too.”

"See ya," she rushes to leave the scene.

“Ahaha. So that's how it is. Be nice, everyone. Seems like Nee-san is a bit embarrassed having to come back halfway through.”

Saber and Rider, who haven't had the time to digest the situation just yet, simply nod.

“...I see. Now that Rin is here, everything ought to get settled soon.”

Says Illya, her eyes distant and somehow lonely.

“―――Ah, umm―――”

Confused, no one's knows whether to rejoice or panic just yet.

One thing for sure, the pace is about to pick up from now on.

Anyway, Tohsaka's back...!

Emiya Residence・Day 1 Invader

“Hey, Tohsaka. I have something to ask you.”


Though there's some kind of response, I can't really make out what it is.

“Sorry, what was that?”

“Ah, geez! What is it? The door isn't locked.”

As I raise my voice, an annoyed response comes from inside the room.

For some reason, Tohsaka seems to be in a bad mood.

Is it really safe to open the door?

But, if I slip away after calling out to her, I don't want to think about what would happen to me afterwards.

“Wow. What a mess.”

Without exaggeration, Tohsaka's room is so messy that there isn't anywhere to stand.

Considering the number of days she's been back, this is truly astonishing.

“What, did you come here to lecture me about it?”

Under Tohsaka's glare, I can tell that she's really in a foul mood.

“No, that's not it.”

“Well, then what is it? As you can see, I'm not going to be done tidying up at this rate.”

“...Tidying up?”

“―――Well, what could you possibly be trying to say, Emiya-kun?”

Oops, I just blurted out what was on my mind.

Right before me stands a red demon, smiling sweetly, wearing the mask of Tohsaka Rin, the honor student.

“No, it's nothing. It was just a small matter, anyway.”

“Oh, in that case, could you leave it for later?”

“Ah, sorry for disturbing you then.”

I back away, making sure not to lose eye contact, and close the door.

“But, ah...”

The ability to make things messier the more you tidy up is really a talent.

Emiya Residence・Start of Night Things to do

Emiya Residence・Night Map (Tohsaka's advice)

Let's go talk about the current situation.

Seeing as Tohsaka came back right after hearing about the abnormality, I should ask for her take on things.

“Yes, I had a quick look around the city. And as far as I can tell, there are no easy ways to deal with this.

So, tell me what you know, Emiya-kun.”

As if she was prepared well in advance, Tohsaka cuts right to the main topic.

While that sure makes it easier for me, I do have one question first.

“Say, Tohsaka, what about Archer? Now that you're back, is he on standby around here?”

“I've cut ties with Archer. We are no longer Master and Servant.”

“Huh? What do you mean? You revoked the contract?”

“It got revoked, rather. After the Heaven's Feel ends, the contract is normally canceled - by the Servant, that is.”

“While Rider and Saber seem to be content as they are, that guy had other things on his mind.

So we're no longer helping each other 24/7, instead we are in a "I will help you when you're in need, but I'm getting paid" type of situation.

I'm still providing the catalyst needed for him to stay in this world, but I've cut off the mana supply.”

“Wait, but you already knew that since long ago, didn't you? Why are you asking about that again?”


That's right.

That's the way things are with Tohsaka and Archer right now.

While he isn't staying nearby, he'll help her when she needs it - under certain conditions.

...I don't know what Archer was thinking when he chose to establish this kind of relationship, but I guess it wouldn't have worked out any other way.

Continuing as Tohsaka's Servant would produce a definite contradiction.

“Emiya-kun? What's wrong? Your face turned kind of scary there.

I understand that you dislike Archer, but is it upsetting just to talk about him?”

“Ah, no, just a little dizzy. Sorry, I got sidetracked, so let's get to the main point.

Tohsaka, have you sensed anything strange patrolling around town? Any uneasiness, or places that feel weird?”

“Hmmm, I can't say for sure. While I did think that something was amiss, I haven't really found anything.

If you'll forgive me for using an abstract explanation, it's like every time I get the feeling that something is off, there's some sort of contrivance that kicks in and prevents me from being able to tell what that something is.”


The moment you become aware of an abnormality, it changes into something normal... is that it?

In other words, what looks to be "normal" really isn't.

So then―――assuming that these abnormal events not taking place in the original Fuyuki is the norm―――

“...It seems like you know something, Emiya-kun. What happened while I was away?”

“Nothing at all. Nothing at all, however―――”

Where did I acquire the knowledge about the things I'm describing now?

“―――There is something I want to ask.

I'm not even sure why I brought this up, but now that I have...”

After collecting myself as much as I can, I start explaining.

The fight with Archer that hasn't happened yet.

Saber's defeat at the hands of a Master I've never seen.

A story of Fuyuki City, drawing to a close with the end of each fourth day.

“―――Let me make sure I've got this straight. Emiya-kun, you know about these incidents? Though you haven't seen them firsthand, nor personally experienced that fourth day?”

“Yeah. I just know about them. And I know I didn't dream about them or hear of them somewhere, either.”

“And yet you know. For some reason, you somehow understand the incidents occurring in the town.

But because the current Emiya-kun doesn't know about them yet, you can't remember any of them.”

“...You're not "starting over" at the point, either, are you. And since it only applies to you and not me, Sakura, or others, it also doesn't appear to be a Fuyuki-wide incident.

...No, seeing as it's only Fuyuki that's abnormal during the four days, is it that you're just looking at the ones beside you...?”

...All I told her was the end of the four days that I somehow know about.

The story of Emiya residence that cannot move beyond the four days.

As if realizing something from just that, Tohsaka's muttering to herself.

“...I see. It's not a restart, it's a reappearance. That would also imply that all of the Servants have gathered. In that case, hmmm... It's not that everything is a lie, it's that there's one liar...”

Tohsaka's stare is becoming sharper.

Whatever she's thinking about, it can't be good.

“Tohsaka...? Did you figure something out from all that nonsense?”

“...Indeed. If I were to change your story in around a trillion ways, and assume that it did, in fact, happen, then yes, I did figure out the trick here.”

So very reliable.

The fact that she wouldn't believe it does hurt me a little, though.

“Listen. What I'm about to say is based entirely on the gossip that I have just heard from you. It is absolutely, utterly, not even remotely related to the town's abnormality. Got that?”

“Gotcha. So it's no more than an empty, abstract theory.”

“Before that. It's what we'd have if we tried to put some consistency into the nonsense that you're saying.

Well, never mind. Now, where did I put my glasses?”

Tohsaka-sensei retrieves a pair of glasses from her bag.

It's been a while since I've seen her go into All-Knowing Tohsaka mode.

“Now then. Based on what you've told me, Emiya-kun, it would seem that in the course of these four days... from October 8th to October 11th, there is something very wrong going on.

Saber and Rider have both stated that the Heaven's Feel was restarted; there's a problem, however.

...Do you see what I'm getting at? If the fighting has been resumed, a certain someone has to be missing.”

That's right.

If this were really a restart, then the participants who dropped out half a year ago shouldn't be here now.

“It may be odd, but it's also the part that explains itself.

It must be that... During just these four days, even if those people were actually here, we'd still be unable to determine who they are.

That's why there's nothing wrong with the fact that everyone has gathered.

No, not having everyone present would be odd. Therefore, that tells us that this "someone" is trying to reproduce the Heaven's Feel that occurred in the past.”

“? Someone's trying to reproduce the Heaven's Feel... No, I mean, that much I understood from the start.

So the guy who wants the Holy Grail is still trying to start the Heaven's Feel?”

“That would be "restarting." What I'm describing is "reproducing."

...Let's say you want to restart. You'd prefer the Servants that were defeated to stay that way, wouldn't you? And yet, we have all of the Servants present in town.”

“That's why, like it or not, this person wants to just reproduce the Heaven's Feel. Just to fight. Just to continue fighting forever.

And in order for it to happen, these four days include every possible scenario that could unfold.

To keep it enjoyable no matter how many times it happens, to keep it feeling fresh every time.”

Yeah, so―――

―――Come on, let's continue the Heaven's Feel―――*

Did I actually say such a thing...?

“...Hold on. Once the four days pass, the town goes back to normal, doesn't it? So why do I know about what's going to happen?

Doesn't it seem like it's just me who returns to the first day?”

“If you do, your memories would seem like someone else's. I'm sure it's yourself that you're seeing, Emiya-kun. Um, if I were to draw it, here's how it'd look like.”

“It's no parallel world, for sure. Since all possibilities have equal weight during the four days, you go like this.

Assuming that an infinite number of mirror-like images of the participant known as Emiya Shirou exist, they're all running the same track, but at different times... do you see it now?”

“Um, you know that video game thing you played? It's the same.

A "shooter," is it? The one with a third-person view, where you start over from the beginning when you die.

The way the character sees it, there's no connection, but from the player's point of view, those "lives" all happen one after another.”

“It's the same here. As long as the character exists, you get to start over even if you die. Totally new character, but the exact same traits and appearance, wouldn't you agree?

That is precisely what's happening with you, Emiya-kun.”


Tohsaka's metaphor is awfully impolite, but I get what she's trying to say.

I guess by the "looking at ones beside me" thing she was muttering, she actually meant seeing the Player B that went ahead of me.

It's the conclusion of a different playthrough that I know about.

I haven't experienced it myself yet, but I can go, "Oh, Player A got beaten by a boss here." I guess that's how you could put it...?

“Hmm... There's a lot I don't agree with, but as far as making sense of it goes, I can live with that. So, does it mean that if I take it easy, I should be able to get past the four days?”

“I don't think there's an Emiya Shirou that didn't get past. Even if you're a corpse by that time, the fifth day would still come.

Neither Sakura nor me see the dreams that you do, Emiya-kun, and it's quite clear that the town itself does not go back, either.

However, it's possible that... As an exception, should you fail to do something about this Heaven's Feel yourself in four days, you will, in fact, end up dead.”

This might be what you'd call an ill omen.

My situation went from bad to downright scary.

“―――Whew. I understand why I know weird things now.

But how does one reproduce the Heaven's Feel? Can this one "guy" that wants the Holy Grail really do sorcery like that?

...If you have the ability to do something like that, you could probably just make your wish happen in the first place.”

“Oh, come on, I told you. Their wish has come true already.

They aren't reproducing it because they want the Holy Grail.

They're doing it because they want to continue killing.

In other words―――”


I see―――it's the other way around.

“...That was the wish.

Assuming they have the Grail and that their wish to reproduce the Heaven's Feel has been granted already―――”

“Exactly. If we assume that this was someone's wish, the only way to stop it is to find and defeat the owner of the Grail.

Well, if we do have any suspects at all, it'd be the people that did not participate in the previous Heaven's Feel to begin with.”

That's a pretty simple conclusion.

Anyone that has recently popped up on the scene is under suspicion.

“As for me―――I was not around until now, but I am part of this town to begin with and thus can be excluded.

Were there anyone that was not here half a year ago, they'd be the culprit behind this whole incident.”


Say, Tohsaka. I do actually know one such character that'd fit the bill... I think. Problem is, it looks like I die every time I meet her.

...Seems like we still don't have a way to solve it.”

“...I'm getting tired of unrelated questions.

Well, if you're getting killed every time, doesn't that mean that the way you meet her is, in itself, wrong?”

“Listen. If you already know the first place you'll meet at, you'll have the right kind of encounter when you make it happen with your own hands. I'm sure you can manage that, Emiya-kun.”

"What a fake," she keeps mumbling. Guess she doesn't believe any of it, after all.

...Well, what do you know.

There is indeed another place I could meet that girl at.

That time, if I remember right―――

Tohsaka, track and field and archery clubs were all at the Ryuudou temple―――

“―――I'll keep that in mind.

My next objective is clear, for the time being.”

“Glad to be of help.

So, what will you do, Emiya-kun? Are you going to go look for the Grail's owner?”

“Well, to the extent of my abilities.

For now, there's no real damage done, and it'll go back to normal once the four days pass, right? I'll deal with it somehow.”

"Sorry to bother you," I get up from my seat.

This has become a much longer conversation than I expected.

“...For goodness' sake.

None of us ever saw such dreams, so I can't really verify any of this. For now, I played along and gave you a serious answer.”

“But really, if you have the time to be retelling such wild delusions, you could use it to invite me to the pool or something instead.

If you want to be wasting time, I have even better ideas, you know?”

"Hehehe," she proceeds to give me a frightening bit of info with an equally frightening smile.

...Pool, the pool, huh? Okay.

I'll repay you this favor in a non-material way soon enough, so please do wait for it, just don't expect too much.

“Much obliged. See you tomorrow, Tohsaka.”

I leave the guest room behind.

She does not answer right away. Instead, she sighs secretly, and...

“Hey. It's great to have everyone together, isn't it?”

Her faint smile is a mirror image of my own mood, too.

Emiya Residence・Start of Night・Good Night