Loop 32

Day 1

School・Day 1 Rin and Mitsuzuri on campus

“Hey, Emiya, have you heard?”

A familiar voice calls me to a stop outside the third-year classrooms.

Mitsuzuri... and Tohsaka. Their beauty makes the pair of them the pride of Homurabara.

It's said that the two of them are close, though it's thought to be too unreal to be true by some.

“Morning, Mitsuzuri, Tohsaka.”

“Good morning, Emiya-kun.”

“Oh, you heard that she's back already?”

Mitsuzuri says, pointing at Tohsaka.

Of course I had, I think as I nod in reply. We're practically housemates as it is.

“Yes, I've returned from abroad.”

“Been traveling through England all this time, she says!

Sheesh, some honor student you are, blowing off school so you can skip off to some faraway country for a vacation.”

Mitsuzuri must be really jealous for her to sigh over Tohsaka's trip like that. If I didn't know all the details myself, I'd think that too.

“So, where did you go? London? Wales? Or to see Loch Ness?”

“Regrettably, I had almost no time for sightseeing.

Starting next year, I'm going to have my hands full with all kinds of things, you know.”

Oh yeah, that's right. Tohsaka's trip was officially supposed to be a precursor to her studying abroad there.

“Ahh, I see. Finding a place to stay before you move there and such?”

“That was part of it, plus there were a lot of other matters I wanted to take care of.

I thought I should start getting accustomed to it now, since I'll be living there for a while.”

She may be headed there on a scholarship, but it's still important to lay the necessary groundwork ahead of time.

“Geez, I'll bet you already have a whole stack of recommendations from the schools over there, too. Honor students sure have it good.”

“Aren't you in for an easy ride yourself, Ayako, after how well you scored on the last round of exams?”

“And I still didn't do as well as you did. For crying out loud. What do you make of Miss Dean's List over here, Emiya?”

“Well, I can tell you that my grades were nothing to write home about.”

“That might have something to do with how you're always spacing out in class, Emiya. You'd better get it together soon, or you'll end up graduating with Matou's class.”

“Oh look, Emiya-kun's making a, "Hey, I've got my act together, all right!" face.”

Tohsaka continues making fun of me.

Still, I'm not so much of a slacker that I'd have to repeat a year like she's implying.

“Well, don't worry too much about Emiya-kun―――if worse comes to worst, I'll drag him up by the collar somehow.”

“Eh? How, by tutoring him?”

“On the contrary, I'm prepared to lay out his entire future after graduation for him!”

Whoa, she brought that up in front of Mitsuzuri―――if it were Issei, news like that would've been a critical hit from which he'd probably never recover.

The way she's eyeing me now suggests that she expects Tohsaka to explain herself.

“Ah, no, I meant, you know... like a domestic helper or something.”

“Emiya-kun's probably thinking about studying abroad himself. If we were roommates, it'd mean cheaper rent for both of us.”

“Wow... Tohsaka, are you really okay with that?”

She meant living together while studying abroad, or no, she just said we'd be roommates.

...It's true that, should we both go abroad, our finances will not allow us to live separately.

“What do you intend to do while studying abroad, Emiya?

Are you okay with going along with someone like her in the first place?”

“Be it a new country in this world or somewhere in the next, human beings can get used to living anywhere in three months' time or so. Besides, Emiya-kun already said he can't stand to be alone and will chase after me wherever I go―――”


W-Who is that embarrassing imitation supposed to be of?!

After frantically scanning the hallway in case there's someone else here who could overhear her, I'm preparing to retort by asking her just when and where I said that, when...

“Wow... I always thought Emiya would be more candid about these kinds of things.”

“Hahaha, how very dry and cool!”

“Ah, no, that is, Tohsaka... Well, you know, Emiya.”

Mitsuzuri vigorously slaps me on the back.

And finally, after heaving a great sigh, makes the following pronouncement:

“Keep up the chase as spiritedly as you are now, and you may even catch up to this woman someday.”

“Oh my, Ayako, don't you have a much harder time yourself, always having to be the one to chase after the man?”

“Shut up, you. Speaking of which, I've just remembered something.

Don't go spiriting Emiya away just yet. As I recall, we are still in the midst of a fairly important competition. Let our bows determine the victor one more time―――”

“It's time, you two.

Mitsuzuri, we'll have to leave that matter for another time.”

“Tch, running away again, huh―――I'll be waiting for my souvenirs next time, Tohsaka!”

“Don't worry, I brought plenty... Well then, good day to you, Emiya-kun.”

The girls' battalion makes a rather flustered exit.

Well then, I'd better get to class.

School・Day 1 Crest fever

What should I do for lunch?

It's been a long time since I went to the cafeteria, and I suppose I could have that B set meal where everything in it tastes like meat, but... no, I'm not that hungry.

I guess I'll decide after I find someone to eat with first.

Oh, there's Tohsaka―――


...Hey, it's lunchtime already.

She's still the same as I saw her in the morning, staggering through the halls barely awake.

Quite unbecoming of our school's number one honor student... no, something about her is off.

“What's wrong, Tohsaka?”

“Oh, Emiya-kun.”

Once she hears my voice, Tohsaka is back to her usual self again.

Her atmosphere of feigned innocence is the same as ever, but there's definitely something not quite right.

“From the look on your face, you seem pretty worn out. Are you okay?”

“...Comments about a girl's face should not be made so lightly, Shirou. What are you saying is wrong with me?”

Well, it's pretty clear how bad her condition is.

But I can't say that.

And thus Tohsaka Rin changes back to her usual impeccable self. What was wrong earlier?

“Well, that's fine and all... What are you going to do for lunch?”

“I was thinking of having it on the roof.

Were you going with someone else?”

“No, let's have lunch together. Just let me buy my share and then we can go.”

Thus agreed, we part ways.

I go to the cafeteria to buy sandwiches and bread, and two cups of tea for me and Tohsaka... It'll cool soon and she'll start complaining.

Trying my best not to keep her waiting, I hurry up.

Going up the stairs, Tohsaka still looks dizzy. I wonder what she was doing all night―――



Before my very eyes, Tohsaka collapses.

Like a toy that had its batteries taken out.

I rush up to her.

She has fallen just as she reached the top of the stairs―――

“Tohsaka, are you okay!?”

This isn't like her.

Kuh... I really should have told her to go have some rest instead.

As I lift up her body, I notice she has a fever.

“Ah... nn....”

She doesn't seem to be conscious.

I can't let her just lie here. I should carry her to the infirmary.

“I'm sorry, Tohsaka―――”

I apologize as I lift her up.

I can feel the strength draining from her body, but even as she goes slack, she remains surprisingly light in my arms.

As she opens her eyes, she whispers.

“Sto... idiot, you don't have to do it like... this...”

“Quit bluffing. Aren't you feeling bad?”

“Uh... ye-... yeah, a little...”

She's lying limp in my arms.

I'm worried about the glances I'm getting, but if I don't get Tohsaka to the infirmary quickly, her condition might worsen.

“...Ah... Shirou...”

After leaving Tohsaka at the infirmary, I wait outside in the corridor.

In my hand, I hold our uneaten lunches.

Until I know how she's doing, I can't go on eating it calmly.

―――Our tea has gone cold too, of course.


“Yo... Tohsaka. How are you feeling?”

Although the color hasn't completely returned to her face, she's walking more steadily now, and it doesn't look like she's in danger of falling over again.

“Shirou... You haven't eaten lunch yet?”

“I was waiting for you.”

“...I see. Let's go then.”

And with that, she starts walking away.

Tohsaka had been in the infirmary for no more than ten minutes.

Isn't she overdoing it? Is it really all right for her to be walking around like this?

Keeping my voice down, I call out to her.

“If you're feeling that bad, I can carry you on my back.”

“...I can't trouble you that much, Shirou.

Come over here.”

We go to a corner of the roof where we're unlikely to be spotted by other students.

Coming this far out must mean that she doesn't want anyone to overhear our discussion.

“Tohsaka, did you catch a cold coming back from England?”


“You must have lost your vigilance on the way back, and your health took a turn for the worse... That's the reason why, isn't it?”

...No reply.

I sit beside her and nibble at some bread. Without any conversation, it feels really uncomfortable. Oh yeah, there's the drink I bought.

“Here. It's gone cold, so you must be less than half as thankful as you would have been if it weren't.”


She thanks me meekly.

She's been so listless ever since I ran into her earlier. The lack of her usual vigor is making me feel awkward, too.

“...Sigh. Sorry for being a burden earlier, Emiya-kun.”

“Hm? Oh no, it's nothing, as long as you're alright.”

In fact, it's rare to get the chance to hold Tohsaka like this. A good side benefit.

“It's as you say Emiya-kun, coming home to Fuyuki might have made me lower my guard. In the morning I was fine, and then I felt I was getting sick again.”

Tohsaka touches her arm.

...For her arm to hurt to the point of her collapsing, it could only be a serious fracture.

But if you think of what else is in her arm, the cause becomes clear.

“...Is it your family crest?”

This is certainly something that should not be discussed in such a loud voice.

She looks around for a moment before nodding.

A magus' inheritance is a crystallized mystery―――in other words, lifetime achievements by the previous magi, transformed into a circuit and inherited by the descendants, the Magic Crest.

I don't have one, but Tohsaka's is in the form of an ancestral mark engraved on her arm.

“To put it simply, it's like transplanting my ancestors into my arm.”

“...That's not very appealing.”

Tohsaka's metaphor is in bad taste, but she gets the meaning across.

In other words, it's like the magi ancestors carving their tenacity into the body of their children. This isn't a convenient tool, but rather smells of a curse or a grudge.

“I've been growing accustomed to it over time ever since I was a child, but there are still times when it catches me off-guard...”

“You being there really helped, Shirou.

Although I didn't expect you to carry me bridal-style.”

“...It's not like there's anything else I could have done.”

“Oh, was it that disagreeable? You know, while I was out of it, I thought to myself, "Wow, he's actually a lot more daring than he looks..."”

Listening to Tohsaka speak, I smile wryly.

Even considering it was done on the spur of the moment, it was still pretty bold of me.

After all, I did carry off Tohsaka Rin, the school's number one honor student.

I'm more worried about what they're going to say about her than me. Nevertheless, as we're talking, the mood is getting brighter.

“...You've gotten a lot more energetic, is it because of the food?”

“Ahaha, perhaps... no, not really. I only need to rest a bit to get the crest under control. But it's still going to take time to go back to normal.”

That's good.

Her expression seems better than before, and her appetite seems to have returned as well. With the little time that is left of lunch break, Tohsaka talks to me as she wraps her lunchbox.

“―――Looks like I'm in your debt now.”

“Why would that be? If we're talking debts, I've got a mountain of them that I owe to you. For once, I had the opportunity to partially repay you.”

“...I demand you to let me pay you back for this.

Having you repay favors that I don't even remember you owing me is no fun.”

What she said just now was so very Tohsaka-like that I find myself unable to suppress a grin.

It seems like she really is back to normal.

“Okay, I understand it now. Shall we have a date next time, then?”

I'm feeling so relaxed that it just slips out before I can stop myself.

“Sure? When do we meet?”


...I don't believe it.

She nodded with no hesitation at all.

What a fool is man, to grasp hopelessly at stars beyond his reach!

“Let's see, why don't we go to Shinto? I have lots of things I wanted to buy over there.”

“Uh, that is... Is that okay, Tohsaka?”

“? Well, you wanted to go, right?

On a date with me.”


You're right, but it's impossible for me to answer this.

Should I have asked for something much more difficult to fulfill?

But I don't want to get caught up in the moment here and end up saying something weird that wrecks the mood.

“Then it's decided. Let's go out on the weekend.”

“Gotcha―――Ah, I guess I shouldn't tell Saber about this, right?”

“...I don't mind her coming along, you know.”

Hehe, she laughs―――as though implying that I'd be far too cowardly to go on a date with a girl without backup.

Which isn't the case at all, of course - I was only trying to show I was prepared to go along with it if that's what Tohsaka wanted.

“...Of course, I'd rather have a proper one-on-one date.”

“I know that. I feel the same way.”

It's starting to feel more like we're discussing an impending duel than a date... Since a date with Tohsaka is serious business, it won't do to make careless mistakes.

“...Oops, there's the first chime.”

“Right, it's about time...Haah, I wonder what the other students who saw us are going to say.”

“That's only to be expected when you're involved, Tohsaka. Actually, since I was the one who got to carry you, it'd be me that would be in for a really hard time.”

...Especially from Issei.

Though if I say that it was emergency first aid, I'm sure he'll understand.

“That's true... then I'll have to use this date to make it up to you.

Let's enjoy ourselves, Emiya-kun.”

School・Day 1 Illya strikes back!

Classes are over, and it's about time to go home.

There's still some time before work. I'll go meet Issei and see if there's anything that needs to be done.

Seems there's been a lot of work deferred, after all.

“Ah, Shirou!”*

...What's this?

I unconsciously rub my eyes. Did Illya come all the way here? Not the archery dojo?

“I-Illya! Why are you here?”

“Just for fun, Onii-chan.”

She clamps onto me with a sweet smile.

Looking around in panic while a little girl with silver hair and crimson eyes clings onto me, I must look like a criminal to everyone here―――


No one notices.

The junior passing by only sees me panicking and doesn't even glance at Illya, who's attached to me from the chest down.

“...What's going on?”

“Simple, I just divert their glances elsewhere. Were I to show them a completely different image, a contradiction would occur, so―――”

Illya nods towards the crowd.

“They just move their eyes away from me. This way I can easily deal even with a lot of people.”

“Everyone's unconsciously looking elsewhere, so that's why nobody notices...”

I see. This certainly is Illya-style magic.

Had she come to the archery dojo, there wouldn't be a problem, but in the school building you'd need a reason, permission from the teaching staff, and―――

“What's happening, Emiya? There has been a commotion outside the door for some time―――”

The chief of the student council room, Issei, suddenly appears.

And it's not me he's looking at, but straight at Illya.

...Did the eye-averting spell not work?

“...Hey, Issei...”


The spell is still active, and Issei, for sure, should be tricked by the illusion. Or so you'd think―――

Illya bows elegantly.

“I am sorry for the unsightly display you may have noticed.

I am Illyasviel. For troubling you with my sudden visit, I humbly beg your pardon.”

“...I am undeserving of such a polite greeting. I humbly serve as this school's student council president, Ryuudou Issei.”

“Yes, I have had the privilege of hearing about you from Shirou.

Right, Onii-chan?”

Ignoring the polite exchange a moment ago, Illya turns back into her own self the instant she faces me.

Worse, she just goes and hugs me around the waist!

His suspicions double instantly.

Cold sweat running down my back, I let her do as she wants.


“Uh, it's a long story, Issei, it's sort of... um...”

“That's right, Issei. Shirou is my older brother, okay?”

Issei's cold gaze and the fluffy, soft Illya.

And between them is me, a metal barrier, in imminent danger of being destroyed by the extreme temperature change...

“"Onii-chan," is it? Emiya.”

“...Yeah, so what?”

“...Emiya, come here for a moment.”

This time, Illya is peeled off me and we go to a corner of student council room.

“Emiya, that Illyasviel, pretending to be your sister, looks quite foreign to me...”

“Uh, she really is Kiritsugu's daughter, I'm sure of it.

You know that I was adopted, right, Issei?”

“Hm, so that's it. Sorry.”

Probably thinking that he inadvertently intruded into private matters, Issei apologies meekly. One thing's for sure, Emiya family relationships are certainly complex.

“She looks aristocratic, yet she calls you "Onii-chan."”

“...That's just how it is. Sorry for the trouble.”

“Oh no, that's fine. It certainly is hard to imagine you escaping from a crime scene. Well done.”

Crime scene... Well, I have to admit, Illya calling me "Onii-chan" does raise some suspicions.

“But know this, Emiya. This is no good.

That sister of yours, the aura she gives off is the same as Tohsaka's.”

...He's surprisingly sharp.

That's no ESP, that's a well-trained eye that has observed many a female student over the years, probably.

“Tohsaka may be the one causing headaches now, but I fear that sister will surely bewitch you one day.

No good, Emiya. Should you lose your way, as if walking through a dark, foggy night, your feet easily falling into a treacherous hole... Therefore, remember to purify the six roots of perception...”

“That's so mean, Shirou.”

When did she get here? And in a foul mood, too.

Getting compared to Tohsaka must have irritated her even more than being called an evil influence on me.

“However, Issei, you're wrong on one count.

It's not just Rin. Aren't all girls evil beings, actually?”

“W-What would you be saying, that...”

“Even Kuzuki, whom you respect so much, didn't an evil witch deceive him too? Ehehehe.”

Says the devilish kid with but a hint of a smirk on her face.

These charms are about to get worse this year―――

“Come to think, I also object to the unjust slander towards Caster-san, to say nothing of a man like Souichirou being bewitched.”

“Well, I don't care about Kuzuki the Tough, but Onii-chan's heart and body are already mine!”

And so Illya, not satisfied with having invited a great amount of misunderstanding, completely oblivious to Issei's disapproving eyes, clings right onto me―――!

“Woah! I-Illya!”

“Fie! So it is true, an evil girl has charmed Emiya―――!”

“Hehehe, Onii-chan is already mine and I won't give him up, not even to Rin, and not even to Saber!”

“Aaahhh, calm down!”

“...Ah, that was fun. Teasing that Issei guy was so worth it. I sort of understand how Caster and Rin feel now.”

Illya nods with satisfaction.

...Afterwards, having barely managed to contain Issei's panic, we ended up agreeing on a formal tea party with Illya.

Illya, literally one explosive little girl, completely blew away Issei (the problem in question).

“...Tohsaka alone is enough to give him a nervous breakdown, so don't bully him. His job is difficult enough as it is.”

Illya is roaming carefree around the school, yet no one sees her.

I wonder if it really is okay. It's still unnatural, after all.

“Of course, I know.

Since you say so, I'll try not to get too carried away.”

“Ugh, I hope I didn't look as if I was enjoying it... No matter how you put it, there was a great misunderstanding. This will have to be rectified later.”

“There's no need.

It's not like any part of what I said is a lie. What I told Issei was nothing but truth.”

“"Truth," you say? Well, Saber's and Rin's opinion aside, the part about me being completely yours...”

Even as an expression of sisterly affection, it went just a tad bit too far.

“But you're still my only Onii-chan, right?

So even from way back when I was born, you were mine.

Ah... but perhaps I'm the only one who thinks that way...?”

“―――Uh, that's...”

...Actually, I've just realized how much of an idiot I am.

That's exactly what she meant when she claimed me as her own.

Even without blood ties, she still entrusted me with the responsibility of being her elder brother.

“...Sorry, Illya.

Yeah, I'm your brother―――”

“Just kidding! Shirou, so na-i-ve!”

“―――, guh...!”

...Got me again.

I start to wonder if I was born just to be teased by Illya...

“Hehe. The fact that I trust you is true though.

But seeing Onii-chan's troubled face is just too funny.

If it looks like something's worrying you too much, I'll be sure to help. That much is natural.”

“That's why, Shirou being Shirou, I can't just leave you―――That's what I meant by Onii-chan being mine.”


I give up.

...Well... If that's what she meant by "he is mine," I should be kind of proud... I guess?

“? Shirou, where are you going?”

“Archery club. They'll probably bring out tea if you come along.”

Fuji-Nee introduced Illya to everyone in the club.

Being a young foreign lady, there's no doubt she is kept well entertained even in the middle of a practice session.

“Ah, Sakura's place. She's the captain of the archery club, isn't she? I had a chat with her just earlier too.

Techniques to manage people, behaving like a leader and things like that.”

She recalls the encounter.

...While I'm still seemingly blessed with a dignified Illya, I want to ask her about Sakura as well.

“I'll be grateful if you were to help Sakura out same as you would for me.”

“But of course. I have to look out for my cute little brother's protégé like I would for my big sister.

Good grief, it sure is tough to have a big kid like her that needs this much care.”

Big sister, huh...? I guess that's her way of saying that she acts beyond her age sometimes.

And the little sister that needs to be looked after... must be Fuji-Nee?

“Ah... Senpai, and Illya-san, too.”

“Good afternoon, Sakura.

I came to watch for a bit. Is it alright if we come in?”

“Yes, certainly! How about you, Senpai?”

...That's right.

For now, mission accomplished. I don't have any more business to take care of at the dojo.

“Ah... thanks, please take care of Illya for me.

I still have lots to do, actually.”

“Ah, I see... Well, see you, then.”

“See you later, Onii-chan!”

Illya sends me off with a smile.

...Alright then.

I hate to leave, but it's time to go to work.

Emiya Residence・Start of Night Things to do

Night・Streets at night (patrol)

Night・1 Execution appreciated

Climbing up a long hill road, I finally arrive at the church.

It's a dark night.

Even though there isn't a single cloud, the moon is dark.

The only light seems to be coming from the church―――


There is a ghost of a woman standing in the square.

I'm reminded of a supernatural willow.


...I'm dreaming.

...Since when was I in a dream?

...This is the first time I have seen her, I have never met her before, yet, I feel I know this woman very well.


...The woman passes beside me as if nothing happened.


...I watch the ghost absentmindedly.

...There is no need to rush after her.

...That's because this is a dream.

...Even if I try, it will just vanish like a phantom when I catch up,

plus these things are in the way.

"―――, ―――, ―――!"*

I hear the chorus that I am so used to.

Even though someone told me not to come here alone, I seem to have forgotten that warning.

...However, I am lucky this time.

Lucky that this is just a dream, and soon I will awake to my usual ceiling,


Brutal claws run through my liver.                (Stomach)*

Like a strawberry stuck with a fork.                (Legs)*

They pass through my joints, arriving at the face and neck.             (Neck)*

I no longer have a throat and cannot manage a scream, only the sound of air escaping,                (Help,)*


Brain, slashed, out.

Because I'm in so much pain, because this situation is so vexing, I want to take my frustration out on some stuffed animal.

Stabbing the silly non-resistant toy with a kitchen knife. A slaughtering act that anyone can do, simple and tasteless.

I feel sick with it, nauseous, now that I was the stuffed animal.

―――Oh, I'm alright.

This is a dream.

Now, as soon as this crunching incident ends, as if it never happened, without a hitch, because I wake up as the following form―――