Loop 41

Day 2

Emiya Residence・Start of Night Things to do

Emiya Residence・Start of Night Things to do(camp)

“That's right. Wasn't there supposed to be a camp tomorrow...!?”

I jump out of my bed.

It was pretty spontaneous, but seeing as everything's already agreed upon, it's not like I have an option.

“I should hurry up and prepare.

Let's see... First of all, two days worth of clothes to change into―――”

I hurriedly begin organizing luggage.

Night passes by quickly.

At sunrise, the long-awaited day will begin―――

Training Camp・Day 3 Day of the festival

The mountain path that connects to the Ryuudou temple.

The colored leaves have already been carefully collected, a sign of the last bit of the morning passing by.

It's the first day of training camp.

Once I climb up the top, in the peace of everyday life a small festivity will start.

There's still some time left before we meet up.

Although I did plan to get there early and help with things...

“No, I shall not feel alone.

You will be absent for a mere two nights, will you not? Please do not worry and leave it to me.”

“No, it's not that. I just want you to tag along, Saber.”

“And I must refrain. It's a gathering with your friends and classmates.

I would not have much to help with, either.”

“Mmm, so you think you'll just be a bother?”

“Bother... would be a little too harsh of an expression, but...

I probably will cause discomfort for your classmates. To care for someone outside of the circle in such a circumstance can only be a burden.”

“It's nothing like that. No one thinks of you as an outsider. Besides, these "friends" aren't that close to begin with...”

To be frank, they're enemies.

They are foes, but if I say that carelessly, someone like Makidera will end up being cut in half in the blink of an eye.

“Ah, no.

What I mean is that you don't need to worry too much about them, they're all nice people.

It just came out of the blue, and the participants are sparse. And I've already told Makidera that I'd ask for anyone else I know to join.”

“That may be so, but―――

What should I be doing when others are practicing and training?”



Tohsaka... she didn't tell her about it, did she.

Ah, why do we get involved in such stupid events?

It isn't just a training camp this time.

It's a combined camp between the archery and track and field clubs. Moreover―――

“...Actually, we'd like you to make a showing too.

Although that's Tohsaka's suggestion.”


“O-On the stage!? Me!?”

Right. This event is practice for the performance we need to prepare for the cultural festival.

It's no wonder Saber's so surprised.

Devil knows how I got into this mess.

“Are you serious, Shirou?”

“Ah... I don't want to force it on you.”

“But I'd be really happy if you would. I'm saying this as a former archery club member.”


“...You are enjoying this, Shirou, aren't you?”

“Sorry. I won't say I'm not expecting anything.”

“I appreciate your honesty. Have a nice trip.”


“And please don't worry about my meals! Sushi, pizza, tempura with rice. Anything delivered will do!”

“Hey, that's too much, Saber!”

Her tone leaves no room for argument.

And so, without even the slightest reprieve, she threw me out.

I do not want to come back from the stay―――and find stacks of take-out containers and bowls towering in the entranceway.

...Well, I suppose there is Fuji-Nee, I'm sure she'll come check up on her in the evening.

I'm not worried about the house getting robbed or anything... but do I have a bad feeling about this.

“Good morning.”

I meet Kuzuki-sensei on the way to the large room.


“Ah, welcome, Emiya-kun.”

Caster also greets me with a smile, peering around his shoulder.

...But if you look closely, there is no kindness in her eyes.

She's giving me exactly the same look one would give a trespasser, or a cockroach.

From her perspective, I'm just the fiend who's ruining her long-awaited weekend alone with Kuzuki-sensei.

“Hurry. There are already a few in the large hall.”

“I will. Thank you for having us here for these two days.”


“Will you be going out, Souichirou-sama?”

“No, I've got nothing in particular to do.

Although Reikan did request a game of Go with me.”

“Is that so?”

“Is there something you need?”

“I want to look for some winter clothing soon... but most of them are things I need to buy, so...”

“...Hmm. You must need someone to help you carry them. I will tell Reikan I'll be coming in late.”

“Y-Yes! I'll be ready in just a second!”

As Kuzuki-sensei nods, Caster returns hurriedly to her room.

“Well then. Since you are staying overnight, I suppose we will be meeting again.”

We exchange a light farewell.

No matter where he is, at school or at home, he emits a constant aura of alertness.

And Caster's "newlywed" play still creeps me out.

“Morning. Sorry I'm late.”

“Oh, Emiya? Morning―――ack.”

“Come on. You're late, Emiya.”

“Good morning, Senpai.”

“...Err, what is that?”

There is Mitsuzuri rolling on the floor in the middle of the room.

“...You sure look happy, Mitsuzuri.”

“Of course I am! It really pays to be at a rich temple!

Look at this tatami. It's brand new! Wouldn't you, as a Japanese person, want to roll around on it?

I'm so envious... I bet Issei's already rolled around on it yesterday.”

“Nonsense! I'm not some panda at a zoo!”

“Ah, okay. That's fine, then. Let us enjoy it while he can't.

Come, Matou! Let's do it together! It's so refreshing!”

“I-I'm okay... Um, Mitsuzuri-senpai... this is a temple, you know...”

“Mmmm, the overwhelming smell of grass!

This party room shall be claimed by our archery club!”

Plop. Thud. It's morning, and Mitsuzuri's in perfect spirits already.

“Mitsuzuri. It is as Matou-kun has said. This is neither a party room nor a place for a banquet. To be precise, this is a lecture hall.

The hall where the eight scrolls of the Lotus Sutra are read, it is the place to study Buddhist virtues; that is, a place dedicated to learning.

Even during a training camp, you must remain solem―――”

“C'mon, c'mon! Backflip with your legs apart!”

Sakura seems troubled, but is at the same time impressed by how flexible Mitsuzuri is.

“...Emiya, I beg you, do something about that raging panda.”

“Let her have her fun. We did it a lot ourselves, too, you know.”

“And just when did we do that?”

“Hahaha. You were the one who made a hole in the door, but I got into trouble too, remember?”



“G-Good morning, everyone!”

“Excuse me.”

“Woah, it's huuuge!

I-Is this the legendary thousand-mat tatami room!?”


“Uuuoooyaaaah!!! Diving front roll!”

Tadadadada!―――Makidera swims in the sea of tatami. A front roll, twist, followed by a splendid backflip.

“M-Maki-chan, no!”

“She's the type who just has to swim in an open-air hot spring. It wasn't exactly unexpected.”

Issei pokes my shoulder.

“Emiya. Are we going to make it through this? This lasts for two days. I'm very worried―――no, actually, I'm terrified.”

“...Yeah. It's not something we can just laugh off.

I'm definitely going to get in trouble by association again.”

Both of us have plenty of cause to worry.

Makidera belly flops in the middle of the room, flips over, and looks up triumphantly.

“Did you see it!? Rob Van Dam's anterior cruciate ligament-snapping moonsault!”


Her arms crossed, Mitsuzuri looks on coldly? Just when did she...?

“...Uh... Mitsuzuri!”

“...Ha. To think you'd go nuts over something so trivial...”

“I-I've been looked down upon!

And by none other than HER!”


I want to speak out.

I want to reveal the fact that, only moments ago, this haughty person standing over her was doing the very same...!

“Ah, I suppose it can't be helped. I hear a repressed childhood does things to a person.”

“Aaaargh! So RUDE! I've always been like this!”

“Makinoji. We can't support you, so why don't you just stop now?”


“All right, enough with the tomfoolery!

Is this everyone? Then I'll call for my brother. There is something I need to tell you about first.”

“No, Tohsaka isn't here yet.”

“Tohsaka's no problem. Wait just a moment.”

Issei disappears from the hall. I'm the only guy left.

...Issei, it seems you're losing your calm.

I suppose that's understandable, seeing as this place is crawling with females... What worries me more is that this M-F ratio does not even bother me anymore.

“Senpai, um...”

“Sakura, did you hear anything from Tohsaka? She suggested the idea, and now she's late.”

“I think... she stayed up all night yesterday.”

“All night...? Like trawling through the library, looking for material and things? I thought she went back to her ghost mansion early?”

“Well, yes.”

“Yeah. I'm kind of tired too, actually.”

Mitsuzuri seems to force out a yawn.

“...You guys all didn't sleep?”

“Yeah, it came to our house too. That anaconda of a fax.”

Fa...x!? When did she buy something like that!?

Truly, a gigantic waste. Like pearls before swine. Or, a sailor uniform on Fuji-Nee.

“Um... I received it as well, late at night.

Tohsaka-san's script. She asked me to skim over it.”

“Script...? I thought she said she was just going to find a suitable play? When did she manage to write her own?”

“It didn't come to your house, Emiya-kun?”

“My house? No, we don't have a fax machine.”

“Ah, then you must have slept soundly.”

Although Saegusa says it with a smile, her eyes are bloodshot.

No, they're not quite up to Caster's level of cynicism. But while I can guarantee the total lack of evil design behind those eyes, they're scary enough in their own right.

“I wish she had sent it starting from page one... then we could've at least read it in order.”

“What, it came last page first?

...No wonder I thought it was difficult to follow...”

“Well, not sure if it would have made a difference.”

“It came to our house too... Well, in my case, it was an endless stream of blank pages.”

“To fax them the wrong page up... that's Tohsaka alright.”

“"A white anaconda stalking the streets of Fuyuki at night!"”

“She sent it again, but by the time it arrived, the sun was almost up.”

I can see Tohsaka in front of a brand-new fax machine, first timidly pushing the buttons, then yelling at the poor thing as her temper builds up.

“I did say that e-mail would be fine...”

“It would have taken at least three times as long that way.”

“Do not underestimate her. It'd be at least five times.”

“...I think it'd be impossible to begin with.”

“Kane-chan, you were last then.

Did you even sleep?”

“It was a complete all-nighter. I could faint right now.”

“But your expression's the same as ever.”

Mitsuzuri pouts while on the phone.

“...She's not answering her phone. Could she be asleep?”


“Should we go get her, just in case?”


Awesome. Mitsuzuri just did a back dash, her feet never leaving the ground.

“Ah, I'm sorry, Mitsuzuri-senpai.

I could never get the chance to introduce you―――”

“Oh, you're here, Rider?”

“W-When... When did you get here, Rider-san!?”

Her eyebrow twitching, she's readying herself like Ultraman before some extraterrestrial monster.

“I have always been here with Sakura, but you must not have noticed.”

“L-Lies! You're lying! Where were you hiding!?”

“That was one irresistibly attractive backflip.”

“You were watching!?”

...She must have been in her spirit form.

“Rider-san? Who would that be?”

“Ah, sorry, Makidera-senpai. I'll introduce you to her at a later time. Rider, could you take care of Tohsaka-senpai for now?”


Rider suddenly turns toward me, as if to seek my approval.

“Yes, please, Rider. We can't continue without Tohsaka.”

“That is but a matter of course―――”

“What is it?”

“Should I not call Saber, as well?”


“I thought she might come with you too, Senpai...”

“Well, that's what I hoped, but she refused.”

“Eh, then she's at the mansion all by herself tonight?”

“That she is.”

“What, bring her over. That pretty girl? You can't let her be alone.”

“You just say whatever's on your mind, Mitsuzuri. You've always been like that.”

“But, you know, wouldn't she be on the archery club's side?”

“...So that's what you need her for.”

“Ooough! What, what!? A helper!? Come one, come all!”

“It must feel great to have not a care in the world, Makidera.”

“I'm here too, Ayako.”

Mitsuzuri's hair stands on end as she jumps back in retreat.

“T-Thank you!

B-But you mustn't sneak up on people from behind! This is a sacred hall!”

It sure sounds like the kind of thing Issei would say if he were here, weeping.

“Well, the archery club aside.

Rider, could you say something to Saber again, please? Sorry for the trouble.”

“Yes. I shall see what I can do.

I will be back soon.”

“Phew. Good thing Rider is here.”

“Maybe so, but...”

Sakura mutters as she watches the relieved Mitsuzuri collapse on the tatami.

“Thanks for waiting. I see you are all here.”

Issei returns in Rider's stead.

...With a man wearing a black robe in tow.

Broad shoulders and stout back, this person is none other than Issei's older brother and also the temple's current head monk.

“Good morning.”

―――"Good morning!"

The group gathers naturally and composes itself to greet him, a side effect of belonging to an athletic club.

Everyone wakes up afresh.

“Wow, what a greeting. That is excellent.

I am the person in charge while the temple master is away. My name is Reikan. "Zerorei" and "Stargazing.kan"

Being a graduate of Homurabara, I suppose I am also an "old boy" to you.”

Reikan-san looks over at me and Mitsuzuri. We both nod slightly.

“I heard that there will be archery and track and field club members. Is this everyone?”

If this were school, Issei would probably speak up on everyone's behalf, but that doesn't seem to be happening here.

And so I answer in his place.

“I'm sorry, but there's still one missing.

And it looks like there will also be a few participants that aren't students.”

“Oho? So there'll be more, I see.

Please do tell me more about it later. I won't discriminate against delinquents.”

“Very well, I will first tell you about this temple.

Please relay the relevant information to those who arrive later.”

The stand-in head monk tells us about the Ryuudou temple and the relationship Homurabara has with it.

His crisp voice rings throughout the large hall.

“Usually there are quite a few young trainees living at the temple, but as of recently, together with the head monk, they have left to visit a certain sacred mountain.

If they come back alive, that would be great. If not, this temple's unusually vast grounds will be available for the Homurabara students to lay claim on. Mm, this is definitely a win-win situation.”

I can't tell where his jokes end, but you sure can't be bored listening to him.

“Please utilize this hall and the sleeping quarters as you see fit. Needless to say, the quarters are divided by gender.”

“―――But I heard that you would be practicing for a play?

Splendid. It would be great if a famous actor or actress comes out of this training session at Ryuudou temple. Our charms and talismans will be selling like hotcakes!”

Everyone shakes their heads ardently.

...Mitsuzuri alone, her finger on her chin, is listening with a serious expression.

“And when that happens, we will, of course, be collecting royalties.”

“Eh? Ah, I see. Then, me too―――!”

“...It's just a joke. He doesn't have any charms or talismans.”

“No, no, Issei. I do believe Caster-san would be able to make a hundred or two of them in no time.

Mmm, we'll leave that for later.

For this occasion, I shall overlook anyone staying up late.”

“In return, I'd like to request that you take a bit of time cleaning the hall and the road leading to the back of the temple, today and tomorrow. Consider it volunteering.

Emiya-kun and Mitsuzuri-san will know exactly what to do, so please follow their examples.”

“As I have mentioned, you can use these rooms as you see fit.

You are also free to wander around elsewhere, if you so desire.”

“However, the building to the west, where Issei's, myself and others' rooms are located, is the head monk's residence.

Particularly the innermost room. It is the love nest of the Kuzuki couple, so unless you have an urgent matter to attend to, I highly recommend you keep out.

Else, I cannot guarantee your safety.”

And so, with those final words of encouragement, Reikan-san leaves and our entire group bids farewell the same as it greeted him.

“...Hm. It's over without an incident.”

“? Why are you so tense, Issei? Reikan-san is just being his normal self.”

“Of course. As you just saw, he is a man with a strong presence.

If I am ever to become a calm and collected person, I would be like Souichirou. If I am to be laid back and broad-minded, then Reikan is my model. On this, I swear.”

To Issei, Reikan-san is a teacher before a brother.

“That's that, but has Tohsaka not arrived still?”

“Let's try it one more time.”

Mitsuzuri takes out her cellphone again.

“Hey! No calls in the temple halls!”

“Hey, no unfunny jokes either.”

“You fool! Why would it be a joke!?

Not that you would be able to tell one in the first place!”

“I guess this will do.”

The back of Ryuudou temple didn't have much trash to clean up.

Most of the work was moving around rocks or sweeping and moving the leaves to the compost pile.

Having done my part, I call out to Sakura and Mitsuzuri and walk down the mountain path.

Just before we reach the gate, I hear the track and field club members... well, mostly Makidera... from behind the brick wall.

They were given the task of cleaning up around the temple, but it seems like they're arguing about something.

And the one they're arguing with is―――Tohsaka?

“I'm apologizing.”

“Nope! Unforgivable! I must take this rare chance!

And it's not school, so you don't have to act all lady-like! Apologize in your normal way, the way you are when you go shopping with us and things!”

“...What a bother. So energetic this early in the morning.

Will it appease you if I do all of the cleaning tomorrow?”

“What's going on?”

“Ah... morning.”

When I speak up, Tohsaka shrinks her shoulders.

It must be her nonchalant attitude, coupled with the fact of having overslept this much, that has angered Makidera.

But right as I'm about to step in, Makidera speaks the unthinkable.

“The cleaning doesn't matter.”


“No, that's really not true, Maki-chan.”


“If it's not about her being late, why are you mad?”

Makidera, calmed down by Saegusa only moments ago, lights up in an instant.


“Stop being loud, Makinoji.”

“Ukuuuuuu! I can't stay quiet about this!”

Makidera slaps her hand with what looks like a thick roll of fax paper. That must be the legendary script.

“This, THIS! What do you mean I'm supposed to play the "MONKEY"!? What the hell is that, huh!?”

Monkey...? Oh, so it's the play she's riled up about?

“Ah, that?”

“But, Makidera-san, don't you think you'll be able to do an excellent job as a monkey?”

“Urooorgh... What could you possibly mean!?”

“Mmm. Okay. Yes, very good.”

“W-What!? Cleared with one try!?”

“Yep. I approve. As the best actor for the role, Makidera-san has my full support.”

“Oooh... thanks.

...No, THAT'S NOT IT AT ALL! What are you trying to get at with this, Tohsaka!?”

“The director's spot.”

Smiling, she meaningfully takes out her glasses. The absolute ruling elite.

“For real!? You won't win like this!

Even the classics like Godzilla or Devilman can go to hell if the director takes a wrong turn!”

“No. Makidera-senpai?

It's not final yet. Although we did ask her to come up with a script.”

“Right. There could be another candidate for the director's spot.”

“Oh? I do believe it's already my position.”

Tohsaka doesn't even flinch. I do wonder where her confidence comes from.

“Um, I'm the "Dog," how about you, Kane-chan?”


I have no complaints about my role.

But it does make me somewhat uneasy not knowing how the plot is going to unfold.”

Let's see... dog, monkey and pheasant... only one story comes to mind. So what she has sent everyone was the script for "Momotaro"? Hmm... Not nearly unique enough for Tohsaka's tastes...

“Well, anyway, we can't linger here all day. If we're done with the cleaning, we should gather the tools and go to the main hall. We can continue there.”

“Ah, there's more help coming soon.

They're with Ryuudou-kun at the moment.”

“Eh? Tohsaka, you brought Saber?”

I blurt out in a happy voice unintentionally.

“Mm, well there's also that...”

“W-What do you mean?”

Rin lets out a malicious chuckle. A demonic laugh, with a demonic intent, coming from the devil herself.

“It actually turned out quite funny.”

Her already evil aura multiplies in its intensity.

...Whatever could she mean by more "helpers," as in more than one? And funny?


Through some magic on Tohsaka's part, the building is full of all-too-familiar faces.

Sakura and I stand speechless.

Lancer is exchanging familiar greetings with Mitsuzuri and the track and field team members.

"Ah, the Red Nii-chan!" The ever-sneering Archer is greeted by Makidera and others. What a spectacle.

“Oh? You all somehow know each other?

That's unexpected. Well, it does cut down on the introductions then.”

The scripts are passed out, and we have an excuse for an introduction and casting meeting.

“...I'm not doubting everyone's skills or anything, but wasn't it a little meaningless to invite Saber-san and others?”

“Does it matter? If it's just us, we'd have two roles per person. And besides, the main characters are still Homurabara students.

If they can help us as extras, our play can only get better.”

Mitsuzuri, who likes festivities, agrees with Tohsaka and the conversation moves on.

“Hah!? I-Is that so? So the main character, I can be it, right?”

And the one who REALLY likes festivities, Makidera, raises her voice enthusiastically about changing roles.

This was the process of the monkey evolving into the main character, the start of what future generations would call, "The Makidera Rebellion."


With the roles all taken from Tohsaka's just-finished script, the cultural festival practice really begins in earnest.

An orthodox fairy-tale, reenacted by the union of the track and field and archery clubs.

An ancient story that everyone has heard at least once―――


Let us see... Ten years passed since Momotaro and his three comrades ended their quest to defeat the monsters―――”

“He had been living peacefully with his grandma and grandpa until one day, voices of the monsters long thought dead, full of resentment, reached him once more.

Having heard the rumors of the monsters being resurrected on the Demon Island in the middle of the sea, Momotaro rises up to the challenge, wasting not a second on hesitation.

Of course, we cannot forget the grandma's homemade millet dumplings that he carries on his belt!”

“Whenever he takes a bite, a nostalgic taste fills his mouth, and the image of his brave comrades warms his chest.

What could they be doing now, after having parted ways? They are~ at this very~ moment~♪

But first, before embarking on the journey, Momotaro seeks three or four companions to follow him on his quest. Thus begins the adventure of the Five Taros...”

“Hear ye, hear ye! Those that are far, and those that are near!

If you are near, come and see it with your own eyes!

I am Momotaro of Kibi, from the Land of the Rising Sun!”

“Ye monsters of the Demon Island!

Have ye not learned yer lesson, having come back from Hell with insolence!”

No matter what wicked arts or witchcraft you may use―――

I, Momotaro, will destroy it all and bring an end to the Demon Island once and for all!

Hiya, hiya, hooo――――――!!”


...Well, high morale is good and all.

But I can't do it alone, so...

So lonely―――!

Ah, how I miss you, Dog, Monkey, Pheasant!

I wonder what are you guys doing now?”

“Ah, if it isn't the famous Momotaro-dono gracing us with his presence!

I am delighted and honored to be able to finally meet you!”

“...I am the Bear of Mount Ashigara!

I have a message from my master, kuma!”

“Kuma everywhere!”

“"Dear respected Momotaro-dono―――

I presume that you have already heard and felt the return of the Demon Island.

The unrest in the capital grows stronger. Night by night, strange events are taking place. Without doubt, the forces of darkness are taking hold.

The Yin energy emanating from the Island must be countered.

Five Taros must therefore assemble and head out to defeat the evil. I shall humbly wait for you at the capital.

―――Kintaro of Mount Ashigara."”

“...That is all, kuma.”

“Gather... five Taros!”

“I see, Bear. You are the messenger of Kintaro!”

“Precisely, kuma.”

“Then I shall await at the capital.

I pray you hurry, kuma.”

“Yeah, I'll be there soon.

Please give my regards to Kintaro.”

“I am definitely not a human. I am the child of a dragon.”

“A dragon? So those horns are dragon horns―――!?”



“The White Dragon of the Mountain is my father, the Rhino Dragon of the Lake is my mother―――

I am "Kotaro of the Dragons."”

“Oooh... Kotaro of the Dragons?

Are you a Taro too?

Then... you are not with the monsters?”

“The monsters who harm the village people are my enemies.”

“Ueeeeh, I'm sorry!

I apologize on my knees! Just like this! I'm sorry, I'm sorry!”

“And so, Momotaro was unexpectedly able to recruit Kotaro of the Dragons as a companion on his journey.

They went on and on, but they still could find no trace of the Dog, Monkey or the Pheasant.

Momotaro, frustrated and impatient, insisted that he will rush the Demon Island by himself, or face a honorable death trying. But the composed Kotaro of the Dragons was able to calm him in the end.”

“Halt! That is no enemy of yours!”

“I am Momotaro of Kibi!

A warrior that conquered the Demon Island and even had the honor of an audience with the Emperor himself!”

“Although nothing ever came out of any of that...”

“Hold your tongue...!”

“...I-Is it not the Dog!? Dog! Dog!”

“So this gatekeeper was the Dog.”

“Right, it's the Dog! Dog! Do-ooog!”

“"Dog," "dog," shut up already!”

“Tada, tada~♪

Taro~ is a good boy~ lalala~♪

...Can we not do something about this musical part...? grumble grumble...”

“My name is "Three-year Sleeping Taro of Shinano"!

My hibernation is long over. Currently, I live with a beautiful wife, and I'd like you to think of me as one of the Imperial Court servants.”

“Hey, Momotaro, the Dog is not your servant anymore.

And to think that you would show your brazen face in the capital.

The Emperor is angry.”

“The revival of the monsters is not Momotaro-dono's fault!”

“But we must resolve all doubt.

For the monsters to revive after they were destroyed... The rumors that their defeat was a scam set up to receive the Emperor's reward were circulating since the very beginning.”

“Right now is not the time to fight each other.

You may be born to different parents, but aren't you all of the same Taro blood!?

All together now...”

“Kintaro with the big aaaaxe~♪

Ridiiiing on a bear, like on a horse~♪”

“Daah dee da♪”

““Doo dee da♪””


“Momotaro-dono! Are you out of your mind, kuma!?

To swing your sword about like that!”

“...What were you trying to slash, Kintaro?”


“I shall hold him down, so please go on with the explanation.”


“It is as the astrologer Abeno Seimei foretold in his divination.

A star of ill omen is rising in the northeast.”

“Northeast―――that's where the Demon Island lies.”

“That is correct, Momotaro-san.

If I may summarize, Seimei is saying that this unprecedented uprising of evil from the Demon Island is bound to descend upon our country before long.

As you may know, the evil force is already starting to take hold in the remote regions that are lacking astrologer and Buddhist priest attention.”

“I have witnessed with my very own eyes the trembling of the charm that seals the head of the great daemon Shutendoji. The Tsuchigumo grave in Mount Katsuragi was also no different.

These are dreadful times.

Should they come back to life, even the capital will not escape unharmed.”

“A great calamity has befallen the Land of the Rising Sun!”

“And so, the four Taros - Momotaro, Kotaro of the Dragons, Kintaro, and the Three-year Sleeping Taro - together with their servants, united for the moment and began on their search for the last Taro, the "Urashima Taro." Ah~, so hungry.”

Since my turn isn't coming up anytime soon, I sneak out of the practice hall and hurry toward the kitchen.

I have a dinner for fifteen waiting to be prepared there...

“Thanks again!

...Eh? You're by yourself, Emiyan?”


What a surprise.

I was sure it was Reikan-san coming to check up on us...

I never expected to see THIS person at the temple―――

“Are you here on a provisioning run, by chance?”

“Yeah. I do get paid, though.

Hoy, this goes into the refrigerator, and this to the freezer. This place has a ridiculously large fridge so you can keep on stuffing things inside.”

“Ah, yes. Thanks, yes, yep, alright.”

I suppose it is only natural for a hardcore part-time worker that my body starts moving by itself at Neko-san's orders.

“Mmm, good, good. Right there. Okay.

Two boxes left. Here, Emiya-san, this is the car key.

Sorry, I have no time either. The night shift at Copenhagen starts soon.”

“Ah. Now that you mention it, it's about that time, isn't it?”


The customers will just leave if we only have one person there. Well, it does make things easier for me, but whatever.

And I also have to talk to Rei-kun―――I mean, the stand-in head monk.”

Stand-in head monk... that must be Reikan-san.

Seems like Neko-san knows him already.

“The key is to the mini-van, right?”

“Right. It's parked at the bottom.

You can bring the heavy stuff like vegetables and rice yourself.

Two cardboard boxes, should be two trips max. And should I bill the archery club?”

“Ah, I'll get it myself this time.”



I stop her once again. Even though she's been carrying heavy boxes up that flight of stairs, her steps are still as light as ever.

“Thank you very much. You've been a big help.”

"No problem," Neko-san gestures back without turning. She's a good person. Yeah.

The autumn sun falls like a rock to the bottom of a pond, and without any streetlights nearby, Ryuudou temple sinks into darkness moments later.

The kitchen starts filling up with all sorts of appetizing smells.

The creaking floorboards inform me of Saber's arrival.


“Ah, just hold on for ten more minutes.”

“I haven't said anything yet.

......Although I must admit at this smell is whetting my appetite greatly, indeed...”

“Haha, sorry.

I'm the one who's hungry. Really, to get so nervous over just that...”

“―――You did well.

Everyone's taking turns going into the bath, but most of them should be done by now.”

“I see. That's good. The timing worked out well.”

“That's that...

Thanks a lot to you, Saber. You did great.”

Saber shakes her head.

“Compared to others, I haven't done much at all.

Is there something I could possibly help you with?”

“Ah, thanks, then...”

Well, there's not much left, actually.

If anything, it's being able to chat like this that would help.

“...Alright, can I ask you to take care of serving, then?

There's a big bowl with salad on the middle shelf in the fridge. Take that and divide it for everyone.”

“Got it. Will there be one plate per person?”

“We'll need around ten. There are wooden plates on those shelves somewhere.

It'll be sort of like a big family meal, so we'll get them to divide it all up themselves.”

“I see. That I am familiar with.”

There are no tongs, so Saber uses cooking chopsticks to quickly toss the salad. Her chopstick skills have improved vastly.

I sneak a peek at her from the side.

Could it be because of this rare festival night?

My heart's throbbing out of control, just like the first time we met.


“Eh...? Ah, oops.”

I hurriedly turn my eyes back to what I'm doing.

“I was wondering if I should say this, but...”

“Ah, what is it?”

“I have never gone to school like you, Shirou. Yet today, I was still able to meet a few of your classmates.”

“Aren't they interesting people?”

“Yes. Issei, whom I've known before, and―――

Ayako, Yukika, Kane... and then Makiji. Ah, no, it was Kaede, wasn't it?”

“Haha, yeah...”

“They are all very lively people.”

Muttering to herself, she repeats every name once again, as if to inscribe them in her mind.

“Thank you, Shirou.”

And it is my name she mutters last.

“Well, I didn't do anything.”

“No, it was all thanks to you.

There were not many times where we could just sit around and laugh like this.”

“If you put it like that, then I ought to say thanks to you, too.

For helping out with the cultural festival practice, of course, but I'm also glad that you simply cheered up and came with us.”

“I was inexcusably cold this morning. I am ashamed of myself.”


A bitter smile on her lips, Saber shrugs her small shoulders.

“I still have not gotten used to acting.

I admit, I still wish someone would switch places with me right this instant.”


The hallway is getting noisy. Is it Makidera again?

Tired of waiting, they'll probably invade soon.

Great, I'll get them to help set the table.

“Mmm, Emiyan is still so young.”

“I definitely cannot approve of peeping, Neko-kun.”

“I'm offended. I'd like to think of it as "watching over."

How can I leave such a promising young boy to a negligent teacher who just lets him do as he pleases?”

“It must be hard to be expected so much of.

In my eyes, Emiya-kun himself is the one who's more level-headed. In fact, it seems he may be spending too much time keeping unruly adults in control.”

“Fujimura is like a spoiled kid around Emiyan, yeah.

...Hold on. Does that mean me, too?”

“Hmm, Shirou's curry. This is where the smell is coming from.”

“Long time no see, Junior. You're absolutely correct, but you do realize that this is the kitchen entrance?”

“Hey, weren't you supposed to be...”

“Oooh? Rei-chan and Otoko?”

“Yeah. I was going one step ahead, to see how's Shirou-kun doing. I thought I'd help him out, just a little.”

“Ah, I see.

Job well done.”

“...Really, everyone is getting called in for reinforcements, but you just stroll in here leisurely?”

“What, don't say that to me. I've been busy all day taking care of paperwork. I came in a hurry just in time for dinner!”

“In a hurry, eh?

I heard you are in charge of the students preparing for exams now.”


“Whaa, unbelievable. How reckless does the school have to be to let someone like you have anything to do with exams!

Well, I guess it's our home school we're talking about here. The only thing the advisor has on her mind is what's for dinner.”

“How incredibly rude! And you, Otoko, stop fooling around and go back to your tiny shop already. Isn't it time for your shift?”

“Yes, yes. It is time, and talking to you takes all my energy away, so I'll be going soon even if you don't tell me to.

And don't call me Otoko in front of other people!”

“I'll see you off to the bottom of the stairs. Unfortunately, the whole flight isn't well-lit.”

“I am greatly in your debt, good sir.

See you later, Fujimura.”


Thanks for the provisions, Neko.”

“They are so annoying... and so loud this late at night too―――”

“I was requested to judge tomorrow's rehearsal by Matou-kun.”


“I heard you were given a role as well. Will you take it?”

“Ah, well, I suppose it's not very adult-like of me to dismiss everything the children do... and if you ask me so, Souichirou-sama...”

The date turns to October 11th.

The second day of the overnight camp keeps rolling on, confusing and hurried as ever.

"Momotaro," "Kintaro," a hodgepodge of old tales turned into one strange play.

...Written in two days flat.

The rehearsal already feels like it's been going on for days. Tohsaka's tyranny that knows no bounds, and Makidera's explosiveness after she has secured the main role for herself... the two will remain in my memory forever.


“The five Taros have gathered at the beach of Tango, boing. Now is the time to attack them, boing.”

“...Boing this, boing that. Shut up already, Tanuki.”


I wish you weren't so inconsiderate, boing!”


“How is that, crane. This is revenge.

Do you really want to repeat the same mistake?”

“...I got it.

Humans are creatures that break promises.”

“Ra-bbit, Rabbit, what do you see when you hop? ♪

I see the full moon on the night of the fifteenth, byoing ♪”

“Are you happy swaying like that!? Is it reverse sexual harassment!?”

“N-No, it's not "swaying," it's "hopping," byoing.”

For a moment, I was worried what would happen when we round up all the Servants and ask them to take part in a play... but in the end, the rehearsal went smoothly.

Fortunately, although my part consisted largely of staying behind the scenes, I was still able to help out.


You, once again, were not meant to leave the Demon Island.”

“Momotaro, born from a peach.

You cannot return to the human world anymore.

No one will know, or want to know, what has become of Momotaro.”

“I-I'm a human! Being born from a peach is a sign of individuality! Admit it! Stop the discrimination!”

“If everyone could discover themselves so easily, then they would not suffer. To not know and wander is to live.

Momotaro, you did not die on the Demon Island.

I believe you were born there.”

He wades through a thick aura of evil.

And finally, he sees one monster waiting for him on the throne.

“...So you have come...”

Speaking in a listless voice, he gets up slowly.

“Y-You are... kh...

The narrator!”

“I see, so you've been controlling everything and everyone from behind the scenes!”

“Incorrect. Well, it is as you say, but...”

“I am the Red Devil―――

The King of this Demon Island.

You have come, at last. I have become tired of waiting, Momotaro.”

“......The Red Devil......”

“Aaand... while you're not looking, GANDR!”





The Monkey jumps out in front of the writhing, screaming Momotaro.

The devil's shot shatters as it hits Monkey's shield.

It was the divine power that the millet dumplings were infused with that protected him from the Red Devil's power.


Was I really afraid of such a weakling?”

The monster, a little irritated, gets down from the throne and walks toward Momotaro.



Kintaro rushes straight for the Red Devil.

Yet the monster wards off the attack with the ease of swatting a fly.

“Kaidomaru―――Kintaro, is it?

Your sword poses no threat, but getting caught like this is no good.”

“For as long as the demonic pulse beats in this Island's heart, my power shall not be exhausted. The Gandr was just the starters.”

“Now, let us begin the monster extermination, you Taros!

...Will you not settle this with brutality that knows no bounds!?

Indeed, who shall come out the monster in the end!?”

At long last, the curtain drops on the short play.

Even with the hurried preparations, reactions from judges, Kuzuki-sensei, Fuji-Nee, and Reikan-san, were favorable and the cultural festival practice ended without incident.

And so, as if fatigue were unknown to us, we move on to the final stage of the training camp.

The twilight just before the sunset.

Different-colored soft drinks get passed around, the iron plate donated by Fuji-Nee is turned into an okonomiyaki grill,

and with everyone from the archery and track and field clubs on much better terms with each other than before, the atmosphere is congenial.

Even those who are normally somewhat hostile, mainly Archer, Rider and Caster... well, they are still tense and talking strictly about the overnight practices.


The wind-down party became a scene when Makidera and the Shopkeeper Nii-san (who hasn't been referred to as "Lancer" even once) started shooting targets, and Rider came upon a sizable Ryuudou temple alcohol stash. That's when the student council chairman finally stood up.

“Fie! This is it for you all!

This is a sacred temple, you drunk troublemakers!”

His rage reached its peak.

“Mmm, then please tell the young lady it's okay to be a kid from time to time.”

“From time to time? Don't you mean all the time?”

“Tsk, quiet, ya stubborn guy. It's sad to be a man who doesn't know when to let go.”

“Hmph. Better than one who knows no limits.”

“Then, we will head off as well.

Have a good night, everybody.”

“...I regret to leave Sakura and Ayako behind, but... I am not so unrefined a person to disturb classmates' bonding time...”

One by one, the participants go their own ways.

As I look at their disappearing backs, I realize that the party's over.

Soon, the sun will set.

The only thing left is our little after-festival event, the conclusion of this overnight stay.

Training Camp・Day 4 That night- ghost stories

Training Camp・Day 4 A night at Kageyama

I pursue that figure.

I pursue it, because this time I must meet it.

―――That's right.

Lest that night, yet unknown to me, happen once again.

I'm leaving the temple grounds.

The figure, perhaps to escape from me, or maybe to lure me, is moving to the rear woods.

...It's alright, I can catch it.

Less than an hour to go until the date changes.

If I can catch it before then, then the abnormality behind these four days will finally be made clear―――!

My field of vision expands.

Past the tunnel of trees looms a familiar hilltop.

The moon tonight is annoyingly beautiful.

As if frozen by its shine, the silver-haired girl is waiting for me to arrive.


“You, are...”

Lightning runs through my brain.

My synapses are running wild with deja vu.

I know her.

Was it once, or was it many times?

On an incalculable number of nights, Emiya Shirou has died in front of that woman.

...I take a step forward.

Despite the nature of our meetings until now, I feel no hostility or wariness towards her.

Completely unarmed, I slowly shorten the distance between us,


One final step away, I hear a voice.


“Caren Ortensia. It's my name.”

A cool indifference, like that of a machine.

As if just doing her job. Businesslike and curt.

And yet, this girl's voice,


rings through my chest like fine music, caring and sympathetic.

“Ah... um, my name is...”

“I already know it. Emiya Shirou. As Saber's Master, you were the winner of the Heaven's Feel. Before I came here, I performed an investigation on you.”

“――――You... investigated me...?”

My mind fires up once again.

The dull sense of vigilance instantly forces me to keep my distance from the girl.

“What's going on? This is my first time meeting you, so why have you been investigating me?”

“...It is precisely because this is our first meeting that I investigated you in advance.

Emiya Shirou. You do not truly understand your own nature. From your tone, I presume you claim to be a harmless human.”

She keeps a casual watch over me.

...Somehow, I feel intimidated.

She's nonchalantly rude to me, yet I still feel like apologizing to her, admitting my wrongdoing.

“Ugh―――No, harmless... isn't the way I'd put it, rather, I just mean no harm.”

“You are conscious of yourself. That is good.

Claiming to be harmless would have multiplied my work greatly... For once, you did make a good impression, Emiya Shirou.”

“Ah... thanks, I guess.”

Completely indifferent all the way through, the girl only states the truth.

...What a strange power. Somehow, she makes me feel like I'm being scolded.

“...Wait. You're throwing everything out of whack. Harmless or harmful, let's leave that for later.

There's something more important right now―――”

There's something I have to ask.

Caren's identity.

The various oddities hidden in the city.

The repeating four days of the restarted Heaven's Feel.

“Exactly who are you? Why are you investigating me?

...No, even before me, about the whole city. Why on earth would you lead that pack of monsters here?”

“Are you saying that I brought the monsters with me...?”

“W-What? I won't fall for it even if you try to trick me.

I definitely saw―――no, it wasn't really me, but I saw you cover the whole town together with those monsters.

Stop playing dumb. It may fool others, but it won't fool me.”


A quiet sound.

“Lord. Forgive this person's thoughtlessness and rash remarks.

...While at it, quiet this anger of mine that is hard to extinguish.”


“...Pardon me. I took up more of your time than needed.

For who could have thought that the winner of the Heaven's Feel would be such an unperceptive human.”

“...I will answer your question. I am the person sent in order to investigate and to supervise you all.

That is, you, the magi that participated in the Heaven's Feel.

My main purpose is to study the surge of activity exhibited by the Holy Grail that once again appeared in this town.”

...Investigate, supervise...?

Come to think of it, wasn't there someone else who kept saying the same thing?

No, no, more importantly, if she's here to "study the surge of activity"...

“―――So you are... not an enemy...?”

“Even if you do not think so, there is no need to treat me as an enemy, is there...? While I do pose harm, I am harmless to those who do not perceive me as causing harm.”

The girl is not lying.

No, this, in a sense, courteous girl is unable to mislead, let alone speak an outright lie.

I have no proof, but I can guarantee that much.

“―――No, but...”

The girl definitely brought the monsters along with her.

The fourth night.

Like now, the moment the moon approaches the summit―――


The air changes.

The tremors are reshaping the world.

Black sky.

In an instant, that familiar hill...

Becomes a piled-up mountain of corpses, the hell on earth.


My eyes are fixed on Caren.

Just like back then, the girl is shedding blood and suffering.


....There's a horde of them.

Those eerie monsters were being born here.

The piled-up corpses are, one by one, awakening and surrounding us.

Howling becomes a chorus.

The almost inaudible low sounds are destroying my sanity.

An awful sensation, like a centipede entering through my ear and rummaging around inside, tearing off my nerves.


...Caren, right? What are these guys? You are their owner, aren't you? Can't you tell them to stay away...?”

“...You are wrong, Emiya Shirou. I have nothing to do with them.”

“Mmph... Nothing to do with them? Really?”

“It's true. I can swear to the Lord, if you like.”

Did she recover from the mysterious bleeding? Catching her breath, she comes up to me, her back against mine.

“Wai-... W-What the heck, if you're injured, just take it easy, I'm telling you.”

“...Right now, I shall prioritize your safety over my wounds.

I am unrelated to them. No, they don't have any interest in me. The only one their eyes see, no, the only person they will voluntarily harm, is you.”

The monsters' encirclement narrows.

The immense hatred is directed at no one but me.

“―――Only, me?”

The claws covered in entrails are clearly stating their desire to tear me up.

I know.

If I'm torn to pieces by that, this time, once again, I will―――

“...That's right, you too...”

The same as those monsters, no, those monsters were born from your body.

“...You already saw it, didn't you?

However, you can be at ease. I shall not be affected while staying here.

No, these children will not make me change. The only ones that can alter me are the phenomena known as demons.”

She says indifferently.

I hear the sound of rustling clothes.

Behind me, Caren's red Holy Cloth of Magdala whirls in the air.

"―――TuRn tuRn tuRn tuRn―――!"*

Shut up already. Those grudges that you can't get out of your stupid heads are drowning out the beautiful rustling.

―――Obstacles everywhere.

I want there to be peace.

I want to talk to this girl.

No, what's even more important right now―――[rep fliplr=0 tops=0 storages=

“Ah―――...they won't... affect you...?”

“Correct. All the monsters here are dead. You and me can speak normally.”

“All the monsters are dead...? But these guys are still moving.”

“They are different. They weren't alive to begin with.

...Look closely, and you will see. These are nothing but forgotten remains. The power they possess as individuals is insignificant.”


Indeed, they do look like a scrap pile of abandoned machinery.

I wonder if someone threw them away here.

I won't go so far as to say it's infinite, but this pile is enormously tall. Over a hundred million corpses, probably, a chain of death that you'll give up counting the links on.

―――But I don't care.

Someone's been hitting my eardrums as he pleases for a while now.

“―――Here they come... I shall protect your back.

Just survive somehow until the date changes.”


There is an avalanche.

The mountain of corpses is crumbling.

A swarm of monsters, countless as the stars, coming to kill me and only me.

“Ha―――Somehow, huh? Sure is easy to say that.”

There's no time to hesitate.

A switch clicks in my brain.

I throw away my peaceful self, and replace it with the one that knows of nothing but defeating the enemy.

The thought process change went astonishingly smooth.

How difficult can it be? Kicking the iron of reason to the curb, a manifestation of pure sadism.


There is no hesitation.

Frankly, faced with the prospect of being washed away in a sea of garbage, I have lost my sanity long ago.


The projected weapon is rolling through the trash before me―――!

A cloud of dust rises up.

The swarm of claws is rushing towards us.

Beastly daggers crawling out of every crack, in every direction.

Sparks dancing in the muddy moonlight.

Narrowly avoiding the claws coming to gouge both of my eyes out, I end up nearly kissing one corpse in the face as I dispatch him with a dagger.

Crumbling remains of the cut-down beasts.

And for each one of their brethren that goes down, there's another swarm coming to skewer me.


I retaliate ferociously.

Three strikes in one second. Picking and projecting twelve weapons at once, I shoot them all off towards the monsters.

“―――, ―――, hah, ah―――!”

My breathing speeds up.

Mowing them down non-stop, an endless stream of swords.

Carpet bombing the back hills.

I have reached the limits of both mind and body before the enemies rushing at me, not a moment's rest in between attacks.

“―――Ah, ―――haa, ―――ha......!!!!”

But this limit is endless.

For this night only, the limits of ability and the limits of physical strength are no longer connected.

Strength is left behind, and the ability shoots up, no end in sight.

The muscles needed to wield a dagger are long since overstretched and destroyed.

Yet my head is crystal clear.

The weapons I am projecting must be highly compatible with my own self, for not only am I not running out of magical energy, the speed at which they appear is not going down, either.

If this trend continues...

I can fight to death, let alone thirty minutes.

The girl behind me is warding off the beasts just as well.

Like a snake moving of its own volition, the red cloth warns, rebukes, and forces the monsters to retreat.

“Huu, haah, ha―――, you...!”

Gentle to the point of making me envious.

A defense that accepts the beasts while it rejects them. Sadism and masochism. Affirmation and denial. No, should I ever get wrapped up in that, I know I'll just melt from all that warmth.

A woman defending my back with all her might.

Thanks to her, I am still alive.

Thanks to her, the swarm of corpses around me is getting ever so smaller.

―――You're in the way.

There's no real reason for it.

This woman has become irresistibly    to me.

Repeating again and again, a grand chorus.

Cutting down again and again, a grand prayer.

“, ha―――!”

Everything's perfect. Even faced with a hundred million alone, I will not lose...!

“Ha―――ah, hah, ha―――!”

Shut up.


Shut up you bastards, it's the first time I've felt this good. My head feels like it's roasting in a fire. There's no end to the magnificence of this tiny consciousness. More, make more, make endlessly more, make infinitely more, aaaaah, all this, this, this―――

“Ha―――Haha, haha, hahaha, ah―――!”

Don't you dare stop me now, not when I'm almost at the climax...!

“Ha, haa, haa, h―――...ah, huh...?”

The mountain of corpses is fading.

The impure air is clearing, and the muddy moon is regaining its innocence.

The dagger in my hand vanishes, unable to contain magical energy any longer.

“...They're... gone...?”

Without me noticing, the date has changed.

The scorching excitement that was burning down my sense of reason only moments ago is already cooling off.

I fall to the ground on my knees.

I'm exhausted, and can't move a single step.

Reason, magic, strength. Having abused all three, the outcome is hardly surprising.

“――――――It was awful.”

Standing in front of me, Caren has not changed one bit.

What is she looking down on me for? I'm too tired to work it out.

“But you have passed. At long last, the two of us were able to meet.”

...I hear a voice from afar.

Is it Tohsaka?

I guess she must have felt the disturbance and came running from the temple.

Not willing to meet Tohsaka apparently, Caren is about to disappear into the forest.

“Wait. You haven't told...”

“No, this is it for our meeting. The present you can go no further than this.

...However, yet another gap is now filled. We can meet at any time now, if you so desire.”

The sound of footsteps is getting near.

Tohsaka is running along the forest road.

“Sweet dreams. Once you wake up, please come to my house alone.”

Her silver hair is slipping away into the darkness of the trees.

For the second time now, the girl that introduced herself as "Caren" disappears from before me.

If I am to meet her again, it will only be once this incident is resolved.

It will be our first meeting, and the first exchange of names.

“―――, ha―――”

Tohsaka's coming. It's alright if I just fall asleep like this, isn't it?

...I'm so tired. I need to sleep.

There are many others running alongside her.

Looking back, if Emiya Shirou has done anything of significance at all, it was all on this night.

I close my eyes to fall asleep.

I got past the night of the fourth day. When I wake up, everything should be back to normal.

"OnLY yoU weRe saVeD agAIn."*

...A faint imprint of the curse remains on my eardrums.

But even that will be forgotten by the time I wake up―――