Loop 43

Day 1

Caren Quo Vadis

No signs of people in the plaza.
The house of God stands quiet, no visitors in sight.

... This place stands far away from the world.
Further still from heaven. A place of confession for the lost---

A girl unknown to me is waiting at the church.
Whether it is the first time or the last, it has no meaning here.
She is something that never existed to begin with. She is everywhere and nowhere just like him.
The flow of time is irrelevant here.
If I'm not mistaken, I am visiting this place for the-------

Caren I/(Angra Mainyu)

I've got a lot to ask her about.
I don't know anything about the person I'm about to meet.
All I know is her name and the tense atmosphere that surrounded her.

The sound of that name is like a delicate piece of glasswork, reminiscent of her figure.

--------I open the door.
The sunlight from he windows on the ceiling whites out my vision, blinding me.
An uninhabited chapel.
I can see a nun, affectionately playing a melody on the organ.

Did she not notice my arrival? She does not pause in her performance, nor play a single wrong note.
Without rising to greet her visitor, the woman remains dutifully at her task.
...A slight dizziness comes over me.
Is it because of the high ceiling? The music of the organ reverberates throughout the chapel, filling the space with sound.

I was about to walk up to the organ, but then had a sudden change of heart.
I sit down in the very back of the rows of pews.
It will be over soon anyway.
It doesn't seem like it's one of those performances that lasts for hours. I can just wait for it to end.

The tedium of the piece dulls my ability to think.
It's so peaceful it's making me sleepy. As I sit there dozing off, I surrender myself to the music worked by the woman's fingers.

It's just an ordinary hymn, nothing noteworthy about it. There's nothing special about her finger work, nor is her performance imbued with any emotion.
She simply plays.
It's as if she's performing a daily chore.

This performance, it's--------as though she's praying.

So this is what those who come to worship are so touched by.
The house of God, built by the hands of men,
and a song of glory in His name, written by a pen held in a human hand.
The men of centuries past must have endeavored to express something sacred by way of performances like this.
In order to believe, and to make others believe as well, they gathered to create these spaces, so far removed from those familiar in daily life.

The cornerstone of a shared illusion.
The crystallization of prayer, for tranquility and forgiveness of daily trespasses.

From that point of view, this place could be called an appropriate boundary for the eyes of God to rest upon.
Even nonbelievers should be able to feel a divine presence in here.

I'm afraid I feel nothing holy in this place.

The image it brings to mind is that of a ruin, nothing more.
What can I compare it to but a wasteland, devoid of human life?

"...Aah, I'm gonna throw up."

I prop my head up with both hands and remain seated, waiting in a daze for the hymn to end.
...God and ruins, huh?
Well, whichever it may be, both of them are hollow.

The performance that grated on my ears is over.
The woman rises from the bench, and the pipe organ disappears from the chapel.
...That's right. This church never had such an exquisite organ in it in the first place.
It's probably something she had brought here.
A woman with the ability to bring something that huge and make it disappear is right up there with Caster in terms of mysteriousness.

Not at all surprised by my presence, she walks briskly towards the pew where I sit.
I thought she hadn't noticed me, but it looks like she knew all along that I was here.

"Welcome, Emiya Shirou. Although our house of worship is quite dilapidated, I will do my utmost to make you feel at home.
If memory serves me correctly... Ah, that's right, If you're thirsty, shall I prepare refreshments?"
"No thanks. I didn't come here to have tea."

"...Is that so? I know of no other way to welcome you, so if there is something you require, please tell me of it."

She's acting almost as if her feelings have been hurt.
...This girl. She said she was welcoming me, but, is this her first time greeting a visitor?

"Then allow me to introduce myself. I already know that you are the Master of Saber, so there is no need for further introductions from you.
What about you? Do you wish to hear my name?"

"No, that's fine. I already know that much.
I'll leave as soon as I've heard what I need, so there's no use for introductions."

I answer her concisely.
Perhaps she is surprised by something, as our conversation suddenly stops.

"...Hey, is it okay if I speak?"

"...Yes. If you have questions, please just go ahead and ask.
I have no questions for you.
...No, I do have one now, but it's not that important."

"Is that so. Then let's get this over with. Too many things I've been wondering for so long."

There are three things I intend to ask. I start with the first.

"So, my first question.
You said your name is Caren. Who are you?
Where did you come from, and why are are you in Fuyuki?
And don't try to claim that you're just here to take in the sights."

"I am the successor of this church. Ordinarily, such a job would not have been entrusted to someone of my level, but in light of the current circumstances, I was temporarily appointed as its caretaker..
I suppose a magus like you would call me an agent of your enemy, the Church."

"By agent, you mean a part of the Church's army? A hitman who passes arbitrary judgement on heretics and magi, and eliminates them?"

"No, I am more like an executor in the legal sense. I do not possess the abilities of a true Executor.
It seems this church's previous caretaker was one, and of some repute at that. However, I myself have neither the authority nor the ability to pass judgement on heretics.
I am merely an apprentice acting on the orders of the Church, here to observe this city."

"An apprentice, huh? Is the Church so low on manpower that they'd leave someone like that in charge?
...Well, I guess it does depend on the mission, but if yours is just to look around, even a dog would be able to--------!?"

"The right person in the right place, as they say. I am indeed just an ordinary nun, but I was sent here because I am the most qualified for the job.
The assignment the church gave me is to investigate the reappearance of the Holy Grail.
To investigate firsthand whether or not the Holy Grail that was destroyed in the fifth Holy Grail War is present. Not everyone can accomplish this."

"-------Okay. So, you're an apprentice, but you're a promising apprentice, right?
...I understand now, so could you let go?"

"Your tone is rather irritating, but getting rid of your doubts over this issue is a good thing... Very well, you shall be forgiven."

She quickly lowers her hands and takes a step back.
That really came out of the blue.
That woman, with nary an expression on her face, just walked right up to me and used both hands to squeeze my face.

Had I continued to make fun of her in that position, I daresay she might have headbutted me.

"Observing the Holy Grail... Well, I guess those are Church matters, so I won't ask about that.
The point is that you've been dispatched here. That means there is solid evidence of the Grail's reappearance, right?
...So, did you find it? The Grail, that is."

"I can confirm something that appears to be a Grail in function, although I am not able to secure it.
My task is only to investigate. I'd be crossing the boundary of my assignment if I delve any deeper."

"Hm... So you don't intend to steal the Grail and take it with you.
Huh? Wait, if it's only to confirm its existence, hasn't your purpose already been met?"

"I have fulfilled the mission that I was sent here for.
But technically, I was assigned here to act as an agent of this church.
If there is something wrong with Fuyuki, it must be resolved."

"...You're contradicting yourself.
You have no intention of taking the Grail, but you want to resolve the incident it caused?"

"Not to the extent that you do.
For the record, I ended up taking on two roles at the same time.
That is, investigating the Holy Grail, and acting as the priest in this city.
For as long as I am entrusted with both, I have no choice but to fulfil them at the same time."

"Oh, so you're just doing your job, huh? And then you found me.
Great, I do appreciate a business-like approach. Far better than some cheap sense of justice.
...So, where's the Holy Grail? You already know, right?"

"I feel the presence of evil in those words. I shall not divulge it to you."

She turns away from me.
Looks like she isn't impressed.

"...Well, whatever.
Second question then.
What's with those monsters? The Grail's reappearance and the abnormalities in the city gotta have something to do with them, right?"

"...That I can not tell you, for I have made a promise.
Furthermore, if I did tell you, it would damage your pride."

Well, I really don't value my pride that much.
Besides, my pride would already be hurt the moment I asked the question. In other words, I'm prepared to cheat if that's what it takes to get full marks.

"...It appears you are not pleased. Will you use force to obtain the answer?"
"I told you already, you don't interest me at all. "Force" makes it sound like, well..."

Like I want to violate her out of anger and hatred.

"Nevermind, I won't push it.
But what in the world are those things? Didn't one of those monsters come out from your body?"

I don't know about it, but it must have happened at least once.
...Come to think of it, something's up with her.
She's not scared of the monsters, she gets hurts for no apparent reason, and she even makes monsters appear.
Maybe she's more like a stage magician than a magus?

"You are mistaken.
Emiya Shirou. Have you ever heard of the term "demonic possession"?"
"Demonic possession...?"

"I've heard of it.
It's a kind of spiritual damage that's well-known in the western world. The Japanese equivalent would be something like being possessed by a fox or dog spirit.
A non-human "something" invades a human and starts and starts destroying them from the inside, similar to a curse.

The symptoms are too numerous to describe, but in the western world, they are all caused by the concept of "demons."
For reasons unknown to humankind, demons tend to possess people who are considered virtuous.
Compared to the Japanese concept of possession which is based on the will of the "curse-caster", the western one has no will at all. It's a phenomenon that occurs similar to a traffic accident.

Those who are possessed are often ordinary virtuous men.
Their minds are eroded by the demons who enter them, they disparage morality and the teachings of God, and they terrorize those around them.
Not by direct violence, but by showing them what raw, ugly creatures humans become just by being stripped of reason.

Those are only the initial symptoms, however.
Those who have been afflicted for a while won't be corrupted on the mental level alone.

A severe case of "possession" causes a change even in outward appearance.
...The formless "thing" that possessed the victim will try to project itself upon the human body.
The change begins from developing the level of body control that is unthinkable for a normal human being, and ends with mutation of body parts.
The changes depend on the class of the "thing." The stronger the demon is, the further away from human the victim becomes,

...But fortunately, a demon cannot be resurrected in a human body.

A person who is possessed will be forced into an unnatural transformation and simply die as a result.

The western depicted demons all look rather weird.
Two heads, hooves, or limbs arranged into the shape of a hexagram. Definitely not something a human with only one set of arms and legs could imitate.


They say there are some rare cases of humans who can resist the transformation.
It's similar to how magi that crave knowledge can become vampires.
There are apparently heretics who extend their lifespan by making use of the "thing" that continues to devour the blueprint known as their soul.

Then, this woman...

"...That, too, is a misunderstanding. While it is irrelevant to the matter at hand, I used to serve as an exorcist's assistant.
I was never possessed, and I do not believe I ever will be.
A demon requires a healthy body. They cannot take root in mine."

"? Then why did you bring it up in the first place?
...I could certainly see your body acting like that if it was possessed."

"...Porca miseria."
"Uh. Did you just say something really mean?"
"I just said, "What an impatient person."
...We shall get to the real issue right after this. Just listen, please."

"Being possessed will produce many forms of supernatural symptoms.
Like knocking sounds that are associated with a poltergeist disturbing its surroundings, or interference with the host's body.
...You could say it's a disease that only affects the host. It is a poison that does not spread to others like a virus would."
"No kidding. If you could catch demons like a cold, I doubt there'd be any normal humans left by now."

"That's probably true.
However, just as there are people with a high degree of sensitivity towards the supernatural that can sense the presence of evil spirits, there are people that experience the same symptoms just by being near victims of possession.
-------Frankly speaking, I am referring to myself.
Whenever I get near something that is possessed by what is said to be an "evil spirit," my own body will produce the exact same symptoms that the demon would have caused.
My master referred to it as masochistic pneumatic automatism diathesis."

No pause or hesitation.
Caren has just said something that might send me into a major depression if I think about it too hard.

"...What? So, basically, you will turn into a demon if you get near one?"
"...Although that is an idiotic response, let us say it is correct.
To be exact, it is an automatic reproduction or spiritual damage of demonic origin."

"Let us say you got infected with a cold.
Assume that it is still during the early stages before the symptoms show, so your body just feels a little heavy.
...Now, if I get near you, the symptoms that will eventually be caused by that disease would appear in me.
The number of patients increased to two, so to say."

"...While it seems it did cause harm to you, it is not, fundamentally, a trait that is a problem to others.
Please, do not worry about it from now on."

"...Even if you say so...
Well, I wasn't worried in the first place, but no surprise attacks, alright? I just can't shake this feeling that getting close to you will cause a lot of pain."

"You're right. I am frequently under evil influence.
Yourself aside, Emiya Shirou, the presence of monsters will have an effect. If you find this prospect frightening, you shall do well by staying way from me whenever they are nearby."

I don't understand it, but this is one bit of advice I should probably follow.
Alright, unless things get serious, let's try not to get too close.
Randomly hurting each other is no good.

"So, back then..."
"...Most likely, it was the type of symptom caused by those monsters.
While they rank low, it appears they do have a demonic connection."

In other words, if they aren't near, she won't go nuts either?
...If so, would those monsters' symptoms be, "creation of the same monster"?

"We shall leave my traits aside for now. How about we continue with your questions?"

"Ah-------Yeah, sure. Alright, the third and final question. I want to ask about the city's abnormality.
I don't know why, but the Holy Grail has come back.
And so the Holy Grail War has restarted around it... Or so we thought. The battle is vague and somehow odd.
Tohsaka said that this wasn't a restart, but rather a reproduction.
Let's assume---------Yeah, just for the time being..."

"For the time being, let's assume that there is a Master who wants the Holy Grail. What could they hope to accomplish by continuing an endless war?"

"To continue the fighting, of course.
To continue the fighting that ended with the conclusion of the fifth Holy Grail War, That is the single origin of all abnormality in this town."

"Saying that "something is wrong" is wrong in itself.
Everything in this town is wrong. Because of some person's wish, a false four-day period is being fabricated."

The woman of the church who has come to investigate says it's all because of someone's wish.
So the Grail has already been used after all.

"So, is it all fake, then"

For a brief moment, I feel as if I am about to die.
All fake.
The second those words leave my mouth, the despair alone almost kills me.
It's as if all the heat in the universe has instantly dissipated.

"No, what's fake is only one person.
Even if the day-to-day life of these four days is impossible, it could also happen in reality as long as all the characters were present.
While the premise of a "restarted war" is a mistake, the events that occur within it are no illusion."

"These days are real.
Even if these four days end, your life will continue appropriately. Emiya Shirou will lose nothing."


Who is feeling relieved?
Pretty sure it isn't "me".
But oh well.
There is no falsehood in her words. It's definitely true.
My ready-to-die self has sparked back to life again.

"Is that so? That's great. If this will continue, all there is to do is to get rid of these four days.
You don't have any connection to the reproduced Holy Grail War, do you?"

"I vow unto the Lord.
To return to the original topic, my aim and yours are the same.
The investigation of the Holy Grail, and Fuyuki's tranquility.
To complete these two tasks, I will cooperate with you.
Of course, cooperation only means providing you with some information.
I cannot bring change to this world. The only one who can solve the problem is you, who have participated in the fifth Holy Grail War."

"Why...? Oh, yeah. I know you're not directly involved. I can accept that ending the war falls to those who have participated.
But why just me? If Tohsaka or Sakura or another Master wins---------"

"This battle is a reproduction of the fifth Holy Grail War. You were the victor of the war.
Based on that, the one to dominate the battlefield should still be you.
Only Emiya Shirou can end the fifth Holy Grail War."

"Listen well.
If you want to stop this "reproduction," either the one who made the wish must willingly give up the Grail or, like before... you, who emerged victorious, must defeat that person."

"...This feels like a word game. You're saying that since this is a reproduction of the fifth Holy Grail War, it must also end the same way, with me winning?"

"Yes. This is a conflict between Holy Grails.
High-level magic is a battle between concepts. It is not a question of strength, but rather a test of which one possesses the most sound system of rules."

"...I do not possess sufficient magic to defeat the system known as the Holy Grail.
Being a mediator is the best I can do. Even if I wished to join, there are regulations that would stop me."

Sounds like she's got her hands tied.

"Got it. I'll at least thank you for the time being. I know what to do now."

I stand up.
I've asked enough, and it's about time for me to go. I want to hurry back to the city.

"Leaving already...? There must be something else you want to know."

"There sure is, but I doubt you would know. Like where the person who made the wish is, or how to get rid of the monsters.
I'll just look for them myself. I'll get the culprit to spill all the boring details once I find them. I don't have any business with you or the church anymore."

I wave and head out.
This church has always given me a headache.
I don't want to stay for too long. Frankly, I don't want to have anything to do with this woman either.

"Wait. There is one question I'd like to ask.
I've answered all of yours, so please do answer one of mine."
How can I possibly refuse?

"Alright, but make it quick."
...Hey. Why isn't she talking?

"Hey. You got a question, right? Spit it out."
"......Really, you are so much ruder today than you were the last few times."
My mind goes blank for a moment.
Was that her question...?

"The last few times, meaning when?"
"The times we met that you know of.
When we happened across each other in the park and on the mountain, you were a little more gentlemanly."
It's not a question. She's only complaining.
...Not only is there no way of reading her feelings, her thought process is also hard to handle.

"I'm just grumpy today. It's the location that's the problem. If it were anywhere other than the church, I'd be a little better."

"...Is that so? I must remain here during the day.
A meeting during the night can only occur near the end of the four days. It seems like our connection is bound to remain like this."

"Oh. Well, don't worry about it. Either way, I won't be coming back here."

This time I'm really leaving the church.
...Really. I always get halted like this when I'm here.
The door closes.

...Ah, that's why I don't want to associate with her.
Who the hell asked her to pray for my safety?

I mean, look.
If she does that, it makes it seem like I'm out of luck or something.

Day 2

Ryuudou Temple・Day 2 Dream of distant utopia

I see Caster.

...Come to think of it, it's not unusual to find her meditating here... I wonder if there's something she's thinking about.

“...She did turn me down when I tried asking about the Heaven's Feel last time...”

...Maybe now's the right time.

Perhaps I would be able to hear the real story from her.

Bah... asking for the real story...?

What am I saying.

I have already asked Caster everything I needed to ask.

If I question her any further, I might end up touching upon the truth.

That's too reckless. No matter how much she prefers living a peaceful life, she's still a natural-born witch.

She will eliminate mercilessly anything that does not serve her interests.

As if sweeping away the dust before her, without hesitation.


I can't let my guard down.

Whilst living with someone whose very existence is "something that hurts others," showing any weakness at all is fatal.

“...Yes. She is the witch of betrayal, Medea.

An anti-hero revered as the enemy of humanity―――”

I recall the myth.

The princess of sorcery who received the teachings of the great witch.

The cunning witch behind the demise of many countries in the age of gods,

Princess Medea.

The daughter of Aeëtes, the king of Colchis, the "edge of the east" of the Greek world on the eastern coast of the Black sea.

A sorceress who received the teachings of Hecate, goddess of magic, a princess who led a sheltered life as a king's daughter.

The innocent princess who was raised unbeknownst of the outside world, was plenty content with just that.

She neither wanted wings to set herself free, nor did she long for the vast outside world.

She loved the country she was raised in, and was satisfied with living her whole life in the mountains.


With the arrival of heroes seeking glory, the girl's hopes were shattered.

The captain of the Argo who arrived from the outer world.

Jason, the hero who arrived seeking the treasure of Colchis, the Golden Fleece, would cause Medea to betray her country.

It was because the goddess aiding Jason, Aphrodite, put a curse on Medea which caused her to fall blindly in love with him.

Medea betrayed her father, gave the Golden Fleece to Jason, and escaped Colchis with Jason, now her husband.

Even as the king of Colchis pursued the Argo to reclaim his daughter, the cursed Medea used magic to tear apart her brother who accompanied them into eight pieces and scatter them across the sea.

Grieving, the king collected his dead son's remains, and Jason and company used the opportunity to put Colchis behind them.

Like this, the foreign invaders shook off their pursuers.

However, it is said the disquieting atmosphere on the Argo did not fade.

The princess who presented her homeland's treasure to the man.

The woman who went as far as to kill her own brother for the man she loved.

The heroes on the boat unanimously castigated the girl who was the princess of Colchis.

As if regarding something disgusting and filthy, the heroes avoided the girl.

Fortunately for Medea, whose heart was bound by the goddess' curse, she saw their condemning gaze as no different than a mere sea breeze.

She was content with hearing only Jason's words.

"I'm sorry. But you've done well, Medea―――"

That's right.

So long as she could hear such words from the man she loved, she could endure the heroes' disdain.

The regret of abandoning her country, the sinful betrayal towards her father, the punishment of murdering her own brother were all things she could withstand, and yet...

Not once did she hear such warm words from her husband.

The return voyage ended without the slightest problem.

Jason made the foreign princess his wife, and returned triumphantly to his own country of Iolcos with the promised Golden Fleece in hand.

But what awaited there was death of his parents, and the annulment of the promise.

"Once the Golden Fleece is returned, thy throne shall be recognized―――"

Pelias, the King of Iolcos who promised this to Jason, cowardly laughed it off as a simple play of words.

Fueled by rage, Jason commands his betrothed,

―――"He's a cowardly usurper.

We shall kill King Pelias."

Though seized by her love towards Jason, Medea was still but a young girl.

To the girl who had been shattered by her deed against her brother, Jason repeated insistently.


Kill King Pelias who broke his vow.

Kill the king's relatives.

That's right. The king alone will not suffice.

Kill that unsightly successor, and the three princesses too―――

It did not take long for Jason to prepare the assassination.

The king and his daughters were invited to Jason's house.

In the center was the witch's cauldron.

The center of the enigma, the mysterious crystal ball bestowed upon the girl by great witch, Hecate.

"―――My good king, we welcome you to our humble abode."

Before anyone realized, the end had already begun to draw near.

Unable to resist the man she loved and the curse of the goddess, Medea would use her own magic for the murder of the king.

"King Pelias. Let us feast our eyes on my wife's secret arts."

The man she loves said proudly.

The girl stirred the cauldron with eyes weary from crying.

"This would be the Secret Art of Rejuvenation.

The magic in which my wife is particularly skilled."

Thus spoke the man whom she unknowingly came to love.

Unable to oppose, the girl continued the ritual.

The hand stirring the cauldron grew ever so tired, feeling like lead.

...Come to think of it, from the moment she had put her country behind her, had she ever been able to sleep peacefully?

Her mind and body exhausted, she continued on as if surrounded by thick fog.

Being this tired will make me forget.

Being this sad will make me dull.


Was this the reason why I learned magic...?

She cut up an aged sheep and placed it into the cauldron.

Stir, stir, splash, splash - it melted and disappeared.

And then the aged sheep that had lost all shape and figure, revived at the hands of Medea.

Its skin brilliant, and its eyes full of life.

The aged sheep was reborn a lamb.

The king, impressed, requested that he be rejuvenated as well.

Then the girl spoke.

Just as instructed by the man she loves,

"For that purpose, the body must first be cut apart. This art requires that you die once."

The king, fearless, ordered the three daughters he loved so to perform the dire deed.

The three princesses cut their father to pieces.

The king was thrown into the cauldron, and then―――

"I saw it! I saw it! Those fiendish daughters, carving up their own father!"

Their father did not revive.

The three princesses cried and screamed.

The man she loves then bound the women,

"God will never forgive the sin of patricide!

Daughters of King Pelias, take up your own lives―――"

The three daughters cried and shouted.

"Why has this happened?", they cried out.

Not to God, but to their father, the King who they'd killed, pleading for forgiveness.

The unfamiliar man called Jason, did not forgive even one of them.

The goddess' curse vanished at that moment.

Her clouded heart finally cleared up.

But it was too late.

Betraying her country, killing her brother.

Killing the king through trickery, going as far as to let the three innocent princesses die.

That day...

The girl had undoubtedly transformed into a witch.

The splendor of Jason's ascent to the throne lasted but an instant.

The people learned of the king's murder, and they drove Jason and the foreign witch out of Iolcos.

Jason, who had no place to return to, took the witch and roamed Greece, wandering at last to Corinth.

The king of Corinth welcomed Jason, and before long proposed matrimony with his daughter Glauce.

To marry Glauce and obtain the kingship of Corinth.

Or keep the witch as wife and continue to receive the king's protection.

Jason did not hesitate.

Even though he had begotten two children from the witch, their bond was not enough to keep him near.

Jason abandoned the witch and ran to Glauce's side.

"Please don't go!" "Please don't go!"

"I threw aside my home and country for you." "I gave up everything for you."

"Have pity, if not for me then for the children, I beg of you."

To the witch who clung tearfully the man says,

"What are you trying to say? Was it not your fault that I lost my country? You terrible foreign witch. I never loved you even once."

"Aa-------------------aaah, ha..."

...Before she knew it, home was too far.

All hopes lost, she stepped onto foreign soil.

...And so.

At the end of a long journey, her only desire was born.

But how could it be granted?

Everything was but a dream of paradise.

The girl became a hideous witch, and upon returning home, not a single soul believed her to be the young princess.

...She had changed too much.

Even though the castle she lived out her childhood in remained unchanged, surrounded by the same greenery.

And then, on the day of the marriage of the man named Jason...

In the midst of country-wide celebration, Corinth fell.

Glauce, the bride, was engulfed in flames, and the hero who was to become the new king was forced again to a life of wandering.

The tale that follows is no longer a part of the legend.

It is said the young man who lead the heroes as the captain of the Argo, while pondering the wreckage of the ship, was crushed to death by its fallen stem post.

And that the girl he brought home with him became a witch and continued to wander the lands of Greece.

...Even now, she gazes over yonder from the ashen shore.

The many sins she had accumulated,

and the many dreams she had left behind.

Though she knew those wishes would never be granted,

as though in atonement, the woman continued to hope.

――――Dizziness overcame me.

As if seeing a fragmented dream.

“...Oh, that's right. Wasn't I going to ask something?”

I'll be all right. So long as I'm careful a conversation should be alright.

It's akin to jumping into a lion's den out of curiosity, but this time the witch seems sated.

Surely she'd overlook an unpleasant question or two to kill some time.

“Back again so soon? I don't know what you intend upon, but you sure have guts.

I'm sure you know how dangerous it is to approach me when I'm alone.”

Just as she says herself, being near Caster when there is no one else around is most risky.

The real hazard is not the fact that she can use magic without the concern of prying eyes, but the fact that she cannot control her emotions whilst not under the scrutiny of others.

Once Caster snaps, there's no way to stop her.

She may act like a calm witch if an outsider were present, but when left alone, her feelings run wild.


People do call that emotionally unstable or delusional.

“Oh no, there's just something I've been curious about.

You looked like you were in a good mood, so I thought I would take the chance to ask you.”

The atmosphere grows ever so slightly heavier.

I would say she's already figured out what it might be about.

“Whatever could that be. I don't suppose it would be anything pleasant.”

“It's just a question. I fear overstaying my welcome so I'll just get to the point. I know you have no intention of doing anything about the current situation. I've got nothing to say about that.

But there's just one thing I'd like to know.

For someone as skilled a sorceress as you, figuring out something like these four days should be a cinch. So my real point is―――shouldn't you know the truth behind what's happening already?”

“How very interesting.

I should know all of the workings behind this, you say?”

A broad grin spreads across her face

It's the polar opposite of her smile from before, a smile that carries an unmistakable omen of death.

“―――Fufu. Unfortunately, you're way off, boy.

It is true that, at first, I had tried all possible means and seemingly almost grasped the root of it. But my current self is still one step away from that.

The play ends when all is known, doesn't it? That is why I ceased the search and just let it be.”

“......Hmmm, so you stopped there.

Isn't that the same thing? It means that you pretty much know already, doesn't it?”

“Indeed. But I have not told anyone yet.

Because if the culprit is found then the whole affair would end. And since the culprit can't do anything, we have no obligation to forcefully capture them, either.”

“I see. There are no victims, so you're just spectating... You're quite the passive character, aren't you?

Then, will you stay a spectator from now on as well?”

“...I believe I have already told you that I have no intention of getting involved.

But when the end comes, indeed, that may not stay true for long.

If it were to end, then I won't be silent... Rather, it's not me, but my Master who won't.”

"Well, it's the same thing in the end," sighs Caster.

She may be known as a treacherous witch, but her obedience to her Master, Kuzuki Souichirou, is absolute and unwavering.

...Well, in other words she's fallen deeply for him.

She seems to think she's not been found out yet, but it's a well known fact to everyone aside from Kuzuki and Caster.

The moment Kuzuki Souichirou says "assist me" to Caster, she would obey regardless of what it was.


You said you wanted it to continue like this, but should Kuzuki-sensei tell you to settle it, you would still help?”

“That's right. I won't interfere with the culprit, but I won't cooperate either.

No, I can't do that. Whether it ends or does not, there's nothing for me to do about it.”

“Do you get it? That's why you're an eyesore. If you want to continue, then you should let it continue until you grow tired, yet you yourself are trying to interfere.

―――Seriously. How many times have I thought of killing you...”

“...Gah. Just for the record, was that a joke?”

“Oh my. You ought to know whether I am capable of making jokes already, don't you?”


My back freezes twice over.

I knew it wasn't a good idea to stay here for long.

“...Hmm. I do understand that you're nothing but a bystander. I just want to end this talk here, but... say, why didn't you kill me? Just once would have been fine.”

Well, no, not really.

Since it's Caster we're talking about, you'd think she'd lose it and skewer me at least once already.

“No reason in particular.

And my Master never wished that to happen, after all.”

She declares flatly.

I smile at her graciousness.

“I see. I guess so.

...One last thing I'd like to ask.

Suppose that Kuzuki Souichirou notices this abnormality, what do you think he'd do? Will he try to solve it, or will he leave it as it is?

―――Say. What really happened to the two of you?”

For an instant, the air is completely frozen.

I could have died four times within three seconds.

Caster, restraining the magical energy that could kill me with just a glance,

“―――I will solve it.

Souichirou's conscience is different from yours, boy, but he's still someone who will correct what he feels is wrong.”

Her answer has a shadow of sadness in it.

“I see. So your Master is like me.”

I say that to myself in reverence, as I let out the melancholy that had built up in my chest.

“That is wrong. It is you who is like Souichirou.”

Her reply echoes with pride.

“Ah, then we'll leave it at that.

Sorry for bringing up something so trivial. Please feel free to just stay here and be as indifferent as you want.”

“You don't have to tell me that.

...But, oh well. To show respect for all the hard work you're doing alone, I'll see you off when everything is about to end.”


I'm dumbfounded.

Her words leave me speechless.

“What's with that face? Do you not understand what I'm saying? When the final moment comes, I'll...”

“I got it. You mean you'll give me a hand.

......I will no doubt be relying on you.

Frankly, having your assistance will, perhaps, become my best encouragement.”

I leave Caster's garden.

She fixes her robe and sees me off.

What an unpleasant subject.

Even though she was in such a good mood,

there was just one moment where she looked like her past ominous self.

―――What really happened to the two of you?"*

The boy who said that is already leaving.

The witch conceals her body with a black robe and, rather than disappearing, stands completely still.

Someone who is like someone.

Someone who is alike to someone.

"I see. Your master is like me―――"*

The present that is like reality.

The illusion that resembles reality.

"That is wrong. It is you who are like my Master―――"*

The disjointed thoughts swirl together and dissolve.

A muddy mess.

Scenes of the present world that have already become the memory of another.

Memories from when she still lived as a human and,

a bad dream she had just seen a little earlier.

Like the cauldron where the old sheep was boiled, the dead and living are mingled together.

“―――What really happened, you ask―――?”

The witch bites her lip ominously.

Perhaps an evening shower.

Thunder can be heard in the distance.

The sound of rain hitting the trees evokes a vision of the scene where they first met.

...Even if she gives into frustration, only one thing comes to her mind.

―――That day.

The dried out palms of the man that grasped the hand of the foolish woman who had been never chosen by anyone.

“Rain. Rain is falling―――”

She looks down briefly, only to see that the hand is covered in blood.

Straining her ears, she could hear that his breaths are also ragged.

Her body frozen like ice, and her head frighteningly blank.

“Rain...? Rain, it's rain.”

A body threatening to vanish, reason threatening to collapse.

The sky she looks up at is high. She calls for help and receives none, and the fading body grows ever colder.

“Yes―――but, tonight, is different.”

Her magical energy is running out.

There are few spells at her disposal, and none to secure a vanishing life with.

No, to begin with―――

“Because the night when the cold rain fell was warmer and filled with light―――”

His death was nearly instant.

Let's talk about this one man.

Go about twenty-five years back.

The story of a "lethal weapon" that was tempered for nearly as long as he lived.

He did not know what it was right until the very end.

In the middle of secluded mountains. Amidst a community that gathered and lived together like mountain ascetics, he came into existence.

Without parents or siblings, he was born as a child with no connections whatsoever. I suppose it would be more correct to call it an emergence rather than a birth.

The baby grew up in the midst of that gathering.

Fortunately, he was pure.

Even though that wasn't much of a place for living,

even though that probably wasn't how people lived,

he who knew not of the outside world, accepted that gathering.

Twenty years since then.

He did not leave his allotted ten square meters of forest, and continued to temper the one technique he was bestowed with.

Around the age of ten, he was told that the community was part of a factory.

A place where the necessities of daily life are mass produced through the work of many.

Since he had no experience in creating things, he had no worries about what side he was on.

He had no objection to the fact that he was a daily necessity, instead, you could probably say he was relieved.

It would have been strange otherwise.

All day long, he single-mindedly repeated the same steps.

No need for variety. Just perfect this one action, said **.

That's the same as being a tool.

They consented to the fact they were tools being used by total strangers, and further polished their "function."

To put it another way.

Those unable to come to terms were grief-stricken, became unable to keep up with with their daily work, and disappeared even from the memories of the tools.

It was shortly after that when he guessed his own "function."

Extra knowledge was driven into them for when the time comes.

Daily necessities they may be, yet they have to become pseudo-humans to manifest their function.

The knowledge necessary to function as a human.

While considered an excess, it was rare for them to be "used" once that knowledge was lost.

Although it would seem the ** were against including extra functions, it was something unavoidable.

To him and to the **, it was no doubt an agonizing decision.

Knowledge that hadn't been taught until now.

Things that are common knowledge for a humans, things that would make you inconsistent if learned. Those are only dead weight to slow you down.

However, thanks to that knowledge, he learned the name of his "function."


To be detected by no one, to kill the victim before they are even aware of it, that was the "function" expected of him.

Being a fast learner, he left his ten square meters of forest, and came to serve more frequently at **'s temple.

But even that happened only once a month or so.

There he learned of the cost of perfection,

and the appearance of the ** who were using him.

The mausoleum was an immaculately clean place.

The building where demons were said to live, the place rumored to be a hellish pandemonium, was in fact a spotless white world.

The scraps of tools that didn't listen to the ** and were disassembled while alive,

and the remnants of those who brought shame to ** and had their brains transplanted into animals as punishment,

and the fish tanks packed with flesh of the children who were gathered for the comfort of **...

Nothing, none of it was there.

Those were all things that certainly happened, but they had nothing to do with this place.

In this pure space, **,

having known not one speck of sin,

as a form of staving off boredom that reduced no boredom,

aiming for nothing but expansion of tonight's menu by a mouthful...

Exchanged completely unrelated human lives for money.

―――Please save me.

"I don't want to die." "Please let me go." Those pleas were to be all silenced with disgusting joy.

And so, without the ** even noticing, the used realize something in their final moments.

These "humans" were speaking a different language all along. They were both living beings, yet their hearts were created differently.

Things like the voice of the dishes lined up along the dinner table did not exist to them.

To the **, the voice of other humans would never in a lifetime reach them.

This is not a matter limited to just the mausoleum.

Thus said the ones who oversaw him.

Those are the privileged few who use us tools;

this world is being governed by humans who are not humans.*

He was told his "function" was to kill just one person for them.

He didn't think that was "evil."

Mentally, he was already perfect.

His morality was bred for the convenience of the **.

To him, murder was not evil.

If it happens that there is evil, then it's just an action that doesn't give to reason.

The reasoning of a tool.

The reasoning for existence.

Simply put, if an ink brush loses its use, then there is evil. Hence, if something made for killing people overlooks its target, there is injustice.

If you put it this way, ** were not doing anything wrong.

They were creatures that had been given such preferences and privileges to begin with.

If they cared about their slaves, then the reasoning for being able to manage the world would not stand.

And that is how he was taught. While he witnessed the **'s cruelty, he did not detest them.

...If there was something evil, it was just one thing.

To not doubt one's own function.

That should have been what was correct for him, yet he still thought why.

What if he were to be given a "function" altogether different from this one?

He thought of things that could be nothing but evil, like what kind of tool he would then have become.

Towards his function, his daily routine continued.

The art bestowed upon him was a fighting style called "snake," but he perfected it many years ago.

Nevertheless, his daily routine did not change.

No new techniques would be given to him.

He was simply created as a "snake" tool. However much capacity he had, there would be no meaning in adding other functions.

And like that, it was the twentieth year after the passing of another ten.

Finally, nearing his expiration date as a tool, he was given a "chance" to exert his potential.

"Your perfection cost twenty million in time and money."

If there was anything different there from other organizations, that would be it.

No matter what type of tool they were, no matter what kind of function they had, a "one man, one kill" rule was observed strictly.

The exact same end awaited both outstanding talent and average junk.

"A tool that cost twenty million should do work worth twenty million."

Profits will be taken. You will not be used twice. Kill yourself after fulfilling your duty―――

Those were their absolute rules.

Ordered to kill this person, he underwent training beyond human comprehension. And then, having finally perfected the technique after tens of years of practice, he will display it only once before putting an end to everything.

He obeyed silently.

It was said the target laid out layer upon layer of defenses.

The social position necessary for smoothly making contact would be provided by the **.

After that, you just have to proceed with your body alone.

Proceeding empty-handed was done solely to make it easier to make contact with the key individual.

When they leave the forest, they are promised death.

A journey to die, regardless of their success or failure.

Feelings of happiness―――frankly, they were likely there, however faint.

Settling a balance of twenty years.

Finding out the extent of his function.

Even if the outcome was death, that was still plenty to look forward to.

The work ended all but too quickly.

There were none of the expected guards or barriers.

When he visited the building to do preliminary inspections for the real thing, he ended up finishing his job.


The emotions of that moment were not easy to put into words.

What came flying into his chest was "nothing."

Neither joy nor sadness.

Neither disgust nor happiness.

Shouldn't there be something?

He thought his function would be accompanied by some emotion, but not a single ripple disturbed his mind.

If only...

Suppose something did move within him at that moment. Wouldn't that make him a different being altogether?

If there was happiness, then on to the suicide.

If there was sadness, then on to being a natural-born killer.

But there had been nothing.

Feelings and so forth―――there were none whatsoever in the fruits of the technique he spent twenty years tempering.

There was neither pleasure nor discomfort when he killed.

Only the feeling of the puppet-like target's neck breaking was left in the palm of his hand.

There was no reward.

Nor was there compensation.

The shock of taking a person's life was nowhere to be found.

Even his "function" itself seemed strange.

Didn't need it.

It was completely unnecessary.

The murder of this target required no technique whatsoever.

It was more like an accident.

A level of difficulty that needed no training, an assassination that kids in the neighborhood could have performed.

――――Everything was way overdone.

How on earth could something like twenty years of training have been needed.

His function that was left with nothing.

The pilgrimage that was of no meaning to begin with.

It's not that doubts had surfaced.

There was probably no reason. There was no reason in anything.

Before the corpse that he only knew the name of, he realized his usual apathetic self.

“――――――, I'm dull.”

Drawing that conclusion himself, he then decided to liquidate the person he was up until now.

He did not commit suicide, but instead withdrew from the gathering and became independent.

He did not even think about the option of going underground and hiding himself.

He quite naturally moved to a faraway town and used the social position that was given to him for fulfilling his function.

The personality prepared for him was one of a teacher, but he was able to master the basic knowledge and skills somehow.

He had no difficulty adjusting to his new role, his completely different life.

But there was just one trivial matter bothering him.

Like a small thorn stuck in the recesses of his mind.

He did not realize what that strange feeling was until the very end.

The life that he did not assume would continue for more than half a year, in fact has continued for five years.

There were none that searched for him, and he himself decided that he would live without regard for his pursuers.

It was not that he was used to normal life.

In the twenty years he lived, he only polished his technique for killing.

If the result were something like that, then he'd disappear without being able to accomplish anything, he concluded.

In short.

He had lost the opportunity to find joy in life.

Humans spend the rest of their lives fulfilling the hopes they've accumulated up until adulthood.

Whether or not they are fulfilled is not the issue; they are, in fact, an anesthesia that can expend time originally filled with nothing but agony.

He who had none of this could only continue on meaninglessly.

He had neither ideals nor illusions.

He decided he would fulfill the duty of "living" until his own flesh would rot away, until the tool known as himself ceased to work.

That would seem to make him a cold-hearted machine, but he was a human no different from those around him.

It's just that his "inspiration" had died.

What is dead does not revive.

It's not that it's sleeping in the depths of his heart or that it's regressed or anything.

It just doesn't exist anymore.

No matter how human-like a life he tries to live, he will never in his life feel inspiration.

He never thought it to be painful, and the people around him assumed he was strong, too.

There is nothing wrong with that assumption.

...But, he did make an effort.

To rot away meaninglessly like this.

With his dead heart, he walked the path of hell and endeavored to live among humans.

―――And then, he met the white lady.

He was returning home after finishing the day's work.

As he was heading toward the temple gate, he caught sounds coming from the forest.

Having been indebted to the temple, he took it as his obligation to see what was going on, and he found a woman covered in blood.

The woman wrapped in the black cloak was so weak that it seemed she would disappear at any moment.

She seemed so frail that the word "vanish," rather than "die," would be more fitting to describe her appearance.

―――Later on, the witch would think.

This meeting was a miracle.

But the thought was not hers alone.

Even if it were an illusion, the impossible happened.


The heart that had beaten at the same rhythm for tens of years had stopped for just an instant.

The interruption had but a minor effect, but it did change the beat. Something that should have been dead trembled as if to stir.

“What are you doing there?”

The woman collapsed without responding to his call.

Forest in the night. Rain. A weakened body. Clearly not a decent person.

Trivial matters like a cloak covered in blood.

This woman is dangerous.

He tried to stay out of it, but even to him, she was out of place. There was no way he couldn't pick up the same scent.

But still, he looked after the woman.

It was not out of sympathy for someone similar, a fellow murderer that he saved.

He helped because a person had collapsed before him.

The reason why he saved her was simply that.

The woman awoke in about an hour.

“So you've woken up. Can you tell me about your situation?”

The woman stared at him, dazed.

There was neither bewilderment nor delight.

She looked as if her despair of being alive had turned to tears and were about to spill forth.

“If what I did was an inconvenience, then you can leave. If you tell me to forget about it, then I will.”

How did the woman take his words?

Did she think she could use him, or did she let her guard down at his kindness?

The woman divulged her background, and he all too quickly accepted her rather peculiar identity.

He embraced the woman, and also acknowledged participation in the killings known as The Heaven's Feel.

Of course the witch was probably surprised too.

The woman's condition was, although slightly, improving.

Because while she gloated that she could have, the moment she were rejected, used magic to control his heart―――her vile schemes were undone with just a single statement.

It's not that he consented to her out of fear, or that he was interested in the Holy Grail.

He cooperated with the woman because he wanted to be saved.

He was a man who saw no evil in murder to begin with. He had no reluctance to becoming a Master.

However―――the truth is that he cooperated to distance himself from the past.

...If you assume there was a moment of disconnection then this would be it.

He did not realize why he had abandoned the life he had worked for until now and taken up the woman's cause.

“Do your utmost to keep our lives this way. Tell me when you need me.”

This was his policy.

He has no desires. It was just that the woman he saved wants the something called the Holy Grail.

If he fights, then it is not for the Holy Grail, but for the woman.

Since he promised to aid and cooperate, lending his strength to the woman is a natural obligation.

To him, the Heaven's Feel was an abnormality, but it was not a wrongdoing.

Because to him, "evil" is defined as something that negates his established "function."

And so he became the Master of Caster.

He was a Master without Command Spells, but she obeyed his words.

He knew nothing like magic to begin with. She only used him to stay in this world, and planned to treat him as a puppet.

And he himself did not participate in the Heaven's Feel. Rather, he left the fighting to the woman.

If there ever was a chance that he would reject her, it would only happen if she denied the Heaven's Feel to begin with.

As the user and the used, their relationship was perfect.

Yet, for the same reason, they did not mesh together as human beings.

The more fickle the woman got, the more of a reason he had to abandon being a Master,

and the more he experienced her character, the more he broke down as a tool.

...That sense of nostalgia...

He, who had no place to return to begin with, could not possibly understand it. No, it was an emotion he should not have understood.

The battle ended quickly.

The gatekeeper, Assassin, was defeated by the enemy Servant, and the Master who went out to face him, too, was defeated by swordplay.

His abdomen was cruelly torn apart.

The arms he spent over twenty years tempering vanished below his shoulders.

“Master, Master――――――!!!!!”

The woman's voice echoed in the temple grounds.

The enemy Servant seemed to have left, having finished with the Servant and Master of the temple gate.

Only the woman was left, clinging to the remains of her pallid contractor.

With eyes that had lost focus, barely able to discern silhouettes, he looked at her.

Seeing that crying face, he lamented over having done something inexcusable.

It was not an illusion that his fading consciousness was showing him.

His heart that should not have existed, shed blood on the verge of death.

The woman wished to return home.

The idea of a place to return to did not exist for him.

A repeated sense of nostalgia.

A place he'd never seen nor heard of, a dream of a paradise that he did not even have an impression of to begin with.

That―――he did not know how to take in even in his last moments.

“Caster, get away from here. If he senses your presence, the Servant just now will return.”

He said indifferently.

Condition of his body aside, it was a miracle that his spirit was still in good health.

Perhaps it was the result of his long days of training.

Until the moment his brain stopped working, his mind was clear.

“What are you saying...!? I will surely, definitely heal you, I will not let you die, Master...!”

The woman didn't leave.

It's just that her reasoning was a little off.

Of course, losing a Master to anchor to is a serious blow, but not to the extent that it would result in death.

In fact, she had already lost one before.

Considering the possibility of being attacked by the same Servant again, it would have been best to leave as quickly as possible and search for another Master.

“Do not underestimate me, I am a witch...! Patching up a dying man or two is never a problem...!”

A miracle would not happen.

The magical energy stockpiled in Ryuudou temple had been destroyed by the enemy Servant, and the injuries were inflicted with a mortality curse by their noble phantasm.

“...It's easy, I've done this many times... I will not fail, I will not fail, I will not fail...! I've never had any trouble with such a simple treatment...!”

Whilst crying, the woman recited magic as if apologizing.

But it was no use, even the Divine Words she spoke had lost their usual power.

The woman's face filled with more sadness with each passing moment.

“Hya....ah, aah, ah―――N-No, please help, someone, please, pleeeease...! Please help, please help...!

This cannot be, but up until now, up until now I've never failed, not even once...!!!!”

Neither healing the wounds, nor regenerating his body was fast enough.

She could not save anything.

A witch's role is only to cripple humans.

Even if she could heal and animate the dead, genuinely saving a person simply could not happen.

...Perhaps it was because she hadn't really tried to save anyone up until now.

She had not known of that rule until this very moment.

“Ah―――Aah, aaaaah......!”

Magic did not work.

She called for help, but no aid ever came.

The sky she looked up at was high, and she could not stop his falling body temperature.

“No――――――Please, don't die... Please don't die, please don't die, please don't die, Souichirou......!!!!”

He hears wailing.

Looking at her crying face only gave him a headache.

He learned that which is "sadness," and finally, accepted that he could not become a tool.

...He just thought to live normally.

When he murdered a person and became free, he accordingly took up the view that the rest of his life could only be spent away.

―――What a blatant lie.

He dared not admit it, but he actually regretted that.

He always kept in his heart, those meaningless twenty years and the person he'd killed whom he only known by name.

He always thought it was wrong to kill someone who he knew only the name of.

...That was not a killing born from his own motives.

...He was not an adult born from his own will.

...How should he have atoned for his mistake...?

It had been fun.

It was easy to do nothing but hone one single technique, to forget about thinking and be a tool.

Being preoccupied with that, he erased two lives without a single consideration.

Is there any evil greater than this?

Even if those who raised him were to shoulder a part of his crime.

Even if he didn't know a thing...

What killed another person was, inevitably, his own hands.

The reason why he went on to live was because he didn't know how to atone.

He stopped practicing the technique that he could call his one and only meaning in life, and slowly buried it in daily life.

Wishing for nothing, gaining nothing.

That was the best form of atonement he could conceive in his mind.

...That way of living crumbled after meeting this woman.

A pale-looking lady wandering about in the cold rain.

She was simply beautiful.

More beautiful than any woman he had seen.

That was the only reason.

To that beautiful creature, he reached out his hand.

...Looking back at it...

Throwing away all those days of atonement he had accumulated and lending her a hand was surely―――

“I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry―――”

The woman's voice had turned into a cry.

What he thought was rain, was something much warmer.

The woman did not leave.

Just as that night, arms covered in blood clung to his chest.

It is truly sad―――that he could not see her face anymore, he thought.

“――――I see. I finally realized.”

It took too long, but still, there was some time.

...He had for a long time wanted to apologize for something.

Things he had regretted.

Something he had to ask forgiveness for.

―――Since long ago,

He had a vague desire,

―――He wanted to live "for someone's sake"―――

In that pure longing...


The woman would not leave.

Even though the footsteps of death may have already gotten close.

“―――I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry―――”

It seems the apology was directed at himself.

...That is enough.

He could no longer apologize, but in exchange, this woman had done it for him.

Only one concern remained.

He had to release this beautiful bird back to where she came from.


The woman would by no means leave him.

When he could no longer see anything, in the space when he would allow for everything.

“...It's alright, just go already. You cannot stay here.”

In the most gentle way he ever spoke, he told the woman who clung to his remains.

...Where the woman who was left took off to, is already a distant story.

The woman was not what he thought her to be,

the conclusion was not one he had hoped for.

The fallen killer and the witch's story ends here.

...If there was any salvation...

It was in the brief instant after they had met.

The life that lasted less than a month was filled with many times more humanity and tranquility than what had existed up until now.

――――Dizziness overcame him.

As if seeing a fragmented dream.


The witch in the black cloak is liberated from the evening rain.

He narrowed his eyes at the slight vertigo, and look up at the gloomy sky.

“No point in being told something you could never do.

You didn't even have wings to begin with.”

But surely, he viewed it that way until the end.

The wings drift lightly as if to fall toward the ground.

Someday, they would slough off the dirt and return to the skies.

“...Really, he just doesn't stop to think. Surely, there is an occasional migratory bird that takes a liking to the place she landed at and forgets about the skies.

To not even consider something so convenient.”

She smiles ever so slightly at the monologue.

As if drifting off to sleep, the witch slowly closes her eyelids.

As if to bury herself in the short-lived dream.

She held tightly onto this moment from which she will eventually awaken.[nolr][p]

―――This is yet another fragment.

A fragment that has already passed on, broken into pieces, and, after faltering for a brief moment within the heart of the bearer, ceases to resist and simply flows away.

So that with only the mind, she could not exist,

and with only the body, she could not leave footprints.

At the very least, the spring that did not come would be admired, unbeknownst to others, at this paradise of a town.

Emiya Residence・Start of Night Things to do