Loop 49

Emiya Residence・Start of Night Things to do

Emiya Residence・Start of Night Spiral ladderII

The curtains fall.

The buzzer signaling the end of the performance sounds, and the whole residence is sinking into a deep darkness.

Into a sleep so deep, none would revive and awaken before the fifth day.

There won't be any more encounters.

“...That was quite easy.

Well, if you think about it, only four days have passed. Maybe it isn't enough to develop affections.”

There isn't anyone to say goodbye to, nor is there any luggage to bring home.

"See ya," I wave my hand and retreat backstage.

The date will change soon.

On the night of the fourth day, the black moon is coming to do away with me, the only survivor.

That's the foundation I'm going to destroy.

The end of the wish, the completion of the puzzle.

It moves straight on to fill in the last crevice from which the void is born.


I continue on, stifling the screams.

This is the tower that I will reach the hollow sky from.

Since I already know what my true identity is, the path should appear here―――

On day four, during the end of the performance, I finally arrive at the dance floor leading to the hollow sky.

The moon darkens, corpses overflow the town.

This body welcomes the appointed time, and I start dissolving into a monster, neither myself nor myself.

And there...

“――――――I'm surprised.”

There is a shadow on the rooftop.

A shadow with flowing sliver hair, just like the other day,

“Isn't that too much of a service, to have you come all the way here yourself?”

The one admonishing and guiding me has been waiting.

“...It is not. Meeting you on the fourth night has become somewhat of a habit to me.”

A curt response without any hint of embarrassment.

“...You're right about that. Well then, what did you come here for, exactly?”

“Humbly I come requesting to be your escort. I do not know how far I can go, but I will accompany you for as long as I am able.”

"You got a problem with that?" That's the line between the lines.

“―――, hah.”

My mouth stretches into a grin.

Dammit. If that's the case, then I can't help but get motivated myself.

“Still way too much service from you. Don't think any of this is in your job description.”

“Am I bothering you?”

“It's the other way round. You moved me to tears. No pretentious partner and stuff, it's awful. Anyone's fine, just having you nearby helps.

Ah, a true friend in need.”

Facing the hollow sky, I step forward.

The path towards the Holy Grail appears as if greeting the owner.

“Hey, are you afraid of heights?”

“I am not. After all, I did fall from the moon once.”

“Alright. Please stay there and help me up. I think I might miss a step or two myself.”

I turn around and extend my hand.

Since I've gotten so excited about this, I have to take care of myself too.

“...You do not even have to ask.

It is in order to guide you that I came here like this.”

Our hands are joined, our fingers entwined.

The moment I take a step off the ground, I will revert to my old self.

―――The show comes to a close.

If I am the main character, then this is the finale.

Miyama town is overflowing with red lights.

There's no time to stop and think.

Behind the doors of a closed theater, the last roll of film is put on.

Every step I take causes reality to fade away.

Every step up causes time to accumulate and stagnate.

It was just minutes ago that I started the ascent.

Yet it seems to have started so long ago that I can no longer recall when or where it began.


I'm fading away.

At times, my creaking limbs feel as if they're going to give in to my raging urges and fall apart.

But I'm not the only one taking damage.

Holding my hands, the pain makes her grimace every time, too.

As far as showing off goes, she's a fine partner.

“Ah―――how far does this go?”

I continue climbing up the stairs, cursing - displaying humanity, that is - all the way.

...Come to think of it.

Emiya Shirou had a memory similar to this, as well.

Two people walking up the long stairs together.

...I wonder when did that happen.

It's only been an hour, but I've completely forgotten about it.

“―――Look. The red lights have stopped.”

I look down at her urging.

The monster horde that descended upon the town has stopped, unable to enter Shinto.

Miyama is awash with red.

My remains rampaging in the sleeping town.

I gaze at the repulsive sight for a while.


I climb the stairs.

The ground is far away, the sky is near.

Realization of a dream. Someone's wish.

With every step, all the things that were sought after but never given become more distant.

It feels like―――the story of a faraway land, completely unrelated to me.

How many times did I walk along those streets?

How many times did I reflect upon the ordinary?

There is no place which I don't know.

There's nothing I didn't experience.

With every turn, the leaf that was virgin white at the start had been slowly filling up.

And the more it is filled, the dimmer its light becomes.

The more I had fallen in love with the everyday routine, the more I look forward to every new day, the more I lose this glimmer.

I knew from the start that it is an inevitable consequence.

I had more than plenty of fun.

I do not need anything new to happen.

No matter if they are always the same four days, I can keep up the contract to continue repeating them forever.

And yet, I've kept on doing something completely unnecessary. Why?

It could not have been just the influence of the personality I've assumed.

I'm probably tired of this. That's all. I did not want to let it end because I'm simply tired of it all. It has to be that, or else...

I might just feel like throwing everything away.

“kh,―――, kh―――”

My silhouette distorts.

I almost miss a step.

“―――You will be fine. You can certainly bear it, can you not?”

My tightly clenched fingers, however...

Deny it vehemently.

“...Yeah. There's a difference between "ending" and "never continuing."

If I stay here, it will never go on.”

Soon enough, the hollow sky will be just an arms' reach away.

Soon enough, my fingers will be grasping nothing but thin air.

The earth is now veiled in clouds, and I'm walking towards the stars, my last resort.

“...Say, what are you trying to end this wish for?”

Muffled by the wind, I suddenly hear her voice.

What for―――I don't remember anymore.

But I do remember what I wanted, above all.

To see the end of this road.

To release the girl who has been fiercely protecting the Holy Grail in this black cocoon.

“Even though she tried to kill you? Why are you still on her side?”

Why? No reason.

I've forced myself on a woman out of anger and lust.

Yet she is one I care for out of longing and affection.

“―――That is surprising. I thought you hate humans.”

Of course I do. I detest them in much the same way that many people feel anxious in the company of their own brethren.

This wicked malice was born from the righteousness that rejected weakness.

For as long as I am worshiped as an antagonist, I will continue to fulfill this function.

And it will remain that way for all of eternity.

Evil is not born. It is created.

Certainly, weak people do exist. But the weak are abundant in any ecosystem, any species. The wickedness of a single soul has hardly any impact on nature as a whole.

Man's greatest strength and worst weakness lays at the fact that the very system he's brought up in is evil.

Human emotion that leads astray and gives him fire.

This guide is just an unassuming somebody, yet it continues to cause numerous apathetic souls to veer off the right path.

Lives which celebrate nothing but existence.

They affirm their prosperity by bringing out a god and cleansing their own malice.

"All the evil in the world"... what a joke.

That is nothing but another term for a human. I am born from humanity. As long as you are human, you will be able to reproduce any kind of evil.

Repugnant individuals, repugnant society, repugnant ideas.

There is no excuse. Living beings should not be able to regard their brethren as evil in the first place.

Yeah, but―――

“―――Even so, there is still value in life.

Even in living beings which created evil. Even if there is no value in humanity, there is meaning in all of its history that has accumulated up to now.

Even if they stay wrong for an eternity―――as long as these hands are able to do something, surely, there will be someone I can save.”

Like a journey to the stars.

I aim for the distant, distant sky and climb up the long, long stairs.

“I have noticed since a while back.”

A faint sigh of relief.

Her lips part,

“You look like a rock star.”

She sings those words like a song.


A metaphor I cannot comprehend, but being compared to a star can't possibly be bad.

They certainly do exist, but my hands will never reach them.

I can still make out those few shining lights.

The sky is near.

The world of humanity will be over soon.

Only those that belong there in the first place will be able to proceed further.


There is no need for words.

Just as it happened to me the moment I left the ground, her body, too, slowly disappears, as if announcing the coming of the finale.


I search within myself to see if there's anything else left unsaid.

I can't come up with any witty remarks, but I do recall something I forgot to tell her.

“I might actually know your father.”

“I see. It's fine. I already know that very well.”

A sure and quick reply.

If she says so, then that's that.


Our conversation finally ends. Nothing but the sound of the wind remains.

I do not stop, nor do I avert my gaze from the sky.

I can barely feel the hand that I've been clasping all along.

The moment we grip each others' hands to strengthen this vague feeling of touch is the moment both of us will become illusions, I'm sure.

I was aware of being an illusion from the start.

A being that did not exist in this city. These four days were mere fiction for the others, yet they will remain. Only our rendezvous will vanish into thin air.

No matter how real this girl is.

Because in the correct reality, we never met even once.

“―――I do feel a little regretful.”

I worked hard not to leave anything behind, yet I still ended up creating one regret.

Come to think of it, the moments "I" spent being "myself" were with this girl only.

Having those moments disappear is rather vexing.

“...Well, even that has to end.

Alright. Well then,”

I can only feel the pinky finger now.

And it is already semi-transparent.

The girl stops, and I go on ahead.

Our connection breaks off easily, as if it never existed in the first place.

“See you. After I'm gone, please come to see me again.”

Not for my sake.

For the sake of this memory that did not exist, that had no meaning whatsoever.

“...I cannot guarantee my actions after I return. I cannot say that I will not return to my country immediately after I finish my duty.”

As if.

This person, one who loves making fun of idiots with hurt feelings - there's no reason that she will go back quietly with such a treat in front of her.

“What do you think of the past four days?”

“I...? I do not hate this city.”

Then there's no problem. If she could think this way even here, then the real her on the outside should think the same, as well.

At her words―――well, my shameful regret lessens a little.

“Yeah. In that gloomy church, or in some stupidly noisy house.

―――Caren, let's meet again. Next time, as you wished, I shall be that much more gentlemanly.”

Because that foul-mouthed demon won't be possessing me again.

The presence behind me disappears.

“That is right. Goodbye, Angra Mainyu. As a special exception, I shall overlook exorcising you.”

What little warmth remains is soon swept away by the wind.

I don't have to turn back to know that the white flower is gone.

It's a big lie to say that I feel any better. This weight will never become any lighter.

―――I can see the last stop.

The thread of salvation that flowed to earth is gradually breaking.

The land far below.

Kept in check by their guardians, the dead must be watching my ascent to the sky.

...Just like that time, long ago, when I looked at the stars from the top of the mountain.

At the fading brilliance, with envy and resentment in my heart.

Emiya Residence・Start of Night Broad bridge

A spider's thread that hangs in Avici.

Urged on by the evil omen hanging in the skies, corpses creep and overflow from the hole in hell.

Tonight is the appointed time.

The end of the fourth night, one that returns this battle to its beginning.

“HurRy HurRy HurRy HurRy―――”*

Like ants swarming around honey.

Corpses are reborn from the pit to bring down their own selves, ones that will not escape from the endless cycle of death and rebirth.

“Don't let thEM escaPe Don't let thEM escaPe Don't let thEM escaPe Don't let thEM escaPe―――”*

There is no night beyond this one.

The corpses multiply infinitely and cover the streets without decline.

“DesTRoY DesTRoY DesTRoY ANNihiLaTE―――!” *

This is the Pandemonium itself.

A hell bearing the will to "kill humans" manifested to fill the night―――

“―――Woah. They sure are something. Are you not afraid of, you know...?”

Far above in the skies.

She raises her eyes to the stairs of over two thousand meters in height and mutters indifferently.

“...It is all pure nonsense.

If you're that thorough with your interest in girls, then surely it would be more uncouth to complain.”

I shrug my shoulders in resignation.

It's a primitive and theatrical spectacle, but this stairway is definitely impressive.

A bridge of light that bisects the sky.

A protagonist and a princess who walk the translucent stairs, hand in hand.

Nowadays, not even fairy tales let you admire such a scene.

Despite how hopeless the situation is on the ground, I can't help but break into a smile.

“―――At any rate. There's a bit too many, aren't there?”

Holding the fort from atop the bridge's support arch, she returns her glance to the surface.

Miyama is sinking into darkness.

Welcoming the end of the fourth day, the town undergoes rapid transformation.

Lights fade, people vanish, and the liveliness of the town freezes in place.

At this place, this moment.

The only ones who exist are those who participated in the Heaven's Feel.

The day and night which had never mingled until now interchange, and those who could never cross paths, do.

The adjoining plane of reality and fantasy, truth and untruth.

This mere hour is precisely the borderline that isolates the fourth day from the fifth―――

“―――I knew that already.

What has transpired until now was not something I had predicted.”

"They" had completely covered the whole of Miyama in under an hour.

...For humans, infinity is a metaphor.

No matter how much, no matter how much you exceed the bounds of human deduction, all things have a limit.

Infinity is nothing more than a word brought forth by the limits of our cognition.

But―――the "things" before my eyes differ from that kind of an "incalculable" concept.

"They" are truly "infinite."

A limitless propagating chain.

A final legion that became a conclusion at its beginning.

A circuit of death with no breaker to annihilate itself, stoppable by none.

A twisted ecosystem at its end wholly covers the ground―――

“Five hundred, six hundred... no, even what is visible has already exceeded a thousand―――”

All the Mystic Codes mustered together, the feeling of jewels grasped tightly in both of my hands, they are now no longer the slightest bit dependable.

These could not delay them for even just a few minutes.

Surely "they" would collapse the bridge in a blink of an eye, shroud the tower rising over Shinto, and voraciously bring down the spider's thread.


With the end before her eyes, she grits her teeth.

If the earth is hell, and the sky is the land of fairy tales, then the support arch she stands on is their boundary.

Placing herself at the crossroads, she gazes at the distant sea.

Above, there is a vapor trail cutting straight across the skies.

Below, there is an endless swarm of poisonous moths.

As for where she should place herself, well―――

“There is no question.

I am the Tohsaka magus, supervisor of this town.”

She clenches the jewels in both of her hands.

No more looking up to the sky from now on.

She will fulfill the role she has assumed for herself and continue to protect the border.


“Hah――――――, fu―――”

She has trouble controlling her breathing.

The more she gazes at the surface, the more her gritted teeth creak.

Her stiffened legs lack their usual lightness, and her shoulders are numbed by an unfamiliar pressure.

“―――, ―――!”

The corpses will march on.

They will penetrate the boundary.

Before that happens, mow down the first wave.

But she's trembling, unable to take this first step.

“...Tch, argh, this is so pathetic―――!”

Whack, goes her tightened fist against her forehead.

She acknowledged being up against the odds from the start.

Having taken a stand here, she has no choice but to fight until exhaustion.

“――――――, AnfangBegin.”

Moving her wooden legs, she takes the first step towards the swarm below.

There will be no retreat.

One more step, and she will be leaping towards her death,

“―――Huh. It's good that you're so enthusiastic, but shouldn't you let your shoulders relax a little?

Oh, but it really is like you. Massacre them all or not fight at all, that is.”


The all-too-familiar voice ruined her departure completely.

“――――Hey, wait.

Killing everybody? What do you mean, "like me"? May not look like it, but I've been known as the deeply compassionate honor student in London.”

She loosens up a little.

She stops herself, and retorts without looking back.

“Well, I meant it exactly the way I said it.

If it's a race, you will try to come out a lap ahead; if it's a fight, you will hit them so hard they will never dare face you again. Now, does compassion come in before or after that?”


I hate to say it, but that's exactly it.

Her policy is to do the job thoroughly, all the way.

It was never her style to go for defensive strategies like considering how long she can hold on, or how to protect the boundary field.

“...I see, so I just need to exterminate them all.

This is no border; it's a frontline.

...My bad. A mistake like this sure would add some pressure on my shoulders.”

She flexes her shoulders casually.

It's like a baseball game. All the bases are loaded with none out in the 9th inning, and the batting order is from the second player: if you allow even a point, say bye-bye to your trophy.

The pitcher has been giving undivided attention towards protecting the team, but his spirits are brought up high again as the batter misses and he throws.

“But still, there may be too many.

I don't intend to lose, but there's always a chance―――alright! When push comes to shove, I'll destroy everything, including the bridge!”

“...Wait, wait, it's great that you returned to normal, but that's overdoing it.

If you destroy the bridges, they will be harder to control. They are simple beasts, if the bridge falls, they will just cross the river themselves and pour into Shinto. But as long as the bridge is here, they will naively believe there is no other place to go.”

“Ugh... I-I knew that already! I'm just saying it to make things more interesting. Sheesh.”

"Tsk," she clicks her tongue in dissatisfaction.

"Seeing how bad things have become, destroying one or two bridges would make for a nice view," is what she seems to be saying.

“Really now... that's the "go all the way" side of you.

Haven't you picked up any ladylike manners during these six months at all?”

“This is who I am since I was born. What about you? Your habit of talking too much can't be cured, can it?”

“Mine depends on who I am with. For the time being, I am contracted to a Master who occasionally needs to be advised.”

“What a coincidence. I also happen to know someone who likes finding faults with others a little too much.”

She breaks out into a smile at the pointless exchange.

In the middle of the bridge, directly underneath them, the corpses march on.

This is the last opportunity to start the battle.

“―――Okay. Are you with me, Archer?”

“Yes. A Servant is one who follows his Master.

Finally, this is―――”

“―――The end. We can fight without holding back.”

The red cloak appears.

As a symbol of fighting for her, the bowman displays the holy shroud.

Needless to say, there is a deeper significance to the armament.

The red symbol is used only in proper battlegrounds when there is a master worth serving.

Nostalgia that ought to have been forgotten long ago burns in his chest once more.

For just one moment.

For a moment that will last until the break of dawn, he is back to the self that used to stay at her side.

“...Idiot. You fuss over the silliest things. You're either way principled, or just pretentious.”

“What? As far as being principled goes, I'm still behind you.

After all, we're wagering our lives against I'm not sure whom, for I'm not exactly sure what reasons.

―――Geez, I can only bear to watch for so long. Your generosity isn't something one can buy on a moment's notice.”

“Haha. Yeah, that right hook is going to cost you.”

She focuses on the enemy.

Her family crest spins up halfway to full capacity, letting her use the magic at half the maximum power.

There's a long way to go, after all.

She has no choice but to fight on the bridge to the bitter end, right until this rainbow hanging in the sky vanishes.

“―――I'll leave the first strike to you. After you stop the frontline of the group, I will go down to the bridge.

It'll be a war of attrition after that. Keep making holes in them from here, and I will mow down the ones that escape.

Any questions, Rin?”

“No objections from me. I'm sure there'll be a few that manage to get through the two-fold attack, but let's just ignore them.

Our duty is to exterminate the army. We'll think about the small fry after taking care of the enemy in front of us.”

There's no telling how many corpses will break through this formation.

And there will probably be some that will swim across the river and head into Shinto themselves.

But those are still less than one in a thousand.

The outliers will have to be taken care of by those who walk the sky.

“...Well, speaking of meddlers, we aren't alone, either. Let's leave the small stuff to them.”

The family crest is glowing with light.

Nimbly, she releases the magical energy and magecraft stored in the gems in the shortest time possible.


A huge flower blossoms from the dark-stained ground.

The magic blaze lifts the curtains on the battle. Turning into a star on earth, it illuminates a path to the sky―――

The serpent's fangs pulverize the corpses.

The forehead, the throat, the heart and the spine.

It is an iron fist that strikes at each of these spots with precision and lightning speed.

If this is a swarm of the dead, then standing in its way is a fearsome demon god.

The dead that crawled out of Kageyama shall meet death once again, and be driven back to hell...!

Three fatal strikes in the span of one breath.

Reinforced through magic, his fists turned into iron clubs which crush the faces of the dead.

But those are just superficial wounds.

In spite of losing their faces and their intestines, their fierce claws don't stop coming.

Because what powers the dead is not the heart and mind, but rather plain malice.

Only when they lose all five senses will this mad struggle end―――!


“What? Do not mention it, Souichirou. Our enemies flinch not when struck, die not when slain - we are both in a rather poor situation.”

A light-hearted tone, completely out-of-place in this battleground.

Moonlight reflecting off the five-foot long sword in his hands, the samurai steps into the swarm of the dead.

The tip of his sword dances in the air.

Only after they fall to the ground can you tell that they were sliced.

“Hm. Indeed, one cannot move after having all four limbs chopped off.

Souichirou, it may be difficult, but let us aim for the limbs instead of the head. It may be against your policy of delivering only deathblows, that shall be plenty for these wooden puppets...!”


Flowers and grass.

Their ways are different, but words are not required between two masters of their arts.

Crossing each other's paths, the fists and sword ganged up on the enemies and overwhelmed them.

Their backs against each other, sprinting all over the battlefield, these two gods of death continue to overwhelm the dead...!

“But how come you changed your mind, Souichirou? You were overlooking them until yesterday, so why did you step out to stop them this evening?

Anyway, had this plague happened because that witch of yours lost control?”

“―――No idea. If you're tired, go to sleep, Assassin.

These ghosts will disappear if you sleep. They won't harm anyone in his dream.”

In other words, he had overlooked these shadows roaming the streets at night till today.

But that still makes no sense.

If what he says is true, then all he has to do is simply sleep tonight.

No matter what their number is, there's no changing the fact that they won't harm humans in bed.

“Oh? So why should you be bothering with this?

I do not know whether you would continue on or go back, but you could have still returned to your everyday life by sleeping quietly at home.”

“You're right. But this battle is the one wish I have no choice but to grant.”


Assassin's long katana drops ever so slightly.

The samurai looks stunned, as if taken by surprise.

“I see, I see, indeed!

Haha, I could never earn your kindness, but looks like you've changed your mind a little, Caster!

Oh dear, you're rather sweet, aren't you-”

“Shush! Quiet, you blockhead―――!”

Arrows of lights pour down from the sky.

The witch's hammer turns into a squall and washes the dark away.

“Oh, looks like some external medicine is what the doctor ordered for these creatures, after all.

Caster, time to show off your specialty! Looks like the wolf in sheep's clothing is no longer feigning innocence tonight!”

“That's enough, Assassin. Your role is to provide backup for your Master. If you can't do even that, then I shall turn you to ashes along with the small fry.”

“Haha, do not be angry. It is your desire that I fight alongside Souichirou, is it not? Same as yourself, my Master's delight is my source of joy. If you are happy, then I am happy, as well.

Our role is to clear this mess, more or less. Say, Souichirou, that is not much to ask of a man, is it now? Seems you are putting a bit more force into your punches than usual, are you not?”

“...Sorry. I am not about to hold back, not in front of my spouse.

―――I'll have to trouble you, Caster.”


Both of them are bewildered.

Those that know him would surely realize just how unusual it is to hear such a remark.

“Caster, reinforcements are coming.

Whether you are protecting Ryuudou temple or going to stop the culprit, looks like we do not have time to talk much.

I'll leave the coordinating to you. I'll fight as you wish... Such opportunity probably won't come again.”


"That's why you should have no regrets," is that what he wanted to say?

Kuzuki Souichiro embraces her determination.

The witch accepts the end of the days, albeit with much regret in her heart.

“...Yes, I understand, Master.

From now on, I will strive towards my desire without hesitation.”

The bells on her staff peal.

The magus from the age of the gods starts weaving an even more mysterious spell.

“So, Caster, what are you going to do?

I'm tired of keeping this up. How about we go smash the very foundations?”

“Hmph, that's not something for one that can't venture outside to say, Assassin.

We are not obliged to help to such extent to begin with. As for me, I am content with simply protecting this place; only helping the shameless trash that barges into people's homes with mud on their feet realize their standing.”

A black shadow keeps spreading.

Born behind the mountain, many of them descend the mountain towards Miyama. Some of the corpses, pushed by the horde, pour even into Ryuudou temple.

Nobody hates that more than Caster.

Had she wanted to just protect herself, all she had to do was to seal her Master and herself in the temple.

A boundary field to ward off the bodies would have been sufficient for just the two of them.

However―――on some unknown whim, she did something completely illogical.

On its way to Miyama, occasionally the shadow detours into Ryuudou temple.

Caster burned all of it to ashes, leaving none out.

As a result, having sensed an obstacle in their path, they started concentrating on the temple.

“What do you expect? I don't care about what's going on down there, but anyone who crosses the threshold of my home becomes my enemy.

―――Yes, I will burn you to ashes, Avenger.

That's what you wished for, is it not―――”

A Divine Aria spreads along the empty sky.

Not only is it more than enough to protect the whole of Ryuudou temple, it is a spell well capable of punching a hole in the very foundation they came from...

“―――To be honest,

I would have liked to continue for a little longer. Now feel my wrath―――!”

The witch protecting Ryuudou temple burns away the corpses heading for the town.

Even if their numbers are unlimited, the annihilated ones will not come back immediately.

Like a burst of divine punishment, the sorcery continues tearing the pandemonium apart.

...But the outpouring black stain still does not stop.

The corpses seemingly cover half the earth.

This place will be protected, no matter what. And the bridge shall greet the start of a new day undefeated as well.

“....The situation at Miyama is looking rather bad, though.

Those kids worked hard, but looks like this is it for them―――”

Heaving a sigh of pity or maybe compassion, the witch looks down at the town below.

...She is looking at the northern part of Miyama. Like the eye of a needle, a tiny white spot, a traditional residence remains standing there.

The wave of corpses is trying to swallow the Emiya residence whole.

Although it is Servant Rider we are talking about, she should not be able to repel this onslaught on her own.

Had it been only a single wave, she could have used her Noble Phantasm to sweep them away, or to petrify them with her Mystic Eyes.

But this enemy is unlimited.

Employing her Noble Phantasm or Mystic Eye consumes large amounts of magical energy.

She may hold the upper hand for a while, but as her supplies run out, she will become unable to offer barely any resistance at all.

“Rider, behind you...!”

Rider's hair flows, reacting to her Master's voice.

Her blade and the claws clash.

She has nowhere to escape after leaping to the back.

The corpses, having invaded over the stone walls, attack Rider as if competing for an achievement.

With her speed, she can slip through one or two of these claws easily.

But these claws surround Rider like a dense forest of spears―――!


The previously unstoppable Rider halts in her tracks suddenly.

The magic being employed now is by her Master, Matou Sakura.

Sakura's a magus, and using magic once or twice shouldn't warrant any surprise.

However―――the kind performed just now was the one that Matou Sakura detests the most.

Was it not taboo for her to draw on her innermost, dark self, baring it akin to a blade?

“You must not! It is still to early for you to use that as a weapon...! I shall intercept them, so please maintain the field inside the house!”

The anxious voice makes for another fatal opening.

The swarm of the dead pounce on the still Servant.

Es flustertMy voice forms a prayer―――Mein Nagel reist HauserMy fingers scrape the earth.”

Vast shadow skewers the intruders as if they were mere fog, captures them and swallows them to the world below.

That is a side of her she possesses as a magus.

The vortex of darkness has no trouble sweeping the dead back to where they came from, the underworld. To be able to bind opponents with invisible uncertainties, that is the special trait of the imaginary number magic.


“I'm fine, I can handle this much...!

Don't worry, Rider. I have worked hard for the past six months...!”


Her voice strained, as if trying to encourage herself, she manages to keep her trembling legs and a body about to rip apart by the magic's recoil in check.


Does she respect her Master's decision and continue defending this place? Or does she take Sakura and flee away?

There's still time to escape.

With her Noble Phantasm, Rider can carry Matou Sakura to Shinto in the blink of an eye.

In spite of that―――

“Rider, concentrate on protecting the outer walls. I'll take care of the ones that break through...!”

She retains her faith in Sakura, who is now holding her ground desperately against the enemy, and turns to her own battlefield.

Originally, Matou Sakura did not have the foundation to perform magic on her own.

By forcing her own darkness, her magic circuits that can emit nothing but her shadow, to the surface, she is able to function as a magus... for the time being.

By doing that, she is crushing the human side of hers.

In her state, she may be swallowed by her "dark side" if her heart wavers even a little.

Ashamed and fearing the worst, she grits her teeth and continues on.

Es flustertMy voice forms a prayer―――Mein Nagel reist HauserMy fingers scrape the earth.”

―――Thinking about it, this conflict could have been avoided. No, it should have been avoided to begin with.

The remains of a Servant envelop the town.

Night after night, these things were bursting out and overwhelming the place. Rider sensed that immediately.

But she did not put up a fight.

They would simply pass those that are asleep.

Indulge in sleep as usual, and they will disappear by the time morning rolls around.

SatzMy will is absolute―――Mein Blut widersteht InvasionenMy shadow shall wield the sword......!”

Every time she repeats her aria, she languishes more and more in pain.

She spits out words as if they were blood...

―――I won't lose―――

A frail but powerful voice.

“...I, I won't lose here...!”

On this night.

Before they realized, Rider and Sakura were alone in Emiya residence to greet the midnight end.

The ones who advance forward and the ones who defend. Saying nothing, they headed to their respective posts, leaving only Sakura behind.

―――I won't lose―――

The despair Sakura felt when she realized it was excruciating.

She was alone again.

Having been left on the sidelines, away from danger, she was dejected at the thought of being the only one under protection.

“kh, ha, haaa, ha―――I'm not done yet...!”

Thus, she made her choice.

To stay back here and fight.

To protect someone's precious home,

“―――That's right. I wasn't left behind.

I was entrusted with this place―――!”

Even if she can't, she will still try to protect it to the bitter end.

How would you possibly pluck off this tiny emotion with the yearning for the master―――!

“―――Well, we were, as a matter of fact, left behind.”

“No! I forbid you to utter such disheartening words---!

Look, Rider! The storeroom! Many of them are going there...!”

The purple serpent slithers swiftly up the wall.

Rider intercepts the avalanche-like attacking creatures.

The black flame protects her back.

As the only magus remaining here, the girl that was left behind confronts the swarming corpses.

Their trivial defenses would probably last for another hour.

Only one hour.

This is just a splash in the water that will have no influence on the general picture.

Sooner or later, the girl's determination will be swallowed by darkness.

Unfortunately, these corpses lack any kind of intellect.

If they could think, they would surely sneer at such desperate defense. They would realize there's nothing to be gained here, and would concentrate on the frontline instead.

“Ha―――aaaa, haaa...!”

No more than half of her strength and magical energy left, the girl is gradually forced into a corner.

Which is no surprise.

These overwhelming numbers come from an infinite well of malice.

Her mind would snap before her strength fades, that is the obvious conclusion.

...She feels as if under a pouring rain.

In the hail of sneer and killing intent, mixed in with the distant thunder and tremors, there is also the sound of the unavoidable end.

Not satisfied with the mere swarm of the dead, a battering ram hits her with the force of a runaway train.

“Aah, ah―――Ri...der―――”

"Run." Her purple lips form the word.

With this, cremation follows the bitter fight.

All that's left is to pray that her foolish determination would not be swayed by the shrieks on her deathbed.


“Huh... this, sound...?”

And then...

Los!Charge!―――Go and smash them, Berserker!”

As a new lead enters the stage, foolishness changes into reassurance.

“Los Los Los―――!”

A violent, devastating force.

The little girl and the giant mow down obstacles to their hearts' content. With each swipe, corpses fly in the sky, and Emiya residence loses more of its walls.


It is hardly surprising that Rider is at a loss for words.

They no longer seem to be allies.

The girl and the giant are here just to cause destruction.

“I-Illya-san...!? W-Why are you here!?”

“Why? 'Cause we couldn't just sit and watch, so we just dropped by.

I've got no plans to side with anyone, but it's unfair if things continue this way, that's why.”

A charming smile.

Even now, as corpses are being pulverized around her, the little girl looks as if in the middle of a ballroom.

“U-Unfair...? Illya-san, do you know who the enemy is...!?”

“Nope, no way I'd bother with all these details.

I'm referring to you and Rin. It's all just so stupid.

Only defending this place, are you? That's just no good, Sakura, tsk tsk. That's why you can't win over Rin.”


Her words make Matou Sakura's mind go blank.

Dumbstruck, her eyes nothing but tiny dots, ―――yet her broken spirit still makes her head lift up one more time.

“I-Illya-san, what do you mean by....”

“As long as you are on defense, you can't possibly win.

Hey, did you know that Rin moved to the frontline promptly and has been using the best spot all by herself?

Instead of fruitlessly sticking to someplace like here, she chose a more exciting and high-scoring position. That's all.”

“U-Umm... Isn't that also the most dangerous, rather than high-scoring...”

“It's the same. But in the end, Rin's still only defending and not attacking. Don't you think that's a little dull?

Since we know where their stronghold is, it's way faster if we crush them there instead―――”

“...Erm... does that mean it's an even higher scoring spot than Nee-san's?”


I'm going. I don't know if I can make it there, but I can't just leave it to Rin alone.

What will you do, Sakura? Will you come with us?”


A wordless reply.

After hesitating, she gulps and glances back at the little girl.

“Well then, we're off.

Let's go, Berserker! This is our only chance to shine!

Don't hold back! Destroy anything standing in your way! Show them your strength!”

The runaway train picks up speed again.

Following her guide, the giant plunges into the black snowy field.

The destination is its source.

They head towards the overflowing graveyard, without knowing whether they will arrive there or not.

...Even if they cannot achieve their goal...

The impact of their actions is no longer but a splash, it is a ripple that will now sway the big picture.

The interlude continues.

The few lights glowing in the dark.

A resistance so small as to be immeasurable, they take upon themselves to stop the dark horde.

In the end, it's nothing more than putting band-aid on an open wound.

The wound would not close.

Despite all their efforts, they cannot stop the end from coming.

No matter how desperately the bridge is being defended, there is no way to prevent the corpses from landing in Shinto.

It's been one hour since the manifestation of the pandemonium.

The creatures that penetrated their defenses scatter away like black dots and roam around Shinto.

The best of their efforts are still insufficient.

That is the steep price for peace and tranquility of everyday life.

Thus, there is but a single way left.

The few teams of Masters and Servants keeping the advancing corpses in check.

The moment they lose strength to fight against the entirety of the creatures, they'll have no chance to greet the new dawn.

...This is rather selfish, though.

On this night, when almost everyone is asleep, is there really a need for such salvation?

The loud choir of corpses sings of victory.

"BaCk tO the sTArt."

Smiling, they rush towards the moon altar, the path winding all the way to the moon.



Can't you be a little quieter at this hour?

Kids need their sleep, and they won't be getting any with all this racket.”

An impossible force exists here.

Entering Shinto, the corpses head towards the tower.

They couldn't possibly know.

If the creatures that envelop the city are like a big wave, then he is like a typhoon.

An incarnation of savagery itself, it would blow away anyone of a lesser will.

That boy is enveloped in a weird scent.

Silver ash is at his feet.

The swirling mist enshrouds the young man and the enemy like smoke.

“Hey. I won't ask who you are or where you come from, but good evening.

Seeing such numbers come out at this hour, I wonder if there's a big festival or something going on.”

The boy stays exceedingly calm.

In spite of the outpouring of creatures from the underworld rushing towards him, there is not a trace of timidity in him.

Instead, his innocent visage, resembling that of an angel―――

“Well, I'm not interested in whatever that's going on.

So, you guys are all leaders? Yeah... you all look as if mass-produced from the same cast.

...Hmm, this is difficult. Leaders are supposed to take responsibility for these things, right? Meaning the whole lot of you need to be fired for the failures of the entire swarm―――”

What sort of a management overhaul would that be?

Having nothing but a simple objective in mind, the creatures are rapidly unifying around him.

First and foremost, for their one common goal.

Their instincts tell them that in order to take over the tower up ahead, they need to concentrate the violence here.

And second―――

“―――If all of you are leaders, then it can't be helped.

It's a pain, but I shall hold every one of you responsible.”

And finally, for the first time since their inception, they begin to feel terrified of the enemy in front of them.

The corpses stir among themselves.

Yet more of them gather around the boy, encircling him ever so tightly.

The central park is filled to the brim with corpses.

The wasteland which was the last battleground of the Heaven's Feel ten years ago turns into hell once again.

“...Huh. So they think they can deal with the one or two that slip by later, somehow... So our counterfeit crafter and his Master are doing well, they're just not a very good match for the enemy.

Good grief―――you guys are no army, you are a disease.

Multiplying endlessly even if one of you remains, aren't you what I abhor the most?”

The swarm accumulates into a mountain, striving to crush the boy from all sides.

Once they swallow him, that will be the end of it.

He will be no more than a minor obstacle to these unidentified creatures.

The invaders and the defenders; the sides will not change.

Still, if it's an invasion, shouldn't occupying the tower be their final goal?

The situation in Shinto is completely different from Miyama.

While there were well over a thousand corpses to reach Shinto, it's still a relatively small number.

In which case, shouldn't they be heading straight towards the tower, and not―――?

“You don't know what you came here for?

Uh-huh, hardly surprising for a bunch of worms. You sure get lured out easily by the mere smell of some incense. It's way too much of a luxury for the likes of you, but since we're putting all manners aside tonight, there's no need for me to hold back.

...Yeah, seeing as you lot are singing praises to hell already―――”

A wicked grin spreads across his face.

Elation and derision mixed together.

Looking at the mountain of corpses towering ahead of him...

He passes judgment unto them, there and then.

Like the passing of a squall, the invaders turn into endless scatter shot and rush towards him to tear him to smithereens.

“―――That was a worthy curtain-raiser. A desperate burst of worthless desire―――!”

It is all to weed out the sin.

A storm even greater than the dark invaders, the Golden Annihilator has descended―――!

All forms of calamity that deny life, no, deny the very existence, gather in a rowdy mass before the King.

Overwhelming Truth befalls the corpses screaming Hell.

“―――It's showtime, Ea.

An ugly job it may be for you, but this, too, is the duty of a forerunner. As one who knows the Truth, bestow unto them this lesson...!”

Obeying its master, the Sword of Rupture roars to life.

This itself is the origin of all lands of the dead, the first memory of life.

If they scream hell, then it creates hell.

Before heaven and earth split, this land was made from lava and gas, a hell of both scorching heat and intense cold.

This savagery was never recorded in the history that was passed on, but it was written in the genes unseen.

...That's right.

Hell is where all life is not tolerated; the original form of this magnanimous planet―――!

“I am opening the path to the underworld. Scream all you want, people of the dead.

Fear not, I won't keep you bored. This whim of mine is a once in a lifetime occasion, after all. I shall not skimp or hold back my treasures; wager your lives and endure till the break of dawn...!”

The eye of the storm isn't a center of windless tranquility, but a rift leading to hell itself.

The corpses that had set foot in this realm, plummet back into the nothingness from which they came from.

How could one expect the likes of the wails of the damned to stand up to the Truth born by the King of Heroes himself?

The great army of corpses that had formed at Shinto is thus destroyed.

This cannot be called a battle; it is the wrath of nature itself.

The distant thunder continues, and the storm continues opening the path to the underworld.

The swarm that landed on Shinto is annihilated by a one-man army.

...It's a shame this Servant never planned to destroy those creatures from the start.

He attacks the swarm, but he shows not one bit of interest in the small fry scuttling towards the tower.

This one-man army's objective is not to defend the tower, but rather to exterminate the irritating and noisy pests.

He pays no attention to the lucky ones, creatures that beat the one-in-thousands odds to escape the raging storm and head for the downtown.

...And, as you might expect, these lucky enemies are still innumerable.

If even one of them manages to reach the tower, the corpses' existence becomes natural. That is their greatest weapon.

―――Thus ends the interlude.

The innumerable army whose overwhelming force should have guaranteed an unquestionable victory finally breaks down to single units. Nevertheless, they are finally at their destination, the stairs leading to the moon.

One last move.

All they have to do is to reach out and crawl up the wall; with that, everything will be brought to completion.

"HuRry hurRy hurRy huRry―――!"*

Rushing along the midnight streets, they struggle to keep the tower in their view. Looking at its peak, happiness starts spreading across their resentment-filled hearts.

That is the joy of definite victory.

The relief of surviving till the end.

It doesn't matter how many or how far will the traitors progress.

Once they are here, the creatures will climb the steps, and welcome the new corpses.



The thousands of creatures that have penetrated all defenses in their path tilt their heads in confusion.

They have already arrived.

By the now, their malice should have already bathed the tower in crimson red.

Yet it remains solid black, as it has always been.

The only red is crawling on the ground, surrounding the tower with a dotted field.



The stampeding corpses stop.

A silent whirlwind envelopes the tower. There is no entry but the front door.


The swarm stands completely still in front of its majesty.

O numerous corpses, look yonder and prepare thyselves.

You are witnesses to the beauty of a dazzling sword.

The embodiment of an untainted ideal, wrapped in an armor of azure and silver.


the true guardian stands, the absolute final defense.

Enveloping this tower in an invisible shield is the wind of mystery, the sheath of her holy sword.

The soldiers that made it start squeaking in excitement.

There's only one way they have left. No. Actually, from the very beginning, there's been no other way for these creatures.

The corpses are now a swarm. They move onto the obstacle ahead of them.

Instinct tells them there's nothing but defeat waiting for them, but aggression is what defines them.

“―――I have not the slightest interest in what you are, fiends.”

The knight does not move.

There is not a trace of impurity in her shining sword.

It is not the heavens her gaze is directed to, but to the corpses in front of her.

“I will not order you to leave.

This is where I embrace the wish of my Master and fulfill it according to my conviction.

If you resent this wish, then our stance is clear.”

Her flowing voice is fierce, yet calm.

No one can possibly know just how much emotion was put into those words.

―――Just like how he did not bid farewell to her,

she keeps it concealed in her heart.

“...These steps are only for those who honor the future. I am unworthy of stepping unto them myself; neither are the fiends before me.

Should you fail to accept it in your arrogance―――”

...No room for hesitation.

He is not the only one lowering the curtain.

Everyone who gathered and fought on this night.

For the sake of the future they wish for, discard this illusion―――

“Come now, show your desperation.

This blade of mine shall respond to your pitiful challenge―――!”

The golden light drives back the encroaching black pollution.

Those who walk the sky may never know of the stars glittering on earth.

With this, the interlude comes to an end.

Albeit quivering dark red still hangs over the town, bright sunrays will surely dispel the darkness in the end.

There are no more stargazers left among those fighting on the ground.

Every will, meeting and parting; they all end in this night.


Those who long since fulfilled their role turn to ascertain the sluggish end of the reproduction that took place in this boundary field.

No words left to be said.

A shining upside-down comet shoots towards the outside.

Helpless and with no place to turn to, yet they still see off the spider's thread that managed to reach all the way to the very end―――

Dawn approaches.

Like that, the path continues on to this day.

Emiya Residence・Start of Night Reverse Moon

I do not fear for my crumbling limbs.

The only thing that frightens me is losing sight of those pieces I yearned for.

I don't want to lose the light and return to the monster that I was.

―――Now then.

Let's go fulfill the one wish now, in exchange for her dream.

Thus, I return to this place.

An empty place.

The outside of the world which does not allow any being to exist and think as I'm doing right now.

In my infinitely vast, yet consequently small nostalgic home, neither time nor space can exist.


Now, there seems to be something like coordinates here.

Since I exist here like this, it is natural for spatial positions to come to be.

Those coordinates connect two points of light.

The horizon exists, relying on the entrance and exit of the void.


I take a step forward.

The scene in front of my eyes makes my heart ache.

I'm something that should be destroyed.

A one time only, miraculous mistake.


The Holy Grail, with only one blank space left within it.

The last spectator is standing in front of the crystallization of the ordinary days born in the void.

The contractor of the Holy Grail.

The only human who continues to sleep in this place.

While having the same wish, as an enemy hoping for a different result, she is protecting this Holy Grail.

“...Yo. It's our first meeting with this form of mine. You look well.”

I raise my hand without getting any closer.

We will not get any closer than this.

That is the emotional distance which already separates us...

“Stop, Avenger. If you go any further, I will kill you.”

And it is also the physical problem of being killed if I go any closer.

“That's quite troubling. Now that I've come here with this body, I can't return.

So there are only two options. We can either keep staring at each other like this forever, or I get killed and return down below.”

“―――In that case, I'll kill you here as well. You've already dissolved yourself in my Heaven's Feel.

I will do as I like. You should just continue fulfilling the wish with that body of yours.”

...Ah, so that was your aim.

"Since I'm not getting involved with the winner of the fifth Heaven's Feel, don't get involved in my battle either." That's what she is proposing.

“...H~mm. So you're going to kill me either way then. I've been continually dying without any reserve until now, though. Aren't you afraid that the number of times I can revive will run out soon?”

“That won't happen. As long as there is any empty space in this Holy Grail, you will be brought back to life without limit.

The still unseen developments, the still unseen future itself is your driving force.

If you return down below and don't come here again, you will continue on forever.

...That's right. You can continue on forever, so why―――”

Her reddish brown eyes are irritated.

"Leave this place."

"If you don't leave here, I will just remove you by force." Her unwavering hostility conveys that as it assails me.

“Man. Can't you step aside without us fighting?”

“Same to you. Don't you understand even after you were killed once?”

“Geh, how cruel. Even though I can't fight you.

If this is the case, looks like I should have made you use up your Command Spells.”

“Based on your tone, it seems that you still don't intend to give up.

...Avenger. I really don't understand your thoughts.

Even if the same things keep repeating, we can continue living here. This is precisely the reality we wished for.

...So why? Why do you do something like this to kill yourself?”

“―――That's only you. I was the void from the beginning. Living and dying are unrelated to me.”

“It's the same for both of us. If this wish ends, then both you and I will disappear.

...I hate that. I don't want to die. I don't care about the world, the reality outside. You don't want to return to the void you once were either, right...!?”

The Holy Grail rumbles.

Her feelings are a form of impact itself.

―――Half of this place is hers.

Even though I am the driving force that keeps the Holy Grail spinning, she has the advantage when it comes to power. I became unable to destroy the Holy Grail with brute force a long time ago.

There is only one way to stop this wish.

Herself who refuses to let it stop, and my heart which in truth actually agrees with her.

I have to lower the curtains completely on those two.

“Well, of course I want to continue living for a bit longer. But you know, I won't be satisfied if I don't correct something that's wrong.

This wish is wrong, right? So I have to stop it.

Because I am a HERO OF JUSTICE. I value others who I don't even care about over myself.”

Dumbstruck, she stares at me.

Yeah, I feel the same way too.

“―――I can't believe it. Are you sane?”

“Uh-huh. Looks like I'm really sane and serious about this. Really, what a monster I am.”

I shrug.

But I can't help it. I have become someone like that. I have repeatedly gone through these ordinary days as someone like that.

I couldn't agree with that way of thinking right till the end, but I can at least accept it just this once after steadfastly following through with it until today.

...Well, that's how it is. I really don't like it, but...

I'm okay with one guy like that being around.

“Well, that's the gist of it, so won't you let me destroy the Holy Grail?

Let's end your selfish wish here.”


Those aren't your real thoughts. That isn't your true self's wish.

...Don't be so brave.

If you stop things here―――the real you won't be saved.”

――― That's right. I Can't be saved ―――

“...The "real me" never existed from the beginning.

Well, whatever. Then, let me ask you instead. Why are you holding onto this wish so stubbornly?

If you stay here, would you be saved like you said?”


She does not reply.

Naturally. If she was a woman that could reply instantly here, she wouldn't have sought after her salvation in the first place.

“...I-I have a reason. As long as I am here, I can continue to exist like this.”

“You're merely living. That is not salvation.”

“B-But... it's a bit easier living here, compared to the world filled with only harshness outside―――”

“It's the same. Despite how I may seem, I've been your partner for a long time. I know quite well how awkward you are. If things stay like this, you'll continue to suffer forever.”

Distrusting herself.

Feeling guilty towards everyone around her.

Being able to boast of specializing in a certain area more than anyone else, yet in the end, believing that she can't accomplish anything till the end.

...The harder she trains.

The harder she tries, the more she is forsaken by those around her.

This sense of defeat is the scar on this woman's heart, never leaving her since the day she was born.

“But, there's nothing else you can do besides striving to do your best. More than the unsightliness of being alone, you can't bear the unsightliness of not striving to do your best.

Thus―――although you're strong, you're tormented by the humiliation of always being the lowest.

You couldn't overcome that even here.

Isn't that so? No matter how much you won and fought on, no matter how many Masters you defeated.

...You couldn't feel proud of yourself, not even once.”

“―――, that goes for you as well.”

You can only hate.

You can only devour all the things you love in sight.

“Let me tell you, it's impossible no matter where you are. That misery can never be erased. That is a burden humans carry until they die.

You're unlucky because you happened to meet a guy you thought you could dump your emotional baggage on.”

She really does have no luck with men.

That priest was but a mirror that magnifies and reflects the burdens people trust him with.

He wasn't to blame.

Her weakness in trying to obtain comfort by leaving the burden to him just ended up being the cause of her defeat in the end.

“Nobody can carry that burden for you. All you can do is carry it yourself. The only thing people can support each other with isn't their burdens, but rather their bodies on the verge of breaking down under that weight.”

And unluckier still, this woman was an intensive training freak, so much that she could somehow support herself alone.

That's why she's never had the experience of collapsing.

She mistakenly believes that this burden, this anguish, is supported by someone else.

“No one understands your anguish. It's the same in here and out there.

Listen, there's no such thing as salvation here. There's only suffering.

Wake up, Master. Do you intend to keep suffering here for eternity in exchange for not dying?”

“...Huh. So, what?

Are saying that I'll be living my whole life like a loser?”

“Not like a loser, I'm saying you are one.

You were deceived and stabbed in the back, and so you confined yourself here as a loser. As long as you have that thought, you will always continue to suffer.”

“―――Tch, enough...! Traitor, traitor, traitor...!

Isn't this place your wish!? Then, I don't mind even if it's painful for me...!

The outside world is the same anyway. At least to me.”

―――"The same."

The woman said that continuing to live is hard.

“―――That's wrong.

Didn't you understand how tough life is since you were born?”

That way of being is what made me side with her.

This woman is weak. I have no complaints about her abilities, but her existence itself is too fragile. Possessing doubts about one's existence is a fatal flaw.

A soul that is on the verge of dying at any moment.

A pessimism that might lead her to cutting her wrists if she weren't always bracing herself.


“―――But, didn't you still make it this far?

You were awkward and clumsy.

But you always did you best to become someone even a little better.”

Pushing hard in spite of being weak, you struggled to somehow improve yourself.

You continued breathing despite the pain up until now.

...If you don't acknowledge your pride in that...

Then who else will?

“...Stop it. You've said enough of your opinion. Don't talk so high and mighty while ignoring your own problems...!

...You don't even know anything about me. Your eyes can't even see anything anymore―――!”

The woman shakes her head.

She refuses to discard her wish.

Like a child throwing a tantrum, believing that everything would really end if she lost the argument here.

“It's not just your eyes. You can't even see yourself. I don't want to die either. But―――your regret will be incomparable to mine.

You wanted to just have fun. You didn't even want to fill in the gap. Because you knew that you would return to the void.

And yet you kept repeating those ordinary days for yourself.”

She really is dense.

I'm tired of seeing such things.

“I can't see, huh? What about you? Can you see me properly?”

“...I only see a shadow. You are already fading away into nothingness.”

“You're right. That's correct. Don't be mistaken, Master.

This body, this character was born by wearing the shell of Emiya Shirou. I am originally nothingness. I don't have love or regrets. Since I'm originally something that can neither think nor do anything.”

That's why it's of no concern to me if I return to the void.

“...You're lying. You're lying, you're lying, you're lying...!

I won't be fooled, I won't abandon you...!

Continue fulfilling my wish, Avenger...!

Even if you get tired of it, even if you can no longer create any more new events, if you are telling me to continue fighting alone I'll stay with you...!

There are still gaps remaining, right? Then fine. Even if they're small, as long as there's still something to be seen...”

Keep this world turning.

Keep going through those golden days.

Keep experiencing that which you never could obtain, yet should have originally been given to you―――*

“―――You're so persistent.

Sorry, but I can't fulfill that wish. Let's end this meaningless time here.”

I take a step forward.

...What a joke. In the end, Bazett didn't even try to stop me.

In short, she is so angry because,

“...Stop. You're still moving forward, even though you know you'll return to being a corpse? Even though you can repeat the fun times as many times as you want, if you remain here?”

It's this obstructive thought that's continuing the wish.

If I say "Yeah" to that, then I've already reached the point of breaking since long ago.

“Didn't you enjoy yourself...?

I had fun. It was painful, but in the end, the pain was...”

Then the rest is easy.

I'm already tired of this, so I need to get to the conclusion already.

“...In the end, that pain was the joy of living.

I know you don't want to return to that void... This place isn't my wish at all.

Angra Mainyu. This world was your dream.

If my wish was to try to continue the Heaven's Feel, then those peaceful days are...”

―――A dream that has passed.

I don't want to continue anymore. No matter how fun it is, if I fill all the gaps...

“That's right. But I'm already tired of it all.”

For the sake of something new,

“even if it is the end, I have to see it.”


The tension disappeared.

What a shame. I can't see what expression she's making now.

“―――You are really...”

“Master, give it up. With this, I'll vanish without a trace. No matter what either of us wish for, this world is at an end.”

A voice which asks, "Why?"

...Geez. I explained it all just now, so why do you ask that?

“It will collapse. Once something is made complete, all that's left is for it to fall apart, right? Once everything becomes nothing, you and I will also simply vanish.”

“―――Why? To become nothing is to become "0" right? If there is nothingness, you will be revived countless times.”

“That's because "1" exists. If it is complete nothingness, then nothing will be born... "1" uses the emptiness of "0" to flow. But if "1" doesn't exist, then "0" can't do anything at all.”

And there is no concept of "1" inside me.

Everything uses the void to flow.

But the void never partakes in those new events.

“...Yes, this is the end. I experienced so many events. But in the end, I couldn't learn anything from them.”

A gentle voice.

She is a little afraid, but as a person resolved to die, her heart is more than prepared.

“That's an issue to be dealt with after this.

Well, they were like illusions from the start. The spoils of a war that retained form.”


I see, so I can leave that behind at least.

Despite everything, I'm still her Servant that existed and lived for half a year. I'll make wiggle room for that at least.


“No, I was just thinking to myself. More importantly, what's happening to the Holy Grail?”

“...It won't last long, I think. Cracks are running along its surface at several places.”

I see.

In that case, this body should be satisfied as well.

“―――Stupid monster. You're really insane, aren't you?”

...Just once, I saw the dream of a foolish man.

Unfortunately, his way of life makes me want to vomit, but I'm grateful that I had the chance to become that distorted person.

A way of living completely opposite to mine.

The form of an ideal that everyone dreams of, and in the end, discards as its own hypocrisy makes it evil.

That foolish naivety―――I probably yearned for it at least once.

“―――All right. Come, let's go return to our respective places, Master.

I completed it for this. We have to end it once and for all.”

“...Avenger. You say return to our respective places, but what am I supposed to do?

At this rate, I'll disappear along with you, the Holy Grail.”

“You don't have to accompany me that far.

Look, you take the entrance there, and I'll take the exit in the other direction. This is our final farewell here.”

I point towards the horizon.

The entrance is the world after this. In other words, the fifth day.

The exit is the world before this. In other words, the void.


"Why?" Bazett asks in surprise.

It shouldn't need to be said, though.

“No, it's because you're alive.

Those who are not dead cannot go to that side.”

Her breath seems to catch in her throat.

Well, she probably can't believe it after being told that all of a sudden.

“Please wait. I'm certainly-”

“Not dead. It was your wish not to die, right? I merely fulfilled that wish.

At that time, you were in a state of suspended animation. I've been constantly preserving you in that state for half a year.”

“―――, ah.”

The problem is after that.

The girl from the Church found Bazett in the secret chamber, and carefully treated her, which complicated things.

If she hadn't come, things―――couldn't have continued much longer.

It seems Bazett's body was at its absolute limits. If that girl hadn't discovered her, this four-day cycle probably would have suddenly ended someday.

Even if I had continued acting as a life-support machine, Bazett's body might not have been able to last in this state of suspended animation longer than half year.


“Do you know this saying? Only the living can bring back the dead. If you were dead, then you wouldn't have been able to summon me from the dead.”

―――That's right.

The dead cannot fulfill any wish. It is always the breath of life that causes things to happen.

Even if the deceased were to be granted life once again, without a doubt, the dead cannot bring back the dead.

Wasn't that the first thing I was told?

The only ones that can ever call forth a miracle are the living.

...I hear something.

For a place that should have hurried off to take its curtain call and dissolve away, it's doing pretty well to hang in there for us.

“Hurry. The path won't remain forever. It's almost dawn outside as well. If you escape through there, you'll reach the fifth day you wished for.”

“B-But, then you-”

“Just hurry up and go. You told me to fulfill my own wish, right?

Then don't stop. If you remain here, my wish won't be fulfilled.”

That's all I wished for.

What a boring sentiment.

“...I can't. Even if you suddenly tell me I'm alive, what am I supposed to do?

In the first place, you're the one who said that the outside is the same as in here. If I return to reality like this...”

“Just continue what you've been doing so far. I meddled in many ways, but I've got no complaints about your way of life itself. You should just live in that timid manner of yours.”


“Didn't that stupid priest say it as well? If you reach a dead end, cross the sea. That's the right way.

...Bazett, the world still continues.

Even if you're on the verge of death, even if you're writhing in the final throws of agony, you're still living like this even now.

You're―――just going to laugh that off as having no hope?”

If the host is still struggling to live, it's absurd for the parasite to give up.

Whatever the case, if there's still life remaining, there should still be plenty of things that can be accomplished.

I can't care if it's something acceptable and good or unacceptable and bad.

I can't pass judgment on living beings that run in the present anyway.

All life,

runs without receiving any reward, in order to have their value acknowledged by those that follow after them.

“......That's unfair. If you say that, then I can't say anything in return.”

“Think of it as a grudge. I'm a demon, something naturally dishonest, so I deceive people with sweet words.”

I grin broadly.

It'd be nice if the shadow made in my shape could actually express that smile.

“...I didn't know that you were a demon.”

Just a little energy returned to her voice.

“What are you saying? Angra Mainyu is the name of a terrible devil, you know?”

“That's true, but you don't seem like such a great person at all.”

Then, I heard a strained laugh.

...Geez, even though she's a coward, she's only good when it comes to retorts.

My lovely Master seemed to have begun gazing at the distant entrance that lay at the root of this place.

“But now I believe you. Telling me to return to the outside world can't be anything other than sweet talk.

In short, you're just telling me to continue suffering, right?”

“Of course. I kept it a secret, but I actually loved seeing you struggle.”

“Hmph. My oh my. You really are a Servant that's quite bad at keeping secrets.”

...That was the best farewell I could wish for.

Looks like I enjoyed this relationship of ours.

Surely that is the reason why I accompanied her without violating or killing her.

That's why I wanted a farewell like this at the very end.

We'll part in the same manner as our relationship has always been.

If there is one thing we haven't done, it's only the fact that we never fought while covering each other's backs right until the end.

“Oops, the chitchat ends here. I don't really mind if you don't go, though. I'll be taking my leave first.”

“Don't worry. For the time being, I won't stand still either.

...But, there's something I want to ask you before that. Umm, I'm asking this seriously, so please do your best to answer as well.”

She sounds nervous.

Wondering what she could possibly be holding back at this late hour, I tilt my head in curiosity...

“―――Why? Why did you choose someone without any redeeming features like me?

Just like you said, I am a weak and boring human.”

...An awkward question indeed.

“...So you don't get it, huh? It's because that part of you is what's good about you. I like that weakness of yours.

You hate yourself and have never once been able to like yourself, but even while knowing that, you struggled on, wanting to become someone even slightly better than before.

I don't mind awkward people like that. I like people that move forward for their own sake, regardless of the end result.”

“―――Not for someone else's sake, you mean?”

“That's right. Leave that kind of thing to people that have the free time for that.

You should be a bit more self-aware of how much your hands are full just taking care of yourself. Since you're an idiot.”


I hear a noise get caught in her throat.

I can't tell if she's holding back a yell or a laugh.

“...I get it. In other words, you helped me because I'm just another inconsequential human.”


It's precisely because you're such an ordinary human, precisely because you were so weak―――that you were an irreplaceable light to me.

“...I understand. I'll go along with your whim then.”

“That's good. Well then, shall we each go our separate ways together?”

“Yes, let's leave with our backs to each other... Somehow, I feel like I'll slap you if I see your face now.”


She speaks with a bright voice.

At the very end, I accomplish what I couldn't before.

“......Will that really work? Do I even have a back?”

“You do. Now turn around.”

We are back to back now.

I don't feel any sensation of contact, but I'm sure she's behind me.

I can no longer feel warmth or anything else for that matter, but my joy-filled heart is still alive and working.

“You got it. Then, I'm off.”

“You're so impatient. Since we've come this far, let's start off at the same time. We'll start running after a three-second countdown.”

Like sprinters.

With a prepped signal gun in each of our hearts.

3. I take a deep breath.

“Ah, don't try to steal a march and start running before the three seconds are up. This isn't a competition, after all.”

2. I enjoy that typical anxiousness of hers.

“Ahaha. ―――You're so naive. If it were me, I'd run away at the first second and escape while my opponent was waiting for the three seconds to be up.”

1. A retort just like usual.

“That's true. As for me, after waiting out the three-second countdown, I'd shoot an opponent that did that in the back.”

A loud laugh.


M y vision is filled with nothing but the void.

There is no trace of the happiness I felt from behind m e .

I hear a crumbling sound.

That sound will also probably return to the void soon.

I run. Not hurriedly, just at an average pace right till the end.

I would have felt the wind on my face a few hours ago, but now I no longer receive such external information.

Sooner or later these thoughts will chip away as well.

The tremors that I can just barely hear are merely the sound of everything crumbling down now.

In that case. This sound could be considered something happening inside m e .

I run. If I remember right, the exit was over there.

I should have properly checked when I could still see.

Within the sound of the fluttering fragments, I hear the commotion I once went through.

M y legs are on the verge of stopping, but I keep them moving.

As I hear the sound of lives blooming everywhere, I see the sunny spot where I once was.

M y legs are on the verge of stopping, but I keep them moving.

I head towards the exit.

With unseeing eyes, I run through the midst of the fragments of those ordinary days that I yearned for more than m y own annihilation.

...I just wanted to see something new.

Just like how m y previous self wished for her revival, I wanted to know even one more of those many ordinary days.

Even if it would return me to being m e .

While knowing that death was ten seconds away, I sought the light one second after.

I run.

There is no distance in this void.

If I don't walk towards it and struggle on to reach it, then I won't reach it for eternity.

I lost sight of the entrancelight I could see back then when m y sight returned to the void.

There was nowhere for m e to go now that I had returned to the void whence I came.

―――Yeah, even so―――

Against these closed eyelids, it felt dazzling.

Even while collapsing, the world continues to revolve.

I feel grateful and glad for the time spent.

I bid farewell to the people who were with m e .

...Thank goodness.

It seems there's an exit even for someone like m e .

"There is a difference between things that end and things that can't continue," m y previous self once bragged.

If I borrow the hope in those words, it seems that I can end and finally see the continuation.

I won't come to a halt and remain stopped forever here.

Even if I disappear, I will aim for what lies next.

For that reason, I filled up the void that composed m e , and completed a single picture.

For that reason, I will return to the void that is m e , and complete the picture of the world.

Though I can no longer see that picture.

I hope that this picture will be beautiful to everyone.

I run. I run. I run.

The stars shine. The destination is certain. This torn-apart body is only moving forward through will power.

It's all right, there's nothing that can't be reached.

Even if the things I dreamed of stop and lose their light―――

They feel dazzling to m y eyes.

Lastly, I say goodbye to m y current self.

―――Now then, let's go see the continuation of the end.

I know that it is just m y imagination and that place isn't such a good place, but now I head towards to that dazzling place――――

Emiya Residence・Start of Night epilogue

The bright light of the sun strikes my eyelids.

As I start to regain consciousness, I can hear trees rustling in the cold wind that brushes against my skin.


Blood slowly begins to circulate again, spreading warmth through my entire body.

I've just awoken from a long sleep.

“Nn―――, haah―――”

I lift myself off the sofa.

Both my body and mind left unused for a long time, I hear a creak every time I move.

To be honest, it hurts.

Moving my arm, and even just thinking about it is painful.

Yet this sensation is also accompanied by pleasure.

This pain that I have forgotten... I'm starting to get a little more used to it.

“―――, Hm. Somehow, my body...”

Seems it can still operate, such as it is.

My left arm doesn't move, but it was not there in the first place.

Seized by a sudden urge, I cradle the lost arm against me.

It's a shame I lost it, but there's nothing I can do.

I shall think of a way to keep on living as before, without averting my eyes.


...I begin to feel dizzy under the intense sunlight beating down on me.

For an instant, the warmth makes me lower my guard,

《Yo. You awake now, Master?》

A voice comes from behind.

A voice that I never heard before, yet there is a nostalgic echo in it.


I turn around, and the words trail off.

There's no one there. There was nothing there to begin with.

"Let's keep on going."

The owner of the voice, one that always talked back to me so casually, does not exist.

Up from the sofa and towards the corner of the room.

There, right in the spot where that "someone" used to be...

Like a farewell gift, something was left for me.


A simple, nondescript white flower.

Countless times, he attempted to finish it and failed.

A piece missing in the center, a puzzle that can never be perfectly complete.

And―――losing himself in the game, he has finally finished it.

“A fool of a man you are. This is the sort of thing you can get anywhere.”

All sorts of scenes.

The most insignificant, worthless patterns.

And yet that's what he viewed as something irreplaceable.

Something that will not be praised. Something that nobody will stop to notice.

That's the simplistic beauty that he left here.

“―――, ahh―――”

A single drop runs down my cheek.

The core of my brain starts to burn.

As a child, I've learned that people can cry with joy once in awhile.

Both regret and gratitude squeeze my chest.

Regret for a better way that might have existed.

The days that I've spent in the company of that Servant float before my eyes.

"Come, let's continue the Heaven's Feel, Bazett. This time for sure, your wish―――"*

It's just my imagination.

This is the kind of relationship he wished for, right until the very end.

And I, knowing that, was able to carry on, somehow.

Did I do my part well?

It's just as he'd sought, no sadness or attachment as we part ways, partners that do not trust each other, each having their own respective path to return to.

...If so, we can both part with our chins held high.

―――That vain show-off of a man, with his worthless, meager pride.

If we were able to keep it till the end, I'm sure we were the best partners there are.

“...I guess this is the end. Goodbye, Avenger.”

The sun is high.

It's probably around noon.

I check my belongings, and,


I notice that one left-hand leather glove is gone.

Sticky fingers, or maybe just timidity?

If you're going to take one, just go ahead and take a set.

I've got a ton of things to do.

I went missing for six months. If the Heaven's Feel is over, then I've most likely been written off as dead.

“...Well. First, I'll have to arrange for an artificial limb.”

The Association would have long since erased my seat by now, and I have plenty to worry about just figuring out what to do from here on―――

“? What was that, just now?”

I heard a sound, something that definitely wasn't the chirping of the birds outside.

...Honestly, I've really let myself go in these few months.

Curiosity winning over my sense of danger, I quietly walk up to the window.

What I heard was a set of footsteps.

Up the hill and through the trees, I see a boy and a girl that I remember from somewhere.

《Pfft, so this is the so-called haunted house, huh...? But it sure is lacking in the "haunted" department. Do we really have to check it out?》

《What are you saying now? We've come too far to turn back. Besides, you're the one who wanted to come for a look. Or what? You getting scared now?》

《N-No way. It's not like a ghost or two can scare me now.》

《Good answer. Well, let's get a move on. I'm actually quite interested in this place, too―――》

The boy and the girl walk up to the entrance, chatting all the way.

For some strange reason, I don't feel the will to fight at all now.

If anything, a childish urge to set up a prank comes first.

Should I, as the rumored ghost, play the part for a bit, I'm sure they'll be delighted―――and as I'm contemplating, I hear the key turn in the door lock.

“Not given much time to think, am I.

―――Okay then, I wonder what kind of greeting should it be.”

My face broadening into a grin, I stand at the window, waiting for the visitors.

"Let's keep going," he said.

Right now, that much is enough.

I may not have an answer for the time being, but there's nothing wrong with running on in shameful worry.

I'm sure the pain will always be there, but it's the little bit of joy that will make it worth it.

“―――First, having come to this town from abroad, I shall watch the life that you saw every day.”

My thoughts drift toward the future.

The merry sound of footsteps is getting closer.

Saying goodbye to the never-existing four days that only I knew, I greet the start of the fifth day and my new life―――