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Scene 00[]

This is a story from a winter five years ago.

It was a night with a beautiful moon.
I wasn't doing anything, just watching the moon with Kiritsugu.
Even though it was winter, the air wasn't cold.
The corridor was a little chilly, but it was a good night to enjoy the moon.

Back then, Kiritsugu didn't leave the house often.
Not going outside, he would just laze around the house carelessly.
...I regret it even now, thinking back to it.
Why didn't I notice that it was like the actions of an animal that knows its time of death?

"I wanted to be a superhero when I was a child."
Suddenly.
That man, himself a superhero in my child's eyes, said that as if yearning for it.

"What? What do you mean by 'wanted'? Did you give up?"
I became angry and asked him.
Kiritsugu laughed apologetically and looked up at the sky.

"Yes, unfortunately. Being a hero is a time-limited thing, and it becomes hard to call yourself that when you grow up. I wish I'd found that out earlier."
I agreed with that.
I didn't know why, but I thought it couldn't be wrong because Kiritsugu said so.

"I see. Then I guess it couldn't be helped."
"Yeah. It really couldn't be helped."
Kiritsugu answers.
So of course, my response was determined.
"Yeah, it can't be helped, so I'll take your place.
It's impossible since you're an adult, but it should be all right for me. Let me take on your dream."

"―――I'll make it come true."

Before I could finish, my father laughed.
He made a face like he didn't even need to hear the rest.
After breathing in, Emiya Kiritsugu said...
"Yeah―――I'm relieved."
He quietly closed his eyes and his life ended.

That is the story from a winter five years ago.
It was a parting that determined the course of Emiya Shirou's life.
It was the night that Emiya Shirou decided to become a superhero.

――――There's no way I can forget it.
I never said it, but I clearly remember it.
The figure of the man who saved the boy who was left to the fire.

Emiya Kiritsugu held up the dying child and said "thank you".
He said "I'm thankful that I found you."
He made a big smile and thanked someone, as if he was saved by rescuing someone.

...The emotion I felt back then is still engraved in my mind.
Nobody saved me.
I couldn't save anybody.
In it all, I was saved, and a person was there to save me.
That's why I decided to become like him.

Become a superhero, so that I could save people and let no one be killed... just like him.
Even if it may be a child-like fantasy, I yearned to become one.

...And thus.
Kiritsugu, the embodiment of my dream, died peacefully, leaving me his dream of becoming a superhero himself.

It's only natural for a child to succeed his father.
Emiya Shirou must become a superhero and save someone just like the old me.

I swore so as a child.
To fulfill the dream of the man I admired most.

...But to be honest, I'm still wondering...
If my idea is the right one.
Where my idea comes from.
What I can do even despite me being just an amateur.
How to make the dream of making everybody happy, which Kiritsugu always talked about, come true.

......Oh, and...
What I can do now that I'm a Master. There are just so many things that my head's going to explode――――

"――――――――"
I wake up from that familiar dream.
Bright morning sunlight is coming in from the window.
I feel a bit chilly, but I guess it wasn't bad enough for me to catch cold.

"...Geez. I fell asleep here again."
I shake my head and change into my uniform.
――――It's a bit before six o'clock.
I bet Sakura's already up and preparing breakfast.

I go outside and breathe in the fresh air.
It's a nice morning.
It'd be much more comfortable if there weren't three girls in the house.

"...Oh, let me correct myself. There are only two girls in the house."
I don't want to classify Fuji-Nee as a girl.
Anyway, now―――

Scene 01[]

I have to go see how Saber's doing.
It seems Saber is rather sociable, so I think she would've been all right with the other two. But still, I'm worried.

"...I bet Saber's already awake."
Then there's only one place she can be.
Sakura's in the living room, so Saber should be...

Saber is in the dojo as I expected.

"Shirou...? What is it? I believe it is still too early to wake up."
"Huh? No, this is normal for me since I have to prepare breakfast."

"I see. ...I am surprised at how early you wake up."
It must've been really unexpected as she looks surprised.

"...Hmm. I guess I'm an early riser.
But why were you surprised? Did you think I'm the type that sleeps in?"
"Oh... Excuse me. Taiga is still sleeping, so I jumped to a hasty conclusion that the Emiya family are not early risers."

"Oh, I get it. Fuji-Nee's sleeping ability is unparalleled."
I get it now.
Come to think of it, Saber and Sakura were sleeping in the same room with Fuji-Nee.
I bet it was hard for them to sleep peacefully.

"By the way, good morning, Saber. Were you able to sleep well?"
"Yes. There was no battle yesterday, so I do not have any fatigue."

"That's good. I thought you might not have slept well considering how much Fuji-Nee moves in her sleep.
...It also seemed you guys were up late last night. If it gets too loud, I can tell them to give you a separate room."
I propose, thinking that Saber might not like being with Fuji-Nee.

"No, there is no need for such a thing. As long as there are no problems, I would like to go with Taiga's proposal."
"Really? Well, that'll help me out too."
Hmm, is it just me or is there intimacy in Saber's voice?

"Saber. Do you like Fuji-Nee?"
"Yes. Taiga has a good personality. A person with such honesty and open-mindedness is rare. I can understand why you are so honest, having heard that she has raised you."

"...Hmm. I don't know if I should be happy about that or not."
"I am praising her. I have only known her for a short while, but I understand her quite well."

I see.
I agree that Fuji-Nee's easy to understand.
The problem is after that, whether you can understand her logic or not... But that's a whole different story.

"Then you were able to get along with Sakura as well, right? Sakura isn't as bad as Fuji-Nee."
"...That is true, but... I still do not fully understand her. It is not enmity, but I feel that she is still on guard."

"...Hm. So you haven't spoken with Sakura yet?"
"I have made peace with Sakura as well. As you said, she is kind just like Taiga."
"――――Oh. Then there shouldn't be a problem."
I sigh with relief.

...Um, I don't want to know why she used the phrase "made peace", but it seems she became friends with Fuji-Nee and Sakura.
I'm sure all the problems in this house are solved now.

Scene 02[]

I'll go help Sakura out.
She's making breakfast for four people. I bet it'll be more time-consuming, and I also want to hear what happened last night.
It seems Saber went with my story, but there's a possibility that they started disliking each other after a night together.

"Good morning, Senpai. I've already starting to prepare breakfast."
"Good morning, Sakura. I'll help with breakfast, so can you give me some space?"
I go into the kitchen after putting my apron on.

"Oh, then please do all the grilling stuff. Um, rice is already cooked, so I'll make the miso soup and the side dish."

Sakura efficiently keeps cooking like always.
She doesn't seem to be worried about yesterday...

"Sakura. Um, about yesterday..."
"Yes? What do you mean by yesterday?"

"Well, it's about yesterday night. You three slept together, right? You seemed worried about having Saber stay here, so I'm wondering how it was."

"I don't understand when you just ask me 'how it was'. I won't answer you unless you ask me clearly."

"Um... I-It'll make me happy if you all got along..."
"Oh. Would it make you happy if I got along with Saber-san?"

"Well, it'd help me out. I decided on Saber's stay without your consent, right? So it's natural for you to be mad and to hate Saber.
But if you can let it pass and be kind to Saber, um..."
"You'll be happy for me...?"

"――――――"
It's embarrassing to say it, so I just nod.

...She's right.
I'd be happy for Sakura if she would forgive me for letting Saber stay.
Since Sakura's like a family member to me, it'll relieve me if she can forgive my selfish decision.

"I'll answer you in that case.
We have made peace with Saber-san starting midnight last night.
I still find her a bit hard to deal with, but I'm sure I can be friends with her. She's hard to understand, but she's cute."

Sakura's smile comes from the bottom of her heart.
That makes me really happy.
It is, but――――

"Saber's cute...!?"
"Yup. Fujimura-Sensei's calling her Saber-chan, and it seems Saber-san is getting used to it.
We were in the same room to keep a watch on her, but we'll be sleeping together tonight as well just because we want to."

"......"
That's an unexpected turn of events.
But Saber's cute, huh? She's beautiful, but I don't know about being cute...

Scene 03[]

――――I'll go wake Fuji-Nee up.
I know I'm making an absurd choice, but I want to find out what happened last night.
In the worst possible case, Fuji-Nee and Sakura would have made fun of Saber to make her angry, and I'm sure Sakura is mad about Saber staying.

I don't even have to think how troubling it would be to have Saber mad. And Sakura's pretty stubborn too.
So I'm sure it'd be best to ask Fuji-Nee, since she's the one who'll be over it if they did have a fight last night!

I roll up my sleeves and stand in front of the door.
...It seems Sakura and Saber are awake and in the living room and the dojo.

"―――Here I go. Fuji-Nee, it's morning!"
I slide open the shouji.
And I step into the tiger's den.
And I'm flung outside.

"Shirou? What are you doing there? It's almost time for breakfast, you know?"

She plays innocent as soon as she appears.
I see, I see.
So she doesn't remember grabbing me, rolling three times, and throwing me, huh?

"I'm not lying here because I want to.
If you have any memory of it, at least help me up."
"Hm? Oh, I think I remember doing a special attack against this super robot that came to invade Earth."

Fuji-Nee opens and closes her hand.
The question marks appearing beside her make me think that she might recall the event, but she probably won't.

"Oh well. Let's hurry and go eat breakfast. I can't have Sakura-chan and Saber-chan waiting."
Dismissing what happened with a mere "oh well" is inexcusable.
I'll get her back for this someday, but there's something I need to ask her first.

"Wait up, tiger. What do you mean by 'Saber-chan'?"
"Hm? Saber-chan is Saber-chan. Sakura-chan, Saber-chan, and I are an alliance of girls that spent the night together!"
"That's a big lie. There are only two girls."

"......!!!???"
H-How was I hit when we were at least ten feet apart...!?

"This is the alliance of girls, over."
"O-Over..."
...I see, she rushed in here in a flash. As expected from a black belt. I keep forgetting, but Fuji-Nee was a well-known swordsman back in her student days.

"...Oh well. But you guys got along well? ...I thought Sakura wouldn't approve of her stay."
"Hm? Oh, I see now. You're pretty kind, Shirou. You were worried that Sakura-chan and Saber-chan wouldn't get along well, right?"

"...Of course I'll worry. I decided on Saber's stay without her consent, so I'm sure she doesn't like it.
...I don't like it if she hates me for it, but I can endure it. But I don't like it if Saber and Sakura feel bad."

"It's fine. Sakura-chan and I found out that Saber-chan's a good girl.
Well, Sakura-chan isn't used to her yet since Saber-chan's kind don't get along with her kind. But they've made peace, so there's nothing for you to worry about."

I don't know what she's so happy about as she makes her way back to the house.
Well, I'm happy too since the problem here is solved now.

"...Fuji-Nee left her student lying on the ground..."
What can I do? I can't stand up after hitting the ground so hard...

Scene 04[]

"――――――――"
Man.
I didn't think that the student council would be closed as well.
There aren't that many people here now, so it'll be difficult to ask around.

"...I'll go home for now. Fuji-Nee should know something about Mitsuzuri."

I get my bag and go out into the hallway.
The sky is tinted red.
The sun is setting and it should get dark in an hour or so.

I get to the stairs.
As I start walking down, I hear a sound above my head.

"?"
I look up.
There――――
Tohsaka is standing at the top of the stairs.

"Oh, you're here too, Tohsaka?"
"............"
She doesn't answer.
First this morning and then just now... I think her glares are getting worse every time I greet her.

"What? I'm gonna go if you don't have any business with me."
I raise my bag to show her that I'm going home now.

"――――――――Sigh."
...?
I don't know why, but Tohsaka sighs.

"I'm stunned. Coming to school without your Servant. Are you sane?"
She murmurs without emotion.

"Of course I'm sane. I can't turn Saber into spirit form, so there's no way I can bring her to school."

"Then skip school. It's like asking for others to kill you if a Master is walking without its Servant.
...Do you know how stupid you are, Emiya-kun?"

"Wha―――I'm not stupid!
Don't say ridiculous things. Masters don't fight in front of people, right? Then it's out of the question to fight during daytime, and at a school at that."

".........Oh, then let me ask you. Are there people watching us now?"
"Huh――――?"
What's she talking about? I don't even need to check if there are people around――――

"Huh――――――?"
Why is this?
Conveniently, there is no one here.
There's no one in the third-floor hallway. I'm sure that's the same for the fourth and the second floor.

The red-tinted building is quiet.
I bet there are only teachers remaining on the first floor――――

"It seems you finally understand.
...Geez, I was more pissed than astonished this morning.
I told you so many times, but you still came to get killed."
Saying so angrily, Tohsaka rolls up her sleeve.
"――――?"
A slender, white arm.
On the feminine arm...
Something like a glowing tattoo appears.

"――――What?"
It's not a Command Spell.
Could that be――――? Even though I don't have one, it must be the proof of a magus, a Magic Crest.

"―――I don't even need to explain to you, right?
This is a crystallization of the magic passed down my family. I can cast any magic carved on here just by filling it with magical energy."
...Yes.
A Magic Crest is like an attached engine, separate from the Magic Circuit in a magus.
There's no difficult incantation or procedure to follow.
It is an ultimate hastening mechanism that runs the car called magic just by turning it on.
But the Magic Crest will not show up unless it is in use.
The Magic Crest is like a separate Magic Circuit that is formed using the magical energy of the magus.
"I told Archer to go home. The 'Gandr Shot' in the Magic Crest should be enough for you."
There's no emotion in her voice.
"――――――――"
That makes me realize that she's serious.

"You can run away, but that's just making it hard on yourself. I'm going to win in the end no matter what you do."
She coldly says so.
But my head's spinning.

Fight here...?
Why does it have to be here?
Why does it have to be now?
And why do I have to fight against Tohsaka――――?

"H-Hold on, Tohsaka! Are you insane? This is the school! Who knows who'll come up if we make a commotion―――"

"I'll think about it when that happens. I don't let chances in front of me slip by. I'm sorry, but I'm taking care of you right here and now.
...And besides, I don't think I can stand having you walk about carelessly."

"I-I said hold on...! I don't have any intention of fighting you―――"
"I do even if you don't! Just prepare yourself, Shirou―――!"

She moves her arm and starts the fight.

"――――――――!"
What sort of magic is it?
The instant she points her left hand at me, my vision is filled with light.

"......!"
It's about four steps forward to the stairs leading to the second floor.
If I'm to retreat back to the hallway, it'll also take me about four steps to get to cover.
This is no time to think. I―――

Scene 05[]

―――Tohsaka's serious.
There's no place to run, even if I retreat back to the hallway. I'll jump down the stairs in front of me...!

"Hah――――!"
I kick the floor with full force.
It's about a meter and a half down. I can easily take this kind of height...!

―――A running long jump of a meter and a half high, a meter wide.
I land without hurting myself.

"Fu――――"
I have an advantage of one floor between us.
So now, I only have to run down to the first floor and get out of the building――――

"――――――――?"
What... happened?
It came from above...
It feels like a giant blob of jelly fell on top of me...
―――I can't move my legs.
The weight of the jelly is stopping my feet.
I try to shake off the pressure on my back.

I feel like throwing up when I move.
...It's cold.
I have goosebumps all over me, my joints are hurting, my muscles are heavy, and my organs are half shut down.

"Crap――――t-this is..."
It's not because of the jelly that I can't move.
This is a bad case of the cold.

Tohsaka's magic.
The Gandr Shot, a magic that'll infect the target with a cold, has hit me.
As a result―――my body is so sick that it can't move on its own――――

"―――Just as I expected. I knew you'd go there if I prepared an easy escape route."

I hear Tohsaka's voice from afar, as if she's contacting me from the moon.

"―――Let me apologize first. What I'm going to do now is as bad as taking away your life."

Her cold finger digs into my neck.
When I realize it's Tohsaka's finger and try to fling it away...

"―――Goodbye.
I don't think you knew, but I've known you for a long time."

My consciousness shuts down as if it's shorted out.

"...Huh...? It's morning already?"
I rouse my sleepy mind and pull myself up.
It's past six o'clock. I should be preparing breakfast now.

"Good morning, Senpai. Breakfast is already prepared."
"Oh. ...I'm sorry, I made you do it by yourself again. I'll make dinner, so please forgive me."

"No, you can't do that. It's my turn to cook tonight, so please let me."
"Ugh. But I'd be relying on you too much if I made you cook breakfast and dinner. Let me cook tonight. I want to make it up to you for sleeping in."

"Hmm. Then let's cook together.
I'll help you, so please come home early."
"All right. I'll cut work short today."

I head to the table while apologizing to Sakura.
Breakfast's already on the table, and Fuji-Nee runs in at the last second like always.

"Good morning! Everyone sure is doing well this morning――――wait, huh...? What is this, Shirou!?"
"Huh? What do you mean? Did you forget something at your house?"

"Huh? Huh? Huh? That's weird. I thought something's strange, but nothing's strange at all.
...But it's still bothering me. Shirou, aren't you forgetting something?"
"Forgetting something? Like what?"

"D-Don't ask me. I'm asking you since I can't figure it out.
Sakura-chan, don't you think something's strange? It feels like we're forgetting something or missing something."

"No. I think it's just your imagination, Fujimura-Sensei.
We're not forgetting anything nor are we forgetting anyone."

"Hmm. Oh well. If I can't remember it, it must mean it's not important."
Fuji-Nee seems satisfied as she sits down and starts eating.
This is a normal morning in this household.

Thirty minutes after Fuji-Nee and Sakura leave...
I leave the house as well.

I walk up the hill.
It's past seven-thirty. The road is filled with students like me.
A familiar scene.
I breathe in the perfect morning air.

...Then.
I notice that a female student is looking at me.
She must have found it awkward that our eyes met, as she starts walking on quickly.

"Oh, Emiya? Were you glaring at Tohsaka?"
"Huh...? Oh, morning, Issei.
I wasn't glaring at her. It's just that our eyes met."

"Really? That's fine, but make sure not to pick a fight with Tohsaka, okay? It's her principle to counter twice as hard. You'll be throwing away your last year in school if you do so."

I don't know how serious he is, as Issei murmurs Buddhist scriptures.
But that's needless worry.

"Are you stupid? First of all, I don't even know her.
...Well, she did look beautiful, but I didn't know such a person went to our school."
"Yes, that is the correct response. That thing is too much for us humans. It is our way not to get involved with her.
Huh, I was worried for a second, but everything is settled now!"

Issei goes up the hill.
"......"
I watch him go as I stand there.

A morning scene with nothing missing.
My left hand hurts a bit.

"Everything's settled? What happened and what ended?"
I hear the first bell from the top of the hill.

...It's eight o'clock already.
As the school gate closes, I feel like I'm locked out from something.
"――――I――――"
...Nothing comes to mind.
I feel uneasy for some reason, and I can't think of where to go or where to return to――――

Scene 06[]

"――――!"
I don't look back as I jump.
I use the corner of the hallway as a shield and jump sideways with all my might――――!

I slide into the hallway.
"Damn――――!"
I hear Tohsaka cluck her tongue as something heavy hits the wall.
"Wait――――what did she just do――――!?"
I get back up and look behind me.

...The wall.
The wall I was standing in front of until now is smoking.
And...
To be more precise, there are three fist-sized burn marks on the wall.

"――――――――"
It's a projectile weapon――――no, that thing is a "curse" that'll infect the target with a disease.

The Gandr Shot Tohsaka was talking about should be something from the Northern European rune, an indirect curse that worsens the disease of the one being pointed at.
Its effect is to worsen someone's illness, so it shouldn't be something with any physical effect.

But Tohsaka's Gandr Shot is made with such dense magical energy that it looks like a bullet.
The problem is, its power is like that of a bullet as well.

Wow, as expected of Tohsaka.
It's such a brutal use of force, making a slow curse into an immediate curse.

"Wait, is she trying to kill me!?"
"I told you so!"
I hear her running after me.

"――――!"
I instantly get myself together.
―――There's no time to think. I have to run for now...!

"Hallway. No, hallway's bad――――!"
The hallway's straight.
Tohsaka's using a projectile weapon, so she'll shoot me in the back if I run down here.

"Don't move――――!"
Tohsaka sprints out from the corner.
Just before that...
I jump into the room beside me, room 2-F.

She shoots the Gandr Shots through the hallway.
It seems she shot it right after she ran into the hallway...!

"Damn, I can't fight against that thing...! How can she tell me to fight!? I'm no match for her...!"
I look around the room in a hurry.
Is there any protection?
Isn't there a shield, an armor, or a bulletproof vest in here..!?

"Crap, she's here――――!"
Her footsteps stop in front of the classroom.
...I'm sure she saw me run in here.
Then she must be wary of my setting up an ambush――――

"No way. Am I an idiot――――!?"
I run.
I run from the back of the room to the door in front of the room. In that instant...
The Gandr Shots are mercilessly shot into the classroom――――!

Geez, she's shooting them like crazy.
The bullets go through the walls, hitting everything in the classroom.

"...! Ouch, it skimmed my back!"
It would've gotten me if I hadn't moved.

"!? No way! Why are you still standing!?"
Tohsaka Rin jumps into the classroom.
We're about four meters apart, in the front and in the back of the classroom. We glare at each other again――――no, there's no time for that...!

I jump out into the hallway.
Running into a room isn't a good option.
I'll have to run to the stairs over there!

"!"
Man, she's really merciless!
It just scraped my head! Hey, it scraped my sides as well!

"Ou, ou, ouch...! Damn, are you serious!? I won't be all right if I get hit with that thing!"
"Of course not...!
Stop if you don't want to get hurt! I'll finish you off quickly if you do stop―――!"

The bullets fly through the hallway.
Actually, the sounds are like those of real bullets!

"Wait, are you really shooting Gandr Shots!?
I can only hear murderous intent in that sound!"

"Shut up! Don't run away! I'm getting irritated because my target's moving...!"
Tohsaka says as she fires.
"Man! This is like giving a knife to―――!"
"Hey, that's it!!"
The sound of firing echoes in the hallway.
But I made it.
I reach the stairs in the nick of time.

"Ha――――Haa, haa, ha――――!"
I run down the stairs.
I've won since I made it this far.
I run down the stairs and reach the landing.
Tohsaka shouldn't be able follow me if I make it to the first floor――――

―――I gasp.
Tohsaka took a shortcut by jumping over the railing of the stairs.

...To put it simply...
I have to get past that glaring Tohsaka to make it down to the first floor.

"―――I'm surprised. You're pretty agile. I thought you said you had flab."
"――――――――"
Oh.
Some veins are showing in Tohsaka's forehead now.

It's scary how used I'm getting to this.
The instant I realize it's coming, I jump sideways and hear the bullets hit the wall beside me.

I run down the hallway in the other direction.
The good news is that I'm down to the second floor.
If I'm able to run away and make it down to the first floor, I'm sure Tohsaka won't――――

"Damn, you're still following me!? You're persistent, Tohsaka! Give up already!"
"You're the persistent one! I won't kill you, so give up already...!"

―――I don't know if it's because she's serious or if she's mad about me running away.
Tohsaka's Gandr Shots are loud enough now that it'll have people calling the cops.
"Hii...!
This isn't the time to be worrying about such things――――!"
Being more powerful means that the bullets are bigger.
The "curse" that was just hot when it scraped me, is now burning everything it touches.

"――――Ou......!"
The Gandr Shot scrapes my leg.
―――My speed goes down.
As soon as I figure out she'll catch up before I make it to the stairs, I jump into the room beside me.

"――――!"
I go into the classroom and move to the window side.
...Well, what should I do?
I should be able to jump down from the second floor.
If I'm going to get shot at, I might as well try escaping from here.

"――――Das Schlie[szlig]en. Vogelk[auml]fig, Echo."
I hear Tohsaka's voice from the hallway.
Something like a thin membrane surrounds the classroom.

"――――――A boundary field...?"
The instant I notice that the boundary field has soundproof effects, I figure out what Tohsaka's going to do.

"!!!!!!!!!!!!"
I jump to the wall.

――――I feel a strong magic being activated.

I crouch down, tip over a desk, and hide behind it.

――――This isn't like the Gandr Shots she fired up till now.

I close my eyes and place my hand on the desk.

――――She's casting a spell.
Even though she has help from the Magic Crest, Tohsaka is casting her spell.

Will I make it? No, I have to make it.
I skip every manufacturing process, the process of making another nerve in my spine, and frantically pour magical energy into the desk...!

"Fixierung, Eile Salve――――!"

"Trace, on――――!"

Lights and sounds explode.
It's an ordinary day after school. The ordinary classroom turns into a dance floor in an instant.

――――Dancing desks.
Comparing the bundle of magical energy aimed at the classroom to a pistol is an understatement.
As it's shot without pause over a wide range, it's more like a machine gun.

I don't know what kind of a "curse" is in the magical energy, but it's strong enough to be visible to the human eye.
As it has mass, it destroys everything it touches.
The desks are running crazy like a person on fire.
My eardrums are already screwed up from the sound of the dancing desks and the echoing bullets.

This is more like a battlefield than a dance floor.
But still, I don't see any cracks in the windows.
It must be the boundary field Tohsaka set up.
This room is a closed space now.
It seems one can enter this space, but not leave.

The bullets fired in here are no exception, as the sounds don't escape this room.
...Geez.
Tohsaka's angry, but she's still acting like a magus――――!

"――――!"
I put as much magical energy as I can produce into the desk used as a shield.
The only magic I can use is the "strengthening" magic. I strengthen the desk to defend myself against this rain of magical energy.

"Guh――――!"
But it's only for a brief moment.
My strengthening magic will only endure this barrage of bullets for about three seconds.
As a result, I have to redo the strengthening magic right when it wears off, and repeat this process――――

"Damn, does she have infinite magical energy――――!?"

The rain does not stop.
...Maybe Tohsaka knows what's going on in this classroom.
She might be still attacking because she knows I'm blocking her attacks like this.
Then this rain would stop when――――

"...When my magical energy runs out, huh?"
I slump my shoulders while concentrating on the desk.
...Well, let's compare our endurance!
Let's have a match to see who'll give up first――――!

"――――I give up."
The match is decided in a flash.
It feels like I've gotten knocked out 15 seconds into the first round.
I'm not wounded, and I have lots of stamina left. But I can't do anything if my magical energy runs out.

"...But man."
I look out from behind the desk.
I can't see the classroom too well because of the smoke.
I hear a sound.
My hand bumps into something on the floor.
"It's the leg of a chair. She really did destroy this place."
Well, I guess it could be used as a weapon.
I pick up the stick and put my remaining magical energy into it.
"―――It worked. Wow, I'm perfect when it really counts."

I swing the stick I "strengthened".
...Well.
It won't do me any good to just stand here. I'll be dead if she attacks again.
Maybe I used too much magical energy, as I can't even stand up.

"――――Gah, kah."
And this smoke isn't letting me breathe.

"She's smoking me out, huh? She's got it all down."
Tohsaka is experienced in fighting.
She'll just corner me if I stay here.
...I know she's waiting for me in the hallway, but I can't escape out the window because of the boundary field.

"――――――――"
I make up my mind and head to the hallway.
My feet are still numb. I move the wreckage of desks and crawl into the smoke before me.
And on the other side is...

"―――Heh. You finally came out, Emiya-kun."
Tohsaka is waiting for me, her shoulders heaving.

"......"
I glare at her and manage to stand up.
The numbness in my feet is temporary, so I think I could move them if I wanted to.

But it's not like running would do me any good.
Tohsaka's just tired from running, and she has plenty of magical energy left.
Unlike myself, whose magical energy is depleted, Tohsaka's just out of physical energy.
If we resume our battle, I'm sure she'll shoot me down without hesitation.

"It's over. Throw away that weird weapon. You can't win now."
Tohsaka declares her victory.

"......"
Oh, that pisses me off.
I know it's reckless, but I can't help it if it makes me mad.

"...We won't know until we try. Don't say such a thing when your shoulders are heaving like that, idiot."
I raise the leg of the chair to show that I'm resisting to the very end.

"―――I see.
All right. I was going to be kind to you if you were going to give up, but I guess that was unnecessary courtesy. Let me apologize to you beforehand."
She smiles.
I wish she wouldn't make an ominous smile like that.

"Why apologize? I won't forgive you for this even if you apologize."

"I'm apologizing for what's going to happen, Emiya-kun.
I can't hold back if you're resisting, right? I can't apologize to you if I happen to kill you accidentally."

"――――......!"
She's serious...!
Well, she did seem serious, but I guess that made her really serious. I finally realize that I'm in a hopeless situation...!

"Oh, did you finally realize the situation you're in? I'm glad. If you said something absent-minded even in a situation like this, I would've done something."
"Ugh――――What do you mean by 'something'?"

"――――――――"
She glares at me.
...I see.
I guess this is what she meant by being absent-minded.

"――――This is your final warning.
Throw away that weapon and give me your Command Spell. It'll rip off the nerves in your arm in the worst case, but it's better than losing your life, right?"

"――――――――"
Give up my Command Spell?
My Command Spell isn't something I can hand to her, and most of all―――

"...No. I can't do that."
"...I see. Let me ask you why."

"I can't give you my Command Spell. That's like telling me to betray Saber."
"...I see. I'll give you three seconds. It's your life, so you decide."

Tohsaka raises her left hand.
I bet she'll release her Gandr Shot the instant I refuse.
I―――

Scene 09[]

"Three―――what's your reply, Emiya-kun?"
"――――――!?"
We stare at each other.
Did that scream come from below...!?

"Tohsaka, that was..."
"...A scream."
I instantly get up and start running.
"Hey, do you know where it came from, Emiya-kun!?"
"No! I can only tell it was below us!"
"Hold on, I'll lift the boundary field now――――!"

I run down the stairs.
"Hold on! It's dangerous to go by yourself!"
"This isn't the time to be worrying! That scream was unusual!"

"I know! That's why I'm telling you it's dangerous!"
We get down to the first floor.
There's no one moving in the hallway.
But there's one collapsed female student lying there.

"――――!"
The student is collapsed in front of the emergency exit.

"...Good. She's only unconscious."
I check on the female student.
She must be in the first year.
She's unconscious, but I don't see any wounds, so she should be all right.

"You're wrong―――! She's so pale! Can't you tell that she's empty inside!?"
"Huh...? Empty inside...?"

"She has had her magical energy, no, life energy to be precise, drained. ...This is about as bad, no, worse than the people who got attacked by Caster.
―――She'll die if we let her be."
"Die!? Even though she doesn't have any wounds!?"

"Hey now. It's only natural for someone to die if they're empty inside even if they don't have any external wounds. ...Hold on, I think I can do something with the stone I have――――"

She searches her pocket.
...Thank God.
It seems serious, but Tohsaka seems to know how to cure her.

Tohsaka kneels down and looks at the female student.
"――――――――"
Her face looks serious.
She tends to the female student while sweat forms on her forehead.

"......?"
...What's going on?
That serious face of hers...
I think I saw it recently――――

"Geez, it's so annoying...! Can you close the door, Emiya-kun!? The wind's moving my hair."
"Huh――――oh, that emergency exit?"
I look at the open emergency exit.

"Huh――――?"
Open...?
Come to think of it, we still haven't figured out why this girl is unconscious.
She didn't do this herself, so somebody else must have attacked her.
We ran here right after we heard the scream, so the emergency exit is the only place to get away from.

"――――Oh."
Is it because I was looking at the emergency exit?
I sense "something" black being shot and I-
"Watch out, Tohsaka!"
...I protect Tohsaka with my right arm.

"Huh―――w-what is that...!? You have a hole in your arm...!"
"――――――――!"
Just like Tohsaka said, a black dagger is piercing my right arm.

The thing lodged in between my wrist and my arm looks like a nail.
No, it's too big to call it a nail.
Something like a dagger has pierced through my arm.

"Why―――no, you're bleeding so much. Doesn't it hurt...?"
"It hurts. It really hurts."
But it hurts so much that I can't panic.
But more than that...
Someone threw this at Tohsaka's face?

"――――Please take care of her, Tohsaka."
I start running.
I don't have time to wait for Tohsaka's response.
I squeeze the "strengthened" metal rod in my left hand and run out the emergency exit.

"Fuh――――fuu, fuu, fu―――"
I run while dangling my right arm.
The arm's red below my elbow.
...Is there some bad luck with my arms today?
Tohsaka told me to give her the Command Spell on my left arm and now this one almost got ripped off.

"――――It has to be around here."
I look around.
I don't know what I'm feeling, but I certainly feel it.
The "person" that attacked that female student,
the "person" that attacked Tohsaka with that dagger is nearby.
The person is still around.
If I close my eyes, I can feel the dark magical energy moving.

"Behind the archery range――――in the woods..!"
I jump over the hedge and run across the moldy land.
――――Then.
Between the trees...
Someone I recognize is standing there, smiling.

"Shinji...?"
I stop.
Why is Shinji here?
He's missing right now...
No, Mitsuzuri's the one missing, Shinji's the last one who saw her, and――――

"――――!!!!!"
The injured arm throbs.
The instant I fall to the ground...
A nail-like dagger is thrust at my throat.

"......!"
I instantly dodge it.
I just keep falling and keep rolling forward to avoid it.

"Ha――――guh......!!!!"
My throat.
It scraped it and my skin's cut.
But this is rather fortunate.
If I had been a second too late, it would've been my throat that got cut.

"You...!"
I instantly get up.
In front of me...
...Stands a woman in black with an irritating smile.

"A Servant...!"
I'm sure of it.
A concentration of magical energy even Tohsaka cannot stand up to.
An ethereal beauty and a thick smell of blood.
I don't know what class she is, but her existence is beyond human――――

"She disappeared...!?"
The black shadow disappears from my vision.
――――My instincts tell me I'll be killed.
I desperately swing my weapon above me.

"Guh――――!!"
I parry the "nail" coming for my head.
She's like a spider, jumping through the woods as if she's sticking to the trees.

"――――――――"
I run.
It was just pure coincidence that I was able to block that surprise attack.
I can't block another attack, and there's no way I'd be able to get away.

"Haa――――!"
I run to a nearby tree and put my back against it.
It should be able to block any attacks from behind me now. No, I have to believe that it can.

"Damn――――her figure stands out so much, so――――"
I don't see that Servant in black anywhere.
She might be jumping from branch to branch, as I don't see her coming down.

"――――――――"
Sweat rolls down my forehead.
The sound of chains is like that of a snake aiming for its prey.

"Ha――――Haha, ha."
I suppress the laughter trying to escape me.
The sound of chains echoes through the woods.
Even though I might be killed in the next moment, my mind is completely blank.
I don't have any notion of time, and the guillotine isn't coming down.

"Ha――――Ha, ha."
That's what's strange.
The battle should've been over by now.

But I'm still alive.
It's so strange that I think I might have been killed by that previous surprise attack and might be merely dreaming now.

"――――Saber."
...I can't match a Servant.
Then I will have to rely on her.
The Command Spell. If I use the Command Spell to call Saber, I should be able to escape this situation.

But――――is it all right?
I placed myself in this dangerous situation. Then, I should hold responsibility for that, and most of all――――

"――――I haven't done all I can do."
That's right.
I have a weapon in my hand, even if it may be a weak one.
And my body can still move.
If this is a bad position, I only have to move away.
I can call for Saber after that――――

"I'm surprised. You're not using your Command Spell?"
"――――!"
The voice echoes.
She's above me――――on a branch somewhere, as I expected.

"...Heh. Unfortunately, I don't have too many left, so I don't know what I'd do in the future if I use one for something like this."
And well, I don't really know how to use it.

"...I see. You must be brave unlike my Master."
I search around me.
Where is the voice coming from――――?

"Then I shall alter my course of action. I cannot go all out against a Master without his Servant―――I shall kindly kill you."
...The voice stops.
The sound of chains is the only sound echoing through the woods.

"――――――――"
She's coming.
What I have to do is get out of this place.
To do so, I would have to block her "nail" a few times.

"......"
The fact that I have to defend myself using a chair leg is so pathetic that it's funny.
If I at least had――――
If this stick was as splendid as the weapons he had, I might even be able to counter-attack.

"[line22][r]
[line22][r]
[line13]Here I go."
...I don't have time to think about what-ifs.
It's about 30 meters to get out of the woods.
This isn't much compared to the chase I had with Tohsaka――――!

――――I run.
I ignore the annoying sound of chains and run frantically towards the exit...!

"Fuh――――!"
I repel the attack from above.
And then, using the weapon, I block the roundhouse kick executed by the Servant.
She's in front of me now.
I repel her attacks――――!

"No way――――!?"
The Servant in black retreats.

"――――――――"
It's just a coincidence.
If the first surprise attack was blocked by coincidence, these attacks were also blocked by chance.
I can't even see her movements.
For me to stay alive in spite of that is nothing but pure luck.

――――But.
Are coincidences something that continue on like this?
No, what if my assumptions are wrong in the first place?
The first attack.
The surprise attack to my head.
Emiya Shirou could not block such attacks.
I cannot block them even by coincidence――――

"――――You..."
The Servant in black murmurs.
Her irritated voice is rather surprisingly beautiful.

"Hah, you're no good. You're not as good as the other Servants!"
I swing at the Servant in front of me.
"......!"
The Servant in black blocks my blow and jumps back.

"I can make it――――!"
There's nothing in my way now.
The Servant in black has retreated.
Now, all I have to do is go a few more meters and――――

"―――No, that is as far as you go.
You were already captured."

"Huh――――?"
My body falls.
Rather, I'm being pulled back.
My right arm hurts.
The pierced arm is being pulled by some force――――!?

"Do you still not understand? That thing in your arm is my nail."
"Your nail――――"

That makes me realize.
The thing extending from her weapon.
The annoying sound of chains.
The sound of the chains moving.
The sound of the binding chains that I've heard since I came out of the building―――

"Crap――――!"
I reach out for my right arm with my left, but it's too late.
The arm moves up by itself and is lifted up.
"Guh...! Agh――――!"
My arm's about to be torn off.
The nail in my right arm.
The chain coming out of it dangles me in the air using a branch as a fulcrum.

"Ah――――guh――――......!"
"...Well. It seems you were saying something very interesting."
The Servant in black approaches.
I can't run away or fight now that I'm suspended in midair.

"You said I am inferior to other Servants?
...This is troubling. I cannot kill you until I correct that misunderstanding of yours."
...I'm like a sacrifice.
It's like the one put to the gallows in a Western movie.

The nail-like dagger is raised.
The Servant in black licks the tip of it.
"Let me see. I shall take those mistaken eyes of yours.
I shall take your remaining limbs afterwards."
She jumps lightly and appears right in front of me, who's suspended three meters above the ground.

"――――――――"
The nail comes for me.
My body still moves.
I―――

Scene 10[]

――――I can't match this Servant.
Then I should use my free hand and call for the one who can beat her!
I don't know how to use it.
But I've used it before, so there's no way I wouldn't be able to now...!

"PLEASE COME, SABER――――!!"
My field of vision is filled with light.
It might be the effect of the Command Spell as I feel pain in my left hand.
I hear the splashing of blood.
I feel pain from my left hand.

"――――Ah."
When I open my eyes...[r]
"AAAAAAaaaAAAAhhhhhhhhh......!!!??"
I see that my left arm is cut from my elbow.

"Ah, hia, ah, ahhhhhhh...!!!!!"
My throat goes crazy.
My vocal organs appeal to me about the pain.

"―――Well done. You were bound to use your Command Spell if I kept your left hand free.
You were twittering nonsense before, but you are no different from other Masters once I've cornered you. You are only a person who binds the Servant using your Command Spell."

"Ah――――kuh, ah, ahh...!"
It won't stop.
The blood coming out of my left arm won't stop.
There's no way it'll stop if there's a wound this big...!

"To make you use your Command Spell―――I have fulfilled the condition I set for myself.
And the other thing would be to gouge your eyes out... But I shall spare you from that. You have fulfilled me enough with your voice of anguish. I will orgasm if I gouge your eyes out as well."

"Ha... Ah, ah, ha――――"
――――My bleeding won't stop.
My consciousness fades.
Before I really die... I have to call for Saber... with my Command Spell...

"That is enough bleeding. I would have extracted your heart, but I shall restrain myself since you have put up a good fight.
Archer's Master should be here soon. You shall survive if you are lucky――――but your brain will not function even if you are saved."

"......... ........... ................ .................................. ................................................. ....................."

I don't feel any pain.
I bleed while suspended in midair.
Saber. I... have... to call... Saber――――

Scene 11[]

I still have the weapon in my hand――――!

I swing my arm while still suspended.
She must have seen it coming.
The Servant in black avoids it midair.
The Death in front of me smiles.

"――――!"
I swing my body desperately to avoid it, but it's useless.
The Servant mercilessly thrusts her "nail" at my eye――――
And she is shot from the side by numerous bright bullets.

"Ouch...!"
I fall to the ground.
The bullets cut the chain and I hit my butt on the ground.

"――――――――"
The Servant in black turns her back.
She jumps onto a branch and retreats like a beast.

Scene 12[]

I can pull out the nail in my right arm――――!

I throw away my weapon and reach for my right arm with my free left hand.
"―――You are brave. You are always selecting the choice that brings you pain."
But my movements have to be like slow-motion to her.
The Servant in black thrusts out her nail to pierce my left hand as well――――!

"――――!"
I swing my body desperately to avoid it, but it's useless.
The Servant mercilessly thrusts her "nail"――――
And she is shot from the side by numerous bright bullets.

"Ouch...!"
I fall to the ground.
The bullets cut the chain and I hit my butt on the ground.

"――――――――"
The Servant in black turns her back.
She jumps onto a branch and retreats like a beast.

Scene 13[]

"Are you all right, Emiya-kun...!?"
As soon as she runs up to me, she takes my hand.

"I-I have to stop the bleeding...! Do you have anything to wrap around it...!?"
"Um... Oh, I have a handkerchief. It's probably clean since Sakura prepared it for me."

"Ugh, it's not much better than mine. But it's better than nothing. We can make do with my towel and that."

Tohsaka takes my pulse and murmurs something like a spell.
...It must be styptic and painkiller, as my right hand feels a bit better.
Tohsaka carefully puts the handkerchief on my wound and wraps the towel around it.

"......"
Seeing her like that reminds me.
Tohsaka is beautiful and a nice person.
I was watching her from a distance, admiring her for being an honor student, until three days ago.
As it turns out, her true personality was far away from my imagination, but it's not like she was any different inside.

―――My heart's pounding.
Tohsaka's a nice person, she's so close to me, and she's so beautiful that I can forgive her for everything that happened until now... I can't think straight――――

"All right, I guess this is good for now.
...So, what was that? I tried to back you up since you were in a terrible situation when I caught up with you."
"I don't know. I followed that person here, and I was attacked."

I concisely tell her what happened.
...I decide not to say anything about seeing Shinji.
It might have been my imagination, and even if it was him, I don't have any proof that he's connected with that Servant.

"―――――"
"Don't make a face like that. I couldn't tell who she was, but she's a Servant. So that means there's another Master here."

"...Yeah. I knew there was another Master at this school, so this means that Master finally made a move."
Tohsaka slumps her shoulders.
...Hm.
It seems Tohsaka already knew about this third Master.

"――――Hm?"
Then that Master is the one who attacked the female student...?
"Hold on, Tohsaka. How's that girl...!?"

"She's doing better. She's sleeping in the nurse's office now, so her life's not in danger."
"――――――I see. That's good."
I sigh with relief.
...That means all problems have been resolved.
Then what's left is――――

"Huh? W-Why are you staring at me? H-Hey, I won't do something like that!"
I don't know how she misunderstood.
Tohsaka, um, sometimes makes the stupidest misunderstandings.

"Hey, I know that. You won't do such a thing. What I want to ask is if you want to continue. Do you want to keep fighting or not?"
"――――――――"
Hearing this, Tohsaka freezes.

...How long did it last?
Tohsaka glares at me once,
then hangs her head as if giving up.

"......"
That's fine.
But it troubles me if she makes such a face near me.

"Tohsaka? What do you want to do?"
"I won't do it. This is it for today. I'm not in the mood anymore, and I owe you for another thing."
She gets up and brushes dirt off her knees.

"Let's go. I know it hurts, but bear it until we get to my place."
Tohsaka offers me her hand.
"......?"
I tilt my head in wonder and look at Tohsaka's eyes.

"I'm saying we're going to my house. You can't heal that wound yourself, right?"
"Oh――――well, that's true. But why?"

"Hey now.
You'll die of necrosis if we leave that wound be. It'll be my fault if you lose your arm."
Tohsaka pulls at me as if telling me not to talk back.
"Huh――――Huh?"
Wait.
I don't get it at all.

Tohsaka's house is in the residential district on the other side of the town.
I guess there are Western-style houses at the very top, but I've never actually been up there.
This is as far as I've been, and I don't know anything about what lies ahead.

―――So.
This is the famous Western-style mansion at the top of the hill―――the main base of Tohsaka, a magus with a prestigious lineage.

"――――――――"
I look up at the extravagant mansion, dumbfounded.
...Well, I thought I was used to things like this because of Shinji's house, but this has its own taste.

"Emiya-kun? The entrance is over this way."
"Oh――――yeah. I know, I know."
I clear my throat and follow after Tohsaka.
...Man.
I can understand if I'm on guard being invited to another Master's base, but I'm getting nervous just thinking that I'm going into Tohsaka's house.

Scene 14[]

――――So.
This is the living room in Tohsaka's house, the place Tohsaka Rin lives every day.

"Let me see your arm."
She gets straight to the point.
"......Please."
I sit on a chair and show her my right arm.

She takes off the towel that's wrapped around it.
I think she's closer to me now.
I didn't notice before, but her black hair looks really pretty and causes my heart to beat faster.

"...Huh? That's weird. The wound's smaller than before. Do you have a healing charm on you?"
"Huh――――no, t-that's not true!"
"Really? But your wound's almost healed."
"I didn't say anything about it being pretty―――huh? What did you say, Tohsaka?"

"I said your wound's almost healed up. I only stopped your bleeding, so it shouldn't be healed."

"Hm... But I don't know anything about it."
"...Really? Well, you are an amateur, so there's no way you can heal yourself. ...Then it might have to do with Saber's ability..."

"What does Saber's ability have to do with my wound healing?"

"...Well, this is just a guess. You might have made a mistake when you made a contract with Saber, so the flow of power might be reversed.
I don't know how you formed your contract, but I hear that there are Servants that make their contractor immortal.
Saber's self healing powers might be flowing into you."

"...Hmm. Does that mean my wounds will heal as long as our contract exists?"

"...Well, I guess so. But I wouldn't rely on it. Saber's healing your wounds, so it means you'll be using up Saber's magical energy.
And more importantly, that's a power to heal your wounds, but not to bring you back to life. It'll be all over if you die, so don't do such a reckless thing again."

...Oh.
I don't know when she did it, but the bandage is wrapped already and the treatment is done.
She pats my arm and stands up.

Scene 15[]

――――So.
This is the living room in Tohsaka's house, the place Tohsaka Rin lives every day.

"Let me see your arm."
She gets straight to the point.
"......Please."
I sit on a chair and show her my right arm.

She takes off the towel that's wrapped around it.
I think she's closer to me now.
I didn't notice before, but her black hair looks really pretty and causes my heart to beat faster.

"...Huh? That's weird. The wound's smaller than before. Do you have a healing charm on you?"
"Huh――――no, t-that's not true!"
"Really? But your wound's almost healed."
"I didn't say anything about it being pretty―――huh? What did you say, Tohsaka?"

"I said your wound's almost healed up. I only stopped your bleeding, so it shouldn't be healed."

"Hm... But I don't know anything about it."
"Really? You don't have a clue even though something like this happened before as well?

"Hold on, you're confusing me more now. Something like this happened before? When?"

"It was recently.
You were wounded when Berserker attacked, right?
That wound healed up by itself.
...I thought it was your magic at the time, but now that I think about it, you're not that skillful."

"Heh, sorry I'm not skillful. ...But what does it mean? I've never had such a thing happen to me before."

"...Hmm. The only reason I can think of is the contract you made with Saber. I don't know how you formed your contract, but I hear that there are Servants that make their contractor immortal.
Saber's self-healing powers might be flowing into you."

"...Hmm. Does that mean my wounds will heal as long as our contract exists?"

"...Well, I guess so. But I wouldn't rely on it. Saber's healing your wounds, so it means you'll be using up Saber's magical energy.
And more importantly, that's a power to heal your wounds, but not to bring you back to life. It'll be all over if you die, so don't do such a reckless thing again."

...Oh.
I don't know when she did it, but the bandage is wrapped already and the treatment is done.
She pats my arm and stands up.

Scene 16[]

It's getting late.
I went to the dojo with Saber after dinner to receive my punishment―――Saber called it training, but I swear she was just beating me up―――and when we finished, it was past ten o'clock.
It seems they're sleeping together again today, as Fuji-Nee and Sakura go to the Japanese-style room.

"Shirou...? What is wrong? Are you not going back to your room?"
"Hm...? Yeah, I'm going. But there's one thing I wanted to ask you before that."

"Please go ahead. I will answer anything I can."
"――――――――"

I guess I'll get right to the point.
What Archer said...
Servants, who have no freedom, seek the Holy Grail to obtain freedom...
It has to be the case for Saber, but he said Saber would not wish for freedom.

"...Saber. You need the Holy Grail, right?"
"―――Yes. My objective is to obtain the Holy Grail. I became a heroic spirit for that reason. I believe I told you this before."

"I know. But why?
A Servant can stay in this world without a Master if it obtains the Holy Grail, right?
Then―――you're going to obtain the Holy Grail and do what you wish here, right?"

"―――No. I will leave this world once I obtain the Holy Grail. It is not allowed for me, someone from a different time, to stay in this time. And most of all, I do not have anything I would want to do."

Her eyes show her determination.
It shows no hesitation nor lies. In that case, there's nothing I can say to her.

"―――I see. I can't tell you strongly since I don't know what your wish is, but..."

...I think it's unlike Saber to ask for a wish from the Holy Grail.
I don't know what the Holy Grail is.
But I vaguely think that it's not appropriate for this golden-haired girl.

"――I promised you that we'll obtain the Holy Grail. ...So I'll believe your words for now."
"...? Is something wrong? You have not seemed well since you came home."

"That's not true―――oh yeah. Saber, about our course of action."
Saber looks serious now.
As expected of her. Saber is Saber no matter how well she gets along with Fuji-Nee.
It's annoying, but her true nature is revealed in her fighting, like Archer said.

"I went to school today and found out there's a third Master there. ...Um, I had a quarrel with Tohsaka. A lot happened, and we ended up promising a truce until we find the Master hiding at our school..."

I report what happened today in a hurry.
Saber is listening seriously at first, but as the story goes on...
She starts to look at me unhappily.

"...Hm. Are you against cooperating with Tohsaka?"
"No. I agree that you should learn from Rin, as you have no knowledge.
But I would have liked you to tell me earlier. And if you could have, consulted me beforehand as well."
Saber glares at me.
...I'm ashamed of myself since she's absolutely right.

"Then you will cooperate with Rin tomorrow to search the school?"
"Yup. I'll call for you if we find something strange, so stand by here until then."

"...Phew. It is too lenient a plan, but it will be perfect until you get used to battles.
So we will be going after the Master that set up the boundary field at school?"
I nod.
After thinking for a while...

"―――Let me confirm.
After we defeat the Master at your school, your cooperation with Rin will end, and she will be your enemy again.
Is that correct?"
Saber asks to make sure.
Well―――

Scene 17[]

―――I can't say for sure.
I owe Tohsaka, and most of all―――I personally don't want to fight against Tohsaka.

"...No. I can't say for sure yet.
There might be more to do even after we defeat the Master at my school. ...There's that monster called Berserker as well. If we can cooperate, we should cooperate for as long as we can."

"―――I see. I will obey if Master says so. ...But that will only make it harder for you. Please do not regret your choice when the time comes."
Saber bows and leaves.

"――――――――"
...I know.
The more we cooperate, the greater the likelihood that we'll fight in the end.

...I should try to be Tohsaka's enemy for as long as I can if I don't want to be mentally hurt.
Or else, what's going to remain is a big scar.
Because no matter which one of us wins, the survivor has to finish off the loser――――

Scene 18[]

...I guess that's true no matter how much I smooth this over.
Tohsaka will challenge me even if I refuse to fight.
If that happens―――it'll just be more painful for Tohsaka if I get killed by her without putting up a fight――――

"...Yeah. She'll be my enemy again after we defeat the Master at my school. That's what you want, right, Saber?"
"Yes. I do not have anything to say if you understand. We shall cooperate with Rin and have you experience more battles."
Saber bows and leaves.

"――――――――"
Battles are unavoidable as long as I'm a Master.
...We will eventually fight as long as we're alive.
When that time comes―――will I be able to fight Tohsaka like Saber said――――?

Scene 20[]

Everyone says "itadakimasu".
This is the first time I've had breakfast in a group of four, and it feels rather relaxing.

"Hm? This is a bit thin. Did you change something, Sakura?"
"Yes. I thought Saber-san wouldn't be used to miso soup.
So I didn't put too much miso in it."

"Yes. I like this miso soup better than last night's. But please cook at your leisure since I am used to Japanese food. It will be for our mutual benefit."

"R-Really!? Wow, you're using chopsticks. ......I'm surprised. You sure are multi-talented."

"I am used to it.
...But to be honest, chopsticks are tiring. I do believe it is better than fork and spoon, though."
"Yeah. Fork and spoon over chopsticks. Oh, that's not what you put on it. You have to put soy sauce on that."

"...I see. Thank you for your advice."
"No problem. I'll take a dried seaweed as a reward.
Give me seconds, Shirou."
"Here. Don't eat too much and fall asleep again."

"Sensei? I think you should hold back if you're going to be participating in the morning practice..."
"This is fine. I have to eat a lot to make it until lunch. And you're not one to talk, eating riceballs after the morning practice."

"――――! You knew about that, Sensei!?"
"Heh. I was watching you because you were in the corner acting suspiciously. You shouldn't, you know? A girl your age shouldn't eat two meals in the morning.
The devil comes down on your scale like a terrorist. According to my estimate, your weight right now is――――"

"No! Please don't, Sensei! I won't come cook anymore if you say it!"
"Man."
"A-And I only eat like that once in a while. It's not like I do it every day!"

"Really? I thought you made riceballs every day since you always cook extra rice."
"Y-Y-Y-Y-Y-Y-Y-You knew, Senpai!?"

"Haha, that won't do, Sakura-chan. Shirou's pretty sharp on details. I bet he knew from the first time you made it."
"First time? You mean during summer last year?"

"――――――――!!!!"
"...? Is there dust in the air, Sakura? Why are you waving your hands in the air?"

――――Breakfast proceeds like that.
The breakfast table is twice as loud as usual.
Then suddenly...[r]
"―――Over fifty victims were found earlier this morning, and they are undergoing treatment at a nearby hospital――――"
I see some disturbing news on the TV.

"...Huh? A gas leak in Shinto again? Wow, it's fifty people this time."

"Let's see... Nobody could contact the victims since last night, so some of their families called the company. But the guard found nobody in there... Why is that?
Why didn't the guard notice when they were in there, unconscious since last night? That's much more than neglecting your job."

Fuji-Nee must have lost her appetite as she stops eating her third bowl of rice.

"......"
Saber's watching the news with an intense expression.
...In that case, I'm not mistaken.
I don't know the motive, but this is something that's done by a Master.
I can say it's fortunate that nobody died just like all the other gas leak incidents――――

"Man, it's getting really dangerous.
You can't work in Shinto for a while. You have some money in reserve, so take a break during times like these, okay?"

"――――――――"
I'm happy that she's worried about me, but I can't reply to her.
I know this is no time to be working, but I'm sure I won't be able to come home as often, now that I'm in a war.
Then―――if I'm ever late, I'll have to lie to them that I'm working―――

After finishing the clean-up, I go to the front door.
Fuji-Nee and Sakura already left for their morning practice.

Saber is following me like she did yesterday.
But I can't let her do so today.
The weekends are fine, but there's no way I can take her to school on a weekday.

"Saber, this is as far as you're coming.
Stay here while I go to school. You'll attract a lot of attention if you come to school. Masters shouldn't stand out, right?"

"――――――"
She must not agree, as she protests silently.

"I'm saying it's all right. I won't be attacked where there are people, so the school's a safe place. In any case, I can manage protecting myself."

"――――!"
Saber's brow twitches.
She must have some argument about me being able to protect myself.

"Let me ask you. Does that mean you can beat the enemy by yourself?"

"Of course not. I'm saying I can avoid danger by myself during daytime.
I won't go to places with no people, and I'll come home before dark.
You can let me do so, right? You have to rest to preserve your magical energy, so you don't have to follow me."

"...I see. I have to believe in you if you say so."
Saber lets out a sigh as her shoulders slump.
...She's seriously worried about me.
I feel bad about turning her down.

"...I'm sorry, Saber.
But it's all right. And you'll know if I'm in danger, right? You can come to me if that ever happens."

"No. Our connection is weak. The only time I will sense your danger is when your life is in danger. It would be too late if I head out at such a time."
"Hm. Then I should call for you myself?"

"Yes. If you call for me in your mind, it will be transmitted to me, your Servant. ...Please use the Command Spell if you believe that will not be in time either. I shall be able to jump through space to aid you if I have its backup."

Jump through space...?
That's pretty much like sorcery.
The right to absolute obedience――――the Command Spell is that powerful?

"...All right. I'll try my hardest not to end up in such a situation. I'll come home before dark, so please stay here."
I wave her goodbye and open the door.
Then...

"...Yes. Please be careful, Shirou.
Your school is abnormal. Please be on guard all the time. And please do not go near Rin."
Saber says a strange thing with a serious expression.

"...? Are you saying Tohsaka will attack me at school? That's impossible."

She's a true magus.
She is bound by the Association's rule to avoid involving innocent people. And most of all, she wears the mask of an honor student.
I think she'll greet me normally if I do see her.

"...I would like to believe so. Rin is not the type to change her decision out of worry of how she appears to other people.
It seems she feels hostility against you, so it will do no harm to be on guard."
"Fine, fine. I know it's needless worry, but I'll be careful."

Scene 21[]

It's past seven o'clock.
It's later than usual, but I should still make it on time without hurrying.

It's 7:40.
I go through the gate, and as I make my way to the school building...
"――――――――"
I feel something strange and stop.

"...What is this? It's not like something's strange, right...?"

It's not like someone's watching me or that something looks different.
If anything, it's that it's not that lively.
It feels like the students, and even the trees and the buildings, are dull in color.

"...I bet it's just me. I'm sure that I'm stressed out from all the events that have been happening."
I close my eyes and rotate my shoulders.
...But.
The strange feeling doesn't disappear even after that.

I get up to the third floor and head to my classroom.
Then.
I run into Tohsaka.

"Yo."
I know her, so I greet her.
"[line11]"
But Tohsaka freezes as if she's seen a ghost.

"Tohsaka? What? Is there something on my face?"
I wipe my cheek with my uniform.
"[line11]"
But Tohsaka doesn't even reply.
She looks away from me and goes back to her classroom.

"......????"
What was that?
I don't think it's like her to ignore someone who greeted her.

"――――――――"
The strange feeling hits me again when I go into my classroom.
Someone might've brought snacks in here, as I smell a slight sweetness in the air.

"...The classroom's like always."
I head to my seat while greeting the guys.
There are about ten more minutes until homeroom starts.
I look around the room, and I notice a seat without a bag.

"Shinji's absent, huh?"
Come to think of it, he wasn't at the club yesterday either.
Shinji is actually quite punctual and he tries hard to follow the rules.
It worries me a bit that a guy like him has been absent for two days.

It's lunchtime.
I usually go to the student council room when I make my own lunch.
It's because the guys will take my food and the girls will make fun of me if I eat in the classroom.

"What's wrong, Issei? You're not eating lunch?"
"No, I just finished eating. I'm just really sleepy right now. Wake me up when lunch is over."
Issei then puts his head on the table.

"Did you stay up all night or something? I thought you had to go to bed at eleven at the temple."
"Yes... But I'm having difficulty sleeping lately. My fatigue won't go away no matter how much I sleep. So for the past few days, I've been sleeping whenever I get the chance."

"......? What is that? You shouldn't be sleepy if you're sleeping every time you get the chance."
"That's true. But sleep won't let me rest, so I have to sleep to rest.
...I know I'm contradicting myself, but I can't help feeling sleepy."

"―――Man, it's too early to be spring, you know?"
"In spring one sleeps a sleep that knows no dawn, huh? You certainly got me there."
Issei doesn't even try to get up.
...I guess it can't be helped.
It looks serious, so I'll stay here until lunch is over――――

"Huh? Someone's here, Issei."
"I don't care. Tell them the student council isn't open today."
"I can say so if you want... But I think it's Kuzuki-Sensei."
"――――. Hm, that's bad."

Issei gets up slowly and opens the door.
"Ryudou. It is about the archery club this morning――――"
Kuzuki-Sensei stops his words after seeing that I'm here.
Kuzuki Souichirou is the homeroom teacher of class 2-A and also in charge of the student council. He's a very strict teacher and quite blunt.

"Huh...? Then she didn't even go home?"
"Correct. We will probably call the police. I believe you know, but do not spread the rumor."

"―――I know. Then how about Matou? The student in the archery club said he saw her and Matou together."
"It is the same for him as well. Matou Shinji is absent today and his house is empty. His sister, Matou Sakura, was staying over at Fujimura-Sensei's house last night, so she does not know anything."

...Issei and Kuzuki are talking about disturbing stuff.
Summing up what they said, it seems that a student's been missing since last night, and Shinji's the last one to talk to that student――――

"Sorry to interrupt. I am sure the school's curfew will be set at an earlier time now."
Quickly stating his business, Kuzuki leaves the student council room.

"...Geez. Have you seen Shinji, Emiya?"
"No. I didn't go to the archery club this morning. You should know as well that he's absent, right?"
"I see. I hope that's the case..."

Issei's face clouds up.
―――Geez.
It's not something I should rudely butt in on, but it seems this concerns the archery club.
I'm sorry for Issei, but I should get some information out of him.

"Issei. Who is this person that hasn't been home? Well, I already know Shinji hasn't been home."
"Hm...? Well, you're no outsider, so I guess you can know."

"It all happened last night.
We got a contact from a family saying that their daughter had yet to come home from the archery club. When we contacted the students who actually went to the club, we found out it was Shinji that last talked to this student."
"――――"
Talked to Shinji...?

"Hold on. Shinji wasn't at the practice yesterday.
And I parted with everyone at the school gate."

"Yes, it seems you were there as well. But this is after that. When a student returned to school to get something he forgot, he saw Shinji in front of the archery range. It seems the missing student and Shinji were having a quarrel."

"――――――――"
I have a bad feeling about this.
...There's only one student that could've been there.

"Don't leave out the important detail, Issei. Who is this student that's been missing?"

"...Okay. Mitsuzuri Ayako, the captain of the archery club.
We do not know where she went after returning the archery range keys, and after someone saw her in front of the archery range."
Issei averts his gaze.

Classes end.
I don't know if that incident is the reason, but all clubs are canceled for today.

It seems the library is closed as well, so the students are going home in a hurry.
There's an announcement that all students are to go home unless they have some special business.
I'm the only one left in room 2-C.
I bet it's like this in other rooms, so I should hurry or there'll be nobody left in the school building.

"――――――――"
I should go talk to some people before that.
I can't go straight home after I found out Mitsuzuri's been missing.
She's firm, and she's stronger than most guys.
It's not a trivial matter that she's missing, and most of all, I can't ignore it as her friend.

"...Sorry, Saber. I have something to do."
I apologize to Saber and leave my classroom.
I should go talk to people in Mitsuzuri's class, room 2-A.

"Huh? ...Um, Ayako-chan is absent today because she's sick."
"Mitsuzuri-san's absent today. You should know that if you're in the archery club, right?"
"I'm telling you she's absent. Even devils get sick, huh? Her record of not being absent ends today, hahahaha."

That's all I could get from the girls in her class.
It seems everyone has been told that Mitsuzuri is absent because of illness.

"Sorry to interrupt. Don't tell her about this if she's here tomorrow."
I wave goodbye and leave.
If there's any place to go now, it'd be the archery range.

"―――No one's here. Well, duh. There are no club activities today."
The door to the range is shut tight.
It doesn't seem like anyone's inside, so it's meaningless to stay here.

"...I guess I'll talk to Issei. They might have some new information."
It's been three hours since lunch.
It might be possible that she's already been found and it turned out nothing was wrong at all.

Scene 22[]

"Well, I'll go get us some tea. Do you want some milk or sugar in your tea?"
"Uh――――I don't want either. ...Can you tell me one thing before that, Tohsaka?"

"What?"
"It's about what you said before. You said something about there being another Master at our school."

"Oh, that? Oh yeah, you wouldn't notice the boundary field set up there, huh? ...To put it simply, there's another Master at school who's doing things like what we just saw."

"――――――――"
...I recall the female student.
She was pale, and Tohsaka said she would've died if we hadn't found her.

"...So Masters don't only go after other Masters, huh?
It's like that priest said, but why would they do such a thing?"

"To win the Holy Grail War, of course. Servants can acquire more magical energy the more they feed on human minds.
The Master at our school wants to use everyone as sacrifices to make his or her Servant stronger."

"Wha―――using the students as sacrifices... Is that Master insane!?"
"Who knows? But there's a boundary field set up at our school.
It's not complete, but everyone inside will weaken and die once it's activated. Well, it's not like I'm going to let that happen."

Tohsaka explains with a cool voice.
...This must be something she's known for days.
She knew what she had to do and went to school, even though she told me not to.
She knew it's dangerous to be there, but she still went to stop the Master who set up the boundary field.

"[line12]"
"?"

...I'm ashamed of myself.
It's only natural for Tohsaka to get mad at me, who came to school without thought.
I wasn't prepared for anything, as I was trying to continue my peaceful everyday life.

"Hey, what's wrong? Why are you depressed? Did I say something bad...?"
She looks at me uneasily.
...I bet she's misunderstanding again.

"No, you're wrong. I just thought that I'd never be able to beat you."
I think it's wrong for me to apologize, so I try to tell her how I feel.

Tohsaka stares at me.
"...W-What? T-This isn't about that previous fight――――"

"I know. Emiya-kun, do you want to make peace for now?"
―――Then.
She attacks me with a smile that makes my heart jump.

"You mean a truce between us?"
"Yup. The Master at our school is ill-natured, and the enemy now knows about you. I personally want to take care of this other Master before you. So do you want to cooperate and look for this other Master?"

"――――――――"
I'm taken aback, but I think calmly.
No, there's no need to think.
What Tohsaka said is correct, and more than that, I cannot ignore this Master.
First of all, I decided to fight so that I can stop Masters that will hurt innocent people.

"How about it? I don't think it's a bad proposal."
"Yeah, it'll be great if you can help me."
I nod while staring back into her eyes.

"Hold on. It doesn't mean I'll be helping you. We're just promising that we won't attack each other."
"...I see. So it doesn't mean an enemy of an enemy is your ally, huh?"

"Nope. But you can trust me for now. I'll help you as long as you don't betray me."
She declares so.
This is so like her, and I am honestly thankful for this fortune that's been brought upon me.

"―――Great, then you'll be my ally forever. Please give me your best regards, Tohsaka."
I nod and hold out my right hand.
"――――H-Heh. I'm sure it won't last a long time, so at least be of some use to me, okay?"

Tohsaka sounds ungracious.
But I won't be tricked by it.
Because she puts out her right hand, and most of all, because she firmly shakes my hand.

"...I see. No wonder I thought it was strange. So you're not an official successor, huh? Your dad died before he handed down the Magic Crest to you, right?"

"I don't know. I don't think my father wanted to pass his Magic Crest on to me, and he was also against the fact that I wanted to be a magus."
"But he taught you magic, right? Isn't that contradictory?"

"Maybe. It seemed like he taught me magic because I wouldn't give up. He also told me from the beginning to be a magic user and not a magus."

We talk about unimportant stuff for a while.
"Since we're cooperating, I want to know about your family."
Tohsaka asked me that question, and it's now getting into how I learned magic.

Emiya Kiritsugu was a lone-wolf magus that came from the outside.
In contrast, Tohsaka's family has proper lineage and supervises this land.
Normally, a magus from outside must show good faith to the supervisor of the land, but Kiritsugu didn't do so.
Actually, he hid the fact that he was a magus.

As Tohsaka Rin is the head of the Tohsaka family, she is the supervisor of this land even though she's young.
She was entrusted with the supervision ten years ago, and it's only recently that she actually became able to protect the land.

Well, that's why the Tohsaka family never knew about Kiritsugu's existence, and why they didn't know about his son, who is a magus.

"...A magic user, huh? Then you really are an amateur. You don't have any knowledge other than the magic you can use, right?"

"That's right. I can only use the 'strengthening' magic. I only know a bit of other things. What I did before was just casting the strengthening magic on a desk to use as a shield. And that was the best magic I've ever done."

"Huh―――a-are you serious!? Why are you telling me something like that!?"
Then.
She gets mad like it's her own affair.

"Wait, is that something to be angry about?"
"H-Hey now... Look, Emiya-kun.
We are cooperating, but there are things we should still keep secret, right?
We should be hiding the scope of our power, and first of all, a magus has to keep his magic hidden at all costs."

"Really? But it's meaningless to keep it a secret now, right? It's true that it's not something to be telling people, but you're a magus. It's not a problem to tell you. And Father told me that magic is not something to hide desperately."

"――――What is that? Did your dad really say such a thing?"

"Yeah. I guess he wanted to tell me not to be bound by rules. He always told me that I shouldn't learn magic and that I could quit any time I wanted."

"――――――――!"
Tohsaka grits her teeth.
What's she so irritated about? She's showing enmity like never before.

"―――Don't be ridiculous.
Your dad's not a magus. If you're taught by such a character, I can't approve of you as a magus."

"Tohsaka? Calm down. Why are you so mad? Well, I know I'm no magus compared to you, but my father was a great magus."

"―――No, that's not what I want to say. What I can't forgive is that――――"
That what?
Then, Tohsaka's enmity disappears as if she's regained her composure.

"...I'm sorry. It was my fault. Everyone's ways are different. I'm proud of myself, so it's not my place to tell you something."

"...I don't get it. Did something annoy you? Um, like the method Father taught me, or is it my inexperience?"

"Yeah. I do have complaints about how inexperienced you are.
Like how you only know the strengthening magic after a few years of study, and how you tell me that weakness of yours."
Tohsaka smiles suggestively.
...Is it just me, or do I feel a chill?

"Ugh... You're right, I really regret it now. But I can't help it, right? I'm only good at strengthening magic, and my father's dead. I had no way of learning anything else."

"Yes, that's the limit of a single magus. Magi don't know when they're going to die, so they leave Magic Crests behind and cooperate with the Association."

"...What I got so angry about was how your dad never did anything against that.
'Magic' of a magus isn't just his magic.
Magic is something passed down from parent to child for many generations. It's the 'sum of their life's work'. The responsibility isn't just yours."

"So the first condition for being taught magic is that you will pass it on to later generations. A child born into a magus's family instantly becomes a successor and an inheritor.
――――We are born for that reason, and we also die for that reason."

"A magus's child isn't human from the start.
No, it is the duty of the 'magus' to change what is born human into something else through many years and hard training.
...That's why your dad isn't a magus. Your dad chose to be a parent over being a magus."

She looks away as she says so.
"......"
I don't know why Tohsaka's mad.
What Tohsaka thought when she was raised in this house...
How much she sacrificed to train as the daughter of a family of magi...
I can't put myself in her place, no matter how hard I try.

"――――Tohsaka. Is that why you considered me your enemy? Because I don't have the mindset of a magus?"

"...That's right. It's not that I hate you, but I can't approve of you.
...That's why I had to teach you a lesson! Is that bad!?"

"Well, it is bad――――but I appreciate your warnings.
I wouldn't have noticed the Master at our school if it wasn't for the thing today, and I wouldn't have been able to cooperate with you."
I stare at her for affirmation.

Tohsaka ponders for a bit.
"Geez, why is a guy like this Saber's Master!?"
She complains about something strange.

We've been talking so long, it's already gotten dark.
It's almost seven o'clock. ...Saber will get mad if I don't go home soon.

"So we'll look for the Master at school?"
"Right. We'll meet in the hallway after school tomorrow.
Oh, I'll have Archer guard you on your way home. I can't walk you home since I have things to do, but Archer's good enough, right?"

"Huh――――?"
I realize I've been forgetting about it all along.
This is Tohsaka's house, so it's not strange for Archer to be here.

"――――――――"
The knight in red, Archer, takes form.
"......"
Come to think of it, this is the first time I've actually faced him.

The man that almost got his head cut off by Saber that night.
The man that tried to shoot Saber along with Berserker.

"........."
...Is it because of such things?
I face him and instinctively feel that...
I hate him.
I probably will never be able to accept him.

"――――――――"
It must be the same for Archer as he stares at me with enmity.
...Heh, I appreciate that.
If he hates me, I can hate him back without holding back.

"Please do your best, Archer. We're cooperating now, so don't attack him."
"―――I know. I will follow my Master's order."

Archer disappears.
Since he can't go out there dressed like he is, it must mean he will guard me in spirit form.

Scene 23[]

...I walk through the night town.
It's still seven o'clock, so I still see people around.
I don't think any guard is necessary, but I can't turn down her goodwill.

"――――――――"
But maybe I should've refused.
...My nerves are getting strained.
There are goosebumps on my skin, and I might throw up if I let my guard down.

"――――――――"
I feel hostility from behind me.
The invisible guard is watching out for the one he has to protect.
...Man, how is he a guard?
The hostility I feel is definitely coming from the man behind me.

"This is fine. It might end up like that night if you go any closer to my house."
I tell the presence behind me.
Archer doesn't answer.
He just accepts my words and tries to leave.

"―――Wait. Don't you have something you want to say?"
I glare at the invisible guy.
The leaving presence stops.
He appears, with hostility still present.

"I have a better opinion of you. It seems you can at least feel hostility. Wow, I thought you were a pacifist who wouldn't even kill an insect."

"―――Don't mock me. I'm a magus. If my enemy wants to fight, I'll fight back."
I confront the knight in red.
He smiles as if to make fun of me and shrugs his shoulders.

"Don't be ridiculous. A magus that does not smell like blood is only a half-ass.
Didn't you learn so from your teacher, Emiya Shirou?"
"Wha――――"
My spirits weaken.
...Kiritsugu certainly said so.

Magi are tinged with blood.
It doesn't matter if you hurt or don't hurt anyone. This path is a path wet with blood.
Isn't that why Kiritsugu told me not to be a magus?

"...Are you saying you don't smell blood on me?"
"Of course not. You're not fit to be a Master in that regard either. You are different from Rin."
"―――What is that? Are you saying you can smell blood on Tohsaka?"

"Yes. She is rather kind-hearted, but she's merciless when she has to be. She wouldn't go around looking for other Masters every day if that wasn't the case."

"――――――"
She's looking for other Masters every day...?
That means she's fighting other Masters.
It's not like it's over once she finds a Master.
Then――――

"...Then she's doing something like what happened at school every day?"
The event at school.
The same thing that happened in the woods today...

"Of course not. I wish today would be the only case. It seems my Master of great skill and mind turns immature only when she's facing you."

"First of all, she doesn't need to cooperate with you with the skills she has.
But she's still doing meaningless things. I am against this cooperation――――but well, it cannot be helped. Servants obey their Master."

"Isn't that right, Emiya Shirou? It means that a Servant has to obey its Master, even if he turns out to be a useless amateur."
...Is he...
Talking about me and Saber?

"―――I see. I feel bad for Tohsaka, partnering with such a cynical guy."

"...Man, I'm stunned. Are you still saying such things?
I will warn you. Do not worry about your Servant's personality. We are summoned only to fight. We are only a tool bound by the Command Spell. You guys have total control over us, so ignore what your tool has to say."

"――――――――"
I can't tell him that's not the case.
What Archer, the one bound by the Command Spell, said is definitely true.
...I can't think of Saber as a tool, but it's true that Saber is bound by the Command Spell.

"So, why did you stop me? Do not tell me it's something as ridiculous as wanting to make friends with me."
"――――!"
...Ugh.
I don't have a reason.
I just didn't like him, so I wanted to complain to him.

"Um―――oh yeah. You want the Holy Grail as well, right, Archer?"
I ask an obvious question in desperation.
――――Then.

"Holy Grail―――? Oh, the evil treasure chest that is said to grant wishes, huh? I don't want such a thing. My wish cannot be granted by a thing like that."
The knight in red declares contemptuously.

"―――What...?"
That's contradictory.
Servants desire the Holy Grail.
Isn't that why they answer the call of the magus and become Servants...?

"Wait, what's with that? Then why are you a Servant?"
"It could not be helped over the course of the event.
I do not have free will. You must think we are answering the call by choice."

"Wh―――at?"
'Don't have free will'...?
Does that mean he was called against his will even though he doesn't want the Holy Grail...?

"How stupid of you. Did you really not think about it?
Look, a Servant is one that is summoned.
No, heroic spirits are summoned not out of their own will, but by the wills of others.
We become heroic spirits because of our achievements, and we become support for people in the future."

"―――But. Do you think that heroic spirits would really wish to be an aide to humans?"
"――――Well..."
...I don't know.
If they are called heroic spirits, they should be pure.
That's why I imagined them protecting people, but that's not the case for a lot of the Servants I've encountered.

"That's right. 'Heroic spirits' do not have a will.
Heroic spirits are there just to protect the people."

"We are only summoned when there are inconveniences, and we disappear after we finish our remedial measures.
We are beings that should not exist. We are not recognized even if we save the world.
These are the heroic spirits―――the ones of convenience that are called the guardian.
It is all over once we become one. Our wills are taken away."

"Wha――――"
One that is summoned only to disappear.
Heroic spirits are tools without a will?

"That can't be true. You and Saber have a will. ...You might have been summoned against your will, but don't you have a choice after you're summoned?
Saber's saying she won't do things that go against her will."

"Of course. We are Servants. I don't know who made this system, but this war is well-structured.
It gives form to what should only be a part of the main body, and we are summoned as the real heroic spirits.
As heroic spirits are given bodies, we can regain our humanity with them. Along with our former desires and grudges."

"That is why Servants seek the Holy Grail.
The Holy Grail should be able to fulfill our desires, and it will allow us to stay in this world as humans, even if it may be for a short while."

"Stay here as a human―――"
That must mean they can be set free as an individual and not a Servant.

...And to add, the Holy Grail has powers to grant wishes.
If it allows them to grant the wishes they had before they died, it's natural for Servants to cooperate with their Masters.
So the Holy Grail must be a miracle for the Servants as well.

"...How can you say you don't need such a thing? You can fulfill a wish you couldn't make come true, and you can even quit being a Servant."

"―――It is a simple story.
I did not have a wish I could not make come true."

"Huh――――?"
"I am different from others. I made my wish come true, died, and became a heroic spirit.
That is why I don't have any wishes, nor do I wish to stay here as a human. That must be the same for your Servant."

"D-Don't be stupid. Saber said she needed the Holy Grail. She's not like you, who's being a Servant without an objective."

"―――My objective?"
Archer murmurs.
"――――――――!"
Why is it?
It's just a normal murmur, but a chill runs through me.

"...Heh. It's the same even if you have or don't have an objective.
Ask your Servant if you're curious. Saber's objective is to obtain the Holy Grail, but she will not use it for herself. In that regard, she is an ideal guardian. She is literally a 'slave'.
―――Remember this.
If you are to be her Master, do not forget this."

His presence disappears.
The knight in red talks cynically until the very end and leaves.

Scene 24[]

"I'm home."
Even though I don't feel like it, I follow my habit as I go into my house.

I feel liveliness from the living room.
I bet Fuji-Nee's watching TV and Sakura's preparing dinner.
Saber――――is she in the living room?

"――――――――"
I recall Archer's words and shake my head.

I don't know what he wanted to say, nor do I want to know.
But it's stuck in my head and it won't go away.
A familiar called a Servant.
His honest opinion, scorning heroic spirits as mere cleaners.

"Oh. Welcome home, Senpai."
Even though she's in the middle of cooking, she comes out to greet me.
"I'm home. I'm sorry I'm late. How much of dinner's done?"

"I just started preparing. But I don't think I need your help. We're having stew tonight at Fujimura-Sensei's request."

"I see. There's certainly nothing I can help with."
Looking, I see that everything's been cut up already.
Knowing how good Sakura is, I bet all she has left to do is to cook it.

"―――Where's Saber? I don't see her in the living room."
"Saber-san is sleeping. She said she wanted to be woken up when you come home..."
"...Hm. Was Saber mad?"

"Um...... I don't think so. Saber-san always has sharp eyes."

...If Sakura's hesitating to say it, it must mean Saber's really mad.
It's only natural though, since I broke our promise of me coming home before dark.

"Oh, welcome home, Shirou. Saber-chan was really mad. She said she wanted to talk to you in the dojo after you got home."
Fuji-Nee says something really scary while she munches on a mandarin.

"―――Fuji-Nee. You didn't happen to tell Saber weird things, right? ...Um, like a person who breaks a promise should be punished by getting a beating with a shinai..."

"I did tell her. I told her she doesn't need to hold back."
"――――――――"
I see.
So my enemies aren't just other Masters. There is another one hiding here as well.

"Can I ask you something? Did you take Saber to the dojo? Did you tell her to use a shinai if she wanted to train?"

"Yeah. We fought a bit, but she's amazing. She doesn't know kendo, but she seems more like a swordsman than I do. Does she do fencing or something?"

"No, I don't think she does. I think she's more like you."
...Like how she swings around a big sword unmatched to her size, and how she attacks enemies like a wild animal.

"Well, I'll accept the punishment since it's my fault.
By the way, about Mitsuzuri. Do you know if she's home or not?"

"Huh? How do you know about that? I didn't think the news got out."
"I heard about her in the student council room. So, how is it? Did anyone find Mitsuzuri?"

I stare at Fuji-Nee.
Fuji-Nee's a teacher, even if she may not seem like one.
She keeps quiet about things she shouldn't talk about, and I'm sure she'd tell a lie to comfort a student.
So I have to stare at her to notice any changes while I ask about Mitsuzuri.

"So, Fuji-Nee. Has nothing changed?"
"...I guess it can't be helped. You look like you'll run out if I keep quiet, and it's not like this is a secret.
But this is a special case, you know? I'm only telling you since you're her friend."

"I know. I appreciate it, so tell me quickly."
"I'll tell you the results. Mitsuzuri-san was found earlier today. I'm sure the examination's over and she's home by now.
She's kind of confused, but she doesn't have any wounds and there's no danger to her life. ―――I can't tell you anything else. If you're her friend, ask her about it."

"――――I see.
So it wasn't serious, huh?"

...Thank God.
I don't know what Mitsuzuri got into, but I know it has something to do with the strange incidents happening in town.
It's likely that the source of it is this Master at my school.
I don't know what I would've done if something happened to Mitsuzuri.

"...Oh yeah. Sakura, can I talk to you for a bit?"
"――Yes? What is it, Senpai?"
"It's nothing much. I'm just wondering if you know anything about Shinji."

"Um... I'm sorry, Senpai. I spent the night here last night, so I didn't go home. I heard that he skipped school today, but..."

"So you don't know what he's up to, huh? ...Yeah, it's no surprise you don't know. Sorry. I asked you something stupid."

"No, that's not true...! I know about Nii-san more than anybody else, so I should know why he skipped school, right?"
"I don't think so. And it really helps when you're here."

...The event in the woods.
If the person there was really Shinji, he has to have some kind of connection with the Servant in black.
Then―――there's the worst case possibility that he is a Master.
If that's the case, wouldn't it be dangerous to let Sakura go back to her house?

"Senpai, what does that mean――――?"
"―――Sakura. Spend the night here tonight. You can use Fuji-Nee's clothes if you don't have a change."
"Eh――――S-Senpai, that's―――"

"It'd help me out if you can stay here for a while.
Well, you can go home if it's inconvenient for you."
...Oh.
But it's absurd. It's troubling to be asked so suddenly to stay over.

"I'm sorry for saying things to trouble you."
I bow my head and apologize.
―――Then.
"...Okay. I'll do as you want."
Sakura agrees so quietly that it's almost lost in the sound of the cooking stew.

Scene 25[]

Congratulations, everyone!
This is the true ending of Tohsaka-san's route!
Life is back to normal for Shirou. This is indeed a grand finale!
Well, everyone, let's meet next time in Fujimura-Sensei's route, "We don't need tiger"-
No way, you idiot!
Lies that sound like they're true are not allowed! We can't have anyone tricked into confusion in the Q&A corner!
You have grown strong, buruma.
Oh, Senpai! Hi, you look beautiful as always!
Just go on and explain the situation, buruma.
Osu! There are two ways to get to this bad end!
One is a simple mistake in your choice. Getting shot at after stupidly escaping forward.
And the other is a bit troubling, and that is the case where you come here from Saber's route.
To put it simply, you need to restart from the morning of the 4th day if the 5th day's title was "Unlimited Blade Works" even though the title on the 4th day was "Fate".
To put it more simply――――
Death to betrayers.
T-That's wrong, Senpai. We came to this bad end because the alliance was not formed. It's not that Shirou betrayed you.
......
Oh, she's gone...
Anyway, there are two ways to avoid this bad end!
Escape back when you're attacked by Rin! Or if the choice didn't even appear, you have to restart from the morning of the 4th day!
And a special tip for those that came here without seeing any ending!
Um, you can't clear Rin no matter what you do during your first play.
It'll be smart to fight along with Saber as her Master at least once.

Scene 26[]

Hi, this is everyone's support, the Tiger Dojo...
I don't feel like doing this... Snakes and spiders sure are scary.
I don't get it. What's wrong with you today, Taiga?
Well, I hate snakes. I hate spiders as well. I hate things that crawl in general.
Wow. But snakes are in sake. You like sake, right?
...Where did you get that wrong information...?
Anyway, snakes are bad. And she's a real witch to hang Shirou with a chain. I can see her Master's character from how she's acting.
Fu.
...Hey. Why are you two laughing?
Noooothing. I'm just thinking about how brave you are.
Only seven more times until you're dead.
Gaah!
You two sure are close! And what do you mean by seven more times until I'm dead!?
Who knows. I guess we can look forward to the 25th Tiger Dojo.
So. What shall we do about the usual training, dying master?
Hmm... I don't want to do it, but I will.
Well, Shirou should do his best without using the Command Spell. That is all.
What is that, dying master? That's not what you said before. You told us to go on and use the Command Spell.
It can't be helped since there are only two left. And it looks like this snake woman is testing Shirou, so it's dangerous to take the easy way out.
And don't call me dying master.
...Master. I'm beginning not to be able to tolerate this anymore.
I don't think it's forgivable to hit a lady's head.
No can do!
I have kept it a secret until now, but there's a petition that was sent to me.
"Please reeducate the selfish loli child with your powers, Sensei."
I have read this and decided to act like a devil to train you.
What is that? Who is this petition from?
That's a secret. Shirou has told me "please keep it a secret since she'll do terrible things to me if she finds out"!
Ohh. So the petition is from Shirou, huh?
Crap! No, it's not! I'm not a secret agent!
At the very least, please go easy on him!
Of course. Geez, what should I do to Onii-chan the next time I see him?
......
Well, everything is settled now! Please fight through the main story without seeing this devil child!

Scene 27[]

It's past seven o'clock.
It's later than usual, but I should still make it on time without hurrying.

It's 7:40.
I go through the gate, and as I make my way to the school building...
"――――――――"
I feel something strange and stop.

"...What is this? Is something strange...?"

It's not like someone's watching me or that something looks different.
If anything, it'd be that it's not that lively.
It feels like the students, and even the trees and the buildings, are dull in color.

"...I bet it's just me. I'm sure that I'm stressed out from all the events that have been happening."
I close my eyes and rotate my shoulders.
...But.
Even after that, the strange feeling doesn't disappear.

I get up to the third floor and head to my classroom.
Then.
I run into Tohsaka.

"Yo."
I know her, so I greet her.
"[line11]"
But Tohsaka freezes as if she's seen a ghost.

"Tohsaka? What? Is there something on my face?"
I wipe my cheek with my uniform.
"[line11]"
But Tohsaka doesn't even reply.
She looks away from me and goes back to her classroom.

"......????"
What was that?
I don't think it's like her to ignore someone who greeted her.

"――――――――"
The strange feeling hits me again when I go into my classroom.
Someone might've brought snacks in here, as I smell a slight sweetness in the air.

"...The classroom's like always."
I head to my seat while greeting the guys.
There are about ten more minutes until homeroom starts.
I look around the room, and I notice a seat without a bag.

"Shinji's absent, huh?"
Come to think of it, he wasn't at the club yesterday either.
Shinji is actually quite punctual, and he tries hard to follow the rules.
It worries me a bit that a guy like him has been absent for two days.

The day ends peacefully.
Classes are over and only a few students remain now.

"――――"
I don't have anything in particular to do.
I should go home before sunset like I promised Saber――――

"...It's not my imagination. Something's been strange since this morning."
I strain my nerves and search the surroundings.
...I feel something weird on my back.
Maybe my Magic Circuit can be easily opened now that I'm a Master. The Magic Circuit that almost appears senses a chill.

"...I still have time. I'll look around the building and go home if nothing's wrong――――"
I feel uneasy not having Saber next to me, but I can't have her walk around in school.
It shouldn't be that dangerous for me to search alone.

The sun is setting.
I searched the building while trying not to look suspicious, but I couldn't find anything weird.

"I guess it's useless by myself. I'll come and search again tonight."
I grab my bag and leave the classroom.

The sky is tinted red.
The sun is setting and it should get dark in an hour or so.

I get to the stairs.
When I start to go home, I hear a sound above my head.

"?"
I look up.
There――――
Tohsaka is standing at the top of the stairs.

"Oh, you're here too, Tohsaka?"
"............"
She doesn't answer.
First this morning and then just now... I think her glares are getting worse every time I greet her.

"What? I'm gonna go if you don't have any business with me."
I raise my bag to tell her that I'm going home now.

"――――――――Sigh."
...?
I don't know why, but Tohsaka sighs.

"I'm utterly amazed. Coming to school without your Servant. Are you sane?"
She murmurs without emotion.

"Of course I'm sane. I can't turn Saber into spirit form, so there's no way I can bring her to school."

"Then skip school. It's like asking for others to kill you if a Master is walking without its Servant.
...Do you know how stupid you are, Emiya-kun?"

"Wha―――I'm not stupid!
Don't say ridiculous things. Masters don't fight in front of people, right? Then it's out of the question to fight during daytime, and at a school at that."

".........Oh, then let me ask you. Are there people watching us now?"
"Huh――――?"
What's she talking about? I don't even need to check if there are people around――――

"Huh――――――?"
Why is this?
Conveniently, there is no one here.
There's no one in the third-floor hallway. I'm sure that's the same for the fourth and the second floor.

The red-tinted building is quiet.
I bet there are only teachers remaining on the first floor――――

"It seems you finally understand.
...Geez, I was more pissed than astonished this morning.
I told you so many times, but you still came to get killed."
Saying so angrily, Tohsaka rolls up her sleeve.
"――――?"
A slender, white arm.
On the feminine arm...
Something like a glowing tattoo appears.

"――――What?"
It's not a Command Spell.
Could that be――――? Even though I don't have one, it must be the proof of a magus, a Magic Crest.

"―――I don't even need to explain to you, right?
This is a crystallization of the magic passed down my family. I can cast any magic carved on here just by filling it with magical energy."
...Yes.
A Magic Crest is like an attached engine, separate from the Magic Circuit in a magus.
There's no difficult incantation or procedure to follow.
It is an ultimate hastening mechanism that runs the car called magic just by turning it on.
But the Magic Crest will not show up unless it is in use.
The Magic Crest is like a separate Magic Circuit that is formed by the magus putting magical energy into it.
"I told Archer to go home. The 'Gandr Shot' in the Magic Crest should be enough for you."
There's no emotion in her voice.
"――――――――"
That makes me realize that she's serious.

"You can run away, but that's just making it hard on yourself. I'm going to win in the end no matter what you do."
She coldly says so.
But my head's spinning.

Fight here...?
Why does it have to be here?
Why does it have to be now?
And why do I have to fight against Tohsaka――――?

"H-Hold on, Tohsaka! Are you insane? This is the school! Who knows who'll come up if we make a commotion―――"

"I'll think about it when that happens. I don't let chances in front of me slip by. I'm sorry, but I'm taking care of you right here and now.
...And besides, I don't think I can stand having you walk about carelessly."

"I-I said hold on...! I don't have any intention of fighting you―――"
"I do even if you don't! Just prepare yourself, Emiya Shirou―――!"

She moves her arm and starts the fight.

"――――――――!"
What sort of magic is it?
The instant she points her left hand at me, my vision is filled with light.

"......!"
It's about four steps forward to the stairs leading to the second floor.
This is no time to think. I―――

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