Definitely Not BL Wiki
Advertisement

Scene 00[]

I get to school an hour late.
The hallway's filled with students because it's breaktime.
The class must have just ended for 2-C, as many familiar people are coming out of the classroom.

"Yo. I don't know why, but Tiger was really pissed. You should be prepared for it in the fourth period."
"...Oh yeah. We have English today."

I greet the classmate that gives me the ominous news.
The instant I get to the door to go into my classroom...
"Hm――――?"
The world history teacher comes out.

"Good morning, Sensei."
"You were late, Emiya? We went over what would be covered in the exam. Be sure to get it from a friend later."
"O-Okay. I'm sorry for being late."

Kuzuki nods and leaves.
He's Kuzuki Souichirou, the iron teacher that teaches world history and philosophy, and is also in charge of the student council.
He's just as he looks, and he's a rare teacher that gains popularity as the students progress through school.

"Morning."
I go to my desk while greeting my classmates.
For a few seconds, I regret that I was late...

"Hey. You're here pretty late."
"?"
Someone greets me, so I turn around.
―――Then.
There's Shinji, strangely friendly.

"...Shinji? What's wrong? You're acting strange.
Did you not get enough sleep last night?"
I tell him what I'm thinking.
"――――――――"
He completely changes and glares at me... then he smiles again.
Shinji was strange yesterday, but he's even stranger today.

"Shinji? Don't tell me you were attacked. Damn, I told you so. If you're not going to fight, you should stay at home."
"......Shut up. Why are you talking like you're the boss?"
"...Shinji?"

"Or what? Are you conceited because you're friends with Tohsaka? ......Don't misunderstand, okay? It doesn't mean you're strong even if you cooperate with Tohsaka. I know you're happy that you got a strong Servant, but it's shameful to be conceited."

Shinji glares at me.
It doesn't seem like he has much composure.
"Oh well, it's good that you came. See, it would've been boring if you didn't come."
That must be all he wanted to say, as Shinji goes back to his seat, chuckling.

The classroom gets loud once it's lunchtime.
"―――Huh? Issei's already gone."
He must have gone to the student council room again because of his lack of sleep thing.
I made lunch today, so I would like to avoid eating it in the classroom――――

"Hm?"
The guys in the classroom are making a commotion.

"Hey, what's going on?"
I call out to them.
The guys that are secretly talking look at me with suspicious eyes.

"This is no time for questions. Look outside the classroom. But secretly, okay?"
...Gotou must have watched some strange TV program last night.

"――――What?"
Then.
Outside the classroom in the hallway is a person that's acting more suspiciously than Gotou and the others.

"It's Tohsaka from 2-A. Does she have some business in our classroom?"
"She has to. I've been peeking at her for a while, and she's been doing the same. She's peeking into our classroom in a casual yet bold manner. She passed our door seven times. No, that makes eight now."

"...Yeah, this can't be just coincidence. Is it just me or does she look like she's glaring? Doesn't she usually look calmer?"
"Oh, you think so too? Yeah, she's getting angrier the more she stays out there. It's harder to go near her now.
She must be irritated. Is something annoying her?"

"It seems like the person she's waiting for isn't noticing her, rather than not being here yet. It's like she hid a birthday present for someone, and she's really pissed now because that person hasn't noticed it even after a year."
"...Gotou, you give ridiculous examples. You're too accurate.
What were you? A general in your previous life?"

...The guys are saying whatever they want.
"......"
I timidly look out into the hallway again.

―――She's pissed.
I don't know what she's mad about, but I think Gotou-kun is right.

"――――――――"
Well.
What should I do?

Scene 01[]

...Tohsaka must want to talk to me.
But I'm curious why she's acting that way.
Considering Tohsaka, she would drag me out if she has business with me. So why is she acting like an ordinary schoolgirl?

"...I want to ignore her, but I guess I can't... More than anything, I'm scared of what she'll do to me if I do ignore her."
I get up with my lunchbox.
I prepare myself for the questioning I'll get from the guys after I get back.

"Tohsaka. What are you doing here?"
"I-I'm taking a walk! It's natural for me to eat lunch during lunchtime, right?"

...Tohsaka's acting too suspicious.
She's restless and doesn't try to look me in the eyes.

"Oh, okay. Then you can continue with your walk.
I'm going to go eat in the student council room."
I wave her goodbye and turn around.

"H-Hold on! You're doing this on purpose, right!?"
"?"
I turn around.

"Hey now, Tohsaka. I don't know what happened, but I don't understand it like that. If there's something you want to tell me, go ahead."
"――――――――"
Tohsaka's looking at me hesitantly.
...Hmm.
Could it be...?

"Did you forget your lunch money? I can't give you my lunch, but I can lend you some money."
"......! You're so wrong, you idiot!!"

Tohsaka barks out.
The hallway goes quiet.
After a few seconds, everything resumes as if nothing has happened.

"――――――――"
...I see. Everyone protected their reality by ignoring what happened.
There's no way that the perfect, beautiful honor student, the school idol, Tohsaka Rin, would scream out the word "idiot" in the hallway.
Therefore, what happened in the past minute was completely erased from their memory.

"......"
...I envy them.
I want to amend my memory from about four days ago.

"―――So? If it's not lunch money, what is it?"
"Uh... Y-You're having lunch now, right? Do you want to come with me? I know a better place than the student council room."

Tohsaka says so while looking at me from time to time.
...Oh.
She just wants to talk to me because she wants to have a strategic meeting.

―――Wait.
This is a "better" place?

Scene 02[]

I don't know what'll happen if I go out into the hallway.
Tohsaka's possible scheming does not even need to be mentioned, but I'll get bashed if the guys see me talking to the class idol, Tohsaka Rin.

"I'll ignore her. I'll pretend I didn't see her."
I take my lunch out of my desk.
...It's dangerous to eat my lunch in the classroom, but it's more dangerous to go out into the hallway and be caught by Tohsaka.

I'll hide myself in this classroom today.
I'm sure Tohsaka won't have the means to break through the impenetrable protection of the lunchtime classroom.

"Huh? Tohsaka-san went back to class A."
"Oh, so we'll never know why she was here?
...Well, maybe she was just taking a walk. Tohsaka seems to do crazy things from time to time, right? Do you know the story of how she almost jumped off the rooftop trying to dump a third year that wanted to go out with her?"

"You're wrong. It's the third year that almost jumped off. She said she'd go out with him if he would stand on the edge of the roof for an entire day with her. That guy didn't come to school for days after that.
...But I wonder why she did such a thing.
Tohsaka-san's the type that would come out and say no."

"Oh, that? According to Tohsaka, it's the theory of falling in love on a bridge. She thought she wouldn't be able to love him, so she tried to spend a day with him under a tense state to see if she would fall in love with him. She's amazing, as it's nothing us lowly people would ever think of."

"......"
I stop as I open my lunchbox.
...Tohsaka had such a legend, huh? ...All right, I'll be careful next time I go to the rooftop with her.

"Huh? How fortunate, Tohsaka-san's back!"
"...But she's different now. She was about ready to kill before, but she's so calm now that I feel a chill."
"That's the smile of an angel. I think it shows her determination of 'if that's the way you're going to be, I won't hold back on you either'."

"―――Hm?"
I feel a terrible chill.
It must be because of Saber's training, as my ability to sense danger is sharper.

"......"
I take a peek out into the hallway.
Tohsaka's standing there smiling with an eraser that she must have brought from her classroom.
At that instant...

The eraser she threw hits me right in the forehead.
"What!? Emiya-kun suddenly flipped over...!?"
"No way! What did you do, Emiya? Was there a banana peel under your chair!?"
"Is that a ninja move!? Is it, Emiya!?"
"Oh... ouch――――"
Everyone makes a commotion over the strange incident.
They surround me, who's turned over along with my chair, and watch me with worried... no, with curious looks.
"Thanks... Wait, what did it look like to you, Gotou?"
"Hm? You just did something like a flip. It seemed like you did a flip while sitting in that chair."
Gotou-kun requests that I teach him how to do it.
Well, I'm sure it'll be a good laugh if he does a flip like that the instant a teacher points at him, so I can understand how he's jealous of me.
But that's not the problem right now.

The devil that shot the eraser-bullet is looking at me to shoot another one.

"Sorry, Gotou. I'll talk to you later. I have urgent business."
The desk is safe, so I grab my lunch and get up.
...But it hurts.
More so than the hip I hit, the forehead where the eraser hit me is hurting.

"Tohsaka, you...!"
I scream at the shooter while holding on to my red forehead.

"Heh, it's your fault for standing there absent-mindedly.
It's nice to eat lunch peacefully, but you're in no position to do so, right?"

"Hm... But flipping a person over is doing too much. I would've died if I was unlucky."
"No way. You don't have a body that'll die so easily.
...Well, I don't care about that. I want to talk to you, so follow me."

"Talk with me? Are we going to have a strategic meeting?"
"Of course. Let's hurry. We don't have much time since you were taking your time. Lunchtime will end unless we hurry."

She looks away awkwardly and starts walking.
"......?"
Is it just me?
It looks like Tohsaka's not doing well...

So.
She brings me to the empty rooftop.

Scene 03[]

"Hm, I guess Tohsaka knows a lot of people."
I don't know who she wants to talk to out in the hallway, but it's not something I should butt into and trouble her.
First of all, everyone in this classroom――especially Gotou-kun――will bash me if they see me talking to the classroom idol.

"Let's eat lunch. I have to get some energy in preparation for after school."
I take my lunch out of my desk.
The raiders that usually steal my food are busy watching Tohsaka, so I should be able to eat safely in my classroom today.

"Huh? Tohsaka-san went back to class A."
"Oh, so we'll never know why she was here?
...Well, maybe she was just taking a walk. Tohsaka seems to do crazy things from time to time, right? Do you know the story of how she almost jumped off the rooftop trying to dump a third year that wanted to go out with her?"

"You're wrong. It's the third year that almost jumped off. She said she'd go out with him if he would stand on the edge of the roof for an entire day with her. That guy didn't come to school for days after that.
...But I wonder why she did such a thing.
Tohsaka-san's the type that would come out and say no."

"Oh, that? According to Tohsaka, it's the theory of falling in love on a bridge. She thought she wouldn't be able to love him, so she tried to spend a day with him under a tense state to see if she would fall in love with him. She's amazing, as it's nothing us lowly people would ever think of."

"......"
I stop as I open my lunchbox.
...Tohsaka had such a legend, huh? ...All right, I'll be careful next time I go to the rooftop with her.

"Huh? How fortunate, Tohsaka-san's back!"
"...But she's different now. She was about ready to kill before, but she's so calm now that I feel a chill."
"That's a smile of an angel. I think it shows her determination of 'if that's the way you're going to be, I won't hold back on you either'."

"―――Hm?"
I feel a terrible chill.
It must be because of Saber's training, as my ability to sense danger is sharper.

"......"
I take a peek out into the hallway.
Tohsaka's standing there smiling with an eraser that she must have brought from her classroom.
At that instant...

The eraser she threw hits me right in the forehead.
"What!? Emiya-kun suddenly flipped over...!?"
"No way! What did you do, Emiya? Was there a banana peel under your chair!?"
"Is that a ninja move!? Is it, Emiya!?"
"Oh... ouch――――"
Everyone makes a commotion over the strange incident.
They surround me, who's turned over along with my chair, and watch me with worried... no, with curious looks.
"Thanks... Wait, what did it look like to you, Gotou?"
"Hm? You just did something like a flip. It seemed like you did a flip while sitting in that chair."
Gotou-kun requests that I teach him how to do it.
Well, I'm sure it'll be a good laugh if he does a flip like that the instant a teacher points at him, so I can understand how he's jealous of me.
But that's not the problem right now.

The devil that shot the eraser-bullet is looking at me to shoot another one.

"Sorry, Gotou. I'll talk to you later. I have urgent business."
The desk is safe, so I grab my lunch and get up.
...But it hurts.
More so than the hip I hit, the forehead where the eraser hit me is hurting.

"Tohsaka, you...!"
I scream at the shooter while holding on to my red forehead.

"Heh, it's your fault for standing there absent-mindedly.
It's nice to eat lunch peacefully, but you're in no position to do so, right?"

"Hm... But flipping a person over is doing too much. I would've died if I was unlucky."
"No way. You don't have a body that'll die so easily.
...Well, I don't care about that. I want to talk to you, so follow me."

"Talk with me? Are we going to have a strategic meeting?"
"Of course. Let's hurry. We don't have much time since you were taking your time. Lunchtime will end unless we hurry."

She looks away awkwardly and starts walking.
"......?"
Is it just me?
It looks like Tohsaka's not doing well...

So.
She brings me to the empty rooftop.

Scene 04[]

The fifth period is about to end.
Tohsaka's explanation has ended, so I decide to ask her about another magus, about Shinji.

"Hey, Tohsaka. I heard Shinji's family―――the Matou family is a family of magi. Did you know that?"

"Yes, I did.
But my dad told me the Matou family declined in the past few decades. He said that the Matou family doesn't have the bloodline of magi now.
That's true. That's why I was surprised to hear that Shinji became a Master."

I see, so she did know, huh?
That's to be expected because she supervises this land and knows about all the magi with a history that live here. So she should know that Shinji's a Master――――wait, hold on......!!!!!!"

"Tohsaka! You knew that Shinji's a Master!?"
"Ahaha. I'm sorry. I guess my thinking he couldn't be a Master backfired."
Tohsaka says so as if it's nothing.

"......?"
That's strange.
She's looking for the third Master at our school, but it seems like she's not considering Shinji to be a problem at all...

"Tohsaka? Shinji's a Master, right?"
"Yes. But that shouldn't be such a problem. He doesn't have any magical energy, so he shouldn't be able to do anything outrageous.
Our enemy is the Master hiding at our school. Shinji doesn't have the presence of a Master, so he's not the one we're looking for."

"...? Then does that mean there's actually four Masters at our school?"
"I would think so. Well, I don't think Shinji would interfere since I told him not to do anything."

...She makes another worrisome statement.
No, first of all, how did Tohsaka find out that Shinji's a Master...?

"Tohsaka. Can you tell me what happened this morning in detail?"
"...? There's nothing much to talk about since Shinji was the one who told me.
He asked me if I wanted to cooperate with him since he's a Master as well."

"――――――――"
I'm starting to get a bad feeling about this, but I can't stop her here.

"So what happened after that?"
"I declined, of course.
...But he still kept on being persistent. So I unintentionally said that I don't need him since I have you, Shirou."
Tohsaka laughs as if it's a funny story.

"........."
That must be why Shinji was acting strange today.
But――――

"...So what will you do? Are you going to ignore Shinji? Shinji's the one that set up the boundary field at our school, right?"
"―――――What?"

Tohsaka freezes.
...I thought so. She didn't know Shinji made the boundary field, huh――――!?

"You're wrong, Tohsaka. Shinji is certainly not a magus. But he's the one that set up the boundary field. I think his Servant excels at magic like Caster――――"
Tohsaka grows pale.

"Tohsaka. You didn't know?"
"...I did. I knew the boundary field was made by a Servant, but..."
She couldn't make the connection to Shinji, huh?

...I recall how Tohsaka was acting until now.
I bet Tohsaka was so worried about what happened last night that she couldn't think about Shinji.
It must be the biggest mistake she's made in her life.

"Crap, Shinji might be―――"
She gets up instantly and glares at the exit.
At that instant...
The disorder is revealed, as if it was carefully timed.

"Boundary field――――!"
The sky is tinted red.
My body is numbed just by breathing in the red air surrounding the school.
...It doesn't affect magi that can create magical energy inside their bodies, but people with scarce magical energy will faint just by breathing it in and should eventually die――――

"Tohsaka―――!"
"I know, let's hurry, Shirou―――!"

The school is red all around.
The hallway is red like blood.
The air is red like blood.
The thick air sticking to my skin makes me hallucinate that this might just be a bad dream.

"Kuh――――"
Breath filled with hatred escapes my closed mouth.
I pour reasoning onto my confused and heated brain as coolant, and I try to grasp the situation.

I run into the classroom, the one nearest to the stairs.
"......!"
Tohsaka stops for a second, hesitant to enter this disastrous scene.

"――――――――!"
...I understand how she feels.
I don't want to encounter such a thing either.

"―――They're still alive. It doesn't mean we won't make it."
I go near a student and check his pulse and breathing.
...There's no conscious person in this classroom.
Everybody, including the students at their desks and the teacher up front, are down on the floor now.

Most of the students are unconscious, convulsing, foaming at the mouth like it's a bad joke.
...The few others...
A few students have other things happening to them.

...Their skin is melting.
The human skin is slowly melting like mud sliding off of plaster.
The way the melting skin drips onto the floor makes me picture a giant stomach.

Tohsaka is astonished by the horrific scene.
"――――――――"
There's no time to think.
To resolve this situation as fast as we can, I should――――

Scene 05[]

―――There's no time to stop and ponder.
If this is a boundary field made by Shinji's Servant, we just have to go get the cause right away...!

"Tohsaka, let's search through the building. We can't have any more victims...!"
I grab Tohsaka, who's still standing still, and run.

"H-Hold on, Emiya-kun. We probably won't make it...! If our enemy's a Servant, we have to have a Servant too, or we'll just get killed even if we find Shinji."

"――――I-I see. But..."
She says we should call for Saber, but we won't make it if we wait for her to come here...!

"Use your Command Spell. I'll call Archer as well. Saber should be able to come here in an instant if you summon her using your Command Spell."
She says so while biting her lip.
It seems she's got herself together, but her usual cool isn't there yet.

"―――Hold on. I'll be the only one to use the Command Spell. If there's only one enemy, Saber is enough."
...And...
If this is the doing of Shinji's Servant, our enemy is that black Servant.
I fought her the day before yesterday. Saber should be able to beat that Servant by herself――――

"Is that fine, Emiya-kun...?"
"Yeah. You used your Command Spell yesterday. So it's my turn today. We can call for Archer if Saber can't handle the situation by herself.
―――So, how do I use the Command Spell!?"

"...Concentrate on your left hand. It's better if you close your eyes. Imagine the shape of your Command Spell and release it. Give an order while you release it, of course."

I close my eyes.
I can't take my time.
I eliminate any thoughts in my head as quickly as I can,
concentrate on my second Command Spell,
"――――Please. Come, Saber――――!!!!"
...And I release the Command Spell without any hesitation.

"――――!"
My hand burns.
At the same time, I feel an unnatural heaviness right beside me―――and a knight in silver emerges from the heavy "void".

"Saber...!"
"I have come in response to your summons. What is the situation, Master...? It is grave enough for you to use your Command Spell, correct?"

"―――It's just as it looks. A Servant activated this boundary field.
I want to remove this boundary field as fast as possible."
"I understand. I certainly feel the presence of a Servant on this floor."

"This floor...!? The Servant's on the fourth floor!?"
"I am sure of it. ...What about it, Rin?"

"Huh―――no, I'm sure that's the case if you say so, but that's too strange. I can feel that the origin of the boundary field is on the first floor. I'm sure your skill to detect a Servant is superior to mine, but my skill to detect magic is pretty good too."

"...? So you're saying that the Servant is on this floor even though the boundary field was set up on the first floor?"
"Uh... I can't say for sure, but that's what I feel.
The source of the boundary field has to be on the first floor."

"――――――――"
So there are two alternatives, huh?
If Shinji arranged for his Servant to come to this floor, one has to be a trap.
Everyone in this school will pay the price if we make the wrong choice――――

"Rin. Where is Archer? We can make a better analysis if he is here."
"He's not answering me! This boundary field has us totally cut off from the outside world. I have to use the Command Spell or we'll have to wait for him to detect this and come here."

"――――――――"
Tohsaka and Saber glare at each other.
But now's not a time to be doing so.
...Think.
Tohsaka doesn't have her composure.
The best thing we can do right now is――――

Scene 06[]

―――That's the best choice we have.
If Shinji's Servant created this boundary field, I just need to call for Saber―――!

"Tohsaka, I'm calling for Saber...! Tell me how to use the Command Spell."
"Eh―――h-hold on, if you're going to call for Saber, I'll also――――"

"You used your Command Spell yesterday. So it's my turn today.
We can call for Archer if Saber can't handle the situation by herself! So, how do I use the Command Spell!?"

"...Concentrate on your left hand. It's better if you close your eyes.
Imagine the shape of your Command Spell and release it. Give an order while you release it, of course."

I close my eyes.
I can't take my time.
I eliminate any thoughts in my head as quickly as I can,
concentrate on my second Command Spell,
"――――Please. Come, Saber――――!!!!"
...And I release the Command Spell without any hesitation.

"――――!"
My hand burns.
At the same time, I feel an unnatural heaviness right beside me―――and a knight in silver emerges from the heavy "void".

"Saber...!"
"I have come in response to your summons.
What is the situation, Master...? It is grave enough for you to use your Command Spell, correct?"

"―――It's just as it looks. A Servant activated this boundary field.
I want to remove this boundary field as fast as possible."
"I understand. I certainly feel the presence of a Servant on this floor."

"This floor...!? The Servant's on the fourth floor!?"
"I am sure of it. ...What about it, Rin?"

"Huh―――no, I'm sure that's the case if you say so, but that's too strange. I can feel that the origin of the boundary field is on the first floor. I'm sure your skill to detect a Servant is superior to mine, but my skill to detect magic is pretty good too."

"...? So you're saying that the Servant is on this floor even though the boundary field was set up on the first floor?"
"Uh... I can't say for sure, but that's what I feel.
The source of the boundary field has to be on the first floor."

"――――――――"
So there are two alternatives, huh?
If Shinji arranged for his Servant to come to this floor, one has to be a trap.
Everyone in this school will pay the price if we make the wrong choice――――

"Rin. Where is Archer? We can make a better analysis if he is here."
"He's not answering me! This boundary field has us totally cut off from the outside world. I have to use the Command Spell or we'll have to wait for him to detect this and come here."

"――――――――"
Tohsaka and Saber glare at each other.
But now's not a time to be doing so.
...Think.
Tohsaka doesn't have her composure.
The best thing we can do right now is――――

Scene 07[]

Tohsaka calls me after dinner.
I guess there wasn't as much damage as we thought there would be at school.
It must be because the one who set up the boundary field, Rider, died quickly.

...I hear the students that were in the same classroom as Rider need to stay in the hospital for a long time, but most students just have anemia.
School's not going to close down, and we'll be having classes like normal tomorrow.

"Shirou, what did Rin say?"
"She said school's going on as normal. So we'll go to school tomorrow and look for Caster's Master."

"...I see. So nobody in that building suffered seriously?"
"Except for a few. Oh, I think Fuji-Nee's not home because she's busy with a staff meeting or something."

"That is good. Knowing Taiga, I am sure she would be sitting at the breakfast table tomorrow like nothing had happened."
Yeah, that's a relief for me as well.
Well, since her energy is extraordinary, I stopped worrying about her when I heard everyone's all right.

"―――Then Shirou. Continuing that conversation from earlier..."
She leans over the table with a serious face.
"...Ugh. So you haven't given up yet?"

"Of course not. I will sleep in your room so we won't repeat last night's mistake. There is nothing for you to complain about, right?"
"――――――――"
I do have complaints.
Having Saber sleep in the same room as me is like telling me to die.

"Shirou. First of all, it is your fault for being affected by such a long-range hypnotism.
I cannot protect you from Caster's magic, so it is natural for me to at least stay in the same room."

"Magic can be better sensed the closer I am to it. If Caster is to go after you, I must sleep close to you."
"Well, that is a very sound argument, but..."
I think that Caster won't use the same strategy since she failed once.

I think so, but if I say that to Saber right now...
"――You are too optimistic! You were deceived by a heretic like Caster and insulted by someone with a twisted personality like Archer because you think like that!"
...I bet she would object like that...

"Are you listening to me, Shirou!? I will not listen to excuses such as me being a woman! I will be sleeping in your room starting tonight, so please do not run away to the shed, okay!?"
Saber glares at me and makes her declaration.

...Ugh, so she even anticipated that I was going to run away to the shed.
I'll hold my ground and try to get her to agree on a compromise.

"―――All right. I'll have you sleep near me."
"So you finally accept it, huh? Yes, that is the natural choice for a Master."

"But not in the same room. You know there's an empty room next to mine, right? The one on the other side of the sliding screen?"

"...? Yes, I know, but what about it?"
"Um, that place should be good enough to protect me while I'm asleep, right? No, first of all, the enemy won't come in if we're sleeping in the same room.
So you should stand by in the next room so that you can surprise attack the enemy when they come for me."
Oh, I think this sounds pretty logical.

"That's fine, right, Saber? Honestly, I don't know about two people sleeping in that small room. We can't physically fit. I think it's bad for a Servant to be the cause of her Master's lack of sleep."

"Hm... You are rather witty tonight, Shirou.
I understand. It sounds like an excuse to me, but I am fine with that. I will compromise on that plan."
Saber reluctantly withdraws.

"――――――――Phew."
Good.
Man, being a Master is hard enough.
If I sleep in the same room as Saber on top of that, I bet my brain will overheat.

―――And the chaotic day comes to an end.

It's becoming more like a habit now as I trained with Saber until eleven and spent an hour doing my routine in the shed.
I get back to my room when the date changes. I hear Saber's breathing from the next room.

"――――――――"
My heart jumps at that, but I try to calm down as I get into my futon.
I close my eyes, shake off any wicked thoughts, and tell myself to go to sleep as fast as I can.

".........Man, I can't sleep that easily."
I try not to be conscious of Saber and recall what happened today.
The red school...
The boundary field of blood that would have created lots of victims if we hadn't stopped it.

"――――――――"
That causes my restless mind to stop.
The students on the floor of the red classroom.
She was desperately bearing all of it: Rider on the floor and the students that looked like they were dead.

...Oh, I remember now.
At that instant, I figured out the deep part of her.

―――I'll kill you the next time we meet.
Because we're enemies, right?

She acted as a magus, but she never crossed the final line.
She's firm, strong-willed, and magnificent, but she's outrageously good-natured.

That difference must be her burden.
...How clumsy of her.
The more she tries to act as a magus, the more she kills her true self as Tohsaka Rin.

"―――Oh, wait. I can't be talking about other people."
I sigh and pull the blanket over my head.
...Well...
I guess there's something wrong with me...
...For thinking that I want to be a support for such a perfect girl.

Scene 08[]

"―――――――All right."
We'll go search the first floor.
I feel sorry for letting Saber fight by herself, but she should be able to take the Servant on by herself.

"―――Saber, I'll leave the Servant up to you. Can you fight by yourself?"
"Of course. What will you do, Shirou?"

"I'm going down to the first floor. I might be unreliable by myself, but I'm sure it'll be all right if Tohsaka's with me. Besides, only Tohsaka can detect magical energy. Let's go together, Tohsaka."

"Eh――――y-yeah, of course. I was going to go by myself if you didn't ask me."
Then it's decided.
So now――――

"Hey, what are you doing!? Are you insane, breaking a chair like that?"
"We need a weapon, right? I can only use strengthening magic, so I need something I can strengthen."

I swing the leg of the chair.
―――It's exactly like the time I got attacked by Tohsaka.
I easily succeed at the strengthening magic, and I also take another leg while I'm at it.

"Shirou. I feel weak presences outside. It seems we are surrounded."
"!? Surrounded by what!?"
"I do not know. We only need to go out and check."

"――――You're right. Can you take the lead?"
"Of course. It is my duty to be your shield."
Saber runs out into the hallway.

"Let's go, Tohsaka――――we'll go down to the first floor...!"

"――――!"
The instant we go out into the hallway, we find out what's surrounding us.
Are those bones?
Things made out of inhuman bones are coming in great numbers from the other side of the hallway...!

"What is that, Tohsaka...!?"
"Golem, it's a kind of a familiar! Just come this way! Saber will take care of them! They won't be a match for Saber no matter how many hundreds of them there are!"
"―――! I'll leave it to you, Saber!"

I run to the stairs.
The sound of Saber destroying the bones echoes behind me.

―――We run down the stairs.
It's not that far to the first floor.
But――――

"Damn you――――!"
I smash the blocking bone creature with the chair leg in my hand.

"Ha――――Haa, haa――――!"
This is the third one already.
It might be because I saw the disaster, but I don't care about confronting these monsters.

In other words, my mind is numb.
My proper emotions such as hatred, fear, sadness, and cowardice have all frozen up.
The only thing filling my head is the desire to get to the first floor.
I take the two swords in my hands and swing them like I saw him use them――――!

"Hey, don't go that way――――!"
I smash the fourth bone creature.
The bone creature that tried to attack Tohsaka from the side gets smashed and smacked into a wall.

"Hey, are you all right, Tohsaka――――!?"
I call out to her while fending off the attackers.
"――――――――"
Good, Tohsaka isn't hurt at all――――!

"Tohsaka, where's the origin of the boundary field!?"
"Eh―――it's right there! It's in that classroom!"
The place Tohsaka points at is about ten meters ahead.
There are a few more bone creatures that followed us down the stairs.
But we don't have time to deal with them...!

I parry the attacking sword with the weapon in my right hand.
I attack the defenseless body with the weapon in my left hand.

I destroy the fifth bone creature.
But there are more of them.
There are at least ten bone creatures in the hallway...!

"Damn, they're persistent...! Why don't you guys run out―――!?"
I retreat a bit.
The chair legs in my hands are worn down.
Even though I strengthened them, they are originally only stainless steel.
I don't know if they'll hold even for one more attack――――

"Get back, Shirou...!"
"Huh...?"
I'm surprised, but I back up like she tells me to.

At that instant...
Tohsaka jumps out in front of me and throws a jewel at the bone creatures.
"Ein K[ouml]rper ist ein K[ouml]rper―――!"
She fills my vision with pure white.

"――――――――"
That must have been some sort of a release spell.
There is no sign of destruction in the hallway, and only the scattered remains of the bone creatures are there.

"Thanks, you helped me out. I rarely use the topaz, so it took me some time to get it ready.
...I would've been overwhelmed if you weren't with me."
She lowers her shoulders in relief.
But she only does so for an instant and glares at the classroom.

"Let's go. Shinji should be there."
Tohsaka runs to the classroom.
I follow her and step into the red classroom.

――――It is a pure hell here.

The air in this classroom cannot be called gas anymore.
The vaporized blood dyes the eyes of the beholder like paint.
Voices of anguish can be heard from all over.

―――This is the origin of the boundary field, the place where "absorption" is the strongest.
The students lying on the floor are totally different from the students on the fourth floor.
...The moanings I hear are just hallucinations.
The students have pale faces, and they don't move as if they are dolls made from wax.
It reminds me of a mountain of corpses, trash thrown away in a wasteland.

Tohsaka is staring at the scene, her legs shaking.
I hear a chattering sound.
It must be to suppress her emotions. Tohsaka's teeth chatter as she beholds the scene in horror.

"――――――――"
She moves her shaking legs and steps forward.
Between the desks...
There's a living person there.
On his butt amongst all the fallen students, Matou Shinji is looking up at Tohsaka.

"Shinji, you...!"
A stern voice.
He must have reacted to the voice.
Shinji lets out a strange cry and jumps away from Tohsaka.

"―――I'm not going to accept any excuses. I'll have you atone for what you've done no matter what."
Tohsaka goes near Shinji.

"N-No, no, nonononononono......! It's not me, it's not me, it's not me, it's not me......!!!!!"
Shinji shakes his head and retreats to the wall.

"'It's not me'...? How can you say that?
Just go ahead and stop the boundary field. If you won't, I can blow off that face of yours and――――"
"Ah――――u-uhh, no, I said no, it's not me, it's not me, it's not me that killed her......!!!"

"......?"
This is strange.
Shinji is running away from Tohsaka, but he's not looking at her.
He's looking at the floor―――right by our feet.

"By our feet...?"
I look down.
There are only students that fell unconscious.
There isn't anything... else――――

"――――――――Tohsaka."
I call out to her and point to the place.

"Huh―――?"
A stunned voice.
She must have forgotten her anger towards Shinji.
The instant she sees the thing on the floor, Tohsaka's intent to kill fades away.

"[line12]"
My breath stops.
The thing on the floor is completely dead.
The long purple hair.
The thing covered in black clothes is the Servant that attacked me.
"――――She's... dead..."
Tohsaka's voice contains no emotion.
"It's not me. I didn't do it. I executed the boundary field and nobody was able to move, but Rider... Rider... was..."

The black Servant――――Rider was killed in one blow.
What kind of a weapon was it, and how was she killed?

Only one blow against a Servant.
Only aiming for the neck and killing the enemy by ripping the neck apart.
...I can't even imagine how it was done.
It must have caught her by surprise, but the enemy must have been skilled to cut her neck in one blow.

...No. Can I call it "cut"?
It looks like someone put a jack in there and ripped off the meat and bone by crushing it.

――――Rider disappears from this world.
The red world disappears at the same time.
It seems the boundary field was created by this Servant as I thought.
But――――

"Shinji. Who did this?"
"Hiii――――"
As Tohsaka closes in, Shinji slowly retreats towards the hallway.

"I told you that there's another Master at our school, right? It's your fault for ignoring my warning and causing this panic.
...Heh. It seems you survived by watching your Servant die without helping her, but it's your turn next if you saw the enemy. I don't know what kind of a Master he or she is, but I'm sure you're next."

"......! T-That can't be true! I don't have my Servant anymore! I'm not a Master anymore, so you guys should be the next target...!"

"Yeah. ...Well, you're right. There's no harm in letting you be even if you have your Command Spells.
It might be annoying having you run around, but a harmless insect can't kill humans.
―――Yeah. I won't kill you here, depending on your response."

"I-Insect――――I'm a harmless insect...?"
"You should thank me for not comparing you to a noxious insect.
I told you that you're harmless since Matou Shinji is fit to be neither a magus nor a Master."

"―――So. Tell me if you saw it. That's the only value in you right now."
"――――Uh, uh――――!"
Shinji retreats, being pushed by Tohsaka's pressure.

I don't know if Tohsaka's serious or just threatening.
...But.
She's seriously angry.
She has lost her calmness after seeing the tragic scene here.

"Come on...! What kind of a Servant killed your Servant, Shinji!?"
"――――I-I don't know, you idiot! Y-You're the one who should be cowering in fear! You guys are the next target...!!!!!"

"You――――!"
Shinji runs out into the hallway and Tohsaka starts to go after him.

――――But.
Tohsaka stops as if she realizes something.

...No, that's wrong.
It's not that she noticed something.
She's just watching the students on the floor and biting her lips in vexation.

"――――――――"
Her face is that of Tohsaka Rin.
But her knees are shaking and her eyes are wavering as if they are about to cry.

"――――――――"
...I don't know if she is filled with sorrow or vexation.
But that tells me.
She is firm, can do everything, and is a mature magus.
But she's just a girl of her age on the inside.

"―――It's fine, Tohsaka. Everyone's still breathing. It's not over yet."
"Huh...? Everyone's breathing...?"

"Yeah. It might be hard, but take a good look. Everyone's alive. The boundary field is gone, so all we have to do now is call for help.
―――So. Should we call for an ambulance or something else in a case like this? Should we contact the church if their wounds are caused by magic?"

I ask her in a calm voice.
That must have gotten back her reasoning, as she slaps her own face with both her hands.

"We can contact the church. Kirei will take care of the rest if you explain the situation to him."
"All right. Let's contact him right away."
Nodding, Tohsaka runs out into the hallway.
She must be heading to the office.
There's a phone there, so she should be able to make a call right away.

We finish contacting the church and go outside.
It'd be troublesome for us if we were the only ones unharmed, so Kotomine ordered us to pretend that we weren't here today.

"Then Saber. Were you fighting Caster?"
"Yes. It was Servant Caster that was controlling those Golems. I defeated Caster, but I am sure that was only her shadow."

"――――――――"
...I see.
So it means Caster was controlling those bone creatures from the Ryudou Temple.
Then Caster was the one who attacked Shinji's Servant.

"...Then the fourth Master at our school would be Caster's Master. Considering Caster, it's possible that she used Shinji to lure Rider into a trap."
"...I believe so. According to you, Rider had her head cut off in one blow. I imagine that she was held constrained and that she was killed without resisting."

"―――That's troublesome. But we found out Caster's Master is at my school. It wasn't completely meaningless."
I turn to Tohsaka for confirmation.

Tohsaka only stares back at me silently.
Since we left the classroom, Tohsaka's only been looking at me as if she wants to say something.

"Tohsaka, come out and say it if you want to say something. I feel weird if you're quiet."
Um, in fear of not knowing when I'll get hit from behind.

"――――――――"
Tohsaka stares at me for a while, and with a serious face...
"Emiya-kun. You're pretty calm. It's a bit unexpected."
...Says this.

"......? I'm not calm. My head got all boiled up too. We both lost our composure out of anger."
"But you figured out everyone's condition. I couldn't do that."

"Oh, that? It's nothing much. I was only able to tell since I'm used to seeing dead bodies."
"Huh? 'Used to seeing dead bodies'...?"

We walk away while we talk.
This place will get rowdy once the ambulances arrive.
We'll go to the back gate through the woods and get out of the school from there.

Scene 09[]

――――Then.
"Oh. I'm surprised Saber's here."
As we make our way to the back gate, we run into the late-arriving guy.

"Archer...! What are you doing, coming so late!?"
"It is obvious, right? I sensed my master's danger and came here. Well, it seems I was too late. If Saber is here and Rin is safe, everything is over already, right?"

"...! Yes, it's all over already! I'll let you know what happened while you were taking your time, so listen up!"
"...Damn. It seems I came at the worst possible time."

The two argue, leaving us aside.
...Well, it's just that Tohsaka is yelling at Archer while he's just calmly brushing it off.

"Those two are intimate as I thought. Rin is angry because she trusts Archer, and Archer is silently listening because he must feel sorry."

"―――I know what you want to say. But why are you telling me that, Saber?"
"Well, you had a difficult face, so I merely explained the situation to you."

I don't know what's so funny, but Saber's smiling meaningfully.
"........."
I like it even less.

"Fine, fine. I won't worry about style next time. Let's say it's good for now.
―――So. Which Servant was eliminated?"

Archer's expression changes.
His usual ironic composure disappears, and he looks like a cold warrior now.

"...Servant Rider was eliminated. I don't know how it happened, but she must have been defeated by Caster."
"By Caster? Then what happened to Caster? Do not tell me she is unwounded."

"I don't know that either. But Rider was defeated in one blow, so I think Caster's unwounded."
I say so, representing the three of us.

...Then.
"...Humph. What a fool. I guess she was just all talk.
I did not think she would be able to win, but getting defeated with one blow? Man, show some spirit to at least kill your enemy as well."
He goes back to his usual manner and insults the now-gone Rider.

"―――Archer. Rider died protecting her Master. You do not have any right to call her a fool."

"Hah, that's what you have to say? A fool is a fool. If she is to call herself a hero, she should be ashamed that she could not even defeat a single enemy. If she can't do that, she should at least sacrifice her life to kill her enemy."

"―――How convenient of you. She was defeated without doing anything because she was in a situation where she was not able to do so. Speaking ill of her defeat... are you really one to call yourself a hero?"

"Ha. No matter the reason, it makes no difference to the fact that she was defeated badly.
...Well, it was certainly my mistake to say anything about a hero. The weak will die no matter what, disregarding the fact that they may be a hero or not.
'Heroes' not fit for this war should be eliminated early on."

"―――Well said. Then will you fight me, Archer?"

"You? This is surprising. I don't know what got on your nerves, but you're challenging your ally to a fight?
But unfortunately, I am bound by the Command Spell not to fight against you two.
If you challenge me now, I will only be defeated without resistance just like Rider―――is it your way of the knight to fight such an opponent, Saber?"
"Hm――――――――"

The two glare at each other without a word.
"Stop right there, Archer."
Tohsaka's quiet voice puts a stop to it.
"Hm..."

"This is no time to be fighting with Saber.
Rider is eliminated, and a Master is gone now. But I'm sure there is one more unidentified Master hiding at our school.
Our cooperation continues until 'we defeat the Master hiding at our school'. Or what? Do you want me to use another Command Spell to order you not to fight Saber?"

"――――You're right. Saber was so adherent to her principles that I got too caught up making fun of her.
I'm sorry, Saber. Please fight me after our cooperation is over."

"...No. It seems I was acting too immature. I will ignore your comment in deference to Rin."
Saber takes a step back while glaring at Archer and stands by my side.

Tohsaka moves Archer back as well.

"...Well, that's about it.
We're still cooperating. It's impossible to do so today, but we can search for Caster's Master at school tomorrow.
―――We'll just be maintaining the present state, but is that all right with you?"

"Yeah. So what will you do now? Are you going to go to the Ryudou Temple?"

"...Of course not. According to Archer, going to the Ryudou Temple is suicidal. If we want to defeat Caster, we'll have to search for her Master first.
Fortunately or not, Caster's Master is coming to school every day. We should let them be and keep them off guard."

"...Hm?"
I try to think how she came to that conclusion.
Tohsaka knew that there is a Master at our school.
That must be because there's someone there with magical energy other than Shinji.

Since Caster appeared, it must mean the Master at our school is Caster's Master.
Additionally, Caster's Master is coming to school every day for some reason.
It means he or she is coming to school every day defenselessly rather than staying at the Ryudou Temple under Caster's protection.

"...So you're going to figure out who the Master is and attack the Master before they get back to the Ryudou Temple?"
"Yup. It seems like Caster's Master doesn't know that we're Masters.
If they knew, they wouldn't come to school, right?"

"Oh――――yeah, that's true. Then Caster's Master didn't know that Shinji was a Master either?"

"...I can't come up with an explanation, but that's likely. But such a stupid thing shouldn't be possible considering how good the Servant is at magic..."

...Yeah.
Even I, who has no knowledge as a Master, got this far thanks to Saber.
If you have a Servant like Caster, I'm sure you wouldn't do something as dangerous as going outside.

"That's wrong. Your premises are wrong, Rin."
"Archer...?"

"I don't think Caster's Master has a free will.
...No, I believe the Master thinks he has a free will when in fact, he's controlled by Caster. That woman is not someone who would be under someone. She would first control her Master to do whatever she wishes."

"―――Are you saying Caster's Master is just a puppet?
Either by trickery or removing the memory of being a Master?"

"Hm――――I see, it is interesting to think that the Master is not conscious of the state he or she is in.
Originally, a Servant cannot do something to its Master.
The Servant cannot exist if it kills its Master.
In contrast, the Master has the Command Spell. If the Servant disobeys, the Master can even kill the Servant.
...With that being the case, it is safer to trick your Master than to kill him."

Tohsaka ponders.
But I'm not convinced.

"Really? Caster's doing a lot of evil deeds, right? Can she actually hide it all from her Master?
Wouldn't the Master be more on guard the stronger his Servant is?"

"That is not a problem. She can make convenient excuses if her Master is disgustingly good-natured. Caster's Master may be such a person as well."

"―――Hey. Why did you look at me when you said that?"
"Well, it's because we have a good example here. The possibility that Caster's Master is stupid is not zero."
"I see. You do have a point, Archer."
...Hey.
Why are you agreeing, Saber?

"―――All right, I get it.
No matter what kind of a person Caster's Master may be, it's likely that they'll be at school tomorrow.
We'll continue to investigate the school. And we'll attack Caster's Master as soon as we find him or her."

"...Well, I think that's the appropriate course of action, but how will we look for the Master?"
"That'll be today's homework. We'll each go home and think about it.
You two are tired anyway, right? I don't want to push you two and have you collapse, so let's call it a day."

"Eh――――no, I'm not that tired.
It'll still early, so――――hey, Tohsaka!?"

"―――Just do as I say. We can't go into school today, and we don't have a clue right now. It's meaningless to stay here, and most of all... don't you realize Archer's acting strange...!?
Things won't settle down if he stays with you, considering 'it' only happened yesterday!"

"――――F-Fine. I'll go home, I'll go home, so..."
Don't whisper to me from such close range...!

"...Then I'll see you tomorrow. I don't think it'll happen again, but be careful during the night. I won't forgive you if Caster gets control of you again."
"Ugh――――all right, all right. I'll go home!"

"......Hmph. And thanks for your work today. You're acting just a bit like a Master now."
―――Tohsaka jumps away from me.

"Let's go, Archer! I'm going to seriously inquire about your carelessness after we get home!"
"Oh, as I thought. I was thinking how unabusive you were."
"――――Hey now. Do I really have to settle things with you once and for all?"

Archer and Tohsaka leave arguing.

"We should go home too. I'm a bit tired, so let's have dinner early today."
"That sounds good. I support that idea, Shirou."
We leave the woods quietly so we won't be seen by anyone.

...Yeah.
I'll pull myself together, go shopping in the shopping district, make a big dinner, and take a rest.
We'll talk about Caster and her Master after that.

Scene 11[]

"Huh?"
When I come to, I'm in a strange place.
The barren land is endless, and I can't see past the horizon no matter how hard I try.
The unceasing wind stirs up the golden sand, stinging my eyes.

"――――――――"
I stand absent-mindedly in it all.
There's no need to hurry.
I know this scenery.
I remember seeing it in a dream before.
So I understand this is a dream and wait for the dream to end.

"――――?"
I suddenly feel something strange on my arm.
A metallic sound.
I wonder what it could be and roll up my sleeve.[r]
There is my arm, as a sword itself.

"Uwaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!"
I jump out of my futon.
I check my right arm even before I notice I'm in my room.

"Ah――――eh?"
...It's fine.
My right arm is my right arm.
It's not steel, nor is it a sword.

"――――It was a dream."
I sigh with relief.
I don't know why I saw a dream like that, but it might have to do with me making a contract with Saber.

"...I guess I'll ask Tohsaka when I get the chance. More importantly, I have to go prepare breakfast now."
It's before six o'clock.
Even though Sakura won't be here, Saber and Fuji-Nee are still here.
It's too late if I'm going to make breakfast for three.

I head to the living room quietly.
"......Hm."
I stop and try to figure out how they're doing on the other side of this shouji.
...I hear Fuji-Nee's half-asleep breathing and Saber's regular breathing.

"――――――――Uh."
I must have let my guard down, as I try to imagine how it looks in there.
I hide my blushing face with my hand and breathe in the cold air.

"...I need more training. I'll just go cook breakfast now."
I shake my head and walk away.
...But...
It's not good for my mental health to have girls staying in the same house as me...

"I'm going ahead now. Don't be late even if you're by yourself, okay?"
"Yeah, yeah. You do your best on your morning work too."
"Yeah. Thanks, Shirou. Your food was really good."
Fuji-Nee bows and heads to school.

"――――Well."
I still have about thirty minutes.
I'm already done cleaning up, so I'll act on the decision I made yesterday.

The wounds and bruises from last night have healed.
I have some time, so I go and train with Saber.

"Ha――――guh――――!"
The sounds of our shinai echo.
The clashings sound rather impressive.
I guess I can't take the phrase "learning by watching others" too lightly.
Just imagining a role model makes my shinai lighter and easier to handle.

"――――――――"
As usual, Saber is repelling my attacks without losing her breath.

But is something wrong with her this morning?
Until yesterday, I would've received a counter-attack and been knocked unconscious the instant she parried me. But her counters are avoidable today if I become desperate.
...Well, by avoidable, I mean I don't get knocked unconscious. Saber's counters are still very effective.

"――――Phew."
I put my shinai down and take a breath.
The clock is already pointing at eight o'clock.
It's been an hour since I started fighting Saber.
It's true that Saber wasn't up to par, but I could react better to Saber's attacks and I was so into it that I forgot about time.

"Wow, I've let out some good sweat. ...But what's wrong with you this morning, Saber? I'm less scared of your attacks today compared to yesterday."

"That is not true. I have fought you like I did yesterday. If you think I went easier, it must be that you are improving."

"Huh? I've improved?"
Saber nods.
...It doesn't seem like flattery, and Saber's not one who would say such things...

"Really?"
"I am surprised. Your technique is so different from yesterday's."
She declares so.

"......Really? No, that can't be true. It must be that you're not doing so good today. All teachers would lose their jobs if someone could get better in a day or two."

"I feel the same way... But, let me see. To put it clearly, there are less unnecessary movements in you now. Your body is already fit, so you can improve just by learning proper techniques."

"There's less unnecessary movement...?"
Come to think of it, my body did move well this morning.
It felt like my shinai automatically parried Saber's, even though my body couldn't react to it.

"...Hmm. I only copied him..."
I murmur.
"As I thought. You ask me for teaching, but you copy Archer's technique, huh?"
She must have already known, and she glares at me.

"Huh? Wow, you can tell!?"
"Of course. You did not have a basic style before. Anyone could tell if one base entered your style."
She looks away as if she's disappointed.

"Uh... Um, it's not like I ignored you. I guess you can say his figure got engraved in my mind because I was with him all yesterday――――"
"No, you do not need to ask for my permission. I have no complaints if you are to become stronger."
...Liar.
What is with that disappointed face?

"I'm telling you I'm sorry. ...Even if I wanted to use you as my model, I can't even see how you're attacking. We have different physiques, so it's impossible to copy you."

"You are certainly right. So I am just your training partner, huh?"
...Ugh.
I feel like I've gotten myself into a deep hole.

"―――No, let's not talk too much about this.
Anyways, I can fight a bit now."

"What are you saying? Your technique did improve, but it is on the level of barely being able to fight.
It is not something that can match Archer or Berserker, so please do not challenge them by yourself under any condition."

Saber declares so.
It seems like she's a master that's remonstrating an elated student, and it brings a smile to my face.
How charming can this cute master be?

Scene 12[]

"It's cold."
The rooftop is mercilessly cold.
The rooftop would be filled with students enjoying the wind and the scenery during summer, but it's completely isolated during the winter.

"It's cold."
I say it one more time.
It's an honest opinion as well as an objection made to the person next to me.
"W-What? Suck it up if you're a man."
My objection is dismissed in a flash.

"This way, Emiya-kun. It's less windy, and nobody would see us here."
She must not intend to look at me, as she moves in a hurry.

"――――――――"
I eat my lunch.
She must have called for me since she wanted to talk to me, but she doesn't say anything at all.

And...
When I take a peek at her, she's looking at me as if she wants to say something.

"――――――――"
I keep eating my lunch.
I won't be able to keep my sanity unless I do so.
I don't care that it's cold or that there's no conversation.

It's just that...
This is really troubling.
There are limited places to get away from the wind, so inevitably, Tohsaka is eating her bread right next to me.
We're so close that our shoulders would touch if I moved a bit.
Doesn't this look like we're eating lunch together?

"――――――――!"
I try hard to keep my face from blushing.
...Damn.
Why didn't I realize it when she invited me in the hallway?

It's only natural that I can't calm down.
The person next to me is a girl I admired, even though she's my ally now.
...I can't say this no matter what since Tohsaka would just laugh it off, but I really wish she'd be more considerate.

"――――――――"
My chopsticks hit the bottom of my lunchbox.
...I'm done eating.
I can't help it, so I start cleaning up.
Tohsaka must have already finished eating as she is watching me awkwardly.

...Damn.
Lunch break will be over in a few minutes.
"――――――――"
I guess I'll have to ask her what we'll do after school today――――

We speak out at the same time.
And on top of that, our eyes meet for the first time today.

We talk at the same time again and avert our gazes from embarrassment.

"――――――――"[r]
"――――――――"
And silence follows.
The end of lunch break is nearing.
I'm relieved and disappointed that we might have to go now.

―――Then.
".........Um. I'm sorry about last night."
Tohsaka murmurs in an apologetic tone.

"Huh?"
"It's about yesterday. I used my Command Spell on him. ...I know it's nothing now, but I'm still sorry."

"――――――――"
My thought process stops.
...What happened last night...
Archer tried to kill me, and Tohsaka says she used a Command Spell on him.

"Tohsaka. That means..."
"...Yes. I told him not to attack you no matter what while we're cooperating. So something like yesterday should never happen again."
"――――――――"
...That helps me out.
It does, but she used one of her only three Command Spells on such a thing?

"I see. But that's not something you should be sorry for.
That's something he did on his own. You didn't know what he was doing either, right?"

"...Yeah. But it doesn't mean I have nothing to do with it. It's my responsibility for letting him do as he pleases."
She says so with a downcast look.
The gesture is unlike Tohsaka. I like that fact less than the fact that Archer attacked me.

"All right. I'll say that's the case if you say so.
But Archer told you all this? I would never think he would report to you about attacking me."

"...Yeah. But you'd think something happened if your Servant comes back wounded with no magical energy.
He hides things, but he never lies. He quickly confessed what happened when I asked him."
She must be getting mad as she's recalling it.

"Oh, you're back to your normal self. Yeah, it's not like you unless you're like that."
"Hey, what's that supposed to mean?"
"It's fine. So where's Archer?"

"I left him at my place. He's been acting strange since last night, and I don't want to let him see you a day after such a thing happened."
True. I don't want to see him either.
I'm sure we'll just insult each other if we see each other again.

"...I see. But do you know why he attacked me?"

"...He said having fewer enemies is better.
He said something about how you can be ignored but how he has to defeat Saber because she'll get in the way later on.
He said it'd be troublesome if you got controlled again like yesterday, so he decided to kill you."

"――――――――"
Damn, I can't object to that.
I'm certainly a bother as I almost fell for Caster's trap.
He must have determined that I'm a burden the instant Caster controlled me.

"I understand now. Then let's end this topic right here. There was some fault from my part as well, and in any case, I don't know what would've happened to me if he hadn't come.
See, they cancel each other out. You don't have to feel so bad about it."

"......Yeah. It means a lot if you say so."
She looks away awkwardly.
She must not be able to agree easily because of her strong sense of responsibility.

"Oh, the bell rang just at the right time."
The bell rings to tell us that lunch break is over.
I couldn't tell how my lunch tasted, but this was fun in its own way.

"Let's go back. You'll be late for 5th period."
I get up and head to the door.
"?"
But Tohsaka's still sitting down.

"Tohsaka? You know that the bell rang, right?"
"――――――――"
She doesn't answer, but looks at me like she wants to say something.
"...Keep me company for a while. It's all right to skip one class, right?"
Then, she says something that an honor student would never say.

The bell rings to signal the start of the 5th period.
But what are we doing,[r]
drinking hot coffee here like this?

...By the way, I went and bought the coffee in a flash.
"There's still five minutes until class starts, right? I think it won't take you five minutes to go to the store on the first floor and come back."
It's because of the demonic request made by Tohsaka.

"So, how is it for you? Um, you started learning it from about eight years ago?"
"Huh...? Oh, when I started learning magic? Yeah, it's been about that long. My father finally started teaching me after I begged him for two years."

"So a total of about eight years, huh? ...Your dad sure did an incomplete job. If he was going to teach you, he should have done something from the time you were born.
Your body was already too mature eight years ago. He couldn't put a Magic Crest on you, nor could he tamper with your body."

Tohsaka says dangerous things with a serious face.
Well, I know this is her part of her as a magus.

"Yeah. But as I told you before, my father never intended to teach me magic. That's why he didn't go through the proper steps like you did.
...Actually, what do you mean by doing something when you're born?"

"...Um, it's just like it sounds. The Magic Crest of a family becomes larger the more history there is behind the family.
A Magic Crest is a Magic Circuit taking shape. So engraving it into someone causes the 'human body' to reject it and causes serious pain.
So we implant it bit by bit from the time we're born to moderate the pain. We also drink bitter herbs and ground bones to create resistance in our bodies."

"...Well, you don't need to worry too much since it doesn't concern you as a 'magic user'. And it's troublesome if you start copying it and do reckless things."

"I don't intend to.
But are you all right? It sounds pretty bad from the way you said it."
...I can't put it into words properly.

I don't know what you would call a normal magus teacher.
But I felt a pressure when I went to Tohsaka's house.

A family that passes on a long history...
Children that have the duty to succeed from the time they're born, secluded from the normal world disregarding their will...
I bite my lip, trying irresponsibly to think how long and heavy it is.

"Ohhh. I see, so you're worrying about such a thing?"
"...Ugh. W-What's with that meaningful face? I'm not worried at all, you know!?"

"Of course not. There's nothing for you to be worried about. I did it because I wanted to, and I don't regret it one bit. Isn't that the same for you as well?"
"......? Why are you asking me?"
Wait, the same? Me and Tohsaka?

"...Geez. You really don't get anything about yourself, huh?
Look, my training was indeed hard. But I never thought about running away. I'm saying that it must be the same for you."
"Oh―――yeah. You're right, but I was never asked to do anything as hard as you're doing."

"Don't say stupid things. It's crazy to start learning magic after nine years of normal life.
...I don't know what your daily routines are, but I'm sure it's a dangerous one. It must be so dangerous that you might lose your life if you fail."

"Oh... Well, that's only because I'm an amateur, and it's not supposed to be that dangerous. I can't compare it to you, Tohsaka."

"Right. I can't compare myself to you either.
...Training in magic is like that. The only common thing is that we're all putting our lives on the line.
There is a difference in how much we put on the line, but it just means how much risk we're willing to take, right?"

"In that regard, your training is much harsher than mine.
I've never trained in a way that might kill me. First of all, I don't fail."
"―――Wow, you just declared it."

She casually says something that hurts me.
In other words, she said she doesn't understand how we feel when we fail.

"Hey, don't sulk. I praised you."
"Heh. It doesn't make me happy when the person that always gets the perfect score tells me I did well this time."

"I didn't say 'this time'.
The point is that the training is hard, but it's not harsh. That's why I've never run away from it and I will continue training. The same goes for you, right?"

"Hm――――――――"
Tohsaka said it was hard but not harsh.
...I think she's right.
I did not feel that my training was harsh nor severe.
No, I didn't have any composure to think about such a thing.
I just wanted to catch up to Kiritsugu.

I want to be like Kiritsugu someday.
I kept on training to be the superhero that Kiritsugu couldn't be.
Come to think of it, most of my memories are about training in the shed.
But I've never regretted it.
I've always believed that it's the most important thing for me.

"...I see. You're right, now that you mention it. I guess I did my share, huh?"
"Yup. You came to where you are today with your own skill, so have more confidence in yourself."

Tohsaka tells me to be proud.
...I'm a bit embarrassed.
It's more embarrassing if she's getting happy about it as if it's her own accomplishment.

"Well, let's talk about the serious stuff now that this conversation's over. We have to know about each other's strengths if we're going to be cooperating."
"Strengths...? Oh, you must mean the magic we can use, huh? That's something you know already. You know what I use, right?"

"Yes. Your magic is 'strengthening', right?
I won't say it's rare, but I don't think many magi use it as their primary magic. I've been wondering, but why are you particular about the strengthening magic?"

"No, that's the only thing I can do. I tried a lot, but strengthening is the only thing I can do."
The rest is basic stuff like making a blueprint and such.
This isn't something we have to talk about now.

"I see. I guess mine is 'conversion'.
Accumulation, flow, and transformation of power. That's my basic power, and I also know the popular spells. I can manage to make a boundary field that's about a classroom's size."

Conversion of power―――that's the most basic and the most all-round.
In other words, she can put magical energy into any container and transform it.

"I see. I'm happy that you're telling me this, but is it really all right to tell me about your magic?"
"You told me about yours before, right? It's not fair if I hide mine."
Saying so, Tohsaka holds out her left arm.

"I've shown you before, but this is my Magic Crest.
The technique of conversion is what's been passed down the Tohsaka family. We're good at shifting our powers or someone else's.
Magical energy disappears when we take it out of our body, right?
We cannot create anything special with just magical energy. We execute the equation called magic using the magical energy before it disappears. That's why 'pure magical energy' that's not part of a spell is hard to move around――――"

She stops there and takes a small rock out of her pocket.
...Is it a jewel?
The transparent polyhedron reminds me of a kaleidoscope.

"As an exception, I can store my magical energy in other objects.
No, not only my magical energy, but I can also store other's magical energy. And although it'll be difficult, I can store things other than magical energy as well."

"And the most compatible storage space is a jewel.
You know that jewels are 'places' that easily store thoughts, a prison that stops flow, right?
Additionally, crystals that have been in the ground for a long time carry strong natural spirits. Such jewels can become a simple 'Magic Crest' when magical energy is poured into them.
Well, since it's a jewel, it'll break once the stored magical energy is released."

Tohsaka shrugs and puts away the jewel.
"...That's a waste. By it breaking, you mean it'll go away once you use it, right? Do you have to replenish an expensive thing like a jewel every time you use it?"

"...Yup. That's why we're always out of money.
Magi of the Tohsaka family start by making money once they succeed――――"
"I see. Yeah, people have different problems, Tohsaka."

"――――Kuh."
She looks away as if she said too much.
...Yeah.
I think so every time I see her, but I think Tohsaka is rather foolish.

Advertisement