The Let's Play Archive

Fate/stay night

by seorin

Part 364: Truth - Antihero Angra Manyu

Music: Gentle Everyday

Music: Tender Scenery

Video: Timeless (mirror)

Music: Surrounded by Smiling Faces

We're both filthy after running through the forest, making us look really suspicious.
So I jumped out in front of a car to stop it, and Ilya used suggestion on the driver to make him pick us up.
I never thought I'd get a ride like this.

Music: Madder Red Town

"We're home, Shirou. Let's go in."
We're back at my place in an instant.
The sun's setting.
It seems I fell asleep on the way back.

Music: Stop

Music: In the Sunlight

Something's wrong.
Time's passing by too fast.
It was afternoon when I stepped into the house, so it's not possible for it to be night as soon as I step into the living room.

"Ilya. Isn't time passing by too fast?"
I talk to Ilya, standing beside me.

Music: Stop

But Ilya isn't there.
Ilya is…

"Hm? The dinner was good, Shirou."
…Already in the living room, saying strange things.


"Yeah. I was surprised you wanted to get energy before anything, but I'm glad we did. You were so enthusiastic while you were cooking."

There are remnants of dinner on the table.
There are dishes in the sink.
Come to think of it, I feel pretty full.
It seems I really did make dinner.

I look through my memory.
I guess that's what happened.

"I see. I guess I'm talking nonsense. So we had dinner, huh?"

"Yeah. All that's left is to rest."

"Hmyeah, we have to rest. I'm going to go change in my room. I need to talk, so please stay up. I'll be back right away."
Ilya nods.
I raise my hand in apology and leave the living room.

Music: Tender Scenery

Music: Nightmare

"Ah… Guh!"
I wake up because of the piercing pain.
A sword's pierced in my chest.
That's the first thing I imagine because my chest is hot and numb, and it feels like my life is draining out from it.

Music: Gentle Everyday

There's no sword, of course.
It's just an illusion.
The left side of my chest is simply rebelling against my left arm.

Music: Stop

But I finally realize.
My sense of time.
The intermittent scenes are…

Music: THIS ILLUSION (piano ver.)

I can't hold events in my mind unless I concentrate on them.
It's natural that I can't remember anything that happened after I left the forest.
I can't stay conscious unless I'm in pain, like now.

"This is bad."
I frantically grasp at my fading consciousness.
Unless I consciously focus my mind, Emiya Shirou will disappear.
Only pain or the utmost concentration can preserve my memories.
In short, I have to maintain the level of concentration I had when I was trying to insert the Magic Circuit into my spine.

"…Wait. That means I shouldn't sleep."
Once I fall asleep, I won't be able to wake up.
Once I fall asleep, "Emiya Shirou" will never return.
Even if my body's unwounded, my mind would be scattered.

I raise my body.
I search through my desk. I need a small blade. Something I can hide in my right hand that'll dig into my flesh if I make a fist.
I can't keep up the concentration I have during training.
I have to clench my fist every time I relax so that the pain will keep me conscious.

I shouldn't fall asleep so I'll just stab myself whenever I come close.

"…Oh. It's not a blade, but this might do."
I find the crystal from that day.
…The pendant I found beside me after I was killed by Lancer.
I don't know how much magical energy was originally in this, but now there's not even enough for one strengthening magic left in it.

…That's right. Now, I can clearly think about who this pendant belongs to, and who could have saved me that night.
After all, she was the only other person at school at that time. I don't know why she saved me, but she wouldn't need a reason to save a life.

I check my condition.
I released the seal on my left arm.
I put the Shroud back on it, but it's only there to ease my mind.
According to Kotomine, the switch would be tripped if I used Archer's arm.
He said there'd nothing I could do after that.

Uh, I think someone missed a word.

But I can still move my body.
The problem is my mind, but I can stay conscious as long as I stay awake.
As for projection… I can probably project three more times using Archer's arm.

I know I can manage it once.
I'm scared about the second time.
The third will be fatal. I think my body will self-destruct, even if my mind's still alive.

Music: Stop

…The thing invading my body from Archer's arm.
It gets harder to suppress his Reality Marble the more I use his Blade Works. Eventually, an infinite number of blades will be created inside my body instead of outside.
…I don't even want to imagine what'll happen.
A thousand blades will pierce my body from within, killing me instantly.

Music: THIS ILLUSION (piano ver.)

I'll be saved.
I'll be saved once I do everything I need to.
It's meaningless otherwise.
I said I'll protect Sakura no matter what.
So I can't just die selfishly.

"That's right. I have to contact Tohsaka first."
I don't have time.
I'll go to her house.
I'm worried about whether Kotomine's all right, but he's not my ally anymore now that we've saved Ilya.
I can't ask for his help again, but the promise to…

"Sorry to keep you waiting, Ilya. I'm going to Tohsaka's house, so let's go together."

"Rin's house? I don't mind, but why?"

"Eh… why? We have to meet up with Tohsaka. And I'm worried about how she's doing.
Kotomine said she'd heal by tonight, but I can't really trust him. If she's not doing well, I'll need to look after her."

"Okay. That's fine, but Shirou…"
Ilya points to the wall.

Music: Tender Scenery

But if you were that worried about me, I wish you'd have come by my house before heading off to the forest."

"T-Tohsaka…!? When did you get here…?"

"I was here about an hour ago. I heard from Ilya what happened at the forest."

Tohsaka's in a bad mood… No, she's angry.
It seems she doesn't like the fact that I went to the forest without her.

"I can't help it. I thought I had to act as quickly as possible, and Ilya was in serious danger.
…Right, Ilya?"

Zouken wanted to open the gate as soon as he took control of Sakura. I would be dead right now if Shirou and Kotomine had come a bit later."

"See. I wouldn't have made it if I'd waited for you."

"Who knows? So it all depended on Sakura, right? Tell me the truth, Ilya."

Yeah, there was a bit more time. Sakura's strong, so she won't easily break. I think there was about one more day to spare until she lost herself and fell under Zouken's control."

"I thought so. You shouldn't pamper Shirou too much. A little strictness is just right for him."

"You're right. I'll be grateful if you see to that."

The two criticize me.
But if the time limit was a day, I don't think we would've made it if I'd waited for Tohsaka.
I was faced with an important choice in the forest, but in exchange, I'm able to regain the time the three of us can spend together.

He doesn't care if his own life is cut short, as long as he can spend it with others.

Music: Stop

…I concentrate hard, since I'm starting to relax.
It seems the tension faded away during the conversation.

"……Hm……? Hold on, Ilya.
You said Sakura might last one more day. Then the remaining time we have is…"

Tohsaka and I frown at the strange word.

"Yes, Avenger.
It's the eighth class in the Holy Grail War. It's a 'violation' that the Einzberns summoned by breaking the rules.
That's what tainted the contents of the Great Holy Grail.
It's the main body that assimilated with Sakura, projecting the shadow because it couldn't go into the outside world.
It's something that should not exist, consuming human lives to take form."

"That's Avengeran anti-hero that the Einzbern Master summoned in the third ritual."

"You know about it, Ilya…!? You know what that shadow is, and what Sakura's possessed by…!?"
"Yeah. I got the information out of Sakura, so I understand what's going on.
What we have to do. What, exactly, you've made into your enemy."

Ilya closes her eyes once.
…Is that resignation?
Ilya sighs and then stares at us.

"What I'm about to talk about is the heart of the matter, and it's nothing that concerns you two. You shouldn't be burdened with this.
Shirou, Rin. As you two are the last Masters in the Holy Grail War, I shall tell you the truth."

Tohsaka looks at Ilya in surprise.
I do likewise.
Ilya shows calmness and emptiness as if she's someone else.

Music: Whirlpool of Fate

"Everything started two hundred years ago.
No, the journey of those who seek the Holy Grail began long before that. But two hundred years ago, the ritual was begun in this land."

The Holy Grail grants any wish. Einzbern, Makiri, and Tohsaka cooperated to conduct a ritual to summon the Holy Grail.
That's how the Holy Grail War came to be. A murderous battle between seven summoned Servants to determine the ownership of the Holy Grail.
Magi who are chosen as Masters become the hosts of the Servants and kill each other until only one magus remains.
That's the ostensible reason for the Holy Grail War that you two know of."

"You don't look surprised, Rin. So you had some idea of it, huh?"

"…Somewhat. I knew all along that I was being used, but I didn't mind it too much.
I'm reaping the benefits by using somebody else's system. We're both using each other.
I'm not stupid enough to get angry over something so trivial."

"Really? Then I don't have to explain that the order is reversed? How about you, Shirou? Did you already know that the process of making the Servants fight is unnecessary?"

…Well, I did know.

Servants are summoned by the Holy Grail.
The heroic spirits are summoned to determine whether the summoner deserves the Holy Grail.
Once summoned, they make a contract with a Master to stay in this world and obtain the Holy Grail. Then they go out to defeat the other Masters and Servants.

…In and of itself, that's not a problem.
But once I found out the defeated heroic spirits are absorbed into the Holy Grail, something felt off.
Heroic spiritsServants are only a factor in determining which Master is suited for the Holy Grail.
So why are they taken into the Holy Grail after their purpose has been served?

"…So does that mean heroic spirits are needed for the Holy Grail War, and Masters are just a tool to summon them?"

"Right. In the ritual of the war, Masters are mere receptors to summon the Servants. Once they've done that, they can die at any time.
The heroic spirits are the only ones needed to complete the Holy Grail.
Heroic spirits are pure souls separate from the time axis. Though they are outside of this world's logic, they can still influence it."

"That's the power they needed.
They tried to exit into the outer world using that power.
That's the real purpose of the Holy Grail in this land.
The Holy Grail Wars were waged to create a phenomenon, a miracle, that is still out of human reach."

Not a heroic spirit or a holy spirit, but a soul of a mere human that's fated to disappear from this world. Bringing it about is an act of God."

"The name of the miracle is 'Heavens Feel'.
It's the golden cup that's the third of the five existing sorceries."

"SSorceries!? You mean 'those' sorceries…!?"
The air tenses up.
Ilya says that the Holy Grail is a ritual to perform a sorcery.

There are five sorceries acknowledged by the Magic Association.
As I'm not even in the Association, I have no way to know, but I've heard that there are five sorceries and that there are about four sorcerers.

"W-Wait…! So the Third Sorcery is the materialization of the soul!? But Servants are materialized souls too…!"

"No. The system does use a part of the Third Sorcery, but the heroic spirits are summoned.
Servants aren't alive as part of this world or time. It's too imperfect to be the Third Sorcery. And heroic spirits can take form in this world without the help of sorcery as long as they have a host."

"Heavens Feel is not a spell that duplicates a soul perceived in the past.
It's actually a spell to make an existence of a higher dimension that can take a spirit form and still influence the physical world.
It takes a soul and elevates it to the next level of life."

Even though the details are different, all sorceries are a way to reach the origin! What does it have to do with the Holy Grail?"

"No. First of all, there's only one administrated land in Japan that can activate a sorcery.
I know the ley line in Fuyuki is first-class, but there's not enough distortion to connect to the origin."

"Right. It's not distorted enough to reach the origin. That's why you make a hole. If the path is obstructed, you have to destroy the wall yourself, right?"

"The Holy Grail War is the process of destroying the wall.
The process accumulates enough magical energy to grant any wish. But that's just a secondary matter for the Einzbern family. And it was also an advertisement to call for the Masters, the sacrifices."

"The Einzberns only needed a giant magic circle that could store great amounts of magical energy without attracting the notice of the Magic Association.
The head of the Tohsaka family at that time cooperated with them.
This country doesn't receive much attention from the Association, and there aren't many first-class lands that rank next to Aozaki's land.
Fuyuki City was almost the perfect test site, meeting all the requirements."

"You should be able to figure out the rest.
There are two kinds of Holy Grails that govern the Holy Grail War.
The Holy Grail in this land and the Holy Grail Einzbern prepares.
The former is a magic circle that uses the land administrated by Tohsaka.
This is called the Great Holy Grail.
The key that the Einzbern family prepares for each ritual is called the Holy Grail."


"The Great Holy Grail administers the system of the Holy Grail War. The Holy Grail collects the souls of the defeated heroic spirits and acts as the reactor core to activate the Great Holy Grail."

"And once the Holy Grail collects enough souls to activate the Great Holy Grail, it uses the heroic spirits' souls to open a hole.
The Great Holy Grail fixes the small hole created when the heroic spirits return to their original place after their roles are fulfilled. This opens up the passage to the origin that humans cannot reach."

"Of course, this is just the first step. Your wish isn't granted even if the hole is opened. The path to the origin is too far."

"Butthe one who obtains the Holy Grail gains access to unlimited magical energy.
The other side has large quantities of unused mana unlike anything seen on this side. For an ordinary magus, it's nothing short of a miracle."

"……I see. So the Great Holy Grail is the magic circle which serves as the foundation, and the Holy Grail is the key to activate it.
The Holy Grail Wars must occur on a sixty-year cycle to accumulate enough mana to summon the heroic spirits."

"There's no way you can carry out such a summoning with one person's magical energy.
The Great Holy Grail draws mana from the land slowly so as not to deplete it, and once it's full"

"Yes, it summons the heroic spirits as Servants.
But you need an incentive to summon the heroic spirits. They won't heed your call unless you give them what they want.
That's why the Holy Grail was prepared to reward them."

"…Well, that's a deception from the start.
The Einzberns just wanted the souls of the heroic spirits.
They didn't care about their rank. They just wanted strong souls.
To hide that fact, they created the Holy Grail War as a cover. They deceived the Servants and Masters and made them kill each other."

"…Well, I guess that started from the second ritual.
The first was conducted in a foolishly honest manner and failed right away because the three families fought for its exclusive right."

"So the rule was made starting with the second ritual.
? Outsiders were called and made to fight for the Holy Grail.
Masters from outside the families were just an inconvenience after the Servants had been summoned, so it more efficient to have them killed in battle.
It was convenient for the three families because they could legitimately kill their collaborators."

"Unbelievable. So the rule for Masters to kill each other exists because they couldn't decide who gets the ownership by talking and had to resort to violence?"

"Yup. But choosing the last magus standing proved to be an even better method than expected.
It's just like you. There were Servants and Masters that found out they were tricked, but it seems they didn't care. It's because you obtain the Holy Grail if you win."

…In short, the Holy Grail War is not a battle to obtain the Holy Grail, but a ritual to escape to the outside world.


Attempts to reach the outside world.
According to hermeticism, there's a power that governs dimensional theory outside of this world.
It's called the 'swirl of the origin', and it's a coordinate that's considered to be the beginning of all things.
It's the start and the end of all creation. It's the seat of God, recording everything and able to create anything.

But I really don't care about that.
My father would've understood what a big deal it is, but it doesn't concern me.
What's possessing Sakura is much more important to me than how it all started.

"Ilya. I don't care about the real purpose of the war. It has nothing to do with us, just like you said.
More importantly, tell us about the thing you mentioned earlier."

"It has nothing to do with us!? We're talking about sorcery here! And the Third Sorcery at that! It's the taboo out of all taboos that's been kept a secret even within the association!
If you're a magus, you can't ignore something like this"

"I can. …Man, why do you have the wrong idea, Tohsaka?
This isn't the time to be talking about something that can't succeed anyway."

"C-Can't succeed? What are you basing that on?"

"Hey now. I don't know why, but the Holy Grail War has never had a victor. That means there's something wrong with the ritual.
…First of all, how will you explain what's happening to Sakura? If the Holy Grail's a path to reach sorcery, does that mean Sakura's like that because of sorcery?"

Maybe I convinced her, because she shuts her mouth.

"So, Ilya. Why did the Holy Grail War turn out like this?
Kotomine said there's something in the Holy Grail.
So is this that Avenger thing? And he's not in the Holy Grail, Sakura or Ilya, but in the magic circle you called the Great Holy Grail?"

He's a magus tainted by Avenger, just like Sakura. He already knows what's inside the Holy Grail."

"Eh…? Kotomine and Sakura are the same…?"

"That's right. This concerns you two.
This is about what Zouken's trying to obtain, what's changing Sakura, what's hiding in the Holy Grail, and what's tainting the souls of the heroic spirits.
Its class name is Avenger.
The heroic spirit that's about to take a living form through the power of the Holy Grail, a successful example of the Third Sorcery."

"…What? What was all that about sorceries not having to do with this? It does concern them."

"No. Avenger's materialization isn't sorcery carried out by the Holy Grail. From the start, it is a heroic spirit with that specific attribute.
It can take form within the Holy Grail because it's Avenger.
The Holy Grail merely summoned an avenger that can use the Third Sorcery, so it doesn't mean that the Great Holy Grail used the Third Sorcery."

"……? So in short, it's a monster that can materialize?
It's someone who can embody the Third Sorcery even if the Great Holy Grail doesn't?"

The first one was a failure. Einzbern was defeated quickly in the second war, and in desperation, they summoned a spirit that specialized in killing."

Music: Stop

"They used an old scripture, a foreign folklore they obtained, as catalyst to summon the worst evil possible.
They summoned what they shouldn't have summoned to kill all the other Masters, to activate the Great Holy Grail, and to keep all the achievement to themselves.

The spirit's name is Angra Manyu.
A murderous anti-hero that embodies every curse in this world."

"Angra… Manyu?"
…Hold on.
Angra Manyu is the name of the ancient Persian devil.
It's the embodiment of evil, the greatest devil in Zoroastrianism. It fights a nine-thousand-year battle againts Ahura Mazda, protector of human goodness.
Zoroastrianism is a story mainly about the battle between these two gods. It's the first religion to come up with the doctrine of duality, the angels and the devil.

"againts"? Proofreading really suffered by the end of this path.

But the story contains no hero named Angra Manyu.
First of all, how can someone crowned with the name of the king of devils become a heroic spirit?

"That's not possible, Ilya. The Holy Grail can only call on heroic spirits, and you don't need the Holy Grail if you can reproduce phenomena on the divine spirit level.
No, first of all, there can't be a heroic spirit with the name Angra Manyu. Even if there was, it would be a nameless evil spirit that left no mark on history. Even if it were summoned, its soul wouldn't be compatible with the Holy Grail."

"…Ilya. What did the Einzberns' Master summon?"

"I said Angra Manyu, Rin.
…He was certainly nameless, and not a devil. But a hero with the name Angra Manyu did exist."

Music: Church on the Hill

"…Yes, the story takes place a long time ago. Insanely long ago, in a very small world.
It was a hero that lived in a small, nameless village that practiced Zoroastrianism."

I don't know what led them to that idea.
But they lived cleanly and righteously in accordance with their precepts.
People are supposed to value goodness, protect the light, and live virtuous lives.
For these people, segregated from the rest of the world, this supplication was absolute. It was probably the only source of human pride that they knew."

The people in the village earnestly wished for everyone to live in peace.
So everyone could be free from malice and live pure, upright lives.
They renounced such human concerns as hunger, conflict, love, and hate. They were proud to be worthy of God's blessing."

"But it was impossible.
People can't be freed from malice just through clean, righteous living.
From the moment we are born, there is evil in us. You must take certain measures if you want to separate evil from yourself.
Andthose measures were taken."

"They came up with a way to save not just their small village, but the whole world.
It's hard to make everyone do good.
But you can prove everyone's goodness.
…You just need one person.
If one person embodies all the evils of the world, the rest of the people cannot be evil, no matter what.
They seriously believed in such a simple, child-like theory."

They captured him, carved every cursed word onto his body, forced every sin imaginable upon him, and held him responsible for all evils in the world.

That's all.
A small world. But an ultimate evil was born in this one complete world."

"The people cursed, scorned, feared, yet adored this man.
They believed they were pure and righteous, since all the world's evil was within him.
They seriously believed it'd save everyone in the world and created a devil.
To demonstrate human goodness, they continuously tortured one man until he went insane. No, they would not allow him to die until he succumbed to old age."

"…The name of the devil that corrupts men.
He was given the name Angra Manyu, and was irrationally hated by everyone in the world."

"I don't know if he really did turn into a devil during the process.
But everyone in his village believed him to be so, and they treated him accordingly. They hated and feared him, but he was the proof of their goodness. They revered him as the sign of their salvation."

"He was the object of everyone's hate, but he saved people.
His existence pardoned everyone of their evil deeds.
Though his method was unusual, he still saved people.
He became a hero for the villagers."

"And a hero was born.
Hated by people, losing his self… Someone who transformed into exactly what they wanted. A helpless sacrifice that came to represent all the world's evil."

Except for that last part, there are eerie similarities to Archer.

"That's the anti-hero Angra Manyu.
An ordinary person without any special talent that was determined to be all evils of the world.
The king of devils that approves of all six billion evils in Zoroastrianism. He's a curse made by a concept of ancient people."

Music: Stop

If Ilya's story is true, the guy who turned into Angra Manyu is still burdened with all the sins.
It's because that's his reason of existence.

A heroic spirit who's had six billion sins pushed onto him.
…If a guy like that is summoned, all that'll happen is a big massacre.
It'd only be natural for him to hate people, and first of all, everyone around him established him to be evil.

…Angra Manyu.
So the man is using Sakura to take revenge on the people… no, to carry out the role people pushed onto him?

Music: Whirlpool of Fate

But why is he in the Holy Grail? He's just an ordinary person, right? Even if he's given a devil's name and treated like one, he's still just a human.
That wouldn't turn him into a monster capable of eating the entire town."

"…Yeah. Angra Manyu is human. He was just an ordinary man, but was forced to become a heroic spirit. So there wasn't any problem, originally."

"…The Einzbern family summoned Angra Manyu in the third war.
But the summoned heroic spirit was weak.
The anti-hero was defeated in the early stage of the war, and the Holy Grail took him in. The Master of Einzbern grieved how this ordinary human could be a devil that destroys the human world."

"…Yes. The heroic spirit was merely human.
A human that cursed the world.
A human who everyone wanted to represent their evil.
…So he had no power. He was merely constructed by the people around him.
But everything reversed the instant he was taken in by the Holy Grail."

"The Holy Grail grants wishes.
When defeated, Servants are reduced to raw magical energy and are taken in by the Holy Grail to await their release. They lose their individual personalities and stay in the Holy Grail as an omnipotent power.
But Angra Manyu was different. He was a heroic spirit that others wished for. He was intended to be evil, regardless of his personality."

"Yes. The Holy Grail grants every wish.
He was a mere human, but wasn't treated as one. So he was an embodiment of people's wishes.
Sothe instant Angra Manyu was taken in by the Holy Grail, the Holy Grail accepted a wish."

"An existence that should not be.
The heroic spirit constructed from people's selfish wishes was finally given flesh within the wish-granting Holy Grail.

…Five hundred years under the Makiri and a thousand under the Einzbern are nothing.
After all, he's an ideal human that has been wished for since the age of gods, over two thousand years ago."

"That's what that shadow is. It finally obtained form as a heroic spirit.
Angra Manyu used Servants' colorless magical energy to embody all evils of the world.
Wanting only to be evil.
It slowly matured with an ability to curse all six billion people."

"Then what? The contents of the Holy Grail have already been tainted by him? The wish the Holy Grail grants is already determined, and the fourth war took place only to store up the magical energy needed to give him form?"

"Yes. I don't know how much Kiritsugu knew about Angra Manyu.
But believing the shadow leaking from it to be dangerous, he destroyed the Holy Grail."

"And his course of action was right.
No matter what the previous Angra Manyu was, the Angra Manyu that formed inside the Holy Grail is real. It will become the greatest evil in the world, a devil that will kill every human being alive."

"But thanks to Kiritsugu's resolve, Angra Manyu was left unborn within the Great Holy Grail.
Kotomine and Sakura received parts of it.
Zouken must've known that a Servant was about to be born in the Holy Grail.
That's why he implanted a piece of it in Sakura, creating a link between her and that Servant.
He made Sakura a Master so that she can control the Servant once it emerges."

"No matter what Avenger is, it's still a Servant. No Servant, no matter how strong, can disobey his Master.
That's Zouken's plan. He wants to use Sakura to obtain Angra Manyu."

Hold on.
Does that mean Sakura has a contract with this Servant, Avenger?

"Are you serious? Even if Sakura controls Angra Manyu that way, she can't resist the taint of the magical energy.
She's already changed that much when Angra Manyu is still inside the Holy Grail, so her personality will disappear completely once it comes out. Then being a Master won't matter."

"That's fine. Zouken isn't worried about Sakura's personality. What matters to him is her body and its connection to Angra Manyu."

"He's planning to take over her empty body after her personality disappears.
…I don't think you know, but Zouken can take over anyone's body as long as the worm bearing his soul exists. That's how he stayed alive until now.
From the start, Sakura was just a body to eventually possess."

Then what?
The thing possessing Sakura.
If what's changing her is a contract with a Servant

"Zouken kidnapped me, probably because he didn't want to let Sakura open the gate.
He wanted me to take the role of the Holy Grail, allowing him to take over Sakura's body once she became Angra Manyu's Master."

"I guess he plans to take over Angra Manyu in time, since a soul given flesh is a living example of the Third Sorcery. It's like speaking ill of a perfect God because you're a human with desires."

"……The definition of God's creation… It's something that's made from people's wishes, but not affected by people's intentions.
Well, I bet any god will turn into a devil if it reflects Zouken's personality. That must be why Kotomine considered him his enemy."


Tohsaka's voice brings me back to the present.

"It's not 'huh'. We know our enemy, and we know Zouken's intention. Then we don't even need to talk about the rest."

…We don't even need to talk about the rest, huh?
She's right.
What's in the Holy Grail.
The disaster from ten years ago will be repeated if he comes out.

…No, that's an understatement.
He'll kill countless people if we let him be.
Sakura's creation will take many lives.

I can't allow that.
Then I have to stop it.
I have to make whatever sacrifices I can to keep Sakura from being burdened with more deaths.
Stop Angra Manyu.
I have to end the war before he emerges from the Holy Grail.

And there are only two ways to do this.
Kill Sakura, Angra Manyu's Master, before he comes out. Or destroy the Great Holy Grail before he comes out."

"…The former's the more certain method.
Sakura and Zouken will surely get in our way if we try to destroy the Great Holy Grail. We won't be able to do it without defeating them.
So it's easiest to defeat Sakura."

"Yeah. Fight Sakura and separate her from Angra Manyu. That's the easiest way, and the plan's easy to understand."

"Oh. You have no problem with going after her?"

"…That's the only thing we can manage right now. If Angra Manyu is what Ilya says it is, it's not something humans can match. We lose the instant it comes out.
Then we have to take the quickest and surest route.
More importantly, Tohsaka. I don't mind fighting, but do you know where Sakura is?"

"That's not a problem. If Ilya's right, there's only one place the Great Holy Grail can be. Right, Ilya?"

"…Yes, you're right, Rin.
Angra Manyu is about to be born, so Zouken is at the Great Holy Grail.
The degraded ley line. The origin that was chosen by the three families two hundred years ago. Angra Manyu is being conceived in the large cavern underneath the Ryudou Temple."

"Under the Ryudou Temple…"
…That's where Sakura is.
That's where we'll be heading, the place where the Holy Grail War will end.

I take a deep breath and allow my tense mind to relax slightly.
The cold pendant in my hand settles my thoughts.

Music: Stop

My body trembles.
The house is beset by pressure, making the air feel like water.

The instant we realize the pressure's coming from the shadow, we run out into the yard.