Honest, yet prideful and gentle.
A smile that shines warmly like the rays of morning sun.
You are virtuous, just, and kind.
Despising conflict, yet, unparalleled with a sword.
The shining sword purges all that is wicked and evil.
—A prince from a fairy tale.
In reality, there are no princes.
Nor is there meaning in seeking one.
Because reality was far more cold and cruel.
We were raised being told that.
By parents, by teachers.
Perhaps by the world itself.
Look, how cold this is, how cruel this is.
The world is buried in black. Try as we might, but even then it is at best gray.
There are neither princes nor white horses.
Such dazzling dreams and illusions did not exist anywhere. 
But, we knew.
The prince was surely somewhere in this world.
Yes, we knew.
If there are fairy tales, there must be a prince somewhere in the world.
Yes, that’s right—
Radiance existed in this world. 
Fate existed in this world. 
Sometimes separated, sometimes touching. One day, close together.
While torn away by the black of this world.
Clad in blue and silver. A sword that shines brighter than all creation in hand.
──You will come here.
Fragments of Blue and Silver
The dead cannot be brought back.
What is lost will never return.
No matter how great a miracle,
It can only change those that live in the present.
Grant salvation once more upon this dying world.
The revival of the Holy Castle.
The acceptance of its Kingdom.
From beyond the rogue waves comes seven heads and ten crowns.
Thine name is enemy.
Thine wish is avarice.
Thine blessings become blasphemy that fiercely rages forth.
Upon the foundations of this universal miracle.
Here, by the means of contradiction, the vanished lord’s love shall be proven.
The Holy Grail War.
It is a battle to the death between magi for the sake of a wish.
There are seven magi, who each gain a rank represented by an angel, and seven servants.
Heroic Spirits who once met ‘untimely death’ obtain vessels for their souls, a Servant, and temporarily revive in the present world. They, each paired with a magus known as Master, gather in one place and wage fierce battles beyond human comprehension until only one remains standing.
Magus and Servant, together for the sake of their wish.
The year is 1999 AD.
The end of the past millennium.
The Promised Land at far ends of the east — here in Tokyo, a new Holy War began.
Before my eyes was a single servant.
Blue were his eyes.
Silver was his armor.
The one who vowed to fight together in this Holy Grail War with me, the lowest-ranked of the seventh Masters – Princes – is the first ranked servant.
The knight who said that he would protect me. 
I had seen you that time, but you seemed far too tall.
Before I came to my senses, I found myself staring upon your visage, just as I had eight years ago.
Eight years ago. That time, you had stood beside my dear sister, surely fighting in the shadows. Yet, there was so much I didn’t know.
About the Holy Grail War, and what it truly meant.
About what my dear sister was doing.
My dear sister Manaka.
A person more radiant than anyone.
A person who, alongside you, rushed into the Holy Grail War eight years ago.
I was still young at that time and there is much that I am unable to recall, but there are things that I still remember.
For example, yes.
About my dear sister, I, since forever—
Dazzling sunlight shined through the gaps of the curtain.
The birds perched on the branches of the many trees immediately outside the window chirped as if to singal the time.
The morning made itself known, and the darkness and frigidness of the night faded away as if it had never been there all along. The ‘tomorrow’ before slumber had arrived as ‘today’.
Sajo Ayaka absentmindedly awakened atop her soft bed, sluggishly rubbing her eyes.
The rays of the sun. The voices of the birds.
It was not that she disliked the morning, which should be refreshing and comforting.
She just could not quite bring herself to like the fact that morning had come.
(It’s already morning.)
She would not deny that she truly liked the comforting sensation of the perfectly warm bed that had absorbed and preserved her bodily heat. If asked whether she would like to doze off again and idly enjoy the warmth, she would affirmatively say yes.
(The alarm hasn’t rung yet…)
With hope, she reached out from beneath the blankets that buried her head towards the digital clock that resided next to her pillow. Her outstretched right hand that had escaped her covers was now exposed to the cold air. If asked whether she liked this feeling, she would say that she did.
Even so, cold things are cold.
The clock was quickly engulfed in the shadow of the covers.
The clock displayed the date and even the day of the week. It was quite a high end clock. She had received this for her birthday last year. She had wanted something cuter, but she could not bring herself to complain to her father. Thus, she had now been using it for over a year.
She glanced at the year, which she rarely checked, before turning her eyes towards the time.
6:14 in the morning.
This was surely a time where girls her age would decide to go back to sleep. However, Ayaka’s lifestyle was slightly different from the average female elementary schooler, thus she gazed at the digital display with discomfort.
“…Just right.” she murmured while flipping the alarm’s mechanical switch off.
The alarm had been set to 6:15 AM.
That was why it had been just right. She could not stay in bed any longer.
She crawled out of bed and squirmed out of her pajamas.
The morning air was indeed chilly, if not frigid. She quickly put on the change of clothes that she had neatly folded and placed on her chair the night before.
Since when have I been able to change clothes myself? She wondered.
At the very least, she was certain that she had been able to do it when she began to attend elementary school. On the other hand, she couldn’t recall a time where she had had someone else help her with her clothes. Had it been her father that had helped her? Or perhaps her mother? She couldn’t be certain.
It probably wasn’t father, she thought.
Although she couldn’t remember, she, oddly enough, seemed fairly confident in that answer.
After changing, she moved in front of the mirror placed next to her western-style wardrobe.
No problems with my clothes.
The bright red coat was her favorite. She thought that the red buttons were fashionably-cute.
Checking the clock on the wall, she quickly combed her hair.
Her hair wasn’t very long, so she had quickly finished.
It’s okay, I’ll make it there on ‘time’. She thought to herself. Though, she was cutting it a bit close, so she moved in a hurry.
(…If I had to cook as well, I would have to wake up even earlier wouldn’t I?)
Although she was able to change her own clothes, she wasn’t able to cook yet, so that responsibility was left to her father.
Generally speaking, her father did a majority of the housework alone. There would be days where a helper would come, but the large Sajo estate had a number of ‘rooms that couldn’t be entered’, so her father would have to manage everything by himself. If Ayaka wanted to help with the housework, it would be under her father’s instruction.
“Father should already be awake.”
Her father who should’ve stayed up late the night before.
Although he was surely preparing breakfast on his own again, there was nothing Ayaka could do to help him. At most, she could help set the table.
Regardless, there were other tasks that Ayaka had to do in the morning.
Her usual routine.
That being — witchcraft training, studying, and practice.
The temperature in the hallway was much lower than in her room. Her breaths condensed into white puffs in the air.
She puffed into her hands to warm them as she headed towards washroom. She stepped on the steeping plate that her father had made for her and washed her face without worrying about the coldness of the air or the water.
The traces of drowsiness were washed away and her senses became clear.
She wiped the moisture from her face with her personal towel. Mm, she nodded. Peering into the mirror, she noticed that most of her front hairs were now drenched. Although it was now too late, she thought to herself that it would have been better if she had held the hairs up with a clip. Her reflection in the mirror made her bothered expression much evident to herself.
“Don’t make weird faces, Ayaka.”
She nodded again with another Mm and returned to the hallway.
Then, she noticed a change in the air.
Something smells nice?
Is a neighbor having breakfast right now? It wasn’t strange for the Sajo’s household’s breakfast menu to include bacon and eggs every morning, so she noted the presence of bacon, but there was also something more to the smell. Since she wasn’t well-informed nor studied with cuisine, Ayaka frankly had no idea as to what the scent was coming from.
I wonder what it is? She pondered as she walked down the hallway.
She turned when she reached the end of the hall.
From the washroom, she would need to walk a tedious distance down the connecting hallway to each a certain door that connected to the outdoor hallway. Then, she would have to walk down that hallway until she arrived at a glass shutter. Only then would she finally arrive at her destination. ‘Ayaka’s house is so huge’ her classmates would say, but having lived in the estate since as far as she could remember, there weren’t many places where she would feel lost. She only felt that way when she came to the garden.
It could be described as big or wide.
Regardless, she did not dislike it.
Even though she felt that she had to walk rather far.
Even though she felt the weight of hey daily routine on her shoulders.
She didn’t dislike coming here.
──It was neither a yard nor a park.
──It was a garden.
The lush green miniature forest. The vibrant flowers. The assortment of tens if not hundreds of plants. The countless number of pigeons.
Recognizing Ayaka’s presence, droves of pigeons flew towards her and gathered at her feet.
There are too many plants for a yard and the place is too big to be called a park, so it’s suitable to call this place a garden. Ayaka thought.
Long ago, she had asked her father ‘Why do we call this a garden?’, but hadn’t really been given an answer, only a vague nod. That was why Ayaka came to believe that her father hadn’t been the first to call it a garden.
If it hadn’t been her father, then surely it must’ve been her mother, she thought.
The correct classification for the place was certainly ‘greenhouse’.
The glass walls of the greenhouse gathered ample amounts of the morning sunlight within its confines.
‘It’s an important countermeasure to acid rain’, ‘Your father is a great person for doing this’, her schoolteachers had told her during their household visits. However, no one could tell if that was truly the reason. To start with, had her father been the one to make the garden?
Not the more colloquial ‘morning’, but rather ‘good morning’.
Paying no heed to the gathering pigeons, Ayaka called out towards the exclusive room, which had walls were made of wood rather than glass. Inside, there were many potions which would be better kept away sunlight as well as mountains of books. It was a place similar to her father’s workshop, her designated study room.
She tilted her head.
Father was always here by this time.
From 6:30 to 7:30 in the morning, the hour before breakfast, her father would teach her witchcraft.
That was Ayaka’s morning routine.
Yet, there was no one here.
Father isn’t here, but maybe he’s somewhere else in the garden. She thought as she called out. One seconds, two seconds passed.
There was still no answer.
As if in response to her, the numerous pigeons gathered at her feet chirped.
“I’m not talking to you guys…”
Let me think, was today supposed to be a rest day?
Even then, what I need to do hasn’t changed. My daily routine of training is also a direct order from father. A morning where nothing is done shouldn’t exist.
There were a bit more than a few times where father has gotten angry at me forgetting what he told me, so many I forgot something he told me last night.
Come to think of it—
“Was about to start, wasn’t it?”
──It shall begin.
──We must participate.
──The Sajo Household’s dearest wish.
──No, it is a necessity for the realization the greatest ambition of we magi.
“Don’t talk to the pigeons. I told you before, Ayaka.”
A familiar voice.
Ayaka immediately turned towards its source.
There, standing beside the glass shutter that served as the entrance to the garden, she saw the towering figure of her father. Due to the gleaming sunlight from behind him, a shadow was casted over his face, so Ayaka could not discern his expression.
“Don’t call out to sacrifices. Don’t try to talk to them. We cannot allow ourselves to develop empathy with mere sacrifices. Empathy leads to hesitation and causes us to lose focus of our witchcraft. I’ve told you many times already.”
Ayaka hung her head and nodded.
At the very least, she could remember something she had been told so many times. She had consciously reminded herself not to, but she ended up calling out to the pigeons anyway.
Now, the pigeons had become attached to her.
There were only a few pigeons when she had first entered the garden, but now there were at least ten gathered at her feet.
“Pigeons cannot converse with humans, nor will they even attempt to do so. These animals are unable to feel empathy; you should be able to understand that even at your age.”
“This is for your own good, Ayaka.”
She had been told this countless times.
This was repeated every morning and repeated yet again at this very moment.
Ayaka wanted to meet her father’s expectations.
However, she had become so attached to these pigeons—
She could not deny that she felt reluctant to do that as her father instructed.
“Witchcraft and sacrifice are inseparable concepts. The pain and suffering of sacrifice is the source of witchcraft’s power.”
This too, she had been told countless times.
She heard this every single morning. As forgetful as she was, this was something she couldn’t forget.
“I’ll… do my best.” She murmured.
She could not bring herself to raise her head. In her sight was a white pigeon pecking at the tip of her sandals.
“No, that doesn’t matter this morning. Go to the dining room.”
Ayaka could not comprehend what she had just heard.
Her father would never allow her to leave the garden before breakfast.
Recovering, Ayaka finally raised her head.
Her father hadn’t been looking in her direction. His gaze was instead cast towards the main wing of the estate. Ayaka could not tell where he was looking, but judging by direction, he was probably looking towards the dining room—
“I’m talking about breakfast. Go and join Manaka.”
They returned together down the hallway she previously had trodden alone.
Ayaka did not ask ‘Why?’.
Since her father’s commands were absolute, she murmured an ‘Mm’ and nodded. She did not particularly mind replying to the scolding with ‘Yes’, but the unspoken question ‘Why’ was spinning through her head like a vortex, occupying most of her attention.
Quietly, she turned her gaze towards her father, who walked slightly ahead of her.
Will he tell me what is happening?
Or will he continue to keep silent?
Ayaka’s impression of her father was that he was someone who did not talk very much outside of magecraft related matters.
For example, when she asked about her mother, he would not answer. The same would occur when she asked about the origins of the garden. Whenever she asked such questions, her father reply with an ambiguous nod – the question dismissed.
On this rare occasion, Father spoke.
Without looking back towards Ayaka—
“Breakfast. It might seem troublesome for you, but go join her. “
“It’s probably better that you go.”
I don’t really understand what father is saying.
Ayaka tilted her head in puzzlement.
She would always eat breakfast with father and her elder sister, as a family of three, so it was not strange for her sister to be at the dining room. However, it was too early. It was probably not past six-thirty yet.
“Is Big Sis hungry?”
After saying that, she could not help but feel that something was strange.
Sajo Manaka, Ayaka’s sister who was six years older.
To Ayaka, her sister was a very special being.
She could not imagine her sister saying ‘I want to have breakfast earlier’, something a normal child would say. She would not say that. She absolutely wouldn’t say that. Ayaka felt the conviction towards this belief welling in her chest.
That was why she could not understand what her father meant.
“She said she wanted to cook.”
Ayaka had seen her sister cooking a few times.
However, that had only been because her father had been too busy to do so himself, not Manaka’s own volition. However, her father told her that Manaka had wished to cook today’s breakfast.
“Big Sis said that?”
Ayaka nodded obediently.
I wonder why, Ayaka thought. She thought that this was rather unusual, but if her sister had said so, then surely—
She would show us what it means to cook to perfection. Such a thought naturally came her mind.
That’s was because—
Big Sis is amazing.
She’s cute – No, she’s beautiful, smart, and capable of anything.
“Ayaka, could you bring me the plates and the toast?”
“Ah, not those. The plates are for the bacon and eggs, so bring me the smaller ones. Do you remember the ones that you broke a while back? Also, I need the thinly-sliced toast, not the thick ones. “
“Ah, o-, okay—”
It was the same, even now.
She moved briskly through the kitchen, with elegance.
Big Sis had stood in for father many times in the past, but there was something different this time. In the past, she worked as if it were a necessity – efficiently and skillfully.
But now… It didn’t feel fast like a cook, nor beautiful like ‘Mother’ that I would often hear about in stories.
It was completely different from before.
She had also been amazing back then, but what was different now?
Equally amazing, but what does that mean…
A difference in personality maybe? I don’t think that’s right.
The menu for today was also different.
Before, it had only been bacon and eggs with toast, salad, and milk.
Now, there was bacon and eggs with toast, salad, milk, kidney pie, cod filet with a side of fried potatoes, cheese with ham, porridge with scones, and black tea. After that, for desert, there was sliced peaches matched with plum.
There was what seemed like an endless amount of food!
Big Sis prepared each dish quickly and precisely.
Just the sight of her snow-white fingers using the kitchen knife left me short of breath.
She was only six years older than me.
How could she be so beautiful?
There were cute girls at school, but Big Sis was different—
“Thanks, Ayaka. Fufu, what’s with the look?”
“No….” It’s because Big Sis is so pretty. For some reason, I couldn’t bring myself to say the rest.
“Is that so?”
My beautiful Big Sis Manaka.
The kitchen was the vast hall of a castle, and my Big Sis was the princess that danced at its center.
She joyously cooked dish after dish. She seemed to be enjoying this a great deal.
I don’t remember my mother’s face, but I’m sure she had been like this when she were alive.
The radiant light shone through the curtains.
Big Sis was truly beautiful beyond words.
I’ve always believed that, but what was different now?
Today, it seemed especially so…
So beautiful. So dazzling.
“I read that people from England love to eat cod.”
Surely, that wasn’t just limited to the British, but—
Saying that, my Big Sis, bathed in the sunlight, showed a wonderfully gentle smile.
Her smile was more beautiful than anything, more charming than any princess, be it books or dolls.
My Big Sis could do anything as well.
Studying, witchcraft, there was really nothing she could not do. She was different from myself, who couldn’t do elementary arithmetic drills nor witchcraft practices properly. She could truly do anything.
They would not just stand there like they would for me.
I never thought that Big Sis would ‘do something for fun’ or ‘be happy that she could do it’.
But I was wrong.
Just look at how much fun she was having right now? How happy she was. How beautiful—
“Hey Ayaka, can you check the taste for me?”
“S-, Sure, but is that okay?”
“It’s okay Ayaka. Now, say ahh.”
I opened my mouth like she instructed. Her slender white fingers picked up a small piece of fried fish and fed it into my mouth. I did not like fried food, but—
“How is it?”
It was truly delicious.
I did not like fried food, but it was so crisp and fluffy that it did not taste greasy in the slightest. Delicious.
“It seems that the charm on the sour cream worked. Alright, if Ayaka was okay with it then♪…”
“A secret charm to make my cooking taste delicious. It’s more amazing that any magecraft~”
Father, who was sitting at the table drinking coffee, suddenly choked and coughed.
Before Big Sis or I could say anything, my father said “No, it’s nothing”.
Father was probably surprised by what Big Sis said.
Of course I knew what these meant, because magecraft really did exist.
“Erm, something more amazing than magecraft? Ermm…”
“What’s wrong, Ayaka?”
“Father said that there was only one thing more amazing than magic.”
“That’s right. So I used that.”
‘That’s obvious isn’t it? Why do you ask?’ Her expression seemed to say.
She shined brilliantly under the morning sunlight.
Her lips, the color of cherry blossoms, parted to speak.
It was as if it was—
“You know, the magic of love.”
I could not grasp what that was meant, but that’s the thought that came to mind.
“Fufu. Perhaps it’s still too soon for you to understand, Ayaka. The magic of love—”
My Big Sis whispered.
It was as if she were talking to someone behind me.
“Is more amazing than any mystery of magecraft.”
- In the fate universe ‘Magic’ itself is a separate term from ‘Magecraft’. ‘Magic’ is sometimes referred to as ‘True Magic’.
 Dreams and Illusions are read as “Fairy Tales”
 Radiance is read as “You”
 Fate is read as “You”
 Knight is read as You