Prologue: A Distant Dream
His consciousness was breaking apart. It was only a matter of time before it faded completely. An inevitable end. That was the price of the miracle he sought, the miracle he achieved.
Angra Mainyu was before him.
There was a wind. A scouring torrent that ground away at his existence with every instant, every moment that he remained within it.
He'll forget. He'll forget. He'll forget about them, about what he wanted to protect. About what he held dear.
-There was something in front of him. Something he had to stop.
He didn't want to forget.
He had to stop it.
A wind. The scouring torrent that marked his inevitable end.
-He lost the meaning.
An eternity. An instant. It didn't matter anymore.
***** ****** lost the meaning behind his existence-
"...All processes complete."
-and the eight verses were spun, entrusting everything he was to the SWORD he left behind.
A flash of blinding white and a tear across reality, opening a path to the origin. The reversal of fate, the revival of souls...
And Emiya Shirou's death.
A place beyond life and death. The void outside of existence. It was the Boundary of Life and Immortality.
In this void, a voice called out. "Incredible..." It was female, childish and yet wise.
****** noticed it, but could not notice it. There was nothing to hold the memory, nothing to acknowledge the words spoken. It flowed through him, past him, washing over the remnants of what once was. Remnants that would soon scatter throughout eternity, slumbering until time itself came to an end.
The voice belonged to a girl. Beautiful- no, radiant. She was radiant, garbed in a flowing white dress, and young with lilac-colored hair and emerald eyes gazing at him in awe.
When she noticed how ****** had resigned himself to his fate, she shook her head.
"No. I will not allow that to occur."
From anyone else, they would have seemed the empty words of a petulant child. Yet in that moment, at that time, the girl spoke with such Authority that it couldn't seem like anything but fact.
"I, Pandora, have acknowledged your valiant deeds. I have born witness to your tale... and what a tale it was. To usurp the Authority of the Creator Himself and then sacrifice it and your soul to save those you loved... how could I allow you to meet such an ignoble end?"
A warm embrace and some of the meaning was restored. Broken fragments were drawn together, piece by piece.
. "...I cannot return you to those you hold dear, and it is possible you may never know of their Fate. But even so..."
****** felt a soft caress, one like a mother does to comfort her child.
"I have decided. As the witch who brought forth All the Evils in the World as well as a fragment of hope, I declare you to be my new son."
A howling wind, a scouring torrent. The eternal and infinite cries across the universe, across existence itself that threatened to envelop him, to erase him.
But they never reached. There in her arms, Emi** Sh**ou was untouched.
A soft smile on the girl's... the Goddess's face. "Emiya Shirou, who obtained the power of the Creator, who eradicated All the Evil in the World from your reality. Let all present grant their blessing and their hatred to this hero."
A dull roar, hate and love. Cries of pain, cries of joy. With them came more meaning, the accumulated memories returning piece by piece.
"The eighth Campione, the Sword Saint of an Unreachable Dream... I bestow upon you these sacred spell words as the shred of hope that remains when All Evil has vanished from the world."
With that, he remembered.
The sacrifice he made, the Truth he wrought into existence...
"Be reborn, Emiya Shirou, as the Champion you truly are... and live on."
A kiss, gently placed upon his forehead. A warmth, spreading throughout his body. They caused more memories and meaning to return with each passing moment.
Shirou opened his eyes, seeing the Goddess for the first time. Despite that, he didn't pay any attention to her. Instead, his gaze lingered on something behind her.
Was it an illusion or a miracle? Either way, there were three women standing there, familiar faces that pulled at his heart, made him struggle to stand and chase after them-
-only to have the world fade to white.
Loading user: Emiya Shirou.
I/O Error. Corrupted Data.
The Sixth: Error, invalid directory. Failed to read.
Aristotle: Error, definition invalid. Failed to read.
Reality Marble: Error, incompatible systems. Failed to read.
Cardinal: Error, definition invalid. Failed to read.
Scanning... match found.
Overwriting with valid data.
Inheritance of battle technique, experience, and physical strength.
Divine Instrument Forging, loaded.
Magic Circuits, loaded.
Accumulated memories, loaded.
Shirou woke up with a start.
He was sitting at a familiar (unfamiliar) desk in a familiar (unfamiliar) room.
That's right... He had been studying for the end of the year exams.
Out of habit, he glanced at his phone to check the time-
It wasn't the right day.
No... that wasn't it. The date itself was off.
2012. That was the year (it wasn't). It was winter, mid-January (it wasn't), and he was a second year student at Jounan Academy (he wasn't!).
A blinding pain in his head, his body burning, burning, burning...
And he remembered.
He was the adopted son of Emiya Kiritsugu, retired freelance mercenary.
After his father's death, Shirou had moved to Tokyo to study at the prestigious Jounan Academy, wanting to graduate and continue his education in law school so that he could become a defender of justice and do good in this world, like Kiritsugu had wanted to in his youth.
He lived alone, in an apartment near Roppongi Hills, and would be turning eighteen this year. The last at Jounan Academy before continuing on to University.
...No. That was the 'Emiya Shirou' of this world, not him.
He was Emiya Shirou, the one who attained a True Magic to save the ones he cared for.
He was Emiya Shirou, the one who tore apart reality itself to save those that could not be saved.
He was Emiya Shirou... and he was alone.