These are the final thoughts of Matou Shinji. And these are his final moments. If you are wondering why I am sending this to you Emiya, I cant really tell you. Even I don't really know. You were my only friend though, I would say "you are" but by the end of this letter, that is no longer something I am certain of. Some of the things i say will come as a shock to you, those will be the easy parts, I promise. The rest will be horrors, abominations. Apologizing would be bullshit, I never did anything to you, I don't even know how you will be angry about it, but I know you, I know you will be. I think I send this to you because you were the only friend I had who ever really knew a little about me, and so, now that I think about the events of my life, I wonder what that man would of thought about the true story of the guy he once called friend.
Magic. Real magic. Power, wonder, you never had a normal childhood I suppose, but you must have had a day like this yourself once, because you sought to be a magus to. you must of had a day come, when you learned the world was a larger place then you knew, when you learned that the fairy tales that lulled you to sleep at night, the stories that you loved and wanted to experience, were within your grasp? That was the best day of my life, when I discovered the Matou heritage, the true meaning of my name. I couldn't of been happier had I learned I was a prince in exile. Everything I had ever wanted, everything I could possibly hope to attain, everything. All I had to do was reach out my hand, and claim my destiny, as the proud head of the Matou family. The books I read in that dark, wonderful library were like water to a man dying of thirst, I read and studied and dreamed, they warned me of the trials that lay ahead, the pain of the life I wanted, the torments that would be mine if I sought the life of the magister. Bah! Perhaps nobody would believe it of me now, but then, I was not afraid. Hard work? Pain? Loneliness? I was a man wasn't I? I would happily pay the price to follow my dream, I stood strong and unafraid, I welcomed these tests of my dedication.
Does that not sound like me Emiya? I bet it doesn't, those who heard my story would call me weak, grasping, selfish. These things are true, but they are not all and have never been all there was to me. My sister in her erratic, rambling letter liked to talk about another life, another possibility. I don't really care for such games of make believe, its all bullshit. What might be, what can be, what is, what's the point of trying to figure it all out? But I do find it kind of interesting Emiya, that you and my sister both love that stupid bitch Tohsaka so much I cant believe you don't trip over your own feet whenever she walks in the damn room, and yet I think you both must of despised me, no matter how much you said otherwise, even if that meant lying to yourselves. But I to would have been great if I had Tohsaka's life. that's the irony I cant help but laugh at. My sister and I were more alike then I thought, we both wanted to be Tohsaka. If I had been Tohsaka, the proud magus with all the magic one person can possibly hold, do you think I would have been any less great? No matter what else I am, if that had been me, I would of surpassed you all. A magus they would of told tales about for a thousand years. They may still do so of course, but the story of Matou Shinji will be an advisory, a warning, as opposed to a goal. that's kind of ironic, I think.
Where everything went wrong for Sakura was the day she was chosen by my grandfather. I suppose that is another thing we have in common, but it felt like things went wrong a little later to me. I liked her then you know, this cute little girl, I didn't really think much of her, but she was nice to me, she stayed out of my way when I wanted to study magic, and she was fun to play with when I needed a break. I really couldn't of asked for a better little sister. I never noticed the old man's interest though, I should of figured it out, I am smarter then that, but its not hard to understand why I did not. I was the heir, I would be the next Matou magus, that thought was the cornerstone of my life, I never questioned it, not even once. I had been trying without success to use the mystic circuits that I was so sure ran strong in my body for years, but I had never faltered, never deviated. I would be a magus, I just had to keep trying.
The next few years were the best of my life I think. I met you, and had my first real friend, my sister was sweet and cute, and I was studying magic. I had no idea you were to, Emiya. I guess you never really know about people sometimes, even your closest friends. Do you know what happened next, Emiya? I think you don't. I think your dear sweet girlfriend has been keeping secrets from you. I don't know if I am thrilled or terrified that I am the one who is going to share this with you Emiya.
Sakura was chosen. She had been adopted from the Tohsaka clan, as a matter of fact, she is dearsweet Tohsaka's little sister, put up for adoption by a man I later learned was named Tokiomi, Tohsaka's father. That old fart Zouken saw his chance and took it at a dead run. You see, the Matou line was finished since before I was born, my circuits were completely barren, and Sakura was to be the next Matou magician. The training she underwent was….perhaps unusual. And by that, I of course mean it was an unrelenting hell for her. You can get the details from little miss perfect when you ask her why she never got around to mentioning it. I have experienced worse then her, but that does not mean I do not feel for her plight, because, unlike mine, she had no hand in bringing it about, just misfortune.
Now, looking back, I cant help but pity her, but at the time, I was more sick and angry and jealous and bitter then I would have ever thought possible. I would say I was filled to the brim with these emotions, but, as I have since learned, I wasn't even close to it. Still, at the time, I hated that stupid bitch more then anything in the world. She who would carry the proud Matou name, and I, her disgraced elder brother, had been shunted aside for her. The night I saw what was happening, the night I learned that everything I had built my life on was a lie, a child's fantasy, I went to my room and screamed until my throat was raw. They heard me I suppose, they both did, unless they couldn't hear over the sound of Sakura's screams. I punched the wall of my room so hard I broke 3 knuckles. The next day, we decided it wasn't worth the hospital visit and any awkward questions, but Sakura did bring me some ice. I couldn't even speak to her, and she said nothing to me.
The phrase "bleak pit of despair" probably sums up things the best I suppose, Emiyafor the way I felt, I really didn't know what to do with myself. Zouken was a Matou mage, everything I admired, everything I thought I would be, and he had told me, with dull, flat calmness, that I would never cast the smallest spell, that I would never see the magus' association, and that I might as well forget everything. As much as it seared my soul, I never questioned that he was right. His words had instantly laid bare all the years I had spent failing to open my mystic circuit. By then I had already been confused, I should have been well into my studies, but until then, I had been sure I would eventually reach my goals. I spent my days after that with to much free time and no idea what to do with it. There was no point in studying in the library, and I couldn't even face my sister. I hung out with you a lot more actually. If you remember that month when I always wanted to stay over, that was it. Which I appreciate, by the way.
I would of taken her maiden head, if it hadn't already been gone. How does THAT strike you, Emiya? That the only thing that stopped me from the cruelest violation conceivable was that someone had conceived something inconceivable, and then done it to her? I won't pretend to justify it, its just part of what happened now. No matter what I feel now, that will always be something Matou Shinji will carry with him the rest of his life. She came to me a few weeks later you see, asked me why I had been avoiding her.
I wonder if she had taken some small comfort from me, back then. I had been her nii-san who had played with her, a Matou that treated her like she was normal, like she was wanted. my friendly, if sometimes annoying, little sister. She apologized to me. She was serious. She was feeling SORRY, you see. Oh, not for herself. Nope, the girl that had not come for that, she wanted to apologize for killing my dream.
she should. That was my only thought. This stupid girl, this worthless, mewling BITCH had just walked in off the streets and done everything short of hurling me back out onto them. Sorry? I would show her sorry. I slapped her as hard as I could, and she just stood there. It felt really good. I hit her again, with my fist this time, and sent her to the floor. I yelled at her,, and she just apologized again and again, or just stayed still, looking downcast, with tears running down her cheeks. I didn't rape her then. I just hit her until I was tired and then stormed off. She came again the next day, bruises were all over her face, and her nose was swollen. I loved that look. She was getting what she deserved, when she apologized again, I asked her if she was really sorry. She said yes. I made her prove it.
No, don't find hope Emiya. You didn't read that wrong. She was a young girl, whose body had just began to swell into womanhood, and I was like any boy just becoming a teenager, flushed with hormones, and I was absolutely convinced this….this THING that had invaded my house was not my sister. I took her and used her again and again that night. What's ridiculous is how much it bothered me that she enjoyed it, it was supposed to be a punishment, but her passion matched mine. I thought it was proof that she was just a slut, a whore, someone who could only take from men, or use them.
As it turns out, that was a side effect of her training, but I didn't know very much about what that entailed, back then. Things developed quickly after that. As she began to become a woman, My grandfather began to intensify his work on her. She became…..needy. I was happy to oblige, hearing her beg me to fulfill her was like vindication for all the wrongs I had suffered at her hands. This pathetic creature was NOT better then me. She would only lead the family because she had gotten lucky, that's all. Things continued that way for years. Hah! You remember me in high school, Emiya? Quite the lady killer I was, oh they LOVED me. Why shouldn't they? When most boys were awkward, nervous things that could barely get there underclothes off in time, I had experience to spare. I could take a timid virgin and give her an experience she would cherish for the rest of her life. I heard the rumors about me, and they were nothing less then truth. Years of practice I suppose. And there was archery, I had a lot of free time, after I stopped training, you were on the archery team, I figured, why not. I wasn't particularly gifted at first, but I had learned a little about what it meant to be dedicated towards a goal, it didn't take long before I had outstripped all the other first years. Well, except for you, of course. I didn't really know where I was going in life.
I wonder where I would be if not for the war. Still just wandering, defeated, listless? Coasting through life, indulging to much in sake, working at some dead end job where the only one who didn't love me was myself? But the war. Ah yes, the war. For Sakura, the war was an end, but for me, it was a revival. a time to be renewed, a time to do what I had always said I could, always BELIEVED I could, shine bright, if I only had the chance.
Oh god, Rider hated me. But in a way, I think I may have loved her. She was my salvation. My servant, command her well, fight well, and I would have my wish. To re-awaken the circuits that slept within me, the reformation of a strong Matou line with me at its head, this was my wish. I thought then, that things had come full circle, the worthless bitch who had taken my place, didn't have the stomach for it. She didn't have what it took to fight you for a miracle. I did, I who should always have been the light of the Matou family, finally could prove to everyone that it should have been me all along.
Then, I lost everything. That stupid self righteous bitch Caster tricked me while I was setting up the blood fort. It was so….easy for her. In a single second I went from a hero on my own quest for vindication, for justice, and the next, I was just a scared man, a terrified boy, faced with the prospect of loss and death. She teleported in between rider and I, and held one hand to me. didn't even bother to menace rider herself. Rider bunched herself to jump, but the witch simply let a little light form at her fingers. Rider knew. I KNEW. My life relied at caster's forbearance. So what could I do? I ordered Rider to stand down, and begged miserably for my life. Rider died. The witch must of decided I was not worth killing, worthless, miserable man who couldn't do anything but shake and try to control his bladder and his bowels. And you…..and Rin…..my god I had abased myself before Caster, and I was forced to do it again for you to. It was as if fate itself wanted to make sure i knew it wasn't a one time thing, that Matou Shinji, when it was all on the line, could only squeal and beg.
Well, you know what happened next. Gilgamesh. Archer. And …..oh Emiya, jealousy is such an ugly emotion. Her name was Tohsaka Rin, and she was everything I wanted to be. Did I love her? Did I have a choice? Was there anything that could ever have been said about the sad, needy emotion that I had for her? I approached her, and she rejected me. I menaced Sakura, and she denied me. She was like a vengeful goddess in those days, a living instrument of fate that had only one purpose, to tempt me with everything that was wrong with me. Not a magus, not a man. She was the first person, who, in her own way, tried to show me that there was something wrong with me. When I had her at my mercy, she didn't beg. She wanted to, I could see the fear in her eyes. She wanted to scream, I could see her throat tense up with the emotion that she wanted to let out. But she didn't, she was so proud, she wouldn't even allow herself to look away as I touched her. Just stared at me and condemned me. I know you won't believe me Emiya, but I am so, very glad I was stopped. Such a person should not be defiled by the likes of me.
Do you think you saved me, Emiya? that I was one of many you saved on that day, that you lived out your dream to rescue somebody that needed it? Maybe. But now, I shall repay the favor by telling you something you didn't know about your father.
His life was a hell.
Each and every second, he didn't just want to die, he was commanded to. And now, so am I. the corruption Emiya, that black goo that flowed through my veins, the torrent of all the world's evil that used me as a conduit to enter the world, succeeded. It is me. Do you remember what I said about my sister's pain Shirou? That I had experienced worse? I will match my suffering to anything that my sister endured, more, because I never found a moment's respite from this plague. There can possibly be none. Every second my head pounds with this indescribable hatred, at once I murder and rape and am raped and murdered at the same time.
I am a living embodiment of everything that is ugly and sinful. That is the gift you gave me Emiya, when you saved me. Thank you very much. When you read my sister's story, she says that a change came over me. Yes indeed, Matou Shinji became a different person. Because at the same time I was condemned to this torment, I also received a miracle.
My circuits had been opened.
Laugh with me, Emiya. don't be afraid, I know its funny. The grail had forced its way into my body, and ran so much prana through me, it is literally impossible for me to describe. I don't mean that insultingly Eimya, its simply that you do not have any kind of description for that number. Infinite would be insultingly small. All that prana, it forced open the long dormant Matou circuits. Naturally, most were destroyed of course, and I have been told that the remainder are not of good quality. but magic was mine. I was a Matou mage after all. How could I hate my sister then? I knew….on a far more personal level…what had been done to her. Hell, it had been done to me. Rape, violation, abuse, all in the name of the holy grail. Like brother, like sister. And besides, now that I was a magus, I had no reason to hate.
Those first few weeks, in the hospital, and then later, at home. I practiced magic. Zouken was unimpressed. I had less then half the magic circuit's a normal magus had, probably less then a quarter of your precious girlfriend. Somehow it seems like there is a certain balance in her having so much more though, she deserved it. I practiced, day in, and day out. I quit the archery team, dumped every girlfriend I had, and I trained alone. It was support for my soul, that was in torment. I couldn't find any satisfaction in my new abilities, not when second by second my twisted spirit writhed in the grip of the blackest despair, and the most horrible pain. I feel that pain now. But what could I do? Matou Shinji had never accepted his own death. I burned to live, despite all my pride, I clung to life with a fierce, desperate tenacity.
I would not die. I would not bow to this torment, Matou Shinji was a Magus, and he was a Man, by god, I was going to act like one. I was going to keep the quiet promise I had made to myself, so long ago. I progressed quickly, it was only natural, I trained at night instead of sleeping. My dreams were always nightmares, they kept me awake at night. They weren't ….just because of the grail's taint, either.
Emiya…..do you know, how hard it is, for a man who has NEVER, not even once, regretted an action he has taken, or believed he has done wrong, to admit to himself he was sorry? The similarities are obvious. Brother and sister, so very alike in the end, bonded not by blood, but by torment. This pain that I endured, this unrelenting misery, was terrible. I think it all changed, when I realized I would give up my magic to be freed of it. That realization cost me everything. That simple truth put the lie to everything I thought I was, that I thought I could ever be. I, Matou Shinji, would sacrifice that great destiny of mine, my dream, because I was in agony. And if this was true, then my sister…..for the first time I really thought of her as my sister….then she had suffered, at my hand, for nothing. If being a magus, wasn't everything, wasn't worth everything, then nothing I had done to her could possibly be justified. Sakura Matou did not deserve her fate.
How do you say I am sorry? How do you take someone whom you and your blood have broken into something that was less then human? I couldn't think of anything. I resolved to start by never taking her again. I couldn't challenge the old man, if I tried, he would simply kill me, and nothing would change. And that was the truth that I had begun to reach for, blindly, sub-consciously. This could not continue, something had to give. I just didn't know what, or when.
Well, as you will learn from her letter, things didn't go as planned. Her treatment continued, and she still came to me when it was unbearable. What could I do? Even looking at her racked me with something so beyond guilt I couldn't even comprehend. She never asked me for anything, anything but this. I did as asked. It took everything I had to even be able to perform. With all the world's evil screaming in my mind, at once damning me and egging me on, commanding me to rip my own heart from my chest in penance for my evil, and to commit more still by rending this weak-willed thing that needed me into pieces, I preformed.
As she got up to leave, I held onto her arm. I couldn't say anything. Not me, not Matou Shinji, but I didn't want to be alone that night, and I think perhaps she felt the same way. That was the first time we slept in the same bed since we were children. I cant remember the time she refers to in her letter though, when I was crying. Because you see, that wasn't a one time thing. I stayed awake almost every night, and I often cried. I told you, I rarely sleep. I wont say something pithy, like having her there gave me peace, it didn't. nothing did. I just wanted to show her that I didn't hate her, that not everyone hated her, even if I couldn't actually bring myself to tell her.
And then my sister, took her own life. I didn't even see it coming. All I knew was that she was in pain, and that she seemed a little more desperate, towards the end. I guess, in the end, I never knew her at all. I don't think anyone can truly understand the mind of that poor, tormented girl. Which is a shame, because that what she wanted, at the very end. To be understood, to have her story told, and I suppose, she had a selfish wish that the sister she loved might feel something for her, might feel sorry for her, might think of her when she was gone. I know the feeling.
And so my sister died. And my grandfather died. I wasn't with either when it started, but I heard a scream from my room, I rushed to the basement, and on his back, hatred and shock written on his features, was my grandfather in the middle of his cursed worms. He was already fading, I don't think he was scared, but he was enraged. I had no idea at the time what was happening, but there is enough malice in me now to hope maybe he did. It took him a minute to disappear, I wonder if its always the case for immortals like him who have their "true death" as Sakura called it, forced upon them. But as he began to fade, I hope he knew somewhere, in the back of his mind, that it was her, that she had beaten him at the end.
Do you know how I learned all this, EmiyaShirou? Do you want to know how I found all this out? Look at that beautiful face. Run your fingers through her hair, and stare at the cause. Because she came for me. It was about a week after it happened, I was still in shock. Even the relentless torment of evil seemed to be frozen in surprise, the unbeatable Matou Zouken, who even then, I had believed something akin to a God, or at least, a vengeful devil, was gone. And my sister had never returned. I had checked with her friends, she had stayed with nobody. She was gone. I didn't know if she had escaped, if she was free, and then, Tohsaka Rin re-entered my life.
I was leaving my house for school. Appearances must be preserved, after all. I had just left my house when the first blow struck. My ears rang, my head swam. I suppose you would think that given my constant agony, that it would be impossible for me to feel much pain. As a matter of fact, I would have said the same. And we would both be wrong. She never said a word to me, not once. She just threw me back inside the door to my house, and she hit me till I couldn't stand. Then she kicked me till I couldn't breath, and then she kept going. She must of grown tired I guess, because she sat down next to me, breathing heavily, when she was finished. I had trouble seeing her through my eyes, which were already beginning to swell. She was staring at me. I remember thinking that, again my life was in the hands of a female mage who had nothing but contempt for me. But I didn't beg, not this time, I just looked at her and waited for judgment. It came, but not in the way I expected. She removed a satchel from her hip, and took from it a letter, carefully folded. And sat it next to me. I remember her hand shuddering as she touched it tenderly. And then she left. The only sound she had made was the sound of her blows, and the quiet, angry sobs that had accompanied them.
It took me a while to get my arm to the letter. I think I already had an idea of what it was, but consciously all I could think of was that I had to grab it, I had to read it, and it would be wrong for me to shame it by just convulsively grabbing at it and wrinkling it. My sister's final words. A fervent plea to the daughter of her father. I cant call her a sister, that's bullshit. She was no more a loving sibling to Sakura then I was.
Mark this Emiya, if there is one thing I learned from that letter, its that of all of us, we three, who had reached into that girl's life, I had hurt her the least. I took her body, and her pride. You and Tohsaka, you bastards, you made her suffer in ways I cant even imagine. I want to feel better about that. I do, but all I can feel is a bit of regret, that I wasn't the only one that thoughtlessly twisted someone who really didn't deserve it. I remember waiting after I read that letter, expecting some kind of new hell, some kind of new, fresh pain to live with. But all I felt was the same old regrets. I already knew what her story was. The only thing I could take from this letter was the knowledge that I wasn't wrong. That she hadn't deserved it, that it had happened anyways, and that there had been no miracle at the end, no last minute dues ex machina for a happy ending. My sister, was dead by her own hand, in a small act of defiance that had been the only choice she felt she had.
Do you know what happened next Emiya? I still cant help but smile. They called me Matou-sama, I was recognized as the heir by the magus association. I did not have the crest, but I commanded magic, and my family is old. It turns out that the old man had accumulated a great deal of wealth of many sorts. He had books of magic, things that half the magus's of the association would of given their crest, their teeth, and their first born son to acquire, he had money. Millions in yen, pounds, dollars, stocks, property. Hundreds of years of patient investments born fruit, that was now all mine. And ooh, did they want it. I had well wishers calling and letters to read everyday, with Zouken dead, the vultures wanted to feed on the corpse, protected by only one small magus with insignificant power and no formal education. Most I ignored, their respect was something I had stopped caring about long since, I didn't need those miserable old bastards sneering down their nose at me, looking to profit from my sister and my grandfather's death.
But some few I did bargain with you know. I have been for a while, you see, I learned something in the old man's notes. My condition was not unique. Another, had felt my burden. All the world's evil. The taint of the grail. One magus before had experienced it, and lived with it, and I so desperately wanted to know what he had done.
Emiya Kiritsugu, your father. Yes, Emiya, your father lived everyday as I have. All the world's evil that did nothing to his body, but lashed at the soul. He never found a cure. There isn't one. I followed his path for quite some time. His works, his notes, I tracked down contacts and plied them with money, or drink, whatever it took to extract the slightest morsel. His solution appeared to be the one I have lived, somewhat unwittingly
Exist. Endure. Find purpose. He wanted to save people. You take after him, Emiya. That was what he decided, his soul was filled with evil, but a man who is a savior can not be called bad. Dive in front of a car to save somebody in its path, take a bullet for someone you don't know, reach out to someone who has gone over the cliff, and pull them back. Save them, and in so doing, save yourself. That was your father. I asked myself, what did I want to do then. What could save me, Emiya? And I believe, I to, have found my answer.
Matou Shinji can not be saved. To be saved, I would have had to have taken a different path. The place I have reached has no exit. The only way to be saved would be to never come here at all. To be saved, I needed more then a hero of justice. You see, I had that in you, when you saved me from the grail, and yet, I still need to be saved. So what I need is not a hero, I need something more. A miracle. That is what I would need. What I would need is for someone to save me, before I ever needed to be saved at all. I would need to correct my flight, before I ever began to crash. Something like that can not exist, which is why my answer is nothing.
And yet, that is my ideal. A miracle, that is what I want to be. that is what i will become. what my sister wanted in the end, was to ensure what happened to her never happened again, but it will, and is, and has. There are mages all over, willing to do anything to anyone if they can get away with it. And there are small, insignificant boys, who have everything in front of them, but will turn from the light into the darkness, into twisted, evil, selfish things, because of it. Little boys who don't know yet, that they need saving, that they face a life like mine, if they don't change. If something doesn't change, and so, I have decided, I will become a magus. I will use my power to join the magus' association. I have already hired a trainer and have passed an accelerated training regime. There is no doubt I will be able to gain official status. And as a Magus, as the last Matou, I will work to find these people.
Why can't second sons and daughters, who have magic, have help finding the proper trainers? why cant someone like my sister, filled with power, have just a little help to find the right family? that would of made all the difference in the world to her. and why can't those forgotten children, with no magic, but a yearning to make their mark and prove themselves, still find their place in our world if they want it? The alchemists association, the church, they do not require a crest or circuit as the price of admission, and I am sure there are others in our world who would care less about prana then they would about the soul inside. That is my ideal, to effect change so that these very insignificant sons and daughters never need saving at all.
Now Emiya, I write this to you, to let you know of a decision I have made. The Matou line is stained beyond recognition, I can find no joy in the burden of my family name. I think I may even hate it, when I think of all the things the old man, and I, have done using only the name Matou as our defense, it makes all the world's evil within me pulse in recognition. Most of the magus's will only know me as Shinji Matou, but when I think about myself, when I consider what my ideal is, what the goal that I have found beautiful is, what I am ready to spend the rest of my life in pursuit of, I feel like I can not accept that anymore. So I have taken a different name.
these are the final thoughts of Matou Shinji, and these are his final moments. From this day forward, in my heart, as long as I pursue my ideal, I choose the name of my father, my true father, the man i have studied under, who has mentored me and showed me the way. this is my only path now, i will reach my ideal, or die pursuing it.
P.S. Inside the envelope this came in, is another letter. It's not to you, and she didn't want to burden you with the knowledge, but I know my sister pretty well. She would want you to know her story. Tohsaka gave it to me. you know, as smart as she is, I think she may occasionally make shockingly poor decisions sometimes.