Fate/Stay Night and its spin offs are properties of Type-Moon, Nitroplus, Image Epoch. All additional references belong to their respective companies.

Chapter 1: Proof of Concept

It had been more than two years since Kiritsugu Emiya had passed away, leaving behind his adopted son Shirou in the world. Taiga Fujimura worried every day that Shirou was retreating further into himself. The frightening thing to the young woman was he kept a smile on his face the entire time.

Every time she tried to console the boy, he'd merely assure her and then set off to do another lap around the Emiya home. Or ask to be watched over as he practicing cooking in the kitchen. It just wasn't normal.

Taiga was kept awake many nights in worry about the future of the innocent young boy. Such as this night, as she simply stared at the ceiling of her bedroom. 'What can I do, though?' She thought to herself mournfully. 'He just won't let me see what's really inside his heart.'

Unbidden, her vision began to waver a little bit at the edges of her sight. Taiga felt the tip of her nose twitch as her sinuses followed her eyes in acting against the young woman's direction as she silently shook beneath her futon's covers.

A loud rap on her door cut off her misery.

"Mistress Fujimura! Please wake up, Emiya-kun is...!" Kimiko, one of the night shift maids that her grandfather had in the large complex, harshly whispered through the door. Taiga flung her covers away and wiped her nose and eyes as she ran up to and threw open the door.

"What happened to Shirou?" Taiga demanded, uncaring of showing the other woman her reddened eyes, runny nose, or crumpled and wrinkled pajama top and bottom.

"He's been taken to the hospital. We have a car ready, please follow me!"

Both women broke out into a dash – Taiga's heart practically spewing forth from her throat with the level of anxiety and fear that was surging through her body.

A trio of figures exited from the emergency ward of Fuyuki's hospital.

"You idiot! I was so damned worried!" Taiga barked, slamming the top of her fist into the close cropped red hair on her ward's head. Little Shirou flinched and attempted to weakly defend his cranium, but it was for naught as she dug in and rubbed her knuckles into his head.

"Fuji-nee! Stop!" Shirou whined. His attempts at trying to defend his head were stymied by the crutch he had under one arm to keep him standing.

"You got admitted to the hospital."

"It was just a pulled hamstring." He mumbled, a bit embarrassed that he had to go in the first place.

Behind the two, a silent man in a dark suit and tie paced, ready to move in if Taiga needed help supporting the young boy.

"Oh? Then when Tanaka saw you collapse in the middle of the yard a few hours ago, it was nothing?" Taiga demanded, annoyed with the boy's cavalier attitude towards himself. The suited man shifted a bit awkwardly. "Besides, what were you even doing out there so late?" She demanded.

Shirou wished to reply that he would have been alright, but he couldn't let anyone know what he was doing late at nights. His training as a magus had to be kept absolutely secret – just like his father had told him before he had died.

"I...I just had to clean the shed up before I forgot." Shirou weakly attempted to explain.

"You should be grateful that grandfather keeps an eye on you when I can't!"

"Ah..." Shirou's attempts at defense were swiftly terminated at that point.

Both Taiga and Tanaka looked a bit concerned as the boy's face seemingly aged in the span of seconds as he adopted a frighteningly mature expression while turning to face the suited man.

"I sincerely apologize that I've caused you so many inconveniences tonight, Tanaka-san." The boy bowed deeply to the agent.

"It...it's okay, don't worry." Tanaka awkwardly replied as he tried his best to distance himself from the strange boy.

Shirou smiled, overjoyed that he hadn't been a bother.

'That's it...I'm going to do something about this.' Taiga swore, hating how oblivious the boy was about how he had affected them.

"Fuji-nee, what are we doing?" Shirou, now off his crutches, held onto Taiga's hand as the two of them walked through a small store full of knickknacks. The proprietor noticed them and gave them a polite wave as they headed past him.

"We're getting you a hobby." Taiga stated in a tone that brooked no argument. "I'm not going to have you running around and getting yourself hurt anymore."

Not that Shirou was known to be denied so easily.


Taiga gave him a sharp glare. Fear caused her to tighten her grip on Shirou's hand. "I might not be able to be around you often thanks to my new schedule at school, but by god I'm going to make sure you don't do something so stupid again."

Shirou grew alarmed, "Fuji-nee, I can't give up now, though!" He knew that he could only be a hero when he was young – his father had said so!


"B-because..." Shirou hesitated. He knew he'd be lost if he didn't give her a good argument. "Father said so..."

Taiga sighed, but to her ears it sounded more like a death rattle. Her expression softened and her grip on Shirou's hand loosened as she stopped in place. She knelt down in front of the boy and ran her hands through his short hair.


Taiga gave him a sad smile. "You want to make Emiya-san proud, don't you?"

Shirou nodded once. 'I shouldn't...' The boy remembered his promise to his father. He couldn't let her know, but -

Taiga's expression seemed so desolate.

Shirou's decision was made for him when he stared up into Taiga's warm eyes.

"...I want to be an Ally of Justice." Shirou mumbled.

Maybe he could make her happy if he let her know a little?

Taiga walked away from the Emiya residence in great cheer. She happily waved at her little Shirou, and the boy gave her a wide grin as he energetically waved back. At his feet, several bags with garage models of super heroes were strewn about.

Even if it was a boyish confession, she felt that Shirou had genuinely tried to connect with her today. It was definitely worth the price of a few models.

'Still...a hero, huh?' Taiga wondered as she watched Shirou go back inside his house before she started walking back home to take care of some papers for the teacher she was working under. 'Maybe I can work with that.'

Honestly, who ever heard of someone trying to save the world by punching someone out? These days, it was all about scientific advances saving mankind and the planet.

Taiga happily hummed as she walked away from the Emiya home.

'Fuji-nee looks happier than I've seen her in a long time.' Shirou grinned as he looked over the models that Taiga had bought him. 'Now, what should I do with all of these, though?' He bent down and opened one of the boxes at random.

"Iron Man, huh..." Shirou mused as he looked at the figure with the surprisingly detailed looking red and gold armor. He looked up at the clock nearby. Still a few hours to go before he had to go and practice at the dojo...

'Might be fun.' The redhead decided as he picked up his bags and ran to his room to assemble the models.

As time went on, Taiga grew more and more pleased as her Shirou kept his side hobby. It was a bit of a pain at times, but the slightly (slightly!) older woman was happy she could at least do something nice for the boy.

It grew a bit annoying when the boy would assemble the various models at a ridiculously quick pace, but she privately considered that a good thing. She simply took it as a sign that the boy had an eye for assembling things.

Taiga wondered if there was something more complex she could use, though. She really didn't want to be driven to the poor house by constantly buying models for Shirou, big sister or not.

"You really mean I can have this?" Shirou wondered, eyes shining in the sun as he looked at the engine in front of him, lying beneath a stained tarp. Lying in several separate parts at the moment.

"Ayep!" Taiga grinned a bit deviously. "If you can assemble it like your models, and it's running well, I'll sell it for you and give you the money." She promised.

The woman had salvaged it from one of her grandfather's garages when they were going to throw it away. She figured this could keep Shirou busy for a good while.

And keep her sake money in her wallet for a bit.

"Hm...but this and that are different?" Shirou wondered, tapping his lips as he walked around the engine.

"Bah! My Shirou isn't such a quitter." Taiga put on an exaggerated pout. She crossed her arms in front of her and looked away from the redhead. "I should just take this away, then. Isn't like there's anyone here that can help me with this."

Taiga's calculated words made Shirou's sherry eyes shine.

'Gotcha.' Taiga grinned.

It was later that night when Shirou came out of his haze of work. The boy was sure he had seen Taiga out before he dragged the engine into his garage and slammed the door shut behind him.

Shirou was welcomed by a set of scraps small enough to fit in a television sized box.

This wasn't going according to plan.

The pre-teen sighed as he leaned his back against the wall of the tool shed. "Great. I broke things even more." He grumbled. Moments later, his stomach joined his whining as he realized he was positively starving.

Shirou stood up and moved towards the door and opened it with a grunt of exertion. His yard, drenched in silver light, spread out before him. The grass swayed serenely before him as a mild breeze cooled the sweaty boy.

'Gah...I missed working out tonight.' Shirou realized with a guilty start once he was halfway to the main house, staring anxiously over at the dojo. 'I need to pace myself better next time,' He promised himself as he went to grab a bite to eat.

Then he could try to piece together the engine again.

Just for a little while longer.

His dreams that night competed between the most beautiful sword he had ever seen. It was forged out of dreams and honor, sharper and heavier than duty itself, and one of the most noble things he had never been exposed to in his short life.

And a box of scraps.

The next day, Shirou Emiya tackled the engine problem that had been plaguing him before it ruined more of his dreams.

"Wait," Taiga spoke into the office phone. In the background, her senior – an older man who was training her to take over his teaching position when he retired – impatiently tapped his foot as he waited on her. "I think something crazy got into my ear." She pressed her fingers into her other ear and strained her right ear.

"Shirou Emiya was absent from school today." The voice of Shirou's middle school truancy officer blandly replied. "You're his contact. Where. is. He?" The man, who sounded like he got off on his position when no one was watching, carefully enunciated each word.

"Uhm..." Taiga glanced over at her senior and then looked at the phone with a weak shrug and half hearted smile.

Her senior frowned.


"SHIROU EMIYA, GET OUT HERE SO I CAN PROPERLY PROJECT AT YOU!" Taiga's booming voice sent birds into flight and Shirou scrambling for his life later that afternoon.

Shirou dragged himself tiredly into the shed.

Today had become a long and stressful day when he had been pulled along by his classmates to help them find several escaped gerbils at a park. Immediately afterward he had been shanghaied by Taiga to go shopping with her, and he hadn't been able to say no to her hopeful face.

The boy glanced at the engine parts strewn about the shed and then he looked at his usual perch where he practiced magecraft.

Shirou shrugged. He tended to concentrate better when he had something to assemble...

It was still as painful as ever. Only his word to his father made this exercise seem even remotely palatable to the young boy these days. However, he knew that he could never let his father down, so he metaphorically rammed the iron poker down his spine as he created his magic circuit.

"Trace on."

In his hands, a set of worn down, useless parts from former attempts at assembly were gracefully worked together.

The next morning Shirou started awake as he distantly heard Taiga's voice. The redhead's eyes widened as his assembled part tumbled from his hands and towards the unforgiving cement.


It bounced with an echoing thud. The boy pushed himself away from the wall he had been leaning on and moved towards the part with worry in his heart...


Yet the piece was whole. No visible sign at all of it having broken appeared.

"Shirou, get up! I'm making breakfast~" Taiga's words slithered into his brain like a curse. The worst possible future had appeared before him!

"W-wait, Fuji-nee!" Shirou quickly set the part aside and desperately ran to save his kitchen.

When the part later was disassembled later that day, Shirou saw that it was like the parts had been remade better than before.

Shirou glanced at the writing board he had set up in the tool shed. On it were random scribbles about his thoughts.

He stepped back from the board after finishing writing on it before turning over to a recent job he had taken up.

Taiga's computer, or at least its hard drive, sat in front of him. She had gotten tipsy one night and it was just fried now.

He didn't want to ask what had happened, but the moisture inside of it spoke volumes.

So much for his image of her as a responsible person.

Still, he had gone ahead and tried to repair it using Reinforcement, like he had that one part a month ago.

The redhead moved up to the board and crossed another of his father's teachings off the board.

Next to Taiga's hard drive there was another one. It was the same brand, and he had deliberately damaged it in the same way after reading through all the books that Taiga had given him on the subject.

However, this one was repaired using his father's ideas of Reinforcement.

'Time to do a side by side test.'

Shirou wound up returning Taiga's hard drive to her later that night. He simply told her he was experimenting with different ways of repair when she asked him why he had wanted to test the other one.

It hadn't worked right at all.

"Happy birthday, Shirou!"

Taiga, Raiga Fujimura, and the maid staff cheered when Shirou sheepishly blew out his birthday candles. The boy blushed heavily as the group around him laughed and clapped for him when they saw his sheepish reaction.

Taiga strolled up to the boy before he could try and duck into a corner of the room. "Hold on, birthday boy." Her words stopped Shirou cold.

"What is it, Fuji-nee?" Shirou smiled at her.

Before Taiga could continue, her grandfather had strolled up to the two of them. "We've been talking about your presents," He replied.

"What do you mean?" Shirou wondered. He glanced over at the other side of the room. A few models and various tools he had been eying for the last few months were piled up on a table.

"Well, I wanted to talk about my present, of course."

Both Taiga and Shirou awkwardly looked at the man.

The head of the Fujimura family cackled a bit. "No need to worry, you two. I won't offer Shirou another go against my sumo wrestlers."

Taiga breathed a sigh of relief. At least that was one less concern for her.

"This year."

Taiga stiffened.

Shirou smiled, glad he didn't have to put on a fundoshi. Those things rode up like hell.

"I know you two have been getting spare engines from the shops, right?" When Taiga and Shirou sheepishly nodded, he smiled. "Well, what if I let you have full access to our shops? You can work on the parts whenever you want." His offer made Shirou boggle in surprise.

"Grandfather...!" Taiga gasped.

"Hee hee. Youth should be encouraged." Raiga smiled a bright smile at Taiga. "I'm glad you've been guiding Shirou down this path. The world needs more scientists and engineers in it." He glanced seriously over at Shirou. "I'd be honored if this was a stepping stone in your path, my boy."


"Call me Grandfather, Shirou."


Shirou's dreams that night were filled with swords and a completed engine.

"Do you think you can get this fixed?" The president of his middle school wondered. In front of Shirou and the girl was a nonfunctional speaker. Shirou himself was kneeling behind it as he loosened a few screws to reveal a mass of wires.

The school president ducked down to be at Shirou's level as she looked at him. "Is it a lost cause?" She wondered, moving a bit closer to the redhead as he poked and examined the interior of it with a critical eye.

"I'm going to have to borrow a few books, but I think I can get it fixed." Shirou mused, not seeing how the girl was moving even closer. He quickly tucked the screws away into his tool belt and scooped the innards of the speaker back into it before suddenly standing up. The redhead looked down at the bemused – and oddly frustrated – looking president. "I'll get to work right away!"

With that, he turned and quickly rushed out of the room.

Moments later, a few girls peeked into the audio visual room where the president had dragged Shirou off to when classes ended. They immediately began to giggle and smirk at her.

"Oh shut up." She muttered, blushing furiously.

By the time that Shirou got to Fujimura's garage it had been pretty dark. He quickly rang up Taiga as he set his tools and the speaker up on various tables.

"Fuji-nee, it's me." Shirou began, shifting the cordless phone around.

"Shiiiirou, I'm hungry." Taiga immediately greeted with a whine. "Where are you?"

"I'm at the garage..."

"Again? That's the third time this week. Is that school president running you ragged again?" Taiga demanded.

"No! She just needs help with these things." Shirou defended her even as he walked over towards another side of the room. The smell of grease that had never quite been able to be removed from the ground lingered in the air as he plucked one of the various books Taiga bought him – this one on electronics - off a steel bookcase in the corner."They give us so little budget..."

"Yeah, the school district here sucks." Taiga agreed with a huff. "Did you know they held off my raise again?"

Shirou decided to remain quiet.

"Shirou." The older woman whined again.

Better a whine than a mauling.

"I'll be back in a few hours." Shirou promised. There was shuffling on the other end of the line, but Taiga finally gave in.

"Okay. I'll wait up for you, then!" Taiga cheerfully replied before hanging up.

"Hm." Shirou walked back and set the phone up on its charger before going to the speaker. "Now then, let's see if we can get you working."

"Trace on."

The world around Shirou dimmed as he touched the speaker with his hands and gazed into it with his prana.

'Judging the concept of creation...'

Everything had a concept or idea that had driven it to be made. The speaker was made for communication.

'Hypothesizing the basic structure...'

Odic energy, magical power from Shirou's own body, gently surged into the speaker from the tips of his fingers. Soon the shape of the item made itself clear to his eyes.

From there, destruction.

The speaker broke apart in his mind's eye into its various parts. The damaged portions were appearing before him blatantly.

However, this was also his magecraft practice.

Now came the harder parts.

'Duplicating the composition material...'

Each individual part of the speaker doubled in his mind's eye. They floated around in a chaotic mix. The earthly minerals that all of it was composed off rattled in the back of his mind.

'Imitating the skill of its making...'

Knowledge gleaned from many books was referenced, but his connection to the object itself let him look deep into it. To experience its creation from the point of view of the object.

He wondered if he was mad some days.

'Sympathizing with the experience of its growth...'

Then again, the path of a magus only held madness and death, right? This...at least in this he had a means of reference. From the device, its link to the engineers that had made it followed. It made him feel very small in the face of what engineers had done before.

'Reproducing the accumulated years...'

The weight of those years. The concepts that had been the foundation of those ideas. All of it flowed through him and projected out towards the chaos in his mind's eye.

'Exceeding every manufacturing process...'

Time to bring form to thought.

Shirou grit his teeth as his spine arched and he nearly broke down sobbing. His skin felt like it was being peeled off his back. His back felt like it was going to melt. Bile rose to his throat, but he willed it back down.

The image of the second speaker assembled.


Shirou willed it out of his mind.

By the time that Shirou woke up and got back home, Taiga only got to yell at him for about three minutes before she had to head home for the night.

A set of speakers, one repaired and the other having been projected into reality by Shirou's imagination, sat side by side in Shirou's bedroom.

Shirou led his new friend, Shinji Matou, into his home after school. The blue haired boy seemed eager to hang around him, but Shirou wasn't sure why. The other boy was much more popular than Shirou, and he was always surrounded by girls.

"Nice place you have, Emiya." Shinji mused, glad to get to hang out with the boy.

"You think so, Matou?" Shirou wondered, not hiding his look of surprise at all.

Shinji grinned. The catty looks of his classmates were shoved to the back of his mind as he crossed his arms behind his head. "Yeah, so what do you do for fun?" He wondered.

"Well, I work on some things in my garage and work out..." Shirou admitted.

Shinji's nose wrinkled in faint distaste. "Ugh, oil again?" He glanced at Shirou's hands, which were stained with the stuff.

"Eheh. Sorry." Shirou sheepishly smiled.

"...it's fine." Shinji graciously dismissed the idea. "How about you show me that stuff?" He allowed. It might be interesting seeing some engines up close. It wasn't like he normally had the chance with his intense studies.

"Okay!" Shirou grinned.

Shinji happily followed after Shirou.

"So, you going to be a engineer or something?" Shinji wondered, privately marveling at Shirou's explanations of the computer he was assembling. That had been one of the most easy to follow instructions he had ever heard.

Shirou nodded. "I have a shop that Grandfather gave me. I have a lot of books and stuff that I read during my spare time." He modestly replied.

Shinji let out a low whistle. 'Good to see I'm not hanging out with a flake, then.' He approved.

"So what's your goal?" Shinji prodded, curious about his new friend's career.

"I'm going to invent something to make the world better." Shirou substituted out his Ally of Justice spiel. Best only keep that to himself or he'd get laughed at again.

Apparently this was part of what his father had told him. No one took you seriously after a certain age if you said that.

"I'm going to get into the family business." Shinji replied. "Maybe marry my sister to some nice family." He started looking around at the various parts and tools curiously.

"Oh yeah, what do they do?" Shirou wondered. He moved aside a cart to open up space.

Revealing a faint runic circle that made Shinji's eyes bug out and his tongue slip.


A heavy silence descended on the two boys.

"Uhm..." Shirou finally broke it.

A bead of sweat ran down Shinji's back. 'Oh no, oh no, oh no!' His hands rose to his mouth in silent horror.

He'd have to kill his new friend now, right?


Shirou, seeing the expression for what it was, raised his hands.

"W-wait! Don't do anything stupid!"

"I'm not doing anything stupid!" Shinji retorted, arming himself with a wrench.

"That seems pretty stupid to me!" Shirou backed up.

Shinji came in swinging. "Shows how little you know!"

"I'm a magus too!" Shirou yelped, trying to save his own life as he ducked a shockingly fast attack.

Another heavy silence descended.

"Really, I'm sorry for trying to kill you..." Shinji apologized yet again. The two of them had relocated to Shirou's garage shop after the truth had spilled from the bag.

"I know. You said it ten times already." Shirou grumbled. The sincere look of remorse in Shinji's face made the redhead buckle. "Fine, fine. You're forgiven. Again."

Shinji squirmed on the stool that Shirou had brought him. In his excitement and nervousness, he wasn't sure what to ask Shirou about first.

"You okay?" Shirou worried.

"Y-yes!" Shinji yelped. When Shirou stared, he shook his head. "I just thought...well, that we were the only ones." He paused for a moment. "The Matou." He added at the end.

"My father was really the one who was the magus in the family." Shirou's expression fell. "He died before he could teach me much."

"Oh..." Shinji tried to rally something good out of this. "W-why...why don't we compare notes, then?" He wondered, eager to hear something. His grandfather hadn't really taught him anything at all, saying that it wasn't time yet. "I have some books I can sneak out..."

"Uhm...so you want to learn a little from me?"

"And you from me." Shinji quickly added. He wasn't going to be taking handouts from anyone. "How about it?"

Taiga sighed and listlessly stirred a cup of tea with her finger as she sat in the living room of the Emiya house. The only sounds were the television in front of her and the microwave heating up some food that Shirou had made her before heading out with Shinji.

While it was great that Shirou had made such a good friend, she had been feeling neglected lately.

'Look at me, getting jealous of a boy.' Taiga laughed and shook her head. 'Maybe it's time I find a hobby of my own.' She had heard that the school was going to be starting up an archery club soon...

Thoughts of getting both boys to join the club and her poetic revenge bounced in her head.

'Just one more year before they're at my mercy.'

A knocking at the front door disturbed her increasingly elaborate schemes, and Taiga glanced up. When another knock sounded, she stood up and headed for the front door with a grumble.

"It better not be you, Shirou." Taiga grumbled. Inwardly she preened. "I was just sitting down to watch television and..."

The door swung open.

A delicate looking girl, with a pale complexion and plum hair and eyes, looked up at her. Taiga noticed that the girl was dressed in the uniform of the same school that Shinji and Shirou attended.

"Ha...?" Taiga narrowed her eyes in confusion.

The girl took a step back from Taiga in surprise. "H-hello..." Her voice sounded odd, like something rusty and not used often. "A-are you Shinji?"

Taiga blinked. "No...?" She offered.

The girl, realizing what she said, raised her hands and rapidly shook her head back and forth. "N-no, i-is b-brother..." She closed her eyes for a moment and composed herself. "My brother Shinji Matou."

Taiga decided to take pity on the girl.

"No, he is with Shirou. They won't be back until late." Again.

Taiga cleared her throat when the schoolgirl offered her a bow and turned to leave. "Hey...why don't you wait for them with me?" She offered hopefully. "You can go back with him that way."

The girl paused. "Sakura Matou." She quietly offered.

Taiga grinned. "Taiga Fujimura." The woman moved back into the house so Sakura could enter. "Do you like soap operas...?"

Shirou and Shinji were laughing as they approached the Emiya home.

"I swear, some of that stuff is *so* stupid." Shirou laughed.

"Oh god, do you think your dad and my grandpa had to sell their 'magic potions' for money when they were young?" Shinji wondered, scandalized at the thought.

Shirou and Shinji stared at each other for a few moments before cracking up anew.

The redhead unlatched the door and let the blue haired boy in first.

"Still, some of that was good." Shinji mused. The passage about Atlas that Shirou had found was actually intriguing. He felt bad for those poor magi, though. No way of using magic normally since they lacked circuits.

"Fuji-nee, we're home!" Shirou called out as they slipped deeper into the house.

"Hey Shirou! We got a guest." Taiga's voice called out.

Intrigued, Shirou opened the door.

Both Shinji and Sakura gasped as one.

Sakura since she saw the book that she needed to read, and had gone missing from the library, firmly in Shinji's arms. Shinji gasped due to the sight of Sakura with chocolate liberally smeared around her mouth and a giant piece of cake in front of her.

"S-sempai!" Sakura squeaked, dropping her fork as she stared at Shirou in shock.

Shinji glanced at Sakura and then at Shirou in turn in surprise.

Taiga looked as pleased as always while she poured Sakura some milk. "I found myself a kid. Can I keep her?"

"Fuji..Fujimura-san was nice." Sakura quietly gave her opinion as both she and her brother walked to their home later that night.

"Mmhmm." Shinji replied awkwardly. He had spotted the looks that Sakura had given the tome in his arms. He was going to have to sneak it in and hope to bribe Sakura into forgetting about it.

Grandpa would flay him alive if he found out that he had snuck out a book. It'd be even worse if he dragged his ignorant sister into things.

Sakura glanced at Shinji. "Are..." She paused for a long moment. "Are you okay?" Her older brother looked pensive at the moment.

"Eh?" Shinji snapped out of imagining gruesome scenarios for himself. He discarded the thought of smacking Sakura's into unconsciousness and trying to play it all off as a dream. That'd just be stupid. "I'm okay."

Sakura offered him a faint smile. It was nice that he had found someone new to hang out with.

'Still...Emiya-san was a magus. Should I tell grandpa?' Sakura wondered, having felt the odic energy flow from the boy into her own circuits through her family's sorcery trait.

Shinji hummed a tune to himself.

'No...it's okay if he doesn't know.' Sakura thought as she happily trailed behind her brother. 'Everyone's happier just not knowing.'

Shirou gazed into the depths of the magic circle before him. Next to him there was a notebook which had sketches of other magic circles that had been used by the Matou family. Apparently these allowed one to summon beings to serve the user.

He compared the notebook's sketches to the magic circle in his mind's eye. The damaged and worn out parts were replaced as he brought out the history of the circle and the skill of its makers.

'Magecraft is a science...'

Shirou didn't notice a faint spark run down from his hand into the circle he was touching.

'With science we will triumph.'

He faintly smiled at all the encouragement that Taiga had given him during the last few years.

'And we will all cry out...'

"FOR SCIENCE!" Shirou projected his voice as he finished joking around.

And then the circle exploded.

Dust and chunks of cement pelted Shirou in the face. He choked and attempted to hack up a lung as he fell back to the exit of the shed.

A hazy figure was within the depths of the dust cloud.

"Master..." The voice was feminine. A pair of eyes, one green and the other blue, lit up from within the gloom of the cloud. "Master...!"

The sound of metallic heels striking the ground worried Shirou enough that he threw open the door to make a break for it. Just when he was about to run, a young girl, about five foot, six inches tall with magenta colored hair and clad in a frilly white gown, stepped out of the dust cloud.

She had a golden horn jutting out from her forehead.

The girl's hair draped back over her eyes as a pleased smile crossed her face as she brought her hands, clad in silk gloves, up to her chest as she let out a heartfelt sigh. A shroud of electricity slammed into her from the generator that had been in the back of the room, drenching the room in darkness.

'This...isn't very good, is it?' Shirou thought as his vision was consumed by darkness and two glowing eyes.