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Thread: Lord El-Melloi II's Case Files Translation, Starting From Book 6

  1. #301
    Quote Originally Posted by ProtoformX View Post
    I made updated PDF/EPUB versions of volumes 6 and 7...
    Mind if I add these to other places (crediting you, of course)?

    Also!

    Chapter 5, Part 2
    Chapter 5, Part 2:

    Darkness.

    That is what I would soon become. It was a harbinger of death, the sign that we had fallen from the Texture of the Human Order and were about to be wiped out.

    I could feel the memory of the person named Gray fading away, crushed by the beast until not even a fragment of me remained.

    (……)

    It shattered, shredded, dissolved. I felt as if the fibers that made up my being were being slowly unraveled as it stared at me.

    —I ask—

    …Somehow, I heard something.

    A voice that could not have reached me.

    —I ask you.

    It was not an actual voice, but something that came from a place as far away as the earth’s center. But it must have been a place connected to a Ley line.

    —Are you my Master?

    My body screamed at me that somewhere, someone had made a contract.

    A tremendous vitality filled me as if each cell in my body was being replaced. This power continued to grow, far exceeding the limits of a human vessel, awakening my consciousness even though I should have been dead.

    (…Ah.)

    So that was why Sir Kay had said that in my dream.

    —“You’re probably here because that person’s getting close.”

    In that case, the other thing he had spoken of was the fate I could not escape.

    —“The end is almost here, so I hope fate goes easy on you.”

    Even the tips of my fingers burnt with energy. Each breath I took sent fire coursing through my body. Upon opening my eyes, thousands of times more information than I was used to entered my brain, which somehow managed to receive it all after being energized.

    I let the flood of information surge through me as I activated the Mystic Code on my back. I did not know how far I had fallen. Time and space were both fuzzy here. My mentor would probably hypothesize that time had stopped while I was dead.

    I could see my mentor beneath me, still plummeting into the void.

    “Sir—!”

    He did not respond to my call. I knew that he would die if I didn’t do anything. No human could withstand the gaze of that monster. His soul would be crushed and returned to nothingness, just as mine had been.

    “What point is there to holding back now, Gray?” Came a piercing voice from the hook at my right shoulder.

    “Add!”

    “Unseal it! I’m sure you can now!”

    I didn’t need to ask to know what he meant. More Magical Energy than I could imagine was propelling me, yet I was shuddering like a terrified fawn.

    “I…”

    “Get a move on, Gray!”

    “But that means you’ll—“

    “That doesn’t matter! You’ve left your hometown! Time to be brave!”

    The scolding of the box that used to be my only friend ignited something within me.

    I poured all my emotion into my right hand. The box I was holding dissolved into a vortex of light.

    Darken
    Gray
    Celebrate
    Rave
    Want
    Crave
    Corrupt
    Deprave
    …”

    The incantation of self-suggestion flowed naturally from me. However, I didn’t enter a trance like usual. This was the only time that the secret techniques that Bersac Blackmore had drilled into my head failed to work the way I wanted them to.

    And yet, I continued to chant, just as he taught me.

    Ingraved in me
    Grave…me…


    “Pseudo-personality suspended. Mana yield exceeds regulation. Second stage restraint rescinded.”

    Add’s voice turned mechanical as it usually did, signaling that its pseudo-personality had stopped so that as much Mana as possible could be taken in from my surroundings. Though the Magical Energy of Spirit Tomb Albion was different from that of the surface, Add consumed it without any problems.

    “Seal Thirteen, Decision—”

    (—No—!)

    I barely managed to maintain the final restraints on the holy lance.

    A grave for you
    Grave…for you…


    The Magical Energy that should have been released rushed back into my Magic Circuits, tearing the flesh surrounding it. Blood gushed out from my right shoulder. If not for the “power” that had entered me earlier, I might have died then.

    As I felt the slight warmth of my blood dripping down my right hand, I announced the true name of the spear.

    The Lance that Shines
    —Rhongo—


    This was the first time I had uttered its name with such despair.

    An intense light surrounded my right hand. It was the anchor that held the world together, the tower at the farthest end. The Anti-Fortress Noble Phantasm that should not have existed in this age of diminished mystery roared to life.

    to the End of the World
    —myniad—
    !”

    For just a few seconds, the radiance of the lance filled the Pit of Oblivion.

    Each molecule of air burnt up as all the Magical Energy in the area was eradicated. And then—

    —A tiny sound came from the lace itself.

    I should not have been able to hear it amidst the carnage, but I did.

    I understood what it meant. It was the sound of a final blow that could not be mended, like the breaking of a heart or a delicate castle made of glass that I could never put back together again.

    Just as quickly as it appeared, the light from the lance disappeared again. Not even it was able to harm the beast that lived at the bottom of this hole. It could only divert its attention.

    That was all we needed. Lunging toward my falling mentor, I dived toward a cavern that opened from the side of the Pit of Oblivion.

    *

    I landed on my knees.

    “Aghhh…!”

    I felt like my entire body was being put through a blender. It was a hundred times more painful than growing pains. The outside of my body was already identical to hers. Now, the inside that connected to Mystery was shifting as well.

    The foreign organs inside me now were not made from my existing cells. Each breath brought more Magical Energy cycling through my chest cavity like magma.

    However, none of that seemed to matter now.

    I needed to talk to someone.

    “…Add!”

    “Yeah?” It replied.

    If I ignored the exhaustion in its voice, it almost sounded the same as usual.

    “Why do you sound like you’re crying?”

    “…I’m not… I’m not crying.”

    I shook my head, but I understood.

    No matter how Add tried to hide it from me, I knew what would happen.

    By some miracle, Add managed to stay in this shape. I knew it would not last. If I had unsealed the Seal of Thirteen, nothing would have remained of this strange, talking box.

    “…Gray…”

    My mentor looked at me with a tense expression, as if he didn’t know what to say.

    When would he learn not to make that kind of face? I really think he is a fool sometimes. I wanted to tell him that he had done nothing wrong. We had entered this maze knowing that we would lose our lives or the lives of our friends. This was all to be expected. It was stupid of him to think that this journey could be completed without making any sacrifices.

    “Sir,” I said, changing the subject so I could say what he could not. “I think the last Servant of the Fifth Holy Grail War has been summoned.”

    Though I didn’t manage to say “King Arthur”, my mentor knew what I meant.

    “The people of your hometown always believed that the once and future king would appear again.”

    Even the Atlas Institute held the baseless belief that King Arthur would be summoned again soon. The prayers of my hometown had finally been answered, even if they were now meaningless.

    “…I’ve changed again.”

    It was just like ten years ago, when I lost my face. From now on, what would happen to me?

    My mentor averted his gaze as if he had decided on something.

    “Add…”

    “Hey! Don’t give me that look! Oh, wait, you always look like that. Sorry!”

    At the sound of Add’s voice, my mentor’s lips trembled as if he was about to cry.

    He must have been like this ever since he was a teenager. Though it was less obvious now, it was only because he had gotten better at acting.

    “Gray…”

    “It’s okay, Sir,” I said, forcing a smile. I was a little proud of myself for being able to do that, even if it only lasted for a moment.

    “Sorry, Add looks a little tired, too. You should head on without us.”

    “…Understood.”

    My mentor nodded, stood up, and began to walk away.

    I knew I needed to follow my mentor if Heartless was waiting for him. Fortunately, the power brimming from my body was still present. Not only that, it seemed to grow with every second to a frightening degree.

    “…Can you hold on just a little longer for me?” I said, watching my mentor walk into the distance.

    “Whatever you say, milady.”

    Add’s remark was painfully gentle. I had been accompanied by its sarcastic voice for ten years. Without it, how would I have survived the years in my hometown before my mentor came?

    I think it was the one who taught me that being alive was more than breathing.

    “…We’re both very honest, aren’t we?”

    “…Yeah, I agree.”

    How long had it been since I last heard Add speak sincerely in the ten years that I had known it?

    “Sorry, stupid Gray. I’m going to get some sleep now.”

    “…Okay.”

    I nodded and stood up. The box in my right hand had shifted into a scythe, but Add did not speak again.

    I tried not to think about how I might never hear Add’s voice again. I needed to focus on the reason we had entered this maze. We had pledged to succeed, no matter how much it took.

    “…Ow…”

    I put a hand to my stomach and wondered how long I could stay like this.

    I hurriedly stood up and followed after my mentor, grateful that my friend had left me my scythe so I could still fight.

    *

    “That light—!”

    “She must have used that lance,” Luvia answered, not taking her eyes off of her enemy, the pitch-black chariot being pulled through the void by a pair of skeletal dragons, Hecatic Wheel.

    “What are they fighting down there? It can’t be Faker, not while her Noble Phantasm is still here.” Said Seigen.

    All three mages had witnessed Gray’s Noble Phantasm before, so they knew its devastating power. They had seen it tear an entire castle apart.

    “That is impossible to know. This is Albion, after all. Anything can happen here.”

    “—Luvia!” Seigen shouted, spreading the wings of his Mystic Code. He launched himself by kicking the walls of the pit with what was probably a Tengu art and picked Luvia up.

    Luvia leaned into her intuition and released her jewels, the smell of ionized air spreading through the space.

    Call!

    More rainbow-colored beams shot toward the chariot. Like before, they all bounced harmlessly off. It was as if the chariot was impervious to harm.

    However, Luvia had heard from Reines that Touko Aozaki might have been able to damage it. That meant there must be some way to destroy the armor system from the Age of the Gods. Mystery may have been more powerful the older it was, but that rule only applied to mystery of the same nature.

    Luvia’s jewel magecraft could stack usually impossible things, turning them into something she could manipulate. Jewels that had gathered peoples’ obsession as they were passed from one owner to the other allowed her to use even stronger magecraft. Perhaps those would be able to harm the bone dragons, but they were still far from enough to defeat them.

    (…As I guessed, it is taking all of our efforts just to stop it.) Luvia concluded calmly.

    More valuable gemstones were crushed with each charge of the chariot. Even with Seigen and Flue’s support, Luvia’s reserves would not last forever.

    She wondered what Lord El-Melloi II and his disciple were doing now and what they would lose once they met Heartless in the deepest part of Albion.

    (I hope he has not forgotten my gift.) She thought.

    When they first met, she had thought that he was the worst kind of mage— a despicable New Ager who stubbornly held on to mystery despite being incapable of reaching its secrets.

    However, he had proven his worth. Luvia had never thought that someone could leave a positive impression on her by dismantling her magecraft and showing her how it could develop.

    (That is why I trust you to succeed, tutor!)
    —————————————————————————————————————————————————— —

    Last edited by azwhoisverybored; October 25th, 2022 at 10:22 PM. Reason: This is part 2, not part 3

  2. #302
    Lie Like Vortigern Reign's Avatar
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    Thanks as always.

    I can't help but wonder how an anime adaptation would handle Saber's summoning here. I always imagined it as something like how the Last Stardust scene in ufoUBW lingered on the "are you my master" image while Avalon was healing Shirou.

  3. #303
    Never thought I'd get teary-eyed over a talking box... Add is a G

  4. #304
    [QUOTE=azwhoisverybored;3225853]Mind if I add these to other places (crediting you, of course)?

    that would be super cool, sure thing fr

  5. #305
    Chapter 5, Part 3
    Chapter 5, Part 3:

    I wondered whether this place was a fitting stage for the final act.

    I looked up at the glowing ceiling above us, filled with swirling lights that made me think of the legendary World Tree. Though we were nearly entering the mantle, it glowed as brilliantly as the night sky.

    Gold coins dotted a magic circle drawn on the ground, along with a clock and a silver suitcase.

    “……”

    In the center of it all stood a red-haired mage and a mysterious pillar of light.

    Though he surely must have known we arrived, the mage did not immediately turn to face us, making me wonder how important the pillar of light was.

    “How is the Grand Roll going?” The mage asked, his back still turned to us.

    “Our connection was interrupted while Ms. Inorai was speaking, which was about fifteen minutes ago. I believe they plan on waiting to see if I can stop you before they decide if they should pretend that the meeting never happened.” Came my mentor's reply, as if he had expected Heartless’ question.

    “…Oh, what a surprising turn of events.”

    “I found it surprising as well.” My mentor said with a wry smile.

    That was the first thing we confirmed once we had re-established communication with Reines. Though I could still understand the gist of what was happening over there, Seigen’s information-sharing magecraft had become much less accurate, either because we were deeper into the Ancient Heart or because the path was momentarily severed.

    Many mysteries remained. I did not ask my mentor about them, because I didn’t think he would know either until he spoke to Heartless.

    “It seems a lot will come down to these fifteen minutes, Lord El-Melloi II.”

    As Heartless slowly turned, it suddenly struck me that this was only the second time I had faced him. He had pushed us around from the shadows for far longer than we had actually been in contact with him.

    “What have you come here to do? Do you want to stop me?”

    “Of course.”

    Heartless tilted his head as if he found my mentor’s answer curious.

    “Why? You should already know my motive, creating a god for mages. Not only that, the god I am creating is Divine Spirit Iskandar. There should be no reason for you to stop me.”

    “I think I came to confirm it with my own eyes.” My mentor said without a hint of hesitation, as if he had prepared for this exchange on the way here.

    “…I see,” Heartless said, nodding before he continued with a friendly smile. “For some reason, I had always suspected that the creature would not have been enough to stop you.”

    Simply thinking of that monster made me shudder. Rhongomyniad had only managed to make it look away. Even now, with unprecedented power flowing through me because of the summoning of King Arthur, I could not think of a way to fight it.

    “You were eaten by that creature ten years ago.”

    “……”

    Heartless did not respond.

    “Actually, it wasn’t ten, but thirty years ago, wasn’t it?”

    “…So you’ve guessed that much already.” The red-haired mage said with a somewhat troubled look.

    I nearly gasped. That expression reminded me so much of my mentor. Why did I feel like these people were so similar?

    “…What does that mean?”

    “You’ll understand soon enough.” Said my mentor with another wry smile. Then, he turned to face Heartless. “I have something else I want to confirm. Your spell has already started operating automatically, hasn’t it?”

    “Yes. At this stage, it will continue even if I die. Haha, you probably know that I spent all my reserves on this. To get this far, Faker has had to use her Noble Phantasm over and over again.” Said Heartless, looking at the silver suitcase.

    My mentor looked to it as well. “Did you use that suitcase to carry the Seal-Designated mage and the holders of the Mystic Eyes that you kept in storage?”

    “Oh?” Heartless said with a raised eyebrow. I stared at my mentor with increasing confusion.

    “On the Rail Zeppelin, you said that you stored the entire heads of people with Mystic Eyes.”

    This, I remember.

    Heartless had used the technique of removing people’s heads without killing them and taking information from their Mystic Eyes while he was researching the Fourth Holy Grail War.

    “Mystic Eyes generate Magical Energy. They are almost like external Magic Circuits, which is why they are precious regardless of their abilities. Heartless burnt them as fuel for Faker and his magecraft.”

    “…Does that mean–?” I blurted out.

    That meant that there used to be Mystic Eyes in that suitcase— no, there used to be living, human heads. Had Heartless tossed them all into a furnace to open a path through Albion? Did he use them to fuel the Greater Magic Formula in order to create Divine Spirit Iskandar?

    My mentor continued without mentioning the cruelty of Heartless’ actions.

    “There are less than fourteen minutes left. if it’s alright with you, I’d like to see if my guess is correct.”

    “Go ahead.” Heartless urged.

    Their conversation reminded me of a student and a teacher who were meeting each other for the first time in years. I couldn’t help but feel uneasy. My mentor was in uncharted territory, after all. Maybe he shouldn’t have come here.

    “At first, I theorized that you weren’t actually Dr. Heartless, but Kurou, Heartless’ missing student.”

    Reines had also said this during the Grand Roll. The meeting had revolved around this theory momentarily before Asheara overturned it by admitting to the murder of Kurou, not Heartless.

    “That must mean that you think differently now.”

    “Yes. I always thought something was wrong with that theory,” replied my mentor, “When you worked behind the scenes, you acted with too much skill to be Kurou. The same goes for this ritual. It had to have been created by the former head of the Department of Modern Magecraft himself, not a student that only studied under him for a few years.”

    “I’m sure you already know Kurou’s true identity by now.”

    “You mean his full name, Kurou Adashino? I’ve already confirmed that with Hishiri Adashino. Though the Adashino family’s magecraft is unique, it is nowhere close to the advanced techniques of a department head.”

    Kurou Adashino. That name had probably been the most surprising revelation during the Grand Roll. I had never expected Hishiri’s older brother to be one of Heartless’ students.

    With that as a premise, my mentor changed the subject.

    “Dr. Heartless, we’ve already spoken to Dr. Gurrot, the doctor who saved you many years ago.”

    For a moment, Heartless seemed shocked by my mentor’s words.

    “…I should have expected you to track him down.”

    “A friend of mine told me about him.”

    I wondered how much weight was packed in the word “friend”.

    My mentor was talking about the last video that Atrum Galliasta had left us. The first time we met Atrum, he had left an awful impression, to say the least. His ever-present arrogance made him a natural enemy of my mentor.

    And yet, he had left us something after his death.

    “‘Dedicate your life to the most radiant thing.’ You told Dr. Gurrot that, right?”

    “Yes. Quite so.”

    “The doctor also told us about something strange,” my mentor said, raising a finger, “He contracted a mysterious illness while he sheltered you.”

    Oh, right, He did say that, I thought. While I had almost forgotten about it, my mentor had linked it to a theory.

    “I heard that you healed him with a touch.”

    “……”

    Unease flickered across Heartless’ face for the first time. Catching this as well, my mentor immediately followed up with more questions.

    “You gained those abilities when you were spirited away by fairies, right?”

    My mentor’s words seemed to shake the air.

    “There are records of your special abilities, but no one in the Clock Tower knows exactly what they are. Maybe Mr. Norwich learned of it when he adopted you, but nothing can persuade him to speak against his adoptive children.”

    “…Yes, Mr. Norwich is that kind of person,” Heartless affirmed with a nod.

    Despite their differences, it seemed both Heartless and my mentor greatly admired the character of the person the Department of Modern Magecraft was named after. Right now, though, I cared more about Heartless’ abilities.

    “…So what exactly happened on the Rail Zeppelin?”

    Heartless had used the powers he acquired from fairies to summon the Child of Einnashe to block the tracks of the Rail Zeppelin.

    —“I don’t have an Imaginary Number Attribute, but I can do similar things, which I exchanged my heart for.”

    He had said something along those lines.

    “It’s exactly as he said. Though children who are spirited away are usually given both blessings and curses, Heartless was only given a curse. The doctor told me that no instrument could locate your heart. There must be some kind of alternate space in its place created with imaginary number magecraft, which resembles a portal.”

    “Correct,” Heartless affirmed again. “Hahaha, that’s why I feel like I will die every time I use it. Don't you find it unfair for someone called Heartless to have to experience the pain of having his heart split open?”

    “What’s more,” my mentor said, the pillar of light beside him casting a shadow on his face. “I don’t think the doctor lost his sight. I think it was stolen from him.”

    “Stolen…?”

    My mentor smiled softly at my question.

    “That is the effect of those Mystic Eyes. Or, perhaps I should say that it’s become the effect of those Mystic Eyes. I missed something critical on the Rail Zeppelin. Gray, do you remember what Olgamarie’s servant said back then?”

    “…You mean, the woman with Mystic Eyes of Precognition, who was killed?”

    “Yes. She said that Rainbow-ranked Mystic Eyes would appear in the Auction, right?”

    “…!”

    For a moment, I forgot how to breathe.

    If I recalled correctly, Rainbow was the highest rank of Mystic Eyes. But the best Mystic Eyes sold in the auction were Karabo’s Mystic Eyes of Transience, which were Jewel-ranked.

    “But, Trisha said that she could only see the most likely future… right?”

    Yes. She had probably said that. That was why she had gotten Jewel-ranked Mystic Eyes mixed up with Rainbow-ranked ones. That was probably it.

    “Initially, I also thought that was the explanation. But we were tricked. …You must find this strange as well, Heartless.”

    “……”

    Heartless remained silent, so my mentor chose this as a point to attack from.

    “We have already established that you have preserved the entire heads of Mystic Eye holders.”

    “So?” Heartless said, turning to look at the silver suitcase again.

    “The fact that you kept their entire heads is the key. Back on the Rail Zeppelin, I thought that you wanted to ask the holder about the information they obtained through their Mystic Eyes. But you don’t need to. You have a much faster means than that.”

    A shiver ran down my spine. Did my mentor have to continue? Did he have to reveal the truth, which I could scarcely imagine?

    “What if you have Mystic Eyes that can usurp the vision of others?” He said, steepling his fingers as his words landed like knives.

    That explained why Heartless cured the doctor’s vision with a touch. Was that what his Mystic Eyes truly were?

    “For simplicity’s sake, let’s call them the Mystic Eyes of Usurpation for now. They can usurp the vision of anything next to them, even Rainbow-ranked Mystic Eyes. That’s why the beast noticed our insignificant presence. You usurped its vision.”

    “…!”

    So that was why it had noticed us, even though we held our breaths, and why my mentor said someone had guided its line of sight.

    “That is why Trisha predicted that Rainbow-ranked Mystic Eyes would appear in the auction. It’s easy to become confused by predictions that appear unconsciously. Her Mystic Eyes didn’t use logical reasoning to construct theories, so Trisha couldn't differentiate between someone with Rainbow-ranked Mystic Eyes, and someone with Mystic Eyes that could usurp the vision of Rainbow-ranked Mystic Eyes.”

    “…Good grief, I can’t hide anything from you, can I?” Heartless said with a smile that all but confirmed my mentor was correct.

    “You didn’t use them on the Rail Zeppelin. Is that because you have trouble controlling them?”

    “They aren’t the kind of Mystic Eyes to be casually used in battle, you know. They would have added to the chaos, making the situation less favorable for Faker. Besides, there was no need for me to win.”

    Heartless had already achieved his goal when he summoned Faker. He only fought us because he couldn’t control Faker.

    My mentor took a deep breath and continued.

    “Ten minutes left. Let’s return to the beginning.”

    Even someone like my mentor could use his Magic Circuits to keep track of time.

    “As Touko Aozaki revealed in the Grand Roll, Kurou’s ability to find portals that link to Albion comes from a combination of the Adashino family’s magecraft and the dead dragon’s eyes. That is to say, after you were spirited away, your Mystic Eyes of Usurpation began to perform essentially the same function.”

    “…Huh?”

    I gave up. I couldn’t understand any of this. Wasn’t Kurou’s special ability searching for portals? What did it have to do with Heartless? Surely it had nothing to do with him.

    “What do you mean, Sir?”

    “It took me so long to arrive at this conclusion. In fact, I only became sure of it after we entered Albion. What Reines said about Dr. Heartless’ true identity being Kurou isn’t wrong, but it isn’t accurate either.”

    “……”

    Heartless smiled silently.

    “That’s because Dr. Heartless was always Kurou.”
    —————————————————————————————————————————————————— ——

  6. #306
    Chapter 5, Part 4
    Chapter 5, Part 4:

    I could no longer keep up with this turn of events.

    Didn’t Asheara’s confession rule out the possibility that the Dr. Heartless we knew was actually Kurou? Why did the possibility return again?

    Wait, no. My mentor said he “was always” Kurou. What did that mean? Even though the answer was already right in front of me, I found it hard to accept.

    “Thirty years ago, Dr. Gurrot saved a dying man known as Heartless, who lost his memory after being injured,” said my mentor. “What if that man was actually Kurou, who was betrayed by his friends ten years ago?”

    “…What?” I found myself exclaiming in disbelief.

    That was impossible. The order was wrong! How could a betrayal that happened ten years ago happen thirty years ago? What was my mentor trying to prove?

    “Yes, the order is wrong,” my mentor continued, as if he could read my mind, “The problem is that Kurou had the means to travel from Albion to the surface. If Asheara was telling the truth, the betrayal took place in Albion. In his dying moments, Kurou must have found another portal. He tried to escape to the surface, but he went the other way instead.“

    My mentor pointed downward.

    “What if that portal led down the Pit of Oblivion, and into the Fairy Realm?”

    The Fairy Realm.

    The deepest part of Spirit Tomb Albion, even further down than the Ancient Heart.

    “It’s impossible to know what exactly happened there. The mysteries of fairies are still mostly unknown to us mages. We do know some things, though. For instance, we know that people who are spirited away can jump between time and space.”

    My mentor had said something similar in the office of the doctor who sheltered Heartless.

    “—The tale of Urashimatarou from the Far East is a classic example of this, where the abducted person is taken to a completely different time and place.”

    Not only that, but Sir Kay had also told me while we explored Albion that time and space were fuzzy here.

    Was that enough to prove that it was possible?

    “Most people would probably be baffled by it, which is why I didn’t tell Reines. If she brought this up during the Grand Roll, no one would be able to take her seriously.”

    I suspected that another reason he hadn’t told Reines everything was that he wasn’t sure about it himself, either.

    “Sure, it sounds absurd. But we are both mages.” My mentor said, looking Heartless in the eye. “Kurou didn’t necessarily find the portal. If you were always Kurou, you could have helped him find it with your abilities, since you went through it before.”

    “You mean… Heartless sent a dying Kurou into the Fairy Realm?”

    “Exactly. Ten years ago, after he was eaten by the monster, Kurou was spirited away and traveled twenty years into the past. I can’t guess how exactly being spirited away changed you. When did you retrieve your lost memories? Was it when you assumed the name Heartless? Was it when you met your past self, Kurou? Or, was it when you were betrayed, and Kurou was almost killed?”

    “……”

    I was stunned.

    On the surface, it resembled the incident in my hometown. Logos React, one of the Seven Superweapons of the Altas Institute, had created a reenactment of the past and sent me and my mentor into it. But this was different. Although this was a remote corner of a labyrinth filled with unknowable secrets, this was the real world, not a virtual one. Was it even possible? Even if it was, what about time paradoxes?

    “…I’m impressed.” Said Dr. Heartless, who was Kurou, who was Kurou Adashino.

    Like a circle set into place long ago, the parts of an equation were sliding into place.

    “Time travel falls under the realm of magic. Though our magecraft cannot reach it, it still exists as a form of Mystery. After all, some of the Five Magics have similar effects. We also witnessed Logos React in Gray’s hometown.”

    “But wasn’t that just a reenactment of the past?” Heartless asked, voicing the same question I had.

    “Yes, it was nothing more than that,” my mentor said with a nod, “But it helped me realize the possibility. When I read your essay in the reenactment, I saw that you were researching several spells besides the one about Divine Spirit Iskandar. Unfortunately, I only realized their significance after I entered the labyrinth.”

    “…I see. But I abandoned those ideas a long time ago. In theory, it should be possible to travel back in time by observing the past through Reverse Summoning– though Rayshifting is a more appropriate term. However, to stabilize this kind of time travel, I would need the full support of the Atlas Institute and the secrets of a prestigious family that has produced many Lords at the very least. Hahaha, that alone is already impossible. On top of that, I would have to win a Holy Grail War to find enough money to finance the facilities and experiments required. Even then, only a limited number of people are naturally endowed with the qualities that allow them to go back in time.” Heartless confessed without hesitation.

    Every word he uttered would probably be stunning to a true mage, but my mentor merely took a small breath.

    “Good,” he said. “I was afraid you were just going to call me delusional.”

    “You must know the identity of my accomplice by now.”

    “If you mean the one in the Grand Roll, it’s Inorai, isn’t it?” My mentor revealed plainly. “It’s just a simple process of elimination. Since McDonell’s daughter killed Heartless’ student, I don’t imagine McDonell would ally with you. Lord Eulyphis is a steadfast member of the Aristocratic Faction, so he would never agree to help bring back the Age of the Gods. I hesitated for a while between Olgamarie and Inorai, but surely the Lord himself would appear if you joined hands with the
    Animusphere
    Department of Astromancy
    .

    “Ms. Inorai doesn’t have any complicated ideology. She only supported you because it would benefit her. Gaining power is like breathing to her. I’m sure she weaves schemes without any malice.”

    “Ms. Inorai has always been like that, after all.”

    “Even now, she is still urging the Department of Modern Magecraft to switch sides and join the Democratic Faction,” my mentor said, closing one eye. “However, Ms. Inorai does not care if you succeed. Either way, she has full control over the situation. As for McDonell, he probably suspects that you have been working with Inorai.”

    “McDonell also knows…?” I parroted.

    My mentor nodded.

    “That’s why Reines stopped looking for the culprit. Since we already know the culprit’s identity, cutting off her retreat would only needlessly antagonize her. At worst, it would damage our reputation because we tricked McDonell, but that is easily repairable. It’s a natural decision to make when dealing with Lords.”

    Exactly how many layers of speculation and intrigue shrouded that meeting? Even with his explanation, I couldn’t understand half of what was going on.

    Heartless looked up and then closed his eyes. The dome above us showered his face with light.

    “You are not a detective. Your role is not to convict someone of a crime. All you do is dissect cases out of necessity.”

    That was why he did not reveal the culprit or seek justice.

    All he did was dissect the case, as if he were taking the gears from a clockwork machine, rendering the core of his beloved mystery meaningless.

    “So? What do you think is my whydunnit?” Heartless asked, somewhat mischievously.

    This was the same strange duality I had seen in him the first time we met. Maybe it was because he was both Kurou and Heartless.

    “By traveling through time, you were able to watch over Albion and the Clock Tower from both the student’s perspective of Kurou and the teacher’s perspective of Heartless, which means that you were betrayed by your students and friends twice,” my mentor said sternly, “And the
    whydunit
    lesson
    you learned from that experience was that it doesn’t matter how many times they betrayed you.”

    “An excellent answer,” Heartless said, clapping. “I did nothing wrong. Asheara, Gesell, Jorek, and Calugh did nothing wrong, either.”

    Those were the names of Kurou’s former teammates, the mages who had betrayed and attempted to kill him. Apart from Asheara, Kurou/Heartless had taken revenge on all of them.

    “…We were a wonderful team back then. Asheara was my childhood friend. Gesell was a reliable alchemist who could use potions. Jorek and Calugh filled in for what I lacked, acting as reliable fighters and mood makers. All of them were also my beloved students.”

    Kurou/Heartless accompanied them from two perspectives, sharing life and death with them in Albion and discussing the secrets of magecraft with them in the classroom. They had accompanied him and ultimately betrayed him.

    “In that case, the fault lies with the state of the world of magecraft that forced them to betray me. Yes, that’s where the tumor lies.”

    …Ah, we had finally arrived here.

    This was Dr. Heartless’ whydunit. His ritual to bring back the Age of the Gods and setup of the stage in Albion were merely means to this end.

    After a few seconds, my mentor continued.

    “…You aren’t bringing back the Age of the Gods to save the New Age. Your motto has always been to dedicate your life to the most radiant thing, but you have already lost your most radiant thing. This is what you must do to compensate for its loss. Instead of trying to recover it, you turned your hate to the fools who stole it from you; except, those ‘fools’ are not humans, but the world of magecraft. You just want to use the revival of the Age of the Gods as a bomb to destroy every trace of it.”

    I suddenly remembered something.

    In the past, I spoke to Faker twice.

    She said that she hated her former comrades for starting the Wars of the Diadochi. Perhaps it was because they were all dead that she wished to make her king a God in compensation.

    In that case, weren’t the anger that she and Heartless carried the same?

    “Exactly,” Heartless said, nodding again. “Do you have a problem with that?”

    “I don’t,” my mentor replied, shaking his head, “But I must stop you nonetheless. I have no noble principles to guide me, nor rewards to reap that would justify my gamble. I simply cannot allow my students’ futures to be at the mercy of your destructive impulse.”

    “…Stop me, you say?” Heartless said, smiling as if my mentor had said something humorous, “There is no point in stopping me now. I have already ‘stopped’. The baton is in her hands now. My god will do the rest.”

    —Just as Heartless was about to finish, something stood up in the pillar of light behind him.
    —————————————————————————————————————————————————— ——

  7. #307
    Chapter 5, Part 5
    Chapter 5, Part 5:

    “It” opened its eyes painfully slowly, over the course of what must have been several years.

    Humans and gods did not perceive time the same way. Gods lived within an entirely different dimension. They were entirely different from humans because they did not care about perceiving human activity— Or, perhaps because they perceived it too well.

    “It” no longer thought of itself as humans did.

    Heartless called this method of reconnecting Servants with the Throne of Heroes Shadow Ascension. The Ghost Liner that contained information about Faker and her class had already been altered with records about Faker and Iskandar.

    The scale of the records expanded far beyond the limits of a Servant, especially one who was originally only one aspect of a Hero. It grew until it could become an object of faith, a Divine Spirit.

    “It” was Divine Spirit Iskandar, the cumulation of Iskandar’s experiences and the millennia of worship. On its other side, it was the experiences of Faker and the few short hours that a certain mage had prayed to her.

    —And then, “it” saw the world.
    —————————————————————————————————————————————————— ——


    Chapter 5, Part 6
    Chapter 5, Part 6:

    In an instant, our surroundings changed. An expanse of red sand replaced Albion and the circle that Heartless had drawn.

    “What…?”

    I frantically scanned my surroundings. Not only had the ground changed, but we were also surrounded by so many soldiers that they seemed to stretch beyond the horizon. They were dressed in armor from various cultures. Some held spears, while others rode horses.

    “…
    the Army of the King
    Ionioi Hetairoi
    …” uttered my mentor.

    I had heard this name before. It was the unorthodox Noble Phantasm that Iskandar wielded when he manifested as a Servant, a call to the tens of thousands of soldiers that had fought by his side.

    Were they all here to bless his awakening as a Divine Spirit?

    As I pondered this, I saw a tall, glowing figure atop a horse in the center of the rows of soldiers. It was Divine Spirit Iskandar.

    I could not perceive the figure properly.

    Though their heights and builds were far from similar, looking at him reminded me both of Faker and the stories I had been told of Iskandar. Even though I was now infinitely close to a Servant because of the summoning of King Arthur, I could not look straight at that being. My eyes could only translate the excess of information they were receiving as a dazzling light.

    “…So this is what a Divine Spirit is like.” Exclaimed Heartless in a voice filled with unconcealed glee.

    Just as he had wished, the magecraft of the Age of the Gods had returned. Thus, the world ruled over by the Clock Tower’s Aristocratic Faction had come to an end.

    After a moment, my mentor spoke.

    “In a Holy Grail War, Masters are the core of Servants. No matter how strong the Servant is, their Magical Energy will rapidly deplete if they lose their Master. Does this also apply to Divine Spirits?”

    “You want to know whether Divine Spirit Iskandar will disappear if you kill me? That’s a foolish question coming from you. No, he will not. I have already given many New Agers on the surface golden coins. They will not agree with you,” Heartless said with a wry smile. “All mages with Golden Staters are linked with pathways similar to the bond between a Servant and a Master. Naturally, they can also act as generators.”

    “…So that means I am also one of Divine Spirit Iskandar’s Masters.” My mentor said, clenching his coin and biting his lip.

    “Is that surprising?”

    “No. In fact, I’m finally relieved.”

    My mentor casually dusted off his suit. He then turned to the Divine Spirit.

    “What are you going to do now?”

    “Rider…” My mentor said, striding towards the glowing Iskandar.

    “He has no memory of fighting alongside you in the Fourth Holy Grail War. Iskandar, the Heroic Spirit and Iskandar, the Divine Spirit are nothing more than two beings that share the same source. Gods do not care about your sentiments.”

    I wondered if my mentor heard Heartless. Either way, he continued as if he was walking on air, as if he were a man of faith on the cusp of death in a desert, who just discovered a blessed oasis. Even if the oasis itself was only an illusion conjured by his desperate mind, the salvation he felt was not.

    My mentor removed one of the gloves he had been wearing since we entered Albion.

    “What…!?”

    “Huh…?”

    Heartless and I were both shocked. It was impossible, and yet it was right in front of our eyes.

    A single, strange, red stroke glowed on the back of his hand— a single Command Spell!

    “How…Lord El-Melloi II, where did you get that from…?!”

    “The Third Holy Grail War.”

    That was hardly an answer, but I understood because I was there when Luvia gave my mentor a jewel box that she called her tuition. She had said then that her relatives once participated in the Third Holy Grail War.

    Considering that they were the relative of the self-proclaimed most elegant hunter, or perhaps hyena in the world, it wasn’t difficult for me to imagine that they preserved their Command Spell and brought it back to their homeland.

    “You said I am also a Master right, Heartless?”

    “Stop!” Heartless shouted for the first time, realizing what my mentor intended to do. He raised his hand and fired magic bullets at my mentor.

    “—I won’t let you do that!” I shouted in response, leaping up and blocking every one of his attacks with my scythe.

    Along with my unprecedented agility, I also felt unprecedented pain. My body was filled to the brim with energy as I became closer to King Arthur, but that strength came with a price.

    Divine Spirit Iskandar was key to this. The Magical Energy released during his ascension was burning our Magic Circuits.

    My mentor was probably in more pain than I was now. His Magic Circuits were not as strong as mine, so he must have been tormented by pain more intense than the flames of hell with every step he took.

    “…You said you wanted a physical form, right?”

    Though I couldn’t see my mentor’s face, I realized through my heightened senses that there were tears in his eyes.

    “Sorry, Rider. I wanted your wish to come true.”

    “Stop! Stop, Lord El-Melloi II!”

    My mentor acted as if he couldn’t hear Heartless’ desperate cries at all.

    “Sir…”

    I remembered that my mentor once said that he wanted to summon Iskandar again in the Fifth Holy Grail War to prove that the Servant was capable of winning. That was definitely not a lie. It was the atonement for his immaturity and foolishness that my mentor had sought for so long.

    However, there was another wish buried deep inside his heart.

    Heartless had summoned Divine Spirit Iskandar as a tool. Faker had reincarnated him because she wanted him to be worshipped as a god. But, in the end, what my mentor wanted was…

    “I really wished that your wish would be granted. I really did.” My mentor said in an unusually calm voice.

    It was the first time I heard him speak like this.

    Without any orders, the soldiers had not moved. Divine Spirit Iskandar also stood completely still, just as he had been when he was first summoned. Was this how newly born Divine Spirits were?

    Heartless began to run, and I raced to intercept him.

    I needed to protect my mentor, even if just for a moment. That was why I was here. It was what I wished for from the bottom of my heart.

    “You’re always so impatient, always barging into places before you’re ready, making a mess, and then leaving,” my mentor said as he walked.

    The pain from my Magic Circuits became less important than something that was rising in my heart.



    “Shut up and wait for once, will you? Just laugh like you always do and watch me from a distance. I promise I’ll get there one day. You can pat me on the back when I do, you idiot.”

    Maybe there was some other way.

    My mentor had complained countless times that “if only he was a proper mage”, or “if only he was as skilled as the other Lords”.

    But still.

    “A promise is a promise, even if no one believes me. I don’t even believe in myself. I know I don’t have the capacity to become a Heroic Spirit.”

    Each word my mentor spoke was like a drop of his blood.

    “But I will spend my life trying to reach you.”

    Each step he took seemed to contain a part of his soul.

    “Because I am your Master… and your subject… You are my king…”

    Now, I could see his face. He looked as if he was going to break down in tears.

    “And also…my friend…”

    He slowly raised his right hand.

    The final stroke on it glowed red as tears flowed from his face.

    “By my Command Spell, I order you.”

    “Stop, Waver Velvet—!”

    Heartless also raised his hand.

    He was probably also going to use his last Command Spell to command the Divine Spirit. However, before he could do that, I sliced it from his arm with my scythe. The severed hand flew through the air with a spray of blood.

    “Leave, Rider!”

    My mentor had called him Rider. Not Divine Spirit Iskandar, but the title of the Saint Graph that he had once summoned.

    Regardless, his intention reached its now divine target.
    —————————————————————————————————————————————————— ——


    Chapter 5, Part 7
    Chapter 5, Part 7:

    “Ah…”

    I heard something that my mentor could not have.

    It was a thought that only I, as a grave keeper of Blackmore Graveyard who was too sensitive to spirits, could perceive.

    For the first time in my life, I was grateful for my constitution for letting me hear that voice—
    —————————————————————————————————————————————————— ——
    Last edited by azwhoisverybored; October 31st, 2022 at 02:11 AM.

  8. #308
    Lie Like Vortigern Reign's Avatar
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    Waver and Rider never stuff fails to tug at my heart.

  9. #309
    Hello. I wanted to ask if before you begin translating Adventures, you could finish the translation of volume 5.

  10. #310
    The Long-Forgotten Sight Rafflesiac's Avatar
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    The dank FGO reference was shit but Rider's dismissal was good.
    Quote Originally Posted by Arashi_Leonhart View Post
    canon finish apo vol 3

  11. #311
    Chapter 5, Part 8
    Chapter 5, Part 8:

    Our surroundings returned to normal just as quickly as they had changed.

    “Sir!”

    The red desert disappeared before I called out, sending us back into the Ancient Heart. The chamber was still showered in the white light of the dead dragon’s Magic Circuits, as if nothing had happened here.

    “…What an idiot,” said my mentor, his eyes fixed upward toward the dome of the Ancient Heart, “Couldn’t you have listened to me before?”

    Though the words themselves were lighthearted, he spoke in a heavy voice.

    “…Lord El-Melloi II…!” Came a voice.

    Heartless lay on the floor, clutching where his hand had been severed from his arm. Another person had returned to the room.

    “Why…?” The woman cried out. “Why have you used your last command spell to summon me, Heartless?”

    “Faker…!”

    I watched, mouth agape, as the dark-haired warrior helped Heartless climb to his feet. Before, or perhaps even after his hand was cut off, his Command Spell had managed to establish a path and carry out his order to separate Faker from the core of Divine Spirit Iskandar.

    I didn’t know how such a thing was possible. All I knew was that he did it.

    “If you used your Command Spell, there was a good chance that Lord El-Melloi II’s command would have been ignored, and the Age of Gods would be brought back. Why did you do this?”

    “Good question…” Heartless said, frowning. ”I think in the moment that I thought I might not be able to stop him, I realized that I would rather meet you again than complete the Greater Magic Formula.”

    “……”

    I think I understood this.

    Kurou/Heartless had been betrayed by his teammates, both as their friend and as their teacher. That was why he resented the world of magecraft. Contrary to her name, Faker was the only person who had not betrayed him.

    So, what if that was what Heartless really wanted…?

    “…Sir.”

    I braced myself for a fight and held my scythe with a different hand. But my mentor patted my shoulder and shook his head.

    “You’ve done enough, Gray. Heartless’ magecraft has already…”

    “…Haha, even now, you continue to see right through me.” Heartless said with a troubled smile.

    In order to create this Greater Magecraft Formula, Heartless had used Faker’s Noble Phantasm multiple times. Though he had burnt up Mystic Eye Holders to replenish his Magical Energy, he could not be unaffected. Heartless had already reached his limit.

    If that was not the case, he would have done more than fire a few magic bullets at my mentor.

    “The magecraft that has taken you ten— no, thirty years is over,” my mentor announced. “If you would prefer it, the El-Melloi Faction can take custody of you. At the very least, I think I can guarantee you better treatment than the other factions.”

    “How thoughtful of you. If Ms. Inorai made the same offer, she would definitely be thinking about some kind of plot, but I trust that your intentions are pure. That isn’t a good quality for someone in the Clock Tower to have, you know.”

    “I am fully aware of that.”

    Heartless smiled at the sight of my mentor’s sour face.

    “I don’t want to rot in that kind of place. Especially not under your watch. …Faker?”

    “What?”

    “Help me stand up.”

    Heartless stood with one arm on Faker’s shoulder. His other arm brought to his chest, he muttered something that may have been “Turn, my heart.”

    With that, the two vanished.

    Heartless had used the portal that replaced his heart to teleport. But…

    “…That kind of mystery would kill you even in the best of circumstances.”

    My mentor’s mutterings matched my thoughts.

    “It seems he’s made his choice.”

    Heartless had decided to bring everything to an end.

    Where were he and Faker now? Where would the man who was both Heartless and Kurou wish to go at the end of his strange life?

    My mentor grasped at his upper arm, perhaps because the pain of having his Magic Circuits burned had not yet subsided.

    “Two minutes left. Hopefully they’ve given up on the Grand Roll as they promised. I thought there was nothing to lose… but so much was lost.”

    “I think…those two…”

    Before I could finish that thought, I felt something strange happen around my hand. My mentor turned around as if he noticed it as well.

    “What is it?”

    “Add is…”

    I raised my scythe with trembling hands as it began to glow faintly.

    *

    In a research facility on the surface, a teenager looked down at the floor.

    To be precise, he looked beyond the floor, as if he could see deep into the earth.

    “What’s wrong, Le Chien-kun?” Flat asked, tilting his head.

    Flat and Svin were currently organizing the archives, as Reines had instructed. After all, she couldn’t ask the teachers to organize and destroy documents according to the results of the Grand Roll. Their work would be useless if things went awry during the Grand Roll. If it went horribly, maybe the entire Department of Modern Magecraft would be destroyed. Of course, Flat didn’t care about these things, and Svin put his teacher before his morals. That was why they had been chosen for this job.

    The corner of Svin’s lips twitched in disapproval. “Don’t call me that. … I think I just smelled the scent of the end.”

    “The scent of the end.”

    Flat knew that his classmate had not smelled an actual scent. Svin had perceived the tangle of cause and effect, which he believed was a scent, possibly because his brain was wired that way.

    For that reason, Flat nodded.

    “If Le Chien-kun says so, it must be true!”

    Outside the window behind him, a shooting star streaked through the night sky.

    *

    Two people sat in the corner of a London bar.

    The bar was only known to those with deep connections to mystery. It was so dimly lit that navigating it was impossible without enhanced vision. The seats were spaced in consideration of camouflage magecraft, should patrons wish to keep themselves hidden.

    The two that were gathered here tonight were a strange pair. One was a girl with hair dyed a bright pink, a star-shaped patch over one of her eyes. The other was a silver-haired man with a violin case at his feet.

    They were Yvette L. Lehrman and Melvin Weinz.

    “Ah, the Grand Roll should be over by now, shouldn’t it?”

    “It’s about time.” Melvin replied with a glass of wine in his hand.

    There was a bloodstained handkerchief on the corner of the table, indicating that he had vomited blood, as usual.

    “I’m sure you know something about the situation in the Democratic Faction. After all, you’re from a branch of the Trambelio family.”

    “I intend to collect as little information as possible this time around.”

    At Melvin’s reply, Yvette peered deeply at him, as though looking into his heart.

    “Is that so you don’t accidentally betray your friend?”

    “Of course. I am a man of deep friendship, after all!”

    “I don’t think people of deep friendship accidentally betray their friends, but sure, whatever you say,” commented Yvette, yawning. “The trouble is that it’s true. You only invited me here because you wouldn’t mind if you betrayed me, would you?”

    “Precisely. You’d also betray me at any time, right?”

    “We’re mages. Obviously.”

    For residents of the Clock Tower, this was a normal way of thinking, so Yvette was no longer ashamed of herself. This was why she took such great interest in people like Lord El-Melloi II and Gray, those weird heretics who thought so differently.

    “I spoke with Gray on a snowy night, before Christmas,” said Melvin, “I couldn’t help but be a bit mean to her and let slip that Waver hadn’t chosen to become Lord El-Melloi II of his own will. Oh, and I also told her that he only does what Reines asks of him because she took the Velvet family’s mediocre Magic Crest as insurance.”

    “How did she take that?”

    “She didn’t say anything,” Melvin said, shrugging as though it still surprised him, “All she said was that Waver would remain her mentor, even if he were to stop being Lord El-Melloi II. That the same went for all his other students.”

    “How childish of her.” Yvette replied in a singsong, a hint of admiration in her voice. “What an idiot.”

    Instead of replying, Melvin lifted his glass and took a sip of golden Noble Rot wine[1].

    “Hey, Waver,” he whispered, “Have you reached the dream that surprised me back then? That you’d chase after, no matter what it took?”

    No one heard his whisper, so no one knew when he finished speaking, but it just so happened that at this moment, a star flew through the night.
    —————————————————————————————————————————————————— ——


    Chapter 5, Part 9
    Chapter 5, Part 9:

    It was a quiet night. A night so quiet, that everything seemed still.

    Everything, but for a single shooting star, crossing the sky like the tear of a dream.

    —————————————————————————————————————————————————— ——
    [1] A type of sweet wine made from grapes affected by a fungus called Botrytis cinerea.
    —————————————————————————————————————————————————— ——

  12. #312
    夜属 Nightkin linkhyrule5's Avatar
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    Aw, not going to tell us what Gray heard huh.

    Maybe at the end?

  13. #313
    Epilogue
    Epilogue:



    There was a diurnal cycle in Albion as well.

    To be precise, it was probably only the case on the first layer, where the Mining City was situated.
    Though the only thing that marked the difference between day and night was the brightness of the glowing dome, the change had been carefully planned by the Arcane Dissection Division based on a paper about increasing work efficiency.

    Currently, it was the middle of the “night”.

    On a hill some distance from the city stood a figure.

    “Is this place alright?” Faker said, laying down the man she was carrying.

    Though to all appearances the gesture seemed brusque, she was gentle as she placed him onto a rock. Heartless breathed several short, pained breaths that sounded like his last and opened his eyes slightly.

    “It’s beautiful.” He said, smiling.

    The lights of the Mining City shone like the stars above would on the surface, but they seemed all the brighter because of the absence of stars in this “sky”.

    “Kurou used to love this sight. But he also wished to see the real sky,” said Heartless. “…Ah, he was so happy when he first came to London. He never would have thought that the department head he met was actually himself.”

    He laughed shakily, a strange expression on his face.

    If this was fate, it was a little too ironic to bear.

    As both Kurou and Heartless, it was only natural that he felt something special as he looked upon the city. Heartless’ past as a young man had long left him, while Kurou’s future as an adult had slipped from his fingers.

    “You really have no reservations about drowning yourself in nostalgia,” said Faker, sitting down so she could gaze at the city from the same perspective as Heartless. “If you die, I shall disappear as well.”

    “…Yes. Since the spell has been taken apart, I’m your only Master. If I, the keystone, die, you have no choice but to disappear.”

    “You truly are a terrible Master,” Faker criticized with the same expression as before. “You summoned a Servant for something other than the Holy Grail War. You told me that you sought to grant your wish, but you backed down at the last moment to rescue me. I thought that at least you might seek your revenge, but instead you fled. What in the world have you to say for yourself?”

    “Hahaha. I have nothing.”

    Heartless nodded; there was no denying Faker’s words. It was clear that he was not going to live for long. Such was the result of using his heart as a portal after having exhausted his Od.

    There was suddenly a light sound. Faker had flicked Heartless’ forehead with her forefinger.

    “I did say that I do not hate a weak expression such as yours. I must see you when you drink,” Faker said, taking a small bottle of wine from Heartless, who looked a little surprised. “Let us drink as you promised me.”

    “A promise is a promise.”

    At Faker’s urging, Heartless took a single sip of his wine. Satisfied, Faker drank hers in large gulps.

    “I am glad that I met you, even though all I gained in the end was this wine.”

    A cool breeze caressed the hills, ruffling the warrior’s black hair as it passed by.

    After some more wine, Faker suddenly spoke up.

    “Did you keep your relationship with Kurou a secret because you did not trust me? If so, you played the part of a stranger poorly.”

    “I was just trying to be honest. My memories as Kurou are vivid, but they feel like they happened in another life. Haha, I’m like a ghost motivated by my previous incarnation. How could I confide in anyone about something as silly as that?” Heartless confessed through pained breaths.

    Though it had lost all its color, his face carried a trace of happiness.

    “You look like you enjoy being with me. That must mean that I really am a ghost.”

    “Yes. You are correct.” Faker said with a nod. Her eyes were fixed out into the night, as though she didn’t care about the pain her master suffered. “This place is one of the ends of the world, is it not? That means I have seen something with you that even my king did not. Though it was only for a moment, I dreamt that my king had become a Divine Spirit. I know I will lose those memories should I be summoned again, but…”

    Faker turned. Heartless’ face was reflected in her heterochromatic eyes.

    “Even if in the end we are both nameless ghosts forgotten by the world, my journey with you has been meaningful, Heartless.”

    “…I’m glad you think so.”

    Perhaps because he didn’t even have the energy to smile anymore, his reply seemed to fall to the ground.

    “I don’t completely agree with you, though.” He denied, lowering his head. Continuing, Heartless spoke in the same even tone any normal teacher might have used, “What you said gives me meaning, even though you are about to disappear, and I am about to die. Actually, I’ve already died.”

    “……”

    Faker held her breath as if she had something she wanted to say.

    But she didn’t speak again, because Heartless never did, either.

    “Goodnight, Heartless, the man who forgot his dreams.” She said, closing his eyes with her pale fingers.

    Faker took a final sip of wine and pressed her lips to Heartless’.

    His throat quivered a little.

    Then, everything melted into the fog of the night.

    *

    The uproar in the Clock Tower calmed down after a while, probably because all three factions decided to pretend that it never happened. Though I didn’t know what Touko had told the neutral Faction, all that mattered was that, by some miracle, they agreed.

    The Aristocratic Faction also sent a few construction workers and mages to Slur Street, and in a matter of days had completely restored it to its former state as a demonstration of the faction’s power. Or, I suppose I should say that it was a demonstration of the difference in our power.

    In any case, I was lying on the office’s table and complaining, as I had been doing ever since the Grand Roll ended.

    I was exhausted, utterly exhausted.

    “Hey, elder brother,” I called out, rubbing my shoulder, which was on the brink of falling apart. “I feel like I’m about to die, so would you mind handling the rest of the work for me?”

    “I’m sure you will work until the moment you die, sister.”

    What a heartless response. I, his little sister, had gone through so much in the meeting while he was galivanting through the maze. Did he have dry ice in his veins instead of blood?

    After the Grand Roll, my brother reunited with his companions in the Ancient Heart and used the same portal as I had to return to the Mining City. Of course, there was a checkpoint on the route from Spirit Tomb Albion to the surface, but that was handled under the pretense that the Grand Roll never took place. Heartless’ talismans and bags had also been taken care of. My brother had only just returned after a week of checkups, possibly because they were afraid he would bring some kind of germ to the surface.

    As usual, or even more so than usual, seeing the wrinkles on his forehead was a great source of respite.

    “Whatever the case may be, it’s better than rotting in a place like that.” My brother said as he read from a large pile of documents.

    Either way, I had no choice but to continue efficiently organizing documents that were as boring as my brother. This time, though, the problem was different.

    After signing his name on a few papers, my brother turned to the person sitting on the sofa beside us.

    “Right, Hishiri Adashino?”

    “Well, what do I know? Some mages would much rather rot in Albion,” said the furisode-clad woman.

    She had received a report from the Department of Law and was examining it closely.

    Though I said that, her presence was little more than a formality. Because we had decided to destroy all the records of the Grand Roll, all of the numbers were made up. It was ridiculous that we had to double-check fake numbers, but we needed to make sure that they were convincing. Real numbers could scare people just because they were real. To make fake ones achieve the same effect, we needed to dress them up.

    After a time, my brother spoke up.

    “Are you satisfied now?”

    “…I suppose I am no longer dissatisfied,” Hishiri said with a hint of hesitation.

    Heartless’ body had yet to be found. I didn’t know where he teleported to, but it must have been somewhere inside Spirit Tomb Albion. Surely the factions that knew he planned on bringing back the magecraft of the Age of the Gods were scouring the labyrinth for anything he left behind. I wondered what they would find.

    “What will you do if you find Kurou Adashino?” My brother asked.

    “I’m not sure. Isn’t that strange?”

    “No, it isn’t.”

    Hishiri smiled at my mentor’s answer.

    “It wasn’t until I became a student of the Department of Law that I realized that Heartless’ student might be my brother. There is only so much that one can entrust to a newcomer, but it just so happened that I was put in charge of the Department of Modern Magecraft.”

    I see, I thought as I listened in on their conversation.

    The fact that she was Norwich’s adopted daughter must have played a part in that decision as well. Norwich was connected to the Department of Modern Magecraft— it was named after him, after all. Though it wasn’t an official way of getting a position, personal connections were important in society.

    “Exploring past incidents, I soon realized that Kurou might be Kurou Adashino. It was a natural conclusion to come to. I also noticed immediately that my brother and Heartless had disappeared at the same time. But why? I wanted to find out about him. I first considered that my brother and Heartless might have switched places.”

    “It’s only natural to want to learn more about your sibling.”

    It was a clichéd thing for an older brother to say, but it served its purpose here. At least, it didn’t make me have to force back a look of exasperation.

    “Lord El-Melloi II,” Hishiri called out, “What would Kurou Adashino - or Heartless - have thought of me?”

    “Well…”

    My brother paused in the middle of a signature as he thought of what to say.

    Trimmau spoke before he could.

    “Miss, you have a visitor.”

    The door to the office opened a few seconds later.

    “Oh, you’re here as well.” Said the new arrival, smiling pleasantly at the sight of Hishiri.

    My brother stood up immediately and bowed.

    “I am glad you seem to be doing well, Ms. Inorai.”

    “Hey, are you being sarcastic? This was an absolutely exhausting affair.”

    Rubbing her neck, the old woman from the Department of Creation produced some papers.

    “Here’s a boring report on the policy that we’ve decided on after discussing it with the Arcane Dissection Division. I was wondering if the Department of Modern Magecraft would be willing to cooperate with us.”

    “So, you want to hire people to reassess Spirit Tomb Albion and request the Clock Tower to send more explorers?”

    I see, so that was what they decided on.

    After all, the Grand Roll where the subject was the redevelopment of Spirit Tomb Albion had never happened. But that didn’t mean their plan had been rejected. Even if they took a fall, they refused to take the fall for nothing. That was how the Democratic Faction operated. They didn’t give a damn about the Aristocratic Faction’s grace.

    “Understood. I’ll inform my students.”

    “Why, thank you. I look forward to their work.”

    “Some students learn best in that kind of environment. It is not my place to stop them from going if they wish.” My brother answered. His next question came suddenly. “What does the Grand Roll mean to you?”

    “Heartless is dead, isn’t he?” Inorai replied with a closed eye, finally confirming what had gone unsaid.

    She rubbed her temples as she continued.

    “In any case, I shall answer, even though you should have asked it earlier. I see it as a celebration. Life gets dull without a little excitement now and again, don’t you think?”

    That was how she hunted down and helped people. In her eyes, everything was just a piece on a chessboard, to be moved around to make her position more advantageous. I doubted she would even hesitate to stake her own life in her chess game. Even machines had the most basic sense of self-preservation. What in the world could have made her live like this?

    Though she had helped Heartless set a trap for my brother, she would have no trouble smiling and asking for our cooperation in the future.

    “I’ve got to make an appearance at the
    Mystile
    First Department
    . I’ll be back soon.”

    “Please send my regards to McDonell.”

    “I’ll be sure to.”

    Hishiri stood up immediately as Inorai turned to walk out.

    “I should leave as well. Ms. Inorai, may I have a word?”

    “Oh, an invitation from the Department of Law. How worrying. —I’m kidding, of course. How about we go to that modern Chinese restaurant around here? I recently met the chef there, you know, and I plan on making an investment in it.”

    “I would be honored to.”

    I wondered what would happen between the two of them from now on. Even though the Grand Roll had never happened, this game of schemes would continue. As long as the Clock Tower continued to exist, meaningless political battles would, too.

    Our dance would not end because the stage shifted slightly.

    Hishiri turned just as she was about to exit the room.

    “Thank you, Lord El-Melloi II. I am sure we will meet again soon.”

    With an exotic smile reminiscent of the Far East, the witch(TN: derogatory) from the Department of Law walked away.

    *

    “Ugh, we’ll never get rid of those two, will we?” I said with a look of utter disgust after the two of them had gone. “They both have this look in their eyes that means nothing good. Why do you insist on associating with the most troublesome people all the time?”

    “Like you have any right to complain about it.”

    I wasn’t completely unsympathetic toward my brother, who had nothing else to say in response. But that wouldn’t be enough to stop me from continuing to exploit him. I hoped he would understand that I was sorry for being a little too honest.

    “‘I don’t know how to say goodbye. I can’t think of any words.’”

    “Shut up, Trimmau.”

    It was clever of her to quote Roman Holiday here. I wondered how advanced her AI was to allow her to find the right quote. Though I had given her an intellect based on my brother’s advice, its basis was the computing function of Kayneth’s Volumen Hydrargyrum, so I didn’t know how she would develop in the future.

    There was one last thing that bothered me.

    (…The Holy Grail War, huh?)

    Everyone’s hands had been tied, so the Fifth Holy Grail War in the Far East had basically been left on its own. But what if there was another one? Without Heartless, there was no one to cover it up. The veil protecting the Holy Grail War had been lifted. Next time, the Clock Tower would set its sights on it. I wondered what disasters would result.

    It was impossible for me to be optimistic in the face of Heroic Spirits, which no mage could handle. I couldn’t help but wonder if this was only the beginning.

    “…Whatever, worrying won’t get me anywhere.”

    I stood up and retrieved my favorite coat from the closet.

    “Reines, we still have documents to sort through.”

    “I need a break. I’ve got a pretty important mission. You should come with me.”

    *

    —I didn’t mind waiting.

    Winter was my favorite season. Though the dorm corridors had central heating, I loved the cold breeze and warming up my fingers with my breath.

    Or maybe I just liked the feeling of waiting for someone, because it made me feel hopeful. I loved the feeling of knowing that someone would surely come.

    A little while ago, I saw a few specks of white outside the window.

    It was snowing, something that probably didn’t happen in Spirit Tomb Albion.

    For a while, I did nothing but watch snowflakes drift to the ground with my birdcage in my hands, as if doing so would change me from incomplete gray to pure white. I only snapped out of it when three people appeared in the hallway.

    “Sir, Miss Reines.”

    “Hey!” The girl with the mercury maid behind her said, waving cheerfully.

    My mentor looked as glum as usual, but he brightened a little when he saw me.

    “Oh, I didn’t know you were here, Gray.”

    “Um…”

    “It’s an important mission. Did you think we’d be able to handle it without her?” Reines said, coming to my rescue when I was at a loss for words. “Look, just follow me.”

    Reines grabbed mine and my mentor’s hands. I wish I was brave enough to do something like that, but for now, I was just glad to feel the warmth of her fingers.

    Two more people awaited us at the end of the hallway.

    “Professor!”

    It was Flat and Svin.

    “Why are you two here?” My mentor said, frowning as if he was wondering what they were up to this time.

    Flat twirled around. “Well, Professor, the answer will be revealed after a short message from our sponsors, so don’t guess, okay? Ready? 3, 2, 1, whoo—!”

    Flat spun on his tiptoes like a ballet dancer, a flash banner unfurling as he spread his arms.

    “Welcome back to rebuilt Slur Street!” Cried several students in unison.

    They emerged from beneath their cloaking spell and crowded into the hallway, laughing. Behind them stood a group of clapping teachers, including Mr. Shardan.

    “You lot…” My mentor said, covering his face with his hands.

    “Surely this degree of relaxation is acceptable.” Said someone standing on the side. Her perfect golden curls were unmistakable.

    “You too, Luvia?”

    “I also invited Seigen and Flue, but they refused because they are not from the Clock Tower. They told me to send their congratulations to you. I also heard that Flue met Geraff again.”

    “…I see.”

    There was a trace of warmth in my mentor’s voice.

    Though Flue hadn’t seen the old man since he escaped Albion, it seemed that he still cared about his teacher. I also breathed a sigh of relief at the knowledge that they had reunited.

    “Speaking of which, I’ve given them rewards for their help in Albion. I’d hope my brother doesn’t think his dear little sister is cruel enough to use people without paying them.”

    “You don’t have to worry about that. I know you prefer to pay your helpers well so you can take advantage of them for years to come.”

    “Can’t you leave that part out?” Reines replied without denying it.

    I finally felt like I was home.

    Strange. Why did I feel like crying? There wasn’t anything to be sad about anymore. I knew I should be happy, but the feelings from our long, long journey had finally caught up with me.

    I saw Svin’s nose twitch.

    “The Professor and Gray-tan can come back later! We’ll be making preparations!”

    “Huh? Aren’t we going to lead them on a tour, Le Chien-kun?”

    “Yes, yes, we’ll do that later. Make sure to come back soon!” Svin called out, nudging Flat back down the hallway. All of the other students followed them. I saw Yvette mouth “just this once” as she pointed at me.

    “Sir?”

    “I’m a little tired of all this hustle. Let’s take a detour.” Said my mentor, who had remained behind with me.

    *

    Finally, the clouds parted, and a ray of sunlight appeared through the snow.

    “I have a question,” I said as the sound of our footsteps echoed down the empty hallway. I hadn’t polished my mentor’s shoes in a while. Maybe it was time to buy more polish.

    “Ask away, my fair lady.”[1]

    “I’ve finally realized that you haven’t given up on meeting your king, Sir.” I said, a little embarrassed.

    “…Well- I- …So you found out.” My mentor said in a quiet voice.

    Of course I found it out. What made him think that I wouldn’t have?

    —“I will spend my life trying to reach you.

    It almost didn’t sound like something my mentor would say, which meant that he had plenty of other thoughts that he kept to himself.

    My mentor took out a cigar as if he gave up on trying to hide it.

    “You don’t mind if I smoke, do you?”

    “Of course not.”

    I nodded. My mentor cut off the cigar’s tip, lit it with a match, and put it to his lips. The slight aroma of the smoke began to spread.

    Ah, I missed this, too.

    The Army of the King
    Ionioi Hetairoi
    can summon thousands of Heroic Spirits,” said my mentor as smoke swirled in the air, “It should be impossible to summon so many. Not every soldier under Iskandar should qualify as someone who carved their name into history.”

    He rattled off facts like he did when he gave lectures on magecraft, but the way he stood wreathed in smoke reminded me of someone looking through photos of precious memories.

    “That means it must be the other way around. Iskandar’s soldiers were not heroes before they joined him. They only became heroes because of the bonds they forged with him.”

    So this was what my mentor had been secretly wondering.

    “In that case, maybe I have some kind of hidden skill as one of his subordinates. Even if I don’t have the capacity to become a Heroic Spirit…”

    He looked a little embarrassed, as if he was a child whose parents had found out about his scribbles. I found it unfair that he sometimes made that kind of face.

    I didn’t manage to stop myself from smiling, but I blamed that on him.

    “I don’t think it’s wrong to think that way,” I said, nodding and trying to force back the smile that was reflected in the window. I immediately pulled my hood down to hide the strand of golden hair that had appeared there.

    “Gray…”

    “My body is still changing.”

    It was slowly morphing into that of King Arthur. Though the process had stabilized after we left Albion, I didn’t know when it would start again. Once it did, there was no guessing what else would change.

    “…I’ll probably cause you more trouble in the future,” I admitted. “Is it still okay for me to stay with you, Sir?”

    “As I said before, I’d be more troubled without you.” My mentor replied immediately, stepping forward again with his cigar in hand.

    I was with my mentor. His forgiveness relieved me. I was so afraid of causing trouble for him, and for this place, but now I knew that not causing trouble would be selfish as well.

    It was probably one of the few things I learned since I came to London.

    “I don’t mean to give you any false hope,” my mentor continued after a pause, “Heartless’ magecraft contained much regarding your relationship with King Arthur. Combined with the secrets left behind by Kayneth, there should be a way to stop your condition from progressing further. It’s beyond my abilities, of course, but with Flat or Svin’s help… Either way, I’ll have to count on you to help me with the fieldwork.”

    “…Of course!”

    I nodded forcefully. And then—

    “Ihihihihi! Since you’re causing trouble and being troubled by other people, you must have grown up!” Said a grating voice.

    *

    —There was one last thing. A secret that I hadn’t even told my mentor—

    *

    Right before the Divine Spirit disappeared during the battle in Albion, I thought I heard a loud, self-assured voice.

    So you managed to beat my shadow, huh?

    I wasn’t sure if I had actually heard such a voice. Maybe I wanted to hear it so badly that I hallucinated it.

    Iskandar shouldn’t have retained his memories of my mentor after being summoned this time. I recalled learning from my mentor that in magecraft, mages must make a sharp distinction between real spiritual entities and figments of the imagination because of the complexity of the unconscious mind.

    —No. In hindsight, as a Divine Spirit, maybe he could see the world across time and space. That was why he remembered my mentor— or, perhaps it would be more accurate to say it was how he learned of my mentor’s memories of him.

    Either way, I couldn’t talk to my mentor about something this important before I figured it out.

    Well, I must reward my subjects for their work, but I cannot even guarantee my own existence now.

    I was a Divine Spirit for a moment, so take this tiny miracle as a reward. Your dreams are all so puny anyway.

    So was it real or not? I wondered as I held the miracle as if it would shatter.

    The glowing scythe was disassembled into many small pieces and became a box once again. The box had talked nonstop for ten years now, guarding me in the place of my mother, who could not voice her love.

    It should have stopped working to protect me, and yet—

    “Gray…” My mentor’s voice came from behind me.

    It was only natural that he was too shocked to say anything else. I could hardly believe it myself. I had already accepted that I could not reverse it, no matter what I did.

    “…Add?”

    “Mmhmm?”

    The eyes on the boxes opened groggily.

    “Oh, it’s you…I’m a bit sleepy…”

    “Add!” I exclaimed, hugging the box tight. “Add! Add…!”

    “W-what are you doing, stupid Gray? Wait, no, don’t, don’t—!”

    My friend’s voice echoed throughout the Ancient Heart, ending this case with my greatest blessing.



    —END—
    —————————————————————————————————————————————————— ——

    [1] Editor's note: Waver didn’t get bullied enough in high school. How you gonna be 30 years old and still be saying this shit? If I were Gray I would've snapped him in half.
    Last edited by azwhoisverybored; November 8th, 2022 at 06:40 AM. Reason: changed "my mentor stood up" -> "my brother stood up" because I keep not paying attention and typing mentor

  14. #314
    屍鬼 Ghoul fearboss's Avatar
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    I really had to take a break when he said that. Waver deserves to be bullied.

    Anyway, I hope this doesn't come off as crass or like I'm chewing the scenery, but it's genuinely such a joy to see the English translation of Case Files more or less complete. Proofreading for AZ was an absolute joy, even though by the time they sent me the text, they had already done like 99% of the work. I'm still oddly proud of the connection I made to a bible passage back in Atlas Contract, haha.
    Case Files is genuinely one of my favorite things, and it feels really good to have contributed even a little bit to making it more accessible to English speakers.

  15. #315
    Lie Like Vortigern Reign's Avatar
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    Thanks so much to Az and everyone else involved. Just a year ago I honestly didnt expect to ever see CF be finished, and thought I'd just need to hope for a season 2 of the anime to see the end. I'm still hoping we get that eventually but it feels really nice to get the story right from the source.

  16. #316
    The Long-Forgotten Sight Rafflesiac's Avatar
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    Nice that Gray gets Add back.
    Quote Originally Posted by Arashi_Leonhart View Post
    canon finish apo vol 3

  17. #317
    Explanation + Afterword
    Explanation:

    By Kinoko Nasu

    Average talent, average insight.

    A young man who was ordinary (and therefore alone in the world of magecraft), who desperately prayed to be able to witness the fallen “star” once more.

    That was all.

    The two were the same, with the same dreams and duties.

    This is a story of mages, like the two sides of a golden coin.



    With this volume, the Case Files of Lord El-Melloi II comes to an end.

    First, I would like to express my appreciation for the content and the time spent on it.

    It was a journey of discovering the “whydunit” through five bizarre stories set in the World of Magecraft, woven from mystery, intrigue, and will.

    An unexpected mirror image lies at the end of these “Case Files”, where all the foreshadowing converges under the earth and becomes a shining star in the darkness… this is how his story ends.

    As someone who took care of the world setting of this story, I could not be happier. The world of Fate has been expanded on greatly by another wonderful author and work. I would like to thank this age, all of the readers, and Mr. Makoto Sanda.

    I would also like to explain the origin of Case Files.

    It first began as a spin-off of the PC game Fate/stay night.

    When I heard Takeuchi’s request to launch TYPE-MOON BOOKS in the winter of 2008, a desire arose within me.

    “I want to read a novel that combines magecraft and mystery in the World of Magecraft.”

    “I want to try to create a complete detective story that isn’t possible in a TYPE-MOON game.”

    However, this wish was hard to fulfill.

    It required a deep understanding of TYPE-MOON, the ability to write both fantasy and mystery novels, and, above all, the author must share the worldview and mood that TYPE-MOON has gathered over time.

    I only knew of one author who met these requirements, but I thought it was impossible because he was a successful author with an incredibly busy schedule. I went to him anyway, and he told me that “it’s not possible right now, but I will definitely free up my schedule. Let’s do it.”

    That author was Mr. Makoto Sanda. He looked so serious then that I was a little afraid of him.

    Four years later, the Case Files of Lord El-Melloi II began.

    During the planning phase, Mr. Sanda came up with several alternative themes, but in the end we decided on “magecraft + mystery”, as originally planned.

    The things we decided on then were simple.

    1. The work will be set in the world of Fate/stay night.
    2. Because it will not be based on Tsukihime, Dead Apostles will be different.
    3. The main stage of the story will be the Clock Tower, and the protagonist will be Lord El-Melloi II.
    4. Lord El-Melloi II is a professor, not a superhero. He is only a second-rate mage.
    5. The story must be centered around mystery (magecraft).
    6. Existing characters from TYPE-MOON should appear as guest characters (this was Sanda’s request).

    This was the basis for “The Case Files of Lord El-Melloi II: Adra, the Castle of Separation”. I still remember the joy of reading the first draft.

    Since the focus of the story is magecraft, the atmosphere was familiar to me.

    I wanted it to feel suspenseful and bizarre; two charming protagonists, a mage that died in an enclosed space, and finally, an ending for someone who devoted their life to magecraft. Makoto Sanda managed to fulfill all my thoughtless requests in a way that exceeded my expectations.

    After I finished reading it, I immediately told Mr. Sanda that he should make it a series with one book published every year, because this was something that I wanted to read. And so, Case Files was reconstructed as a full-length work consisting of five stories.

    The writing process of Case Files was unlike other spinoff works such as Fate/Apocrypha, Fragments of Sky Silver, and Fate/Strange Fake. It was like a long-term collaboration between Kinoko Nasu and Makoto Sanda.

    I said to him: “Since this story is about Lord El-Melloi II, please give me a detailed explanation of the Clock Tower.”

    “This is what I have planned for the next story, does it clash with your framework for magecraft? No? Sure, then I’ll plan it out like this.”

    “Alright, that should be about enough to fool people. Tell me about the other Lords, and the Grand Order (
    グランドオーダー
    冠位指定
    )[1] of the twelve departments. If you haven’t thought about it yet, please stay up all night to get it done. Don’t worry, I’ve prepared a hotel— yep, it’s your house. I’ll help you. Come on, let’s have fun creating the Clock Tower…Hahaha.”

    “What exactly is the department that issues Sealing Designations? A bell tower? Oh, it’s going to be in Mahoyo? I see. That means Case Files can’t touch on it, then.”

    “What? Really? That’s the director…? If King Solomon is unique, why would there be this kind of setting? …Please don’t use the seventy-two Demon Pillars, those will be the core of the next game? Alright, what do you want to do then…?”

    “The final chapter will be set under the Clock Tower? What kind of place will that be? An underground maze like Wizardry[2]? Ah, that brings back memories… Huh? Another world? Spirit Tomb Albion? What are you talking about, Mr. Kinoko???”

    This was how we proceeded. Every time Mr. Sanda saw a contradiction in the setting, he would mercilessly question me about it.

    Other spinoff works were set in “what-ifs”, but Case Files was different. It was a direct continuation of the world of Fate/Stay Night, not something that existed in its own parallel world. The laws of the world that the authors are usually allowed to create on their own were already set in place for Case Files.

    Mr. Sanda created each case in accordance with the Mages’ Association, the connection between magecraft and magic, the life, tradition, and abilities of mages, the history of human mages in Fate, and the history of the Holy Church in Tsukihime.

    They were themed around the angels of the world, the beauty in society, the value of Mystic Eyes, records of death, and magecraft in this age.

    He expanded upon this already-defined world without changing it. Many characters had already been revealed, but it was doubtlessly Mr. Makoto Sanda who gave them life through magecraft, as well as the atmosphere of the Clock Tower.

    As a result, though Case Files is an original work, it correctly expresses the rules of Fate as they have been and will be. Not only is it an enrapturing novel, but it also serves as a guidebook to the World of Magecraft. That is what the Case Files of Lord El-Melloi II is like.



    The detective of this story, Lord El-Melloi II, also has an interesting origin.

    He first appeared in the Character Materials published by TYPE-MOON as a Lord of the Clock Tower. There, he was simply described as “A man with long black hair who wears a coat and smokes cigars. An average mage but a first-rate teacher who is eccentric, gloomy, and likes Japanese games for some reason.”

    One of the characters of Fate/Zero, which was written around the same time, is him as a young man, making him a character whose two stages of life developed at the same time.

    Though I say that, at that point, he was little more than a concept. I originally planned on introducing him in the story of the dismantling of the Fuyuki Grail.

    In this series, he has grown to do more than the obligation he was left with at the end of Fate/Zero, a fact that makes me strangely moved. I only placed the stone at the beginning. Another author set it rolling and nurtured it, while yet another author allowed it to roll further to its goal.

    Even though Lord El-Melloi II is no longer my child, he has given me the chance to foster bonds with many writers, and many strokes of luck. He is an important character to me, and I hope it is the same for you readers.

    The incident that marked a turning point in his life has ended, but his story has not.

    As we grow, characters grow as well.

    There is no way that the man who has been tossed about by fate will leave the stage here.

    I would like to conclude this behind-the-scenes explanation with the hope that, one day, along with the author, Makoto Sanda, we will be able to meet the frowning mage-detective again as he continues to chase after the unreachable.
    —————————————————————————————————————————————————— ——
    Afterword:

    By Makoto Sanda

    —The secret meeting is over. The gates of the Labyrinth have closed. The Divine Spirit’s dream has been scattered, and the hero’s glory fades with the receding tide.

    But we know that a fragment of the star remains. The dream that will never be lost is in these hands.

    Thank you for your patience. I present to you the Case Files of Lord El-Melloi II: Grand Roll (Lower). Upon its completion, this book will be the longest in the series.

    To be honest, when I planned to write the Grand Roll arc as two volumes, I never expected it to be this thick. The reason I decided to go this far was because I was determined to write about Spirit Tomb Albion, the greatest mystery beneath the Clock Tower, head-on.

    Whether it be the Grand Roll or Spirit Tomb Albion, I must thank Mr. Kinoko Nasu and everyone from TYPE-MOON for entrusting me with subjects of such importance in this universe (especially since I have no prior experience with it!). I hope that readers have also found it valuable.

    Most stories have endings. The Case Files of Lord El-Melloi II is no exception.

    Contemporary stories like these can often be summed up in a single sentence— “someone did something”. This is only natural, because most stories are about distilling various complex elements of reality into a single theme.

    However, at the same time, some things can only be expressed by the process with which the thing in question is done. What Lord El-Melloi II said in the climax of the story in Chapter 5 is an example. I would be very glad if you could interpret the emotion with which he spoke those words with your own heart.

    Looking back, I think these ten books are special, even amongst all the books that I have written. Over the course of five years, my work has shifted dramatically. For instance, much more of it has become creating regional manga.

    In addition to Bestia, the story of magical beasts in London that I mentioned in the afterword of book 9 and Yosuga Scenario Parade, a creator’s coming-of-age drama, Wizard’s Blue, a spin-off of The Ancient Magus’ Bride, will be serialized in April this year.

    Azuma Toh and TENGEN’s manga has reached the Twin Towers of Iselma, and the anime will begin in July.

    This volume of the Case Files of Lord El-Melloi will also be published by Kadokawa Bunko (for those of you who have ordered Case Files in e-book format, don’t worry, it will stay as is. )

    The past days have been hectic, but some things will not change, such as my passion for the story, my admiration for the world, and my love for these characters.

    Writing a novel is like throwing a ball into the darkness, not knowing who will catch it. These unchangeable things are why I am not afraid of doing so. The fact that I have completed this journey with these characters is also a testament to them.

    Last but not least, I would like to thank Mineji Sakamoto for always creating beautiful illustrations despite having a busy schedule, Kiyomune Miwa for helping with not only the anime’s research but also part of the script, Ryogo Narita for supervising and correcting Flat’s lines, and Kinoko Nasu and everyone at TYPE-MOON for entrusting this world and its characters to me.

    Finally, I would like to thank you, the reader.

    I hope the next story will also find its way to you.

    Let us meet again in the winter, in the materials for this series.

    —November 2019, while playing Kingdom Hearts III

    P.S. Since this is the last afterword, I have a personal message too. Though my memories of the season are fuzzy, thank you, Kinoko, for inviting me to TYPE-MOON BOOKS on the way from Shinjuku.

    —————————————————————————————————————————————————— ——

    1. “Grand Order” refers to two distinct concepts relating to magecraft:
    グランドオーダー
    冠位指定
    (Grand Order: Coronal Rank Designation; this one is complicated, but the gist is that mages cannot commit suicide) and
    グランドオーダー
    聖杯探索
    (Quest for the Holy Grail "Grand Order"; This is the Grand Order of FGO). In this instance, Coronal Rank Designation is the Grand Order being referenced.

    2. Wizardry is one of the earliest examples of a dungeon crawler RPG, and was originally written by two Cornell University students. It influenced the development of titles such as Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest.


    A short note from me
    That’s it, that’s the end. Thank you all for reading, and for accompanying me on this journey. It’s been an interesting year.

    Why am I getting this emotional over finishing translating some books? I don’t know, I haven’t even been acquainted with this series for that long. Have I gotten any better at translation? Hopefully.

    I love that line about characters growing as we grow. I’m so glad that I came across this story, and that I was able to do something for it.

    Also the phrase “wry smile” appears 86 times in this series

    I’ll be translating Adventures here, in case you haven’t seen it

  18. #318
    Low-key Rockxas's Avatar
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    Much like Reign I had given up on learning of the series' events beyond what made it into the anime, so thank you Az for your translations, the novels have been pretty interesting and I look forward to the translations of Adventures as well.


  19. #319
    Thanks you so much for translating this series!

    Also I like how Divine Iskander knew that the best reward he could give Waver, was to help his student. That's Waver to a T.

  20. #320
    Thank you guys for spending so much time and effort to complete this series! You're heroes, truly. Case Files is such a unique and cozy little corner of the Fate universe and it holds a special place in my heart. And now I even have Adventures to look forward to!

    Iskandar restoring Add raises so many questions but I won't even complain because Gray gets to be happy lmao. Cute ending.

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