Part 101: What I've gained / Temporary dreamMusic: Ever-present Feeling
These are the memories of a knight which I have seen many times before.
After becoming king and becoming the will of the country by killing her own will, her days were filled with neglect even from her trusted knights.
Every time she won a battle, Arturia was made to wish for a battle she did not wish for.
She continued to hide her sex, surrounded by suspicion. What awaited this isolated girl was a rebellion by one of her relatives.
To start at the end, Arturia could not have children as a woman.
But Mordred certainly inherited the blood of Arturia.
Arturia's older sister, MorganI am not sure how far she went, but she despised Arturia for becoming king even though Arturia was younger than her.
Mordred was created as her other self. He served the king as a knight with an unknown father, waited for his chance to take over the throne, and finally organized a revolt.
King Arthur discovered Mordred's betrayal on her expedition and returned to her homeland with her tired troops to invade her own territory.
She slashed away knights that used to serve her.
She attacked the lands she once protected.
The few knights that stayed with her died off, and the only ones standing in the end were her and Mordred.
Their personal combat ended with the king's victory.
But she did not emerge unscathed.
Mordred was bound by a strong curse, so he still swung his sword even after his death and left a fatal wound on the king.
That is the end of this battle.
The last of her, the one called the king of knights.
It must have been painful.
Come to think of it, none of her battles were painless.
Every one of her twelve battles was severe, and this just happened to be the greatest wound appropriate for her end.
She returned to Britain and destroyed her own army.
She punished the knights who used to serve her, and the knights following her all died.
And in the end, she had to kill her own son, even if he was son only in name.
"Oh. You have awoken, Shirou."
" Saber. Why am I "
"You have been sleeping since that time. Your body is almost completely healed, so you do not need to worry."
" I see. That's great, but "
What about Saber?
If my wound has healed, I'm fine.
But Saber's different. Even though she can heal her wounds, her magical energy isn't infinite.
It wouldn't be a problem if she had just fought, but she used Excalibur.
" Saber. Um, were you treating me all this time ?"
"I merely wiped your sweat. I cannot treat wounds as Rin does."
"Idiot. You didn't need to do that.
It must be more painful for you right now."
"Did he seriously just call me stupid after taking care of him this entire time?"
"That is not true. I only have a light wound compared to you.
But I cannot ignore what you just said. Even if your wounds have healed, they were bad enough that you could have died. Please worry about yourself for now."
Saying so, Saber reaches for the washbowl beside her.
There's a cold towel in there and after squeezing the water out of it, she wipes my sweating body.
I'm really embarrassed.
"I-I don't have a fever ! No, you can just rest for now.
You might be all right, but you used Excalibur. So you should be the one resting! You'll collapse again at this rate."
"But, I am doing better than you right now.
It is only natural for me to protect you until you get better."
What's with that?
I can't object if she says so with that kind of an expression.
" Then you'll rest once I recover, Saber?"
"Of course. I need to sleep as well."
Saber says so in her usual tone.
So, I let Saber take care of me and suppress my embarrassment.
Music: The End of Reminiscence
Time passes slowly.
Have I ever looked so closely at Saber without doing anything?
Saber is the same as always, and moonlight is shining on her.
I do not want to suspect this, but are you comparing my arms to those of Rin?"
Is she angry or sulking?
She has such slender arms, but she thinks her arms aren't cute at all.
Probably because there's some muscle on them, but they're rather cute to me.
"No. The wound doesn't hurt, so I was just spacing out. It's not like I have anything to say about your arms."
Saber notices something as she closes her eyes and nods.
"So your wound is fine now? I was seriously angry before, but I will forget about it if you are all right.
It is rather late to say this, but I thank you, Shirou.
And I am really happy that you are safe."
She says happily.
Then, she smiles faintly.
She's smiling about such a thing.
I recall her memories in my dream.
She didn't know happiness or entertainment, but she's going to smile about something like this?
She can only smile at somebody else's safety and not at her own happiness.
Those words from before.
That she was happier seeing me smile.
She said that with a satisfied expression.
I'm going mad.
I really feel like I'm crazy, and
" ! Shirou !?"
I hug Saber with all my strength.
She wriggles to tries to free herself.
I ignore that and embrace her tighter.
"! Shirou, please stop !
I do not know what is going on, but this is going too far for a joke !"
Her arms resist me.
I don't listen.
"It's okay. Listen, you have to smile for your own sake."
I say so from the bottom of my heart.
"Dammit, now I'm going to have to clean up the futon again."
I can understand her being focused on the Holy Grail.
But I can never approve of that.
I want her to know normal happiness. I think it'll all be a lie if she doesn't.
Because all this time, she's fought for others.
So she should be as happy as the people she's made happy.
" Are you crying?"
When she asks that, I realize my eyes are watery.
Not because I'm sad.
It's just too vexing.
I'm annoyed that Saber can only smile for others. It's just that my head went crazy because it pissed me off so much
" Saber. Isn't this enough? You've done your best. You fought even by yourself.
Soyou have to find your own happiness.
You've fulfilled your oath, so you can return to being Arturia."
"Whayou are still talking about that?"
"Yeah, I'll keep on saying it ! I can't help it because I've fallen in love with you ! I won't give up until you change your mind !"
I yell and embrace Saber as if to stop her from struggling.
She curls up in my arms and looks away.
"I'll move away if you don't want this.
I said I like you, so I'll let you go if you don't like me."
" You are being unfair. You knew my past, but you continued to invade me. You should know my answer already, so whywhy are you still concerned about me?
You must have seen all the sins I have committed."
Yeah, I did.
She sacrificed many people in the name of the king and killed many enemies.
I don't intend to ignore that or pretend it didn't happen.
But still, even knowing that, I want the girl named Arturia to become happy.
" My answer will not change. I cannot break my oath as a king.
Even if I was not appropriate for the role, I was entrusted with my country as the king.
I could not fulfill my duty, so this this freedom is not permitted to me."
I am kissing Saber while embracing her body.
Music: Pursuing Minds
You know what that music means.
We are collapsed together in the darkness.
Our body temperature hits our tired minds.
I call out to the girl laying beside me.
The question I asked her before I had sex with her.
To find out the reply for me wanting her.
" Magical energy replenishment has been completed. I can fight as your Servant starting tomorrow."
" That is it for now, Shirou. My role is to protect you and to obtain the Holy Grail. I cannot think about anything else until the battle is over."
" Is that not right? Because you have "
Her voice echoes through the darkness.
I can't argue against her.
If I want to do something about us, I have to end this war beforehand.
First of all, we have to defeat that man who's after Saber or I can't protect Saber.
Do we have a way to defeat that king of heroes?
We grow quiet and stare at the darkness.
How long were we like that?
Right when my body wants to take a rest and my eyes start to close
I feel something on my hand.
" Yes. Let us think tomorrow, Shirou.
We might come up with a good plan tomorrow. And "
I would like to sleep like this for now."
She says so while holding my hand.
"Yeah. I wanted to do so too."
" Yes. Good night, Shirou. Let us return to our previous selves when we wake up."
I close my eyes with her close to me.
My last vision of Saber sees her smiling warmly.
I don't care if that was just for this night.
Right now, her hand is warm.
That is more than enough for me right now as I fall into a comfortable sleep.