Part 113: Continuation of the Dream
"Senpai, are you awake?"
I don't even need to check who's here.
Oh, so it's time already.
Taking a breath, I open my eyes.
Music: Tender Scenery
"HmI guess you're right. Morning, Sakura. Thanks for waking me up."
"No, it's nothing you need to thank me for. I knew you would wake up properly, so I only did a needless thing."
"I see. Then why did you come to wake me up?"
"I wanted to wake you up today, so I woke up 30 minutes earlier than usual. Today's a special day, you know?"
That reminds me.
That's right. Today is a special day.
"Sakura. I don't think I even need to ask, but Fuji-Nee isn't here yet, right?"
"No, Fujimura-Sensei is not here yet. Oh, but Ilya-chan is already here."
As I thought.
Ilya being the only one here means one thing.
"Crap. Sorry Sakura, but can you take care of breakfast? I'll go and wake Fuji-Nee up."
"Oh, yes. Sorry for your troubles, Senpai."
It's good I can go outside without having to change.
"I'll be back in ten minutes, so I'll leave the rest to you."
"Yes, please do."
Patting Ilya on her shoulder, I head to the front entrance.
"I got beat. Geez, I told you I'm going to wake Shirou up, Sakura!"
Ilya runs to the shed screaming.
Such a scene isn't that unusual now.
Ilya said she wouldn't go back to her country, so I consulted Fuji-Nee to see if I could keep her at my place.
Fuji-Nee really objected, said her house was better, and ended up taking Ilya in.
Classmates and otherworldly servants are one thing, but the line has to be drawn somewhere.
Since then, still staying at the Fujimura house, Ilya comes attacking with Fuji-Nee at morning and at night.
Needless to say, their target is breakfast and dinner.
It's been two months since they started living together, and they seem to be in union now.
I thought Ilya would not get along with Sakura since Ilya has that really unreserved personality, but I was wrong.
The two consisting of the energetic Ilya and the quiet Sakura are getting along well even though they're rather noisy.
In fact, Sakura is regaining her spirit because of Ilya.
Sakura stopped smiling when her brother, Matou Shinji, disappeared and was considered missing.
She must have vaguely understood the connection with the mass coma incident at the school.
She was worried about the missing Shinji and moped for a long time.
and now she's best friends with her brother's killer!
It was Ilya who forcibly made Sakura get over it, and Sakura regains her cheerfulness when Ilya is around.
"Yeah. Sakura is able to laugh now."
I'm purely happy for that.
Because that soft smile certainly suits her.
"Uhh, you're mean, Ilya-chan. I even gave you a special bonus to wake me up no matter what."
Fuji-Nee scoffs down breakfast while crying.
"It's only natural. I'll be late too if I wait for Taiga, and I worked enough for what I got paid for. If you want more out of me, you should raise the base pay and not just give me a special pay."
" Hmm. Why are you such a miser when you're getting paid from grandfather as well?
Everyone would hate you if you're stingy about money from such a young age."
"I don't care if I'm hated. I don't care what people beside the ones I like think of me. And Taiga, pay me back the money I let you borrow. Your payday was five days ago, right?"
"I heard from Laiga. I can give you the details as well if you wish."
Ilya smiles daringly.
In contrast to Sakura, Ilya and Fuji-Nee do not get along well.
And to add, Ilya gets really mean when she faces Fuji-Nee. That smile right now is like that certain someone.
"You have until tomorrow to repay me. If you can't, I'll just take it away from your allowance."
" ! G-Grandfather told you even that!?"
"Yes, we're together all noon. Laiga praised me that I'm much cuter than Taiga."
"Awawawa ! What are you going to do about it, Shirou? This girl's such a devil! She'll take over the Fujimura group if you let her be!"
Actually, more than that
You were still getting allowances at that age ?
"Yeah, I'll try. Take care while I'm gone."
" Humph. You might as well live here, you idiot."
Fuji-Nee sulks while hiding behind my back.
"Yeah, yeah. You should get yourself together too. You can't cause Shirou trouble outside."
Ilya easily turns aside her remark.
The power relationship must already be at a position where Fuji-Nee can't push back by force.
*Brrrrrr* Leaving the sound of exhaust, Fuji-Nee disappears like a bullet.
Fuji-Nee got her license a month ago.
Since then, her tardiness decreased considerably, but she has received another nickname of Rocket Tiger I mean, Rocket Diver that only she doesn't know about.
I stretch out and take a deep breath.
Sakura has gone to school already.
Seeing how she was eating a large bowl of rice today, it seems she is in real high spirits.
Today is the big day for the archery club.
Sakura must be enthusiastic to work hard as the co-captain of the archery club.
Let's go to school.
Today is April 7th.
There's the school entrance ceremony, and the season is past the cold winter and already into spring.
Winter ended and spring came.
That's all that's changed.
I feel like I've grown up a bit, but it's not like that caused me to be any different.
So not much has changed.
Emiya Shirou is clumsily running after Kiritsugu as usual.
Music: Gentle Everyday
"Hey. It sure is a good day today, Tohsaka."
I raise my hand and greet her.
"But is it really unexpected? We're barely missing each other recently.
Well, I certainly didn't come across you too many times before."
" Come across?"
Tohsaka glares at me as if unhappy about something.
I don't think it's good to send an aura of enmity first thing in the morning.
"Tohsaka, did you change the time you leave your house? You came later before, right? You came at a time that wasn't too late or too early."
"That's not true. I bet it's only coincidence that we didn't see each other until now.
Do you know? My house and your house are in the exact opposite locations. So if we get up and go down the hill, it's only natural that we meet here."
That's the first time I've heard that. I see, that would certainly"
Wait, hold on.
That's only if we do the same things around the same time.
For Tohsaka to come to this intersection at this time, she would have to get up at six.
"Tohsaka, you're not sleepy?"
I ask her directly.
" What do you mean by that? I'm not sleepy nor pushing myself.
Why do you ask such a thing?"
"Well, you weren't a morning person.
You'll unmask your true self if you go to school with lack of sleep. It'll be terrible if you fall asleep during class.
I bet you'll rage around with a face like an awakened demon if someone tries to wake you up."
Like "I will kill all that disturbs my sleep" kind of thing.
"I-I won't do such a thing! I won't make such a mistake just by waking up 30 minutes early!"
"See. You did wake up early."
Geez, quit worrying about when other people get up. If you have time to inquire about such boring things, just go to school!"
Tohsaka gets angry while looking away.
Her excuse is plausible, so I stop my greeting here and we resume our way to school.
Music: Tender Scenery
"Do you have work all this week?
I won't complain since it's your time, but don't you get sick like that?"
"Huh? No, I got today off.
I heard that the archery club is doing a welcome party for the new members, so I'm thinking of going with Ilya."
"Wow. You have some great guts. You're a big shot if you're taking Ilya to school with an unconcerned face."
People might get the wrong idea. At least it better be the wrong idea.
"? Is it bad? I think it'll let Ilya kill some time, and it should make her happy."
"It is bad. It's bad, but I guess I'll show up as well then. It won't be boring if Ilya's going to be there, and most of all, I just can't leave her alone because it's too dangerous."
I'm thankful that she says that.
It's Tohsaka, not Sakura or me, that understands Ilya the most.
There's the fact that she periodically takes care of Ilya, but more importantly, Ilya and Tohsaka are natural-born magi.
I think Tohsaka would be a good teacher for Ilya as she doesn't quite realize what it's like to live as a magus while hiding that fact.
Thus, things are settling into the way they should be.
The damage from the Holy Grail War is almost completely restored by the new priest dispatched by the Church, and our everyday life has returned without problems.
There are certainly things that were lost and will not return.
But the wounds have slowly healed and I should be happy about the regrets fading away.
"But it was unexpected."
Tohsaka murmurs in a serious tone while looking down at the town below her.
"? What was unexpected?"
" Yeah. I thought you would be more depressed.
I thought you wouldn't be able to get over it for a while."
That is about the girl that isn't here anymore.
It's been two months since thenit's about the golden-haired girl that we talk about for the first time since then.
"Yeah. That's what I thought too. I was about to go insane just thinking about the future."
"But it turns out you didn't change after that. You didn't even get depressed as you were fine the next day."
" At that time, I wondered if you were really all right. I can't put this into words real well, but you had the atmosphere of a guy that would die in an accident the next day."
"What is that? Why would I easily die when I'm doing well?"
"Things like that happen. When people accomplish their lifelong goals by mistake, they can suddenly die.
The instant they think like "Oh, I don't think I need to live anymore", cars run into them running red lights and they fall down stairs."
Tohsaka's metaphor is difficult to understand.
She might want to say something about peaceful death and going to heaven or something.
"So I was worried about that. At times like that, people around you feel more relief if you get really depressed."
"Oh. Then would you have comforted me if I was depressed?"
"Of course not. I would have kicked you in the back and made you get over it. I'm just saying that it's a bit disappointing since I couldn't do that."
She looks away in displeasure.
Her gesture looks so funny that I laugh.
"What? Was it strange?"
"No, it was a strict line surely fitting you, so I feel relieved."
"Then you don't have any regrets? With Saber gone and all?"
Tohsaka murmurs while looking up at the sky.
Music: New Dawn 2
There is no regret, and I don't have anything I forgot to tell her.
That parting contained everything.
What I wanted to do.
What she dreamed of.
It was a competition of our determination, and maybe I should have taken her hand and granted her dream.
Butthere was something we both felt was beautiful, and we desperately protected it until the very end.
There's nothing to feel regret about.
As she has properly ended her time
I cannot remain in this reminiscence forever.
So that's why you're not depressed or filling yourself with reminiscence."
"Yeah. But I still dream about it. I'll recall her for the rest of my life.
My memory will fade away someday, and I will forget about her voice and her gestures.
But stillI'll remember forever that this thing occurred and that I loved Saber."
But for some reason, she looks happy and starts to walk as if she's skipping.
"What's going on, Tohsaka? Did something happen to make you hurry?"
"It's nothing. I just want to get to school quickly.
So let's hurry! I'll leave you behind if you're slow!"
Turning around, Tohsaka starts running up the hill.
Running up the road that seems to go up into the sky, I reach the school earlier than usual.
Today is the day the new year starts.
If I am to celebrate it, I have to shake off my old memories and hurry up.
Traces will never go away.
Even if I almost cry from the vacancy hitting my heart.
I looked up at the stars before.
The stars that I cannot reach and the wishes that will not be granted.
There is nothing we have been able to leave behind for each other.
Therefore, traces and memories will disappear someday.
Even if it will not reach her, there should be something that will remain in our hearts.
There is nothing that remains in our hands, but we lived the same time and looked up at the same things.
If I can remember thatI can believe that we can be together even if we are far apart.
I can assent that as there are things that will go away, there are also things that will not go away.
That is why I will keep running for now.
If I aim for the distance, there should come a day when I will be able to reach out to what I have been aiming for.
Through it all, the knight runs panting.
A rein is in the knight's hand, and the wounded white horse earnestly follows him.
The only survivors are this knight and this horse.
And this one king that is lying on the white horse's back.
Music: THIS ILLUSION (piano ver.)
"Your highness ! King Arthur, please come this way!"
He must be wounded himself, but the knight runs through the battlefield with all his energy.
The king he is serving is on the verge of death.
The king has defeated the enemy's king in personal combat, but the king received a fatal wound as well.
The wound is fatal even in the knight's eyes.
The king that they have served will soon reach death.
"Please get a hold of yourself ! If we reach that forest, we shall certainly !"
He desperately calls out.
Or possibly, the knight might have really believed it.
That their king is immortal.
That as long as the guidance of the holy sword is there, the king would never die.
He breathes hard, passes over mountains of corpses, and heads for the forest that is not covered in blood.
He knew of the king's immortality.
Therefore, he believes that the king's wound will heal if he escapes this cursed battlefield and makes it to a pure place.
Nohe could only believe so.
He believed his own king, unlike the other knights.
The king was isolated in the Court, alienated by the knights, and was feared by the people.
But the king did not show emotion even in such a situation and always stayed as an ideal, and the knight felt pride in his young king.
He did not serve his country.
He had entrusted his sword, struggled to be of power, and made his way to be a personal guard of the king as a young man because it was this king.
The masked king.
The boy who tried to allow no personal feelings and to be fair.
He might have hoped to be able to see the king's true face if he went near the king.
He just wanted to see the king's true expressions.
Not the face he puts on during battle or in the castle, but a real smiling face of a human.
It should appear in the Court when he has been released from his duties.
No matter how perfect a king is, he cannot strain his mind twenty-four hours a day.
But that thinking proved wrong.
The only thing he found out was the truth contrary to his expectation.
He has made it to the rank of Imperial Guard and was able to guard beside the king.
He has guarded the king closer than any other knights and kept watch on the king's behaviors.
But still, it did not happen even once.
His king never smiled.
But he has yet to accomplish that.
The king is still isolated.
That is why the knight continuously did not approve of the king's death.
He cannot end it here.
He thinks that this great king is not rewarded enough for his actions.
In the forest he reaches, the knight lays the king by a large tree.
The situation is a race against time.
It takes half a day no matter how much he hurries to go to the port where his own army is left.
Anyone with eyes should be able to tell if the king's life will last till the morning or not.
"Your highness!? Have you regained your consciousness !?"
" Yes. I was watching a dream."
A faint voice.
But that voiceseems warm to the knight.
A gasping sound.
It sounds as if what the knight said was unexpected.
" Your highness? Have I been rude ?"
"No, I was just surprised at your point. I did not know a dream could be seen after one awakens. Are you saying I will be able to see the same dream if I close my eyes again ?"
Now, it is the knight's turn to be surprised.
He stutters, but replies even though he knows it is a lie.
"Yes. If you strongly desire so, you should be able to continue watching the same dream. I have that experience as well."
Such a thing is not possible.
What happens only once and not continuously is what people call a dream.
But the knight lies in spite of that.
He apologizes that this will be the first and the last dishonesty he will perform toward the king.
"I see. You are knowledgeable, Bedivere."
The king murmurs as if impressed.
His face is still looking down and he does not even look up at the knight.
The king breathes so softly that it can be barely heard, and quietly
"Bedivere. Take my sword."
The king gives his last order in a faint voice.
"Pass through this forest and go over that blood-stained hill. There is a deep lake beyond it. Throw my sword into that lake."
"! Your highness, that is !"
The knight knows what that means.
The sword of the lake.
To let go of the sword that was the proof of the king and what protected the king means the end of the king he has served.
"Go. Once you have accomplished my order, return here and tell me what you saw."
The king does not take back his order.
The knight takes the holy sword and goes over the hill with his indecision still in mind.
The king repeats to the knight.
As the knight lies to the king that he has thrown away the sword, the king only replies to "follow his command".
To disobey the king's command is a great sin for a knight.
But still, he disobeyed the king's order twice.
He was reluctant for the king's life when he faced the lake.
But that comes to an end.
As the knight figures out he cannot change the king's decision, he throws the sword in the lake on his third visit.
The holy sword returns to the lake.
A white hand appearing from the water receives the sword, and after going through the sky three times, the holy sword vanishes from this world.
Music: New Dawn
After crossing the hill three times, the forest is covered in morning sunlight.
The battlefield is afar.
In the pure, light mist that does not show any trace of a bloody battle
The knight nods silently to the voice facing death.
Everything has ended.
Chaos in his country would still continue. The battle will not end, and the day of ruin will come around soon.
But the battle of the king has ended.
Heno, she has fulfilled her duty until the very last moment.
The light disappears.
Finishing her task, has her last strength disappeared from her body?
"I am sorry, Bedivere.
This sleep will be a long"
As if going to sleep slowly
She gradually closes her eyes.
The morning sunlight fills the area.
The forest stands there quietly, and his king goes into a long sleep.
He was just happy about that fact.
The knight thanks the someone who has given her peace and proudly watches over his king.
Video: Credits (mirror)
Warning: high load time. You're not missing much if you skip it.
Music: Turning Seasons