Part 196: Tohsaka Rin (VII)
Even walking hurts my wound.
It hurts every time I take a step, and my strides are getting shorter.
She turns back to me, as I am falling behind.
Tohsaka suddenly looks at me seriously.
"Let's rest for a bit. It should be hard for you even to walk."
"Huh ? No, I'm fine. I can bear this. We need to get home as soon as possible."
To the Emiya or Tohsaka household.
It doesn't matter, but we should get Tohsaka back to her home ground.
"Don't worry about my wound. It's not like there's poison in there."
I ignore Tohsaka's stare and keep walking.
How pitiful. My knee's about to give out right after I say so.
"See! You're pushing yourself too much. It's suicidal to fight against Kuzuki with that wound of yours. Take a rest. They won't come after us."
" I'd assume so, but let's go home as quickly as possible. It's not that painful."
"Hey now ! Don't say it's not painful when you're bleeding so much! I don't know why you want to go home so bad, but we should rest for now, right!?"
She scolds me.
Oh, so she's not back to par yet, huh?
Her usual coolness isn't there.
She's very emotional, so her anger will be unstoppable if the brakes give way.
"Are you listening to me!? You're not like Kirei, so it's troubling to have you leave a trail of blood after you!
First of all, why did it end up like this!? I know I told you to go to the church, but couldn't you tell it was dangerous right away!?"
" Hey now. I was able to tell right away. I knew something bad was happening the moment I saw the church."
"! You should've gone home right then, you idiot! Not only that, but you came in with that wound of yours and used projection again! It's natural for your wound to get worse! And you're saying it's not painful!? Geez, what's wrong with you!? Why would you push yourself so hard !!!!?"
Tohsaka roars out without stop.
It really isn't that painful, and
"So let's go home. You can complain once you get home."
Music: Ever-present Feeling
She doesn't have to act that strong.
Tohsaka can let everything out once she's back in her own room at home.
She wipes her face like she made a mistake and turns away.
I-I can't think of anything to say.
" ! T-Tohsaka, your hand ! You're holding my hand !"
"Shut up. Take responsibility, you idiot."
"Ehhold on, my wound's hurting ! Don't pull on my LEFT hand !"
We don't have time to be playing around"
"Sit down. Just sit down for now."
She does not let me object, so I sit down.
"And turn your back to me. Don't turn this way, okay? I'll get really angry if you look at my face."
I hear a sound behind me.
We sit down on the grass with our backs to each other.
I don't get why she's doing this.
Tohsaka is silent, and she told me not to turn around.
I don't have anything to do, so I look up at the sky.
I gasp at how big it is.
Is it because I've been underground so long, or is it because the sky is clear tonight?
Anyways, the winter night sky is so beautiful that it makes me forget about my wound.
The warmth of Tohsaka's body on my back doesn't bother me either.
I look up at the black sky, forgetting about everything for now.
How long have we been sitting like this?
The silent girl starts to talk in a calm voice.
"I'm just talking to myself."
I see. I can't reply if she's just talking to herself. I'll keep staring at the night sky.
"I might have made a mistake.
I should've done what Archer said and beaten Caster without caring about how I did it.
I was trying to find an opening because I was worried about small sacrifices. But it turns out that everybody in this town might be sacrificed now."
She keeps talking.
She's probably whining.
She's not saying so because I told her.
In short, Tohsaka doesn't want to contemplate her actions by herself, but wants someone else to make her do it.
" I'm not complaining, but I keep on screwing up when it counts the most. I can handle the second and third most important things with ease, but I always have a problem with the single most important one."
The winter sky is clear.
But in contrast, the air is really cold.
I don't care about myself, but isn't Tohsaka cold without her coat?
I'm worried about that.
"It's not Archer's fault alone that he went to their side. It's my fault for letting Caster be.
But yeah it really gets to me. I was talking to him earlier, but I'm cornered already."
I can't see it, but I bet her breath is white.
" Hey now. I think this is where you make a comment."
"Oh. So, what were you cornered by, Tohsaka?"
He said I'm not the type to regret my actions, but it seems now's the critical moment. I'm even more depressed that I've made a mistake."
I don't understand her too well, but Archer's right.
Tohsaka isn't the type to regret her actions.
"That's just now, right? It's irritating, but I agree with Archer. There's nothing for you to regret."
"Why? Caster is doing whatever she wants, and even Archer lost faith in me. This is because my policy was a mistake, right?"
"It's just that you were unsuccessful. You haven't made a mistake. If you haven't made a mistake, you can be proud of yourself even if you were unsuccessful."
If you walk down the path that you believe is right, you cannot be wrong.
At a time like this, most people will realize that their path is a wrong one, but she's different.
Her path should always be one that she can be proud of.
I won't regret my actions either. I believe what I've done is right, but it's full of stitches."
I don't want to regret anything.
I want to make all the tragedies that happened into meaningful things by believing that my path is right.
"But you're different.
You're the type that will regret something, then go back and retaliate. I'm deceiving myself with all the patchwork, but you go and completely destroy it with a straight face.
You're breaking even. You only get depressed once in a while, but what comes after is scary in your case. I think you will go to the one that got you depressed and get them to be even more depressed."
"Ugh. What is that, are you trying to finish me off?"
"Yeah, I thought I'd strike while your guard was down.
Well, isn't that true? I'm sure you don't intend to give up now."
I look up at the night sky and say so as if talking to myself.
Tohsaka doesn't answer.
But I think that
She smiled, getting herself together.
And silence follows.
Tohsaka must have said everything she wanted to, as she stops talking.
I aimlessly look up at the night sky.
We should be going home But neither one of us can stand up to break the moment, so we just keep our backs to each other.
I can't explain.
There are many reasons.
I think it'd be stupid to explain each one.
So I say something I have to tell her.
"You remember this pendant, right?"
I show her the pendant.
I hear her gasp behind me.
I thought so. I bet she intended to keep this a secret, but she made a mistake again.
"Hey where did you get that?"
"I found it in your room. Oh You might get surprised when you get home, but I'm sorry. I tipped over your dresser."
I return her the pendant behind my back.
" Heh. So what about it?"
"Well, I have the exact same pendant at my house.
I picked it up when I found it after being killed by Lancer."
"Huh? Did I say something strange?"
"Uh no, it's nothing. But why would that be a reason to come help me? That pendant means nothing, right?"
"Right. It's just a reason I made up afterwards.
To confess, I've been admiring Tohsaka Rin for a long time.
And this is a problem, but I got to like you even more after I talked to you. So I didn't want you to die, and I jumped down even before I realized it."
"!! H-Hey now. Don't say it so directly! You'll create misunderstandings if you talk without thinking!"
"I won't create misunderstandings. I really do like you."
I obstinately reply at once.
It's not a lie, so there's no misunderstanding to be made.
"Y-You idiot ! That's why you jumped in suicidally, you big idiot!"
Tohsaka keeps calling me an idiot.
She's criticizing mercilessly, but I strangely don't feel bad.
The night sky is beautiful, and I feel calm.
And I'm just really happy that Tohsaka's back to normal.
"Here, give me your hand. It should be hard for you to stand up with that wound of yours."
I grab her hand with my right.
Tohsaka pulls me up.
"Then we don't owe each other anything now. Let's not count today's incident."
That would really help me out.
I don't know what the pendant meant to Tohsaka.
I bet I would have felt more guilty towards Tohsaka if I found out.
Tohsaka didn't want that and said the incidents offset one another.
So Tohsaka shouldn't feel bad about getting helped earlier.
And we leave the foreigners' cemetery.
And on the way
" Thanks for helping me, Shirou. Um, it really did help me out."
Tohsaka adds with embarrassment.