Part 200: Winter forest, the great devil gets really angry
I do not have any regrets.
My eyes lost hatred there.
My hands lost anger there.
My legs lost hope there.
My self lost its self there.
Everything went away.
It is not because I gave up that I believed nothing would save me.
I just found out that it's natural.
It's just that dying people will die and survivors will survive.
I laid down on the rubble and stared at the burning field.
I understood everything then.
I thought I understood everything.
But I still considered it
How wonderful it would be
If I was able to save everything here.
That was why I aimed for it.
I knew where I had to be, but there were many ways to get there.
I kept on running, wanting to get as close to it as possible, even though I did not know what was right or wrong.
Many paths I took were crooked, and my destination was only getting farther away.
I'm taking the long way.
I've been repeating this for ten years since I got saved by Kiritsugu.
But I won't regret it.
I'm not as skillful as Tohsaka.
I will take the wrong path and lose a lot of things at times.
But I cannot discard them as meaningless.
I have to present meanings for everything I've trampled upon and everything that cannot be returned.
So I cannot lose.
It can't be helped if I lose against someone else.
But I can win against myself. I can always fight back against my mind that tells me to give up.
So that's all I swore upon.
There's only one thing that I believed in and wanted to believe in.
Music: In the Sunlight
Tohsaka has transformed.
" ? What, you look like a new soldier that just stepped on a mine. Are you not ready yet?"
"Um, that's not it. Tohsaka, you look different."
Oh, these? I only put them on when I do detailed work, so don't worry about it."
Who'd have thought Shirou would have a glasses fetish?
It's a huge woodland, unkempt and far from the city.
It has rejected human interaction for a long time, so the forest is big and wide. You know how there are a few people every year that get lost in there for going in without any preparations, right?"
I nod silently.
Our destination is the Einzbern villa that is said to be somewhere in that forest.
Our fate will be sealed the instant our negotiations fail and we end up fighting.
We won't be able to call for help, and it will be difficult to run away.
We cannot escape that forest unless we defeat that giantBerserker.
I stayed up all night figuring out where it could be, so we should be able to find it within half a day if we're lucky.
We'll take a cab as far as the highway, so get some money ready."
She starts walking with a big bag in her hand.
I follow her with the usual shinai bag in mine.
Money for the cab is fine, but does that mean we'll be walking back on the way home?
Music: Midnight Interval
I knew it wasn't going to be easy, but I get nervous once I actually face it.
The forest is dark even though it's daytime.
The tall branches block off the sunlight, and it's hard to see more than a few meters ahead, let alone to the end.
"Shirou. Can you walk ahead for a bit?"
" ? Fine, but you're the one who knows where she could be, right? I think it'll do no good if I go ahead."
I complain as I enter the forest.
"I thought so. I'm sure it's only for identification, but it seems she has the whole forest under her surveillance."
"Ehhold on. Isn't that bad?
That means we got caught in an alarm, right?
"I don't think it'll be a problem. We didn't come here for a surprise attack. We came to talk, so it would be in our favor to let them know we're coming."
"Oh. Be careful though. It'll shock you a bit."
"I know, I know. I can tell how bad it is by looking at you"
She waves her hand and steps into the forest.
I hear fire hissing.
I want to believe it's my imagination that the leaves under Tohsaka's feet are scorched.
But it doesn't seem like Tohsaka is listening to me.
Music: Gentle Everyday
Tohsaka yells into the empty sky.
She's so angry that she might go to fight instead of talk.
It seems talking bad about Tohsaka is fatal no matter how far away you are from her, so I guess I'll refrain from doing so.
Update cut short so as not to leave you at an even bigger cliffhanger.