Part 249: Tohsaka Rin (I) / Old man
" Oh, it's not five o'clock yet? I guess I still have some time."
Miyama City is a residential district, so it's hard to find part-time jobs there, but the developing Shinto has many available.
The school rules allow for part-time jobs, so I work a few easy ones.
Within them, I prefer hard physical labor that ends as quickly as possible.
It's killing two birds with one stone, as it builds my body while I get paid for it.
I've always thought this idea was unusually smart for Shirou.
So I should rest when I can, even if it's just for ten minutes.
It's a waste of energy walking around until my job, so I guess I'll rest in the park.
Music: Whirlpool of Fate 2
"This place is the same as always."
I'm a bit sad.
The utterly neglected ground looks awful compared to the neatly organized surroundings.
The desolate area makes the wind feel cold.
This is the remains of the conflagration ten years ago, and this is the place where I was saved from burning to death.
"I wonder why they don't plant grass here. It's a waste to keep it like this."
It's a large area, so if they retiled it, the park would get bigger.
Thinking absent-mindedly, I sit down on a bench.
I stare at the burned land to pass the time.
I don't remember what happened here back then.
I probably don't remember because I was a kid, and it wouldn't have been an easy scene to memorize.
All I can remember is that it was hot and I couldn't breathe.
And that people died trying to save others.
"I wonder why "
For example, an adult that tried to save a child from a burning house. He saved the child, but died in its place.
For example, there were people who had their throats burned, but they gave what little water they had to one guy, and the others died.
For example, there was someone who ran alone to get away from the fire as fast as possible, and everyone that he passed on the way died.
And for example
People who died because they gave away something that was saving them, only to save others they didn't even know.
'That's difficult. What you want is to save everyone.'
Kiritsugu answered so to the question I asked as a child.
Of course, as a child, I denied it.
Because Kiritsugu saved me. I knew he was a sorcerer who could do anything.
I knew he was a superhero who couldn't ignore people in need, who saved them for no benefit.
So I believed Kiritsugu could have saved everyone back then.
When I told him that, he made a troubled expression and said something that I remember to this day.
'Shirou, saving one person means not saving others. Look, a superhero can only save the people he has saved. It's obvious, but that is the definition of a superhero.'
I understand that.
It's obvious, now that he's said it.
Let's say there's a robber and some hostages, and the robber intends to kill the hostages.
With normal methods, most of the hostages will be killed.
Even if you use a miraculous method to save all the hostages, there will still be one person who isn't saved.
That, of course, is the robber whose hostages were rescued.
The people a superhero saves are only those he decides to save.
That's why even God cannot save everyone.
"All the more so if it's a natural disaster. No one could have saved everybody."
The fire ten years ago was like that.
It's not something I, who was miraculously saved from it, can talk about now.
"But I don't want that."
I don't want such a thing.
I don't want help that has a limited capacity.
You have to help, no matter how impossible it is.
I can't stand to have strangers dying around me like back then.
So if I had been there ten years ago, even if it was impossible, I would have gone into the fire and
"I would certainly have died in vain."
That's for certain.
Geez, I'm hopeless.
Here in front of the station, the night's just getting started.
There are lots of people, and a constant flow of cars on the road.
The buildings are still lit up, and just looking at them makes me feel like I'm watching a grand festival of illumination.
"I guess I don't have to buy anything for Fuji-Nee."
I walk while looking up at the lighted building.
It's the biggest building in Shinto, so I can't see the top clearly.
I just gaze up the building, just enjoying the night's scenery
When I think I see something out of place.
"What was that?"
I stop and stare at the rooftop.
I focus my eyes, looking at the thing as small as a grain of rice.
" What the "
It looks like someone I know.
Why is she there?
What would she be doing there?
With her long hair fluttering and doing nothing, she looks down at the town.
It doesn't seem like she notices me down here.
No, there's no way she could see me.
She's so high up that I, with better eyesight than most, can barely see her by improving my vision with magical energy.
With a trick like that, I bet he'd make a great archer.
I can recognize her since she's standing there alone, but there's no way she would notice me down here among all these people.
She's just looking down at the town.
Maybe she's looking for something, as I can feel her sharp stare even down here.
I forget about time and keep looking up at the girl standing in the sky.
She is on top of a tall tower.
She's like a witch, looking down at the earth with the moon behind her.
She must be done with whatever she was doing, as she disappears.
Her figure has disappeared and the scene returns to the beautiful view of the night.
"That was Tohsaka, right?"
I have no proof, but I think I'm right.
There aren't many girls with looks that stand out that much, and more than that, I'm not stupid enough to mistake a girl I secretly admire.
"I wonder if Sakura's okay."
She seemed to be feeling better, but since she came to my place to make dinner, I think I've made her push herself again.
"I guess I'll go check on her."
It's not like I'll achieve anything by going to her house now, but it should make me feel better than doing nothing.
Wait a minute.
Then what was that light yesterday? Was there someone other than Sakura and Shinji in the house?
"Excuse me. Do you need something?"
I spin around.
In the darkness of the night, as if hiding in the sound of the bugs, a figure is standing.
He must be really old, but he has sharp eyes and a presence that doesn't match his small body.
Perhaps it is the difference in the years we have lived, but he has a dignity that pressures me.
"What is wrong, young one, why don't you answer? If you don't answer, I shall jump to conclusions. Hmm, so, can I assume you're the stranger Sakura was talking about?"
Then, could this person be
"Geez. Since it is my granddaughter's wish, I can't just let you go. I'm sorry, but I will have to hurt you a bit.
Just to be sure, you don't intend to hand yourself over to the police graciously?"
The unknown old man asks me such a question.
T-There's no mistake.
This is the first time I've met him, but he must be
"Ah no, you've got it wrong ! My name is Emiya Shirou. I'm in the same class as Shinji, and I'm an acquaintance of Sakura, and I just came to see how they were doing !"
"Oh. I see, you're their friend. Then I'm sorry for stopping you. Well, I can go and get them. Or would you like to have dinner with us?"
"N-No, I was just stopping by, so I'll be going. By the way, is Sakura home already?"
The old man says an unfamiliar word.
"Matou Zouken. It is wrong for me to not name myself when you have done so."
Matou Zouken says so and walks toward the entrance.
It seems like he doesn't care about me any more.
Overwhelmed, I see him off without a word.
" Huh? Ein-what?"
"Do not play dumb. It is natural for the daughter of the Einzberns to go and see Emiya. I am asking you how well it is this time around."
Um, I don't understand at all.
I'm sorry Sakura, but your old man is pretty hard to deal with.
" Hm, it seems you really don't know."
He looks so shocked that I feel kind of sorry for him.
" Well, I don't really understand, but I'm sorry."
"No, no, it's nothing you should feel bad about. It was a mistake on my part. I'm sorry to bore you with such things.
Here, if you want to see my grandchildren, do not hesitate. The old man will go away, so please do not reserve yourself."
"Um, no, I really just stopped by today. But, um do you live here?"
"I do. But as you can see, I am old. So I just lie in the rear tatami room all the time."
I came to their house until about a year ago, but it seemed then that no one other than Sakura and Shinji lived there.
"Then excuse me, Emiya Shirou. Please stay friends with my grandchildren."
Despite his appearance, he leaves with light footsteps.
There is no change in the house.
But the sound of the bugs has suddenly stopped.