Part 309: What I should protect
The plaza is empty, and no one is visiting the church.
Stands a man, waiting for me without his master.
I strangely don't wonder
Why he's here and why he's waiting for me.
Obvious gay joke.
The red knight silently stares at me and closes his eyes once as if to part with something.
"You know, right, Emiya Shirou?
What you are fighting against, and who you must kill."
He clearly states the question I must answer.
His words freeze my heart.
I vowed to fight to stop the war, to stop Masters who involve innocent people.
That was my decision, and that's why I asked for Saber's help.
I can't go back on my word.
ThenSakura is the Master I should be stopping first.
I know, but I can't say anything.
The knight in red remains silent.
We stand there staring at each other under the gray sky.
" Then do as you wish. My goal has changed. Now that the thing has appeared, it is not the time to be caring about personal grudges."
" This is a warning.
If you're going to protect the belief you've had until now, that's fine.
Butif you choose another path, there will be no future for Emiya Shirou."
"Does that mean I'm going to die?"
"If you equate self-imprisonment with death.
Isn't that right? You have existed until now to let people live. How can you throw away that oath and discard everyone to save one person?"
His declaring words contain no scorn.
Archer's words contain determination and emptiness.
"I don't know which path Emiya Shirou will choose.
But if you are to deny everything you've done to save one personthe crime will definitely judge you."
Unable to stop him, I start down the hill, paralyzed by indecision.
This park is far away from both.
It's been a few hours since I found out Sakura is a Master.
Its location suits an indecisive guy like me.
I have to come up with an answer, but my brain is so messed up that I can't even come up with what I should be thinking about.
Music: THIS ILLUSION (piano ver.)
" Shut up."
Don't repeat it. I understand.
I'm a magus, even if I'm just an amateur.
I know what it means, and I can tell what Sakura has been through
That girl tried to hide that fact from you, but always sought salvation. Someone who sat by, oblivious, has no right to care for her
"Shut up, shut up, shut up ! I know. You don't have to tell me such a thing!"
Such a thing
Why couldn't I notice it?
One of my back teeth cracks.
I grit my teeth too much today. It's a wonder it didn't break until now.
"DamnDamn, damn, damn!"
I grind on the bare nerves.
Pain assails my brain.
But it can't even drown out the hatred in my brain.
Sakura was smiling.
She was always smiling gently.
I never knew what kind of pain she went through, and I accepted her as a matter of course.
I don't care if her smiles were real or fake.
It makes me want to kill him, just thinking about what kind of pain was hidden behind her smiles.
I can't forgive him.
I don't need recompensation. I want to eliminate him and remove him from Sakura's life.
Because everything is his fault.
Sakura would've been able to live as a normal girl, and she would've never had a crest worm in her body if it wasn't for him.
She wouldn't have become a Master, and Shinji wouldn't have lost himself if Zouken didn't exist.
If he had never existed, none of this would've happened!
I punch the bench.
The wound on my hand opens up, and blood drips down onto the white bench.
The clear colors transfer into my head.
"How stupidwhat would've happened if he didn't exist?"
I'm disgusted with my own foolishness.
" That has nothing to do with this. Why am I pushing the responsibility onto someone else?"
Why am I trying to make myself feel better?
I won't deny what Matou Zouken has done to Sakura.
Just thinking about it disgusts me. It makes me jealous, as if something important has been taken away.
But it doesn't lessen my guilt.
I'm the one who didn't notice.
No matter what Zouken did, it's my fault for not noticing.
"No. It's not that I didn't notice. I "
I just didn't try to notice.
The night when I confronted Zouken.
He said Sakura was unrelated, and I believed him.
I believed his words because they were convenient for me.
I could've easily realized it.
It's something I could've guessed with even a little thought.
That's why I wasn't surprised.
I knew it was obvious when I found out Sakura's a Master and that she's been raped until now.
But I didn't think about it because I couldn't keep going if I realized it.
If I realized, I'd have to fight.
If Matou Zouken is evil
The superhero has to fight against him.
It's clear what I must do.
If Sakura is going to be Zouken's puppet and use Rider to indiscriminately attack people, it's clear what I must do.
I don't want to hurt Sakura, and I feel sympathy.
But there can be no exceptions.
No matter how important it is to me, if it would create a disaster like that time
Yes. I wouldn't mind if you do so.
"Let's play, Shirou!"
I'm suddenly embraced from behind.
I can tell without turning around.
The one I meet at this park is always this white girl.
Her innocence is painful right now.
I know it's selfish of me, but I don't want anyone smiling in front of me right now.
"Oh. What's going on, Shirou? Why are you ignoring me? It's rude to keep looking down when a girl's talking to you."
I wish she'd be quiet.
I don't have the composure to talk with someone right now.
If you want to play, you'll have to do it by yourself."
"What? I got to see you, so that's boring.
You never came here after that day. If I let you go today, I bet you won't come again."
" I didn't promise to meet you here every day. And it's night already. Don't Masters kill each other at night?"
My unkind words bring a renewed wave of nausea.
I hate myself so much that I want to punch myself.
I'm driving Ilya away so that I can be at ease.
"Why? You're not a Master anymore, right? So I'm going to let you go for tonight."
"'I'm not a Master anymore' Ilya?"
It looks like she knows about Sakura's condition and
"It's obvious now who's going to win. Rider's Master will self-destruct, and Archer isn't a big deal.
No one can beat my Berserker now that Saber's gone.
See, so let's play! You're not a Master anymore, so I'll specially invite you to my castle!"
Ilya hugs me without reserve.
Seeing her innocent smile makes me so angry that
"Shut up ! I said I don't have such time! Go play by yourself if you want to play around!"
I push Ilya away in a fit of rage.
It's too late to regret what I've done.
Ilya is standing there in shock.
I can tell without looking how shocking that must've been for her.
I have pushed aside an honest, pure show of affection.
It's like a parent rejecting a child.
I have just ruined everything Ilya felt for me.
She stares at me in silence.
A small hand pats my head.
Music: Ever-present Feeling
I raise my head again.
Ilya is looking at me with a worried expression.
My vision is covered in white.
It's just one phrase.
But that phrase washes everything away from my head.
Ilya easily tells me the motive to be on someone's side.