Part 336: Overture of breakdown / Connection of minds
I sit down on my futon.
Our patrol yielded nothing.
All we did was confirm that this morning's news was real.
Enemies we must defeat.
Just thinking about them sends cold, nauseous feelings through me.
Even a human could match Zouken or Assassin.
But those two are different.
I don't even know if the black shadow has a concept of death, and Saber is someone we don't even stand a chance against.
Butas long as there are victims, we can't just ignore them saying we can't beat them.
" Archer's arm, huh?"
I put my hand on the red cloth.
I have a weapon.
I don't know how far this will get me, but I do have a weapon.
The question is if I can manage it, and if my body can withstand it.
" I guess a bit is fine."
I untie the knot on the red cloth.
The cloth loosens up, and blood flows into my arm.
Music: Footsteps of Destruction
It's as though that last one is what Archer really wanted to get at.
There is no pain.
There is no pain.
There is no pain.
There is only fear.
The end roll invades with amazing speed.
The flashback stops with fantastic image.
Death before my eyes, death past me, death at the moment, the pain is not physical, but only the explosion of negation every time death is thrown at me
"Haa, ah !"
I hear a sound.
The sound of my head striking the floor.
Desperately, I stifle the scream building in my throat.
I curl up, push my head against the floor, grab my left arm with my right hand, and just cry.
The thing I've been missing since the fire ten years ago.
A natural fear for any living thing.
For the first time in my life, I want to run away from my end.
It's not because dying will hurt.
It's not because I want to live.
It's just because it fills me with dread.
I tie up the red cloth.
I tie the knot tight, so that it'll never come loose again.
"No. This isn't good."
I groan and cry.
The priest said I'll die if I use my left arm.
I'll die if I take this cloth off.
My body might be able to bear it, but my mind will die.
My consciousness crumbled away when I loosened the cloth and my shoulder touched the outside air.
I could not bear it. I cannot live without this cloth.
If this arm is a contradictory existence that people should not associate with,
my body, its death foretold, runs to the terminal station,
the ship, with a crack in the bilge, can only sink into the ocean depths,
the passengers unaware, too late for anything
My breath is running wild.
I had a bad dream.
I wipe the sweat off my forehead.
I can't stand up.
I stay cowered, bearing the strange pain.
The pain goes away.
I gather up my consciousness.
It must be because I was asleep.
The dispersed memories look as if they can be cooked nicely, just like chopped onions.
See, I can add color with soy sauce, add flavor with pepper, and add some potato starch to complete the dish.
Leave it to Shirou to make a cooking analogy at a time like this.
"Whoathat sounds nasty."
I murmur to myself.
My head is good for nothing, but I can still manage to come up with a conclusion.
In short, I don't have to eat something that's not good.
That's surely the proper conclusion.
My left arm is already gone.
Nobody relies on something that's not there.
Therefore, Emiya Shirou has no weapon.
This foreign body is something I must suppress using all my life,
and will contaminate me for the rest of my life.
Suppressing it with the cloth is meaningless.
If I want to rid myself of this poison, there is only one way.
But I still hold on to my left arm.
A gun is pointed at my forehead.
An image of a trigger.
The trigger is my left arm.
Once pulled, the gun will fire, blowing my brains from my skull.
I wake up my dozing mind.
It's almost two o'clock.
It hasn't even been thirty minutes since I fell asleep.
I get up, still unconsciously holding on to my left arm.
Outside the room.
I call out to the hallway where the footsteps came from.
It's not that I know who's there.
I just thought Sakura might be there.
" I'm sorry, Senpai. I, again "
But I'm the one who should apologize.
The reason why Sakura's here.
I know well enough the pain she has to go through.
The crest worm feeds on her magical energy, so Sakura periodically needs to receive more from a magus.
"I'm sorry. I should've gone to see you as soon as I came home. I'm sorry for making you suffer."
I get up.
What was I thinking?
I was so caught up with my left arm that I forgot about Sakura. I can't be forgiven even if I apologize.
"Um, Senpai ?"
"Yeah, I want to
I use my left arm to pull her to me.
I want to take the lead to make up for forcing her to come to me.
"Oh, it's nothing. I just felt a bit dizzy."
Damn, that's pitiful!
I unconsciously used my left arm and was reminded of the pain.
Still, it shouldn't hurt so long as I have the cloth on, so what am I frightened about?
" Oh, I have to take my clothes off. Can you take yours off too, Sakura?"
I shake off the dizziness and look at her.
"Oh S-Senpai ! I have a suggestion !"
I don't know if she's happy or nervous, but Sakura says something strange.
How should I answer?
I can't deny it because I really am tired, but I'm not tired enough to not
Actually, I want to
" Um, I'm tired. I'm tired, but I still want to
So you don't have to be concerned about me.
Well, you came all the way here, so don't stop now."
I'm ready to go.
I'll be troubled all night if Sakura stops now.
I nod, even though I have no idea what she's talking about.
Music: Pursuing Minds
You know what that music means. It's time to play ball! Er that didn't come out right.
It may be the wrong character, but I feel this is sufficient justification for a sports theme. Now, on with the last bit of the update
The power in my mind turns off.
I can't think of anything.
I can't recall what happened tonight, the pleasure that was only pain.