Part 34: Is my Master aptitude low? / Star in the fogMusic: Tender Scenery
... "Shirou, I can hear you."
Opening the sliding screen silently, Saber enters.
I hold onto my heart, pounding from having her actually in front of me.
Calm down. I'm just going to talk to her as a Master.
"Uhno, that's not it. I'm fine already. Are you fine?"
"Yes, there is no problem. With my current condition, it should take some time to fully heal, but I am still above my average. I should be able to match anyone other than Berserker."
Saber declares so.
It's not confidence or boasting.
She is probably just telling the truth.
I have no response.
Saber's statement should be encouraging to a Master, but II don't want such a slender girl to fight.
"Um I'll ask you something. Don't you have any other objective other than fighting? You're in this time, so don't you have anything else you want to do?"
"Other objectives ? I do not have any such things. Servants are only summoned to fight.
Any other objectives are useless. Your statements are misdirected."
I thought so.
I'm pretty much asking one who was summoned to fight, not to fight.
It's not that I want to tell her that.
Well, how should I put thisSaber is lacking in humanity.
It would be fine if she were only going to fight, but she's in front of me as an actual person.
"Jeez, she does nothing but fight. She's so inhuman. It would be fine if she did nothing but fight." ...
So I can't allow her to just fight.
If Saber is actually here, I have to have her do something she enjoys.
"Hey, Saber. Servants are heroes from the past, right? So"
I stop myself before I ask her what she was like before.
'I cannot tell you my real name.'
Saber said that before as a secret between us.
So even if I asked her about her past, she wouldn't answer.
"Shirou? It is not good to stop what you have begun to say. I shall answer if it is necessary."
"No, forget about it. I was just about to say something stupid."
But what else is there to talk about besides that?
If I can't ask about Saber, the only thing that remains is about me.
That would be even more meaningless though.
Now, I'm just gonna do what I want.
If I can't ask about her true identity, I'll get ready to have her look at me strangely, and I'll ask about things such as what she likes and what she wants for breakfast and
"Huhyou can, but what?"
"About yesterday. You were cut by Berserker while trying to save me. You remember that, is that correct?"
"I remember what? You want to continue this morning's conversation? I know it was a thoughtless action, so don't remind me about it. It makes me feel sick."
"I feel the same way. But I feel that I must ask you to understand.
Why did you stand up to Berserker?
Did you not understand what might happen to you if you approached us?"
"I was gonna do it better."
I knew that.
I understood that I'd be killed if I approached.
But I didn't try to save Saber out of optimism that I'd be safe while doing so.
Back then, all I thought about was saving Saber.
I didn't care about what would happen afterwards.
At that time, the most important thing for me was saving Saber.
Probably, it was just that my fear of not being able to save Saber was greater than my fear of getting killed.
Music: Tender Scenery
" Sorry, I've forgotten.
It happened in an instant, so I don't know what I was thinking. I was probably confused. Otherwise, I wouldn't have been able to do something so suicidal."
Perhaps because Saber's eyes were so serious.
I don't tell her the truth. I just say something to get out of this situation.
"It wasn't automatic. I told you, I was confused.
If something like that happens again, I'll probably be trembling."
"I see. That is normal for a human. No human would try to save another while ignoring their own life.
Even heroes should be no exception to that."
If he continued with that missing thing, only tragedy would await."
Her deep green eyes are trying to tell me something.
I take that and
"You're persistent, Saber. I told you I was just confused. I'm scared of death too. I can't be a saint.
If something like that happens again, I'll save myself before you."
I deflect it with heartless words.
"That is good. It should be no problem if it was just a misinterpretation on my part. Yes, you certainly are a coward. If you do not make any mistakes, you will become a proper magus."
"Hey. What's with that? Do I look like a coward?"
"Yes, very much so. Mostly the part where you try your best to accept the situation you are in. Such wisdom is sometimes called as cowardice. It is the same as saying that a man without fear cannot be wise."
That gesture is so lovely and elegant.
Because of it, I cannot think of anything else to say, and we end up staying in the room together a while.
It's eleven o'clock.
The lights in the house are turned off, and the people in it sleep to prepare for tomorrow.
"I can't sleep."
" Geez. Why can I"
It's so quiet, so why can I hear Saber's breathing in the next room?
No, I know. If it's so quiet, it's only natural for me to be able to hear what's going on in the next room, and being able to hear her sleeping makes me imagine her sleeping.
... "Shirou, I can still hear you."
" Ugh, dammit ! I can't sleep like this !"
I'm tired of this hell.
I climb out of the futon trying not to wake Saber, and I retreat to my usual place.
"Tohsaka seems to be asleep."
The lights there are off.
She must be defiant, or just adaptable.
Tohsaka must have gotten used to this place in just a day.
" Well, it really does help having her around and all."
Yeah, it helps, even if it's troubling sometimes.
For example, the bandage wrapped around my hand.
"Hide the Command Spell, huh? I didn't realize until she told me."
The Command Spell a Master bears appears somewhere on their arm.
In my case, it is on the back of my left hand.
I can't hide it with my clothes, so I'm hiding it with a bandage, even though it looks unnatural.
" It's winter, so I'll wear something long over it."
Tohsaka has hers around the middle of her right hand, or somewhere like that.
They say the Command Spell is different for each Master, but I don't think I'll ever see Tohsaka's Command Spell.
But this darkness is familiar to me.
The old building that I used to play in, the place you could call my real room, stands silently in the cold winter night.
"Yeah, I considered skipping it just for today, but I shouldn't. Father would get mad at me if I skipped it two days in a row."
I sit in the middle of the shed and take a deep breath.
Training should be continued without rest.
Magic is mental training for me, so I shouldn't neglect it for minor reasons.
Saber got him all hot and bothered, so he's going to go plunge a rod into himself.
I ignore it and clear my mind.
Once I let magical energy flow through me, it's the usual practice of "strengthening".
The strengthening magic, which I succeeded at for the first time in a few years after being attacked by Lancer.
I have to repeat it before I forget it, and make sure I master it, or it'll be a waste.
I half-close my eyes and release the contents of my lungs.
Having filled his mind with long, stiff swords and filled his body with a hot, burning rod, Shirou peacefully sleeps the night away.