Part 350: Beautiful aria / Matou Sakura (IV)
I grit my teeth.
I frantically swallow against the sob rising in my throat.
My eyes are hot.
I can't manage it looking down, so I tilt my face up and restrain my anger.
Pushing the knife down.
I can't do something so simple.
There's something really wrong with me.
I had to come this far before I realized my own feelings.
Music: Ever-present Feeling
'Are you going to betray?'
Someone tells me to remember.
Wasn't I going to become a superhero?
My body is wracked by contradictory thoughts.
A superhero that will let many people die tonight for Sakura's sake.
A selfish superhero.
Kiritsugu threw away his own wishes to pursue what he believed in.
A powerless human that helps others just because of self-interest.
The fire ten years ago.
Because I was the only one who survived, I lived on, swearing never to let such a disaster occur again.
Am I going to betray my previous self, who had to cling to that atonement to continue living?
No apologies will ever bring me forgiveness.
I can't make amends for this crime.
I'm throwing myself away.
Even if my life turns out to be a fake after losing what I've believed in until now
There's nothing wrong with it.
I need Sakura.
Sakura needs me.
For the first time
I wish to protect one life instead of many.
I take a deep breath and loosen my fingers on the knife.
I won't lose my way anymore.
I'll pull the knife back and leave before Sakura wakes up.
And right when I'm about to
"Senpai. Why won't you kill me?"
Sakura talks in the dark.
Her eyes are clouded painfully.
It's not sadness about having me kill her.
She's apologizing for making me resort to this.
"It's fine, please do as you wish. I'm too scared to do it myself, but I don't mind if you do it."
Is she serious?
I hear fear in Sakura's voice.
Her body is trembling, her eyes fixed on the knife above her as if watching inevitable death.
It's a determination that's doing all it can to keep her from running away.
How can it be?
I was so preoccupied that I didn't even notice it?
Why didn't I realize Sakura's determination!?
"That's not all. I see strange dreams. It's a scary dream. I'm always covered in blood, but a part of me finds it pleasant, and everything about it is scary."
"I'm the bad guy in that dream. I'm laughing as I'm stealing a lot of things from everybody.
I was scared, asked for help, but nobody helped me."
"So I told myself it can't be helped that everyone's getting killed.
They won't help others, so it's natural that others won't help them, and I ignored everything, thinking it's just a dream."
" But I was wrong. I wanted that dream.
I'm actually cowardly, filthy, cunning
I hated everyone, and all I could do was curse them. It's my fault for thinking that dream was pleasant, even for a second.
It's not the dream that's bad. It's me, the one who watches it, that should never have existed."
"Senpai. I'm slowly breaking down.
At this rate, I'll see nothing but those dreams and forget about you. I'll be a villain for real, going around and killing people."
If you can finish it here before I become the bad guy, then"
Sakura tries to say she'll be saved.
I silence her with an embrace.
I hold her to me tightly.
The embrace I could not accomplish before.
I pull her to me with the arms that only touched her back then.
I hold Sakura's body with all my strength.
" It's too late.
It's not about the future. I regret not being able to protect you all this time."
A quiet sobbing.
Sakura puts her arm on my shoulder.
Her cold fingers run across my cheek.
"I'll protect you. I'll protect you, Sakura."
I promise Sakura as she cries.
That's all I can do.
That's the only thing I can repeat to forgive each other.
I swore to be Sakura's superhero on that night.
I have no regrets.
I won't complain about this choice.
If anyone deserves an apology, it's only one person.
Will you forgive me, Sakura?
Music: THIS ILLUSION (piano ver.)
The girl, Matou Sakura, painfully moans in the darkness.
She is not asleep.
She only pretended to be asleep so that the boy, who was more tired than her, can rest.
Andshe cannot afford to sleep anymore.
She'll see that dream if she sleeps.
She'll see something similar to her kill people.
She doesn't remember what kind of dream she had last night.
She doesn't remember why she was unconscious outside.
Soit feels like she will never wake up again if she falls asleep tonight.
She will end up betraying the boy who held her close.
The boy threw away his self and believed in the weak and sly Matou Sakura.
His decision is still hurting her heart, so she will not be able to see him again if she turns out to be like the dream.
She has destroyed his mind to the point that it cannot be fixed.
So she has to bear it.
She has to stay conscious, not sleep, and never see that dream again.
A person exists that will protect her.
Even if she may be dirty and cowardly, she has to maintain control with all her might while she still remains.
"I'm fine with that. But "
There's something that cannot be returned.
She has committed a crime that she cannot atone for with the life that remains to her.
'I'll protect you.'
But the hostility was empty.
It's not that he's not feeling anything.
It was a painful emptiness, as if there was a big hole in his chest with cold wind blazing through it.
That made her accept death.
She thought the best possible outcome would be if the boy were the one to stop her.
But she was a coward, as she had known.
She was ready for death, but she could not stop trembling.
She cornered him by saying something selfishly convenient.
He embraced her.
The boy still embraced her.
They both knew there was no future.
But he still put his arms around her, knowing fully well what awaited them in the end.
The boy still had determination.
His embracing arms told her that he will accept the crime she committed and will commit.
She has wished from that time.
To be with him.
To be protected by him.
Admiring him for no reason, she went to his house like her grandfather told her and made her wish come true.
'I'll protect you. I swore to be your superhero.'
This is the result.
As his life goes on, he will only continue to break down.
"Sorry I'm sorry, Senpai"
What she admired
She finally understands why.
The boy was beautiful in her eyes.
He's different from her, who is a coward.
She wished for him to keep his upstanding character.
Yes, she remembers.
She wanted to protect him.
She wanted to protect the boy.
She wanted to protect the clumsy, but upright boy that she found in the setting sun.
"I broke it."
That's all she wished for.
Why did it turn out like this?
The girl makes her final resolution.
"You're there, right, Rider?"
She calls out into the darkness.
The girl should be the only one here, but a woman appears like a ghost.
It is Matou Sakura's Servant, Rider.
" Don't do anything to him, Rider. I won't forgive you if you hurt him."
"My role is to protect you. If he is to be your enemy, I must fulfill my mission. I will protect you, no matter what you may become."
" Do you mean that, even if I turn into something other than myself?"
There's no reply.
It's something she shouldn't say, the worst possible scenario.
Even if Emiya Shirou sides with Matou Sakura.
If Matou Sakura recognizes Emiya Shirou as her enemy, he will become a foreign foe that must be defeated.
The girl raises her body and clenches her fists.
Rider's statement hasn't angered her.
She's just scared that the assumption might become a reality.
The magical energy runs through it for only an instant.
When the light fades, the only thing different is her left hand.
" This is my last Command Spell. Please, Rider. Please protect Senpai until the end, no matter what happens in the future."
The girl gives her final order.
The Command Spell is gone from Matou Sakura's hand.