Part 365: Separation
The black shadow is standing in front of us.
It can crush this house if it wants to.
The difference in our power is obvious.
It has transfigured to an existence that's unlike anything I've ever seen.
Music: Wandering Shadow
The black shadow does nothing.
It's not Sakura, but a shadow shaped like her.
The real Sakura is under the Ryudou Temple.
The thing in front of us is a virtual image.
"Hmph. So you're sending the shadow instead of showing up yourself? You've gotten arrogant during the short time you've been away."
Does she not hear Tohsaka's provocation, or does she not hear anything at all?
Wavering in the moonlight, her shadow looks lonely.
Her eyes look at me.
Weak, as if she'll reply like always if I just reach out.
But I don't.
What I must do is determined.
I can't say anything to her, as doing so would weaken my resolve.
She looks away.
After hanging her head for a moment,
"Did you hear the whole story from Ilyasviel, Nee-san?"
She confronts Tohsaka with a cold voice.
"Yeah. I heard about what's possessing you and the abilities of what's about to be born from the Holy Grail.
So, Sakura. Let me ask. Do you have any intention of cutting ties with Angra Manyu?"
Tohsaka's voice is the same.
Completely cold, showing no concern for Sakura.
"No. I said the weak me disappeared, didn't I? I was able to obtain this power, so I don't intend to let it go. I couldn't even if I wanted to.
This is how Matou Sakura has to live from now on."
"I see. Then one more thing.
How complete is the Servant you're boasting about? Ilya said it's coming out soon, but what do you have to say as the mother? Is it already born?"
" Of course not. When that happens, this town will be consumed in a second.
I can't allow that yet. Senpai's still here.
So I won't let him out as long as I still exist."
"Oh, so there's no reason for us to hurry, huh? So you're going to keep Angra Manyu inside as long as Shirou's with me?
That's good, Shirou. Sakura seems well enough."
" Don't be ridiculous. You should know how much longer I'm going to last.
Please run away with Senpai. I won't last long. I don't know when I'll disappear. I might only be able to hold out for one night."
"So I'm warning you before that.
Nee-san. Please take Senpai and run far away. Then I can be at peace and take his life with mine."
Sakura says she's going to kill him using her life.
Tohsaka trembles a bit.
Is that because she believes her, or
" Humph. You don't know when you're going to disappear, huh?
You're wrong. You just don't know when you'll run out of patience."
"Oh well. I don't know how you're going to kill Angra Manyu, but you can kill yourself without hesitation if I run away with Shirou?
You'll kill the Servant within the Holy Grail along with you, right?"
I-I don't want you to see me change. It's fine as long as Senpai gets away.
Soplease don't come after me anymore, Senpai."
She's desperately begging us.
Sakura's shadow can kill us right now, but it asks for salvation by letting us go.
But I can't answer her wish.
I can't leave Sakura and run away, nor can I let her kill herself along with Angra Manyu.
"We'll go there. We'll go and kill you for sure."
Tohsaka breaks away from her sister.
"What did you expect? As Tohsaka's magus, I can't ignore you. And I can't believe you even if you say you'll kill yourself.
Don't you get it, Sakura? You're not making any sense. You want to kill, but you're telling me to run.
Geez, you're trying to act like a good girl because you're in front of Shirou."
"Oh, you can make a good face. That's what you should've done from the start.
So, is that all? Then get lost. You don't have to hurry since we'll go see you right away.
Look, Sakura. I'll kill you with my own hands."
Tohsaka declares with voice that even contains kindness.
The shadow wavers.
After freezing on the spot like a statue
"YesI'll be waiting for you, Nee-san."
It smiles violently and disappears.
Tohsaka and I are the only ones remaining in the yard.
I thought I was concentrating, but it seems I was agitated after seeing Sakura's image.
It seems Sakura's not the only one that's running out of time.
Music: The End of Reminiscence
You heard what Sakura said. But what're you going to do?
If you want to run, I won't stop you. But if you do, that'll be after you project the gem sword."
"You don't have to confirm with me. I won't run away, and I'll somehow project the gem sword.
We're cooperating, right? Then I'll follow up by doing things you can't do."
" I see. That's good, but do you understand, Shirou?
Coming with me means killing Sakura. The same goes for the gem sword. You're going to prepare a weapon that I will use to kill her."
" Yeah. The gem sword thing is contradictory. But Sakura's out of our control, and projecting the sword is a promise we made. If projecting the sword means we can match Sakura's shadow, then it's something we definitely need to do."
"Oh. So "
"Yeah, I'm taking the opposite measure. I'm going to end this war by saving Sakura. I've decided to be Sakura's ally."
"We don't know that yet. There should be a way to save Sakura and not let there be any more victims."
" I don't know about that. Sakura's already killed many people. Is it justice for you to save such a person, Shirou?"
Her inquiry is decisive.
A sin I can't talk myself out of.
She puts it into words, and I finally
"That's right. I'll protect her even if she's not human. I'm going to protect her from everything, including the part of her that wants to kill me.
That's all I want to do. That's what it means to be someone's ally, right?"
I'm able to tell her what I think.
I nod back, feeling no shame.
" I see. Well, I knew there was no point in arguing with you, but I didn't think it'd go this far. You beat me."
"Huh? Where are you going, Tohsaka?"
Sakura gave us that warning because she really doesn't have time to spare. So I have to get ready quickly."
"That's true, but we were talking"
"We're done talking now. In short, you're going to save Sakura as long as you're still alive, right?
Hmph. Fine, do as you want. I'm not going to say anything now. Go struggle to your heart's content."
Where did her nervousness go? Tohsaka looks angry now.
I'll leave you in charge of Sakura as long as you're trying. I won't do anything until you can't move anymore.
That's good, right? You might be able to save Sakura, if you try hard enough."
Tohsaka leaves with that.
The uneasiness in my chest goes away.
We're thinking oppositely.
But Tohsaka still wants to save Sakura.