Part 64: Boy meets girl (II)Music: Ever-present Feeling
A mountain of corpses.
People crumbling away.
A time when everyone wished for help, yet none received any.
That was painful.
It was so painful that even living was painful, and I even thought I would be at ease if I just disappeared.
And then, my mind faded away, and the raised hand fell to the ground.
It should have fallen to the ground.
A big hand grasped the falling hand.
That person came into the fire to save anybody, and found me.
I remember that face.
A figure of a man, with tears welling in his eyes, delighted from the bottom of his heart that he has found someone alive.
It was because he looked so happy
I even thought that he was the one that was saved, not me.
Looking enviable even in my dying eyes, the man saved an unfamiliar child as if thanking something.
That was ten years ago.
Since then, Emiya Shirou just chased after Kiritsugu.
I could only think of becoming like him.
Not because I was saved.
It's just because I could not forget his face at that time, and I tried to acquire that illusion.
I ran, aiming to be like that.
Somewhere in my mind, I didn't want to realize.
That's rightthat one day
Hoping about how much I would be saved if I could smile the way Kiritsugu did back then
"It's dark outside."
I push myself up.
The clock says it's already past 10PM.
"It's not 'it's dark outside', you ingrate. Isn't there something you should say when you wake up?"
"Tohsaka, I didn't know you were here."
I was by your side nursing you all this time, and that's your attitude?"
I've done something bad.
"Sorry. My head's still not working. I can't think straight, but thanks. I owe you one again, Tohsaka."
"Can you ever think straight?"
"! W-Well, it's fine since it's nothing important. You had such a bad wound, so I'm sure it's only natural for your mind to be hazy.
" So, does it hurt anywhere? It seems the external wounds have already healed, but I can't tell about your insides. We have to heal the wounds if there's anything wrong, right?"
"No. I just feel dull, it doesn't hurt anywhere.
I feel like I'm floating in the air.
I don't know how I came to be here.
I can't even remember what I was doing toda
"! Tohsaka, how's the school!? What happened to me after that !?"
"It's all right, you don't have to worry about them. Kirei went to follow-up on the school.
He'll handle the repairs on the hallway and take care of the aftermath, so you don't have to think about it. He's a priest, so he'll get divine punishment if he doesn't at least do that."
"Him? Then, the school's "
Music: Tender Scenery
"It didn't end up as a serious matter. Many students were taken to the hospital, but none of their lives is in danger. Everyone's being treated for malnutrition, and they only have to stay there for a few days."
I bet those doctors are calling for some serious cafeteria reforms.
"I see, that's "
The boundary field was stopped late, but that didn't mean I was too late.
As soon as I relax, strength escapes my body.
I take a deep breath and lean against the wall.
" Then did Kotomine heal my body too?
Even you can't heal such wounds, right?"
It's just like with Berserker. Your ability to close your wounds is excessive but you don't know anything about it, right?"
"Of course not. I don't understand at all either. I had a normal body until I made the contract with Saber."
" Hmm. Maybe you just don't know, but could it be that one of your ancestors is a lizard?"
" Hey now. Don't make such scary jokes with a straight face. This feels weird for me too. It's kind of like my body isn't my body."
You've been saved twice already, so I guess turning into a lizard is an acceptable bargain."
" Tohsaka. Do you enjoy making fun of a seriously injured person?"
"You mean someone who used to be seriously injured, right?
Well, anyway, thank Saber. I don't know the reasoning behind it, but it's because of Saber that your body's like this."
That energizes my beaten-up mind.
The thing I have to do now.
There are words I need to say to her, asking for her help and being saved by her.
Words like, "Wow, I sure am an idiot for running into that one!"
Moving causes pain throughout my body, but I can't worry about that.
"Tohsaka, where's Saber?"
"She's in the dojo. I'm going to my room to get some stuff."
Tohsaka heads over to the outbuilding with light steps.
My joints cry out in pain.
I bear it by gritting my teeth and hurry to the dojo.
Saber notices me coming in, stands up, and comes to me instantly.
"Sorry. I just woke up. So, Saber "
"It is not 'sorry'! I have many things I need to say to you ! You accepted a call from the enemy without me, you tried to fight by yourself, and you did not take care of your body !
"Do you understand that all of those actions were foolish actions that would have been fatal!? No, you really were almost dead. What enjoyment are you getting out of causing me so much trouble !?"
I will totally hear you out today!"
Saber flares up at me.
It's certainly an intense pressure, but seeing Saber being so emotional is rather pleasant.
" I know. I'll tell you.
So let's talk, Saber. My body is fine, as it appears."
"I seethat is good."
Where did that threatening attitude go?
Saber takes a relieved breath and smiles softly as if congratulating me on my safety.
Music: The End of Reminiscence
That really makes me realize I made her feel so uneasy that even the expressionless Saber made such a face.
I wasn't relying on Saber.
But still, she accepted me as the person to fight with.
I was the stupid one.
I didn't notice such pure trust.
And I could not even give her the simple trust of letting her fight.
I speak naturally.
I can stare directly at the person I was so embarrassed to look at until now.
Well I'll be damned he actually said it.
"What Shirou, please do not do such a thing. My previous expression was just a figure of speech. I was certainly angry, but there is no such need for you to apologize to me"
"There is. It's natural to apologize to you, as my partner.
I'm sorry I let you worry. As long as I'm with you, I will never fight alone."
"Shirou, that "
"Yeah. Saber, please lend me your strength.
I can't beat the other Masters by myself. I need your help."
" Then you will admit that your actions until now were a mistake? That it is my role to fight, and that you will devote yourself as backup as a Master?"
No, that's wrong.
I am not mistaken in that regard.
I still don't want to see Saber hurt.
That's why I have forbidden her from fighting.
That was the only thing I had wrong.
If I decided to fight with her, I should just have protected her with all my might
" No. I don't think I was mistaken.
If you are going to protect me, I'll protect you too. I can't let you fight alone."
Saber doesn't respond.
Cold air flows through the dojo.
But this is one thing that I cannot give up.
I raise my head, thinking that I'll just need to beg her until she accepts it.
"Huh ? Um, Saber?"
"Honestly, there is no need to answer now.
I am your sword. Who else but me will be your help, Shirou?"
Saying that, Saber puts out her left hand.
With no sensible words coming to mind, I silently shake her hand.
A certain feeling of a handshake.
A few days after we met, we finally exchange a real contract.
Music: Gentle Everyday
Well hello to you, too, Miss "I ruin everything"
Why do you have to show up with such timing !?
We release our hands quickly.
" ? You guys are acting weird. Could it be that you two were having a secret conference?"
Saber is offering a really suspicious lie.
No, before that, why is Saber panicking too?
"Oh. You sure take his pulse in a strange way."
Tohsaka looks at Saber curiously.
Perhaps because she's not accustomed to lying, Saber starts to act even more suspiciously.
I have to help her or we might end up in an even worse situation.
"Hey, what do you want? Didn't you say you were going to your room to get something?"
"Oh, yeah. Here Saber, this is it."
"Thank you. I am sorry for the trouble, Rin."
Tohsaka gives Saber a bag.
Saber takes it with a happy expression.
Saber ran out of tampons.
"That's the last set, so be careful. Even if it was an enforced summoning, your clothes will scatter if you arm yourself by force."
"I am sorry. It was so sudden, I did not think that far ahead. But I am glad you had the same clothes."
"Yeah. It's a simple design like a uniform.
That Kirei, forcing me to wear these plain clothes. Well, it's fine since those clothes don't look good on me. Why are you so concerned with them anyway, Saber?"
I don't understand the situation too well, but it seems that's the third set of clothes for Saber.
We don't have any women's clothes here, so that means Saber is borrowing clothes from Tohsaka.
They can talk about clothes all they want, I know what's up.
I'd prefer it if you two did your girl talk elsewhere.
I'm a guy too.
We were having a serious conversation, but if you talk about this sort of thing, I can't help but feel let down
Shirou knows what's up, too.
Even though I regained consciousness, my body is still badly injured.
My arms were cut up by Rider so badly that I would normally have had to cut them off at my elbows, and my body is filled with cracks and strains from falling from the third floor.
I guess they share the opinion that I should sleep and rest for now, even though there are lots of things to think about.
But I have to settle things as quickly as possible with Shinji.
Shinji activated that boundary field without hesitation.
Even I know how dangerous it is to let such a Master roam freely.
Yay! More Shinji beatings!