Part 74: Elopement / Boy meets girl & girlMusic: Nightmare
Unbelievably, the place really is a castle.
An old castle hidden deep in the forest.
This whole place is surrounded by trees as far as the eye can see, and neither buildings nor sky can be seen in the distance.
"This way. We'll get to the main road if we run for about three hours, so run until then."
Leading the way, Tohsaka turns to face us.
Three hours, huh? I honestly don't know if my body will last that long. The pain gets worse the more I move.
The heat should go away if I rest, but we don't have time for that right now.
"Shirou, hurry up."
Tohsaka sounds pressed as well.
Tohsaka's the one who gave Archer that order.
She looks calm, but her mind is filled with regret.
"I know, we'll catch up right away. Saber, let's hurry."
" Yes. Let us hurry, Shirou."
Answering and nodding, Saber starts to run as well.
Saber's wish is about to come true.
Saber loses her balance.
I grab her forcibly from right beside her as she falls to the ground.
"That's it. You can't go on anymore, Saber."
"What ? What are you saying, Shirou?
I have experienced difficulties like this many times before. I am still able to run."
"What are you saying? No matter how many times you've experienced it, pain always hurts. It's fine, so you can complain a bit."
I pull at the arm I'm holding.
It must be because Saber's light.
I'm able to hold her up in my arms rather easily.
"Just rest for now. I'll collapse first if you keep running with that expression."
" ! How rude, let me go! Do you think I will collapse from just this !?"
Saber struggles in my arms.
But her opposition is too weak.
The arms that try to push me away are too small and too weak.
That makes me painfully realize how weak she's become.
I never thought Saber would be unable to push away someone picking her up.
Saber is struggling with a bright red face.
The position she is in right now must be embarrassing for a knight, but now isn't the time to worry about appearances.
"Don't lie. You can't be all right when you're so weak you can't even push me away. Just stay quiet for now. This is my order as a Master.
If you still won't listen, I'll have to use the Command Spell."
"Then stay quiet. Tohsaka will leave us behind if we don't hurry."
Saber reluctantly falls silent, so she must have accepted it.
Well, that's fine for now.
If she doesn't struggle, I'll be able to run while carrying her.
My vision flashes on and off.
Does my blood accelerate the more I run?
Bearing the nausea in my throat, I run through the forest while gritting my teeth.
"HaHaa, haa, hah"
I breathe wildly, but I hide my pain as well as I can.
There is only one reason to do so.
Because if I look even a bit pained, she looks up at me uneasily.
I can't stop here.
"Heh, don't take me too lightly. I have no problem carrying just you.
Compared to a broken stove, one girl is like air to me."
"Just be quiet, okay? You know the phrase 'give and take'? You've helped me out until now, so it doesn't even out unless I do something like this.
I have to return the debt now or I can't have you protecting me tomorrow."
"No, that is not true, but if you do this, I will be the one in debt to you."
"That's good. That means this will be the only time I have to do something so hard.
I'm much more motivated now."
I let a huge breath out and kick the ground.
Tohsaka is choosing to go through narrow openings even though she knows I'm carrying Saber.
It's fine because Saber is light, but following her takes all my effort.
"Hey, you'll bite your tongue if you talk. It'll help me out if you stay quiet, so please stay still."
"Yes. Then I will obey your command, Master."
Saying so, Saber relaxes in my arms.
It was hard to carry her before since she was unwilling, but it'll be a bit easier now.
The problem now iswhether Saber's body and my body will make it.
How long have we been running?
It feels like thirty minutes, and it feels like an hour.
"HaaHaa, haa, hah"
No, running isn't that bad.
I haven't been training for nothing, and Saber really is light.
Inside, my body is messed up.
I get dizzier the more I move, and I feel like throwing up.
We're in a forest, so I would understand if I was bitten by a poisonous snake or something
"KuhI can't, let this"
This isn't pain that'll kill me.
It's just that my chest feels heavy and I feel like throwing up.
This is nothing compared to the warmth in my arms right now.
Saber is closing her eyes as if asleep.
She's not resting because she's relaxed.
Her body is getting hotter by the minute.
Even though it's winter, her body is sweating and she's hanging her head to try to hide her ragged breathing.
"Crapthis is really "
A repeat of that night.
Saber collapsed from using all her energy after using that sword on Rider.
Saber hasn't healed a bit since that night.
Was her ability to talk now just a brief spark before she disappears?
"HaHaa, haa, haa, ha!"
I run, trying to deny that.
I don't care about my body.
I just make myself believe that something will be possible if I get home, and keep running
I almost fall, and stop myself from collapsing by leaning against a tree.
I can taste blood.
So this is the cause of my nausea.
I didn't spill it onto Saber since it was only a bit, but I still feel the cause of the nausea in my chest.
" Well, it's better than the worst possibility if I think about it "
Saber would be mad at me for a different reason if I threw up the contents of my stomach.
Actually, I bet Saber would seriously try to cut me in half if I did that.
Yeah, that's funny.
Imagining a funny thing gives me some strength.
All right, I'm done resting.
"No, you are done pushing yourself, Shirou."
It's like she can hear his thoughts.
She wasn't asleep?
Saber speaks in my arms.
"What do you mean I'm done now?"
"You should escape by yourself, Shirou. You cannot take me with you in your state."
"Wha!? That's not true ! I just fell down. This is nothing"
Tohsaka, who was leading the way, is back here now for some reason.
"Heh, it's your choice to bluff, but you should at least hide the blood near your mouth even if we're in a dark forest. It's only natural for Saber to worry if you're in that state."
Tohsaka glares at me.
Saber must have noticed that voice.
" Good. Things are simpler if Rin is here."
Saber says so without looking at Tohsaka.
"I would think so. I know what Saber wants to say. We don't have time, so say it quickly, so even that idiot can understand it."
" Yes. Rin, I want you to leave me here.
You will not be able to make it with me, and most of allI will not last long."
I can't yell at her for saying such a ridiculous thing.
I have no intention of leaving Saber.
But stillI know well enough that Saber's condition is worsening.
Saber won't last long.
I vaguely knew that she wouldn't be able to make it until morning like this.
"I see. So how about you, Shirou? Will you die with Saber here?"
"Of course not. I have no such intention, and I won't let Saber disappear either. If she's going to disappear, I'll use the Command Spell and"
We'll save Saber and all escape from the forest. That's our plan now."
My brain turns into tofu.
Tohsaka says the most difficult things so easily at times.
"Hold on ! I-I really want to do that, but since we can't"
"Just come here. I'll say this, but I have no intention of letting Saber die like this either.
Yes, I won't let this chance slip away. I'll have you fulfill your duty. You said it's okay, so you won't mind either, right Saber?"
" A ruin ?"
Holding Saber, I look at the building with blank amazement.
I don't know why, but this building in the woods is now a desolate ruin.
"We should be able to hide here for a while.
Archer found this as a place to hide on our way here."
I don't know what kind of nerves she has, but Tohsaka enters the ruin.
" Well, I guess it won't crumble any more than it already has."
I head towards the entrance stepping over the rubble.
How long has it been since it was abandoned?
The building seems like a corpse desecrated by the forest.
Sounds like the perfect place for some last minute lovin'. Woo, sexy!
Music: Midnight Interval
"Hmm. It's pretty clean in here. Maybe someone was staying here until recently."
Really, what kind of nerves does she have?
Stepping over the rubble, Tohsaka is dusting off the bed by the window.
"Shirou, this way. We have to lie Saber down.
It's pretty tiring being held by someone."
"Ohyeah, I'll be right there."
I carefully make my way over to the bed and lay Saber down.
" Yes, since Shirou carried me here.
It seems I can still sustain my body."
"I see. Then I guess there's only one problem left.
It's been an hour. We should have a bit more time even if Ilyasviel comes after us immediately.
No, we might be able to hide here until morning if they have trouble finding us."
Her mumbling reminds me.
We were able to make it to this ruin, but what happened to Berserker and Archer?
He remained at the castle to keep Berserker there.
It's already been more than an hour.
So Archer should already have retreated as well
Tohsaka doesn't answer.
She just places her right hand on her chest as if holding something dear.
That tells me of Archer's fate.
Tohsaka's Command Spell is on her right hand.
The Master and the Servant are connected.
As Saber sensed my danger, if the Master can sense the life and death of their Servant
" Tohsaka, he "
"Yeah. And I told him he just needed to buy us some time.
Hewas arrogant to the very end."
Tohsaka murmurs as if laughing off a bad rumor.
The silence that seems to last forever is
"But I won't let it be meaningless. Since I've lost Archer, I'll get Berserker here."
Aborted by the sound of Tohsaka punching her left hand with her right.
Music: Whirlpool of Fate 2
"Mourning is over. I believe in acting if I have time to worry. Since it's come this far, I'm going to make sure you're resolved as well."
" ? Resolved? For what?"
"Resolved to beat Ilyasviel Berserker, of course."
We can't escape this forest with Saber, and it's going to take a long time even if we are to heal her. Ilya will catch us either way."
"Do you get it? For us to escape the forest with all three of us, we have to defeat Berserker.
If we can't, we'll just share Archer's fate."
"Beat Berserker ?"
Beat that whirlwind of death that nullifies every attack and destroys all that it touches in a single blow ?
I can't even imagine that.
Anything that fights him will die.
Tohsaka must know that as well.
Is she saying we'll beat it in spite of that?
"No, that's not right."
What am I saying?
Tohsaka isn't saying we can beat it.
She has no such false hopes.
"OhI see "
That's right. We're not going to beat him to win.
I should have realized that immediately.
"Our only option is to beat him."
It's just that.
If we don't want to die here
We have to beat that monster.
Even if it's Berserker, he should be wounded after fighting Archer. And I have all my reserve jewels, so if Saber recovers, I can come up with a few plans to beat him."
"Looking at it from the other side,
Since Berserker is wounded right now, don't you think this is our best chance to beat Ilyasviel?"
" That may be true.
But is there a way to heal Saber? I hate to say it, but I don't think there's any way to heal Saber here."
Saber is just weakened by lack of magical energy. If we replenish her stocks, she should be able to use her abilities like before."
"Hey now, Tohsaka. Have you forgotten? The problem is, I can't do that kind of magical energy replenishment."
"There is a way. Yesterday it's the day before now, but I explained to you then.
There is one more method other than the sharing magic to give magical energy to your Servant.
Back then well, I didn't say anything because I didn't think it would end up like this."
I recall the conversation yesterday.
She certainly did say
" Well, a path should have been formed at summoning, so there may be other measures"
Something like that.
"Yes. You and Saber have not only a spiritually connected path, but also a physical path. So there's no need to use difficult magic to give her magical energy. All you have to do is to give her energy."
But, I don't know of any way to do that.
"Hold on. You say the Master gives energy, but how do I do that?"
Tohsaka looks at me in surprise.
She stares at me for a while, and then tells me it's simple.
"Sleep with her. Saber's a girl fortunately, so it should be easy, right?"
She says lightly.
Oh yeah, overgrown ruins - even sexier than a $12/hour roadside motel.
Sleep with her that, um means
Because, since Saber's a girl, it should be easy?
Music: Gentle Everyday
H-H-H-H-Hold on, w-w-w-why are we going this way all of a sudden!!!!?
I couldn't make this shit up if I tried.
"I-I-I didn't know that ! T-T-Tantrism is a heresy, and the Baphomet is just superstition! I won't fall for such cajolery!"
I don't know what you're panicking about, but you said you were prepared earlier.
This is the only way we can survive, so don't give us too much trouble."
"Well, but, that's "
It's not something that can be solved that easily !
Archer was defeated, so Ilyasviel will be here soon. We need to heal Saber if we're going to survive.
You know we need all three of us to match Berserker, right!?
So there's only one thing to do!
"I won't let Archer die in vain.
I will make sure we make use of the chance he gave us in place of his life. So I'm going to use everything I can to survive !"
Tohsaka yells at me.
But the more she says, the more confused I get. I imagine really making love to her, and my head goes even more blank.
" ! Oh, Tohsaka, that plan won't work.
Putting myself aside, Saber will definitely refuse. Saber would never give up her body just to replenish magical energy!"
"Really? Then why don't you ask her?"
Tohsaka's attitude doesn't change.
I look over at the bed.
Still breathing heavily, Saber is looking at us, without objecting to Tohsaka.
"It is unfortunate that you did not rape me sooner, but if you must have my consent then it cannot be helped."
If you're asking me if I want to make love to her, of course I want to.
Saber is a girl, she's beautiful beyond belief, and if I didn't see her that way, I wouldn't have kept on escaping from my room into the shed.
He had to run there because she kept overhearing him.
That's why I think it's bad.
I can still feel her in my hands.
Her warm body, her sweating skin, and her light weight all of it was in my hands until a moment ago.
If I remember that, I'm sure I'll go after her body not because I want to save her, but just because I want her.
I feel bad for Saber, this is no time to do such things, my head is blank, and this is, um, my first time
I'm in such a panic that I don't even notice myself grumbling out loud.
"Oh, then you're already fine mentally.
Well, I know how you feel, but just accept it for now."
Tohsaka steps closer to me.
I prepare myself, but the enemy makes an unexpected move.
Shirou, hold still."
Tohsaka reaches out.
It happens in an instant.
Tohsaka grabs my face, forces me to look at her, and
Humbly kisses me.
Tohsaka's lips are so soft.
I think it's special to feel someone else's skin on my lips.
But what I'm feeling now isn't skin, but flesh on flesh.
Her lips are soft and even though I can taste them, they're just sweet.
Tohsaka might not be used to it either as our lips are just pressed together.
I clearly feel Tohsaka's body temperature.
Her breath is hot. Is it her saliva? Our wet lips exchange small amounts of water.
Our touching noses are tickling, and all I can do is bear it.
I guess this is what they mean when they say all men are animals.
My head is still blank, but already I can't put my brakes on
Our lips part.
Leaving me dumbfounded, Tohsaka goes over to the bed.
"Have you calmed down?"
Tohsaka's red herself, but she still speaks like that.
"Anyways, I have no intention of backing out now.
You can just watch from over there. I don't think you can do it in your situation, so I'll help you out.
So you and Saber will feel more in the mood."
"WhaRin, what are you doing ?"
Saber sounds confused.
" I'm helping. It seems you two aren't used to it, so I'm going to help you both."
Music: Pursuing Minds
Whenever you hear this music, it's time to hold down the 'skip' key.
aaand that's about where things stop being work safe.
Video: NWS (mirror)
Oh yeah. Hot.
As I happen to look up at the sky, it's getting brighter.
Dawn is near.
The one-night dream comes to an end.
That's right, I have woken from my dream.
This is no situation to remain in my lingering memory, and anyway, it was just a way to stay alive.
If that doesn't derail your black box conversations, I don't know what will.