Let's find out what this "Eclipse" thing is all about, shall we? I'm going to keep my fool mouth shut for this because it wouldn't be really be all that funny even if I tried to make it that way. On its own, it's actually a really nice little scene. ...and so the thread shall go out silently, just like it came in.
It was a bright darkness.
Probably because the moon is hanging so low.
The grassy field that looked like a black sea last night is bright, like some sort of a stage.
A clearing illuminated by sharp, sharp moonlight.
I thought it was like a theater somewhere.
Only, there are no curtains around.
This field that sweeps far and wide is devoid of any curtains of trees, nor is there an audience or stage crew.
There's nothing here.
The only things here are the moonlight and the white darkness.
The wind does not blow and the grass does not even sway.
I laugh quietly as it feels like all the commotion until yesterday was just a joke.
No, if you talk about jokes,
then my life until now was so happy that, looking back at it, it seems like it was just an illusion.
A lot of things have happened.
There were a lot of amazing things that occurred, and my life changed pace quite often.
The expected, and the unexpected.
Everything was illusory.
Looking back, it seems that no matter how trivial things seemed, all those coincidences built on each other.
The days were only a repetition of each other, but no two days were quite the same.
Then, that means...
Perhaps each and every one of them was an irreplaceable moment I can never return to.
What comes after is my usual anemia.
The dizziness continues for a while, but eventually disappears.
Even though the wound on my chest healed, my anemia didn't go away.
It seems like my fragile health wasn't caused by the wound on my chest alone.
...... Well, of course.
Being able to perceive the shape of death means I stand much closer to death than others.
To be honest, I never thought about living a long life, like ordinary people.
Thump. The sound of my heart beating.
It's not like me to think of this, but I wonder just how long I can keep running through time.
The conclusion is rather uninteresting.
Because, even if it stops tomorrow, or in a few decades, still----
"Hey you. It's dangerous just lying around like that."
I hear a familiar voice.
Music: play track 8
"What do you mean, 'eh'? You have an awful lot of free time on your hands if you can just sleep around here in the middle of the night. I was this close to kicking you, so you better watch out."
She says this grumpily while carrying a trunk in one hand.
"Oh...? Kicked? And by who?"
I lift myself up.
"Isn't it obvious, stupid? You and I are the only ones here, so who else could it be but me?"
She declares this confidently as she folds her arms.
Stifling the laughter spilling out of me, I gaze up at her and the moon.
"I can't believe it... I somehow felt that I'd meet you, but I didn't think that day would be today."
"What a coincidence. I didn't expect to see you here, either.
I heard you were here, but we never did meet up, did we? So I was thinking that it was our fate this time not to meet. Although..."
"If we did see each other, it would have caused trouble, right?"
"Right. I am a member of the Association, after all. We're not quite on good terms with the Church."
She laughs without any hint of guilt.
It really is hard holding back my laughter.
It makes me happy that this person hasn't changed one bit since that day we met.
"And, since I ran out of things to do, I was going to leave here tomorrow.
See, this incident was partially my fault, you know? So, I stopped by here for a final check, and I almost ended up kicking some ordinary person."
"Then... we were fated to meet. To be honest, I felt we would meet up again."
"You're right. I welcome this sort of fate."
She flashes me an identical smile in return.
"It's about time. I don't plan on staying here long. I'm leaving before dawn, so we'll have to part here."
Saying that, Sensei stands up.
I try to stand up with her... but I collapse.
I can hear her voice.
I take a few deep breaths and stand back up.
"...... Dang. It seems like no sleep or rest until last night just hit me."
"Looks like it. That dizziness is your biggest weakness.
You don't look like you have any injuries. Is your body alright?"
"Yeah, thanks. Unlike you, I have a normal body."
"Hmm... If you say so."
She glances at me meaningfully, then looks directly into my eyes.
"----Shiki... You know you're not going to last much longer?"
Her clear words.
It's not that I'm surprised by her words, but rather, I never thought she would say them.
"No way. I think I'm more afraid of death than most people."
But... that's something in the future.
It may be tomorrow or next year, but I can't think about the future too much.
"I can't think about the future too much. I prioritize what I want to be doing now."
"I see, so you can see your own death as well. That's why you're more afraid of death than others.
That makes sense... Even for me, I'd be shivering if I could see the thirteen steps to the gallows."
"No, it's not like that. It's not like I can clearly sense when I'll die."
"It's almost the same thing. Let's see... can I ask you something, for reference?
You ended up with a body weaker than those of others. It would only be natural to curse it and fear your life.
Hey, Shiki. Don't you find it difficult living life with such a body?"
Sensei looks at me openly, yet with unreadable eyes.
Those are the eyes of a magus, her side of which I'm not familiar with.
She seems sad as she calls my name.
"To be honest, I do feel some regret.
I feel like I said something to you that I shouldn't have back then."
I look straight into her eyes.
It's different from before... Back then I had to look up to see her eyes, but now she is looking up into mine.
"God doesn't give excessive power without reason. And I told you that if you have that power, there has to be some meaning to it.
But, you know, it's up to the individual to decide what that meaning may be. There's no room for anyone else, especially something as ambiguous as a god, to interfere.
So it would have been alright if you did nothing.
Even if you denied those eyes of yours and did nothing, it still would have been alright.
I'm regretting my words, because... you could have lead a normal life more suitable for you, as Shiki."
"Didn't I tell you earlier that you should live your life with an honest heart? You really did, Shiki.
But, that's something difficult to do.
It would have been easier for you to stray from your path a little, because your eyes draw you to disaster.
...... Isn't it ironic that a killer more skilled than anyone else also hates killing more than anyone else?
If you lived a normal life, or had your heart deviated from the true path, you wouldn't have had to go through so much pain."
I really feel that from the bottom of my heart, and I smile at her.
As if dazzled by a radiant light, she narrows her eyes, then closes them briefly.
Man, it seems you really have become a wonderful young fellow."
Her hand reaches for her trunk.
"Yeah, you're fine just the way you are, Shiki.
...... My world is full of devious individuals, so associating with someone like you balances things out. It might be hard on you, but if you don't mind, then I guess it's alright."
With a "see you," Sensei turns her back to me.
There's no wind.
The grass does not sway and the only thing that changes is her figure, which gets farther away.
She didn't turn around suddenly back then, and she won't now.
I call out to stop her.
She halts in her tracks.
She doesn't turn around. Only her voice drifts to me.
I know what I must say.
The words I've always wanted to say.
It's just that... if I say these words, I really won't be able to see her ever again.
But still---I have to say them.
That's why I have to say it.
"----Thank you. I'm glad I met you, Sensei."
...... That's what I felt as a child.
Those words were the ones from the bottom of my heart that I once could not say, because I was filled with the sadness of parting.
From behind, it seems Sensei is surprised.
She stands there, lowers her head, and turns toward me with her usual expression.
"----Take care, Shiki... Let's meet again if we are fated to do so."
She says this as if it was nothing, and the wind suddenly gusts.
It rustles through the swaying grass, and the moon's light disappears.
as if abducted by the wind, she disappears.
Music: play track 7
The grassy field becomes silent once more.
Gazing up, it looks like the moon is about to vanish from the sky.
All things pass by, just like the moon disappearing.
And yet, after a long time, there may be the chance to meet again.
And so, tonight's moon disappears.
I close my eyes just once, as if lowering the curtains.
In the sky, dawn is drawing closer.
Just like the moon that has just fallen,
for the time being, the curtains are lowered on the long story for Tohno Shiki----
All things are uncertain, just like a waking dream.
The past is all an illusion.
It doesn't leave behind a tangible form, and even the most vivid of memories are really just transient.
Yet, I believe that the moon's image will never fade away.
Even that is fragile.
Even though I know it will end one day, I don't care.