Together with House-Husband, Part 3, Chapter 6 – At the End of a Wish
“A wish on the Holy Grail.”
He narrowed his eyes and stared at Saber, lost and in agony.
The hopes that bound Saber were the entirety of a life she had continued to achieve herself. She was the only who knew the value, the preciousness of those feelings. And so, as long as she did not desire it, as long as she could not save herself, she could not grasp that hand.
Master and Servant had been the same. They valued a precious wish more than anything else. A way of life where their hands had always to be stained with blood. Because they wanted to save someone they crushed another’s hopes; they were on the same path.
Archer understood the weight of those desires and the strength of those feelings so well it pained him. That was why he knew that just words and feelings would change nothing.
He recalled the distant days of happiness inside himself. The people he had loved had called his way of life abnormal. How much sadness had been mixed into those words?
That pain returned to him now, in front of precious people who could not change. The very existence of Archer here seemed to tell of the what they would experience after this, and it pained him.
You could not save everything. That was the one conclusion he had reached at the end of his long journey. Even acknowledging that, before the great wall he had confronted, he felt utterly powerless.
He scraped his teeth together and though. What should I do? What can I do- to change them? The path he had walked, and the darkness of the results he obtained clouded his vision. And then.
Perhaps worried looking at the motionless Archer, Sakura and Rin called out to him. Archer turned his head, and looked at his two masters. Young eyes stared at Archer. Those eyes, their existence, spoke.
There was something he could do- for sure.
“…Honestly… I’m no match for you. You two always save me.”
Pivoting around, Archer turned again to the swordswoman and her master. He scolded himself for trying to defeat the results he had obtained.
“You’re… An idiot, Emiya. How could you give up? How could you throw it all away? Even if you were dropped to the bottom of hell… What would have saved you? The result? The Holy Grail? No.”
He had been saved by his kind masters. He had been saved by their feelings for him. He had been saved… By the smiling faces he had protected, at the end of his path.
Were words really powerless? Were feelings nothing at all?
Could people reflect on those deeds only after the fact? Could an outstretched hand only seized something after it had fallen into Hell? Were people really such fools?
“…That might be so.”
No matter how clumsy it may be. Even if he was scorned an equivalent amount. If he didn’t do everything he could to help another, whose hand could he grasp?
Archer turned his head, and looked straight at the Master and Servant on the verge of despair.
“I… I have no intention of handing over this wish to anyone.”
“Yes, I have despaired. I suffered so much I could only move on by clinging to miracles.”
“…Heh. But, what was at the end of the miracle… Was not the fulfillment of my dream, but me continuing to betray it. Instead of saving people, it was my figure, killing and killing. …That’s why I prayed once. For a chance to erase myself.”
“But, that doesn’t matter anymore. I finally was able to realize it.”
As he spoke, the two sets of eyes, blue and gray, stared at him. People more precious to him than any others. People he had wanted to save more than anyone else.
“My wish can keep coming true. I can keep protecting my vow. As long as I don’t throw this dream away.”
Saber glared in irritation. The ground her teeth together, and spat out her words as if to abuse the knight in front of her.
“You, what do you…!”
“I don’t know.”
“I don’t understand at all. I’m not you. The things you carried are yours alone. You’re the one who has to bear them. They can’t be borne by anyone else. They belong to you.”
Crimes, and punishment. No one could force that on her. To say nothing of miracles… They could never been forced on a person. She knew that. She should have know that.
But even so, it was painful. She detested it. Losing something beautiful was too painful. She had wanted it. She had desired it.
The path she walked down, oblivion, the precious wish in her heart, release.
What had she hoped for? The beautiful dream she had wanted? The beautiful conclusion she had desired? What had she gone to seek?
“…You believed that something was precious. There’s was something you wanted to protect. You lived for that reason, and you kept running down that road. The people you saved, the smiles you protected. The value of all the lives along the way.”
“Do you grieve because they were all a mistake?”
The azure eyes went wide. As if the wounded knight was entranced, she stared deep into Archer’s eyes as he made his speech.
“I won’t let it go anymore. It’s in there. All the smiling faces. At that end. The small hopes. Even if it’s a worthless thing that might be better of disappearing, another person’s smile can be protected. You can be needed by another person. You can be wanted, and cried over. If it’s a worthless dream, then find it at the end. You just need to discover the meaning of the tears that fell, and the smiles that were there.”
“And then if there’s something you can protect, that’s enough of a reason to exist. I-”
He turned. Gently, with strength, towards his small masters-
“I’ll keep living with this dream. I’ll keep living for the things I can protect ahead. I don’t need the Holy Grail. I’ll always be able to grant this wish with my own hands.”
Together With House Husband, Part 3, Chapter 6.
At the end of a wish.
They set for to grant their feelings and desires. The journey was far too painful, and far too long. They were exhausted before they got there.
So many walls blocked their way, canyons stretching into infinity. No end in sight, no matter how much they climbed and climbed.
However, did the beautiful things they saw along the way have no value? Waiting at the end of the journey was an insurmountable cliff. Even if they stopped their, the road they had crossed, the mountain, their own feelings. The distance they had continued to trek- Were they all meaningless?
The man slowly descended the cliff. He believed there was a path to cross to the opposite shore, and so he moved forward. Even if all that lay ahead was Hell. Even if he had to cross through that Hell. He would encounter something. There would be something he could save.
The journey was so far, but his wish was close. It was always in his hands.