Together with House-Husband, Part 2, Chapter 26 (Interlude 3-1) – Lacking.

Singing In The Rain

Together with House-Husband, Part 2, Chapter 26 (Interlude 3-1)  – Lacking.

“……”

Beyond the window, a blanket of weeping rainclouds shrouded the sky… The clouds they had thought had finally cleared called forth flocks of new ones the very next day, masking the orb that was the sun.

Even for fall, all this rain was unusual.

Seated in a chair by the windowsill, I kept looking and looking outside. I had been looking since that night.

Archer hadn’t come home. Even when I searched the magic circuit in my body, I could no longer feel the connection to him. I couldn’t feel the current that had always tied us together since a year ago.

On rainy or windy days. During frightening days, when earthquakes struck. On warm, sunny days of happiness.

I couldn’t feel the large presence that meant we had been together all that time.

“…Archer…”

I wonder if you’re wet from the rain. I wonder if you’ve caught a cold. I wonder if you’re hungry. I wonder if you’re lonely by yourself…

“…Archer…ah”


The Holy Grail War.

Archer had said it himself from the very beginning. He was a Servant, summoned by the power of the Holy Grail.

The war itself was a rite to obtain a miracle; one that had gone on and on in the land of Fuyuki for two hundred years. A battle of magicians, in which the fates of seven Servants and seven Masters were intertwined.

I had always studied together with my father in order to win that battle. It had begun. It was what I was set on. For that reason, Archer… Archer fought for us. He got hurt for us. When Archer was like that, I…


*Creak…*


“Nee-san… Ahh…it’s cold.”

My eyes raced at the sound of the door. There was Sakura, holding a cardigan. She walked towards me slowly, a troubled expression on her face.

“You left the window open… Geez. Here… Put this on. You have a runny nose too!”
“Ughh…”

Sakura put the cardigan in her hands over me and wiped my nose with a handkerchief. Ugh. I’m a mess. Somehow, somehow. It wasn’t like me at all.

“Haha… Sorry Sakura, I made you worry…”
“…No. …I think… The one hurting the most is Nee-san, so…”
“…Eh?”

I’m hurting?

“Nee-san, you told me… ‘The Holy Grail War has begun, so you’ve got stay quiet within these walls. I am the representative of the head of the family, so I assure you, Sakura, that I will protect you. That’s why you’ve got to be patient.’…”
“……”
“But… Actually, Nee-san…”
“…It doesn’t hurt.”
“…Eh?”
“That’s… all. It doesn’t hurt at all. It’s a fact that if we go out, we’ll be killed. We’re safest when we’re at home. We can use this place and the hill’s barrier, so we can fight a little.”
“……”
“So… obviously… it doesn’t hurt. You needn’t worry, Sakura. It’s alright. Everything’s all right. Even if Archer’s not here… I’ll protect you…”
“N-, Nee-san…”

With a shaking hand, I patted Sakura’s head. She looked like she was going to burst into tears.

Yes, facts are facts. I’m inexperienced as a magician. My body, the amount of magic I can use, my savings, the number of fancy clothes I had, my battle experience… they were all lacking.

It wasn’t enough. It wasn’t enough at all.

This way… I would just be killed.

I won’t go out. I’ll stay here. That’s all.

“Nee-san… N-, Nee-san…”

Like something was sad, Sakura hiccupped and started crying. I stroked her head as hard as I could. Don’t be scared, don’t be scared, I told her.

Yes, it’s not scary. There’s nothing to be afraid of-


*K-chk..*


At that moment came the sound of the front door opening.

“…Huh?”

An enemy? But there hadn’t been any reaction to the barrier being penetrated. I couldn’t even think of any way to come in through the front entrance. If you didn’t use a full-blown dispel incantation, it was impossible to reach the front without triggering a response at the front gate. Then… The person knew a dispel charm.

“Ah…”

…Archer? Archer, Archer, Archer! Had he come back?

I was happy. I was so, so happy. Even though… I should have been. My body didn’t move.

Why, why? Why won’t it move? Why-


“Nee-san!”

Sakura’s voice startled me.

*Squeak Squeak*

Whoever had come in through the front was coming up the stairs. What evidence was there that it wasn’t an enemy? Realizing the possibility, I confusedly snatched at a bag of gems on top of the desk, choosing my magic weapons in order to attack.

“Sakura! Hide under the bed!”

We took preparations for a noisy counterattack. My back to the bed Sakura had hidden under, I glared at the entrance to the room.

“Ooh, oooooh.”

I can’t hit him. If it’s Archer, I can’t hit him. But if it’s an enemy, what do I do? What do I do what do I do what do I do? I clasped the jewel in my hand tightly.

But, if it was an enemy… If it was an enemy.

Could I fight them?

“Ah.”

Right, I was-

*Swing*

The door opened. Drained of the will to fight, I stared dumbly at the opening door.

Standing there was-


Together With House Husband, Part 2, Chapter 26. Interlude 3-1.
The Tohsaka Residence, without Archer.

Together with House-Husband, Part 2, Chapter 25 – EMIYA

EMIYA

Together with House-Husband, Part 2, Chapter 25 – EMIYA


Tremble-


Time stopped. The air froze.


“…Rin… Saku…ra?”


Shake-


Spurred on by the figures that had screamed, Archer looked up, at the top of the basin. What he had sworn not to hurt, the hearts he wanted to protect, the two whom he wanted to smile happily…

The two young children, who had reminded him of what was important…

Gazed down upon him, their eyes trembling in fear.

“…Ah.”

“…Ahh…!”

With a start, their shoulders trembled. Their eyes spoke… even without uttering a single word.

Who was this terrifying person in front of us?

*Crunch*

He stepped forward and stretched out his hand.

Ah… am I… reaching out with these feelings again?

Every time Archer drew closer, they trembled more. The fear in their eyes grew even stronger.

What he had wanted to protect was breaking. Always always always always. It was always that, always the hand that should protect that would destroy. Even though he had sworn that this time he would hold fast to the very end.

I can’t protect it again?

Trying to deny those feelings, Archer took another step forward.


“No, nooooo!”


Rin made a startled scream at Archer’s movements. She took Sakura’s hand and ran off as fast as she could. Trying to protect the person important to her, she followed the footprints of fallen blood, tracing her way back home.

“Ah, Nee-san!”

Even while she was being pulled along by the hand, Sakura turned to look towards Archer, left behind.

But the hand grasped tightly by her older sister would not allow that, and she was forced into a run. While the two sisters disappeared into the distance, Archer let the hand he held out fall to his side.


…And then Emiya was, as always, all alone.


“…Hah. Ha ha ha ha ha ha… ha.”

Yes. Why hadn’t he noticed such an obvious thing? His hands were drenched in so much blood… they could never protect a child’s heart.

Why had he embraced that delusion?

He was a fool who had repeated that same delusion over and over. By now it should be clear…

You can’t save anyone. How could a murderer make someone smile? The final destination of his broken dream was that very dream… crushed underfoot and drowned.

That was all.

Archer made an arid smile, and looked behind him. Assassin was already gone. He had essentially let him get escape. Archer’s inner magical power was becoming exhausted; it would be impossible to pursue Assassin as he hid his presence in cloaking form.

Dragging his ravaged body, he climbed to the top of the hollow.


“You can’t get out.”


The powerful fixation clouded Archer’s intent. It was the barrier that had been constructed at the basin.

But…

“Shut up!”

Archer let out a thunderous roar to resist the technique. There were things to do, thing he had to do. He mustered up his staggering body, and chased after the terrified and fleeing children, seemingly unnoticed.

The war would continue, and he would protect them. He had to.

Even if they hated or detested him. They were good girls. Kind children, who would pray for the happiness of tomorrow. One day, those hearts would make another person happy again. They would be able to smile happily.

That’s why I’ll protect them.

I’ll protect them until the very end.

That is a task I can accomplish. I can’t make anyone happy with these hands. All I can be is a monster.


You’ve returned, Archer…

No… You’ve returned, Emiya.

Wield the sword, slay thine enemies. Protect someone’s happiness. One sword would-


Together With House Husband, Part 2, Chapter 25.

At the end of innumerable questions, he had found an answer for himself.
Emiya killed people. He had done that and only that, over and over, for his entire life.
And so, with a dream he had tried to make thus, and the way of life he had embraced…

He could never save someone.

Even if the origin he bore was the same, the form he had arrived at was different. Thus he wagered on the possibility that he could destroy himself.

But, in those warm, ordinary days of living by protecting others, the value, the pricelessness of protecting something, the warmth of protecting what he could… He recalled the significance of it all.

That’s why he hesitated. That’s why he suffered. He recognized every last one of his contradictions. He knew of the ugliness deep within those actions. He could not approve of them.

In truth, he was already…

Together with House-Husband, Part 2, Chapter 24 – The End

Victory

Together with House-Husband, Part 2, Chapter 24 – The End.

Play This

“Trace, on.”

The red knight stood on the hill, covered in wounds. The parts that covered the world that had taken him as its center gave form to phenomenon as he wished. This was Unlimited Blade Works.

*Thoom Thoom Thoom!*

Countless swords hovered in the air. Just like arrows, they shot towards Assassin, one after another.

“——-!”

Assassin kicked off the ground and escaped backwards, but the continuously generated cage of swords pierced his calf, throwing him to the ground.

Right there. A merciless downpour of swords.

*Thoom Thoom Thoom!*

“Graaaaah, gyaaaaaah!”

*Shunk, Shunk!*

Fresh blood flew where Assassin had been run through. His helpless body had been pinned to the ground, like an insect specimen.

“Not yet.”

Archer projected five words in the air, and brought them down towards Assassin’s right arm.

*Thoom Thoom Thoom!*

“Gyaaaaah!”

The scream resounded through the forest. The grotesque arm was blown to pieces by the attack, and Assassin lost his trump card.

“Hmph… Trace, off.”

Finally, Archer traced Kanshou and Bakuya in both hands and walked up to Assassin. Each time the iron boots struck the earth, the Reality Marble that had enveloped the world lost its form. The “nonsense” the barrier had constructed receded due to the restoration of the natural order of things. The basin returned, and all the swords that had been brought forth returned to nothingness.

Then, the hill of swords vanished. All that remained was Assassin, deprived of his last resort and on the verge of death. Archer’s body was stained deep red, drenched in both the blood of his opponent and himself.

Haa… Haa…

The rough sound of Assassin’s breath echoed in the quiet forest. It was a simple matter when the secret was revealed. Archer had already seen Assassin’s “trump card”.

The Holy Grail War that had begun this time at the Fuyuki Department Store. The Bowman’s reconnaissance had begun its course from there, and after various investigations, he had at last arrived at this mountain, Assassin’s stronghold. Several days after beginning his investigation, two battles occurred on the mountain, wherein Archer observed Zabaniya twice. Even in that space, he read its nature. By acting scrupulously even while investigating hostile territory, he had also fully investigated the basin. This was the reason for his victory. He had simulated this occasion many times over, and simply diligently put it into practice.

He was a bowman, one who overlooked the battlefield and defeated the enemy. Making a careful setup, readied tactics for the purpose of victory, exploiting the situation, and choosing a location. Those were what destroyed the enemy. It was exactly because he would not strike first that he could chose the method of combat. That was the Bowman’s battle.

“Checkmate, Servant Assassin.”

Devoid of expression, Archer leveled Kanshou. A faint breath came from Assassin in response. All that leaked out from deep in his throat was a cracked wheeze. The enemy was already helpless.

There was no need for any more than this. There was no need to wound him any more than this.

He murmured so, somewhere in his heart.

But if he let him live, he would threaten someone’s life- one day.

Someone wouldn’t be saved. He found pleasure in killing. He was incapable of finding joy in the life of another. Just by existing, he would cost someone their life.

Even if it desired its own happiness. Even if it could live with a smile on its face, pursuing tomorrow. An ally of justice had to bring the sword down.

And then lives were taken. Lives that could not be saved. The wishes for the future of all the many lives he had continued to cut short.

If he understood just how sacred those emotions were… If he believed the lives he had taken to be precious…

He had to bring the sword down. He had to kill. He had to go through with his ideal.

“……”

What hypocrisy. It made him sick. That’s all I’m doing in the end. I’m a murderer who borrowed the name of an ideal. There are things I’ve abandoned in order to claim victory. There are things I’ve hurt in order to protect. There’s no salvation no matter how far I go. It’s a ghost of an idea.

“So that’s why. That’s why I wanted you to die. That’s the reason I’m here.”

The agony had already repeated countless times. He had exhausted all his answers. That was the end at which he had arrived.


But why. Why was he worried about that now? Why? Why didn’t he quickly take that life with the sword he had leveled?


What came to him was Rin’s crying eyes.


“You’re nice… What about it…? You can’t stand someone crying, you think about the other person even when you’re angry… Y-, you say that since life is precious, we have to treasure it, and you’ve taught us so much with the way you act…!”


That.

Those words. Just how happy had he been? Those feelings. Just how… had he been?

“……Ah.”

He shook his head to deny the warm feelings that had risen to the surface. He raised the sword over head to suppress those unforgivable emotions. Don’t waver.

And then Kanshou rushed down, reflecting the moonlight, towards Assassin’s chest-

Shfff.

At that moment, he heard the sound of grass scraping from the top of the hollow.

“……”
He turned his face, and looked up, his eyes just like machines.

“Ahh…”
A tiny shriek went up. They fell backwards.

Two precious young girls were there.


Together With House Husband, Part 2, Chapter 24.

Kill people to save them. Just existing means continuing to kill; he had been reduced to such a pathetic existence. He wished that it could all just turn to ash.

It was hopeless. He knew well the value of what he had lost, and what was taken.

And so… for that… I can’t forgive myself.

However. That ghost of an idea. That damned existence. A precious someone had accepted those things with a smile full of warmth.

“Don’t go anywhere…”, they said. A small hand restrained him.

What has she discovered in that frightening sword, stained with blood? That, the Knight of the Bow did not know.

Acchi Kocchi Chapter 1 Translated!

Okay explanation time again woo.

So I asked my translator whether he knew any series he’d LIKE me to edit instead of me pushing stuff on him all the time, so he said do Acchi Kocchi.

I agreed.

My Days Soon To Be

Acchi Kocchi (or Place to Place) is a 4-Koma manga written and illustrated by Okota/ISHIKI. Anyone who’s read Fate doujins off GGAL would recognize the art if you’ve taken a liking to Moemoon Night.

Acchi Kocchi follows the misadventures, screwups and idiocy of 5 schoolmates: Io, Tsumiki, Hime, Mayoi and Sakaki. It’s like tsundere meets niceguy meets airhead meets troublemakers. Setting-wise, think AzuDai with slightly more deformed artwork.

Continue reading

Together with House-Husband, Part 2, Chapter 23 – Springing the Trap.

Together with House-Husband, Part 2, Chapter 23 – Springing the Trap.


Play This


I am the bone of my sword.


Assassin led on, treading on grass and pounding the earth as he headed towards the mountain cloaked in the darkness of night. Archer gave chase, his body covered in injuries. None were fatal, but his condition was such that the extent of his ability to battle using weapons was in doubt.

*Thump!*

His feet that were kicking the ground tread upon a hard tree root. The density of the trees living inside of the forest was growing. Even the light of the moon faintly illuminating the black shroud of night was hidden by the treetops of the overgrown autumnal foliage, and it failed to reach the ground.


Steel is my body, and fire is my blood.


In order to avoid catching his foot on a root, Archer lowered his natural center of gravity. However, Assassin was not one to let such a chance slip right by. He weaved between the crowed trees and threw three black blades, all aimed at Archer.

*Chink! Ping! Shunk!*

Archer turned aside one aimed at his head with Kanshou, and repelled another with Bakuya. But that was it. Perhaps because he had lost too much blood, his arm failed to keep up with the cleverly staggered timing of the throws, and the last of the blades perforated his abdomen.

*Twinge*

He ground his teeth together and withstood the pain. The length of the daggers was roughly twenty-five centimeters, enormous by normal standards. With a magically strengthened guard, Archer endured a blow that would have simply torn off the side of a normal human’s stomach with naught but a wall of tempered muscle, and once again gave chase.


I have created over a thousand blades.


Noticing that Archer had fully withstood the attack and perhaps judging that killing him “here” would be impossible, Assassin hastened his pace towards “that place”.

Yes… Faster… Draw ever closer to your death.

Controlling his reeling body, Archer ran through the corridor of trees.


Unknown to death.


And then, the corridor opened, revealing a basin. It was a hollowed-out range roughly fifteen meters in each direction. The ground within was completely visible… a cellar that suggested a barren wasteland. Beyond the deathly stillness inside, the stench of death was rank in the air.

However, in factoring in this location, that was not what was important.

*Crackle!*

As he stepped into the hollow, Archer felt a shock run through his body, just like static electricity. Simultaneously, a compulsion that he could not get back out sprouted in Archer’s consciousness.


Nor known to life.


In a moment, he forcibly recalled his distant sense awareness and landed in the basin. He rallied his staggering battle stance and searched his surroundings for a presence.

Nothing. Assassin’s presence had completely disappeared.

Archer had landed at almost the exact center of the hollow.
“I won’t be able to evade an attack here, no matter where I run. Guess that’s it.”


Have withstood pain to create many weapons.


This place was death… an infernal cauldron where one Heroic Spirit had been condemmed to the darkness of oblivion.

Taking the dense tree surrounding the depression as a base, a bounded field of binding that seized one’s senses had been erected. The bounded field had been set up with dreadful precision, molding a dimensional “binding” that a young magician of ten or twenty years could never hope to escape. Analyzing the situation, even while Archer mistook the strength of the technique, he vaguely realized he could not leave this place.

It was a point of no return. A fifteen-meter cage made just for an Assassin.


Yet, those hands will never hold anything.


For Assassin, this place was a completely ideal hunting ground. His master possessed a formidably shrewd mind. He had made light of the taste of homunculi, but this was an act of cunning skill. He would have to change his assessment.

In front of the prey unable to escape the cauldron, Assassin suppressed his presence, and watched for an opportunity to make a sure kill. The prey’s Noble Phantasm was foul play, an irregularity, such that if he was struck by it during a moment’s pause, it would all be over for him. Consequently, in order to not let the timing for final blow to slip away, he used this place. He had hounded, exhausted, and lured him here.

If one had numerous lives, they may well have been able to defeat the setup. But as far as Archer knew, there was but one such irregular Heroic Spirit. Reaching this point for a normal Heroic Spirit would mean they were done for.

And considering the extent of the injuries covering Archer’s body, the hunt would take place, irregardless of taking the time to wait.

*Swish!*

Daggers came flying from deep within the dense foliage. Archer, already unable to adequately defend himself, leapt back as a matter of course.

As if to corner him, three sets of daggers fired lengthwise drove Archer towards the edge of the bounded field.

*Thud!*

He felt his back collide with the edge of the field. So this was his reach.


*Stttttht!*


A shadow emerged from the trees, darker than the black of night. A crimson wing fluttered through the twilight as Assassin leapt into the air. The Noble Phantasm… “Zabaniya”.

It was the arm of Shayṭān, an evil demonic spirit.

Through the use of a mass of ether, a double existence is brought into being. Then, from the reaction evoked in a resonating mirror image, the real thing would suffer the same effects.

It was a technique that used Assassin’s arm to replicate the heart of enemies “within range” from outside the range of their own defenses, and then crush it. A horrifying Noble Phantasm that would almost certainly kill an enemy within its range.

However.


So, as I pray… Unlimited Blade Works!


Flames raced.

They engulfed Assassin, in flight through the air, and rewrote the appearance and laws of the world.

“——–!?”

A hill of swords formed, centered on Archer. It was a barren, desolate hill, with countless swords planted in it. The grass, tree, the basin… all that had existed until that very moment were consumed by the Reality Marble, and replaced with the world as Archer defined it.

Unlimited Blade Works

By the hill…

Confirming that the “wall” his back had been up against had disappeared, Archer sprang back. The devil arm that had just narrowly been in range missed its target, gouging out a hole the ground.

Even Noble Phantasms have rules. No matter how absurd an affect an artifact may hold, you cannot exceed the boundaries laid down by the world, no exceptions.


“——–Ah-”


Assassin stared at that “world” in mute amazement. A world where only the scent of iron drifted about in the blank landscape before him. A forbidden art to realize the practitioner’s inner world: a Reality Marble.

Just why was it considered forbidden?

Reality Marbles rewrote the rules of the world, bending and twisting them. They forced them to conform to the laws of existence as the practitioner defined them, if only for a moment. It was the closest sorcery to “magic”.

It was sorcery beyond humanity’s comprehension. Here, Assassin’s reason did not apply.


What utter madness!


Together With House Husband, Part 2, Chapter 23
The Trap Is Sprung.

Together with House-Husband, Part 2, Chapter 22 – The Hunting Grounds

The Hunt

Together with House-Husband, Part 2, Chapter 22 – The Hunting Grounds

“Ahh… Aaaahhh…”

Tears fell from Sakura’s eyes as Archer placed her outside the ocean of blades and confronted Assassin without a trace of emotion written on his face.

He measured the distance. At this range, he was likely still unable to strike Assassin.

“Well then, Servant Assassin. Let’s finish this.”
“…….”

Assassin didn’t move.

He had seen for himself the great damage Archer had received from his own weapons. But Archer had called forth numerous weapons, one after another, without restraint. He lacked sufficient information for a head-on confrontation. So he concluded.

“…..Kiiii!”

Taking care to protect his injured foot, Assassin leapt into the darkness. He had retreated.

“……”
By all rights, Archer should have retreated as well. But Assassin had seen his master’s faces. He knew of the existence of his powerless, childish masters. The invisible killer would lurk in the shadows, and one day- Kill both of them.


I can’t let him get away. I’ll kill him here.


“Rin. Take Sakura, and go home. You can enter the territory of the Tohsaka barrier safely from here. You know the way, right?”
“Ah… B-, but…”

“Wait at home.”

“Wai-”


*Thump!*


Leaving with a single sentence to his dumbfounded masters, Archer’s long boots resounded as he moved to track Assassin. Each step brought his body pain. But if he paid attention to that, he would lose track of the enemy. He wouldn’t be able to pursue him. Right now, right here. In this circumstance, Archer had a hidden trump card. Now was his chance.

The figures of the gradually receding pair at the edge of his vision slowly stood. Rin took the Sakura’s hand and held her as she wept. Yes, that was good. Now, my only duty is to kill Assassin.

I’ll finish it quickly,

And then… all three of us… will go home–.

*Swish!*

In the hair’s width after entering the mountain forest, a dagger came flying from Assassin further up ahead.

*Thunk!*

Noticing it at the last moment, Archer used the trunk of a tree as a shield. The attack continued, aimed at his head and stomach.

*Thwish! Shing!*

Dodging one by bowing his head, Archer defended against the one meant for his solar plexus by using Bakuya as a shield. But.

Twinge.

“Ugh.”

Merely repelling the throwing assault sent pain racing through his body. He was incapable of a comprehensive defense. Perhaps the ragged state of his upper body had been recognized; the next attack came from directly horizontal, aimed at his legs. He would be greatly damaged if he defended. Jump, then?
“……”
But Archer dared to stay grounded and shook off the daggers with his burial cloth.

Swoosh!

In the time lag, two daggers flew over Archer’s head. If he had jumped, he would have likely been their prey.

“Damn.”

He would only exhaust his strength and play into Assassin’s hands at this rate. Would he have to take the offensive? As Archer considered it, a dagger was once again released before his eyes. It was a perfectly straight throw. And consequently, Archer caught the meaning of the attack.

This was a trap.

He urgently put the brakes on his pursuing legs, a nearing dagger passing before his eyes. At that moment, a strong magical power radiated from further ahead on the route to evade the daggers

“…A prohibition, or a restraint… Either way, it’s qualitatively harmful magic. It would probably be a welcome site for Servant Saber, but if it’s keyed to my extent of magical power… It will be fatal.”
Even if he defended or dodged, if he continued to pursue there would be a magical trap that would likely ensnare him. This was Assassin’s hunting grounds. Archer couldn’t let his guard down.

Archer switched over to pursuit once again. He had to fill the increased distance. The range between Archer and Assassin had not changed from the stillness before, however.

“He’s waiting, it seems.”
The faceless white mask that conveyed no emotion somehow seemed to be smiling. It was weighing its own abilities and situation. In order to kill Archer.

“……”
Archer showed no sign of his pain from the outside, but his body was nearing its limits. His red overcoat was beginning to be stained dark with his own blood. The blood trickling at his foot left red footprints on the floor of fallen leaves below. A protracted battle would present no chance of victory.

However.
Even as he was forced into the situation, Archer’s face was bright and clear.


Assassin continued to move and even higher speeds, sapping the Bowman’s strength. Sometimes he would attack, sometimes lay a trap. The countless variety of snares he had planted ate away at the Bowman’s body, and further cornered him.

“—–Kiiiii!”

He looked at the movements of the slowing Bowman. His course was precise, and he continued as always to at least defend against a fatal wound, but in his current condition, he would be unable to defend against an attack with his Noble Phantasm. It was time to hunt.

*Thwoosh!*

Thus Assassin determined the route. He fixed towards the mountain prison. A personal hunting ground he had created himself.


Together With House Husband, Part 2, Chapter 22.
The showdown against Assassin. The mountain is his territory. The many traps lurking in the shadows consume all who trespass. But despite all that, there is not a trace of despair on the Bowman’s countenance.

Together with House-Husband, Part 2, Chapter 21 – More Than Anything

Sakura and Fear

Together with House-Husband, Part 2, Chapter 21 – More Than Anything

A rural area, the dead of night.

“……Huh?”
The fallen Rin stared at a bizarre-looking figure.

A right arm like a cannon. A fantastically slim figure, as if all the flesh had been sheared off. A white face, much like a ghost’s.

That was a denizen of the world of the night. A being that did not dwell in the light of day. It was a ghost… a ghost that had only one purpose- to kill.

It was holding Sakura.

*Thwoosh!*

Archer picked up Rin’s body off the ground with his left hand, and with a single leap, narrowed the range to Assassin from ten meters to zero.

“—-!”

Assassin, taken by surprise by the bullet-like charge, confusedly tried to increase the distance, but Archer read his path of retreat and boxed him in.

*Shing!*

Assassin drew a dagger, but Bakuya sent it flying.

“——Sss!”

Perhaps judging that he would be at a disadvantage at a close-range fight and devoting himself to retreating, Assassin took a large step back. But even that movement had been anticipated; Archer neatly pursued him.

“Youuuu!”
Archer traced his movements exactly, letting not even thirty centimeters open up between them. Assassin held Sakura in his arm, impatiently. He brandished that cannon-like right arm.

“…Fool.”
Anticipating and expecting that, Archer went for the restrained Sakura, but suddenly the black cloth concealing that grotesque right arm shrouded his vision.
“What!?”
Cutting instinctively, Bakuya sliced the cloth to pieces. Assassin was nowhere to be found in Archer’s now clear line of sight.
“……”
However, there was no trace of hesitation in Archer now. His hardened battle experience issued commands one after another. Yes. It was obvious what he had to do.

Don’t give him a chance to take Sakura hostage!

“Trace, on!”

Archer’s magic circuit ignited. It took tenth of a second for his desired weapons take form. Such was his speed. Swiftness worthy of the gods themselves.

*Shunk!*

The sound meat being gouged, a blade tearing skin. Perfect.

He had project caltrops at random intervals onto the ground of the area. Spikes, in other words. Not only caltrops, but the forms of countless vicious looking nails. What he had materialized with magic power would harm even Heroic Spirits!

Graaah!

The scream came from behind, at four o’clock. Got him.

“Kreeeee!”
The released Bakuya tore into Assassin’s right shoulder, accompanied by an ear-splitting shriek, freeing Sakura from the arm that was carrying her. As if he had decided he would be unable to capture Sakura in this situation, Assassin cleared the sea of swords with a leap back.
However.

“Ahh-!”

Sakura slipped through Assassin’s hands, and towards the sea of blades Archer himself had projected-


*Whoosh!*


“…Ah…”
Rin’s eyes had not followed absolute chaos of the events so far, but in that last moment alone, she understood.

He threw Rin outside the sea of swords. He gripped Sakura’s form. The red back dived into the sea of blades, his own body as a shield.

*Shunk!*

—-Situation: Three meters behind. Rin landed on the ground on her buttocks. She appears to have been successfully placed outside the range of the caltrops. No injuries. Approximately twenty meters ahead. The figure of Assassin, now on the ground. Escaping on foot with great intensity. And, in both raised arms. Moonlight on her back, the figure of Sakura, her eyes open. She is… uninjured…

“Honestly. I can’t say I approve of children walking around at night, Master.”

—-Personal Condition: Bodily Damage: Large ruptures in multiple internal organs. Damage Assessment To Organs: Light Damage: Lungs. Medium Damage: Liver. Medium Damage: Kidneys. Seven punctures wounds by means of caltrops. Severe hemorrhaging. Extreme damage to body.

His entire body had been pierced by caltrops designed for magical beasts. The fact that he was still alive was likely due to luck. But-

“Gah!”

Unable to stop a torrent of blood deep in his throat, Archer’s lungs hemorrhaged.

—-Situational Assessment: Capacity for Battle: Deteriorated. Rapid withdrawal is advised.

Together With House Husband, Part 2, Chapter 21.
…He protected them.

Together with House-Husband, Part 2, Chapter 20 (Interlude 2-3) – Pursuit

Into the Night

Together with House-Husband, Part 2, Chapter 20 (Interlude 2-3) – Pursuit


“Why… Sniff…. Say something mean, like always…! It’s not fair if you don’t say anything…!”

Nee-san yelled at Archer-san as she cried. Archer-san listened to her silently. I gazed at both of them.

Those two strong people were weak, just like me when I’m crying. It looked so painful.

Because you love the other person. Because you want to protect them, you teach them your own way, even if it might shatter. But that way is not who you are. Just watching Nee-san and Archer-san was so painful… It was heartbreaking.


I was right in front of them. Even though I knew I couldn’t stand things this way, I couldn’t do anything…

Then, I was in bed. Pretending to be asleep, I looked at Archer-san, watching Nee-san and I. Archer-san made a more painful expression than any we’d seen so far. He was so troubled… It looked like his face would split in two.

Then, for a long, long time, he kept staring at our faces. He shook his head once. And he rose out of his chair.

Archer-san’s shape disappeared. He was probably in his spirit form. I was half… No, a third his master, so I knew he was still there. He hesitated. There was a moment’s silence, as if he was bewildered as to what to do, and then

“…I’m sorry”

He murmured in a small voice. Archer-san’s presence disappeared from the room.


“…….Ah!”
I sprang up. I leapt towards my heavy regrets.

What had I done? Why hadn’t I done anything? Why hadn’t I said anything?

I was slow, and only realized it then. Nee-san had said “don’t go anywhere”. Nee-san knew Archer-san was going somewhere. She had tried to stop it… And had suffered for it.

It wasn’t right. It wasn’t right at all. Archer-san was kind. So he tried his best alone. And he got hurt, all alone.


In the dark room, I kept waiting and waiting, just for Archer-san to come back. I cowered all by myself. Being alone hurt. It hurt so much. The words I wanted to say to someone just bounced around inside of me. They just hurt me.

Nee-san and Archer-san were exactly the same. They would bear things by themselves, and be in pain. They were hurting not being able to say the things they really wanted to…!

I had been saved.

“What’s wrong, Sakura?” “Sakura. What’s the matter?” All those words went round and round in my chest. I caught them all. This time, I had to do something!


“Nee-san…! Nee-san! Wake up!”
I desperately shook my older sister, sleeping next to me.

I can’t go after Archer-san. I’m stupid, and I’m not important to him. Together, we’ll…!

“Nee-san! Nee-san! Archer-san! He’s… He’s gone…!”

“……Ah!”

Nee-san leapt up at my voice. She stared at me with tired eyes.

“…Archer… Left?”
A strong light, like nothing I had ever seen before, filled her eyes. It was just like Father. Eyes that held no trace of indecision towards what they were doing.
“…Yes!”
“Let’s go.”
“…Ah.”

“We’re going together. We’ll bring back our disobedient housekeeper.”

Nee-san took my hand and leapt out of bed, turning towards the window.

Whoosh!

The open window sucked in the night air and fully awakened us, the moonlight showering its blessing on Nee-san. It bid her welcome to the world of the night.

Es ist gros, Es ist klein…!

*Shine*

Nee-san’s arm glowed, and invisible power covered our bodies. Magic.

“Okay, here we go! After Archer!”

Leap!

Nee-san and I leapt from the window. Nee-san held me and jumped, just like a prince.
“Eeeek!”
The view flew by incredibly fast. It was the same as when Archer-san held us and jumped.

“That idiot…! Now I’m mad! If he’s doing something bad, I’ll chew him out!”

While my eyes rolled around in the fierce wind, I clung tightly onto Nee-san’s chest. There was still anxiety inside our hearts. But this way, a different… No. By jumping out into Archer-san’s world, maybe something would change.

We ran after Archer-san, and all the worries and the few hopes in our hearts.

Interlude Out.


Together With House Husband, Part 2, Chapter 20. Interlude 2-3.
The two small sisters race through the night. They embraced the warmth of the daytime they lived in and came to love in the stretch of a year.

The night had been there first. They had lived in the world of night.

The two who had known the warmth of the day were like the hesitant and troubled Bowman. They had forgotten the terror the night brings with it.