Together with House-Husband, Part 1, Chapter 40 – The Cost of a Dream, The Beginning
A vibration big enough to knock over the items in the room. An earthquake. The epicenter may have been close by, and the things in the books shelves shook and fell to the floor. The force was enough to overturn chairs and other furniture.
The moment Archer, who had been relaxing in the living room, sensed the earthquake, he entered spirit form and with the speed of a hurricane broke into a run. Without an ounce of hesitation, he went towards the children’s room.
The room was in an awful state. Books were scattered across the floor like they had been strewn about, and even the canopy of the bed was at a slant. What’s worse, the equipment next to the wall stuck out of the floor like deadly weapons.
“Where are you!? Sakura, Rin, are you alright!?”
In his mind, he flashbacked to the scene of every single death he had ever seen. The face of yet another child, dead, crushed…
He placed his masters’ faces over it. The pain he had felt when he had lost someone dear to him returned.
“…R-, Rin! Sakura! Answer me! I…”
When he had descended into a panic, his ears picked up a faint voice. He peered underneath the desk, and there they were. They were trembling and curled up, Rin embracing and protecting the shivering Sakura. They had probably run under the desk right away. It was the wise choice. Perhaps because they were safe, Archer fell to the floor, drained.
“…A-, Archer-san… Uwaaaah!”
“…Ah. Hey… There, there. It’s alright now.”
“I… I w- w- wasn’t scared or anything… *sniff*”
Safe, Rin coped by resisting the tears coming to her eyes. An appearance like that on a girl brought a bitter smile unbidden to his lips.
“Rin, come here.”
“……St-… Stupid…! You’re our Servant, so… Protect us… Always… Sniff… Uwaaaah! I was so scared!”
The small girl leapt out, and he gently embraced her. Archer felt a profound relief at the sight of the two sobbing safely. But for some reason, in his chest smoldered a strong uneasiness. Just as he began to suspect the true nature of what lay inside himself, the siren of an ambulance resounded from far away.
He sighed. He had come here without any doubt. And he was still here, even after he had rescued the two. …Abandon those who are suffering.
The two were still crying in his arms. He was still needed by them, frightnened and trembling from the earthquake.
That was pointless, someone whispered. Held prisoner by an incomprehensible dread… Archer pulled apart from the two.
Together With House Husband. The Price of a Dream: Beginning
After the earthquake, the man becomes aware of one fact. That fact forces him to reminisce on the beginning of his dream.