Together with House-Husband, Part 2, Chapter 11 (Interval 1-3) – How Can It Reach Him?
I rubbed my sleepy eyes and crawled out of bed. The sky outside the window my blurry field of vision caught was a shower of rain in a sea of ashen grey. While I was filled with gloom at the ceaseless Autumn rain, I glanced at the alarm clock. …Seven in the morning.
My head hurt. My eyes were dim. I was weak in the morning. It was always like this when I first woke up; perhaps that was why I was in a foul mood for some reason. I recalled getting extremely angry when Archer remarked “That’s quite a troubling predisposition for a child. You have my sympathies” and the like with pity in his eyes. Hmph, I don’t really care. My body is exactly why I’m beautiful, smart, and have a bright future ahead of me (like for my chest? Heh heh heh!), isn’t it? Even this much of a handicap was hardly any sort of curse.
While pondering all of that, I gradually awoke, and… Realized I had to use the bathroom.
I put on my kitty slippers placed to one side of the bed and left the room.
Our bathroom was on the first floor, and you had to go down the stairs when you used it. I had asked our father to put a toilet on the second floor before, but he would claim that he used too many jewels that month or had no books to sell with his usual sullen expression, and then run away from me. This house may have a pool, but it’s a pain when it’s in a weird place…
The old boards in the staircase creaked.
“…Oh. I wonder if Archer’s making breakfast already?”
For some reason the question that came to mind to my weak and tired self was unknown to me. Even for breakfast, Archer made exquisite things from time to time, and having recently awoken to the joy of cooking, I’d taken in interest in how long you needed to prepare, and other such questions.
I quickly finished with the bathroom and commenced infiltrating the kitchen. Is Archer here?
The kitchen was deserted. There was no sign of any inhabitants.
“He still hasn’t started getting ready…?”
Come to think of it… Archer had said this before, but apparently Servants don’t sleep. To be accurate, outside of attempting to restrain their consumption of magical energy, they seemed to have no need to sleep. I wondered if that wasn’t painful, but I could recall Archer admonishing me that “Because I have no need for physical relaxation in my spirit body, the act of sleeping has no meaning beyond tracing a custom I had when I was alive”.
If that was the case, without the urge for rest, Archer wouldn’t be asleep, so maybe he was reading a book in around the living room? If he was sleeping, I’d be sure to play a prank on him. Bweh heh heh…
I stepped into the living room, but Archer wasn’t there either. Maybe he was doing the wash early in the morning? I briefly thought so, but I realized there was no way he would have opened up an umbrella somewhere outside the entrance on a rainy day and done the wash. To be safe, I checked the place in the garden where we dry our clothes; he wasn’t there either. No matter where I went, Archer wasn’t there.
For some reason, I had an ominous feeling.
Maybe he had just gone into spirit form? There were places I had no idea about in this house; maybe he was there? Perhaps he had mentioned he was going to harvest herbs on the back of the mountain?
Those doubts… those numerous thoughts of “maybe” and “possibly” came to my mind, one after another, but the more they piled up, the more I was cornered by my feelings of unease.
An unusually gentle Archer. Nowhere to be found. A strange dream.
The anxiety on the night of the earthquake. It was connected to the figure of Archer, shaking off our hands.
…One day, he would be gone.
It sounded like something heavy had fallen on top of the tree. I quickly took cover. Wait, huh? Why was I hiding? Not even grasping the meaning of my actions, I looked in the direction of the noise.
A red shadow stepped in a pool of water as it alighted with the ground- Archer.
What was he doing going out at a time like this? M-, more importantly, Archer had an exhausted expression, like he had been harried and tense all night…
He looked just like a frightening stranger.
…No, he’s not like that!
To deny the thoughts that had entered my mind, I covered my ears with my hands and went inside the house. I couldn’t. I couldn’t recognize that figure I had seen as Archer. I had to forget it.
I had to.
Doing my best not to make a sound, I rushed up the stairs. I continued to deny these feelings of unease that kept rising even as I leapt into bed.
I had to!
But even then… Even if I denied it with all my heart, there was one last piece that would not disappear.
Archer was going to be leaving here.
Together With House Husband, Part 2, Chapter 11. Interlude 1-3.
The reality that continues to draw ever nearer bears no notion of forgiveness. How can I erase these feelings of dread? How can this wish reach him? I don’t know.