Together with House-Husband, Part 2, Chapter 15 – The Ghost of an Idea: The Beginning.
*Tick tick tick….*
The clock set on the wall in the corridor struck eleven p.m. Wrapped in a blanket and sleeping in his lap was Sakura. Under normal circumstances, she would be dreaming in bed. Rin had sealed the door and occupied the two’s room. Sakura could not sleep in the room they shared unless Rin undid the magical lock. Archer heaved a sigh to himself and gently stroked the poor little princess in his lap. His eyes traveled again to the clock.
Eleven p.m… It was the time he usually “stepped out”.
Losing the tracks of the Servant he was pursing would place him at an overwhelming disadvantage in the future. He may lose the crucial initiative. After last night, he had already made them out as targets.
What’s your class? Saber Class? Lancer Class? Berserker Class? Archer Class? Continued victory would be impossible without the initiative. Intelligence, reconnaissance and manipulation of information. He who hesitates will meet with defeat. That was exactly what he-
He suppressed the red alert blaring in his mind with all his strength. He understood all that. His frail body could become no other class than an Archer. Even amongst the Heroic Spirits, his soul was of a lower caliber. Strategy, tactics, every armament. Even if he attempted to use those, were he to fight head-on with a true warrior such as a Saber or a Lancer… Defeat would be inevitable. That would not change. That day, several days after he had prepared for battle, he had gathered intelligence, looking for a chance at a sure kill.
Yesterday in the mountains. There hadn’t been that much of an opportunity. He’d investigated, traced their route, fed them information, targeting them both. He had performed an ambush to harvest the finally ripe fruit. The one hit kill aimed at them both had… Failed spectacularly.
He had failed.
He had gained nothing, but the other party gaining information of this location was a far greater minus. He could not afford to stand still.
He knew all of this.
“…Just why… Is it.”
It was clear what he must do. The priority of what he had to accomplish was obvious. There was nothing more important than human lives. There was nothing more important than their two lives. Then, even if he might wound the children’s hearts, it was more important to choose to protect their lives. And still. Why are you here?
He had not been tortured with such strong doubt once during this year. There had been no decisions that necessitated tearing open his own heart.
Unaware that the chains of doubt he had stepped into once remained, the wish he had submerged in the depths of his heart during his life with the children was emerging. Though it had sunk, he had never forgotten it, even for a moment. His passport to battle. An inescapable attachment in his heart. Yes.
My own destruction. Emiya Shirou’s…
It was unnecessary right now. After everything was over, it would be fine. He had to gain victory in this struggle. Success meant protecting the children to the end so everything afterwards would be fine. If he was still standing then, the rest would be simple. …And, to Archer now, losing the children’s smile was, more than anything–.
“…Huh? …More… Than anything?”
He suddenly felt an oddity in his own thoughts. It was a change in his priorities. What was essential to him? What did he truly have to protect?
What he grasped finally was somehow warm. It felt right. His muddy thoughts seemed to be clearing, when-
Suddenly, he felt the door pressing on his back, and knew it had been opened. He turned around in confusion… And saw Rin’s angry face.
Together With House Husband Part 2, Chapter 15.
The Ghost of an Idea.
The shadow of the result of a magi’s struggles.
The direction of their thoughts would not change; magicians called a thing that existed only for that purpose a “Ghost of an Idea”.
There was one soul here. But it had lived seeking salvation for the sake others. He agonized over his short life, suffered, and walked hand in hand with despair.
That wish would never have come true. Even after he had died, he continued to walk hand in hand with despair.