Together with House-Husband, Part 2, Chapter 16 – The Ghost of an Idea: End.
“…I wanna go out, so why are you blocking the entrance?”
He turned his cross-legged figure a hundred and eighty degrees. He exchanged gazes with Rin, who had opened the door and stepped outside. There had to be something that needed to be said that they were waiting for, but no words came to their lips. Five minutes passed in silence. A choking silence. Even Archer’s stomach began to feel heavy.
“Archer… Archer, you’re… Archer, right?”
Archer tilted his head, not understanding the meaning of the question.
“Archer… A bowman. If I have your meaning correctly, then yes, I am an archer. An attendant in your tow, a Servant. I use a bow, and I defeat enemies. That’s what I am.”
Archer listed what came to mind regarding his definition. But unsatisfied with his answer, Rin shook her head.
“That’s not it.”
He was bewildered at the girl’s words.
Wrong? Why? If he didn’t use a bow and defeat enemies, then he’d just use a sword and do it. Archer… and Emiya. Killing their enemies. People who killed and killed and killed, and saved. There was no difference in the weapons. Archer defeated his enemies. What was wrong-
“Archer, you’re a kind person.”
His master mumbled, with a face like she would weep.
“Mom’s warmth, and Dad’s harshness disappeared from this house… We were lonely all by ourselves… You made everything so warm. The Archer we know is a bully, loves scolding us, is a little stubborn, loves housework even though he’s a guy, and is an insensitive dummy, but…”
He nearly collapsed, but he somehow endured and looked at Rin as she continued to speak.
“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…! So… So why… Sniff… Archer, why… Sniff… Ah…!”
Unable to even touch his master who had burst into tears, Archer looked at Rin, overcome with surprise.
He simplified her words.
A kind person. Can’t stand someone crying, thinks of the other person even when he’s angry. Life is precious, so we have to treasure it.
Who was that? Was that Archer, now?
To save a great number of people, he had forsaken those who could not be rescued. An enemy soldier who took lives would only embrace hatred. He knew the value of life and yet his hands were still soaked bright red with blood. That was Archer.
No…that was Emiya.
…Who? Who was that? Was that Emiya, or-
His chest hurt. Who was feeling the pain at Rin’s sobbing figure?
The “guardian” Emiya did not change. That way of life, the cycle of slaying and reviving, would never change. In order for Emiya to save people, and to stay sane, he hardened his heart… into steel.
My body is made of swords.
Even the wailing of the friends he parted ways with. Even the grief of the lover he had lost. Even the screams of children who had lost their parents. None could affect him. That was exactly why he prayed. Someone like that should just disappear.
However. The heart of someone here… Was in such pain. The tears that came from the child before his eyes thinking of someone, were so painful. Who? Who was… The one here?
“Archer… Don’t go. Don’t… Go anywhere anymore.”
Without even bothering to wipe her overflowing tears, Rin grasped Archer’s coat fiercely. That hand strongly asserted it would not let him go anywhere.
It was a repetition of that day. The day of the earthquake, the small but powerful wish the two sisters had prayed for.
The result would not change. Because that was who he was.
But still. Why could he not shake off this small hand?
Archer hung his head in silence, unable to even speak. There was not even a trace of his usual cynical attitude in that frail position.
“Why… Sniff…. Say something mean, like always…! It’s not fair if you don’t say anything…!”
The girl also lowered her head and wept.
Until she fell asleep, exhausted, Rin continued to complain to the silent bowman. The bowman simply listened the whole time. Sakura awoke. He kept gazing at both of their heavy but earnest expressions.
Together With House Husband, Part 2, Chapter 16.
But at the end of that soul’s long journey… just once in the glow of the beautiful morning sun that blinded his eyes, he saw a light.
Amidst what he had been pursuing, he saw a light.
It could not have saved him. It could not have granted his wish. But above all else, the light he saw…was large…and warm.
Just what was it? Space and Time did not exist in a world of an idea.
The man looked over the book and was once again lost. His agony continued.