Together with House-Husband, Part 2, Chapter 41 – The Answer (End)
…What did he say?
The boy’s words were too shocking. Archer couldn’t understand what they meant.
“…It’s not that I understand everything. No, I think you’re the only one who knows, Mister. About your pain. But, even so, Mister… You saved people, right?”
“After I split up with you in the department store, I carried that girl, and went down the stairs. And then there was lots of people who had been cared for. Her dad was there too. I guess he had been looking for her the whole time… He was happy he found her. He was so glad she was safe… He cried.”
The boy spoke. He spoke with all of his heart.
“There were lots of people there. Kids, and older people too. Moms and dads, and grandpas and grandmas. …Did you know this? You saved my dad and mom too, Mister.”
That ideal, that dream. What had it been born form? Where had it sprung form?
“Everyone was grateful. They were so happy they were safe. They said they “We’re so glad you’re safe, Shirou!”. It was happy, you know…? I, I was so happy that my mom and dad were safe!”
It was to convey… This feeling.
“Everyone thanked the person who had saved them. They said thanks to you, Mister, and I wanted to tell you that.”
“…I thought it was really cool. I wanted to be someone like that. I want to be a person who can protect the people I care about, and other people’s happiness. Because it’s cool! You don’t tell anyone you’re name, and you don’t get anything in return. You just think about helping others. That’s… What an ally of justice is, right?”
Wasn’t that hypocrisy? Wasn’t it an act devoid of salvation? Was it not something that wouldn’t reach his own self? The foolish uncertainty of help that asked for no return? What was it?
…What was the warm feeling inside his chest?
“That’s why. Even if it hurts… It’s would be great if I could live like that.”
“Do you not like pain, Mister?”
That had been fine. If he could save someone, it was fine. He was happy, no matter how painful it was.
“Do you leave people alone when they’re crying, Mister? Do you leave them alone because it hurts?”
….No. No. Not that for sure. It was the last remaining piece of dignity within his heart.
“I don’t like that. I’m… Like you, Mister. I want to help people who are crying. I want to protect people’s smiles. If everyone can be full of happiness… Then I would definitely be happy.”
I noticed because of Rin and Sakura’s smiles. I was able to remember what I should have gained by helping people, what a smile desires. That’s why…
That’s why I could never kill the boy in front of me. I could never forget their smiles. I could never throw away this dream. I never could have.
“…It’s my loss.”
“…Huh? Were we playing some kind of game?”
“It was a once in a lifetime kind of contest… For me.”
“Is there a prize?”
Archer gave a wry smile and rubbed the boy’s head. Such a gentle smile… How many days had it been?
He didn’t think anything of that. That smile… was a smile… completely free from doubt.
Together With House Husband, Part 2, Chapter 41 – Answer: End.
…However, that doesn’t mean he had lost it. No matter what Hell he fell into, no matter what thorn he touched. It didn’t disappear. He didn’t let go.
Among the forest of thorns, the man was called, and he heeded.
A miraculous year of kindness appeared. He gave, and was blessed in turn.
He walked towards the year filled with kindness and blessings. The small smiling faces gave him the light of hope. A clear light to lead him away from the dark, thorny path.
What was there after the light was extinguished? What was thereafter the warmth was lost? There was nothing.
That’s why he would carry just the light and continue walking on. Without despair, he would walk on, believing solely in the light. As long as he never abandoned that emotion of hope, he could go anywhere.
The dream had not been a mistake.