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Forgotten Wings

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            “—Ein, wake up.”
            …I’m poked by something very sharp.
            I don’t want to get up, but that voice tells me that worse things than poking will ensue if I don’t open my eyes, so I do.
            …It’s the empty classroom.
            When I sit up, Serene gets up and comes over to glare at me.
            She looks sulky.
            …I guess she’s probably just mad that in the end, she always gets in trouble when she dozes off in class and I don’t.
            It helps that she snores and I don’t.
            “Jeez. Class is over already and you’re gonna miss your club if you don’t get moving.”
            Serene sounds like she’d like nothing better than to have me miss my club, but when I look outside, I see she’s been forcibly coerced even into this.

            Rose is standing out in the hallway, leaning on the wall.

            “—Thanks. I’ll get going now.”
            I pick up my school bag and join Rose.
            We walk together in silence.
            It’s good to see Rose back in the uniform she enjoys so much.
            …I haven’t said so because I’m sure that she’d get pretty mad at me if I did.

            Heading down the stairs and to her classroom, I wave slightly.
            Rose sighs.
            “…Ditching again? Well, I’ll make your excuses for everyone else.
            “Be sure to change into something nicer, since Roswell and them are coming along for dinner tonight.”
            We talk about dinner plans for a bit and then we head our separate ways.
            …I don’t think I really belong with the others anymore.
            Fia-san is still kind of upset, but the Mimee-san just laughed and said to Rose to haul me back in every now and again so that they don’t forget my face.
            …I pass out of the gate and walk down the street.

            Roswell and Vienya will be coming with us as we go out to dinner tonight.
            It seems that Vienya has moved in with Roswell permanently, and for now Roswell has decided to stay with us in Fuyuki.
            We visit every now and again and sometimes, like tonight, we all go out for dinner or eat at someone’s house.
            Vienya has adapted well to life in Japan.
            Sometimes Roswell seems depressed, and I bet it’s because he’s remembering Saber, but otherwise he seems to be coping very well.

            Nessiah isn’t out of the hospital yet.
            The magi who are treating him say that it could be another year before his body is completely over the aftereffects, and the Magic Association seems to be monitoring him closely.
            But the few times I’ve been to see him, he’s seemed much more spirited, and now that he’s well enough to insult me, I think he’ll be able to make it through everything that’s happened to him.

            …It’s been several months since then.
            It’s the middle of spring now and we’ve started the new term at school.
            I’m running through my life as usual, and the road up through Miyama to our house is familiar and filled with the sights of things that I love.
            I would be lying if I said that everything was just dealt with cleanly and easily.
            Hector was a prominent figure in the magical community, after all.
            In the end, the head of the Tohsaka family stepped in and helped us come up with a convincing cover story.
            She said that similar things happened with past Grail Wars, and so it wasn’t a problem as long as sympathetic people were the ones to hear about it and help.
            …I kind of wanted to ask, but didn’t, mostly because the Tohsaka head seemed kind of scary like Rose.
            And, well, we were definitely imposing, as she was busy at the Clock Tower and all.
            But as time has passed, life has been getting back to normal.
            Even our house has been repaired and is just like new.

            “—I’m home!”
            I announce so and take off my shoes, heading into the living room.

            “—Welcome home, Ein.”
            Sitting there.
            Sitting at the table with a cup of tea and a stack of books.
            …Is the man who was once my Servant.

            His wish was granted by the Holy Grail after all.
            Bathed in the Grail’s light, his body was given form.
            …He isn’t a Servant anymore.
            …He isn’t a heroic spirit anymore.
            Instead.
            Ledah is mortal again, and has chosen to live with us.

            The road has been long and hard.
            There are still so many things that he is not accustomed to, and we have to keep his existence quiet so that the Magic Association doesn’t decide to monitor and keep him for themselves.
            But there’s at least one precedent of a Servant that stayed and is living peacefully, so I believe that it’s going to be fine.

            …Yes.
            I know that it’s going to be all right.
            …Because…
            Ledah, who gave up his heart long ago…
                        …is smiling at me.

            For as long as he can smile.
            —Even if there are problems or difficulties to overcome.
            —Even if further trials are awaiting us.
            Ledah and Rose and I are going to be just fine—