Hell. That was the best way to describe it. Being surrounded by walking corpses of which were only a few inches away from death, having the soles of my old sneakers melt and burn into the pads of my feet, slowly losing the ability to breathe as the toxic smog of the fire penetrated my lungs and polluted them, and of course the red flames hissing and whipping away at my skin as I walked on, trying my hardest to find areas where the flames weren't raging. But it was no use; not an inch of my old hometown wasn't enveloped in the raging inferno. After having seen countless people screaming hellish moans at me from the charred remains of houses, begging for help as they slowly cooked to death, and after my own body had been blistered and charred all over from the relentless fire, I grew tired.
So, I myself found my own pile of embers and smoldering remnants to lay my weary body down on. Yes, if hell truly existed, then this had to be it. I blacked out. The next time I opened my eyes, it would be because I felt coolness dripping all over my body due to the rain pouring down from above. Had I survived? No, I surely died, but someone else seemed to have reeled my life back into this body. And it was her. A beautiful woman who looked as though she was a snowflake amidst a pool of lava. She was smiling down at me, her silky, white hair a mess and her crimson eyes filled with the strongest mixture of sadness and happiness I've ever seen. I was wrapped tightly in her arms, as though she thought if she let up on her grip even slightly, I would slip away again and be lost forever. Then she said to me: "You're so very right… To save one life means not saving another…"
I slowly open my eyes and then quickly shut them again as the harsh sunlight proves to be too much. I raise up my sore hands to rub my eyes with so that they can adjust quicker while I sit up from the hard, concrete floor I fell asleep on again last night. Once again… that nightmare. If I keep having it every night, I'm not going to be able to get any full night's rests anymore… I sigh at the frustrating ordeal while opening my eyes to look out at the bright morning light pouring in through the doors to the shed. The grass in the yard still had some specks of dew on the blades and the sun still wasn't high above the house yet, indicating I didn't oversleep, thankfully. I look down at the floor to see the fruits of my labor from last night; the reason why I was so unrestful, other than the nightmare.
My bow was finally stringed to the perfect tightness. It took a lot of sweat and elbow grease, but I managed to do it just right, with my aching, blistered hands as proof. I pick up the heavy recurve bow and trace my finger along the bowstring that's anchored securely in place between the two limbs. I'd been noticing my performance in the club was lacking lately so I assumed it was because the string wasn't taut enough. I rise from my sitting position and grab a lone arrow on the woolen blanket I have strewn across the floor of the shed as well as the bow itself. In one swift motion, I knock the arrow and shoot it into the yard to pin a maple leaf that I noticed falling into the grassy soil about 15 meters away. Looks like I was right. The string just needed to be tightened. I lie the bow back down on the blanket next to my special project I've been working on and then I inhale deeply before bolting out of the shed as fast as I can towards the house, swiftly grabbing the arrow I lodged in the ground while doing so.
Once I get to the back doorway of the house, I flick the arrow in the air to make the maple leaf flutter off before heading into the house, closing the sliding door behind me. As I walk down the hallway to my left, I begin thinking about the nightmare once more. It's been years since I've had that nightmare and now I'm suddenly having it every single night for the past week? I open the door to the bathroom and I start getting the tub ready for a hot bath. Seriously, what the heck? I hope this doesn't mean something bad is about to happen… I shake off the silly thought as I remove my clothes once the tub is filled to the brim. I dip my toes in and slowly submerge myself into the almost scalding hot water while contently groaning out. "This sure does wonders for an aching body…"
My brows furrow in displeasure while I look over the contents of the refrigerator. Aside from the junk food piled up, there's almost no ingredients in there to use for breakfast. I decide to just make some fluffy omelets with rice and maybe some miso soup to go along with it. I really didn't want to go to the grocery after school today, but we won't be able to have a proper dinner tonight unless I do, and I'm not eating any of this junk food no matter what. I pull out the few ingredients I need to make the meager breakfast from the fridge while I fasten the apron around myself. While I crack the eggs into the mixing bowl, I hear the front door slide open and then close, indicating Sakura must have finally gotten here. "Sakura? That you?" I call out to her over my shoulder while I beat the eggs in the bowl with the whisk. I hear her walk into the dining room behind me as I prepare breakfast.
"Yes senpai, good morning. I'm sorry for the intrusion." I let out a soft laugh at the comment she made while kneeling down at the small table in the middle of the dining room.
"Sakura, you've been coming over here almost every morning for quite a while now. I wouldn't consider it intruding at this point, nor did I think it was when you first started doing so. You're basically a part of the family now." I wasn't looking at her, but I could tell what I said made her flustered. I continue preparing the soup while pouring the egg mixture into the pan to make the first omelet.
"A-Alright senpai, you're right. I just don't want you to think I'm not appreciative for letting me eat breakfast with you every morning… or anything." I smile at her comment. I knew Sakura was thankful for being able to visit this place every morning, but what I don't think she knows is how grateful I am for her company.
While I place the food on the table, Sakura grabs the tea she prepared on the heater and brings it to the table as well before heading to the kitchen to grab some cups. As she does so, I hear the footsteps approaching from the hallway. I swallow nervously before staring at the doorway, anticipating her arrival. No sooner than I let my eyes fall upon the doorway to the dining room, she enters through it. Someone whiter than the purest white of winter's first snowfall, a person with features so exotic and beautiful that people would think she's some sort of deity. The woman with the visage of an angel walks over to me and gently and gracefully lowers herself to sit at the table next to me, still wearing her silky nightgown. She looks up at me with her eyes that still had traces of sleepiness and gives me a warm smile, as if it was meant to be a silent "good morning." This beautiful woman sitting before me is the one who saved my life all those years ago from the clutches of that hellfire; Irisviel Emiya.