Part 8: Morning in the Emiya household / Everyday (I)
Sakura and I bow and start our meal quietly.
The sounds of our chopsticks echo.
Sakura isn't the talkative type, and I'm not versatile enough to talk while eating.
Nor walk and chew bubble gum.
Naturally, mealtimes are quiet.
Usually it's louder, but today, the loud person is
She must have been watching spy movies last night as she's eyeing us while hiding behind a newspaper.
"Fujimura-Sensei, don't you think you shouldn't read the newspaper during meals?"
Fuji-Nee ignores Sakura's question.
She's acting weird, but Fuji-Nee always acts in suspicious ways during breakfast.
Sakura must be used to it, as she continues to eat with no particular care.
Sakura prefers to make Western foods.
She learned to cook Japanese food after she started coming here to help.
Fuji-Nee and I preferred Japanese, so Sakura learned to make Japanese food for our breakfast.
Now she's so good that she's almost surpassed me, her teacher.
The salmon is especially good as it's cooked to perfection.
Her miso soup is tasty, and she has shown some capacity even for making yam soup by grinding yams.
Actually, I think this is the first time she's made it.
"Sorry, Sakura, can you pass me the soy sauce?"
"There you oh wait, Senpai. Your soy sauce is empty."
"Fuji-Nee's will do then. Can you get it?"
"May I, Fujimura-Sensei?"
Her newspaper trembles.
"There you go. Are you going to use it on the yam soup?"
"Yeah, you usually put soy sauce on yam soup, right?"
I put the soy sauce onto the white yam soup.
After stirring it, I put it on the rice and take a bite.
Mm, the stickiness of the yam and the taste of the soy sau
"Ugh ! This is terrible! This is oyster sauce!"
I almost throw it back up.
Music: Gentle Everyday
Fuji-Nee throws her newspaper away.
"How's that? It was my plan to switch the labels earlier this morning!"
The female spy throws up her arms to show her happiness.
"W-What are you thinking!? You're always like this even though you'll be turning twenty-five this year!"
"Haha. Did it teach you a lesson for what you did yesterday?
It's divine justice for picking on me with everyone else."
"Divine justice doesn't come from people! I thought you were calm, but this is what you were thinking about!?"
"That's right. That's why I have to go and start grading the exams now. Yup, I should hurry up."
Fuji-Nee sits back down and finishes her breakfast quickly.
"Thank you. Breakfast was lovely as always, Sakura-chan."
"Ah thank you, Sensei."
"I'm going on ahead then. I'll get mad if you two are late."
" Um, Senpai?"
"Sorry about that. Fuji-Nee didn't really take the time to enjoy your breakfast."
"No, it's not that. Um did you do something to her yesterday? It's a bit too much for Fujimura-Sensei to play with food."
"Uh well, yeah. I accidentally called her by her nickname."
"I guess it can't be helped in that case. You didn't apologize to her, did you, Senpai?"
"Sorry. I forgot since it happens all the time."
"You mustn't. Fujimura-Sensei doesn't like you calling her so, Senpai. You made her cry again, didn't you?"
" I made her run away too. Yesterday's English lesson was a self-study because of it."
And I was awarded a student honor written on note paper, but I threw it away.
"Geez. It was all your fault, then."
Fuji-Nee is like a big sister for Sakura, so she's basically on Fuji-Nee's side.
That's good in its own way, but I wish she'd consider my situation where I have to deal with Fuji-Nee 24-7.
Fuji-Nee was originally an acquaintance of Father's, and she's been coming to the house a lot since I was adopted.
She started to show up even more after Father died, and she's now almost a dependent, eating breakfast and dinner here.
Maybe she's why I was able to make it on my own even after my father died.
Fuji-Nee, Sakura, and I are now the residents of the Emiya household.
Secret powers he can't tell anyone about - check.
I say I'm learning, but I can't even cast a single magic spell properly.
With this kind of a skill, it wouldn't make much difference whether I hide it or not. But because it was how my father wanted things, I've trained secretly since then.
I finish breakfast and prepare for school.
I clean the dishes with Sakura while listening to the news on TV.
This sound file always loops very quietly in the background every time the TV is on. I amplified it so it's easier to hear, but it's originally so quiet it's hard to notice.
Sakura is staring at the TV screen.
Over the screen runs an exaggerated teletype reading "Gas Leak Accidents Continue".
It seems there was a big accident in the neighboring town of Shinto.
It happened in a building in the business district. It seems a whole floor of people ran out of oxygen and fell unconscious.
They've called it a gas leak, but this kind of accident is happening often recently.
Oh for fuck's sake. Really, Nasu? ...really?
"Are you worried about the news, Sakura?"
"Eh? No, not really. I just thought it's near Senpai, your workplace is in the Shinto area, right?"
"Yeah, but it's not really a big place. I don't think an accident like that would happen there."
But it's not a risk I can completely ignore.
Gas leaks can happen in any building, and on top of that, it hurts to think that hundreds of people are suffering.
It's said that the accidents are happening often because of defective construction work during the rapid development of Shinto.
Whether that's true or not, I certainly don't want any more victims
" It is dangerous. We'll have to be careful here too."
"Oh, don't worry, Senpai. I check the gas twice every time."
Sakura boasts with pride.
"No, that's not the point."
Yeah, I've thought so before, but Sakura is a bit off too.
Music: In the Sunlight
"I did. I bolted it. Is there a problem?"
"Not at all. Then I'll lock the front door now. When will you be home today, Senpai?"
"I think I'll be a bit late. What about you, Sakura?"
"I'll be back at the usual time. I'll probably be here earlier, so I'll start getting dinner ready."
" Yeah, that'll help. I'll try to come home early too."
We lock the gate.
Sakura and Fuji-Nee also have keys to my house, and the rule is that the last person out locks up.
"Let's go. You won't make it to morning practice unless we hurry."
"Yes, let's hurry then, Senpai."
From here, there are many roads: a big bridge leading to the neighboring city
Introducing the characters wasn't enough. Now the goddamn town needs its own introduction, too.
A hill road that leads to Ryudou Temple
The residential district on the other side of town
The shopping district Sakura and I always use
And the school we're headed to right now.
But today, Sakura doesn't go.
"Sakura? Are you not feeling well?"
" No, that's not it, but um, would you like to come to the dojo?"
"No, I've no business there. Anyways, Issei asked for me, so I have to go to the student council room today."
" I-I see. Sorry for troubling you then."
"I'll be going now. Please look forward to dinner tonight."
Sakura runs off like she's ashamed of something.
Hm? I wonder what that was all about ?
Music: Tender Scenery
"I am. You're a bit late today, Emiya."
He must have been studying, as Issei looks up from the paper he's reading.
"Just you, Issei? Where are the others? Shouldn't they be here now as well?"
"No. Unfortunately, our members are very businesslike.
They have their set work hours, and they don't want to come in early or stay late."
"That's why the student council president is doing the routine duties himself, huh? I guess this place has its own problems."
"No, it's the kind of trouble I like. You don't need to pity me."
"Huh? Uh, no, I wasn't pitying you or anything."
"Hm. I'm not happy about that either, but I'll pretend I didn't hear it. It still means that you care."
Issei, who is organizing the papers he was reading, is the big boss of this student council room.
He's the guy trying his best to reform this lax student council, and he's been a friend of mine since first year.
His full name is Ryudou Issei.
Despite his old-fashioned name, he has elegant features and he's really popular with the girls.
Every male character in this game is "really popular with the girls." It's part of the whole, "ick, Hgame," experience.
And he's also the student council president, so you'd think he'd take to it like a duck to water, but
I'm really not sure what the significance is of having a character that is perpetually playing pocket pool.
He's just sipping tea like this, so he's not that firm.
Especially with comments like that being thrown around.
As you can see, Issei has a plain personality.
It's easily misunderstood, but he doesn't involve himself in love affairs nor engage in normal student recreations.
It's because he's the successor of the Ryudou Temple, up in the mountains.
He's fine with that idea, so there's a good chance he'll shave his head when he graduates.
"So, what am I doing today?"
"Hm? Well, I'd like to let you sit down and take a rest first but I guess we don't have time. I'll explain as we go, so bring your usual tools and follow me."
I suddenly don't like where this is going.
"I know. The athletic clubs are favored, so other clubs don't get much, right?"
"Right. As a result, members of the other clubs are in trouble.
I'm working hard to make the budget go to them, but I'm having trouble because it's not clear where the money's going.
In particular, there's no solution for the shortages of heaters during winter."
"I see. Oh, can you hand me the torque screwdriver? The biggest one. And the conductive wire too.
Yeah, I should be able to fix this."
"Conductive wire? Uh, is this it? Sorry, I don't know exactly.
Tell me if I'm wrong."
"You're right. So, what was that about the shortage of heaters? Are there other broken ones?"
"Yes. In the 2nd AV room and the art club. The petitions requesting new stoves are multiplying."
"But there's not enough budget to meet the demand, huh? As I thought, it's just getting old. Good thing it's not broken on the inside."
"Yup. In cases like this, old things are nice because they're easy to understand.
It's just a shorted connection, so it should last the whole year if we replace that."
"I see! Good job, Emiya. I'm always so pleased when you're reliable."
"You're wording it weirdly, Issei
Oh, I'll be finished soon, so could you wait outside for a bit?"
"All right, I'll be out of your way."
" Well, it is delicate, but "
I place my hand on the old electric heater.
Usually, even if you're used to fixing things, it's hard to figure out what's wrong with it just by looking at it.
So the fact that I figured it out means what I'm doing is not ordinary.
I block off my vision and look inside the heater with my sense of touch.
In that moment
An image appears in my head.
" There are two places where the wire's about to break The pipe should last a bit longer Insulation tape should be enough for the power cord "
Good, I can fix this with the tools I have with me.
If the pipe were broken, it couldn't be fixed by an amateur.
If that had been the case, I would have had to "strengthen" it in a very unamatuerish way. But in this case, just looking at it will suffice.
That is the "magic" Emiya Shirou learned from Kiritsugu.
That's right. Emiya Shirou has no talent for magic.
Though it doesn't make up for it, I think I'm quite skilled at visualizing structures like I did just now.
In fact, when I first figured out a structure and reproduced it, my father looked surprised and said "what a useless ability".
I guess my strong point isn't a useful ability.
According to my father, it's already a waste of effort to perceive the structure with my eyes.
For a real magus, there's no need to understand every corner of a structure like I just did.
They say that the battle of the magus comes in reading the center, the core of things instantaneously, and changing it faster than anything else.
That's why reading the structure is a wasted effort, as even if you do understand the structure, all you can do is determine where magical energy could be more easily transmitted.
So all in all, it turns out that my strong point is just in fixing things like this.
I don't have to open them up to look for damage.
If I can quickly search for broken parts and have the skills to repair them, most things can be fixed.
Though, that's only the case for simple things that can be fixed with "amateur knowledge".
"Done. On to the next one "
I pack away the conducting wire that I used and go out into the hallway with screwdriver and wrench in hand.
Music: Tender Scenery
I'm a bit surprised.
The person talking to Issei is Tohsaka Rin, from class 2-A.
She's a lady who lives in a big mansion on top of the hill, a perfect honor student.
Good looking, smart, athletic, and faultless.
She's intelligent, well mannered, and modest about her looks. People say she's the ideal woman.
She's even the first to tell you how modest she is. Too modest, even, but that just makes her all the more perfect.
So it hardly needs to be said that the guys at my school treat her like an idol.
Though in Tohsaka's case, she's so perfect that she's considered unreachable.
It's commonly believed that only teachers and guys like Issei can even talk to her.
Well, to be honest, I'm a guy too.
So I'm one of Tohsaka Rin's admirers.
Tohsaka looks at us as if she's in a bad mood.
It seems to be true that she and Issei don't get along.
"Ah, sorry Emiya. I'm the one who asked for help, but it seems like you're doing all the work. Forgive me."
Issei's an amazing man, talking like that and ignoring Tohsaka.
"Don't worry about it. So, where next? There's not much time left."
"Yeah, the AV room is next. It seems it's been working badly for a while, but now it finally died."
"It can't be fixed if it's dead. It would be quicker to just buy a new one."
" True, but it'd help if you could take a look at it. It might be dead to my eyes, but only faking it to yours."
"I see. Well, let's take a look."
There's only about 30 minutes left until homeroom.
I'll have to hurry if I'm going to fix it.
I turn back to Tohsaka, who's standing in a daze.
"You're up early, Tohsaka."
Yeah, that's so much better than "hi" or "good morning" or maybe even "how are you today?" You sure know how to impress the ladies.
I make an honest comment, then follow Issei.
"We barely made it. Thank you, Emiya. I caused you trouble again. I would be a failure as a friend if I made you late doing things for me."
"Don't worry about it. It's no big deal for me to be late. Though I guess it would be for you to be "
"Indeed. Well, I'm glad we made it."
Issei heads to his seat, relieved.
It's exactly eight o'clock.
The first homeroom bell has rung, so Fuji-Nee should be here in about five minutes.
I'm a bit out of breath since we ran here from the AV room.
Taking a deep breath, I head to my seat.
"You're so noisy in the mornings, Emiya. I was wondering what you'd been doing since quitting the club, but all you've been doing is helping out Ryudou? It's not my concern, but don't do anything to bring the club into disrepute, okay? You're pretty uncommitted after all."
Matou Shinji, a friend of mine from middle school, is standing in front of my seat.
As you can tell from his last name, he's Sakura's brother who's one year older than her.
"Yo. Is the archery club doing well, Shinji?"
"O-Of course ! There's no point in telling an outsider, but it's been peaceful since a certain attention-hog left. We'll do well in the next competition!"
"I see. Mitsuzuri must be working hard."
"Huh? You're talking rubbish. The archery club is doing well because of me. You're just an outsider, Emiya, so you'll just embarrass yourself if you talk like you know about it."
"I see, I'll be careful. But I won't have any concerns with the archery club since I don't have any business there."
I put my bag on the desk and pull out the chair.
"What's that about? You're saying you're not interested in my archery club?"
"I said business, not interest. It'd be weird to go there when I'm an outsider, right?
But tell me if something comes up. I'll help if there's anything I can help with. You weren't good at fixing the bows and bowstrings, right?"
"Oh, thanks. I'll call you if there's any work to be done.
Though I don't think that'll happen."
"Yeah, that's good. You're not captain material if you leave work that needs to be done. Don't give Fujimura-Sensei too much trouble. She's scary when you piss her off."
" ! Huh, mind your own business. You're an outsider, so keep away from the dojo!"
"What a guy. How can he talk like that when he's the one who drove you out?"
"Oh, you were here, Issei?"
"What do you mean!? You're so cold, saying that to a friend who was listening in out of concern!"
"Hm? Why would you do that? I'm not doing anything that should make you worry about me."
"Idiot. Of course I'll worry about you. You're the sort to lose your temper easily. Some people would cheer if you beat Shinji up, but all the girls would condemn you. It's not good to let a friend get into a situation like that."
"Some people" may be a bit of an understatement.
"I see. You're right now that you mention it. Thanks, Issei. I don't think it'll be a problem, but I'm grateful for your concern."
"Yes, well, as long as you understand but it's strange. You lose your temper easily, but you're tolerant of Matou."
"Yeah, that's just his style. You get used to it if you hang around him for a long time."
"Yeah. If you understand, go back to your seat. Fujimura-Sensei will fly in here any second now."
"Haha. It's more like her to come floating in than flying in."
The homeroom bell rings.
A homeroom teacher usually would come five minutes early, but our homeroom teacher isn't like that.
"All right, I made it! Good morning, everyo"
Fuji-Nee falls over with a terrible sound.
Music: Tender Scenery
But that really was a bad hit.
Fuji-Nee is still on the ground, having hit her head on the platform.
You can't see her expression with her head facing the ground, so it gives you a bad mental image.
" Hey. Front row. Wake her up."
" What? I don't want to. I'm scared she'll bite me if I go near her "
" She's not a Mimic or anything. She won't go that far."
"Hey, if you're saying that, why don't you do it?"
"Uh, I'll pass. I'm not used to this."
"Me neither! And why would you make a girl do it? A guy should do it!"
The front row is getting noisy.
As we're in the middle rows, we can't tell what sort of state Fuji-Nee is in.
We can't tell, so we all stand up to look.
"Hey, she's not moving. Has she passed out?"
If so, the problem would be how to get her to the nurse's office.
Everyone here is a warrior who has been with Fuji-Nee for the past year.
They probably want to get out of the habit of taking their teacher to the nurse's office.
" That was a bad fall. She hit her head right on the platform. She'd have to be invincible to come out of that without a scratch."
"Hm. How about getting her for our baseball club?"
"D-Don't even joke about that! The day she's in charge of us, we'd get into the regionals!"
"Fujimura-Sensei, Fujimura-Sensei ! It's no good, there's no response !"
"Hey, why don't you wake her up since you're in front of her?"
"What!? No way! If she's really dead, I'll be killed!"
"But things could get bad later if we leave her like that."
"But no one wants to go near her."
" I guess it can't be helped. We'll have to do that."
All our hearts become one.
Well, not Shinji and I, because we're too scared.
"Whoa, she moved!? It's working, everyone!"
"All right! Continue the punishment!"
Everyone must be stressed from the impending exams.
Even though they shouldn't, they repeat Fuji-Nee's nickname while waving their arms.
"Wake up Tiger, it's morning!"
"Sensei, you're a tiger if you don't wake up!"
"Don't give up, Tiger! Stand up, Tiger!"
"Yeah, wake up, Sensei! Then you'll be a true Tiger!"
A roar of lightning.
She stands bravely as if the fall has done nothing at all.
Music: Tender Scenery
" Huh? What are you all doing? You can't stand up in middle of homeroom. Come on, sit down and I'll get started."
Fuji-Nee stands before everyone in her usual manner.
It seems all memories from the moment she entered the classroom have fled her head.
" Hey, it seems Tiger doesn't remember what happened."
" Lucky. We're really fortunate this morning."
" Well, I don't know if we can call it 'lucky' "
Everyone returns to their seats, chatting.
"Huh? Did someone just make fun of me?"
"No, we didn't. Maybe you imagined it?"
"All right, good. Then I'll start homeroom, so listen up."
Fuji-Nee starts homeroom slowly.
She chats in between the announcements, so we don't get through it very fast.
"So everyone, please note the curfew.
It's at six o'clock, so people with club activities shouldn't stay too late either."
"What? Six o'clock is too early, Taiga-Sensei. Can't the athletic clubs be exempted?"
"Nope. And please address your teacher as 'Fujimura-Sensei'. I'll get mad if you call me that again."
"All right, I'll be careful."
He sits down again, not showing any signs of listening to her.
"Well, that's it for today's homeroom. Let's meet again in English class in third period, everyone!"
Fuji-Nee leaves, waving her hand.
She's the teacher responsible for class 2-C, Fujimura Taiga.
Her nickname is Tiger.
You might doubt it, but it really is her nickname.
People like calling her so since she has a name like "Taiga" even though she's a woman. But Fuji-Nee herself hates the nickname.
According to her, it's unfeminine.
But she's that kind of person, so I think it's her own fault she has an unfeminine nickname.
"We're starting class. Day monitor, the bows."
I love this guy. The rod up his ass is made out of tempered steel.
The teacher for the first period enters as Fuji-Nee exits.
It's like this every morning, as Fuji-Nee continues homeroom until the very last minute.
"Sorry, Emiya, about the rest of the repairs do you have time today?"
"Well, I do have plans, but "
It's not like I'm just playing around.
After all, the main reason I quit the archery club is because I wanted to prioritize work.
It's already been five years since Father died, and I decided to start working to pay my living expenses.
If you work a lot, there are some jobs you just can't refuse.
Today's an example.
They're restocking inventory at work, and they asked me to come if I can as any help is appreciated.
But it's certainly not something I have to go to. They're probably just having people come in because they want to party after work.
There are two options.