Part 137: Tohsaka Rin, Mitsuzuri Ayako / Tohsaka Rin (III)
Well, this is going to be interesting. Things have started to change already, so I wonder how we're going to almost die today.
Music: Surrounded by Smiling Faces
" What is this? It's not like something's strange, right ?"
It's not like someone's watching me or that something looks different.
If anything, it's that it's not that lively.
It feels like the students, and even the trees and the buildings, are dull in color.
" I bet it's just me. I'm sure that I'm stressed out from all the events that have been happening."
I close my eyes and rotate my shoulders.
The strange feeling doesn't disappear even after that.
I know her, so I greet her.
But Tohsaka freezes as if she's seen a ghost.
"Tohsaka? What? Is there something on my face?"
I wipe my cheek with my uniform.
But Tohsaka doesn't even reply.
She looks away from me and goes back to her classroom.
What was that?
I don't think it's like her to ignore someone who greeted her.
" The classroom's like always."
I head to my seat while greeting the guys.
Just the guys, though. No women. That just wouldn't do.
There are about ten more minutes until homeroom starts.
I look around the room, and I notice a seat without a bag.
"Shinji's absent, huh?"
Come to think of it, he wasn't at the club yesterday either.
Shinji is actually quite punctual and he tries hard to follow the rules.
It worries me a bit that a guy like him has been absent for two days.
Music: Tender Scenery
"What's wrong, Issei? You're not eating lunch?"
"No, I just finished eating. I'm just really sleepy right now. Wake me up when lunch is over."
Issei then puts his head on the table.
"Did you stay up all night or something? I thought you had to go to bed at eleven at the temple."
"Yes But I'm having difficulty sleeping lately. My fatigue won't go away no matter how much I sleep. So for the past few days, I've been sleeping whenever I get the chance."
" ? What is that? You shouldn't be sleepy if you're sleeping every time you get the chance."
"That's true. But sleep won't let me rest, so I have to sleep to rest.
I know I'm contradicting myself, but I can't help feeling sleepy."
"Man, it's too early to be spring, you know?"
"In spring one sleeps a sleep that knows no dawn, huh? You certainly got me there."
Issei doesn't even try to get up.
I guess it can't be helped.
It looks serious, so I'll stay here until lunch is over
"Huh? Someone's here, Issei."
"I don't care. Tell them the student council isn't open today."
"I can say so if you want But I think it's Kuzuki-Sensei."
". Hm, that's bad."
Issei gets up slowly and opens the door.
"Ryudou. It is about the archery club this morning"
Kuzuki-Sensei stops his words after seeing that I'm here.
Kuzuki Souichirou is the homeroom teacher of class 2-A and also in charge of the student council. He's a very strict teacher and quite blunt.
"Correct. We will probably call the police. I believe you know, but do not spread the rumor."
"I know. Then how about Matou? The student in the archery club said he saw her and Matou together."
"It is the same for him as well. Matou Shinji is absent today and his house is empty. His sister, Matou Sakura, was staying over at Fujimura-Sensei's house last night, so she does not know anything."
Issei and Kuzuki are talking about disturbing stuff.
Summing up what they said, it seems that a student's been missing since last night, and Shinji's the last one to talk to that student
"Sorry to interrupt. I am sure the school's curfew will be set at an earlier time now."
Quickly stating his business, Kuzuki leaves the student council room.
"No. I didn't go to the archery club this morning. You should know as well that he's absent, right?"
"I see. I hope that's the case "
Issei's face clouds up.
It's not something I should rudely butt in on, but it seems this concerns the archery club.
I'm sorry for Issei, but I should get some information out of him.
"Issei. Who is this person that hasn't been home? Well, I already know Shinji hasn't been home."
"Hm ? Well, you're no outsider, so I guess you can know."
Music: Whirlpool of Fate 2
We got a contact from a family saying that their daughter had yet to come home from the archery club. When we contacted the students who actually went to the club, we found out it was Shinji that last talked to this student."
Talked to Shinji ?
"Hold on. Shinji wasn't at the practice yesterday.
And I parted with everyone at the school gate."
"Yes, it seems you were there as well. But this is after that. When a student returned to school to get something he forgot, he saw Shinji in front of the archery range. It seems the missing student and Shinji were having a quarrel."
I have a bad feeling about this.
There's only one student that could've been there.
"Don't leave out the important detail, Issei. Who is this student that's been missing?"
We do not know where she went after returning the archery range keys, and after someone saw her in front of the archery range."
Issei averts his gaze.
Poor Sacchi- Ayako.
It seems the library is closed as well, so the students are going home in a hurry.
There's an announcement that all students are to go home unless they have some special business.
I'm the only one left in room 2-C.
I bet it's like this in other rooms, so I should hurry or there'll be nobody left in the school building.
I should go talk to some people before that.
I can't go straight home after I found out Mitsuzuri's been missing.
She's firm, and she's stronger than most guys.
It's not a trivial matter that she's missing, and most of all, I can't ignore it as her friend.
" Sorry, Saber. I have something to do."
I apologize to Saber and leave my classroom.
I should go talk to people in Mitsuzuri's class, room 2-A.
That's all I could get from the girls in her class.
It seems everyone has been told that Mitsuzuri is absent because of illness.
"Sorry to interrupt. Don't tell her about this if she's here tomorrow."
I wave goodbye and leave.
If there's any place to go now, it'd be the archery range.
" I guess I'll talk to Issei. They might have some new information."
It's been three hours since lunch.
It might be possible that she's already been found and it turned out nothing was wrong at all.
" I'll go home for now. Fuji-Nee should know something about Mitsuzuri."
I look up.
Music: Whirlpool of Fate 2
Tohsaka is standing at the top of the stairs.
"Oh, you're here too, Tohsaka?"
She doesn't answer.
First this morning and then just now I think her glares are getting worse every time I greet her.
"What? I'm gonna go if you don't have any business with me."
I raise my bag to show her that I'm going home now.
I don't know why, but Tohsaka sighs.
"I'm stunned. Coming to school without your Servant. Are you sane?"
She murmurs without emotion.
"Of course I'm sane. I can't turn Saber into spirit form, so there's no way I can bring her to school."
"Then skip school. It's like asking for others to kill you if a Master is walking without its Servant.
Do you know how stupid you are, Emiya-kun?"
"WhaI'm not stupid!
Don't say ridiculous things. Masters don't fight in front of people, right? Then it's out of the question to fight during daytime, and at a school at that."
" Oh, then let me ask you. Are there people watching us now?"
What's she talking about? I don't even need to check if there are people around
A slender, white arm.
On the feminine arm
Something like a glowing tattoo appears.
It's not a Command Spell.
Could that be? Even though I don't have one, it must be the proof of a magus, a Magic Crest.
"I don't even need to explain to you, right?
This is a crystallization of the magic passed down my family. I can cast any magic carved on here just by filling it with magical energy."
A Magic Crest is like an attached engine, separate from the Magic Circuit in a magus.
There's no difficult incantation or procedure to follow.
It is an ultimate hastening mechanism that runs the car called magic just by turning it on.
But the Magic Crest will not show up unless it is in use.
The Magic Crest is like a separate Magic Circuit that is formed using the magical energy of the magus.
"I told Archer to go home. The 'Gandr Shot' in the Magic Crest should be enough for you."
There's no emotion in her voice.
That makes me realize that she's serious.
"You can run away, but that's just making it hard on yourself. I'm going to win in the end no matter what you do."
She coldly says so.
But my head's spinning.
"H-Hold on, Tohsaka! Are you insane? This is the school! Who knows who'll come up if we make a commotion"
"I'll think about it when that happens. I don't let chances in front of me slip by. I'm sorry, but I'm taking care of you right here and now.
And besides, I don't think I can stand having you walk about carelessly."
"I-I said hold on ! I don't have any intention of fighting you"
"I do even if you don't! Just prepare yourself, Shirou!"
What sort of magic is it?
The instant she points her left hand at me, my vision is filled with light.