Part 157: Tohsaka Rin (IV)
I say it one more time.
It's an honest opinion as well as an objection made to the person next to me.
"W-What? Suck it up if you're a man."
My objection is dismissed in a flash.
"This way, Emiya-kun. It's less windy, and nobody would see us here."
She must not intend to look at me, as she moves in a hurry.
I eat my lunch.
She must have called for me since she wanted to talk to me, but she doesn't say anything at all.
When I take a peek at her, she's looking at me as if she wants to say something.
I keep eating my lunch.
I won't be able to keep my sanity unless I do so.
I don't care that it's cold or that there's no conversation.
It's just that
This is really troubling.
There are limited places to get away from the wind, so inevitably, Tohsaka is eating her bread right next to me.
We're so close that our shoulders would touch if I moved a bit.
Doesn't this look like we're eating lunch together?
Crap! Archerkins might get the wrong idea!
I try hard to keep my face from blushing.
Why didn't I realize it when she invited me in the hallway?
It's only natural that I can't calm down.
The person next to me is a girl I admired, even though she's my ally now.
I can't say this no matter what since Tohsaka would just laugh it off, but I really wish she'd be more considerate.
My chopsticks hit the bottom of my lunchbox.
I'm done eating.
I can't help it, so I start cleaning up.
Tohsaka must have already finished eating as she is watching me awkwardly.
Lunch break will be over in a few minutes.
I guess I'll have to ask her what we'll do after school today
"Hey, Tohsaka," "Can I have a moment?"
We speak out at the same time.
And on top of that, our eyes meet for the first time today.
"W-What? Go ahead if you want to say something." "N-No, I don't have anything I wanna say. Please go ahead if you want to say something, Tohsaka."
We talk at the same time again and avert our gazes from embarrassment.
And silence follows.
The end of lunch break is nearing.
I'm relieved and disappointed that we might have to go now.
" Um. I'm sorry about last night."
Tohsaka murmurs in an apologetic tone.
"It's about yesterday. I used my Command Spell on him. I know it's nothing now, but I'm still sorry."
My thought process stops.
What happened last night
Archer tried to kill me, and Tohsaka says she used a Command Spell on him.
"Tohsaka. That means "
" Yes. I told him not to attack you no matter what while we're cooperating. So something like yesterday should never happen again."
That helps me out.
It does, but she used one of her only three Command Spells on such a thing?
"I see. But that's not something you should be sorry for.
That's something he did on his own. You didn't know what he was doing either, right?"
She says so with a downcast look.
The gesture is unlike Tohsaka. I like that fact less than the fact that Archer attacked me.
"All right. I'll say that's the case if you say so.
But Archer told you all this? I would never think he would report to you about attacking me."
" Yeah. But you'd think something happened if your Servant comes back wounded with no magical energy.
He hides things, but he never lies. He quickly confessed what happened when I asked him."
She must be getting mad as she's recalling it.
"Oh, you're back to your normal self. Yeah, it's not like you unless you're like that."
"Hey, what's that supposed to mean?"
"It's fine. So where's Archer?"
"I left him at my place. He's been acting strange since last night, and I don't want to let him see you a day after such a thing happened."
True. I don't want to see him either.
I'm sure we'll just insult each other if we see each other again.
" I see. But do you know why he attacked me?"
He said something about how you can be ignored but how he has to defeat Saber because she'll get in the way later on.
He said it'd be troublesome if you got controlled again like yesterday, so he decided to kill you."
Damn, I can't object to that.
I'm certainly a bother as I almost fell for Caster's trap.
He must have determined that I'm a burden the instant Caster controlled me.
"I understand now. Then let's end this topic right here. There was some fault from my part as well, and in any case, I don't know what would've happened to me if he hadn't come.
See, they cancel each other out. You don't have to feel so bad about it."
" Yeah. It means a lot if you say so."
She looks away awkwardly.
She must not be able to agree easily because of her strong sense of responsibility.
"Oh, the bell rang just at the right time."
The bell rings to tell us that lunch break is over.
I couldn't tell how my lunch tasted, but this was fun in its own way.
"Let's go back. You'll be late for 5th period."
I get up and head to the door.
But Tohsaka's still sitting down.
"Tohsaka? You know that the bell rang, right?"
She doesn't answer, but looks at me like she wants to say something.
" Keep me company for a while. It's all right to skip one class, right?"
Then, she says something that an honor student would never say.
Music: Tender Scenery
The bell rings to signal the start of the 5th period.
But what are we doing,
drinking hot coffee here like this?
By the way, I went and bought the coffee in a flash.
It's funny how often I'm thinking to myself and decide to fill myself in on things I just did.
"There's still five minutes until class starts, right? I think it won't take you five minutes to go to the store on the first floor and come back."
It's because of the demonic request made by Tohsaka.
"Huh ? Oh, when I started learning magic? Yeah, it's been about that long. My father finally started teaching me after I begged him for two years."
"So a total of about eight years, huh? Your dad sure did an incomplete job. If he was going to teach you, he should have done something from the time you were born.
Your body was already too mature eight years ago. He couldn't put a Magic Crest on you, nor could he tamper with your body."
Tohsaka says dangerous things with a serious face.
Well, I know this is her part of her as a magus.
"Yeah. But as I told you before, my father never intended to teach me magic. That's why he didn't go through the proper steps like you did.
Actually, what do you mean by doing something when you're born?"
" Um, it's just like it sounds. The Magic Crest of a family becomes larger the more history there is behind the family.
A Magic Crest is a Magic Circuit taking shape. So engraving it into someone causes the 'human body' to reject it and causes serious pain.
So we implant it bit by bit from the time we're born to moderate the pain. We also drink bitter herbs and ground bones to create resistance in our bodies."
" Well, you don't need to worry too much since it doesn't concern you as a 'magic user'. And it's troublesome if you start copying it and do reckless things."
"I don't intend to.
But are you all right? It sounds pretty bad from the way you said it."
I can't put it into words properly.
I don't know what you would call a normal magus teacher.
But I felt a pressure when I went to Tohsaka's house.
A family that passes on a long history
Children that have the duty to succeed from the time they're born, secluded from the normal world disregarding their will
I bite my lip, trying irresponsibly to think how long and heavy it is.
" Ugh. W-What's with that meaningful face? I'm not worried at all, you know!?"
"Of course not. There's nothing for you to be worried about. I did it because I wanted to, and I don't regret it one bit. Isn't that the same for you as well?"
" ? Why are you asking me?"
Wait, the same? Me and Tohsaka?
" Geez. You really don't get anything about yourself, huh?
Look, my training was indeed hard. But I never thought about running away. I'm saying that it must be the same for you."
"Ohyeah. You're right, but I was never asked to do anything as hard as you're doing."
"Don't say stupid things. It's crazy to start learning magic after nine years of normal life.
I don't know what your daily routines are, but I'm sure it's a dangerous one. It must be so dangerous that you might lose your life if you fail."
"Oh Well, that's only because I'm an amateur, and it's not supposed to be that dangerous. I can't compare it to you, Tohsaka."
"Right. I can't compare myself to you either.
Training in magic is like that. The only common thing is that we're all putting our lives on the line.
There is a difference in how much we put on the line, but it just means how much risk we're willing to take, right?"
I've never trained in a way that might kill me. First of all, I don't fail."
"Wow, you just declared it."
She casually says something that hurts me.
That's going to happen a lot in this relationship.
In other words, she said she doesn't understand how we feel when we fail.
"We"? He's aware of the goonmind behind his actions!
"Hey, don't sulk. I praised you."
"Heh. It doesn't make me happy when the person that always gets the perfect score tells me I did well this time."
"I didn't say 'this time'.
The point is that the training is hard, but it's not harsh. That's why I've never run away from it and I will continue training. The same goes for you, right?"
Tohsaka said it was hard but not harsh.
I think she's right.
I did not feel that my training was harsh nor severe.
No, I didn't have any composure to think about such a thing.
I just wanted to catch up to Kiritsugu.
I want to be like Kiritsugu someday.
I kept on training to be the superhero that Kiritsugu couldn't be.
Come to think of it, most of my memories are about training in the shed.
But I've never regretted it.
I've always believed that it's the most important thing for me.
" I see. You're right, now that you mention it. I guess I did my share, huh?"
"Yup. You came to where you are today with your own skill, so have more confidence in yourself."
Tohsaka tells me to be proud.
I'm a bit embarrassed.
It's more embarrassing if she's getting happy about it as if it's her own accomplishment.
"Well, let's talk about the serious stuff now that this conversation's over. We have to know about each other's strengths if we're going to be cooperating."
"Strengths ? Oh, you must mean the magic we can use, huh? That's something you know already. You know what I use, right?"
"Yes. Your magic is 'strengthening', right?
I won't say it's rare, but I don't think many magi use it as their primary magic. I've been wondering, but why are you particular about the strengthening magic?"
"No, that's the only thing I can do. I tried a lot, but strengthening is the only thing I can do."
The rest is basic stuff like making a blueprint and such.
This isn't something we have to talk about now.
Accumulation, flow, and transformation of power. That's my basic power, and I also know the popular spells. I can manage to make a boundary field that's about a classroom's size."
Conversion of powerthat's the most basic and the most all-round.
In other words, she can put magical energy into any container and transform it.
"I see. I'm happy that you're telling me this, but is it really all right to tell me about your magic?"
"You told me about yours before, right? It's not fair if I hide mine."
"You told me yours so I'll tell you mine." it just doesn't have quite the same ring to it.
Saying so, Tohsaka holds out her left arm.
"I've shown you before, but this is my Magic Crest.
The technique of conversion is what's been passed down the Tohsaka family. We're good at shifting our powers or someone else's.
Magical energy disappears when we take it out of our body, right?
We cannot create anything special with just magical energy. We execute the equation called magic using the magical energy before it disappears. That's why 'pure magical energy' that's not part of a spell is hard to move around"
She stops there and takes a small rock out of her pocket.
Is it a jewel?
The transparent polyhedron reminds me of a kaleidoscope.
"As an exception, I can store my magical energy in other objects.
No, not only my magical energy, but I can also store other's magical energy. And although it'll be difficult, I can store things other than magical energy as well."
"And the most compatible storage space is a jewel.
You know that jewels are 'places' that easily store thoughts, a prison that stops flow, right?
Additionally, crystals that have been in the ground for a long time carry strong natural spirits. Such jewels can become a simple 'Magic Crest' when magical energy is poured into them.
Well, since it's a jewel, it'll break once the stored magical energy is released."
Tohsaka shrugs and puts away the jewel.
" That's a waste. By it breaking, you mean it'll go away once you use it, right? Do you have to replenish an expensive thing like a jewel every time you use it?"
Magi of the Tohsaka family start by making money once they succeed"
"I see. Yeah, people have different problems, Tohsaka."
She looks away as if she said too much.
I think so every time I see her, but I think Tohsaka is rather foolish.
Pot, meet kettle.