Part 239: BreathingOn day 4, while you're at school, you have the choice to stay at the archery range, show Saber around school, or visit the student council room. This is what happens when you choose the latter.
Music: Surrounded by Smiling Faces
"All right. I'm going to go to the student council room. Do you know if Issei's here, Fuji-Nee?"
"Ryudou-kun? Hmm I don't know. At the very least, I haven't seen him."
"I see. Well, I'll come back if he's not there. Tell Sakura that I give her my best regards."
"All right. But you're picking a male friend over a female friend? You're still just a boy, huh?"
That's not the lesson I'd take from this behavior.
I want to object, but Saber will notice me if I do.
I'll let Fuji-Nee win this time, and I'll sneak out of here.
Music: Gentle Everyday
I guess sneaking out was useless.
I tried to leave in a way she wouldn't notice, but Saber is waiting for me outside.
"S-Saber. Um, well, I remembered that I had to do something "
"Do something, huh? I believe your business here was only to deliver the lunch."
"Uh, um It's minor business. I didn't think I needed to tell you, so I didn't."
"I see. If it is minor business, there is certainly no need to tell me. You do have your own life after all."
I'm glad, but is it because of my guilty conscience that she looks mad?
" Um. So, can you wait here?
I'll be back in an hour"
You must act as a Master starting today. Thus, I must accompany you until I determine there is no danger, no matter how minor the business may be.
Well. Do you have any objections, Shirou?"
I do, but I can't think of any excuses that will convince Saber.
" Man. All right, let's go, Saber. I'll show you around school."
I slump my shoulders, give up, and call to her.
"Yes, it would be helpful if you did so."
So, the golden-haired foreign girl follows me as if it's natural to do so.
How will I explain this to Issei ?
Music: Tender Scenery
"That is the second 'gah' I have heard. It seems you really want to hide something from me."
And on top of that, she clearly sees my displeasure.
I don't know if it's her insight as a swordsman, but I don't think I can fool her.
"I just didn't want to cause a big commotion instead of just hiding things. Well, I guess it's fate that Issei's here. I'll introduce him to you."
The student council room won't have any other students, and we'll be able to kill time until the archery club ends.
"Issei ? Is he a friend of yours?"
"Yeah. He's this school's, let's seeleader of the self-defense force, and he's a man of steel aiming for a smooth organizational structure."
"A leader of the self-defense force, huh? I might be able to hear some interesting stories from him."
"Maybe. He's a stubborn guy, so he might get along with you."
"Hey, I'm coming in, Issei"
I open the door.
There is an unexpected person in the student council room.
The one in the student council room is not Issei, but Kuzuki-Sensei, the teacher in charge of the student council.
"Excuse me. Is Issei here today, Kuzuki-Sensei?"
"No, I have not seen him today. Do you have some business here, Emiya?"
"No, it's more like business with Issei. I wanted to start preparing for the finals."
"I see. Then you should try waiting here. Knowing him, he might decide to escape the boredom at his house and come here."
"Can I stay in the student council room?"
"It should not be a problem. If it were a problem, something would have happened already."
"I will trust you to lock up this place. Put the key on my desk afterwards."
With that, Kuzuki-Sensei leaves the student council room.
I guess he was being considerate.
According to Issei, Kuzuki-Sensei seems cold, but he actually has a delicate personality.
He must have thought it'd be awkward for me to wait in the student council room with a teacher.
As Kuzuki-Sensei leaves the room, he bumps into Saber, who is waiting behind me.
" ! S-Sensei! She's my acquaintance, and she might come here next year, so she came to look at this school !"
I quickly make up an excuse.
But this excuse won't be of any use.
Even if she might be a potential student, I cannot bring an outsider into the school.
Fuji-Nee is fine with that, but I don't think the one in charge of the student council will consent to an excuse like that
" I see. This will be the first new student from a foreign country. It is unexpected, but I should be happy that there is a change."
I guess Kuzuki-Sensei is more understanding than I thought, as he's watching Saber with admiration.
If you are an acquaintance of hers, you should be considerate. You will be a senior next year. You should take care of the younger students."
"Ohyes. Thank you, Sensei."
"The curfew on weekends is five o'clock. Go home before the gates close."
He leaves for the teacher's office.
Saber watches him go.
"Saber? Is something wrong with Kuzuki-Sensei?"
" No, nothing in particular. At first, it felt as if he were no ordinary man, but the more I look at him the more ordinary he feels. I can declare that he is not a Master."
I guess everyone's catching a bit of the lately.
It seems Saber is checking if people are Masters or not every time we meet someone.
"That's good. I'd be surprised as well if Kuzuki-Sensei were a magus. But what do you mean, he's not ordinary? Did you feel something special in him?"
"No, there was nothing special about him. But his breathing is too natural and too controlled.
To be honest, I was admiring it. There are no wasted movements in his steps. I do not think I have seen anyone as good as him."
Saber is really praising him.
But if he's that good, isn't he suspicious!?
"Hold on. Are you saying Kuzuki-Sensei is strong in a fight?"
"Huh? That person? Hmm, if it is him
I believe he is about as strong as you, physically. In a true battle I believe he will do as well as any ordinary man."
Kuzuki-Sensei got Saber to admire him, so what does she mean by him being an ordinary person?
That person's breathing was ideal for a human. I admired only that one point."
While we drink the tea we brewed here, Saber explains in a strange way.
"You mean 'breathing' breathing? What's so special about it if it's ideal?"
"It will affect your physical ability as well as your interaction with nature. Western magi do not hold this technique in high regard, but Eastern teachings treat breathing and walking as superior abilities that cannot be taught."
"The ibuki, taking in outside air, is a clear image of connecting the outside world and your inner body. I have heard that to breathe in is to take in God, and to breathe out is to release God.
This 'right way to breathe' is a secret technique in every school, and one can expect only about one student per generation to be able to acquire it."
"To put it another way, a person who casts spells to cast magic is only a magus.
But if one's breathing, walking, and their existence itself can perform divine deeds, that person is a pure Magic Circuit that surpasses magi."
"Oh I think there was something like that in Shintoism.
Like exterminating evil with mere footsteps or clapping of the hands."
"Yes, one spends all one's life mastering those embodiments.
But there are rare cases where one is born with this correct way of breathing or walking. These are people who themselves are Magic Circuits."
"As they are abnormal, they will be famed as prodigies and end up being claimed by magi. But there are a few who will grow up without catching anyone's attention.
These people have within them divine mysteries surpassing magic, without even knowing magic. But"
"But? So Kuzuki-Sensei has a natural-born talent?"
"No. I do not feel such a thing in him.
Um, this is contradictory, but I believe his breathing and walking techniques were acquired through training."
I believe his everyday training is affecting him in the perfect way."
What does that mean?
Does it mean Kuzuki-Sensei is living a pure and honest life?
"Saber. Then Kuzuki-Sensei is "
"It means that he is an ideal teacher. A person like him is not rare.
It just means that he is admirable for someone like me who cannot breathe perfectly even with training."
That's something more surprising for me, though.
So even Saber, who can do everything, can envy someone, huh?
As it turned out, Issei never showed up.
The school's almost closing, so we lock up the room and go back to the archery range.