Part 260: About Sakura / Peace treaty?"Fine. If that's how you want it, we'll settle things here and now. I can't believe you came to school without your Servant"
"Sorry! I'm begging you! Please let me talk to you!"
I close in on Tohsaka and push her against the wall.
I can't let the other students hear this.
Music: Gentle Everyday
"Please, you're the only one I can depend on. Sakura might get involved in the Holy Grail War, and I don't know what to do. You know a lot, so tell me, is there a way to protect Sakura without telling her anything!?"
Tohsaka stares at me in complete surprise.
"Oh I-I'm sorry. I got flustered because the timing of you being here was perfect.
Um, Sakura is my underclassman. She might get involved in the Holy Grail War, and I don't want that. But I can't come up with any good ideas, so "
" ! O-Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't notice !"
I quickly let go of Tohsaka.
I feel my face burning.
What was I thinking, pushing Tohsaka up against the wall like that !?
"I'm sorry. I know I'm apologizing a lot, but please hear me out. I"
" You want to ask me something, right? All right, I'll listen."
" Hey now. You look like you're going to die if I don't listen to you. Come up to the rooftop during lunchtime. I'll listen then."
Tohsaka turns and goes up the stairs.
Heaven's Feel, along with being the "Shirou is smart" route, is furthermore the "but the proofreaders were not" route.
There's another empty desk.
That's Issei's desk.
"That's rare. So even Issei can be absent, huh?"
I set my bag down and prepare for homeroom.
Fuji-Nee arriving before the bell rings is a rare spectacle indeed.
I thought she'd slept in since she didn't come to my house this morning, but she's even more energetic than usual.
" Haa, haa, ah"
To be honest, I'm nervous.
I'm glad that I can consult her, but that hardly seems to matter now.
I must've been crazy to make arrangements with Tohsaka Rin.
She's the school idol, the perfect honor student, the girl I've admired!
"Man, calm down, you idiot!"
I try to catch my breath as I run up the stairs.
Anyway, this is a big event.
Tohsaka is Tohsaka even though she's a Master, so I can't be late.
And I'm asking her a favor.
So I have to get there before her and act cool.
Music: Surrounded by Smiling Faces
"You're late, Emiya-kun."
It seems there's a line no ordinary person can cross.
"You want to talk to me about something, right? Let's sit down."
Without waiting for a reply, Tohsaka walks over to the water tower.
Nobody will see us there, and it'll block the wind.
"Eho-okay. It's a bit long, but do you mind?"
"Try to make it short. Lunchtime isn't that long."
Having her this close is just making me more nervous.
But now's not the time.
I have to ask her about Sakura.
"T-Then I'll try to make this simple.
Matou Sakura is my underclassman, and I've known her for a long time.
Her older brother is Matou Shinji, and I've known him for a long time as well.
To put it simply, I fought a Master last night, and that Master was Shinji."
" !? Matou Shinji was a Master!?"
"Yeah. I'm sure of it because his grandfather, Matou Zouken, told us. He also said that the Matou family is a family of magidid you know about that, Tohsaka?"
That's a strange definition of "only".
"He's not a magus. He doesn't have a Magic Circuit, right? That's what Matou Zouken said.
But that's a condition to be a magus.
I think the conditions for becoming a Master are different. I'm like Shinji in that respect. You shouldn't assume that only magi can become Masters."
" I see. So, what about Shinji? Did you defeat him?"
"Yeah. Saber defeated his Servant, Rider. His book, his Command Spell, burned up, so he isn't a Master anymore.
But I don't think he's given up. That alone is dangerous, but on top of that, Sakura is living at his house."
"I heard from Zouken that magic only gets taught to the successor. Sakura was raised without being taught anything, so she doesn't know what Shinji is doing.
As long as she doesn't find out, she won't get involved in this war between the Masters."
" You're right. So why do you think Sakura is in danger?"
"I told you that Shinji is dangerous right now. He might take out his anger on Sakura, and there's no telling what'll happen if he does something even worse.
So, um "
"So you want to end it before Shinji involves Sakura? Your idea is good, but it's not possible. Just look at the Ryudou Temple. The other Masters are tricky. I think this Holy Grail War will last longer than expected."
The best outcome would be for Shinji to give up, but that's not realistic.
Then the only option is to separate Sakura from Shinji
"I thought about that, but I'm a Master too.
It's too dangerous to have her at my place, and Shinji will never stand for it. Besides, I doubt she wants to stay at my house."
" Geez. You really are dense, Emiya-kun."
"It's nothing. Just go ahead and ask her. Protecting Sakura from Shinji and protecting her from other Masters are the same thing.
Shouldn't you choose the option that lets you do something? Um, if this Sakura person is someone important to you."
Tohsaka's words hit me hard.
It feels like she smacked me in the head.
"You're right. You're absolutely right. I should ask her before I start worrying about what I think."
"That's right. First of all, nobody would go make meals for a person they hated. Sakura trusts you, so have a little confidence in yourself."
" ? Did I tell you that Sakura comes over to make meals for us?"
" ! Y-You did! You told me at the very beginning! You told me, you probably told me, you certainly told me! You told me, so don't worry about it!"
Her quick shout stops my rebuttal.
I've already learned that Tohsaka wears a mask at school.
"All right. Thanks, you really helped me out.
I would've taken longer to make up my mind."
"Oh. You're pretty bold now. Are you showing off, telling me that you would've arrived at the same conclusion by yourself?"
Her smile attacks me by surprise.
"Oh, that's not what I meant. But wouldn't you have Sakura stay over if she was still depressed tomorrow?"
" ! Who are you to say that!? Is it fun to make fun of people when you're supposed to be an honor student!?"
"Hey now, I choose who I make fun of. I only make fun of people if it's worth doing."
" !!!!! Y-Y-Y-Y-Y-Y-You idiot, it'll be terrible if we get any closer!! I'll take you on if you're picking a fight with me, so get away from me, you devil!!!"
I arc back and get my face away from Tohsaka.
T-This is bad.
Having her close was bad enough, but just now was fatal.
After getting to know Tohsaka, the person I admired became a dangerous associate.
That's fine by itself, but that was too much.
When she gets this close to me, I can't ignore her beautiful hair, her soft-looking body, her pretty face
My heart's pounding so hard that it feels like it's about to explode.
I hate to admit it, but she is beautiful.
Her true nature is different than what I thought, but I still admire her.
"A-Anyway, thanks for your help. That's all I have to say.
I'll listen to you now."
"What? I don't have anything to talk about."
"Huh? Weren't you saying something this morning?
Well, I wasn't listening because I was in a panic, but you looked like you were in a bad mood."
" ??? What do you mean, 'surprised'?"
"I mean that part of you.
Oh well. I'll tell you one good thing while we're at it.
You know about the people who've been going into comas around town, right?
That's a Servant's doing, and the Master is at the Ryudou Temple."
"Oh, you were saying something about the Ryudou Temple earlier.
Wait, that Ryudou Temple?"
"Yes. They're cunning enemies, so watch out if you're planning on attacking them. They aren't taking lives, but they are attacking indiscriminately.
Well, I'm going to sit and watch for a while since they can only use a set amount of magical energy at once, no matter how much magical energy they may store."
A Master is at the Ryudou Temple.
Tohsaka is doing her best, even though Archer isn't fully healed yet.
I told you something you didn't know."
The honor student smiles boldly.
I feel like a frog in front of a snake.
"W-What? I told you about Shinji too. That should make it even."
"Oh, that's been paid for with the advice about Sakura. Or what? You didn't mean those thanks you gave me?"
S-She's a devil! She's a real devil! Don't let her fool you, everyone! The school's peace is in danger!
"Well, what should I take? Equivalent exchange is standard for magi."
Damn I think my father said something like that as well.
I look down at my hands.
This is the only thing I have right now.
" I guess I can't help it. You haven't eaten yet, right? I'll give you half of this."
I break my bread in half.
Reluctantly, I give her the whole can of tea as a show of sincerity.
"Here, eat up. The cafeteria's closed by now. It should fill you up a bit."
I hand her the bread.
Does she not like it? She looks astonished, and
"Thanks. Then I won't hold myself back."
And, she really eats the bread without holding back.