Part 261: The daughter of winter - Ilya (I)
" All right. I have to go home and get ready."
Even if Sakura is going to stay over, I need to mentally prepare myself.
I should go buy groceries and wait for her to come after her club activities.
" I already made a huge dinner yesterday. I'm not going to be working for a while and there's one more person to feed, so I shouldn't be spending money "
But this month is an exception.
I have my savings, and I can't be distracted by money during the Holy Grail War.
And I should be repaying Sakura every chance I get.
Music: Gentle Everyday
I leave the supermarket with bags full of food.
I think I bought too much, but it's all good.
I got some fresh codfish, so maybe I should make stew tonight.
"All right, anti-Fuji-Nee measure taken care of"
I stop walking.
Someone's pulling at my shirt from behind.
Stands a young girl with silver hair.
I quickly jump back.
I tense myself to act, but the girl just stands there and smiles.
I don't feel any murderous intent or hostility from her.
"I'm glad you're alive, Onii-chan."
She looks at me with a big smile.
She controls the monster who nearly killed me.
The girl of the family of magi who started this war, the family which my father betrayed.
Why is she here in the shopping district during daytime?
I blurt out her name without knowing what it means.
"Ohsorry, that's wrong !
Ilyayeah, it's Ilyasviel !
I-I'm sorry for getting it wrong !"
I quickly apologize.
It doesn't matter if she's Berserker's Master or the daughter of the Einzbern family.
It's just that
I can't leave her alone when her face looks so sad.
She's glaring at me, probably because I shortened her name.
"OhI didn't mean to make you mad. I just blurted it out."
Music: Tender Scenery
" Tell me your name."
"Tell me your name, Onii-chan. It's unfair that I don't know your name."
Oh, she's right.
Ilyasviel told me her name, but I haven't told her mine yet.
"I'm Shirou. Emiya Shirou."
"Emiyashiro? That's a strange name, Onii-chan."
"No. Emiya is my last name, and Shirou is my first name. If it's hard to say it, just call me Shirou."
I correct her pronunciation.
Even though I regret it, it's too late.
Looking like she's about to cry
" Shirou, Shirou, huh? Yeah, I like the name.
It's simple, but it sounds pretty. It suits you, Shirou.
I'll forgive you for what you just did!"
She embraces my arm.
"Whawell, that's easier to say, but hold on!!!"
I shake my arm, but Ilya only screams happily and enjoys it.
This is bad. The neighbors might spread bad rumors about me if I keep this up.
"W-What? Making a face like that won't do you any good. I don't know what your intentions are, but I'm a Master. You can't defeat me that easily"
Groceries in hand, I glare at her.
But she only looks back at me in wonder.
" Um, Ilya?"
"Yeah!? What, Shirou!?"
She isn't like before.
Well, she was laughing back then too, but her smile is different now. Could it really be?
" Ilya. You didn't come here to fight ?"
I ask timidly.
"What? Do you want to be killed?"
Her gaze sends a chill down my spine.
No matter how young this girl may be, she is the strongest Master.
She laughs innocently, but she can also become a ruthless Master.
" Hmm. I don't get it, but I don't mind you saying so, nor do I mind going ahead with my plans. Do you want to die along with Saber?"
" Don't kid around. No way! I don't want to die, and I don't want to fight you here."
" You're right. Then why did you come here? Did we meet up by chance?"
"It's not chance. I snuck out past Sella and specially came to see you. You better feel honored."
She puffs up with pride.
I feel dizzy.
Every time I think she turns into a cruel Master, she returns to being the innocent girl.
I can't tell which is the real her.
" All right. So you came to see me.
But you have no intention of fighting me. Am I correct?"
"Yup. I came to talk to you. I've waited all this time, so I can, right?"
I don't know what she means by "all this time", but it seems Ilya just came to talk with me.
"Or do you not want to talk with me? I'll go home if you don't want to. I really don't want to go home, but you'll hate me if I make you do something you don't want."
Ilya looks me straight in the eye.
As a Master, it's dangerous to spend any time with Ilya. If Saber were here, I bet she wouldn't hesitate to make herself heard.
I know it's reckless, thoughtless, and rash, but
"I don't mind talking with you. To be honest, I wanted to talk with you."
"All right! Then let's go over that way! I found a small park over there earlier!"
Ilya starts running.
She twirls about as she runs.
"Well, I guess it can't be helped."
I accept this turn of events and follow after Ilya.
She called me Shirou.
So I should treat her as a normal girl, and not a Master.
Music: Madder Red Town
This must look weird to other people.
Ilya's a foreigner, so we don't look like siblings, and our ages are too far apart to be friends.
" So. What do you want to talk about, Ilya? You came to me, so do you have something you want to ask me?"
" Ilya. You're the one who wanted to talk.
So why do you say you have no business with me? You wouldn't have come if you had no business with me, right?"
"O-Oh, really? We can't talk if we don't have business?"
"Uhh that's not what I meant. Sorry, I put it in the wrong way. We can still talk. Actually, I guess it's better to talk without purpose.
But, man. I don't know you really well, so I don't know what I should talk about. I don't know what you like, or anything. You don't want me asking you about something you'd rather not talk about, right?"
"Y-You're right but what should I ask? Will you promise me you won't get mad, whatever I ask you?"
"I'll try. I'm your Onii-chan, so I'll try to act mature."
"I see. Then Shirou, do you like me?"
W-W-W-W-W-What the hell is she asking!?
"Hey, anyone would be shocked by that question! Y-You shouldn't be asking that question when you've already attacked me!"
"Hey, that was different! It's because you jumped out even though you're weak! It's not my fault!"
"It is your fault! You were ready to kill from the beginning! So why are you talking about me liking you and everything!?"
Ilya quivers up and goes quiet.
I decided that I'd forget about us being Masters, but I guess I didn't.
Ilya looks down, trembling.
I guess I have no choice.
I'm the one who started this whole Master conversation, I'm the older one here, and Ilya is a girl.