Part 275: A big pinch / Matou Shinji
"Where did you go, Senpai!?"
I jump back, bumping against the front door.
Music: Gentle Everyday
"No, not 'whoa'! I have told you many times not to go outside by yourself! Worse still, you snuck out while you were sick !"
You wrote that you'd be back at two! Do you know what time it is!? Where were you for the extra two hours!?"
"Uhno, hold on. I understand. I understand why you two are mad, so "
If you guys will just calm down, I should be able to come up with an excuse
"No, you do not understand ! I agreed with your decision to go to school yesterday, but I cannot forgive you this time. It seems you are healthy enough. I shall train you until dinner!"
Saber pushes Sakura aside and steps closer.
"Yes, the dojo is cleaned, so please have some matches with Saber-san! I heard how good she is from Fujimura-Sensei, so I'm sure you'll enjoy it!"
Sakura pushes Saber aside and roars at me.
I can't do this. I'll only add fuel to the fire if I say the wrong thing. Saber might even go as far as breaking our contract.
"Where is your reply, Shirou!?"
"Where's your reply, Senpai!?"
"Uh I'm sorry."
I hate my front door for blocking my retreat.
"Then let us go at once. Please prepare the first-aid kit, Sakura."
"Please do. Punish him all you want."
The two retreat together in unison.
All she wants me to learn is the actual feeling of a battle.
She's helping me gain experience in battle so that I can stay composed when I fight other Masters, when our lives will be at stake.
I'm grateful for that.
There's no way she can teach me swordsmanship in a day or two.
All I can rely on is my body, which I have trained until now.
Then the best training I can get is practical experience, so that I'll be able react normally in critical situations
As soon as my focus wavers, Saber's shinai strikes my chest.
Music: Surrounded by Smiling Faces
The only place you can afford to let your guard down is in this house."
"Sorry, I did let my guard down."
I climb to my feet, clutching my chest and coughing weakly.
" Geez. You are surprisingly sharp at times, but defenseless at others. If you are able to control this"
Saber looks outside.
"What's wrong, Saber?"
"Well, Sakura is waving her hand at us from the porch. It seems she is calling for you, Shirou."
I wonder what it could be.
Sakura couldn't bear to watch me get beaten up, so she begged us to stop training.
She went back to the living room when I refused, but
" I'm going to the living room for a bit. Is that all right?"
"Yes. We have been training for two hours, so a rest is appropriate."
"Thanks. Then I'll get some tea while I'm at it."
Sakura is standing by the phone when I arrive.
" Um, you have a phone call. She's been waiting for you."
Sakura gets away from the phone.
"A phone call ? At this time?"
Could it be Fuji-Nee ? Maybe she wants me to bring something she forgot, or maybe she wants to tell me a joke she just came up with.
"Shirou, it's me! Knock knock!"
"All right. Hello.
This is Emiya"
Why are you absent without my permission!!!!!?"
The receiver roars.
What kind of magic is she using to make her voice rattle the walls through this small speaker?
Music: Gentle Everyday
I shake my head to clear the ringing in my ears.
"Are you listening to me!? Are you okay!?"
The stranger, Tohsaka Rin, forges ahead without waiting for a response.
" I'm listening. I'm listening, so lower your voice. My eardrums will burst if you keep talking like that."
" Humph. Like always, you're missing the point. Well, it seems like nothing happened with the way you are.
Geez, guess I was worried about nothing."
Her words are harsh and cold.
You're the one who never changes, Tohsaka.
"Well, what do you want?
Did something happen to make you come calling me like that?"
"Yes, something did happen! You went to the Ryudou Temple yesterday, even after I warned you not to."
"Ugh. How do you know that?"
"I had a lookout there. Well, I guess nothing happened, seeing that you're okay. I imagined something slightly bad since you weren't at school today."
"Oh, so you thought I was killed?"
"Yeah. I thought you were torn apart and buried on that mountain."
I don't think that's a "slightly bad imagination".
"Sorry to disappoint you, but I'm doing great Well, I'm dying, but I'm hanging in there.
So, what's your business?"
"Huh ? Well "
"You can stop sounding me out.
Oh, you want to ask about the Master at the Ryudou Temple, right? We beat himwell, actually, he was already gone.
He was betrayed by his Servant, Caster.
Oh, but whispering about Masters and Servants with the school idol is perfectly normal and not suspicious or strange in any way.
"Anyway, there's no Servant or Master at the Ryudou Temple anymore. That's what you wanted to know, right?"
" Y-Yeah, you're pretty thoughtful."
"Then I'm hanging up. I'm training right now, so my whole body's in pain."
I end the conversation.
" ? What, you don't have any more business, right?"
"I-I do ! Come to school tomorrow. I have something important to talk to you about."
She slams the receiver down. Well, that's just like her.
" Man, how selfish of her. She got mad at me for going to school yesterday, and now she wants me to go tomorrow."
I put the receiver down.
I turn to go prepare the tea I promised.
I see Sakura, hanging her head for some reason.
"Sakura? Are you feeling all right?"
"Yes, but I'm just wondering what happened to make you seem so happy."
I seem happy?
Did I look happy when I was on the phone with Tohsaka?
"No way. I'm actually mad."
" That's why. You don't even notice it yourself."
Sakura looks away awkwardly.
I wonder about her behavior as I make tea for the three of us.
"I'm done preparing the yellowtail. We also need pumpkin and tomatoes, right?"
"Oh, I've taken care of that. I'm putting the sauce on before I cook it Oh, can you take out the bowls since I'll be making savory egg custard? Fuji-Nee went out and bought some crabs yesterday."
Oh fuck you guys.
"Oh, the crab-flavored fish paste? I like that because they're tasty and nice-looking."
Sakura takes out the bowls and places them on the kitchen counter.
I'm making dinner to thank her for everything she did today.
I want Sakura to relax in the living room with Saber, but she stubbornly insists on helping me.
We're interrupted by the doorbell.
Sakura's already here, so that means there's a visitor at my place.
"Oh, I'll go get it. If it's a newspaper salesman, I'll send him away."
Sakura goes to the front door before I can stop her.
I have a bad feeling about this.
I put the radish down and go to the front door.
Video: Brother Dearest (mirror)
At that instant
"Why aren't you coming home!?"
I hear a heavy sound and some angry words.
Music: Footsteps of Destruction
The doorbell doesn't stop.
"Who is it?"
Sakura opens the door while calling out to the visitor.
Shinji throws the door open and storms in.
"Heywhy aren't you coming home!?"
As soon as Shinji sees Sakura, he raises his arm, and
He smacks her, but what slams into her cheek isn't the palm of his hand, but a fist.
Sakura hits the wall and crumples to the floor.
Shinji runs to Sakura, with his arm ready to punch her again
"What are you doing, Shinji !?"
"Humph. I'll do whatever I want. If she spends the night at someone's house without my permission, it's only natural that she gets punished."
"It's natural ?"
"Are you deaf? I'm saying a piece of shit who won't do as she's told deserves to get hit.
You're the one who's seducing her in the first place. How are you any different from me? We're both using Sakura as we please."
"Oh, what's that? You got to do her once last night, and now you don't want to let her go because you want more? I can't blame you, Sakura is"
Want to kill Shinji.
"Ooh, I like that tone. All right, let's pick up where we left off, Emiya."