Part 304: Let me win / Photo / ChoiceMusic: Whirlpool of Fate 2
We said yes, and she launched right into the next question.
We said yes again and she launched right into the next question again.
"Of course. I can't cooperate with you unless that's the case.
I tend to do things my own way, so I need someone to act as my brakes.
It'll be helpful if you can take that role."
Music: Gentle Everyday
I'm a bit disappointed.
I expected disagreeing to spark an argument, but Tohsaka is nodding in satisfaction.
"Then here's the last question.
I'll help you as much as I can if it's something I can do and you can't do.
But can you do the same even in the opposite case?"
" ? Something I can do that you can't do ?"
Is there such a thing?
Is it possible that she can't cook and needs my help?
I don't think Sakura would approve of him cooking for another woman.
"Hey. Come on and answer since this is the most important question. Yes or no. Quick."
" Well. Um, it'll help me out if you can give me a specific example "
"Geez ! I'm asking if you'll let me win or not!"
It looks childish, completely unlike Tohsaka.
I'll let you win since I'm cooperating with you. I promise."
It's actually really cute.
"Then we'll meet at the front gate after school.
You're going to have club activities at my place, starting today."
"Hmclub activities at your place?"
"Yup. We're cooperating, so I need to teach you how to fight by yourself, right?
Well, I know from what I've already seen that you're an amateur, so you'll be working overtime every day."
"Well, I don't mind, and that's actually helpful
But is that starting today?"
"Of course. I have to figure out your ability and determine our plan from tonight on.
You'll be going home late, but it's no problem since you live alone, right?"
"Huh? Well, that's true, but how do you know that, Tohsaka?"
A-Anyway, that's how it's going to be, so you just have to wait for me at the front gate!"
Tohsaka waves goodbye and runs off.
It's Friday today Classes run to sixth period, so we'll be going home after three o'clock.
" This is bad. I told Sakura I'd be coming home early, but I can't cancel Tohsaka's proposal on the very first day."
I feel bad for Sakura, but I'll go with Tohsaka for today.
Music: Surrounded by Smiling Faces
Tohsaka is in front of me when I notice.
She must have ran here, as her shoulders are moving up and down.
"Nothing. I just thought it might rain."
"Oh, the weather? I guess it'll just be a drizzle. We have to go patrol at night, so it'll be a pain if it rains too much."
It seems Tohsaka has already made plans for us to go on patrol tonight.
I don't mind, but I'd like to go by my house and check on Sakura before that.
"Tohsaka, about that "
"I know. I'll train you as your cooperator, so prepare yourself. I'll make you a proper magus."
With those confident words, Tohsaka sets off down the hill.
I can't bring up the subject of going home early if she smiles like that.
And it somehow feels cold.
There's been an air that seems to reject anyone nearing this place ever since we finished climbing up the hill.
"Why did you stop? This is my house."
"YYeah, I know. I was just coerced."
" Yeah. My house is different from yours. It's just that even someone who's ignorant of magical energy like you can feel the coldness of this house."
Tohsaka goes into her home, speaking in bored tones.
"Hey, come on. I don't have any traps set up, so you don't need to hesitate."
She beckons me from the entrance.
" No. It's not because of the atmosphere that I'm hesitating."
Muttering to myself, I gather my composure and go in.
This place certainly does have a cold atmosphere, but that's nothing.
She has no idea what a big deal it is for a guy to come over to Tohsaka Rin's house.
Well, I'm sure she won't understand even if I explain it to her. If I'm lucky, she'll just laugh.
"W-Why are we in your room and not the living room!"
With an utter lack of concern, she shows me through the living room and into her bedroom.
Why do I get the feeling that she's not talking about magic?
The living room is where you have tea, but we didn't come here to drink tea, right?"
That's one way to put it.
"Uhum. You're right, but "
Um, I wish she'd think of me as a boy her age.
Hopelessly oblivious protagonist, check.
" ? Just sit down wherever. I'll be using sage and cards to consecrate you, but tell me now if you don't like either."
Unusually kinky girlfriend, check.
Tohsaka opens the box by her bed.
It looks like a treasure chest from an adventure movie.
Creepy pedo vibes, check and check.
"Hmm Kishua's agate is useless for this. Oh, I'm out of sage. Can you bring some up from downstairs, Archer?"
"Scarlet sage, right? Well, I don't think you'll need to go that far to distinguish this man."
"I'll do whatever I please. You can rest downstairs after that. We have a pact, so you don't need to protect me."
"You're right. I doubt he has the nerve to betray you. I shall get ready for tonight."
That must be Archer.
His presence must be thin when in spirit form. I didn't feel much magical energy from him.
" I'm surprised. I didn't notice that he was in the room."
"That's how it is if he's in spirit form.
Even if he takes form, his magical energy won't leak outside as long as he's in this house. It's elementary for a workshop to shut in the magical energy."
"Oh. So is it the same for Makiri no, Matou's place?"
"Yes. But that place has no need to hide magical energy anymore. If they are hiding magical energy, it'd be the energy leaking out from the magus himself and not from the house."
"Well, either way, it takes nothing to hide magical energy. I'd take Archer with me to school too, but I'm resting him during the day since he's not up to par."
" Really, why doesn't the wound he received from Saber heal when all other wounds can be healed easily? I'm sure they had some connection Geez, why am I finding my master's jewels now? I can never find them when I want them, dammit!"
She leans forward and keeps fumbling around.
That chest looks small, but it seems big enough to be able to fit Tohsaka inside.
There's nothing to prepare for.
All I can do is pray that she'll find the thing she wants, or just look around her room aimlessly
I see something.
It's a photo.
A bookshelf that's about waist-high is at the corner of the room.
On it is a photo that looks to have been forgotten.
Dust falls off of it when I pick it up, and I can tell it has been left alone for a long time
" It's not that she never cleans. Just this picture is undisturbed."
Does Tohsaka not like seeing herself as a kid?
No, if that were all, she could just put it away. Maybe it's important to her, but she doesn't want to touch it
" But "
People sure can change.
Tohsaka looks like she's five or six years old, and she's really cute in the picture.
" So she had long hair back then, too Huh?"
The girl in the picture looks just like she is now, except younger.
That's why I notice the one thing that's different.
"Thanks for waiting, I'm all ready now. There'll be a little pain, but it's nothing you should be worried about Huh, what's going on, Emiya-kun?"
"Oh. This, Tohsaka."
I show her the picture I found.
"Oh, that's an old photo. I just put that in the corner, but is something wrong with it?"
"Huh Well, there's nothing wrong, but "
It's nothing much, so I hesitate.
It's nothing I need to ask about, but it just caught my attention.
"Oh. I see, you want to say I have a different ribbon on, right?"
"That's natural. I'm a girl, so I have lots of ribbons. Even if it's my favorite, do you think I'd keep the same ribbon for over ten years?"
She's right now that she mentions it.
It's just an ordinary ribbon. Why was I so concerned about it?
"I'm kidding. That's what I want to say, but ribbons are special. It's the last resort for female magi. It's an appropriate magical item, so there aren't many substitutes for it."
" Wow. Then is that ribbon some sort of a magical item?"
"Yes. Holding the hair in place means holding the magical energy in place. My family doesn't have mystic eyes, so we have to at least keep our reserve magical energy from our hair.
It's something that controls your body, so it's best if you make it yourself, right?"
"That's the first ribbon I made. It was my favorite, but I parted with it for various reasons.
Well, let's stop with the idle talk. I'm starting the consecration, so sit down in that chair"
Music: Tender Scenery
And Tohsaka says
"You don't correspond to anything. Further testing would be useless."
And quickly gives up diagnosing my Magic Circuit.
"Hey. Does that mean you can't tell?"
And when I ask her
"Excuse me. I found out that you're not related to the five elements. Any more consecration is out of my expertise, so it's useless to keep going.
I'll just see what magic you can use and figure it out from there."
That's how it is according to her.
I run through the "strengthening" magic using the clay she prepared.
It's called an ether cluster, and it's a strange object that returns to its original form no matter what happens to it. It's a good conductor of magical energy.
I strengthen it so easily that I'm afraid it won't recover, but
"It's like shiniku, so don't worry about it. It restores its original state in a day even if you bundle it with strong magical energy."
She says something like that.
Shiniku, by the way, is meat that never goes away, no matter how much of it you eat.
Anyway, I keep repeating the strengthening magic on the clay.
I can't fail in front of Tohsaka, but I only succeed two out of ten times.
Activating my Magic Circuit, which was easy when I had Saber, took a lot of time and effort.
Tohsaka asks me a few questions while I cast the strengthening magic.
Whether I'm self-taught, whether I can use any other spells, how Kiritsugu taught me, and what I have the easiest time imagining.
Tohsaka's expression darkens further with each answer I give, and by the end she's shut up entirely.
I don't know what she's angry about, but it's really awkward to be here if she makes a face like that.
"Tohsaka? Um, I know it's only a matter of course, but are you regretting cooperating with me because I'm such an amateur?"
I ask her the most likely thing.
"Huh ? Yeah, I do regret that you're an amateur, but in your case, you were taught wrong Or should I say that I'm surprised you're still alive with the way you're doing things."
" ? Heeey, Tohsaka? You lost me."
Why is she glaring at me?
" Fine. I guess if I'm going to correct you, we'll have to start with the fundamentals. But let's go back to what we were talking about earlier. Is it true that the things you projected are still in your shed?"
"Yeah. Things don't normally go away unless you break them, right?"
I told her that I use projection as a breather in between strengthening magic.
It seems Tohsaka is particular about it, and told me to use projection using the clay.
She told me to make a vase. Everything started out smoothly, but in the end I still failed.
"Hmph. For now, I'll teach you how to turn your switch on and off.
It's faster to make an actual switch in your body. Stay over tonight. It's a drastic measure, so you'll have to stay in bed all night."
"What? You mean here?"
"What's with that face? Don't worry. I'm not going to be performing surgery on you. You'll just drink some medicine. Well, you won't be able to move for a while because it's so strong."
"Oh Um, it's not that I don't like drastic measures "
I look at the clock.
It's almost five.
I didn't notice since it's cloudy today, but it's getting late.