Part 39: Unknown / You too
I'll ask about Tohsaka's Servant, Archer.
Saber beat him with one blow, but that was a surprise attack, and his strength is unknown.
Music: Surrounded by Smiling Faces
"Hey Saber. About Archer have you noticed anything about him?"
No, I know no more than you do.
It seems I am superior in simple battle, but I have not experienced his abilities nor his Noble Phantasm.
He is not one to look lightly upon just because we have defeated him once."
" I see. Well, it really was only an instant.
And, well "
When Saber attacked him, there was something strange about that moment.
I guess you could say it was a surprise attack that wasn't.
I think that red knight sensed Saber's presence beforehand.
But he froze when he saw Saber and couldn't react to Saber's attack.
" Hey, Saber. Do you think he knows you? I feel that he took your blow that time because he was surprised by you yourself, and not by the attack."
As he is an archer, it is only natural for him to be inferior to me in hand-to-hand combat.
But still, he was too weak at that time.
I was guessing that he was not able to use his power due to some external factor"
"Right? And I've seen him fight Lancer. Archer didn't go on the offensive, but his defense was out of this world. For him to take your first blow, I can only assume there was something wrong with him."
She must be angry at him for going easy on her, rather than at being able to beat him easily, as she glares at an enemy who isn't here.
"Fine. After our collaboration with Rin is over, I will make him regret insulting me."
"But you're a girl, and girls shouldn't fight!"
" ! Uh, well, I don't think he went easy on you on purpose, so I don't think there's any reason to hold a grudge "
I find myself defending Archer.
" ? Are you saying you can forgive Archer's act? No, it rather seems like you are protecting him. I think it is unlikely, but would you have preferred Archer as your Servant ?"
And thus begins the first of many Shirou/Archer jokes.
"N-No way ! Frankly, I dislike him. I've never talked to him, but I could instinctively tell when I saw him from a distance that I wouldn't get along with him."
" Geez. I'm the one that's surprised. But why are you relieved by such a thing? Is it that good for me to dislike Archer?"
Oh, it is probably because of our compatibility. I am a Servant that specializes in hand-to-hand combat, and Archer specializes in ranged combat.
If you were compatible with Archer, that would mean you were not compatible with me. If that was the case, we could not fully utilize our powers."
Saber nods, concluding that it must be why she is relieved.
" I see. I guess that's how it works "
Anyways, there's no information on Archer.
We still don't know which hero he is nor what kind of Noble Phantasm he has.
"Hold on, Shirou. Someone has entered the gate of this place."
"Eh, you can sense such a thing ?
What, it's this time already!? Crap, Sakura's probably back!"
I quickly stand up.
I hear the sound of the doorbell from the entrance,
I can hear Sakura's voice.
"Saber, I'm sorry, but "
"I know. I will return to the room, so please do not be concerned about me."
Saber leaves for her room.
And in her place
Music: Gentle Everyday
"I'm home. Well done, you came home early like I asked you to."
Tohsaka is holding a grocery bag and
"Excuse me, Senpai. It's rare for you to be home this early."
Sakura comes in, smiling happily.
Music: Tender Scenery
Tohsaka shouts and goes into the kitchen.
Sakura looks at her worriedly.
"Senpai ? Um, about dinner preparation "
"Oh, it's Tohsaka's turn today, so you don't have to worry about it. You made breakfast today, so leave the dinner to us. We'll make dinner as long as Tohsaka is here."
"Oh y-yes. If you say so, I will do that."
Sakura sits on a cushion obediently.
There is a flashy, fiery sound coming from the kitchen, but there's nothing dangerous-looking about Tohsaka's appearance from behind.
" I guess it's okay to trust her "
So there's no point in staying here.
There's Saber to think about, so I should go back to my room until dinner is prepared.
"I'm going to go rest in my room. If Fuji-Nee comes, tell her to prepare the bath herself once in a while."
"Ah, yes. Please take your time, Senpai. I will come and get you when dinner's ready."
"Yeah. Oh, don't forget to knock when you come to my room."
It's a little before six o'clock. From the way things are going, it looks like dinner will be at around seven o'clock.
"Man, I thought I could talk to her."
I click my tongue and sit on a cushion.
" Hey, what am I saying? I don't even know what I'd talk to her about other than this Holy Grail War stuff."
Anyways, didn't I have trouble talking to Saber?
"Oh well. If she's asleep, it's fine."
I say that and just stare at the clock.
Yesterday's dinner was just me, Saber, and Tohsaka.
But today, it'll be five people, including Sakura and Fuji-Nee.
" Oh, no Saber can't come."
As long as Sakura and Fuji-Nee are there, I can't let Saber out of this room.
"I wonder if Saber ate breakfast."
Saber was nodding while eating dinner last night.
Judging from that, I guess it's not like she doesn't need food.
" I didn't prepare lunch for her. Of course she'll be hungry."
Once Sakura and Fuji-Nee go home, I have to warm up dinner and serve it to her.
She'll need to eat alone, but that can't be helped
Imagining Saber eating by herself is really annoying me.
"Tohsaka? What's up?"
That time already, huh?
I get up and leave the room, glancing at the sleeping Saber.
Music: Gentle Everyday
"Oh, there you are. Hey, look at this stuff! Finally, with Tohsaka-san here, we have someone who can cook Chinese food!"
Fuji-Nee is looking excitedly at all the food prepared on the table.
Now that she mentions it, the food certainly is Chinese.
On the four big plates are crab with eggs, shredded beef with pepper, some stir-fry of an elegant looking meat I've never seen before with vegetables, and a plate full of steamed meat dumplings.
I want some, too
There are salads on the side plates, and various follow-ups are ready.
Put simply, it's the kind of gorgeous dinner Fuji-Nee loves.
" I'm surprised. I was expecting you to make Western-style dishes."
"Oh, she was actually thinking of a Western-style dish, but when I told that her no one at our house cooks Chinese, she said she would."
"Why does she have to live her life poking at holes? ? Hey Sakura, you came home with Tohsaka, so did you actually go shopping with her?"
"Yes. Tohsaka-Senpai was waiting for me when the archery club finished, so we went grocery shopping on our way back."
" I see. Wow, you two are closer than I thought."
"Yes, we've talked often at school. I don't know why she likes me, but she has been nice to me ever since I entered the school."
Sakura, honey, there's something you should know about Rin...
She really is a nice Senpai at school.
Fuji-Nee sits down happily.
"Like she says. Why don't you two sit down too? Chinese food gets really bad when it gets cold."
Saying this coldly, Tohsaka sits down as well.
I sit down silently.
Everyone bows and eats the food.
Annoyingly, it's good.
I've never cooked Chinese because I thought "it all tastes the same", but this is so good it makes me realize it was just prejudice.
"Wow, this is great! It's been a while since I've had food that makes rice taste this good. Yeah, I'll give you top score on this one!"
"Thank you. I am pleased to receive an honest response like that."
"Yes. I have a better opinion of Chinese food now. I'm not good with hot food, but this is really good!"
Sakura is happily enjoying the food too.
After watching this with a smile,
Tohsaka Rin looks at me with an expression of triumph.
"What? You look like you want to say something."
"Noooothing. I'm just glad everyone's enjoying the food. Well, one isn't being honest, but that's fun in its own way, so I'll call it good. I understand what it feels like to lose at something you're good at."
"GuhI see, then you made me cook last night to gauge my potential!"
"Fufufufufu. Yes. Today's lesson is, always hide your potential."
She says this happily and starts eating her own food.