Loop 12

Day 1

Emiya Residence・Day 1 The battle of today's menu

“―――What the?”

As I open the refrigerator to prepare something for lunch, I find it packed full of items I don't remember buying.

No one went shopping today, so... I wonder who's responsible?

“Shirou, Taiga asked me to tell you.

"Here's some tasty-looking stuff, the rest is up to you," she said.”

“Hahaha. ―――Well, that's what I thought.”

As expected, the perpetrator was Fuji-Nee. That joke of a mystery has been solved in less than ten seconds.

...Well then. With this many ingredients, I could make a whole variety of stuff. What should I do...?

“Hey, do you two have any requests for lunch?”

“Nothing in particular. Whatever you make is fine, Shirou.”

...Hmm, hmmm.

Saber is fine with anything. I make a mental note.

“How about you, Rider?”

Rider, who won this morning's channel battle, is watching the national news.

“I do not have any particular requests, either.”


That was only half expected of Rider. Same reply.

Well, I guess I have no choice but to decide myself...

“Rider, I've been meaning to ask you... do you have any food that you like?”

“What do you mean by that?”

“Ah, it's just that you always eat without saying a word.

So I'm thinking maybe you arduously eat things that you don't even like from time to time.”

Fuji-Nee or Illya would say it outright if they didn't like a particular item; moreover, they wouldn't even touch it.

Sakura or Tohsaka advise me as fellow chefs, and Saber... goes without saying.

But I have yet to hear a single thing regarding food from Rider.

“Shirou, if you have something to say to me, please state it clearly.”

“It's... nothing like that.

See, Saber will eat it right up, anyway, and I'll have an easier time with the menu.”

“W-What are you saying, Shirou?

That almost makes it sound as if I lack composure during meals.”

“Do you really consider yourself calm when eating?”

“O-Of course!

...How rude. How do I appear to you, then?”


Rider exercises her right to keep silent.

I am so glad.

I am so glad that she's an adult.

“Ah, so... back to the matter of taste.

Have you ever eaten anything that you didn't particularly like, Rider?”

“No, not really.

Did I perhaps worry you all this time?”

“A little. Saber is very frank, so it makes it easier for me to know, but...”

“Shirooou. Are you taking sides with Rider!?”

“I'm glad Saber tells me frankly; it really helps when I'm making something.

And on top of that, Saber is well-mannered when she eats.”

"Hmm-hmm," Saber nods with satisfaction.

Saber, no matter how much of a hurry she is in, will not rush her chopsticks.

“So you're saying that it's easier to make meals once you know my taste.

...I can understand that, but I am, like Saber, satisfied with whatever Sakura or you make.

So I don't think you need to worry too much about it.”

Mmm... I'm glad she feels that way, but we're not making any progress.

“Alright, then let's change tactics.

Rider, do you have anything that you just won't eat?”

“―――If you put it that way...”

“Let's see... Though I do not think the two of you would be cooking one in the first place...”

“Oh, so there is something?”

“Yes. I don't think it's particularly common in this country, but―――snakes...”

...I see. Considering Rider's identity, I doubt she'll want to eat snakes.

And considering her class and Noble Phantasm, I could guess another item she would not like to eat.

“Rider, horses also would be bad, right?”

“Yes. It's not that they are bad...”

“Alright. Snakes are rare, and I'll try to refrain from horses.”

“Shirou, then wouldn't it be prudent to send back the snake wine Taiga brought a few days ago?”

“Snake wine... Wait, Fuji-Nee, why the heck? She really brought that?”

Saber nods once, comes into the kitchen and opens the cabinet under the sink.

And in there, unknown to me, someone left a jar with a whole snake inside.

“She happily showed it to me and Sakura.

Neither of us got scared, so she lost interest and just stuck it in here, as far as I remember.”

“...Good that you remembered.

Saber, you fine with both of those?”

I ask her as I shove the jar with what looks like a habu snake wine deeper into the storage.

“Yes, I am not opposed to eating either.

...But I would not think of eating them in front of someone who is.”

“I know. Henceforth, snakes and horses are banned in this house.”

Saber and Rider simply don't fit each other by nature.

But they have a very caring mutual friendship.

“Alright. I think I got the idea.

Rider, could you come here for a second?”

I motion toward Rider.

Unsurprisingly, it's getting cramped with all three of us here, but Saber shows no intention of going back to the living room.

“Please choose something you want to eat for lunch from here.”

I open the refrigerator.

“You are asking me to choose the ingredients for lunch?”

“Yeah, go ahead and pick what you like, it's all fine.”

“Is that so?


She looks into the refrigerator intently. And Saber watches us from the back.

“...Shirou, you are certainly very kind to Rider.”


Perhaps she is irritated by the fact that I'm asking for Rider's opinion instead of hers?

“What are you talking about, Saber? It's easier for me when I know what all of you like and dislike.

Besides, I've asked you many times before.”

“That... is true.”

“Shirou, what would this be?”

Turning to check what she's asking about, I see Rider pointing to a styrofoam package in the corner of the fridge.

The label on top says "Perishable. Store refrigerated." I'm guessing it's some sort of fish.

“What's inside... an octopus?”

“Looks like it.”


I try to take it out, but its suckers seem to have stuck to the lid inside, and won't come off easily.

“Sure is a lively one.”

“How about this for lunch? Best to eat it while it's still fresh, I'd say.”

Indeed, stuff like this is great when consumed the same day it is caught, no doubt.

“You're right. Hm, what should I make―――huh, what are you doing that far away, Saber?”

For some reason, Saber looks on from the other corner of the kitchen.

“Shirou, are we really eating that?”

“Yeah, I was thinking about it, but... does it bother you?”

“No, just―――”

Saber is definitely acting strange.

The longer I think what the possible reason could be, the stronger grows my conviction that the thing clinging to my hand is the perpetrator.

“―――Could it be... that octopuses scare you?”

Right on the mark, it seems.

“Eh, you've gotta be kidding me. You were eating takoyaki without hesitation.”

She ate it all without a question when I brought them as thanks for watching over the house.

...Even Sakura's portion, despite the "I want some, too" look from her.

“T-That can't be... the things inside were... those sleek yet rough things were the netherworld's demon fish!?”

“Sleek yet rough...?”

Well, I suppose you could say that... but no need to hate them so much...

“What is the meaning of this?―――Shirou, the one you speak of...”

Trembling all over, she glares at me with a dreadful stare. Is she really that mad?

“Wait, Saber. Are octopuses really a no-go? You ate them just like that until now.”

“D-Don't tell me... I never thought that this "octopus" you speak of is... the demonic fish itself?!

...What is this... The netherworld's evil god that wouldn't die no matter how much I cut it... was what I tasted back then...!”

"Netherworld's evil god" is taking it a little too far.

“What should we do, Shirou? Saber doesn't seem to like it.”


Maybe it revived when we took it out of the refrigerator. The now-live octopus starts wrapping itself around my hand.

“R-Rider, you, too! How could you eat such things!?”

"Aren't we both from around the same lands," is what her eyes are saying.

“I can eat all seafood without reservation.

On my part, I just cannot believe you like natto or umeboshi.”

"You've been born in almost the same lands, yet you sure can eat that stuff up," is what the hidden message is this time.

...Wait a moment, there's something Rider does hate, after all.

I hear foreigners are notorious for being unable to ever get used to natto and umeboshi. Sounds like Rider is no exception.

“―――Hmm. I was indeed surprised at first, but compared to cheese or dried meat consumed during a march, they were nothing.”

Ah, I suppose that's the reason why she can stand anything fermented.

And as I'm admiring her resilience, I peel the octopus off my hand and put it on the cutting board.

Rider and Saber are too busy arguing to notice what I'm doing.

“Now that you've brought it up, don't you put too much olive oil on things? It destroys the fragrant essence of food.”

Ah... indeed, Rider sure uses olive oil a lot.

“Eating is one's own free right.

We are originally Servants. It isn't right to fuss over a meal that is unnecessary to begin with.

Saber, your behavior is sometimes shameful in my eyes.”

“Oh? And disguising oneself as a waitress out of desire to own a bicycle or a motorbike isn't shameful, then?”


Ack! Somehow, a precarious situation has developed while I was focusing on food!

Danger, Will Robinson! If I let this go on, the existence of our beloved house, if not the entire neighborhood, is in question...!

“Senpai, I'll help with the lunch preparations.”

“Sakura―――! Whew, great timing!

I-I'm fine, but could you please go placate those two?”

“Huh... Right. ―――Really, Rider. What are you still arguing with Saber-san about?

...You're not planning on breaking the table over some small quarrel again, right...?”


N-No... it's nothing big.

Right, Saber? We were just having friendly discussion about our opinions on various food items―――”

“Y-Yes, it's just as Rider says!

We were just thinking if we shouldn't challenge our senses with some traditional Japanese dried seafood sometimes.”

I can hear the excuses.

“...Well, this should teach them a lesson.”

I silently thank Sakura as she's scolding the two of them, and concentrate back on the ingredient lying on the cutting board.

Of course, this would be one-sided, so I better prepare some natto and umeboshi too.

―――Well then.

As a symbol of our reconciliation, why don't we all try something to conquer our respective weaknesses―――?

Ryuudou Temple・Day 2 Caster's cooking practice

“―――What are you doing here, Emiya?”

“As you can see, I'm cleaning the floor.”

I wring out the washcloth, and dirty black water drips into the bucket.

“No, that much is obvious... What I do not comprehend is why would Emiya be here, of all places, wiping down the temple floor.”

“Oh, that...”

As part of my strength training routine, I try to utilize the muscles I don't normally use by going up and down the long flight of stone steps.

Issei's older brother comes by.

“Oh, Shirou-kun. How's the cleaning?”

Seeing the motivation that I had to train my body, I was asked to assist with temple cleaning.

Exchanging a brief greeting with the ever-present Assassin at the temple gate, I enter the temple grounds.

I was expecting to be sweeping up the fallen leaves for sure, but also eventually got dragged inside the temple hall.

“And that's how I was entrusted with mopping the temple floor.”

“Why did you not refuse?”

“You guys help me out all the time. And besides, cleaning the floor in a temple is kind of fun.”

Issei takes a deep breath.

Amazed... or not, kind of hard to tell.

“Oh no. Shouldn't I be the one saying that with how completely I rely on your assistance for Student Council matters―――?”

He concludes with a sigh.

“However, does this mean you would really go as far as cleaning your friend's house when asked?”

“It depends. I ended up cleaning Tohsaka's residence before as well―――”

I keep the keys while she's away, too―――and so Issei's disapproval grows even stronger.

“What's wrong?”

“Oh... Even more than my anger towards Tohsaka for forcing this kind of job on you, the fact that we're now making the exact same request that she did is making me a little dizzy...”

Nonetheless, now that I am Tohsaka's apprentice, cleaning the master's house is also part of my job.

Work hard, party harder. This is important.

“Excuse me. Some refreshments for Emiya-kun, from Reikan... Make sure you go wash your hands before taking a break.”

Kuzuki-sensei came along with a tray.

Looks like some tea and Japanese sweets.

It doesn't take long to notice that these are a whole class above our teacakes, probably reserved for guests.

“Reikan wouldn't come, Souichirou?”

“No. He has a visiting parishioner to attend to. He said that you should eat together with Emiya.”

“Much thanks. I'll be off to wash my hands, then. Would here be alright once I come back?”

“Cannot settle down in front of the Buddha?

Then use my room. Unfortunately, the guest room is occupied right now.”

The whole scene is quite bizarre.

We're drinking tea in Kuzuki-sensei's room, sitting around a tray.

As if personally assigned to us, Kuzuki-sensei is pouring us tea. But I still can't settle down.

...Looking around the room, I realize there's a whole lot of cupboards and odd-looking bottled ships all over the place.

The reason is that those are all made with Western liquor bottles, rather than 1.[ruby text=sho]8-liter Japanese ones.

Ah, but I do wonder what's inside all those cupboards. I didn't realize it until I actually came in here, but this is also the newly-wed Caster's room.

In that case, inside there―――

“Emiya, tea.”

Kuzuki-sensei's voice brings me back to reality.

I accept the offered teacup, and a nice smell floats into the air.

As I thought, this must be pretty high-quality fare.

It wouldn't be polite to ignore it, so I help myself to the tea cakes, too.

Sweets taste particularly great after hours of hard work. And even more so together with delicious tea.

Saber would be delighted if I brought her a few.

“You seem to be enjoying yourself. Did you like it?”

“Uh, do I really look that way?”

"Yep," nods Issei. Kuzuki-sensei just continues sipping tea, expressionless as always.

“I do believe we still have some of those left. How many do you want to take with you?”

“It wouldn't be nice of me to impose this far, would it? All I did was mop the floor for a bit.”

“I don't mind.”

In that case, I guess it's okay to take a few as a souvenir. The second I thought that, the door slides open.

“Souichirou-sama, lunch is ready――― Oh, my.”

Caster, still holding a tray, looks at me quizzically.

“Nevermind Issei-kun―――But why is the boy here, I wonder?”

“Well, things happened.”

That's all I can manage. The part about the flight of stone steps would be quite difficult to start from, too.

But, more importantly, the stuff on the tray finally caught my interest. The food that has just been put down on the nearby desk must be today's lunch.

“―――Caster, did you make that?”

“That's right. Got a problem with that?”

Oh, I'm just wondering about the extreme simplicity―――

“Could it be that cooking isn't your forte?”

It's burned, flooded with oil, and, to top it off, kind of gaudy.

It's yellow, or maybe red. No, perhaps violet is the best word for it?

“W-What? For you to say it like that, I guess you must be able to cook, too!”

“Yeah, Emiya's cooking is excellent.”

Issei chimes in right away.

“―――Now why would you say that?”

“Ah, I mean, I did actually get a chance to try his cooking.”

To be correct, he "tries" it all the time in the student council room.

Knowing that cooking isn't one of Caster's greatest skills, I can now understand him.

She was originally a king's daughter - royalty, in other words - and while she probably has no experience with things like cooking, she is certainly persistent.

If you're looking for a Heroic Spirit with cooking skills, try another period in time.

Like that red one. Or with dark skin. Or with white hair.

“Hm. So you are good at cooking?”

“Uh, right. I've always cooked for myself, I guess you could say so.”

"Hm." After this unusual display, as if having thought of something―――

“Caster. If you feel that your skills are inferior, why don't you take a few lessons from Emiya?”

He's just proposed something outrageous.


The three of us reacted simultaneously.

“Of course, that's only if you two agree.”

He continues indifferently, as if our reaction did not disturb him in the least.

“...If Souichirou-sama kindly says so, it is not a problem for me...”


This time it's me and Issei, who never thought Caster could agree to this.

Everybody's looking at me now. Indeed, I'm the only one that hasn't replied yet―――

“―――Well, if so, I don't really mind, either.”

“Then it's settled. Do teach my wife well, Emiya.”

Having received the present from Issei, I leave the Ryuudou Temple behind.


Well, whatever.

“...Really not sure how to describe this development.”

For now, I wonder what the heck should I teach her―――

Day 3

Ryuudou Temple・Day 3 Praying Fuji-Nee

Ryuudou temple, Fuyuki mountain.

I once asked Issei about its history. He produced a list of mysterious names, befitting a famous temple, and left me even more confused.

...Well, most of the town's population couldn't care less about these things, but for the New Year's and other events, the temple still gathers believers atop the mountain.

So, here's one of these pilgrims.

“Did you just come for fun, Fuji-Nee?”

“Hmph, what's the fun in climbing a long flight of stone steps?”

The stone steps keep going all the way from the base of the mountain to the temple gate.

Must have taken her a fair amount of effort. Climbing up here isn't exactly a one-step affair.

“Indeed, after bunny-hopping all the way up and down ten times even you must feel refreshed, Shirou.”

“My knees would give out before I'm done with that.”

“Eh? Youngsters don't do it with a spare tire and iron sandals these days, do they?”

Iron sandals? Where the heck would you even get those...? Wait, probably from the Fujimura Group.

Old man Raiga has been seen strutting around in single-tooth tall sandals, I believe.

“So, did you come just for fun, too? Big sis will be worried if a healthy young man says that his hobby is mountains, you know? Like, how did I raise you with such gloomy interests?”

“Worry not, your education policy did not include anything even close to such bland activities, Fuji-Nee.”

“That's right, it didn't. Okay, let's visit the temple.”

We walk over to the temple grounds, and get some purifying water.

It's been a while since we visited a temple together.

Since New Year's, I guess.

Every year, Fuji-Nee dresses up in a really profound-looking kimono, but that's another story.

“How about an offering?”

“...I-It's about fate, so five yen.”

“Can't you do five hundred?”

“F-F-Fifty five!”

We're coming up one order of magnitude short, sadly.

Of course, even if we do, putting in paper bills would be unheard of.

Faith is what matters―――that's what I'd like you to believe.


Alright, so what should I pray for.

Household well-being, road safety, academic success.

Wondering what Fuji-Nee's wishing for, I take a sideways glance.

“...Let Shirou grow up strong and healthy...”

...Crap, I wasn't ready for that. I'm touched.

Does she really worry about me this much?

“...And also, please let me have a hot boyfriend.”

...Ah... As I was praying for her safety and well-being, that thought crossed my mind, too.

But you know, Fuji-Nee... You're making an awfully common request.

“...And please save the Siberian tiger from extinction... The Bengal tiger is in danger of becoming extinct, too...”

Gradually running out of material, we get to tigers... So the prayer for my adulthood is lumped together with other material. My feelings are now mixed.

“So, what did you wish for, Shirou?”

“...For world peace.”

“Yours is always the same, isn't it? Don't you go more like, "A girl, now!" and stuff?”

If I did, the deity would probably be quite troubled. I'm pretty sure this mountain isn't oriented towards marriages.

And besides, marital success... with whom?

My train of thought is interrupted by a familiar voice.

“Oh, look. It's been ages since we met, Shirou-kun.

Morning. Really nice weather today, isn't it?”

“Good morning, Fujimura-sensei.

Morning, Emiya.”

The two that just came out from the main hall are Issei and his older brother, Reikan.

We've been making quite a bit of noise, and they probably came to check it out.

“Greetings. Good morning.”

“Ah, Rei-chan and Ryuudou-kun, hello.”

Fuji-Nee waves at them with a smile.

Rei-chan is Reikan-san. Just making sure.

“Hahaha, good to see you in high spirits, as always.

By the looks of it, you're here to pay homage to our temple. Indeed, we are delighted to have you visit today.

Also, we have been indebted greatly by the Fujimura house this summer. I will thank you in my father's stead. Before long, the high priest himself will be paying us a visit.”

“Ah, don't worry about it, really!

Is the honorable preceptor doing well?”

“He is well, quite well. Although the ten years of service do weigh on him.

This month, claiming pursuit of knowledge, he went to another mountain temple. "Lose not to the Fujimura Senior," those were his spirited words.”

“The old man used to say that, too, actually.

"This New Year's eve, I will not be outdone by that Ryuudou geezer! Save up lots and hold tight!" or something like that.”

“That sounds promising. That desire for money runs a little deeper than most people's. We are definitely looking forward to getting sliced and diced by the Senior.”

"Hahaha," a pleasant laughing voice resounds throughout the temple grounds.

...Issei's father and old man Raiga's relationship is downright murderous. Furthermore, Fuji-Nee, Reikan, and Neko-san are all classmates.

There must be a connection to the little-known ruling sect of the Miyama town...!

“...Why are you trembling, Emiya?”

“I-It's kind of chilly and stuff.”

“Both our old man and even Rei-chan's father are fond of Shirou.

Yep, so we'd like you guys to teach us.”


Teach what, exactly!?

Chivalry and meditation, no, maybe gambling and praying!?

“Oh no, there's no need for it, Junior.

Shirou-kun will turn out quite well, I'm sure. Accomplished in both literary and martial arts and excelling at chivalry. A fine fellow, I'd say.”

“Huh, I wonder about that.

He's alright now, but I'd really like him to be awesome like Rei-chan and stuff.”

“No way. A student like me can never have the composure that Reikan-san always does.”

“Sure you can.

Rei-chan, remember back when we were at Homurabara? You'd get surrounded by guys from our school, and still keep laughing.

Well, you did get beaten up in the end, though.”

“Ah, but that was a while ago.

And before I came to realize my fate, Taiga-kun had already tended to my wounds!

Oh, a word of welcome for the clumsy and inexperienced monk. Taiga-kun's sole companionship!”

"Hahaha," they laugh, a tiger and a wandering monk.


I mean, I'm actually looking at a man that is more than able to talk back to Fuji-Nee, in ways more than one.

“...You are amazing, Reikan-san. Like, just awesome.”

A mind this broad that can keep company with Fuji-Nee must be the stuff of legends.

“Brother Reikan is my role model.

How about it, Emiya? Come to the temple. Let's pursue this ideal together.”

Before I knew it, Issei starts persuading me, too.

At this rate, Fuji-Nee may well end up selling me off to them.

Although, I must admit, I do find the monk lifestyle somewhat appealing... hm?

"Come to the temple," laughs Issei, then suddenly straightens himself.

“Is brother Souichirou coming this way?”

“Please keep it a secret from him.

―――Good morning, Fujimura-sensei, Emiya.”


Right, Kuzuki-sensei lives here too.

Whenever his lean figure is around, it's as if one's entire body gets restrained, making it difficult to even open your mouth.

“Hello, Kuzuki-sensei.”

“Thank you for your help, as always.”

“Here, too, your help is appreciated every day. Please take your time.

Reikan, father is on the phone.”

“Right, my apologies.

See you later, Shirou-kun, junior. Have a nice day.

You come, too, Issei. In case there will be a particularly difficult question again. I may not manage alone.”

“O-Okay, to the extent of my abilities.

W-Well then, please excuse me, too.”

Bowing respectfully, the two of them leave.


Unconsciously, I relax a little.

No matter how sociable Reikan might be, he still has an air of strictness about him.

Issei, Reikan, Kuzuki-sensei... do these types of people tend to gather at temples?

“Well, we'd better get going as well.”

“...Sorry for putting you off like this.

It wasn't fated to happen today, but please don't hesitate to visit next time. Issei will be glad to see you, too.”

“Alright, until next time.”

Leaving the main building behind, I follow Fuji-Nee across the temple grounds.

“Ah... That sure was a surprise.

Turns out Kuzuki-sensei lives here, too.”

“Yeah. The three of them are pretty much like brothers, don't you think?”

“I know! Oh, but I wonder if we look like siblings, too?”

...It'd be nice if we did.

We've been living like a brother and sister since forever.

I'd be kind of proud to have others see us that way, too.

“Alright, I'll drop in the back for a bit.

What about you, Shirou?”

“I'll go for a stroll and then go back. Want to see the back hill and whatnot.”

“Mm, okay. Don't worry about my lunch share, then.”

Parting with Fuji-Nee, I leave the temple grounds.

Well then, what should I do next―――