Loop 37

Day 4

Ryuudou Temple・Day 4 Rin at the temple

I climb towards the temple gate.

Actually, I've always been impressed by the fact Issei and Kuzuki-sensei climb up and down these stone steps everyday.

Well, temple monks are said to be generally good walkers. No wonder, living on top of a mountain would certainly give your legs a good workout.


I strain my eyes.

I never thought I'd see this red silhouette here.

“Oh, Emiya-kun. Were you going to visit Issei?”

“Oh, Tohsaka. Sure is brave of you to go inside enemy territory.”

We exchange appropriate greetings.

“? You're exaggerating. It's not soccer, and I'm not playing an away game.”

“This is Issei's home base. He may be no match for you otherwise, but here, the crowd would be cheering for him.”

The temple has Issei's parents and family. There's also Kuzuki-sensei and Caster.

Caster and Issei may not get along well, but Tohsaka is still their common foe.

“Entering an enemy magus' stronghold puts you at an overwhelming disadvantage, if not a death wish―――Right. I guess my lessons really did have an effect on you.”

"Well done!" Tohsaka nods.

“Actually, you might have hit the nail on the head.

It's not just Ryuudou-kun. It seems the rest of his family doesn't much care for me, either. My father and grandfather seem to have had a hard time dealing with the people of this temple, too.”

“...Well, that's just how it is, isn't it?”

A magus family remaining on good terms with generation after generation of chief monks would be unusual.

“The two of us were like this even before coming to Homurabara. I wonder if this isn't fate that was decided before we were born.”

“Then let's end this ominous cycle of destiny at your generation.”

I give a warning to Tohsaka, who looks to be getting more serious about her rival. If the Tohsaka vs. Ryuudou feud does become a family affair passed on through generations, she might just try to get a head start now.

“Also, it's way unusual to hear you talk about shrines and temples. Weren't you a parishioner of the church in Shinto?”

“―――You're mistaken, Emiya-kun.

Sure enough, I had a senior fellow apprentice that was somehow a priest. But the moment I realized he was supposed to become a representative of God, any desire I had to practice religion in that church vaporized instantly.”

Ahh, I see.

Tohsaka's house is completely Western-style, and so is her lifestyle. Moreover, since she'll even be studying abroad after graduation, I never even thought religion might be different.

But if someone like Kotomine was a priest, indeed, I doubt she would ever enter the faith. Even I'd be hesitant about it.

“This line of work certainly doesn't lend itself well to being accepted by any religion to begin with. I don't go around proclaiming to be an atheist, though, seeing as it would just attract unwanted attention and distrust.”

“Always best to avoid standing out, huh?”

“Fortunately, in this country, it's easy to pretend being a believer of any faith, and no one's going to scold you over it, either.”

Because almost everyone in Japan would just visit a shrine on New Year's, pay respects during Bon and Higan, and yet also celebrate Christmas.

“And also, since truly powerful, skilled in the supernatural Buddhist practitioners that can guess my identity do appear from time to time, being unprepared is not an option.”

“Understood, I'll be careful―――But really, seeing you at a temple...”

Come to think of it, Tohsaka being here is all sorts of wrong.

The serene and tranquil look might be more suitable for Sakura and Saber, though.

“―――Are you still complaining, Shirou?”

“Well, I guess it can't be helped...”

“Hehe, it may not look like it, but I'm actually a shrine maiden around New Year's.”


Tohsaka? A shrine maiden?? That's the first time I've heard of it.

“Here, at the Ryuudou temple!?”

“What a farce that would be. When Issei sees me as a shrine maiden, he'll think I'm a succubus violating his god's holy precinct! It'll cause a massive uproar. It's a different shrine within the city limits, of course.”

That's a relief.

―――But why a shrine maiden?

“They're related to the Tohsaka family, so it's necessary to send someone from the family as a shrine maiden... I bet it's that kind of a tradition?”

“Sort of like High Priestesses of the Kamo Shrine―――No, it's just a nice part time job to make some extra cash around New Year's. They give preferential treatment to those with experience.”

I was expecting some grand backstory, so I was a bit crestfallen. Indeed, Issei did tell me that almost all of the shrine maidens you see around New Year's are part-timers.

“Thus, Shinto shines and Buddhist temples are no big deal to me.”

“Hmm... part time, eh? I guess you have it pretty tough, too.”

I just blurted it out without thinking.

I didn't really sense any malice behind it, but I think I just saw Tohsaka's eyebrow twitch.

“I can still manage without getting into a permanent job. Why don't you try it out? A New Year's part time job, that is.”


That light blue Shinto priest hakama getup, huh.

That's not that far from the archery club uniform, so it wouldn't feel that weird to wear―――in fact, if anything...

“If I had to choose, I'd say that putting on a jacket, waving an orange stick and acting as a guard or guide for visitors seems like a better fit for me.”

“That does sound like it would suit you better. Leaving that aside, since this place is under my jurisdiction, I can't exactly ignore it. I come here sometimes on patrol.”

Finally, she tells me the reason for her visit.

As she says, this is an important site in the ley lines, so Tohsaka wouldn't be able to neglect it just because there's a temple built on top.

“I see. How about a prayer while you're here?”

“I don't have any business at the main building, I just need to check out the pond in the back and the underground cave... What are you going to do?”

She's inviting me to go with her.

But if I did go, I think I'd be a hindrance.

I shake my head, and Tohsaka doesn't seem to mind.

“Ah. Alright, then please go distract Ryuudou-kun so we avoid a clash.”

“...Well, if you met with Issei here, yeah, that would definitely cause a clash.”

Tohsaka passes under the mountain gate with a bitter smile.

Before crossing the grounds, she looks back at me.

“―――Do you want to see me in my shrine maiden outfit?”

“I'll be honest, it's relevant to my interests.”

“Hehehe, then look forward to it.”

Giving a smile that fills me with anticipation, Tohsaka leaves.

Tohsaka in a shrine maiden uniform... I'm definitely interested.

Emiya Residence・Start of Night Things to do