The dining room was filled with a heavy, almost visible tension. Sakura glared at Medea as if she met her archenemy while elegantly eating the ramen. It was hard to see her gesture as a threat.
"Caster, you can eat too, you know," Haruki said.
"Okay," Caster said awkwardly and picked up the chopsticks. As a Servant, the Holy Grail armed her with the general knowledge of this era, including the etiquette of using chopsticks.
She put the noodles in her mouth and froze for a moment. Her eyes slowly widened as the spices melted in her mouth.
"Good," she said with a sigh.
Haruki nodded and focused on savoring his food.
The tense dinner finished soon. Sakura took the dishes to the kitchen and returned just as quickly.
"Senpai, now answer. What is a servant doing with you?"
Haruki showed her the command spell mark burned on the back of his hand. "She is my Servant, so she naturally should be with me."
Sakura's lips trembled. She barely maintained a calm expression. "Why? Did she threaten you? Did she manipulate you? She bewitched you?!"
Haruki already told her he was going to stay away from the Holy Grail War. This change of mind left her in a surprse.
Medea's lips twitched a little, clearly irritated at being called 'Witch.' Haruki couldn't hold back and chuckled. Even she could be influenced by words.
Sakura's eyes turned vacant. "Senpai…"
"I asked her myself."
"Why? For what rea—" her eyes snapped wide open. "You… you want to bring her back?"
She found out his wish. Was he that easy to read?
"That will be my wish."
"Senpai, don't do that. It's dangerous. It's far too dangerous, please," she pleaded in a trembling voice. "The other masters... they won't spare a chance to eliminate you."
"You worrywart." Haruki took her hand and squeezed it, giving an assuring smile. "It's fine. I can handle them. I have the strongest Servant on my side."
While Medea lacked brute power, her Noble Phantasm was a cheat in this war. The ability to steal another Servant made her the strongest if used with right strategy.
Sakura Matou is added to the 'Potential Partners' list.
Sakura turned to Medea. The sorcerer dodged Sakura's sharp glare.
"I am not the strongest," she whispered as she pushed back her chair and got up. "Master, meet me after finishing your lover's quarrel."
"L-Lover," Sakura uttered and freed her hand from me. "You got it all wrong. Senpai is…"
"Really? Then I apologize," Medea said blankly and walked out.
Medea was annoyed with Sakura. Haruki could see that much.
"Sakura, calm down," he said. "You're getting worked up for nothing."
"I understand, Senpai... I understand. But I don't know what to do."
"Just don't act like this. You of all people should know how cowardly I am. I won't take any fights I can't win."
"Senpai isn't a coward. I have seen how hard you push yourself every day inside the dojo. A person like you can't be a coward," she said, sounding a bit more cheery. "My Nii-san on the other hand…"
Haruki grinned. "That guy is the picture-perfect definition of a coward."
Sakura nodded in agreement and gazed down at her left hand. The three command spells were intact on her hand. Though Shinji ordered Rider around, Sakura was the true master of the Rider Servant named 'Medusa.'
'What is she thinking now? Show her status please.'
Sakura Matou: A descendant of the Tohsaka Family and inheritor of the Matou family.
-Current status — Worried, and lost over whether she should take back Rider from her brother to help you.
-Relationship Status — 93/100
-Species — Human
-Age — 16
-Gender — Female
-Height, Weight — 158cm/47kg
-Alignment — Neutral Good
Strength: 1 (F)
Endurance: 2 (F)
Agility: 2 (F)
Magical energy: 20 (D)
Luck: 8 (E)
Sorcery Trait: Conversion [A]
Info: This trait increases the effectiveness of storing magical energy in objects.
Note: This trait is currently sealed.
Sorcery Element: Hollow [B]
Info: This element increases the effectiveness of spells capable of harming spiritual beings.
Note: This element is currently sealed.
Sorcery Element: Water [E]
Info: One of the five natural elements, gives easier access to Water Magecraft spells.
Info: A natural talent to quickly learn different culinary skills and techniques.
Her sealed Trait and Element must be her original before Zouken used his worm crest magecraft on her, changing her fundamental elemental affinity to that of the Matou family's magecraft—Water. She still wanted to help Haruki with Rider. Medusa could be a very big help. Sakura will have to take control of Rider from Shinji.
'As if that bastard will give up Rider so easily.'
That aside, the 93 points in the relationship status struck him with a realization.
'I fucked up a bit…'
How was he supposed to respond to her? Harems were fun and all, but they hardly worked in real life, especially with a possessive girl like Sakura. Medea was fine as she was a servant born in the old era, where harems used to be the norm. On the other hand, Haruki could easily imagine Sakura putting a dagger through his chest.
'No use thinking about it now.'
"Senpai, I trust you," Sakura said, giving a soft smile. "Please win and bring Kaede Oba-san back."
"I will. Is Shinji acting good?"
"Nii-san is running around with his Servant… he doesn't have time to care about me."
"Isn't that fine though? I don't really care what he does out there as long as you're unhurt."
"Senpai…" she muttered and looked at him with glazed eyes. "Can I stay here tonight… Never mind. I have to show my face at home… or he will hurt Senpai."
Haruki narrowed his eyes at her murmurs. She must be talking about Zouken.
"You can crash in my room. I'll be up for some time to learn some things from Caster."
"I can't…" she shook her head. "I just remembered something important."
"Okay. If that's what you want."
"I'll do the dishes."
"Let me help."
He never tried it before. It couldn't be that hard. He will have to learn it anyway until his mother returned.
Sakura rose from the seat, and Haruki followed her. She tried to deny his help but he was adamant.
Well, washing is harder than he thought. He rubbed too hard and the delicate dish snapped in half. Sakura stared at him wide-eyed before her cheeks flushed.
"Senpai is strong…" she whispered.
'Why are you blushing at that?!'
"You have to be gentle. Watch me."
She showed him how to clean dishes, telling him what he did wrong. He was a bit mesmerized by her mature demeanor. It was enough to raise a question: Does she have a split personality disorder?