Disclaimer: Shokugeki no Sōma is written by Tsukuda Yuuto and illustrated by Shun Saeki. The Fate series is owned by Type-Moon and other subsequent characters shown here are owned by their respective proprietors. I do not own any of the characters mentioned here.

The Elite Ten.

A group of most well-known students in the entire Tōtsuki academy, composed of 1st, 2nd and 3rd years, they have shown their latent talents when it comes to cooking. They more or less functions as a student council in a regular high school but they have more privileges than a normal student. Sure, if one were to enroll and last until their third year here, they don't have to worry that much when it comes to equipment and ingredients.

The Elite Ten, however, can use some of the vast wealth of the academy to travel around the world to hone their cooking. Gain their hands on recipes that no one else has and the same goes for ingredients. To be part of this council is a blessing on its own as your future as a cook is a secured one.

Of course, being here doesn't make them exempt from doing academic stuff. They also have responsibilities to do like doing programs for the student body to benefit or approval for Shokugeki's. Doing approvals for budget proposals or being representatives for the academy

In one of the many buildings in the academy, the First Seat of the Elite Ten held some papers or one of the many that needed his attention for the entire year. He just wished that this was not some kind of bad omen in the future. Ever since he got this position, paperwork doesn't seem to end, sure it was fine and all in the start but when these rolled in came stress.

If it wasn't for the Second Seat which happened to be his friend, Eishi Tsukasa would have continued being a student here without being a part of the Elite Ten. The 17-year-old grumbled at his chair and looked at the first Shokugeki challenge issued.

The challenger happens to be Sagane Minami, a second-year student whose more or less known as Knife Girl in the academy. She specializes in skewers and seafood delicacies and has three Shokugeki wins on her. Eishi heard rumors about her being a bit 'crazy' on the tad side and that she injured her three opponents when they were defeated by her hands.

'Definitely a scary girl,' the First Seat thought as he settled down the paper and moved onto the next one.

It showed a picture of a young man possibly in his 20's with red auburn hair. His overall appearance, he would have thought that he's some long-lost brother of the Second Seat herself if it wasn't for his irises! One which is tinted with golden brown while the other is grey steel. Regardless, this individual has a serious look as opposed to the aforementioned friend of his. Going to his history, the young man studied archaeology in Great Britain but was put here by his benefactor. Currently works under the Nakiris and personal bodyguard of Alice.

When it comes to cooking, he got approval from the Head Researcher and Director of Nakiri International along with the Headmaster. That alone was impressive he must say... for a first-timer that is. Aside from those, there's not that much, the redhead originally hailed from Fuyuki City, a place known to be a spot for occultists due to its 'gas leaks'.

He's not into ghosts and things like that, he just finds it slightly interesting.

Back on the topic on hand, Eishi found the winning conditions skewered too much to Minami's favor. She gets to marry whoever this bloke is and that means the young Shirou has to live the rest of his life under the whims of the girl.

But... if by some miracle that the redhead wins, he will have her beloved knife set. It's not much but whatever floats the young man's boat.

The First Seat grabbed the stamp and a seal of approval from the Elite Ten was plastered on the Shokugeki papers.

"Congratulations to the wedding, I guess?"

Shirou grumbled under the sheets of his bed as sunlight entered the windows. His internal clock was still a mess and he had yet to adjust in the Pacific time zone. He stood up and stretched his body, readying for his agenda for today. Find out more about his opponent, Minami, and to do so, he must gather intelligence.

The doors of his room burst opened and a giddy Alice barged in, all garbed in her archery gear.

"Shirou-kun!" the silver-haired girl exclaimed.

"Nakiri-san?" he was a bit confused at the sudden intrusion of the girl. "What are you doing here?"

"Hahh! Didn't you agree to teach me kyudo!? Don't tell me you forgot about it already!?" Alice fumed and pouted at him and it suddenly hit the redhead like a truck.

He did promise that he would teach the half Japanese-Danish girl some kyudo. It almost slipped his mind due to the events that transpired yesterday and as much as it pained him to break it again, he cannot afford to go with it.

"I am truly sorry for this, but can we postpone at a later date? Preferably after this match of mine with Sagane-senpai?" Shirou begged, folding his hands and doing a bow to his mistress.

Alice crossed her arms around her impressive bust and let out a sigh. She understands that the freedom of her servant is at stake here. It looks like she needs to be patient even more so and here she is all ready for the kyudo lessons.

"Fine, but what am I supposed to do now?" she questioned.

The redhead pondered it for a minute and found a solution in regards to her query.

"Why don't you watch some videos about forms? There's plenty around the internet, once you learned them, I'll correct whatever needs correction, alright?" Shirou suggested and the thought of such didn't go so well with the silver-haired girl.

"That's just boring stuff! I wanna get to the part where we shoot actual arrows!" he let out a sigh and scratch his head even as his mistress do tantrums that are unbefitting of her.

'Make use of this to taught her a thing about being patient.'

"Stead fast, my student!" he shouted and it brought Alice out of her ramblings. "One of the first things you must know in Japanese archery is that you and the arrow must be one. You cannot achieve those if you're this impatient."

"But... but!" the girl protested but Shirou stopped her.

"You didn't even refer to me as 'sensei' when you come here, that's no good," the redhead veined his disappointment towards Alice though it only infuriated her even more.

"Mou! I don't care anymore, you're on your own!" she stomped out of the room, leaving the redhead alone.

'That could have gone better,' Shirou thought and he noticed another figure from the hallway with a bored look on his face.

"Oh... looks like milady is angry..." Ryō Kurokiba muttered and he glanced in his direction.

"Haha, guess I pissed her off." said the young man while shrugging his shoulders.

"Hmmm... she'll likely get over it by tomorrow," he commented and was about to go on his way when his fellow aide called out to him.

"Mind answering some questions about Sagane-senpai?"

"I can't give you any good advice regarding her. I would suggest watching her previous matches to get a good idea of her cooking style."

"That's convenient, thanks for the tip, Kurokiba-san. I think I'll be fine here on my own." Shirou gave his regards to the younger man and he went on his merry way, avoiding their mistress for now. "Time to go to work."

Garbed up in his usual white shirt and black pants, the redhead made his way to the back of the mansion. His eyes caught several bicycles in one of the garages and he asked for permission to use one of them from the maids. He boards the little granny bike and heads towards his destination to the administration building.

Shirou was thankful that the breeze was enough to cool him down. He still was far from his objective, he could still at least marvel at how close nature is around the academy. If one were to travel around the vast lands of Tōtsuki, a car, motorcycle, or scooter is a must-have. He was actually offered to be driven around by one of the butler's but he politely declined.

It took him about 15 minutes until he caught sight of the administration building and along with it, several students come out of the woodwork. The redhead slowed down at a considerable pace and he couldn't help but notice that their gazes are fixed on him.

Surely it's not unusual for someone to bring a bike around here? He ignored them completely and only when he reached the school grounds that he found out why he's the center of attention.

A large LCD screen hung above and it showed a photo of him and Minami Sagane with a versus sign to it. Pretty over the top he must say but aside from that, how did the student body get wind of this!? It was supposed to be a one-on-one cooking match between him and the girl, there's no need for it to be a spectacle!

"So that's him, huh?"

"Sucks to be that guy, being challenged by a second-year nonetheless."

"To face the Knife Girl itself, how unfortunate!"

Several murmurs erupted from the students with most of them pitied his current predicament. He just wanted to do his job as a bodyguard, fix his Circuits, learn a few things from here and there, and be done with it. Shirou didn't ask for this challenge anyway but at the same time, he's not one to back out. At least not when it comes to cooking.

The redhead left the area immediately and head straight to the administration building. But not before finding a suitable parking spot to secure his bike, of course. He entered the building and talked to the receptionist about his intentions and was told to go 2nd floor and have a word with the chairman.

Quite a peculiar title he must say and the young man proceeded ahead, a few turns later he stood in a wooden oak door. A silver plate that carved the words 'Office of the Chairman' at it. Shirou didn't waste anytime as he duly knocked and a man's voice motioned for him to come inside.

"Pardon my intrusion, is this the chairman's office?"

"Indeed it is," the chairman stood up from his seat and adjusted his round glasses to take a good look at his visitor. He was a man in his 30's and while there weren't any noticeable features, the one thing that caught Shirou's attention is the attire.

'A polkadot suit? You don't see that everyday,' he noted and didn't waste anytime as he introduced himself but before he does, he was stopped.

"Don't bother, Emiya Shirou, as the chairman of the Shokugeki bureau, I am obliged to know every participant in every match. You were challenged by Sagane Minami for your hand, quite peculiar I say but not that surprising." said the man.

"Looks like Shokugeki's are the only way to settle disagreements here in Tōtsuki, huh?" the man nodded in agreement.

"I also take it that you already have the main theme for the match?"

Shirou was a bit confused about what the individual just said. Then, he remembered that Minami assigned him to pick it as to gave him an advantage. Problem is that he can't think of anything yet until he watched the second year's previous Shokugeki's.

"I don't have anything on my mind at least for now. That's why I'm here partially, I wonder if I could borrow any recordings of Sagane-senpai's matches."

The man then took out something under his table and slid it towards him. It was a small CD with the name of his opponent.

"Take this then, I expect an answer from you until 5:00 in the noon,"

"Thanks, I... uh... gonna take my leave now." said Shirou and as he was about to leave, the chairman decided to impart some words.

"Make sure to put on a show out there. Whether you win or not, better make a good impression towards your fellow students."

"Right, I'll definitely keep that in mind," the redhead left the room and let out a sigh, surely this academy had its own share of weirdness.

Now that he got what he needed, where is he going to watch this? Going back to the mansion seemed a lot of work, he might as well watch it somewhere here. Shirou went back to the reception area and asked if he could borrow any cd players. Fortunately for him, he was lent one and a kitchen as well, quite convenient to be honest.

He arrived at one of the test kitchens on the first floor, chock full of ingredients and the player he requested. The young man didn't waste anytime, inserting the disc into the player and there are three videos in total. All of them are won by Minami Sagane.

"Let's see then..." Shirou muttered, beginning the playback of the first video.

In one of the many unexplored parts of Tōtsuki stood a dormitory that only a handful of students knew. This place was once home to a group of gifted cooks who took the academy's top seats. But of course, all of it is in the past, what matters right now is the present and as such its occupants are all having hearty breakfast.

Marui Zenji was one of the students who currently stayed here among others. He grabbed the school newspaper and he nearly spat out the coffee he's drinking. He coughed out a bit and his friends noticed it.

"What happened?" inquired an orange teal-haired girl.

"Well," he adjusted his glasses and showed it to his fellow roommates the headline of the school paper, featuring Minami and Shirou. "You see this?"

"Yeah, I'm surprised, to be honest, the school year is just about to start and a Shokugeki will be held." another girl quipped which has waistline fuschia hair on her.

"Do you know as to who the redhead is?" questioned another young man that has unkempt auburn hair with his eyes being covered by it.

"Yeah, Emiya Shirou, met him by chance and warned him about Sagane-senpai but looks like his luck is worse than anyone," said Marui.

"Sagane Minami, huh? Girl's a beauty but has problems on her own," added another occupant that has dirty blond hair cut in a semi mohawk.

"I know right? She might add that poor guy on her shortlist of victims," declared another male in the group with spiky black hair with long sideburns.

"Um... I don't think that Sagane-senpai is all that bad, she's just misunderstood," the latest addition to this group of students staying here raised her hand. She has long dark blue hair with two braided pigtails and wears a flower hairpin on the right side of her hair.

"Doesn't matter," the matron of the dormitory came out of the kitchen with some food for the occupants to eat. "Whatever issues that girl has can be resolved in a Shokugeki, end of story."

This here is the Polar Star Dormitory which is being run by its warden named Fumio Daimidou. The new first years staying here is as follows, barring the glasses guy Marui: First is Yuki Yoshino, Ryōko Sakaki, Shun Ibusaki, Shōji Satō, Daigo Aoki and Megumi Tadokoro.

"If that guy, what was his name again, glasses?" the matron asked.

"It's Emiya Shirou, Fumio-san," came the young man's reply.

"Right, if he ever wins this Shokugeki, he's more than welcome to stay here. Probably usher in the Golden Age of this dormitory once more!"

"Not this again, we're tired of hearing about that!" Daigo and Shōji complained.

What the two talked about was a time when all of the former students that once stayed here were members of the Elite Ten. The matron would often linger around those memories and sometimes it ires the young ones.

"But to think Minami-chan would challenge Emiya-san like this," the second year Isshiki Satoshi wondered. He maybe a dignified student on the outside but when he's in the dormitory, he gets to wear his 'special naked apron'. It's not like he's bare naked, only his upper half is and he still wears a fundoshi, of course.

It still bothers Megumi though.

"What could be the reason for the challenge then? Do you have any idea, Isshiki-senpai?"

"I honestly don't have any idea, Marui-kun," Isshiki stated though if he were to guess it may have something to do with that incident yesterday.

"Hmmm... he's under a lot of pressure right now," said Shun.

"Its a second year we're talking about and has no losses so far. I know I'll be!" Yuki added.

"When's the match gonna be?" Ryōko asked.

"6 days from now, just in time for the high school entrance ceremony, huh... would you look at that," Marui informed and the rest of the occupants hummed in thought.

"You gonna watch it, bro?" Shōji inquired to Daigo and the young man gave him a thumbs up. "How about you guys?"

"It is the first Shokugeki of the first years, wouldn't hurt to see it," Ryōko commented followed by Yuki.

"Of course! You'll come, right, Megumi?"

The timid girl yelped in surprise at the sudden question. Now that she's in the high school division, she cannot afford to be just on the sidelines. Well... she doesn't want to garner too much attention like the newcomer did but she needs to learn as much as possible too.

"Yeah, I'll come."

After spending about 3 hours watching Minami's Shokugeki's, Shirou was spent. He had learned so much about her particular cooking style that pertains to the use of skewers and seafood. Something that her 3 opponents for some reason had chosen despite it being her area of expertise.

He scratched his head and rubbed his aching stomach. He hadn't eaten anything yet since this morning and he's craved to eat. The redhead stood up and was about to leave when he felt the presence of his opponent from behind doors.

'You've gotta be kidding me...'

Shirou glanced at the open windows and looked down below, there's just only a floor below him. Maybe he could scale it so he can avoid his upperclassman? Nevertheless, he ruled out the idea and decided to just go for it. He let out a sigh and opened the sliding door...


And took a sidestep, causing the poor girl who tried to jump on him to land face-first on the ground.

"Owie... why would you do that?" the platinum blonde-haired girl said while she rubbed her reddened forehead.

"Can't we just greet one another in a more normal way?" he offered a hand to Minami who gratefully accepted it.

"Ah, so you don't like it when I do that," the girl nodded in affirmation and noticed that Shirou just finished watching her matches. "Doing reconnaissance to your enemy, eh? That's good! Despite the outcome with my victory for sure, you don't give up at all."

"I sure as not gonna give up my freedom that easily," the redhead declared. "Besides, what makes you think that I can't beat you?"

"You've seen it, haven't you? Every one of these matches that I have ends up with my win. If by some miracle that you come out victorious, it's by sheer luck." the girl didn't hide the smile she adorned and Shirou knew that she doesn't kid about it.

"We'll see about that, so what brings you here? Surely you're not here to play, aren't you?"

"Got some time to kill and decided to do some prep when I saw you enter this building," Minami explained. "Lunch is about to start, why don't I whip up something for the both of us!"

Shirou didn't bother with an argument. To see her cook up close and personal before their cooking match is too good of an opportunity to pass. The platinum blonde hair girl weaved through the ingredients procured for them. Her eyes carefully picked some bream fish as well.

"Just what are you going to make?" the redhead asked with genuine curiosity.

"~Just wait for it~" Minami singsong as she also gathered some potatoes, cucumbers, tomatoes, and eggs.

She began the work on her mysterious dish and Shirou quietly observed from the sidelines. It would seem that she's preparing some gnocchi, a varied family of dumplings in Italian cuisine. They are made of small lumps of dough composed of semolina, wheat flour, egg, cheese, potato, breadcrumbs, cornmeal, or similar ingredients, and possibly including herbs, vegetables, and others. With hers though, she added some egg yolks.

Minami baked 2 large potatoes until they become soft and fluffy. Halve, remove the flesh and pass through a strainer and allow it to cool slightly, then she adds the egg yolks and herbs. From underneath the shelves, she pulled out a sack of flour and grabbed some of it for the gnocchi she was about to make. She rolls them into balls and with the back of a floured fork gently roll into cylinders creating slight indentations in the process. She then set aside them for later.

'Sagane-senpai makes this look easy,' he thought and saw the serious look on the girl's face as if she had done this so many times. He turned his attention yet again to the cooking process.

"Oh my..." the blonde girl lowly muttered as if she had forgotten something.

From what Shirou had observed so far, it looks like his upperclassman is making some kind of fish-based dish. He could possibly guess what could be missing on this.

"Are you going to make nage by any chance?" he guessed and Minami was clearly surprised by this.

"Yes, you're right and I forgot the fish stock for my dish," the girl replied and she snapped her fingers. "I know where to get one, just hang on tight there!"

She made a mad dash out of the room and come back a few minutes later with some fish stock on hand.

"That was fast, where did you get your hands on it?"

"That's not important, Shi-kun! Come to think of it, where did you hear that term? You fancy French cuisine as well?" said Minami and Shirou reminisced the time he had spent as one of Kojirō Shinomiya's underlings.

"Maybe, if you're traveling around the world, you tend to pick up stuff you don't know," came his reply.

"So you do travel around! Looks like my hunch was correct, it must be fate that brought you here to me!" she cupped her reddened face with her hands before she composed herself. "Anyways, I shall continue with my cooking!"

She took out a juicer and use it on some cucumbers and bring it to boil in a pan.

'That should remove the impurities in those,'

She then seasons it to taste and passes it through a muslin cloth. Adding half the fish stock and reserved oyster juice and a little lemon to taste. The blonde girl set aside the extracts into two separate bowls. She made her way to one of the coolers and took out some oysters and poached them in the remaining fish stock.

"Have you met the rest of my kids, Shi-kun?"

"Huh? Since when did you... Oh... you're not talking about human children, are you?" said Shirou and Minami giggled at his answer.

"Of course not, silly! I'm talking about these!" she unfolds the knife bag that she carried earlier and a whole array of knives revealed before him.

"That is a lot of knives you got here, Sagane-senpai," the redhead commented and it confused the blonde girl a bit.

"Don't you have lots of knives at your disposal?" she asked.

"I mostly settled in the use of a santoku, and as long as the handle of it sticks on your hand, it's good enough." Shirou reasoned out though Minami shook her head in disagreement and pulled out a deba knife.

"You know that by changing knives, an ingredient's potential changes!"

"Is that so?"

"Umu! If you're going to handle fish and meat, a deba knife is what you will use. For slicing vegetables, a thin blade is suitable thus a santoku is the best go-to knife. There's also the multi-purpose Chinese cleaver or if you're handling more delicate ingredients, you may also consider using a takohiki knife."

The list of the knives and their uses that the girl gave did impress him. To think that just having different knives makes all the difference in how an ingredient gets handled.

"Oh, looks like the oysters I poached are ready now," she took them out and put them in a bowl of iced water. "Here, let me show you what I mean by utilizing each of these kids!"

Minami twirled the santoku, peeling the rest of the cucumber and slicing it into halves. The seeds were also removed and she cut them into ribbon-like shapes lightly seasoning them with salt. The knife work was delicate and noteworthy as well. The second-year dredge the poached oysters in some flour and tempura batter, frying them off in some heated oil.

'Looks like Sagane-senpai is about to finish.'

The girl utilized the use of the deba knife next, filleting the sea breams, seasoning them lightly and placing them inside a steamer. She moved on to the cucumber taglietelle and doused them in a little bit of nage she prepared earlier. Heating altogether in a pan, she placed them in two bowls.

Shirou's eyes darted towards the gnocchi Minami had earlier, is she planning to add them at the end? His question was answered when the blonde grabbed the gnocchi, placing them in simmering water until they float. With the use of the santoku once more, she sliced the poached oysters and heat them with some tomatoes in the remaining nage.

The second-year finish her dish by placing the gnocchi around the cucumber, top with the bream fillet and finish with the nage. She drizzled it altogether with olive oil, mixed herbs, and some seasoning.

With a proud look on her face, Minami served it for him.

"Here it is! This is Minami's steamed fillet of sea bream with a nage of Cornish oyster, tomatoes and cucumber and herb gnocchi!"

'To think that a 17-year-old could whip up something so... complicated in just a whim!' the redhead thought and he looked at the blonde who already cut a piece of the sea bream and gnocchi.

"~Here... I'll feed you~" the young girl offered.

"No, please, I can eat by myself, why don't you take a rest?" said Shirou and Minami conceded, handing him the fork that has the sea bream and gnocchi.

As he chewed on the fish and gnocchi, a warm feeling enveloped his aching stomach. He would have thought that it would taste heavy due to it being made by potatoes but it was not. Instead, it was fluffy to eat combined with the sea bream, it was an overall light dish.

"You used russet potatoes for the gnocchi," Shirou commented.

"Yep, one point for you, Shi-kun! There's no doubt that a dry, starchy potato is one of the best bets for making gnocchi with a lighter and fluffier texture. After all, the more water a potato contains, the more flour you'll have to add to soak it up, and the more flour you add, the denser the gnocchi will become."

"I see, new potatoes are very problematic because they're wetter inside. When it comes to gnocchi, the older the potato, the better."

The redhead took another bite from the sea bream and combined it with the oysters next.

"It's good, I feel more invigorated for some reason." the young man added.

"Ufufu... since you came here to watch Minami's matches with an empty stomach, it'll be difficult for you to absorb iron and Vitamin B12. Oysters contain a lot of those, considered an 'earthly' fish and yin food," Minami emulated the so-called 'Tohsaka pose' which involved the right arm being placed under the chest area. The left-arm then will use it as a support. "With the addition of the sea bream that is also an 'earthly' fish and yang..."

'Ahhh... it is a dish that has the one eating on mind, if I were to visualize it, Sagane-senpai is almost like a doctor,' he couldn't help but imagine the upperclassman in such outfit.

"What do you think of my cooking? Pretty amazing, right?"

"Indeed, a lot of thought and care was put into this," he stretched his body out and glanced at Minami. "Well, let's fix this place up so we don't get scolded by the staff!"

"Let them clean it," he was suddenly dragged by the second year out of the kitchen. "We'll find you a knife that suits you next!"

"Do we have to? I'm fine with just a simple one." Shirou stated.

"Nope, can't do... we'll go to Sumiredori Shopping District to find it." the name of the said place rang to him. It was the same district where a certain inn owner and young chef lives. It'll be an hour's ride from here to there.

She leads him on towards the parking lot and unlocks her little moped. Shirou follows suit just so that it'll be over with and the fact that this girl thinks that she can find suitable for him. He can pretty much trace a knife and be over it but the nickname 'Knife Girl' and her obsession with knives means she has an eye for them. He wanted to see if it was true...

'Huh, this almost feels like a date,'

The whole journey towards the district was met with silence. Minami rode her moped and Shirou on his borrowed bicycle. The girl seemed to take satisfaction by being in his presence alone. It worked out for him though as he doesn't have much to say. His mind still lingered on the sea bream dish she served.

"Oh, I see it!" she enthusiastically pointed at the entrance of the district and he saw it too.

Ensuring that their rides are secured, both Tōtsuki students made their way through. The volume of people is still few since it's afternoon but would surely increase once nighttime comes. The blonde girl went straight towards the kitchen store and opened the doors.

The owner, clearly taken aback by the presence of the customer didn't manage to welcome her properly.

"Sorry," Shirou apologized on behalf of the second year.

"No, there's need for that, son," said the old man. "That girl is a regular of mine, she doesn't really talk that much and often stares at the knives here."

"Is that so?"

"Yes, but this is the first time I've seen her with someone, are you a friend of hers, perhaps?" the owner questioned and even the redhead doesn't even know what they are.

He was sure that they're opponents but not on the stature of being sworn enemies. On the surface, Minami seemed to be a normal girl that has some issues but as to what it was, he doesn't know. But for now, he could say that the girl at best is an acquaintance.

"Look!" the second year waved and he went to the isle. His vision caught boxes of knives from a usual chef's, paring, boning knife and a cleaver. Shirou grabbed a santoku and showed it to his upperclassman.

"Here, I think this will be fine, quite similar to the ones they have in the academy." he showed it to her and the girl stared intently at it then back at him.

"No, this doesn't suit you," she declared. "You simply chose this because it's the first thing you saw. That's no good!"

He wanted for this to be over with thus he chose the santoku that he laid eyes upon. All of a sudden, Minami moved her face close to his and their foreheads touched. Shirou can almost smell lavenders from her long strands as well.

"Hmm... you don't have fever or anything... are you okay? It's almost like you lost that ability to see a knife's value all of a sudden." the blonde wondered.

"I'm just under the weather, senpai, but I think that this santoku is already good enough for me." he urged but the girl wouldn't have it.

"As someone who possesses hundreds of knives, we won't leave the district until we find the one for Shi-kun!" she enthusiastically raised her arms and dragged him outside the shop.

They continued their search for that one knife in Sumiredori, passing along many food stalls and shops that caught the girl's eyes. She even treats him to some ice cream though the catch is that they'll eat from the same cone. He declined it, of course after noticing the people staring at them.

"Oh my, Emiya-kun?" an all-familiar voice reached Shirou's ears, and there she was, Miya Asama, the one whom he contacted to fix his Circuits.

"Asama-san, good afternoon to you," the redhead bowed down in acknowledgment.

"Shi-kun, who is she?" Minami asked, her voice taking a dangerous hint to it and he knew that he must de-escalate the situation.

"She's a friend of mine, senpai," said Shirou and the second year hummed in thought, staring at the woman in front.

"My, is she your girlfriend? I never knew that you were into younger girls," Miya teased.

"No, she's not, and please do not misunderstand. I'm here to look for knives that I could use for cooking." the redhead explained.

"It looks like I may have interrupted your search then,"

"Yeah, you did..." Minami spoke and the smile that Miya had turned into a scary one for a few seconds. Shirou could have sworn that he saw a demonic visage manifested beside the purple-haired woman. The second-year was unperturbed by it though.

It's somewhat terrifying to stand between these two!

"We better get going to search for that perfect knife, don't you think, senpai? I'll see you around, Asama-san!" the young man pushed his companion out of harm's way. Miya gave a mirthful smile and he returned the gesture to the owner of the Izumo inn.

"That woman... is dangerous... don't go near her or any other women for that matter," Minami gazed off the distance, gripping the kitchen knife bag that she's carrying this whole time.

Even he could tell that there's simply more than meets the eye when it comes to Miya and her being a member of the Sea of Estray. He wouldn't pursue that matter if she chose not to say anything about it. He was about to continue on their way when his upperclassman didn't budge.

"I found it..." she mumbled.

"Found what? The perfect knife?" Shirou looked up at the establishment and to his surprise, they ended up in the Yukihira diner. "But this is a special of the day restaurant... hey!"

The girl let herself in and the place was jam-packed with high school students. They didn't seem to mind their presence... that was until Minami declared her intentions.

"That knife doesn't suit you at all."

"The hell you talkin' about!?"

Confusion mixed with anger is probably the first thing that 61-year-old Kazusato Yukihira felt when he heard those words. He is just minding his own business, serving the loyal customers of their restaurant when this girl comes in along with a young man.

"I said that knife you're using doesn't suit you. It will look happier with Shi-kun here," the girl's eyes had an empty look on them.

"Hahaha! Please just ignore her, she's just joking! We'll take our leave here!" the redhead said, grabbing the hand of the girl but she didn't move.

"No, we're not leaving here until we get that knife."

"Hey, young un' I dunno why you and your partner here barged in," Kazusato stabbed the knife into the chopping board. "But this thing right here stays with the family!" He doesn't know what is up with these two teenagers but he sure as hell not giving up this knife at all costs!

The blonde's lips turned into a wicked smile as she took out a knife from her bag. The customers who were busy eating turn their attention towards the two newcomers. Looks like a cooking battle is about to brew any second now and most of them aren't strangers to that. The current owner of the diner and his son used to hold such everytime.

"How about this... let's settle this in a cooking contest, if I win, you'll give that to Shi-kun here," Minami took out what seems to be a brand new kitchen knife from her bag. "This little one here has been forged Hiramatsu Eigou, a known swordsmith around the Kanto region. Normally, I wouldn't bet one of my precious knives but I'll make an exception."

"You don't have to do all of this," said the young man while rubbing his aching head "Besides, why would you even have that kind of knife with you?"

"Yo, gramps! What's with all the commotion here?"

From the backdoor, his only grandson, Sōma Yukihira comes dripping with sweat on his forehead. The young man was given charge of the diner since the head chef was out of the country.

"Ah, Emiya! What brings you here in the diner?" the sous chef questioned.

"Wait, you know these two?" he asked and his grandson nodded in affirmation.

"I do know of the redhead but as for his companion, I dunno?" Sōma shrugged his shoulders.

"Well, the young gal barged in here like she owned the place and demanded one of er' knives!" Kazusato exclaimed and when his grandson saw the aforementioned knife, the young man's eye narrowed.

"Sorry," the sous chef crossed his arms in defiance. "We don't care if you have money but that thing has sentimental value to us here."

"Is that so?" said the girl and she may have contemplated to just leave but unfortunately, she wasn't. "I do not care, to be honest. Here I am, offering one of the knives here, the only thing you need to do is accept my challenge."

"If I win, you'll leave us alone too, got it?"

A satisfied smile formed on the girl's features and she entrusted her knife bag to her companion. His grandson showed enthusiasm pulling out the white headband from his wrist and attaching it to his forehead. Kazusato was more than confident in Sōma's cooking skill as the young man have been working for most of his childhood here.

"Go, Sōma-chan! Show them your skills!" screamed a bespectacled man from the sidelines.

"Come on, cheer for him, Mayuu!"

"Eh? Ah... yes... do your best, Yukihira-kun!"

The crowd was enthusiastic at the prospect of seeing a cooking battle that involves Sōma and someone else. The only opponent that the young man had faced was his father, Jōichiro and while he never had any clear victory against the man, it didn't faze the sous chef at all.

"I think that's far enough." the redhead who has been silent for quite some time now spoke up.

Shirou knew that he must cease this battle that's about to happen. If he had been just firmed from the beginning then none of this would have happened. He needs to affirm his position as the adult around Minami.

"My apologies on behalf of the girl I am with. We will take our leave here," the redhead bowed down deeply to both Sōma and Kazusato. "Come on, you... we're going back to the academy."

"But the knife!" the second year exclaimed as her hand was pulled by her underclassman. Feelings of happiness fluttered around her stomach at the prospect of being able to hold the first year's rugged hand. At the same time though, she wanted him to release his grasp on her hand so that she could go ahead and claimed their prize.

"Now!" Shirou firmly said and the whole diner went into silence at how intense he was when he said those words.

He rarely ever used this tone to anyone unless he wanted to get his point across. Even the blonde girl was taken aback slightly by this but it looked like that it worked.

"Fine, if Shi-kun doesn't want it, I'll let it go," Minami stated and the redhead bowed down once more. Silence enveloped the Yukihira diner as most of the customers didn't expect such intimidation from someone so... young.

"Wasn't that something?" Sōma said as he tied back his headband back to his wrist. Even he was surprised by the sudden shift in Shirou's attitude.

"Still, I can't believe they had the guts to come ere' and demand Tamako's knife!" Kazusato grumbled.

The knife that the second year wanted belonging to Sōma's deceased mother. There's simply no way that he would bet such valuable belonging to anyone. No amount of money or treasure will compare to the memories that he had with its wielder.

"Are all students of Tōtsuki like this?" the sous chef pondered as he noticed that the girl's uniform bore the sigil of the academy.

"That fancy cooking school Jōichirō put yer' through?" the old man clicked his tongue in annoyance. "They better teach er' students some manners as well!"

Ignoring his grandfather's rant, the thought of facing students like that girl who possessed a ton of different knives, made him a bit excited. Not because of such, mind you but the fact that someone from the academy made their way here and tried to show off their cooking. It looks like that his time in Tōtsuki in the future will be a worthwhile one.

"Come on, kid, we got some orders comin' up!" his grandfather called and Sōma followed suit to the kitchen.

"Are you... angry with me?" Minami questioned when both she and Shirou returned to Tōtsuki without saying a word.

"No, I'm more or less... disappointed," said the young man, keeping his eye on the road ahead of the admin building. "Everything you had done for me today was nice and all but that scuffle in the diner was out of hand."

"Sorry, Minami just wanted to give you the best knife that you can utilize," a look of dejection came over her and while it may have softened someone else, it wouldn't work on him.

"There's no need for you to go so far. I know what I want for myself, got it?" the girl nodded at his words and they arrived at the front of the admin building. "You better head back to your home or dorm, it's getting dark here."

"Yeah, you're right," she stretched her body a bit. "Have you decided the main theme for our Shokugeki?"

Shirou pondered for a bit, it would certainly be hard to gain an upper hand against her. He does specialize in Japanese cuisine but if anything else, he just comes up with whatever he had in his repertoire. The sea bream and gnocchi dish that his upperclassman served were on a whole new level. He doesn't excel in any other cuisine as he's starting to actually learn the ups and downs around Tōtsuki.

"We're going seafood," he declared and the blonde girl let out a sigh at his decision.

"I see..." she paused momentarily and saw the uncertainty in the young man's eyes. "You know, I have every intention to win this, right?"

"So am I." Shirou replied and Minami threw one sweet smile at him before she drove off on her moped.

"Finally made it home," the redhead muttered as he roamed the halls of the Nakiri estate.

After informing the Shokugeki chairman of the main theme, the man was slightly perplexed. For an upstart to choose the one in which his enemy excels is something. Regardless of whether he wins or not, it was decided by Shirou alone.

From the corner of his room, a familiar figure stood with her arms crossed.

"Nakiri-san?" the half Japanese-Danish girl pointed at him.

"Just so you know... I'm still mad at you but right now for your sake and my kyudo lessons, I and Ryō-kun will assist you."

Even though he told her that he can handle the Shokugeki on his own, Shirou couldn't help but doubt his knowledge of the culinary arts. Minami's knowledge of seafood trumps that of his own and tasting her sea bream and gnocchi confirms it. Whatever's the case, these two know their craft very well and he's more than willing to be trained under the wing of the Heaven Sent Child of Molecular Gastronomy.

"Yeah, I kind of cornered myself here," said the redhead

"What do you mean? Oh... don't tell me that you chose seafood." the shrug from the shoulder of her aide is all that's needed to know. "Can't say that it's a smart move to pick what your opponent's really good at... whatever."

Alice puffed up her chest in pride. "With us leading the helm in your training, you'll surely win!" Shirou couldn't help but smile at the enthusiasm of his mistress who seemed to get over their scuffle back in the morning.

"I'm looking forward to it then,"

"Well then, have a good night, Shirou-kun!"

"You as well, milady." he bowed down and the girl giggled, waving goodbye at him.

"Time for some well-deserved rest."

A/N: How long has it been? 2 years almost and a lot of things happened all over the globe. I don't have that much to say as I simply lost my muse with writing back then. I will probably stick with this one for the meantime since the manga already ended.

I highly advice to read Ch.1 and 2 as those have undergone some changes.

Just a note that Shirou's in Tōtsuki to learn as well. In my personal opinion, he is a home cook at best that if we pit him against anyone who has a specialty, he might lose. That is if we take out magecraft on the equation, what are your thoughts about this?