A Perfectly Logical Explanation
The words paralyzed me where I sat, my mind suddenly worrying numb from a combination of alcohol and shock.
"Shirou-san?" Miya asked, a questioning look forming on her face as she took in my stunned demeanor. "Is something wrong?"
"So there was a tournament in Fuyuki city!" Matsu slurred out triumphantly, attempting to point at Shirou in victory but missing.
I suddenly felt very weary, and could not stop the sigh from escaping me.
"Yes, there was." I admitted, as if it was the hardest thing in the world for me to do. In a way, it was. I had spent months carefully cultivating a gentle, harmless image of myself. The truth was wholly irreconcilable with this image: I had fought, and won, a war against impossibly powerful creatures and horrifically evil people. That while I was smiling and happily cooking their meals, there was also a part of me that was always plotting, always scheming, always looking for the best way to kill someone so as to minimize the damage they could inflict upon others. These poor creatures. They wanted a story of their Ashikabi's misspent youth, and what I was about to give them was the unadulterated truth with all the blood and thorns still on it.
I told them everything. The real cause of the fire that had 'orphaned' me. My adoptive father's true identity and my first steps into the world of magic. The fifth Holy Grail War, and many of its horrors. And then, at the end, of my own forbidden magic and what the situation it put us into.
I left nothing out. I couldn't. They had to know these things if they were to be safe.
It took a surprisingly short amount of time to do so, too. It seemed as if I was done just as I was getting started.
But what surprised me more than that was response to my tale.
"You know," Matsu said reproachfully, her slur having vanished sometime when I'd been telling the story. "if you didn't want to tell us you could have just said so. You don't have to lie like that."
A wave of nods went through the room, with the exceptions being Miya, Kuu-chan and Akitsu who either knew better or were too young to not believe in the sort of things I'd talked about. Though Kuu-chan had gotten the edited version, effortlessly coordinating the lavender-haired landlady to shield the young girl's ears from the worst of it.
For a moment I could only stare dumbly at the brain-sekirei, my mind going blank as it tried to process just what had happened.
"What?" I finally managed to get out, my voice weak with disbelief. "But I didn't lie!"
"Come on, Shirou." Homura admonished, 'tsk'ing lightly under his breath. "Everyone knows magic isn't real."
"B, but you control fire!" I protested, uncertainty riding my voice. I wasn't sure if I should be indignant that I was being accused of lying or that the truth was simply too outlandish for anyone to believe it.
"Yes, but I'm an alien." Homura pointed out as if that explained everything. "You're just a human."
Another round of nods.
"But I can smell sekirei and their powers!" I tried, a note of desperation in my voice. I wasn't quite sure why I wanted this conversation to keep going, but I suppose there was a morbid curiosity inside of me thatcouldn't resist finding out how far I needed to push before someone started believing me.
"I'm sure there's a perfectly reasonable explanation for that." Matsu answered, frowning at me. "Just because I can't explain it doesn't make it magic."
"I can fight with sekirei on equal grounds!" I persisted, gesturing wildly at Miya. "You've all seen me do it!"
"You're simply very skilled, husband." Tsukiumi refuted, frowning slightly. "This is very unbecoming, Shirou. You should just tell us the truth."
"Ahh!" Yukari suddenly shouted excitedly, pointing wildly at me. "I've figured it out! I know what onii-chan's secret is!"
"I just told you my secrets!" I cried out in dismay.
"He's really a cyborg!" My sister eagerly explained, her eyes wide with "He was sent back to Shin-Tokyo by his corporate overlords in order to find out more about the Sekirei plan, but then he found out about his long-lost family and decided that he had to find out for himself what having a family was like!"
"That doesn't make any sense at all!" I protest, but apparently I was alone in that opinion.
"That would certainly explain why he's so fast and strong..." Homura mused idly, rubbing his chest as he did.
"And also why he has no faith in love!" Musubi chirped in agreement. "Robots have no hearts!"
"I'm not a robot!"
"Don't worry, onii-chan!" Yukari assured my happily. "You're darling sister will rescue you from their evil clutches!"
"I'm already out-" I stop myself before I could fully respond, realizing what I had been about to say would only confirm the ridiculous claim. "I've never been a part of an evil corporation!"
I suppose that in a technical sense the Mage's Association didn't count as a corporation, and only narrowly avoided being outright evil with a caveat of 'lesser' tacked on to it. But that wasn't the point!
I sighed once more cradling my head in my hands as Izumo Inn once more degenerated into ridiculous gossip.
Kuu-chan eventually sidled up to me inconspicuously while the rest of my flock bickered and argued over which degree of robotics had been inflicted on my body (I carefully ignored the perverted old-man laugh Matsu was giving off as she muttered something about 'special enhancements') dragging a subdued Akitsu into the discussion seemings how she had just recently had ample opportunity to find any hidden electrodes that might be hidden on me. Her empathic denial seemed to do nothing to dispel the suspicions, though.
"Onii-chan has magic swords?" The green-girl said to me, though there was a note of questioning to her statement that made me smile despite myself
"Yes, Kuu-chan." I answered. "I have magic swords."
"How many?" She asked, getting excited at the prospect that not only did her onii-chan have swords, but that he was also magical.
"All of them." I state simply, unable to stop myself from a spontaneous attack of meme. "I have all of the swords."
"Fuwaaah." Kusano gasped, obviously impressed by my boast, before promptly tackling-hugging me. "Onii-chan is so cool!"
Somewhere in a corner, Haruka and Kuno shared a wary glance.
"Weren't we supposed to appear in this omake?" They both asked.
Beside them, totally forgotten by everyone, Seo and the lightening twins shrugged. "Get used to the background, kids."