Yes, Shirou's servant is Caster from Fate/Extra. And for those who are curious, I took that chant at the end of the last chapter straight from the Unlimited Blade Works movie from the scene where Rin forges a new contract with Saber.
And on to the story.
The transport rocked as it took hits from the Banshees that were closing in on it, wolves coming for their prey. Shirou wasted no time training his anti-material rifle on the more reckless one that was leaving behind it's wing mates, eager for the glory that would undoubtedly come with the kill. Quickly opening his magic circuits, he began the process which he had spent countless hours perfecting at base after devising it, and was now capable of executing in a split second.
Initiate Structural Analysis…complete
Modify subatomic matrixes…material superconductivity threshold reached.
Prepare Prana for use as electrical discharge.
Confine to Barrel length.
Creating electromagnetic field…complete.
The high-velocity armor-piercing round flew at 40 times the speed of sound as it left the make-shift Gauss cannon and impacted on its target with a screech ripping off one of unfortunate sop's wings, causing it to roll uncontrollably to the canyon below.
Any satisfaction the one responsible might have felt however, immediately disappeared as another craft promptly took its place, beginning the harassment anew.
Shirou shook his head. This game had been going on for longer than he would have liked. He, Carter, and Emile had secured Doctor Halsey's package and were fleeing to the Pillar of Autumn for evacuation.
The idea to grab a pelican to serve as rapid transport was a good one.
The idea to leave the choice of pilot up to their captain however…
"Sir, I still think I should be the one flying."
"Dammit Six, focus on the package."
Mentally sighing while taking down two more pursuers with his souped-up rifle, he tried to work out in his mind just why they had thought it was a good idea to determine who would get control of the flight stick with a game of rock-paper-scissors.
Failing miserably, he tried once more to convince his superior to let go of his new toy.
"Sir, with all due respect, your flying totally SUCKS!"
As if on cue, several plasma bolts pelted the Pelicans hull, thankfully not hitting anything important. Yet.
"Just shut up and focus on the package!"
A new toy that the spoiled superior in question did not want to let go.
Okay, Shirou could sympathize; flying was undoubtedly an extremely exhilarating experience. And it was quite easy to get addicted to the sensation once you had sampled it once. And Carter had every right to savor the feeling…when they weren't on what was probably the most important mission in the history of mankind.
"Dammit. Help me out here Dot."
"Noble 6 is correct. Record comparisons show that he has five times as many simulation hours and twelve times as many actual flight hours as you do Noble 1." The supercomputer AI quipped.
"In addition he has prevailed in 1,689 air-to-air singular combat scenarios. You only have 223 on file, Noble 1."
Carter shook his head disbelievingly, he knew that the newest addition to their group was good, he didn't know he was THAT good. Still…
"This isn't a God Damn Longsword, just how do you expect to dogfight in a frickin Pelican?"
…He had his pride to think of after all.
"Of the aforementioned 1,689 kills, 97 Type-26 GSA "Banshees" were confirmed gun kills using a chin mounted 70mm chaingun on the D77-TC Pelican class vessel under his control."
Pride which evidently wasn't worth much at the moment.
"72 of which were netted while dropship was loaded to near maximum capacity, limiting maneuverability."
Okay, correction, REALLY wasn't worth much at the moment.
"Shit Six, that's pretty badass." Emile at this point had no choice but to voice his approval.
"Is that how you got to test fly those Sabres?"
Shirou blew up another covenant fighter before answering.
"No, I got special training at the facility."
"What the Fuck? How come we never got any of that shit?"
"Do you remember when we first got abducted, they shoved us all into a shuttle, climbed to low earth orbit, then suddenly started accelerating directly towards the ground?"
"Man, I remember passin out! That's what I remember!"
"And that's why you didn't get the training—they used that stunt to judge your body's reaction to a sudden increase in G forces and as part of a test to see if you'd make the cut for the pilot arm." This was enough to shut the skull-faced Spartan up.
"Now can I please take the seat sir?"
Carter, faced with his own relative incompetence, finally relented. "Fine Fine, but if the human race gets wiped out because of this, it's not my fault you hear me!"
Dropping into the chair, Shirou felt perfectly at home.
"Okay, work with me Dot, Fence in all available combat systems and link instruments to my HUD. Disable angle of attack limiters."
Shirou quickly went through the more important flight checks he had tried to tell his superior to run.
"Time to Dance."
Caster woke up with a start. Looking around the room and realizing that she was not in some giant flying metal box thingy, she calmed down enough to stop her hands from shaking.
The Nine-tailed fox had in her past bore witness to countless battles. The eras in which she had been born and experienced firsthand were, after all, some of Japan's bloodiest. Ambitious Shoguns, back door treaties with foreign powers, assassinations, family feuds—all of these were commonplace in her time. However, the kind of bloodshed she was accustomed to seeing was more along the lines of huge formations of troops rushing towards each other and covering the field with blood on a single plane of movement.
Shaking her head, she tried to recall what she had "seen."
Giant ships dwarfing those in royal fleets, moving through a vast ocean of emptiness dotted with stars, suddenly disappearing, then reappearing at another point in a blinding flash of light; and promptly torn to pieces by projectiles the size of entire long houses, hurled faster than the eye could see. Metal objects shaped like birds weaving through the skies raining fire on the unfortunates down below. A blinding flash of light coming from the heavens and swallowing an entire city, turning every tree, building, man, woman, and child, into glass.
These are…these are master's memories!
A groan emerged as the person who was sleeping across the room woke up, feeling the effects of his first-ever hangover.
"Seriously Caster, just what did you put in the punch?" Shirou asked while nursing his temple.
The night before, when the ritual had been completed, the Caster that had been sitting there was most definitely not the caster that had been there before, having gained an additional 8 tails bringing the total number of such appendages up to 9.
Once she noticed that all of them were "back," Caster had gone into an unstoppable fit of joy, materializing gallons of what was apparently high quality Koshu (aged sake), which had been around since the Heian period, when she had first started collecting it. Jealous at apparently being outdone, Luvia made a quick phone call, and moments later a helicopter came out of nowhere and dropped a crate into Shirou's courtyard. Inside was vintage wine dating back to the days of the French revolution.
Needless to say, things had gotten just a little bit crazy. After Sakura passed out, Luvia and Caster had gotten into a drinking match. Though the heiress had a fairly high tolerance for someone of her slender frame, thanks to all the times her family had played host to other nobles and businessmen, it was sadly no match for the millennia of experience with alcohol the fox lady had under her belt.
Though it hadn't gotten to the point where she was hurling her guts all over the place (Shirou thanked whichever gods were looking over him), a drunk Luvia was a very…difficult Luvia, to say the least.
Thanks to several bottles of Merlot, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, and a few cups of spiked fruit punch, by the end of the night, Luvia had lost all the gazillion layers of inhibition she had drilled into her as the family's next head. Unfortunately, said alcohol did not touch any of her inner wants and desires.
This led to a very amorous Luvia, who had ended the night latched to Shirou's left leg mumbling incoherently.
Shaking his head, the Spartan turned hug pillow looked to the blonde mop still attached to him, recalling some of the words that came out of her mouth.
Why was she dreaming about hiding sausages and putting buns in ovens?
And Shirou's naiveté returns with a vengeance.
Contrary to what people seemed to think, our favorite soldier did in fact absorb a good bit what those kind folks in the military had tried to explain to him about the facts of life and childbirth, he was just usually exhausted to the point of near-collapse when they were explaining it. After all, going on for 3 days without sleep and relying completely on borderline illegal medication to pull you through tended to take a lot out of you. As did the constant dodging air strikes, evading withering enemy fire, hijacking vehicles (the UNSC had presented him with a mock Grand Theft Auto medal after his 500th one), and leveling bases.
However, since the general perception was that he had never even gotten past level one with his understanding of intimate relationships, nobody had bothered to elevate his lessons to include the wide variety of jargon regarding such matters.
"But Shirou-sama, we only have daughters, the family needs a male heir~ Ehehe~"
Shirou blushed, but decided that right now would not be the best time to wake her up.
Attempting to shift his body just enough so that he could face Caster, his unoccupied leg suddenly let out a moan.
Looking down, he found that at some point, Sakura had taken to using it as a pillow.
Okay, so it wasn't so unoccupied after all.
"Ho ho, a flower in each hand." Caster amusedly quipped while feeling slightly annoyed for some reason.
Shirou sighed, resigned to the fact that all hell would break loose once both of the girls latched on to him woke up.
"So, err, how did you sleep?"
"The futon was really comfy! I know it's sometime in the future from when I was last around but it doesn't really look like things have changed that much." The girl noted happily.
"And the nabe yesterday was amazing! Haaan, nabe really is the best when you're going into autumn…"
Shirou smiled. During his time as an enlisted man, he had taken it upon himself to find ways to improve the quality of the fare that soldiers were subjected to on a daily basis. With casualty rates as they were, there was a very good chance that anybody he saw wouldn't be there the next day. He figured that, at the very least, they deserved to have good food, as every meal they had could very well be their last. Thanks to his efforts, every mess hall he came upon started serving dishes that, while not exactly gourmet, easily topped officer rations (which were typically superior to those for common troops) in terms of quality.
Though this was technically against regulations, any complaints that may have been filed mysteriously disappeared once they reached the CO's offices, never making it to the upper echelons. And of course around the same time, rumors that unit commanders were forgoing their issued meals in favor of those now being produced in the general mess halls started to circulate.
Purely coincidence of course.
Needless to say, this had honed Shirou's cooking abilities to the stuff of legends, to the point that he could create meals worthy of kings even when provided with the most basic of ingredients. ESPECIALLY when provided with the most basic of ingredients.
"Thank you, I've had a bit of practice."
"Yay! I got a master that can cook! Caster scores!"
All this time, the 9 tails that adorned the servant were swishing from side to side.
Shirou, despite himself, was not able to stop his eyes from following the furry objects.
"Hey Caster, can I touch your tails?"
"Iyaaan, master's so bold! Asking to touch a girl's tails!"
She put on a mock-blush as she sat closer to the man.
"But…but, if it's master, I'm fine with it."
Realizing he was being teased, but not particularly caring at the moment, Shirou focused his attention on the objects of his fascination.
"Wow, these are really soft." He stated, enraptured.
"Teehee, I'm glad you think so, I spend a lot of time grooming them you know!"
"Grooming…" The image of Caster licking her tails while every once in awhile nibbling to get rid of a spot with knotted fur was enough to send the cuteness meter in his head through the roof.
This simply led to an increase in the rate at which he stroked the tails.
Before long, the kimono clad girl was humming in contentment, allowing other parts of her body to let loose.
The flicking fox ears immediately caught his attention.
This time, the battle with his restraint lost even faster, Shirou's hand instantly shot out and started rubbing the top of her head, on the spot right between the furry tips.
Caster immediately tensed.
No, this couldn't be happening! She would not give in!
She was a legend known throughout the country!
Children cried at the mere utterance of her name!
She was the Kyuubi no Kitsune!
The heavens shook when she roared!
The earth tore asunder wherever she walked!
The oceans trembled in her wake!
Closing her eyes and letting the warm fuzzy feeling take her, she began to wag her tails more vigorously.
Unfortunately, vigorously wagging tails means more noise. And more noise means…
Shirou suddenly froze, dread gripping his soul as the eerie aura emitted from his childhood friend permeated the very fiber of his being.
"G-Good morning Sakura."
Ignoring the greeting, the purple haired girl's eyes moved until they fell on the hand on top of Caster's head, resting there for a few moments before refocusing on the male.
Impossibly, the dark miasma which seemed to have formed around her increased in intensity
Shirou was getting scared.
Nothing had ever prepared him for this.
Not the years of Spartan training.
Not the countless hours of mission experience.
Not the—Was that a hanya mask?
Stay calm. Stay calm. Stay calm. Stay calm.
"Wait, wha? Sakura, why—"
"Ah sure." Shirou promptly complied rubbing the purple head with his free hand.
Mentally sighing, he tried to get a grasp on the situation.
Well, at least it can't get any worse.
"S-S-Shirou-kun! W-What are you d-d-d-d-doing with those two girls!" Luvia stammered out, now fully awake.
After getting everybody to settle down, Shirou bid Sakura farewell, promising to meet up again later for dinner.
With the one of the guests now gone, he decided to get some well-deserved rest before his luggage came in.
Joining Caster and Luvia at the table and reaching for tea that had been prepared, they indulged in small talk until the servant broached the subject.
"Ne ne master, are you some kind of warrior?"
Nearly choking on his drink, Shirou sputtered.
"What the? How did you—"
"I forgot to tell you that servants and masters unconsciously share dreams and memories. What happened yesterday night, that's going to be more of a common occurrence now."
Shirou frowned. There were certain memories after all, that he didn't really want shared, not to anyone. Certain things that he had done to other humans for the sake of winning the war…were less than honorable.
Shaking his head, he decided to simply take things as they went along, and pray that the darkest experiences of his past never made it into the exchange.
"Is there any way to stop it? I mean, I don't exactly want to pry into things I shouldn't be touching."
"Not that I know of master." Caster replied, shaking her head.
"But it's good to know care." She added brightly.
Expression turning serious, the servant steered the conversation to its necessary course.
"By the way, we should probably talk a bit about the Holy Grail War"
Luvia nodded in agreement.
Shirou, giving his consent, confirmed that they were speaking of.
"You mean the tournament Luvia was talking about."
"Correct. Since master was kind of dragged into it, I felt you at least deserved to know everything I can tell you."
"The quick version is that it's a battle between 7 masters and their servants. And at the end, the last one standing gets the Holy Grail, which can grant any wish."
Taking this in, Shirou began to formulate his questions.
"So just that, defeat the other masters? Are there any rules governing the fights?"
Caster shook her head.
"No, you're allowed to do anything you want. Usually it's easier to just kill the master since the servants are a lot harder to beat."
"I see. Do you know if anybody is regulating this?"
This time Luvia spoke up to provide clarification.
"Since this is a battle between magi, the political implications of having another magus serve as referee and overseer are not particularly pleasant. The church has been called in to take care of this aspect."
Sipping her tea she continued
"The point of contact for this war is one Kotomine Kirei. I will take you to him later for official registration."
Mulling over what he had just been told, Shirou couldn't help but notice one small detail.
"Wait, Luvia, you said 'this war', have there been others before it?"
Thinking for a bit, she replied
"That is correct, records indicate that there were four others before this one."
Pausing for a bit, she noted an oddity in her research.
"It's strange though, usually the wars are 60 years apart, allowing The Great Grail to amass enough energy to start manifesting servants. This one is only 13 years after the last war occurred."
Taking it all in, Shirou's eyes widened.
13 years…that's the same the same as—
"Luvia, did the last one occur in Fuyuki city as well?"
"Why…yes, it did."
"I see…" Shirou bit his lip "The fire 13 years ago…"
Realization dawned on the Heiress as her expression saddened. As soon as she had become interested in the boy no expense had been spared at looking into his background. So, in effect, she knew everything…
"Yes Shirou, it most likely had something to do with it. Chances are a spell used by either a master or servant went out of control."
Closing his eyes and clenching his fists so tight that his nails started digging into his fist, drawing blood.
Fire. 500 dead, one survivor, parents among those killed.
Though it had been ages ago, the memory was still fresh in his head. Thanks to whoever had started those flames, he no longer had a mother or father. Hell, he couldn't even remember if he had any parents. His first memory was that of a Kiritsugu shedding tears of joy, while around him there existed nothing but debris and charred bodies.
Thankfully, he was later adopted by his savior, gaining a home, some semblance of a family, and a path in life. It was not until Shirou was old enough to understand all the stories he had been told as a child however, that he realized his father had been betrayed by his own ideals.
Emiya Kiritsugu, despite his age, had been incredibly naïve, living life in the hopes that he would one day be capable of saving everybody he laid eyes upon.
To sacrifice one life to save another. This was a common occurrence, after all, in the agency which he had been a part of. In fact, it could be said that this group was the very embodiment of this recognized necessity. The pool of 300 orphans which Shirou had been a part of was raised with the idea that they would die before they reached the age of 20 in order to buy humanity precious time. It was only through an accidental discovery of his magecraft by one of the supervisors that he was deemed too valuable to expend.
Ultimately, through his experiences, he had made peace with his father's dreams. There was oftentimes no way to save some without losing others. The world simply did not work that way—as such, the whole idea of being a hero of justice was simply ridiculous as justice for some would mean injustice for others. Attempting to be this type of figure would render him at the same both a hero and villain.
However, those around him; those who ate, slept, laughed, bled, and died in his company—it was to those people that he did have a certain obligation. Shirou had learned through Kiritsugu that common blood was not necessary for individuals to become a family. And his time as a Spartan, though fraught with peril, had been some of the happiest in his life as he willingly made sacrifices in order to protect those he cared about. It was only though the urging of others in the platoon who had wanted him to have a "normal life" that he had not tried to contest the honorable discharge notice.
He couldn't protect everybody. It wasn't possible. But those around him; those he could see, feel, and hear, they at the very least deserved everything he could give right?
"Let's go see this Kirei person."
Shirou and party (with caster in spiritual form), spent the trip to the church in silence.
When they finally arrived, upon opening the doors they were greeted with a familiar face.
The descendent of the Tohsaka family immediately turned around to face the direction the voice had come from, alarm on her face at having an unfamiliar voice utter her name.
Upon laying eyes upon a familiar set of eyes and orange mop the tension vanished.
"E…miya…kun?" The twin tail disbelievingly managed to make out.
All those years ago, after ONI had abducted Shirou, it was Rin that had immediately noticed something out of place, and killed the flash clone that had replaced him before fabricating a story about distant relatives finding and taking him away.
"It's good to see you again too Rin."
Shaking her head, all she could do was stand there astounded.
"But how…Where were…What are you…"
Rubbing the back of his head, Shirou inwardly sighed. "This is getting to be a crazy day."
"It's a long story."
"I'd bet…" Tohsaka absently nodded.
All of a sudden a haughty laugh resounded from behind the new visitor.
Noticing the blonde woman walking out to the front Rin plastered a smirk on her face and directed it towards her eternal enemy.
Sparks visibly flew between the two women as cold blue eyes met burning amber orbs.
Over the past few years, the two magi had developed a bit of an adversarial relationship while learning at the association. Both were hot tempered, proud to a fault, and undoubtedly gifted, causing a bitter rivalry to be established. After a certain incident which destroyed a wing of the school, people learned to stay far away whenever the two were sighted in the same room.
"Ara Ara, here to forfeit and seek asylum before the war even begins? How like a noble you are Luvia."
"My my, it seems as if your fashion sense has deteriorated even further Rin. Could it be that your plebian finances are not enough to handle your excesses? I could give you a loan of course."
The two continued to trade barbs until the other male in the building finally spoke up.
"So are you going to stop them?"
Shirou looked at the creepy priest who had suddenly appeared before him.
"Nah, it's best to let them blow off steam."
"I see…so I take it you haven't heard of their…destructive reputation yet."
"What are you—"
"Destroyed 300,000 pounds worth of university laboratory equipment."
"Injured 209 students caught in crossfires to date"
"Wait hold o—"
"Burned down western wing of association dormitory."
As he listed the damages, Shirou visibly grew paler at the implications.
"Since it seems are if you are fine with this, my lawyer will contact you at a later date to discuss repayment for reconstruction of the church."
"Fret not, we do accept payment in installments.
"Okay you two, no fighting."
Shirou gulped as both sets of eyes turned on him.
He was toast now. The church and his bank account would be saved, but his life was forfeit.
Dammit, he still had to water the plants! Take out the garbage! Wax the floor! Arrange the furniture! Make sure the—"
"W-Well, if E-Emiya-Kun says so…" Rin stuttered with a light blush, looking away.
"J-J-Just count yourself lucky that Shirou decided to step in." Luvia retorted weakly.
Well that went better th—
"Hooo, master sure is popular."
Caster had materialized to enjoy the show and had been suppressing her giggles in the background.
Noticing the newest addition, the man of the cloth decided that introductions were in order.
"Forgive my rudeness. I am Kotomine Kirei, agent of the Church, and mediator of the 5th Holy Grail War. I trust this is your servant? Mr…"
"Shirou. Emiya Shirou."
Kotomine's eyes widened as he heard the family name.
I see, so this is Kiritsugu's son, I thought he had seemed familiar, and to think, he's following in his father's footsteps! Oh the joy I will reap when I finally tear apart his dreams! Mhmhmhm. Mahaha, AHAHAHAHAAAAAA!
The creepy priest now seemed to be laughing maniacally to himself. Concerned, Shirou turned to Rin.
"Umm…is he going to be okay?"
"Yeah, he's usually like that, I wouldn't worry about it."
"I…see…" Visibly disturbed, he decided to simply wait until the man calmed down.
10 minutes later…
GAHAHAHAHAAAAA HAHAHAAAA HAHAAAAAA
Shirou sighed, deciding to kill time by playing with Caster's tails.
20 minutes later…
YES! YEEESSS! MY PREEECIIOOOUUSSSS!
Caster was humming contently as Shirou petted her head, ignoring jealous glares from the other two girls in the room.
30 minutes later…
Clearing his throat, Kirei finally began.
"Forgive me, I suddenly thought of something rather humorous."
"Ah. Yeah, sure…anytime." Shirou sweatdropped.
Guess now we know why nobody ever attends service here.
"In any case since you have a servant in tow, may I be so bold as to assume that you wish to register as a participant for this tournament?"
"Yes that is corr—"
"Wait!" Rin suddenly interrupted.
"Don't do it Emiya! Stay out of this!"
Shirou was now confused.
Rin glanced down as she fought with herself.
"Because I'm entering too."
Looking at her crush, pleading with her eyes, she begged despite her usual proud demeanor.
"I don't want to have to fight you."
He would not be deterred however.
"Rin, 13 years ago, in that fire, I was the only survivor."
The twin-tail looked down, knowing what was coming next. People don't change that easily after all, and she knew Shirou better than just about anybody.
"I have a responsibility to those that died to make sure something like that doesn't happen again."
Rin closed her eyes, frustration evident on her face.
"Huh? Talk louder I can hear—"
"Fine! Do whatever you want you idiot!"
Strange as it was, he knew Rin had just given her consent.
"Don't worry, I'll think of something. We'll be fine."
"…Idiot." Rin mumbled.
Shirou just smiled.
After Rin had calmed down, Shirou made his way back to his estate with his entourage in tow.
No sooner had they stepped through the front door did a giant shadow cast itself over the courtyard.
Caster instantly jumped in front of her master.
"Master, stay back, it's that giant metal bird from your dreams!"
Rubbing his head, he tried to calm his servant down before casualties were incurred and he had to explain to his former superiors just why a pelican was shot down over his house.
"Relax Caster, this one's a friend."
The fox girl backed down but warily kept her eyes on the object, watching for any attacks. A movement towards the "metal birds" rear caught her eye.
"Hey master, why's it laying eggs?"
Shirou followed his servants' line of sight, frowned, then looked at the area right below where the "egg" would fall.
Eyes widening, he quickly tried to warn the pilots.
"Wait wait stop it's going to drop right on top of the—"
Too late. The crate began its descent and landed, destroying everything underneath.
Sighing, Shirou took out his communicator and tried to connect with the Dropship-turned-delivery truck.
Dammit. Sakura is going to kill me.
After a little bit of maneuvering and a lot of shouting, all the packages were finally all unloaded. The basic necessities came first—clothing, spare rations, mementos, medals.
Then came the gifts which some of the people who he'd fought with had decided to send him. These weren't too bad. Some beer mugs, a coffee maker, dishes, silverware, and…
Shirou blushed as he looked at the contents of the last package…
Just what are they thinking, sending me these! I'd better get rid of them before Caster of Luvia see.
Unfortunately, Caster and Luvia were already looking over his shoulder.
Suddenly noticing them, Shirou yelped and told his servant to get rid of the offending objects. The Pink-head obliged…after sharing a look with the heiress.
My room? Later? Caster stared
Yes, we'll talk…business. Luvia stared back.
Let it not be said that only men can be perverts.
Deciding to leave the "heavier" crates for later, when nobody who didn't have security clearance was around to see the contents, Shirou went to kitchen to prepare snacks and drinks.
When he came back the living room however, he noticed several piles of old tomes which had apparently appeared out of nowhere, as well as the fact that Luvia had put on a pair of glasses.
"Umm…what are all these for."
Looking up from her text, the Heiress smiled.
"Why, they're for your lessons of course."
Wearily, he studied the books which were to be his texts. Some of them looked as if they were about to turn into dust, simply waiting for an unlucky fool to start flipping the pages. All of them had arcane symbols, of which Shirou did not understand any since his lessons while on active duty were constantly interrupted and pushed back.
They all looked thick. Very, very thick.
"Why of course not." Luvia gasped.
"Do you take me for some kind of demon?"
Whew, for a moment there I was starting to wor—
"All the books here contain all the basics you should have memorized by the time I'm done with the first segment of your education, we'll start by finishing these two tonight. Don't worry, they're only about 800 pages each, and should make for some good light reading."
"Li...ght?" Shirou managed to make out.
"Yes, I wouldn't expect you to go full force right from the outset after all. Tomorrow we'll get started on one of the heavier tomes."
Realizing that his hopes of a relaxing night were shot to oblivion, he got to work on the assigned readings under the watchful gaze of his teacher.
Let's get this over with. If I'm lucky, maybe I'll have time to mop the floor before the sun comes up.