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Messages - Cherry Lover

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"I do have a large collection, but I don't tend to read Christian literature. I'm.. not a religious person", she replied, choosing her words carefully to hide her utter contempt for the gods. "My master and one of her.. friends are Christian, though, so they might have some. However, to visit our house you'd have to get my master's permission. I don't feel comfortable inviting strangers into her house to look through her library, or even through mine."


Rider smiled.

"Yes, I do", she said. "Reading is one of my favourite past-times."

"However, I went to the library earlier, and I have plenty of books at home, so I have no need to go there at the moment. Besides, it'll be closed by now", she added. "But I can show you where it is, if you like."


"Moko?" Shirou continued to shout, before he heard a quiet whimpering sound.

Walking towards the source of the sound, he continued to look around, wondering where the cute furball had gone.

"Moko?" he shouted again. "It's OK, you can come out now, it's safe."


Rider sighed at the mage's words. The girl really did not seem to understand the nature of her relationship with Sakura.

"Of course", she said to the girl. "I would have thought that was obvious. Simply refusing to act does not serve any purpose if the order can be achieved in another way."

Then she turned to the other servant.

"Don't worry, it's not a regular occurance. My master is a good person, as I said, and she trusts me to make my own decisions", she replied.

"As for my spare time, well, I just live my life normally, as any ordinary person might. I go to bars, I read, I help my master, whatever I feel like doing", she added.


"If I don't think it is in my master's best interests for me to obey the order, then I won't obey it", Rider responded, simply. "I obey her wishes out of choice, not because I feel obliged to do so."

"However, that situation does not generally arise. My master is a good person, her orders are rarely unreasonable. In the unlikely event that they are, I will consider whether disobeying it will be beneficial or will simply cause her to lose her trust in me. She has.. other means of achieving what she requested if I choose not to assist her, so simply disobeying may not help if I cannot convince her of my reasoning."

Rider decided that she would rather keep her master's status secret for now. After all, if she mentioned Sakura's ability to support multiple servants, it might make them see her as a potential target. So, instead, she was intentionally vague about the reason why disobeying may often be a pointless act.

Sakura and Shirou

Shirou's eyes widened as he noticed claws appear from thin air, inches from Sakura's body.

Oh, no! he thought, realising their terrible mistake as he summoned up his swords.

To his surprise, though, the claws did not move, instead remaining hovering in place. Sighing in relief as he realised the girl had chosen not to attack after all, he simply watched as she stood there, tears running down her eyes, before returning Sakura's embrace and apologising.

Sakura, meanwhile, had been unaware of the danger she was in, simply continuing to tightly hug the poor girl. A smile came over her face as Red apologised before finally returning the hug, glad that the girl had accepted her affection and kindness, and she tightened the hug, patting the girl's back warmly. However, her happiness soon turned to horror as she noticed blood dripping from the girl's mouth, her skin turning white as she fell into unconsciousness.

"Red!" Sakura shouted, extremely concerned, before gently placing the girl on the ground in the recovery position, beginning to check her over.

"What's wrong?" Shirou asked, also extremely concerned.

"I d..don't know", Sakura responded, tears coming to her eyes. "Blood just started coming from her mouth, then she collapsed."

"She's alive, though", Sakura said with relief as she checked for a pulse. "Her heart's beating and she's breathing."

Sakura knelt down next to the girl and continued to check her over, using her magic to see if she could find any problems. Shirou, meanwhile, paced around, clearly very concerned about the girl's well-being. Finally, though, Sakura came to a conclusion.

"I think she'll be OK", she said. "She just needs some rest."

Any normal person would have waited to consider what to do, but for Sakura and Shirou, the answer was obvious.

"I'll go and find Moko", Shirou said, "then we'll take her home. She can rest there, where it's safe."

They clearly couldn't leave the girl here, it was not a comfortable or safe place to rest. And they hadn't found out where she lived, so they couldn't take her back there either. Even if they could find out, though, it was clear that whoever was looking after her was not treating her kindly. The girl was alone and frightened, a danger to herself and to others. She needed to be shown kindness and affection, not to be discarded and forgotten. So, they would bring her back to their house, allow her to rest, and then decide where to go from there when she was awake and able to discuss it with them.

So, whilst Sakura waited by the girl, holding her hand and stroking it softly, Shirou left in the vague direction he'd seen a brown blur heading in when Red had begun to act up.

"Moko?" he shouted, repeating the call over and over as he searched. "Moko?"


"No, it's the role of a sister", she said with a soft smile.

"My master is like family to me. I do what she wishes because I want her to be happy", she added. "I do not find her requests unreasonable because they are requests that will make her happy."


Rider pondered the question for a moment, before responding.

"Well, I don't really have duties, as such", she replied. "I simply help in whatever way she needs me to. I will do anything she requests, provided it is within my abilities and in her best interests."


"Indeed, the ground would be a far better place for a walk", Rider replied, before leaping off the building and landing skilfully on the ground below.

Sakura and Shirou

To Sakura's shock, the girl rejected her affection, instead beginning to tremble before screaming to be left alone, the ground shattering under some unknown force and sending pieces flying. Sakura felt small bits of concrete hit her body, reinforcing herself to reduce the damage but nevertheless bloodied as she jumped backwards, confused by the girl's actions.

Why is she doing this? Sakura thought, utterly confused but unwilling to leave a young, vulnerable girl having a super-powered temper tantrum alone.

Shirou, meanwhile, had noticed an odd shimmering and distortion in the air and, reflexively, had summoned up his twin swords, ready to defend himself if necessary. But, it appeared that the girl was just having a tantrum, so he quickly de-summoned the swords, dodging the flying debris as best as he could as he wondered what was going on. At the same time, he noticed a brown, furry blur that he assumed was Moko heading away at a great pace, clearly very frightened by what he'd seen.

Shirou and Sakura, too, felt frightened, but they refused to leave. The girl simply reminded Shirou too much of Illya for him to abandon her when she was so vulnerable. Even the temper tantrum was Illya-like.

The two of them pondered the situation as they tried their best to avoid harm from the flying debris with only limited success, wondering what had caused the sudden change in behaviour. She had been so friendly with them, then suddenly she'd just run away and, seemingly, wanted nothing to do with them.

What is wrong? All Shirou did was suggest she get her parents..., Sakura thought, suddenly realising the problem and then kicking herself for not noticing it sooner.

"Oh, I see...", she said, softly.

After all, Sakura had been abandoned by her parents and mistreated by those who had adopted her. She, too, had once hated the world and her former family. Even to this day she bore resentment towards her absent elder sister. Illya, too, had been seemingly abandoned and mistreated, and had reacted in the same way.

The signs were clear to see now she looked. The girl was just like she had been once, feeling like nothing could ever go right and pushing away those who tried to help, likely for their own good. Her powers, too, were surely something that unscrupulous people would take advantage of, just like Sakura's own magic had been appropriated by Zouken for his own ends.

Turning around, she could see a look of confusion on Shirou's face as he wondered what she meant.

"Senpai, she's lost her parents, that's why she was upset. And I don't think she's very well-treated by whoever adopted her. It's just like me and Illya", she said, a tear forming in her eye.

Then, without hesitation, she approached the girl again, ignoring any pain to wrap her in a hug.

"Please, we want to help you", she said, a tear in her eye.

Shirou, meanwhile, bowed apologetically.

"I..I'm sorry", he said, genuinely distraught. "I didn't realise...."


Rider turned to the girl and smiled.

"You don't need to be a telepath to do it", she said. "It's part of the connection between you and your servant."

Then, she turned to the servant.

"Well, I'm not in a hurry, so if you want to talk for a bit then that's fine", she said.


"I suppose I could talk to you for a while", Rider replied to the other servant. "It's not really that exciting, though, I just do normal things and protect my master."


Rider frowned as she listened to the discussion between the master and her reluctant servant. Whilst she could understand his lack of loyalty to the girl he had presumably just met, she couldn't understand his desire to simply disappear, or his objection to existing.

Then, she heard the other girl address her, offering to assist Sakura. It was a nice offer, but she couldn't see how Sakura would need the girl's help, or even what sort of help she was intending to give.

"Thank you for the offer", she replied, "but my master doesn't really need help with anything. She's living her life perfectly happily, and we can protect her without difficulty."

Then, she turned to the servant.

"As for you, why do you wish to simply disappear?" she said. "Surely you have nothing to lose by remaining in this world and assisting this girl."

Shirou and Sakura

Shirou stood there stunned for a moment as the girl ran out of the room, wondering what he'd done to upset her. Sakura, meanwhile, reacted quickly, chasing after her.

"Red, wait!" she shouted as she ran out of the room.

After a few moments of shock, Shirou followed her, concerned for the girl's welfare, calling out to their pet as he did so.

"Moko, follow me!" he said as he ran out of the room.

Seeing that she was clearly upset, the two of them chased after the girl. When they caught her, Sakura could see that she was crying. Hating to see the girl so upset, Sakura reached out to hug her.

"Red, what's wrong?" she said, softly and kindly.

Shirou, meanwhile, had arrived and was watching on with concern, allowing his wife to do her best to comfort the girl. He felt utterly terrible, and the distress was visible on his face.


A thoughtful look came over Rider's face at his question. She pondered for a moment, considering if she had any real goal for her life. Ultimately, though, other than protecting Sakura's happiness, she didn't really have any goal. She just wanted to live her life.

"I don't really have a goal, aside from protecting my master, of course", she replied. "I am just taking advantage of the chance that I've been given to live another life. I am happy with my master and her family, I see no reason why I should not enjoy my time with them."

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