In the living room.
Now that the children have left, the adults can finally talk about serious matters.
However, this matter is very troublesome.
Fujimaru massaged his temples, he couldn't believe that the child his wife had picked up was actually from the Tohsaka family.
To make matters even more complicated, now the head of the Tohsaka family and someone from the Matou family had come to request the child's return.
The Tohsaka and Matou families are well-known in Fuyuki City, where they have long cultivated their influence in the old town nestled in the mountains.
Although the power of these two families has waned in recent years with the rise of modern commerce, particularly in the newly developed city of Shinto, the Fujimaru couple, a pair of down-on-their-luck individuals, are no match for their might.
Given the benefits and reality of the situation, it would be in the best interest of the Fujimaru couple to release the child immediately.
“I'm sorry, Mrs.
Tohsaka, but I must speak frankly.
I cannot in good conscience hand over Sakura to a mother who abandoned her in Shinto and showed no concern or interest in her for 15 days,” Mrs.
Fujimaru said gravely.
Sure enough, she spoke.
Fujimaru sighed inwardly, understanding his wife's character well.
While she may not be particularly warm-hearted, she would never abandon a daughter she had accepted as her own.
This was due to her own childhood experience of being abandoned by her poor parents in a bustling, but indifferent city.
Determined to be an excellent mother, she vowed to never abandon her child, even if she struggled with expressing love and providing education due to a lack of role models.
“I did not abandon Sakura,” Tohsaka Aoi replied calmly, unfazed by Fujimaru's suspicions.
“As a mother, I always consider my child's well-being.
I would never do anything that could harm her.
In fact, I have been searching for her these past few days, believing she was in Miyama.”
“I am very grateful to Mrs.
Fujimaru for taking care of Sakura over the past half month, but may I request her return now?”
Fujimaru was left speechless by Tohsaka's sincere, heartfelt emotion.
Fujimaru was hot-tempered and her feelings were genuine and strong, Tohsaka was gentle and graceful, like water.
The contrast between the two women was clear.
“I apologize, Mrs.
Tohsaka, for not returning Sakura to you right away after confirming that you are her birth mother.
My wife has become deeply fond of Sakura over the past few months, going so far as to buy furniture and clothes that are suitable for her and even preparing to have Sakura's household registration transferred to our family.
I hope you can understand the difficult position we find ourselves in.” Mr.
Fujimaru tried to calm down Mrs.
Fujimaru before turning to Mrs.
Tohsaka and speaking.
Fujimaru has had similar experiences to Mrs.
Fujimaru, he has also had the opportunity to interact with a variety of people in his work and has developed strong emotional intelligence and communication skills.
These abilities have allowed him to handle difficult situations like this one more effectively.
“I am very grateful to you, Mr.
Fujimaru, and I'm sure Sakura feels the same way.
As for any economic losses you may have incurred, the Tohsaka family is willing to compensate you.” Mrs.
Fujimaru waved his hand and said, “Money isn't an issue.
It's the emotional investment that's the problem.
Tohsaka, can you tell me why Sakura ran away from home?”
She wasn't sure how to answer the question.
Should she mention that Sakura had heard that her father was planning to have her adopted by the Matou family?
“Why hasn't Mr.
Tohsaka come with you?” Mr.
“Well…” Tohsaka Aoi hesitated, not sure how to answer.
Should she tell them that her magus husband was completely focused on the upcoming Holy Grail War and had no energy to spare for anything else?
Even so, her husband, Sakura's father, had such strong paternal love that he had broken the rules of being a magus and spent a lot of energy lamenting his usually obedient daughter's rebellion while planning strategies.
But how could she explain this to the Fujimaru couple, who were ordinary people?
Despite appearing mild and polite in comparison to his fiery and loud-spoken wife, Mr.
Fujimaru had proven himself to be a tough and perceptive man with his sharp question.
Tohsaka Aoi, with her good upbringing, couldn't bring herself to lie, but she also couldn't find a way to answer this question honestly.
“This is, Mr.
Fujimaru…,” Seeing Aoi's difficulty, Matou Kariya, who was by her side, quickly intervened: “Sakura's father is currently occupied with very important work, so he is unable to come at this time.”
“Excuse me, Mr.
Kariya, what is your relationship with Mrs.
Tohsaka?” Fujimaru asked.
“Ah…I…I am…” Kariya stumbled, flustered.
“Kariya is my friend,” Tohsaka Aoi said firmly.
Kariya's eyes darkened and he awkwardly chuckled at Fujimaru, “Yes, I am Aoi nee-chan's friend.”
Fujimaru couldn't see it at all, but his common sense kept him from pointing this out.
Fujimaru, I don't mean to threaten you, but legally, physically, and emotionally, Aoi nee-chan is Sakura's guardian.
You should understand this, right?” Kariya may not be skilled with words, but as someone who is not involved in magic, he understood the rules of the ordinary world better than magus.
“Yes, my wife and I understand.
We respect the law and follow it, and we are not unreasonable people,” Fujimaru nodded.
Despite having difficult childhoods, the Fujimaru couple had grown up to be law-abiding and normal.
If Sakura were just an ordinary abandoned child, the Fujimaru family would have no problem accepting her.
However, Sakura has parents, and adoption is something that cannot be ignored by the law.
In fact, from the moment Tohsaka Aoi arrived, Fujimaru knew that it was inevitable that Sakura would be taken home.
The challenge was in finding a way to handle the situation smoothly, without offending important people, and ensuring that his family wouldn't be left with psychological scars.
Men, unlike boys, have people they must protect.
Fujimaru, who was highly emotionally intelligent and mature in handling things, still found this matter tricky.
“Running away from home shows that there are conflicts between Sakura and Mrs.
Let her choose.
If Sakura still wants to stay here, it means that she has not let go of her resentment.
Taking some time apart may help improve your relationship.
Tohsaka, what do you think of this idea?” Mr.
Agreeing to let Sakura choose would be the most acceptable outcome, no matter what her decision might be.
After considering it, Tohsaka Aoi finally nodded in agreement.
In the end, Sakura, under the disappointed gaze of Fujimaru Chiyo, chose to go home with Tohsaka Aoi.
Of course, no matter how angry the reason was for choosing to run away from home, a six-year-old child's biggest wish after being away from home for half a month is still to go home.
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