Holding the hands of the two children, Tohsaka Aoi sat in the back seat of a car, while Matou Kariya sat in the driver's seat and started the engine.

The night was enchanting.

A red Honda Accord was driving on the national highway.
It went from Shinto to Miyama.

“Kariya, thank you very much for your help this time.
When I heard about Sakura running away from home, you even rushed back from out of town to help me.” Tohsaka Aoi, holding the two children who were now asleep, thanked Kariya, who was holding the steering wheel.

don't mention it, Aoi.
I was also very worried when Sakura went missing,” Kariya tightened his grip on the steering wheel.

“Speaking of…
speaking of it, has that Tokiomi guy summoned his Servant and participated in the Holy Grail War already?” Kariya changed the subject and asked.

Tohsaka Aoi pursed her lips.
“Kariya, even though you've left the magecraft world, you're still a member of the Matou family.”

I naturally know that, Aoi.
Sorry, please don't mind this matter.” Kariya tightened his grip on the steering wheel.

“Speaking of which, what have you been doing lately?” Aoi asked, stroking Sakura's hair.

“Well, I'm working at a light novel publishing company…
Oh, by the way, Aoi, since Sakura has already been found, I'll be leaving in a couple of days.
Some of the authors under my management have missed their deadlines for a week now, so I need to go chase them up.”

“Is that so?” Aoi hesitated for a long time, unable to voice the request in her heart.
As a member of the Tohsaka family, she knew she should clearly draw a line with the Matou family.
Despite this, Kariya, a member of the Matou family, had already helped her more than once.
Aoi didn't want to take advantage of the situation by asking for another favor, especially now that Kariya was busy with work.

“What is it, Aoi?” Kariya asked, growing anxious as Aoi remained silent for so long.
He knew that he couldn't turn back now that he was on the highway, and the thought of causing a traffic accident or harming the woman he deeply loved filled him with dread.
He knew that he would suffer for the rest of his life if anything happened to Aoi.

“It's nothing,” Aoi said softly.
“By the way, Kariya, is it hard working at the publishing company?”

Aoi's voice was always so gentle, Kariya thought to himself.

“It's okay, I guess,” Kariya said with a sigh.
“It's just that these authors are so lazy.
We have a plan in place that allows them to complete their work while still having free time to play, but they always end up rushing to finish their manuscripts at the end of the month because they're so lazy.
Some of them even run away and don't turn in any manuscripts at all, so we editors have to go catch them personally.
A few of them don't even write anything, and we have to hold a knife to their necks to force them…” Kariya unburdened himself, venting the frustrations of his work to Aoi.

“Oh, that must be really hard,” Aoi said with a sympathetic smile.

Kariya felt his heart lighten and his energy return at Aoi's words.
However, he still didn't hear the words he wanted to hear the most.
She knew he would be leaving in a couple of days…
but maybe that was for the best?

Kariya asked himself this in his heart as he wrestled with his feelings.
He loved his childhood friend deeply, but couldn't bring himself to confess his love and was eventually left behind when Aoi married Tohsaka Tokiomi.
He would never be willing to bring the woman he loved deeply into the dirty, filthy Matou family.

“As long as I can see Aoi happy, that's enough,” Kariya repeatedly told himself in his heart.
He knew that his own happiness was secondary as long as he could see the woman he loved happy and content.

Mommy…” Sakura woke up from a nightmare, looking at her mother Aoi with a pair of sleepy, pitiful eyes.
“Mommy, don't, don't abandon Sakura.”

Aoi couldn't make a promise, knowing that she couldn't go against the wishes of her husband.
She was torn between her duty as a magus's wife and her duty as a mother.
But Aoi had already made up her mind and made her decision before Sakura ran away from home.
Despite this, she fully understood that her husband's values were different from those of ordinary people and she blindly loved him.

She gently stroked Sakura's head, silently telling herself: 'Everything is the best choice.'

She knew that her husband would never make a mistake, and she trusted him fully.

As a magus, her husband has magical abilities and their child has inherited those abilities.
Sakura also has excellent potential for studying magic.
In order to help their child reach their full potential and become an excellent magus, this is the best choice.
Even though it will be painful for a mother to let go, the bright future of the child makes it worth it.

Everything is for the best.

Tohsaka Aoi's silence made Sakura uneasy, but Kariya laughed and said, “Sakura, how could your mother abandon you? Uncle Kariya doesn't believe it for a second.
Sleep well.
When you wake up, you'll be home.”

Kariya understands Tohsaka Aoi's personality and knows that she is an excellent woman and will also be an excellent mother.

He couldn't believe that Tohsaka Aoi would abandon her child.
At most, she might do something that the child doesn't understand, but that is ultimately very beneficial for them.
It's like how normal mothers scold their children for not studying or doing their homework.

“Please help me take care of Sakura…” These words stuck in her throat.
Aoi knew that if she asked Kariya for help, he would surely take care of Sakura.
But she still couldn't bring herself to say those words to Kariya.
The Tohsaka family and the Matou family are both magical families, allies in creating the Holy Grail War ritual, but at the same time, they are each other's greatest enemies.

She is from the Tohsaka family and Kariya is from the Matou family.
It's already troublesome for the other party to put down their work and travel back here to help find Sakura, how could she still ask for such a troublesome favor from him? That would be too shameless.

The red Honda Accord drove all the way from Shinto to the Tohsaka mansion in Miyama.

“Thank you, Kariya.
I really appreciate it this time,” Tohsaka Aoi said as she led the two children off the car.

it's nothing, Aoi nee-san.
Here are the keys.
I have to get back to the hotel.” Kariya handed the car keys back to Aoi and then left.

Tohsaka Aoi led the two children back to the mansion.

Tokiomi is a classic magus.

Elegant, composed, and resolute.

Tokiomi, due to his noble birth and early experiences, has a haughty personality and is extremely confident.
He is a man with both pride and an unyielding character.
As a magus, Tokiomi has a strong sense of pride and self-esteem.
He believes that, as a magus, he must maintain the dignity of his profession and, because he is not bound by worldly restrictions, he must be more self-restrained.

Despite his pride and self-restraint, there is one thing that sets him apart from other magi: his love for his children.

Unlike many magi who only allow one of their children to inherit the family's magic crest and discriminate against children based on their magical aptitude, Tokiomi loves and cares for both of his daughters equally.

However, perhaps because of this, heaven has given him both the greatest joy and the most painful punishment.

Both of his daughters have excellent magical aptitude, but only one of them can inherit the family's magic crest and succeed him as head of the household.

This is a choice that could have been made slowly, over time.
However, as the head of the Tohsaka family, Tokiomi must participate in the Holy Grail War in order to fulfill the wish of the Tohsaka family and achieve the ultimate goal of being a magus.
This is a war with a high likelihood of death.

In order to prevent the extinction of the Tohsaka family, he must choose an heir before he leaves to participate in the Holy Grail War.
After much hesitation, Tokiomi ultimately chose his outgoing older daughter, Rin, to inherit the Tohsaka family.

However, this does not mean that he abandoned Sakura.

Tokiomi loves both of his daughters equally and, even though he chose Rin as the heir, he did not give up on Sakura.
He worked hard to ensure a bright future for her.
Even as he prepared for the life-and-death battles of the Holy Grail War, he devoted a lot of energy to thinking about his daughter's future.
Fortunately, his efforts paid off.
The Matou family of Fuyuki City, who had a poor candidate for succession, were willing to adopt Sakura and raise her to be the head of the Matou family.

Tokiomi was overjoyed at this outcome.
What could make a father happier than seeing his daughter happy?

However, Sakura's physical body was not suitable for the magic of the Matou family, so she needed to be modified.
This was something that the head of the Matou family, an old man named Matou Zouken, had told Tokiomi beforehand.
Despite this, Tokiomi was willing to accept it.
Modification is always painful, but it was for the sake of his daughter's happiness.

Compared to the happiness of being able to become an excellent magus like her sister in the future, the minor pains of childhood are worth it.

Even if his daughter would be troubled and rebellious because of this, Tohsaka Tokiomi believed that this was only because she was still too young and didn't understand the reasoning behind his actions.
She didn't understand how important it was for him to sacrifice his own feelings for her future happiness.

As a magician with a father's love, isn't it natural for him to want to give his daughter what he believes will bring her the most happiness? Even if it means causing her suffering in her childhood and causing himself the suffocating pain of separation from his daughter, it is all worth it for the sake of her future happiness.

Even if his young daughter does not understand this at the moment, when she grows up and becomes more understanding, she will surely be grateful for her father's deep love and will thank him for his choice when she is happily able to become an excellent magician like her sister.

But his daughter ran away from home.

Even though he was busy with war planning, Tohsaka Tokiomi couldn't help but spare a moment to sigh at his daughter's lack of understanding.
However, considering her age, he didn't say anything.

He wasn't worried about his daughter getting into accidents.
Even though she is young, she is a magus's daughter and has self-defense item that Tohsaka Tokiomi made specifically for her.
It's just that his daughter's rebellion gives him a headache and needs to be properly addressed.

Therefore, after sensing the item and confirming that his daughter is still alive, Tohsaka Tokiomi chooses to focus on the life-and-death battle that is about to begin.
Especially now that his daughter has been brought back home by his wife.

“Daddy…” Sakura grabbed onto Tohsaka Aoi's skirt and looked at Tohsaka Tokiomi timidly.

“Go to sleep,” Tohsaka Tokiomi said affectionately as he stroked her head.
The affectionate father is always lenient with his young and clueless daughter.

Sakura was then taken away by Tohsaka Aoi.

Tokiomi returned to his desk, glancing over the information on the Holy Grail War participants that he had obtained and organized.

~Huala hula~

The golden king, dressed in a casual white suit, sat on the sofa and poured red wine into a glass.
He raised the glass slightly, his eyes like blood-red sweeping over Tokiomi, Aoi, and the Tohsaka children through the red wine.
His handsome, distinctively-featured face wore an elegant, joyful smile.

“What a delightful tragedy a group of hybrid blood will bring.
The tears of a child pushed into the abyss by the love of a magus must be extremely delicious, and the despairing eyes falling into the abyss must be an exciting moment to witness.
This script truly brings twice the joy to this king.”

The golden king gently shook the wine glass, causing the red wine within to ripple slightly like blood.
An inner joy smile graced his handsome face.

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