At this point, Shirou had no choice but to confront the harsh truth that had been forced upon him.
As a young boy, Shirou had been selected for a special purpose, but now the secret of the curse he bears has been revealed, and he knows that greedy magicians will stop at nothing to end his life.
As for whether anyone will spare his life considering that he is still just a child, perhaps if he wasn't a Demi-Servant, an ally of justice like Emiya Kiritsugu might let him go.
But now that he is a Demi-Servant, and both a Master and a Servant to boot, there's no doubt that no one will spare him.
As for counterattacking…
with an E-rank ability, combat experience relying solely on inherited Saint Graph, and a normal Chinese person's brain and thought process, how can he fight those old foxes and mythological-level murderers? Should he just bash their heads in?
At this point, Shirou thought about it, and the only way he could think of to survive was…
“Mom, let's leave Fuyuki City.”
When Fujimaru Chiyo returned from grocery shopping, Shirou made this suggestion with a grave expression.
Leaving Fuyuki City is the safest way to avoid the Fourth Holy Grail War and ensure their survival.
As long as they remain in the city, their lives will always be in danger.
The only option is to leave.
Even leaving the city may not be enough, as there is a risk that the skilled magician hitman with access to modern weapons might come after them.
It might be best to leave Japan entirely and go abroad, perhaps to China where the border controls are strict and an infamous international hitman magician would likely be placed under surveillance upon entry.
Fujimaru Chiyo objects, saying seriously, “Don't say such reckless things anymore.”
As abandoned children who have managed to build a home and a family in this city, they know how hard they have worked to get where they are and are not willing to give up their hard-won home so easily.
The most pressing concern is that leaving Fuyuki City would mean giving up their jobs.
In this difficult economic era, it is very challenging to find employment.
Without a job, how would the family generate income? Would they have to rely on farming to make a living? This is a significant consideration that makes the decision to leave more difficult.
“I understand that you're feeling anxious and uncertain about the situation in Fuyuki City right now, but don't worry.
Your father has already taken leave and we're going on a family vacation.” Fujimaru Chiyo said, trying to reassure her child.
“A family vacation?” Shirou asked.
“Yes, the four of us will go on a family vacation,” Fujimaru Chiyo smiled, her fierce demeanor softening slightly.
By saying “the four of us,” it was clear that she had already begun to view Sakura as a member of the family.
Shirou realized that going on a vacation would be a viable solution as long as they can avoid the Fourth Holy Grail War.
When the time comes, they can leave Fuyuki City and never return.
While it may be a somewhat childish approach, survival is the most important thing.
What's wrong with wanting to live?
“When will we leave?” Shirou asked, understanding that the timing of their vacation is crucial for avoiding the Fourth Holy Grail War.
“Your father's leave has been approved, but he still needs to take care of some important business matters at the company.
It should only take him a few weeks to finish everything up,” Fujimaru Chiyo, unaware of Shirou's true motivations, assumed that he was excited about the trip and gave a proposed date.
“A few weeks…” Shirou thought to himself.
While he may not be a seasoned “Fate” fan, he still has a general knowledge of the series and is aware of the timeline.
The Fourth Holy Grail War is said to have taken place in 1994, and the descriptions of the setting suggest that it took place in the winter.
It is now September 1993, so there is at least a two-month buffer before the war is expected to start, whether it begins at the beginning or the end of the year.
Shirou let out a sigh of relief at the thought that he might be able to avoid the Fourth Holy Grail War, but when he caught a glimpse of Sakura from the corner of his eye, his resolve wavered once again.
According to the “Fate” timeline, Sakura was passed on to the Matou family for modification a year before the Holy Grail War.
And looking at her now, although she had a sad look in her eyes, she still had the purity and vivacity of a child and didn't look like she had gone through any modification at all.
So it looks like the Holy Grail War occurred at the end of 1994?
Whether it starts at the beginning or the end of the year, please God, do what is right, and don't do anything unexpected!
For the next few days, Shirou stayed holed up at home, refusing to go out no matter the weather.
He knew that the “Command Seals” had been seen by many people, which increased the chances of exposure.
Going out now would be like inviting an attack.
While there is a chance of encountering participants in the war, the chances are relatively low, and home is still a relatively safe place.
“Big brother, here you go,” Sakura said as she returned Shirou's art textbook to him.
Sakura has been staying with Shirou's family and has been mostly using his textbooks to learn new things.
Shirou's family does not know if Sakura has received any previous education or where she may have studied before, and they are hesitant to bring up the topic of her wounds, so they have not asked.
Sakura is also sensitive about this subject and has not mentioned it.
However, the Fujimarus have decided to adopt Sakura and want to provide her with an education.
Since classes have already begun, they have decided to allow Sakura to adjust at home for a period of time before enrolling her in school, given her current psychological state.
This just goes to show that the most considerate people are always those who have experienced something themselves.
“Here, this is an art picture book.
Have a look,” Shirou said as he took an art picture book out of his bag and handed it to Sakura.
In the time that they have spent together, he has noticed that Sakura really enjoys these art picture books and sometimes, when they are both at home with nothing to do, she will take out some paper and start drawing.
“Thank you, brother,” Sakura said with a sweet smile.
Shirou felt that he had been healed.
This feeling of having a younger sister at home is really good.
It's just that…
When he thought about Sakura's family background and the difficulties that she would likely face in the future, Shirou's mood became a bit somber.
He knew very well that their current relationship was temporary and that eventually, they would have to part ways.
Sakura was a member of the Tohsaka family and was destined to be retrieved by Tohsaka Tokiomi and then passed on to the Matou family, where she would begin her own journey.
Shirou had sympathy for Sakura's fate, but he was helpless.
At the time, he was too busy with his own concerns to be able to focus on helping anyone else.
Furthermore, even if he wanted to take care of her, he would not know where to find the power to do so.
He was no longer a reader who sat in front of a computer or held a phone and watched fan fiction or novels, able to safely sit at a high-dimensional angle overlooking the world and criticize the actions of the characters.
He was no longer qualified to say “the protagonist is really rubbish” anymore.
He was just a passerby, but also an ordinary person living in a peaceful era.
He had harbored the delusion of being a hero who could save the day, but in reality, he was an ordinary person protected by a society governed by law.
What an ordinary person can do to be a hero and save the day, especially when faced with enemies like murderers from mythology, magicians who treat human life lightly, and old monsters who have lived for hundreds of years?
However, it is strange that Sakura has been staying at home for almost ten days and the Tohsaka family has not come to the door yet.
Given their resources, this is very unusual.
It is possible that Tohsaka Tokiomi is so focused on the Holy Grail War that he has neglected this matter.
But that's okay too.
If separation is the predetermined outcome, Shirou hopes that this time can be extended indefinitely.
On the one hand, Shirou genuinely likes this well-behaved and sensible girl, but on the other hand, he does not want her to suffer such a terrible fate.
However, it is time for them to part ways.
Can he really stand by and watch as a girl suffers such a terrible misfortune and do nothing about it? Shirou does not know.
He is an ordinary person, with a conscience, kindness, malice, concerns, and selflessness…
but he is also a selfish person.
He does not know how he will react at that moment and does not want to think about these complex things.
He has entrusted the answer to time, and perhaps when the time comes, it will tell him what to do.
But for now, Shirou has to face another serious challenge…
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