looking at Shirou, and said, “Then…
thank you, big brother.”

Shirou waved his hand dismissively and replied, “It's no problem.
I'm just glad you're okay.”

Shirou didn't think that the girl he had shared adversity with would actually be his future classmate, Mitsuzuri Ayako.
However, the current her is not as steady and reliable as she will be in the future, but rather timid and fearful like a typical young girl.

Mitsuzuri Ayako felt a sense of longing.
She couldn't forget how, during that life-and-death situation, she had panicked and cried continuously, while Shirou remained calm and eventually defeated the killer.
Even now, during their conversation, he remained calm.

“I want to be a reliable person like this brother in the future,” Ayako thought to herself.

The banquet continued, and the Mitsuzuri family expressed their deep gratitude to the Fujimaru family, most notably by constantly toasting Fujimaru Narita.

Fujimaru Narita is no fool and quickly began to return the favor.

The showdown at the dinner table was not about who had a higher tolerance for alcohol, but rather who could talk and who could get whom drunk.
If someone has a high tolerance for alcohol but cannot speak, they will only be given more and more to drink, while others may praise them with their words but mock them in their hearts.

Fujimaru Narita managed to hold his own thanks to his high emotional intelligence and ability to speak, while Mr.
Mitsuzuri, an experienced businessman, only got slightly drunk after drinking with him.
The other Mitsuzuri relatives who were trying to get them drunk ended up getting drunk themselves.

As the drinking began to wind down, Mr.
Mitsuzuri and Fujimaru Narita started talking about business and, in the process, shared their insights on the current economic situation.

“It's already tough to make money in a big city.
There are more unemployed people than employed ones, and there's no money to be made.
It's still better in a small city like this, where there's some profit to be made,” Mr.
Mitsuzuri said.

Mitsuzuri is right.
In a small city like this, the main economy is still based on small businesses.
There are very few listed companies, so the impact is smaller.
However, the user base is smaller and the market is easily saturated,” Narita added.

“Then the competition is also smaller,” Mr.
Mitsuzuri agreed.

The two men began chatting about business and eventually began discussing the contract they were about to sign.

Shirou didn't care about these matters, he just focused on eating his food.
After all, he was still young and not well-versed in the economic situation in 1993.
He only knew that the future would definitely be dominated by the internet, so he had no interest in listening to business talk.
In addition, the Grail War, which was a matter of life and death, weighed heavily on his mind, so he had no desire to listen to business talk.

Sister, is there anything strange on my face?” Sakura asked Mitsuzuri Ayako, looking worried.

it's just that you look familiar, like I've seen you somewhere before,” Mitsuzuri Ayako replied, shaking her head.

Sakura's body trembled, and she forced a smile, saying, “It…
it must be a mistake.
I've never seen Sister before.”

maybe.” Ayako wasn't sure.
However, Sakura's bright green eyes reminded her of her classmate, Rin Tohsaka.

Shirou remained silent, recalling that Mitsuzuri Ayako and Rin Tohsaka both attended Hachigata Elementary School and it was likely that Sakura had studied there as well.
Fortunately, Mitsuzuri Ayako used to study in Tokyo with her father and had only recently transferred to Fuyuki City.
Otherwise, she would have probably recognized Sakura at first glance.

Sakura probably would have declined to join them if it wasn't for Fujimaru Narita urging his family of four to come along.
However, before this outing, she had even accompanied him to a tattoo shop.
Was this act of kindness from the girl or did she see him as a friend and consider him a “brother”?

Shirou didn't want to think too much about it because he knew that Sakura was ultimately destined to leave.
Although the Tohsaka family had not yet come looking for her, it didn't mean they had given up on her.
They were probably just preoccupied with the Holy Grail War.
Alternatively, rather than using the Tohsaka family's resources to search for Sakura, they might be aimlessly wandering the mountains, ignoring Fuyuki entirely.
Shirou wasn't interested in finding out whether this was the answer or not.
He just knew that the Tohsaka family would inevitably come looking for them sooner or later.

Once Sakura is taken back by the Tohsaka family, she will be handed over to the Matou family and undergo modification.
The only unknown factor is whether Shirou will be able to withstand the condemnation of his conscience and witness a once well-behaved and sociable girl being sent to hell.

Shirou doesn't know.

He is just an ordinary person, neither a noble saint nor an evil sinner, but simply someone trying to navigate the complexities of life.
He has his likes and dislikes, experiences kindness and hatred, and feels courageous and fearful.
He cannot remain indifferent to seeing a girl suffer in a miserable hell, but he is also unsure if he would be willing to risk his life to save a stranger who is not a family member or even a friend.
These conflicting emotions are something that many people can relate to.

Shirou is aware that he is hoping for that day to arrive later, constantly reminding himself – “I want to stay alive.
Don't take unnecessary risks and don't play with your own life.
Being alive is the most important thing! If I can survive the Fourth Holy Grail War without any problems, I can go online, start a business, and become wealthy.”

He may continue to remind himself, but when the time comes, will he be able to remain indifferent and watch as a sociable girl is sent to hell? As a person with a conscience, it is uncertain how he will react.

Only time will tell the answer to this question.

Shirou thinks that this problem of evasion will not appear for a long time, at least not until after the family vacation is over.
However, he did not expect that he would soon have to face this problem.

On Friday, September 30, 1993, at around 3:00 p.m., two visitors arrived at Shirou's home.

“Hello, Mrs.
My name is Matou Kariya and this is Tohsaka Aoi, Sakura's mother.”

It had been 15 days since Sakura joined the Fujimaru family and the Tohsaka family had finally come to visit.

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