Together with House-Husband, Part 2, Chapter 27 (Interlude 3-2) – Tohsaka.
The House of Tohsaka was a noted family of heretics whose bloodline could be traced as far back as the ancestor Kishua Zelretch Schweinorg, the Gem Master.
With nearly two hundreds years of history as a line of sorcerers, they continued to protect their lifeblood even as the blood of outsiders mingled with theirs.
The Tohsaka were kin who attempted to reach the Root by continuing to train themselves. For the Tohsaka family, that was success, with no exceptions.
Creating a vessel to hold the magical power of a false Holy Grail, aiming towards the Root as an end result. Two hundred years in the distant past, along with specters from the north that had been possessed by the quest for the Grail, they simply lent aid to magicians of strange lands who had failed to bring their own dreams to fruition. Triumph was the essence of the Tohsaka, no matter the struggle. Winning was natural, when it challenged to invincible Tohsaka will. They started no quarrels themselves, but returned challenges from others many times over. Then they would take everything worthwhile for themselves.
Consequently, victory in the Holy Grail War was an obligation of the Tohsaka family. It was simple logic. The fifth head of the Tohsaka Family, Tohsaka Tokiomi, naturally abided by this as well, and left on a journey for the purpose of victory. He went to prepare for battle.
Well… No matter how well prepared you are, if you are not in time for the signal gun, there is no meaning in it.
They had not forgotten what appeared from the other side of the opened door. It was a face they knew well. A sculpted, dandyish face, one that looked completely “Un-Japanese” in appearance. An countenance that always bore a look of severity. It was this face that they had never once seen smile.
Even so, he was in truth gentle. His look, thinking of us, helplessly clumsy but kind, was the same as when he had begun his journey. He stared at us now as well.
The magical ammunition in my hand fell to the floor. The strength left my stiffened body and it crumpled to the floor.
When he released my back from his embrace with a gentleness somehow befitting the situation, my father showed a slightly apologetic look in his eyes, and said…
“I’m home. Rin… Sakura.”
Sitting face-to-face on the living room sofa, our father heard the current situation from us. I say us, but since Father had returned Sakura hadn’t said a single word, so I was the only one to speak.
When he had finished listening to the story, Father gazed at us after his face had twisted in his usual sour look.
“As the head of the Tohsaka family, I have something to tell you two.”
A heavy, leaden voice. Even Sakura, her head down, adjusted her posture.
“You two are Masters. You were chosen as magicians for the purpose of winning the Holy Grail War. This is an undeniable fact. …Rin, Sakura. As members of the Tohsaka household, defeat is unacceptable. Retreat is unacceptable. We have aspired to heresy, and strode forth into this battle. A quest to one day reach the Root… The Holy Grail War is a means to that. Turning your eyes away from that would be the same as renouncing your own lives. Thus, you two must fight.”
I trembled. My back shook. My father had declared that we were part of the battle now beyond the point of return.
Stained in blood in battle. The red back, his entire body covered in wounds, but still protecting others.
My hands quivered. My shoulders trembled. My stomach grew heavy. I wanted to cry. But I endured it. I had to.
My father knitted his eyebrows, seemingly in pain. As though he was bearing something hopeless, he furrowed his brow. That was… A side of my father I had never seen before. My father, who never showed any signs of weakness, made, for the first time, a vulnerable expression.
He then rose off the couch, and came right in front of us. With both his arms, he strongly embraced Sakura and I.
It was too much for Sakura and I; no words came. It was the first time our father… Had ever held us like this. He held us so strongly it was painful. But his trembling shoulders… Somehow looked so weak. I couldn’t say anything.
“…I’ll protect you. I’ll protect you two of you. That’s why you don’t have to worry about anything. Just stay inside.”
My father spoke and then separated from us, vigorously rubbing our heads. It was painful, but that strength was somehow… Very gentle.
Together With House Husband, Part 2, Chapter 27. Interlude 3-2.
The father returns. The fifth head of the Tohsaka family, Tohsaka Tokiomi.
An accomplished jewel user, he was acknowledged as a great magus by the Magic Association as the disciple of a magic user.
Despite being acknowledged as thus, he possessed a hereditary curse, and scorn was heaped upon him.