Chapter 2

Mitsunari let his gaze linger more than he wanted to on the young Oiran who was currently hosting him. He knew the young man only since a few hours and yet, the samurai could already tell there was something wrong with Yukimura behavior.

It was only subtle, a slight change of posture, a false move quickly hidden up in the tea preparation , an indistinct glow in the brown haired eyes. For anyone else it would probably have remain hidden but for a trained eye like his, whenever he perceived something was wrong, he couldn't help but felt his eyebrow twitch

"If you are feeling unwell you should let me know, I'll came back another time."

Yukimura hand trembled almost imperceptibly. However he decided not to answer Mitsunari before filling his tea cup on the table and having sat down in front of him, holding the prying eyes of the white haired young man.

"I am all right Ishida-dono. This... This is not something you should worry about." He replied, but Mitsunari stared at him.

"Don't you had promised to be honest? If I ask you a question you can't lie, right? So be it, I use my question for you to say what is troubling you." he growled out.

Yukimura was almost intimidated by the ominous aura suddenly emanating from the young man, forgetting that he was a customer, he stared coldly at him in turn, he'll not accept any threat ... but that wasn't it. He knew in his heart that what really angered Mitsunari was the lie he had said no matter how small it was. He sighed, feeling the tense air ease around him as his fingers unconsciously came playing with his necklace.
"You shouldn't have to be bothered with my problems." Yukimura can't manage to look in his host eyes, he looked down, displaying a sad smile.
"I insist." Mitsunari said, before resuming to his impassive air.
Mitsunari had thought the first time he came to visit Yukimura that he was simply wasting precious time that could have been used to serve his Lord instead, although he knew, he felt in his heart that it wasn't all in vain, otherwise why would he took the trouble to came back again? No doubt the company and conversations Yukimura offered brought him something he couldn't yet understand, and still the attitude of the young Oiran began to seriously irritate him, almost pushing him to revise his judgment.

Sighing again, Yukimura opened his mouth once, searching for words, reluctant to disturb his client with his boring story. Then the first words came .

"I met this man today." Yukimura began.

Saying this, he raised his eyes to his host and paused for a time as if seeking Mitsunari's approval, but if he asked, then he wouldn't be a bother to hear the whole story , right? Even so, Yukimura was careful to specify the details of his meeting, Mitsunari arched a white eyebrow to make him continue, showing he had his full attention.

"He was so strange ... I don't know what to think of him, he want us to meet again, but I don't know if I feel like it ... he confuse me, I think." Saying that, his hand left his necklace to come sneak over his lips.

Mitsunari's eyes narrowed and he balled his fists while listening to Yukimura. It was so familiar to him, he knew it all too well. This was what motivated him to talk about himself, to finally say what he wanted from Yukimura, which above all else fanned the long haired man curiosity. "So, it is that rascal that bother you?"

Yukimura nodded sheepishly, he continued on, "In addition, he shamefully threatened to raze the neighborhood if I wouldn't come, we can't trust this kind of man. And somehow I know that he is would be capable to ... even if deep down I'm sure he wouldn't do it ... " there was a kind of warmth in his voice and a sparkle in his eyes that did not escape Mitsunari.

"I do understand you too well." Mitsunari finally interrupted, his voice low and angry. Could Yukimura be of any help after all ?

Yukimura didn't give him time to clear is thought, and finally with his head down and eyes hidden in his hair, he apologized, "Excuse me, I'm a really bad host tonight."
Taking the lead before Mitsunari has once again the idea of going away, Yukimura took his hand. "But talking to you had relieved my conscience Ishida-dono, now I'm ready to devote myself to you."

His gesture made Mitsunari freeze who stiffened like a board,the black and murderous aura from earlier began to surface again, he breathed again only when Yukimura quickly realized he couldn't bear the touch, withdrawing his hand he smiled. Suspecting that any comment would only worsen the situation, Yukimura waited presenting some pastries to his host. Mitsunari regained a semblance of calm and looked at the small treats with a scowl. Once again since the beginning of the evening, Yukimura mentally bit his fingers, few guests were of pleasant company, just as there were few guests this hard to please.

"You didn't touch the Manjus last night, I thought this would suit you more. It is always pleasant to talk on a full stomach."

"I'm not hungry." Mitsunari justified as simply as the world.

This time silence passed between the two. Mitsunari always seemed on the verge of exploding and Yukimura was tired, he had enough to handle the handle the young man mood swing. The memory of Masamune had haunted him all day long, he didn't understand the heat that rose to him whenever the blue color the only eye the brunet had came in his mind.

He couldn't say anything about what happened to Sasuke and more when he had asked his friend if he could go to town alone tomorrow, the ninja had only shook his head, reminding him that here he didn't have the power to make this decision. Yukimura bit his lip. How much he even wanted to see Masamune, he still doesn't know if he could, he knew it would be hard to get a pass to leave the confines of the area that held him prisoner ... especially after that he had tried to escape several times when he was younger, who would trust him again?

"You are still thinking about him?" Mitsunari cold voice interrupted his thoughts.

Yukimura ran a hand over his face and sighed for the umpteenth time, he didn't meet Mitsunari gaze as he spoke, "Can you forgive me ... in fact I really think you should come back another day."
"No." Mitsunari cut sharply.

This made Yukimura jump slightly, already on edge, he raised his eyes to Mitsunari. Yet despite his harsh tone, the young man two green eyes had nothing threatening in them, on the contrary, there the Oiran though he saw compassion. Realizing that he had startled the brown haired, the young man tried to explain himself trying to regain some semblance of calm in his voice.
"If I leave now, I'm afraid I won't be able to came back, I hate to waste my time, I would never come meet you if I hadn't been ordered to." The corners of his mouth sagged down slightly at this idea.
"Would you be willing to tell me the reason for your visit?" Yukimura visibly relaxed, his attention and curiosity finally fully drawn toward Mitsunari.

The young man growled. "I think ... no, I'm sure talking to you about it might be helpful to the both of us."

"Well, if I hear your reason, I can only do my best to help you find a solution, otherwise I don't see how I could be useful other than for... " Yukimura paused, diverting his gaze for a moment to the richly draped futon in the back of the room. "What I'm usually used for." he added.
Mitsunari nodded, he stood up and began to pace the room, he didn't know why it was so difficult for him to talk about it, then he remembered the reaction his main rival in heart Hideyoshi had when he came to him for an answer about this problem. This only served to anger him further.
"Hanbei ordered me to see the best male Oiran this district had, he wouldn't do that randomly, there is probably a good reason ... ah ... ah unless it was to laugh at me and ridicule me before Lord Hideyoshi ... but Hanbei also wants the best for our lord, he knows I'm useful to him ... and if I can not fully serve him ... " he began to think without realizing he was talking out loud all along.
"Hanbei?" Yukimura asked when the Mitsunari voice eventually drift into confused murmurs.
The young man stopped dead in his movement, descending on earth suddenly, it was too late when he returned a murderous look on Yukimura. "It doesn't matter." then he returned in his motion, his feet making very slight rustling on the polished floor, this time he was silent.

Trying somehow not to ignite and not to hit the young man to finally make him sit down and appreciate the drastic efforts he had done to deserve his title of Tayu, Yukimura took a cake and ate it forgetting some of the refinement that was expected of him. There was no reason to waste good food after all. Their game of question and answer long forgotten, he decided to take a more comfortable position.

His legs stretched in front of him and using his arms behind him to stay upright, he asked, too impatient, "So ... it is related to the fact that you say understanding my feeling?"

Mitsunari finally stopped his pacing, and with a sigh he sat near Yukimura, he stared into the hazel eyes. "Yes ... sort of."

Yukimura expression became even more interested, it was not every day that a handsome young man found himself several times in his room, consider the fact that an appointment with him was quite pricey, used his influence, or his money he was not certain, to make sure they are completely alone with Yukimura at the first appointment in spite of all the laws that governed the red light districts, without showing any interest in possible sex and all that just to ask a question. It was natural that Yukimura patience reaches its limits and that he was no longer able to hide his desire to know this question.

"He ... I have a very similar feeling toward a person ... no, toward a man around me." Mitsunari began, seeing that Yukimura listened and wasn't judging his words, he continued, "He infuriates me to the point, he recently got recruited as a general in the army of my Lord Hideyoshi like me but he always had a thing to say my way of being. He makes me crazy ... yet ... yet he haunts my thoughts and I don't know what to do to cast him away, one of his smiles causes sensations that I don't understand, that I can't accept. When I'm not with him I miss his presence when I want to kill him after five minutes if he is in the same room with me, long ago I would have done it if he wasn't useful to my lord. Yes, he confuse me as well, you could say that. "

Yukimura seemed to digest the longest sentence Mitsunari ever said since they met, and then taking a thoughtful expression, he took his chin between his index finger and thumb.

"Just like me indeed ... but since we have the same problem, I'm afraid I don't know the solution ..." he said this in a voice so low it was clear that he was actually speaking to himself.

But Mitsunari senses were those of a warrior and he heard perfectly, but it doesn't seem to please him. Eyebrows furrowed and looking sternly at Yukimura, he growled again.

"Hanbei is the greatest strategist of the Toyotomi army ... he wouldn't have sent me to meet you if you were unable to find something."

At these words, Yukimura couldn't restrain a smile,the anger wasn't directed against him but clearly against Hanbei ... if it turns out that it had all been a joke ... Mitsunari had to find a way to make him pay back. Yukimura eventually shrugged .

"Yes, maybe, but for now I don't know what I could do better than anyone else in this kind of sit-oh!" Yukimura suddenly covered his mouth.

Now that he thought about it, this kind of situation... he knew exactly how to release this tension, it was the same impulse that prompted him to taste Masamune lips without even thinking about the consequences ... yes he was attracted to Masamune , and no doubt that Mitsunari was also unconsciously attracted to the other general he spoke of with such passion. Trying somehow to contain the heat climbed to his cheeks, Yukimura looked away.

"Um ... actually, I think he thought that I would teach you how to woo a man." he carefully uttered.
"Completely absurd!" this time Mitsunari cried openly when he stood up. "I made my mind, I will kill Ieyasu with my bare hands! We'll see if he still is an hindrance after that." he went to the door with a decisive step.

Yukimura quickly reacted and stepped between him and the door, he couldn't let Mitsunari leave with the intention of attacking someone's life even if he himself didn't know that Ieyasu personally.

"Think about it, Ishida-dono,.Wouldn't this be a problem to your Lord Hideyoshi?"

The young Oiran wasn't prepared to feel his throat suddenly held tight with one hand while his air supply dried up quickly at the same time the pressure was increasing, he could only let out an indignant groan.

"Don't talk about Lord Hideyoshi lightly, Ieyasu is nothing for him."

The hold had only been a warning and immediately loosened once the sentence completed, something deemed in Mitsunari eyes and his shoulders relaxed, finding a semblance of calm he turned his eyes from those of Yukimura, looking at the ground. The brown haired rubbed his sore throat, wondering why he ever agreed to help Mitsunari despite his untimely and dangerous mood swings, this young man was very volatile. He wasn't fooled into thinking he could be the son of his favorite night companion, the moon.

"But ... don't you sometimes want to touch Ieyasu ... don't you let your eyes wander toward him more than you would have wanted to ?" Yukimura tried.

Several seconds passed during which Mitsunari eyes slowly closed, took a deep breath before answering. "I'm willing to give it a try." He opened his eyes and seemed almost intimidated again when he met the Oiran gaze. "But not today, I'm tired ... I would come back tomorrow."

He turned to leave only after seeing the smile, though a bit forced, and the nod from Yukimura. Mitsunari then nodded in turn to respond. "I didn't wanted to be rude, you can blame today irritation on Ieyasu" he stated before closing the door carefully behind him.

Yukimura slid to the ground, exhausted, he fell flat on the cold hard ground, too much excitement for him in one day, he wasn't used to that ... and tomorrow... he would see him again too, Date Masamune ... his heart was already beating faster at the thought.

"Ah!" he straightened suddenly sitting up.

Date Masamune ... he had heard that name! Again and again customers had pronounced it in fear or in awe, how could he have forgotten? He was a young lord, a conqueror no less, revered and feared for his prowess in battle! Hadn't he said he wanted them to fight!?

"Rhaaaaaaggghhhh!" Yukimura let out a cry of frustration and rage, vigorously rubbing his hair to remove the ornaments.

In which mess could he have fallen again ...

The next morning, having only a vague idea of how he might proceed to leave the confines of the neighborhood and join Masamune, yes he decided it was finally not so difficult to admit how he wanted to see him again, Yukimura came down the stairs making as less noise as possible. He was wearing his red kimono and his gray hakama, and because of coquetry, or will to be his best to Masamune or maybe because of mere habit, he also wore a hint of fragrance.

Discreetly, hiding behind a wall corner, he threw a glance in the lobby. It was normal to find no one there at this hour, so it was only a few servants who were preparing lunch. What Yukimura wanted check foremost, because it was probably the only guarantee of success of his wobbly plan, was that the old owner was still in bed and there was only his wife behind the counter. A big smile painted on his lips when he spotted her the nose in a account books.

"Looking for a partner to play or do you have something to say to me Yuki?" She said without raising her eyes.

Or Yukimura hadn't been very discrete or the grandmother really had the eagles eyes which the rumor endowed her, at least she wasn't without insight. The young man had no choice but to smile sheepishly, letting out a small chuckle when he stepped out of his hiding place. Stepping up to the counter, he quickly looked for a way to explain the situation without getting into a dangerous position and avoiding as much as possible to tell lies, something that was highly dishonorable to him and he absolutely refused to do.

Yukimura had already tried to escape from the brothel several times in the past. But that was when he was still a child and he hadn't made another attempt for many years ... not when he realized that others could also pay for his rebellion. For a moment he tryied to attrack the grandmother gaze but she was still absorbed by the random numbers and notes she had before herself. Worried for a second, Yukimura began to hope that the brothel hadn't have to sell of one of the resident contract again ... there were so few establishments where his fellows were treated well as here, he couldn't wish for anyone to fell in one of those who left the foulest customers do whatever they wanted as long as the money followed.

Sighing, he thought it was not the time to think about that. He now hadn't the right to retreat, putting his hands on the wooden desk, he finally formulated his request in a firm voice. "I have had need to go into town this afternoon. Could you lend me a pass, please?" it was the best he could do, he just hoped she would not ask furhter questions.

Finally the old woman raised her eyes on him. Her eyes seemed to pierce him for a second before a smile splitted her wrinkled face. "I see. Can I trust you to come back before sunset then?"

As soon as she finished her sentence Yukimura felt the warmth of joy invade him. Carried by the momentum, these words came out of his mouth a decibel too loud. "Yes, Yes, of course." he made an effort to calm down. "I would be very honored that you gave me your trust granny." He concluded seriously.

"Very well. I don't wish to see you punished, so make sure to keep that promise, okay?"

Then she stepped of the counter, rummaged through the shelves attached to the wall behind her. Continuously she sat down again and placed before Yukimura a small carved wooden plate, hit with the buffer of the local lord to which was attached a small red silk ribbon used to tie it to the kimono belt. Yukimura took it with two hands trying to curb his enthusiasm.

"This will allow you to step out of the gates of the neighborhood, but not those of the city." she added, shaking his head. "That's all I can give you without upsetting my husband ."

"Thank you, grandma. I wouldn't dare ask for more." He leaned over to give her a little kiss on the cheek, thing he knew she liked more than she would admit.

It wasn't without one last smile and bowing politely to thank her one last time that he left the the house to the empty streets of the red light district. The old woman sighed, resting her elbow on the counter she put her head in her hand.

"Ah, they grow up so fast. I'll damn myself to know who is the person who dares to put my little Yuki in such good mood. I know you heard me Sasuke."

Responding to her voice, the former ninja came out from behind the door under the stairs. He had a woven basket filled with neatly folded and clean sheets in his hands, indicating that despite his eavesdropping, he was actually doing his job. He said nothing but raised an eyebrow at the the grandmother impassive face.

"Why don't you follow him? Don't you want to help a grandmother to get some juicy gossip?" she knew he was going to do it anyway.

Sasuke smiled and put the laundry basket on the floor, he accepted the mission.

It was only when she was alone again that the grandmother shook her head. "Romances usualy end badly in this area ... if only it could happen differently this time." she sighed, sincerely wanting the best for one of her proteges.

Yukimura passed the guard smoothly with the pass the manager wife gave him. He only had to wait outside the gates for Masamune. There were already many pedestrian in the street and Yukimura became impatient, his blood slowly boiling, he peered over the heads to see the one which haunted his thoughts.

He was shivering from excitement so much it was difficult to hold back, he would see him again, he was sure of it, never had such a sensation interfered to this extent in his body and yet he was supposed to be an expert in flesh pleasure. Yet he dreaded their meeting, he still didn't know what to think of Masamune, should he fear him? Respect him? Adore him? Masamune hadn't introduced himself to him as a lord so Yukimura wasn't sure if he had to treat him as such. Plus what could he have been doing in the red light district at noon? Thinking of that shook Yukimura and he grabbed his kimono over his heart. He dared not imagine what Masamune would think of him if he knew what he was doing every night ... for others, for those who knew, he was nothing more than a merchandise.

"Sanada Yukimura?" A voice called out.

Who could know his real name? Yukimura didn't recognized that voice, it was just vaguely familiar to him as if he had heard it somewhere before. Gazing around him, he sought the caller, he saw now him already making their way to join him.

It was a man taller than him with a smile as wide as his shoulders. The most surprising was his long thick brown hair and longer than Yukimura's, held back in a high ponytail where he had planted three white and red feathers at the base. He was dressed like Yukimura with a simple kimono and hakama, but they were bright and garish colors that could hurt the eyes if looked at for too long in the sun. Yukimura even began to wonder why and how a dyer could do such a job. Seriously, pink, yellow and purple? Fortunately the young man's face was beautiful because it redirected the attention.

"You are Sanada Yukimura, is it not? We met yesterday when you beat these good-for-nothing, nice style of fighting I have to say about it." He said before arriving next to Yukimura, his smile never leaving him.

"Forgive me, but ..." Yukimura didn't see at all who it might be, to be honest it doesn't really remember everything of that particular moment.

"Oh, I was with Masamune the other day. It is him who sent me to get you, he has some unfinished business like finding us a place to spend the afternoon, frankly I don't think you'd come, this guy can really be scary sometimes. " the man interrupted.

So that was why he vaguely knew that voice, that was out of my mind until now, however he was really disappointed that Masamune didn't come to meet him in person, trusting, Yukimura returned his smile, then shook his head. "He saved my life, it was the least that I can do but accept his appointment."
"Oh, I completely forgot to introduce myself. I'm Maeda Keiji , enchanted Sanada Yukimura."
Yukimura looked with apprehension at the hand that had just been extended toward him, he then looked up to Keiji and blinked. The friendly smile the tall brown haired displayed became more contrite. Letting out a nervous laugh he withdrew his hand.

"Yes, well, then maybe we should go meet him now, he isn't very patient this dragon. If you'll follow me, it's not far."

Slowly he began to walk, he pretended to look behind him to see if Yukimura followed him, but he was very surprised that he found that the Oiran already walking beside him.

"Dragon?" Yukimura inquired.

"Yes, Dokuganryu, the one eyed dragon, it is Masamune nickname." Keiji said, keeping an eye on the road and the other on Yukimura.

Yukimura smiled thinking of Masamune face and the first impression he had of him. "It suits him well."
"Truly, huh? You were awesome when you set their account to theses idiots yesterday, but you should see him when he fights." Keiji which until then had not managed to get Yukimura full confidence was now found with all the attention of the young man directed him.

"I really don't understand how such a man may have any kind of interest toward someone like me, and we just met ..." Yukimura said, reflecting out loud. To say the least it was unlikely that a man apparently so strong and powerful can find anything worth in someone he met at the corner of a red light district.

Keiji brought his finger to his lips and looked up in an expression of deep reflection. "Hmm, let's see. If I remember correctly his expression when he first met you and that how he was after you left, I'd say ..." He trailed then with a big smile and all the happiness in his eyes, bringing a hand to his heart and wearing a dramatic air, he added: "It's a love at first sight, love at first sight !"

Yukimura raised an eyebrow and looked dubiously at Keiji. Somewhere deep inside him, the prospect of what Keiji had just said warmed his heart, but another more lucid part made him wonder what kind of tobacco this guy could have been smoking. He was about to protest, but Keiji had only resumed his breath before continuing with gusto.

"No, really." he stopped and looked carefully at Yukimura. The Oiran looked back at him, crossing his arms over his chest in a gesture of impatience. "I mean, it would be good if a real romance would be born between you two, you're just what he needs, I'm certain of that and I know of what . This Dragon really needs love in his life. It is important to know this feel-HEY! "

Keiji was rudely interrupted when he had to duck suddenly to dodge a heavy piece of wood launched at full speed towards his head. Yukimura began to instinctively take a defensive position after the attack, his eyes briefly drifted to the object that had just planted itself in the ground, demonstrating how hard it had been launched. It was a training bokken made from ebony black wood. Yukimura finally turned to the thrower.

"What bullshit are you going to tell again, playboy ?"

Masamune advanced towards the two and retrieved his weapon under the incredulous looks. He was dressed for training, wearing a white kimono and a blue hakama and his hair were tied in a short ponytail to prevent them from obstructing his good eye. He placed the bokken on his shoulder after icily gazing at Keiji who grimaced, he was silent for the first time since he had come to meet Yukimura. Then Masamune turned toward the young Oiran.

"You came Sanada Yukimura, I expected no less from you." he said with a smirk.

Yukimura then did something he had never done before, he stammered. "Y-Yes, I was curious to know you more Masamune-dono!" he exclaimed before preventing it, he clenched his jaw, stiff under Keiji amused eyes.

"Oh? That's right, let's get serious then Sanada Yukimura." Masamune simply stated .

So without adding anything else, he turned, going back from where he had just arrived. He went through a large open door walking on a paved path he walked straight toward a large rectangular-like building with no apparent story resembling a temple. After exchanging a glance, Yukimura and Keiji followed him. Keiji opened his mouth to make a comment but Masamune was first to speak.
"Unless you do want to die prematurely, abstain from making this comment, okay , playboy?"
Vexed, Keiji made a pout. "How did you manage to figure out what I was going to say?" that didn't mean he would listen to Masamune threat.

Masamune arched an eyebrow. "Since how long I had been stuck with you, I got to know you, you see?" he said with a slight smile.

Keiji suddenly put his arm around Yukimura shoulder, "You see Yuki-chan, he is a great friend!"
Far from resenting the sudden contact and nickname, Yukimura began to chuckle, seeing Masamune face freeze in a strong expression of suppressed anger, the dragon eyebrow twitched.
"Tch." he did, before returning on the way to the building.

Before Yukimura had time to realize they were now all three inside.

It was a dojo like the one in Yukimura far away childhood memories , all the windows were left open and to fully let the light enter the place making the waxed floor shine. At South, behind Masamune, there was on the wall a big calligraphy representing the word discipline and a smaller one which wrote fervor. There was also some decorative swords, a plate in the center with the name of the master of the dojo, smaller plates, only a dozen, probably bearing the names of the students. What astonished Yukimura was that Masamune name wasn't included, nor Keiji's. On both sides of the room were special shelves supporting equipment and training weapon, Keiji was also leaning lazily against one of them, yawning without discretion until Masamune begins.

Masamune pointed his wooden sword to the young Oiran. "This is here where our duel will take place, go choose your weapon Sanada Yukimura, show me what you got."

Yukimura did not even have the idea to reply that he had only received a small glimpse of military education and that was so long ago, but no, the need to face him, to see Masamune true strength was lighting a fire burning in him. He ran his hands on the wooden weapon, sometimes diverting his gaze on Masamune and it pleased him to see that he too was boiling, he was a man who loved the challenge and could recognize the strength, Yukimura liked that.

His father was a spear wielder was what came to mind when the Oiran fingers passed on a bo the same wood as Masamune bokken, it looked heavy , just what he needed. The spear ... at his age he should have already learned and mastered all the secret techniques of his family, he vaguely remembered having been proud that his older brother had already mastered some when he was no older than twelve years old, his body remembered his lessons ... even if Yukimura just didn't have the chance to reach that age in is family.

It was his thought when he grabbed another bo, a spear in each hand, one for each loved one who had left him behind, yet at that moment, it was as if he could feel them, holding his hands while without knowing it he made the first step to restore the glory of the proud Sanada clan.

Instinctively, he took an offensive posture a spear in front of him and the other at his side. "I'm ready Date Masamune." he cried, his eyes flaming determination.
Masamune had a predatory smile. "Bring it on!"

The first blow came so fast he barely had time to block, the second shot didn't wait for him to reposition and the shock wave of a new impact of wood against wood echoed in his body. Three seconds later, the pain spread to his back and his eyes opened to gaze at the ceiling. His jaw clenched, he fell so fast, it was horribly frustrating, disappointed in himself Yukimura thought it was time to dig a hole to bury himself with his shame.

Masamune hand then entered his sight. Yukimura took it and while Masamune helped him get back on his feet, he was taken aback by the fact that he was not as equally disappointed by the lack of challenge he had given him.

"You managed to tay up five seconds and block two of my strikes. I saw your potential, now do it again! Fight me and learns, gets better and better again!" he cried, inflating Yukimura mood.

"Yes!" the Oiran replied fervently. Why he felt so alive suddenly? he ... was ... happy like never before. It was like finding a hint of the life he should have. A life of struggle and perpetual challenge, a life that spoke to the samurai blood that flowed in his veins. Yukimura didn't really know what Masamune saw in him, but it was as if he felt it too, it was there ...

Masamune just give him time to gather his weapons before resuming his attacks. The one eyed brunet spared no shots, he wasn't treating Yukimura like a fragile thing and it encouraged him. Their exchange continued and despite all the times Masamune put Yukimura down, he got up to answer him, it was as if something asleep until now, a fierce and wild beast awoke in him called and excited by the encouragement and beating of the one eyed dragon. Perhaps his very soul was simply called out by Masamune's. Yes, Yukimura felt it had to be something like that.

And the day passed like a wind.

Breathless, sweaty, Yukimura this time had been put down after two whole minutes, better yet, three of his hits had almost reached Masamune and one of them even seemed to have surprised him. Yukimura was on a fast track to achieve a good level and the smile Masamune gave him showed he didn't expect less from him.

Thinking they would still share a skirmish, Yukimura tensed, The long haired man hadn't expected that the other throws his wooden sword to the ground, a somewhat nervous air disturbing his features .
"Tch! I knew I wouldn't have the patient to wait. It's over for today Sanada Yukimura."

Without further ado he left the dojo through a door leading to the garden. Yukimura was afraid.
"So finally, I'm not good enough for you Masamune-dono." he murmured, lowering his head, his heart suddenly clenching.

"Nah, Masamune is not a good teacher that's all, he may already be thinking about a way to help you grow faster, that's why I'm here too." Keiji stated still bouncy.

Yukimura had almost forgotten that the taller man had been there all the time when he had initially seemed about to fall asleep Keiji had actually watched the exchanges all day long with the greatest attention,himself wasn't expecting that it would hold his interest this much. It was something completely different from the deadly fighting spreading young blood on the battlefield. It was something unique that he could end up to appreciate too much if he wasn't careful. Keiji was also a warrior, he shouldn't be jealous that Masamune has found a partner such as Yukimura, it wasn't in his nature.

"Maeda-dono ..." Yukimura started not really knowing what to say to the other man attempt to cheer him up.

He felt Keiji coming pushing him on his back, pointing in the direction where Masamune was gone. "You should go to him, he is the one who needs encouragement now, show him that you'll not give up."

Yukimura followed Keiji encouraging smile, "You're right Maeda-dono, thank you." he nodded without saying more and hurried to meet Masamune.

Although the inner garden of the dojo was huge, Yukimura had no trouble locating Masamune with the sound of water he made when he poured water on his uper body with buckets to wash the sweat and cool himslef. Yukimura gasped when he came face to face with him in front of the well. The blind dragon had withdrawn his kimono, the sleeves pending on each side of his hips. Yukimura's eyes followed the drops of water descending from the brunet hair, slipping onto a protruding shoulder then riding on the clavicle to descend along a chest marked by thin white scars barely visible before slipping chaotically on abdominal drawn but not to much prominent, only to disappear in the most adorable navel Yukimura has ever seen.

He thought losing ground when Masamune looked back at him, this satisfied and relieved look on his face. Yukimura was of course familiar with lust, but the one he then felt for this man was so strong ... as an uncontrollable firestorm. Yukimura swallowed to recompose himself ... he could never do that, it was impossible, Masamune couldn't be that kind of man, if he knew Yukimura thoughts, if he knew what he really was, he would be disgusted of him Yukimura was certain. The simple idea that he could one day share a bed with Masamune became something mortifying.

"Like what you see?" Masamune foreign sentence pulled him abruptly out of his thoughts.

"What ? I don't understand this language Masamune-dono." Yukimura responded, looking away halfheartedly. He had understood nothing but Masamune had said that with a joking tone, and that was enough for him not to get carried away.

He heard the other man laugh slightly. Then resuming a semblance of seriousness, Masamune continued. "You still need to train, but I know now that you're the opponent I wanted. Come back tomorrow."
It was an order, not a question.

"I'll be back tomorrow." Yukimura said, answering the same time the unspoken question he had seen in Masamune lone eye. "You won't give up?"

A silence passed between them during which they did nothing other than to look into the other eyes, then Masamune blue one closed, cutting the silent conversation.

"Yesterday ..." he said, stepping forward.

"Hun?" Yukimura said surprised when Masamune put a hand on his cheek.

"You surprised me so I haven't really been able to show you what I'm really capable of." He came dangerously closer.

"What mhpphh …"

Masamune lips came seal Yukimura's drinking his words. At first wanting to push him away, Yukimura found himself quickly absorbed by the residual excitement still remained in his body and that this brutal pressure of lips had just burst something akin to a volcano. The feel of those demanding lips eventually extinguished any consistency in his mind, all he managed to do was to respond to the kiss, his primal instinct taking over the rest as his hands rose to come intertwine in Masamune wet hair and the other tilted their heads to be even closer, to make their kiss deeper.
It was... so good…

Yukimura let out a muffled groan of appreciation, or maybe of surprise as his tongue began to fight furiously with the one trying to invade his mouth. Yukimura showed no sign of submission, as he had been during their training, agile, talented, determined, but still too inexperienced to expect defeat his opponent. It was forbidden to Oirans whatever the rank to kiss the lips of their hosts, this was only his second real kiss.

Masamune released him as suddenly as he had kissed him, slightly out of breath, he wiped Yukimura lips, wet with saliva, with his thumb.

"That was in thanks for coming to meet me." "A thank you for entering my life." remained unsaid but Yukimura heard it loud and clear. He smiled, detaching himself from the other man.
"See you tomorrow, Masamune-dono."

Masamune was seized with a shiver looking at Yukimura retreating back. He could have sworn that a violent killing intent was suddenly directed against him. He glanced around him, it had been so succinct... maybe it was just his imagination.

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