Chapter 11: Nobody could have seen Unexpected Development to Come Along.
The sun had set,
dying the blue sky into the scarlet sky with dark blue hue. Gintoki and
Shinpachi finally arrived at Yorozuya as they saw Otose was preparing her bar
to open for business. Shinpachi greeted the old woman as Gintoki simply said a
simple ‘yo’ reluctantly as he headed
towards the stairs. Otose who looked at Gintoki for a while crept up a small
smile on her face as she called out to him.
“Oi, Gintoki! You better hurry up, your woman and kids were waiting for you!”
“What? She’s still here? What is she up to this time? Good grief…” said Gintoki reluctantly going upstairs, followed by Shinpachi.
“And don’t forget to pay your rent next month, you hear me?” said Otose shouting.
Gintoki only said the simple usual answer like ‘yeah, yeah’ with a wave of his hand. After seeing them go through the entrance, Otose looked up at the evening sky as she let out a smoke from her cigarette. Her smile got wider as she remember while the guys were still away, a blonde woman in black kimono knocked her front door. With her face blushing, she asked the old woman to teach her how to cook simple dinner meals. Otose also remembered how Tsukuyo clumsily handled the cooking as the old woman and Tama helped her to learn.
“ Ah… it’s good to be young and in love like that….”, thought Otose to herself as she poofed out another smoke.
When Gintoki and Shinpachi arrived at the living room, they saw side dishes with vegetables and bowls of miso soups instead of a hotpot, were set on the table as Tsukuyo was preparing the rice for enough people in the house. The blonde woman, who noticed the men had arrived, smiled as she greeted them.
“Hey, welcome back.”
“Yeah, we’re back”, said Gintoki reluctantly.
“Where’s Kagura-chan and Kyouko-chan?” asked Shinpachi scanning the room.
“They’re in a bathroom now and should’a outta there soon. C’mon, you guys just wash yer hands and dig in before it gets cold”, said Tsukuyo sitting on the couch.
“What’s this? Did you cool all of this?” asked Gintoki in teasing manner as he noticed some band-aids on Tsukuyo’s fingers.
Tsukuyo quickly covered her fingers as she looked other way to hide her flustered face.
“Well, I heard from Kagura that ya can only cook sweets and egg on rice. I got worried you gonna ruin Kyouko-chan’s body, ya’know”, said Tsukuyo pouting a bit.
Gintoki only smiled as he sighed moving towards Tsukuyo, he kneeled down and he hold Tsukuyo’s hand together. “Thanks, but you know that you don’t have to force yourself”, said Gintoki as he played with Tsukuyo’s fingers gently.
Tsukuyo’s face only got even redder until Shinpachi clearing his throat, reminding the couple that he was also in the room.
“J-just shaddap and go wash yer hands! You too, Shinpachi. See, the girls are done with the bath”, said Tsukuyo snapped as soon as she saw Kyouko and Kagura stepped out from the bathroom with refreshed faces.
“Yes, yes….”, said both men giggling.
After having dinner as usual, Tsukuyo prepared to leave to go back work at Yoshiwara. Gintoki as usual offering her a ride back, but this time the woman insisted that she could go back on her own, considering that it was not that late yet.
“No, this time ya stay here with Kyouko-chan. You already had too much sweet times with those pachinkos”, said Tsukuyo pointing at Gintoki.
“Fine, fine. I get it”, said Gintoki ruffling his hair.
After putting on her shoes at the front door, Tsukuyo faced Gintoki and Kyouko who were standing on the hallway, sending her off.
“I’ll see ya tomorrow, Kyouko-chan. Be a good girl, okay?” said Tsukuyo to Kyouko as she bent down to kiss the little girl’s forehead.
“Take care, mama~” said Kyouko back waving her hand.
“You take good care of her, okay?” said Tsukuyo glancing towards Gintoki.
“I know, I know. And don’t you forget about something?” Gintoki asked in playful tone.
Tsukuyo remained silent for a while as she realised to do her new ‘usual routine’ after she looked at Kyouko. “Ugh… Fine, make it quick”, said Tsukuyo sighing as she closed her eyes and she facing slightly upwards, expecting a kiss on her cheek.
But instead, she felt Gintoki holding her chin then she felt something warm on her lips. She opened her eyes only to see Gintoki was covering her mouth with his, with his right hand was holding her chin and his left hand was covering Kyouko’s eyes. She closed her eyes back as the kiss got deepened a bit, and after Gintoki inched away from her after the short but deep kiss, he let go his hand from Kyouko as he showed his genuine smile. The little girl only stared at the two adults innocently, oblivious of what happened.
“Have a safe trip”, said Gintoki at blushing Tsukuyo.
“Wha- we have a kid here, you dumbass!” said Tsukuyo took a few steps backward.
“Chill out, she didn’t see anything”, said Gintoki waving his hand back and forth to calm Tsukuyo down.
“Um, actually… we saw everything”, said a voice behind Gintoki.
When Gintoki and Tsukuyo turned towards the source of the voice, they saw Shinpachi and Kagura were standing in the hall way as well, their face flustered as Shinpachi was smiling awkwardly and Kagura was covering her mouth in surprise. When Gintoki looked back at Tsukuyo, the man saw the woman’s face was fumeing in red, her eyes were twirling around from embarrassment.
“Um… Well…” said Gintoki scratching his face, not knowing what he should say.
A scream and ruckus were heard from inside of the house and seconds later, the door was slid open revealing Tsukuyo stepping out with red, irritated face. Before the door was closed back, behind Tsukuyo was shown Gintoki with lots of kunai sticking out from his entire body, lying in a pool of blood. Shinpachi and Kagura only remained silent with horrified faces on them, as Kyouko was innocently touching and playing her father’s ‘corpse’.
After Tsukuyo walked down the stairs, she met Otose who was expecting her. The old woman was smiling with Tama smiling and Catherine smirking mischievously behind her. “Quite a lively dinner you had up there. Did he like it?” asked Otose.
“Yeah, it seemed so. Thanks for everything, ma’am”, said Tsukuyo smiling.
“Did something good happen just now?” asked Otose as she noticed the water on Tsukuyo’s face.
“Sorry, please don’t ask”, Tsukuyo simply replied as she walked off quickly with her face flustered all over again.
Seeing the blonde woman left in a hurry, the old woman only shook her head in amusement as the female android remained smiling and the amanto cat-woman giggled in amusement.
The next day, Yorozuya didn’t have any job request for the day, Shinpachi was out to meet Kirara again from the letter he received in the morning, They also received a phone call from Tsukuyo that she won’t be able to come to Yorozuya because of job reasons, so Gintoki decided to pay her a visit to Yoshiwara. So Kyouko was left under Kagura’s care until Gintoki came back. As the sun went higher, Kagura who felt bored at home decided to take Kyouko out to play. The two girls with Sadaharu headed out toward the park where Kagura usually spent her free time. The two girls were sharing each other Kagura’s sukonbu, as Kagura was walking with her snack and Kyouko was sitting on Sadaharu’s back. This time, Kyouko was wearing a silver-blue yukata with blue wavy designs. As Kagura was feeding the sukonbu to herself and Kyouko while walking, they finally arrived at the park, only to see someone else was occupying Kagura’s usual bench.
The man who had sandy-brown hair and reddish-brown eyes stood up from his seat as he noticed the girls and the dog in front of him, and he spoke up, “Seriously, China. You should stop feeding that little girl over there that crap of yours. She might become as dumb as you”, said Sougo, looking at Kagura and Kyouko who was chewing their sukonbu.
“Stop insulting my sukonbu, yes. And what the f*ck are you doing here? Get outta here, yes!” yelled Kagura pointing at the captain of Shinsengumi first division.
“Sougo~” Kyouko greeted and she stepped down from Sadaharu to run towards the man, hugging him.
“Wow, wow, easy there, ojou-chan…” said Sougo balancing himself from the impact.
“Kyouko-chan, get away from him, yes! He might be torturing you in any seconds!” shout Kagura calling the little girl back.
“That’s mean of you, China… I’m might be a sadist, but I’m not into torturing kids except you”, said Sougo with his deadpanned voice.
“What, so you think I’m a kid, huh?” said Kagura taunting.
“Hmm… Let’s see…” replied Sougo averted his gaze for a second as he paused. “Yeah, pretty much”, he concluded bluntly.
“Why you….” Said Kagura angrily preparing to attack with her parasol, but suddenly Sougo raised his hand.
“Wow, wow… China, did you forget that we will only settle this after that kid returns to her home?” said Sougo smirking.
Kagura went silent for a while then she gave a small sigh as she lowered her parasol. She turned her back as she walked off, pulling Kyouko’s hand. “Let’s go somewhere else, Kyouko-chan, Sadaharu” said the yato girl as the little girl followed her with her head was still looking behind at Sougo, while Sadaharu simply following his master’s orders.
“Oh, right. There’s been a lot of kidnapping around here, China! You better keep an eye on your little girl!” Sougo warned Kagura.
Kagura only replied with a wave of her hand without looking back at him. After walking with Kyouko and Sadaharu few minutes later, Kagura sensed that there was danger nearby. Kagura put up her hand motioning Sadaharu and Kyouko to stop, when Kagura took a few step forward away from her friends, suddenly a group of men jumped out from bushes right in front of Kagura. Kagura quickly put up a battle stance upon seeing the incoming attack.
Gintoki walked down the road of the famous pleasure district of Edo. When he arrived at Hinowa’s shop, the lady on the wheelchair together with her son greeted him as soon as they notice the man.
“’Sup”, said Gintoki raising his hand towards the two.
“Ah, Gin-san, welcome. It’s been a while since you last come here, hasn’t it?” said Hinowa smiling.
“Gin-san, if you’re looking for big-sis Tsukuyo she is working right now. But she should be here any minute soon”, said Seita pushing the woman’s wheelchair.
“Then I guess I can wait for a bit. How are things around here?” asked Gintoki sitting on the bench outside the shop.
“Well, lately there had been several women reported missing in Yoshiwara. Tsukuyo is probably out there looking for leads”, replied Hinowa with a worried tone.
“Say, Gin-san. Did you… Um, you know, doing ‘that’ with big sis Tsukuyo?” said Seita suddenly sitting beside Gintoki.
“That’s right, Gin-san. I also have been curious about Kyouko-chan as well”, said Hinowa offering tea to the silver haired samurai.
“(Sigh)… Just ask Tsukuyo herself, she didn’t tell you?” said Gintoki lazily.
“You know as well that Tsukuyo is not the type who talks about her problems, so we decided to ask you instead”, said Hinowa back.
“Nah, it’s just… complicated, nothing really dangerous as well. Things about Kyouko will be settled in a week or two, I think”, said Gintoki waving his hand.
“Then Kyouko-chan aside, how are things with big sis Tsukuyo?” asked Seita eagerly.
“Nothing much happened…” replied Gintoki deadpanned.
“But something did happen, didn’t it?” asked Hinowa.
Gintoki only replied with another sigh while ruffling his own hair. After Hinowa and Seita giggled in amusement, the brown haired boy asked him again. “Come on, Gin-san… Tell us more about what happened between you and big sis Tsukuyo!” said the boy poking Gintoki’s arm with his elbow.
“I’m telling you we’re just…” replied Gintoki until suddenly a voice cut him off.
“We’re just what?” asked the new voice.
As the three people turned towards the source of the voice, they found the courtesan of death was standing in front of them. Her mouth was holding her kiseru, and the woman raised her right arm as a greeting.
“Big sis Tsukuyo!” said Seita in surprise.
“Oh my, welcome back Tsukuyo”, said Hinowa greeting her back.
“’Sup”, said Gintoki
“I’m back. And what are you doing here?” said Tsukuyo to Hinowa and Seita before she turned her gaze to Gintoki.
“Well, you said that there’s a situation in here. So I came just to look around”, replied Gintoki.
“Aren’t ‘cha s’posed to be with Kyouko-chan?” asked Tsukuyo blowing out a smoke.
“I left her with Kagura at Yorozuya. They should be fine”, said Gintoki waving his hand. “So tell me what’s happening here”, said Gintoki putting up a ‘serious’ front.
After thinking for a while, Tsukuyo decided to tell him about the situation.
“Some women were reported missing from Yoshiwara after serving a customer.” Tsukuyo began explaining.
“From the looks of it, the girls were kidnapped by the customers themselves, the women were asked to accompany those kidnappers somewhere secluded enough to smuggle them…” said Tsukuyo blowing out another smoke. “Anyway, although we dunno how they sneaked around yet, finding those women is the top priority”, said Tsukuyo concluding.
“Fancy, because on the other night I was told by Zura that there’s been kidnapping on the surface as well”, replied Gintoki staring at Tsukuyo.
Everyone else, especially Tsukuyo were intrigued from Gintoki’s words. After letting herself in a deep thought for a while, Tsukuyo looked up at the silver haired man. “D’you think those kidnapings ya mentioned are related to this one?” asked the woman.
“Guess we can find more info up there…” said Tsukuyo back preparing to leave to the surface.
“It’s fine with looking for intel on the surface, but you can at least say hello to Kyouko, you know…” said Gintoki following the woman.
“I know, I know. Ya don’t plan to put her in danger too, right?” replied Tsukuyo with a small sigh.
The couple said their goodbyes to Hinowa and Seita. As The Yoshiwara’s sun and her son were looking at the couple’s back leaving them, Seita turned to his mother. “Say, mom…. Don’t you think they’ve been… more compatible than usual?” asked the boy.
“Mhm. I guess they have become family, after all…” said the woman smiling and looking at the couple.
When they reached up the surface, Tsukuyo spoke up to Gintoki. “Say, Gintoki…” said Tsukuyo fidgeting slightly.
“What is it?” replied Gintoki but he didn’t bother to look back at the woman.
“Before Kyouko-chan goes back home…. Why don’t we go somewhere together? Just the three of us”, continued Tsukuyo, her face become red.
Gintoki looked back at Tsukuyo in surprise from the woman’s invitation. As he looked at Tsukuyo’s blushing face, a smile crept up on his face as he simply replied with, “Sure, why not”, but he continued, “But since you’re the one who asked first, I suppose I can leave the expense to you.” Gintoki ended in teasing manner.
Tsukuyo pouted at Gintoki’s remarks as she stared on his grinning face. She only let out a sigh. “Why did I end up with an asshole like you?” asked Tsukuyo rubbing her forehead.
“I too wonder how did I fell for a woman who likes trashing me around when she’s drunk”, replied Gintoki.
Tsukuyo’s face got red once again on Gintoki’s reply, then she just walked faster, leaving the silver haired man who tried to keep up with her.
At other side of Edo, sounds of yelling, trashing and explosions were heard from another certain public park. A girl with red vermillion hair was trashing around, swinging her parasol and firing a couple of bullets aimed for some hooligans in ragged clothings. While the hooligans had tried to supress Kagura with their numbers, the yato girl managed to punch her way through despite having few scars and bruises on her body. The girl shouted at her giant dog and a little girl behind her.
“Sadaharu! Take Kyouko-chan to the tax robbers or Yorozuya, whichever is closer, yes!” Kagura yelled while she was fending off the assailants.
Sadaharu barked obeying Kagura’s orders, the dog quickly grabbed the little girl with its mouth and threw Kyouko to its back before the dog quickly ran away leaving the area. However, after running few feet away, suddenly a van came with a highspeed hitting the giant dog. Sadaharu managed to reduce the impact with its reflex by jumping away from the car, but the rest of the impact struck on it made Kyouko fell from Sadaharu’s back. After that, some more men, this time with some amantos came out from the vehicle then started to gang up on Sadaharu, while one of them grabbed Kyouko and took her inside the car. The one who was waiting in the car scanned the fight and came upon realization.
“Shit, that other girl is a yato! C’mon, boys, we don’t have the tools and man power to catch her! Just retreat for now, we already got something here!” shouted the man towards his companions who were busy fighting Kagura and Sadaharu.
The assailants who heard the call quickly ran away while one of them threw a smoke bomb, stunning Kagura and Sadaharu for a while. After all the assailants got inside the car, the van quickly started its engine and drove away in full speed. Kagura caught a glimpse of the leaving vehicle then she quickly leaped on to Sadaharu’s back and the dog immediately took the initiative to chase after the van.
Although Sadaharu was still able to run, the wounds from the fight and the impact with the van earlier have started to take toll on the dog’s body. As its breathing was getting ragged, Sadaharu’s run only slowed down as the car started to get further. Knowing that Sadaharu will not be able to catch up with the car, Kagura used all of her strength to jump from Sadaharu’s body to catch the car, as she leaped from the dog’s body with her arms trying to reach the vehicle, she managed to just barely grab on to the van’s back. The co-driver noticed Kagura who was crouching through the sides of the car, making her way to the side door. As the co-driver hissed at the girl, he rummaged his inventory for a while, then he picked up a hand-grenade.
“This should shake her off…” the man said then he threw the bomb towards Kagura.
When Kagura saw the grenade flying to her, she did not have a choice but to let go of the van in order to avoid the grenade. “Dammit…!” cursed Kagura as she let go of her grip.
At the same
moment Kagura let go of the van, the grenade exploded right in front of her.
Kagura crossed her arms to protect her body from the blast, managing to avoid
serious injuries. As she fell down and rolled on the ground, she could only saw
a glimpse of Kyouko through the car’s back window, the little girl was crying
until someone’s hand appeared and grabbed her. Kagura’s consciousness began to
fade away due to fatigueness as her vision blured away and she tried to reach
out her hand towards the direction of the vehicle.
“Kyouko-chan….” Said Kagura gritting her teeth.
As her vision became dark, she thought, “Gin-chan… Tsukki…”