Chapter 4: Exploiting Your Children and Disciplining Them are Two Different Things
>> In Yoshiwara, around the same day Yorozuya met Kyouko for the first
It had been few days after the love potion incident with Hotaru. The Courtesan of Death was taking a quick break from her daily patrols in Hinowa’s shop. It was not too long after Hotaru reunited with her lover, and Tsukuyo had received the letter from her old friend. The letter pretty much was filled with apology about the trouble she had caused, her gratitude for releasing her, and another thing that surprised Tsukuyo a bit, was the fact that Hotaru and her lover have decided to marry in near future and had started to live together. But the most bothering part of the letter was, at the bottom of the paper there was a writing.
‘P.S. Tsukuyo-chan, you should be more honest about your feelings and grab happiness while you have the chance. Otherwise you might end up like me.’
Tsukuyo only sighed upon reading it, but she still kept the letter with her. “The hell is she talkin’ about…..” said Tsukuyo in her mind.
Apparently, Tsukuyo didn’t get enough sleep lately because of a certain man. Last night, as she could not sleep and look at the night sky from her window, she always felt her cheeks getting warm when she woke up. As she gazed at the moon, the image of a man with silver-perm hair always appeared in front of her. Even until now, after that night she still felt her cheeks getting warmed up every once in a while.
“What the hell’s happening?...” She rubbed her face gently and sensed her face was warm. “I thought that damn potion had wore off… But why I’m still thinki’n about him?”
She had abandoned her femininity and decided to protect Hinowa and Yoshiwara for the rest of her life. But ever since the sky of Yoshiwara had been opened, and through many battles and events, she realised that she cannot put the silver-hair of Yorozuya out of her mind. Even during the confrontation with Jiraiya, Tsukuyo admitted that Gintoki wavered her resolve as a warrior. Not to mention, she still didn’t quite understand why she felt such complex feelings when she saw him got shot in the chest while they were confronting Tokugawa Sada Sada. And finally, during the recent love potion case, why did she have to ‘fall in love’ with him?
“It’s all his fault… “ Tsukuyo cursed as she let out a smoke from her kiseru. “Wait, about love potion case, I forgot we haven’t paid ‘em.” thought Tsukuyo reminding herself as she decided to drop a quick visit on the next day.
End of flashback
Back to present time in Yorozuya…
It was another day in Yorozuya. But this time, there was a little girl accompanied by Kagura cuddling with Sadaharu in the living room, Shinpachi was cleaning up the dust and Gintoki was sitting on his office chair reading Jump.
As Gintoki took a quick glance at the little girl, he still could not forget the soothing feelings when he woke up this morning. Instead of hearing Shinpachi and Kagura’s rambling, he saw Kyouko sat on top of him, looking energetic and greet him, “Good morning, papa”, with a smile.
Although he only answered with, “Yeah, yeah, morning. Can you get off me now?” with his usual lazy expression, he somehow felt…. Pleasant inside.
“Gin-san, don’t laze around too much, remember we already promised Kyouko-chan to look for her mother today…” as Shinpachi finished his sentence, suddenly a bell rang from the front door. “Yes, coming!” said Shinpachi as he opened the door.
As he opened the door, he saw a woman with long purple hair, wearing glasses and wearing a casual pink kimono. Shinpachi recognized her face and asked, “Um…. Sachan-san? What brings you here? You are not in your usual ninja attire…”
Yes, it was Sarutobi Ayame, Gintoki’s faithful stalker. As the female ninja stepped inside, she walked to Kyouko and bent down to take a look at Kyouko’s face. And she stood up facing Gintoki and said, “Gin-san, I’ve heard about everything last night. If you are looking for her mother, here you go! Kyouko-chan, mama is here! I love you!” as Ayame squealed and she carried Kyouko in her arms, spinning around.
“WHAT!? SERIOUSLY?” screamed the trio seeing Ayame hugging Kyouko.
But then they face deadpanned as Kyouko replied, “I love you too, Sa-chan!”
“Sa-chan?” the trio and Ayame thought.
“No, not Sa-chan, Kyouko-chan. Mama. Try to say mama….”
Before Ayame could finish she received a blow in the face from Gintoki, sending her flew outside the Yorozuya office. “Good grief, I somehow knew that it will come to this if it’s about that pervy woman…” said Gintoki ruffling his own hair.
“I won’t say it’s impossible, but we will be surprised too if you are really ended up with Sachan-san”, said Shinpachi relieved followed by Kagura nodding in agreement.
“Say, Kyouko-chan. Do you know who mama is, yes?” asked Kagura, now sitting together with Kyouko on the couch.
Shinpachi and Gintoki started to put on their ears as Kyouko was thinking for a moment. “Mama is mama!” answered Kyouko innocently.
Shinpachi could only sigh hearing her answer, knowing that info would not help much. “Well, Kyouko-chan, do you know anything else about your mother?” Shinpachi continued asking her as he sat on the opposite couch.
Kyouko thought harder and she said, “Um…. Mama is beautiful and strong!”
“This won’t get us anywhere….” The trio thought at the same time.
Gintoki then rummaged through his fridge, only to find out that Kyouko just drank his last strawberry milk. “Now I even gave this brat my precious drink. Seriously, what’s wrong with me?” thought Gintoki as he sighed, massaging his temple.
“Gin-chan, we’re gonna take Kyouko-chan outside, yes. Maybe on the way we might gonna met her mama”, Kagura said to Gintoki as she took her parasol.
“Nah, I’ll pass. I’m not in mood meeting whoever is that girl’s mom. I’m already lost interest when I knew that Ketsuno Ana is not gonna be my wife…” replied Gintoki back on his seat, reading his Jump.
“Please, Gin-san… Be more responsible!” said Shinpachi.
“Then, who will watch the shop? You kids have fun. Just told me what you found later”, Gintoki said his excuses while waving his hand, still reading his Jump. “Oh, can you buy me some more strawberry milk on the way back? The girl just drank the last one.”
“You can go buy them yourself, Gin-chan. Might gonna bump to Kyouko-chan’s mama on the way”, said Kagura picking her nose, refusing her surrogate father bluntly.
“Okay! Kyouko will buy some for papa!” Kyouko said energetically instead.
“See, Kagura? Even kids like her willing to comply. I’m counting on you, kid”, replied Gintoki.
“Gin-san, you should have a bit more shame. You just exploited a little kid!” Shinpachi retorted.
“You don’t get it, Shinpachi…. Little kids should be taught to obey adult’s words since they were young, otherwise she might end up like Kagura over there”, replied Gintoki.
“Fine, fine. I’ll buy them. But you owe us big time later, yes?” said Kagura in annoyed tone. “Let’s go, Kyouko-chan, Shinpachi, Sadaharu!” said Kagura holding her parasol on her left hand and her right hand holding Kyouko’s tiny hand.
As the rest of Yorozuya had left with Kyouko, Gintoki was now alone in the living room.
He closed his book and leaned back, his head was facing upward. “Her mom…. My wife, huh?” thought Gintoki as he stare at the ceiling. “Let’s see….. So far, I found that Ketsuno Ana is not the one. Damn…” Gintoki cursed in his mind. “Then we also knew that Otae and Kyuubei are out from the list too. Thank god, I can’t imagine myself ended up with one of those amazons” thought Gintoki relieved.
“Then that stalker…. Humph, not a chance” said Gintoki picking his nose. “That girl said her mother is beautiful. Duh, of course I want a beautiful woman for myself. And strong….. The only strong woman I know aside from the three before….”
Suddenly Gintoki’s eyes widened at the answer that would come to his mind. “No, no, I don’t think so.” Gintoki denied as his left hand waving in the air and his right hand continue picking his nose a little harder. “But if I recall that girl’s face, her face sure resembles someone. Especially her eyes….”
When Gintoki was trying to match the girl’s face in his imagination, suddenly a certain woman’s face with blonde hair matched the girl. “No, no, no…. Impossible” said Gintoki getting panic, his left hand waving faster and his right hand picking his nose even harder.
But when he tried to gather his thoughts and information so far, he could only come with one answer, which was a certain blonde woman with scars on her face from Yoshiwara. “NO, NO, NO, NO, NO. NO WAY, NO WAY, NO WAY, NO WAY.” Gintoki muttered even in more panic as he continued waving her left hand and drilling through his nose until it bled with his right hand.
Then after thinking again for a while, Gintoki stood up, take his bokuto and ran outside through the door. “I better find them first!” as he started his scooter and start looking for the kids.
On Kagura and Shinpachi’s side, things did not go very smooth. But nevertheless, they were having fun with Kyouko. Although their intention was looking for Kyouko’s mother, they ended up taking Kyouko looking around Kabuki district. Seeing various places and shops. As Shinpachi went alone to look into otaku idol’s shop, Kagura, Kyouko and Sadaharu decided to take a look at the toy store few meters across Shinpachi’s position.
Kyouko eagerly ran towards the shop through the crowd and suddenly she bumped into someone. “Kyouko-chan, are you ok, yes?” Kagura asked as she approached the little girl.
Then she stopped to look at someone familiar who she did not want to see at the moment. The man in front of her and Kyouko had a sandy-brown hair and red ruby eyes, he was also wearing a black uniform with a katana on his waist.
After rubbing her face to ease the pain from impact, the little girl looked upward to see the face of the man she bumped into. After blinking her eyes several times at his face for a while, she said, “Gomenne…. Um… “ The little girl looked down for a moment, hesitating. Then she gathered her courage to say his name,