Chapter 9: The truth shall set you free
The first thing that caught Yuuki’s attention was the smell of burnt wood, just smelling it made her nose twitch in dislike while she questioned herself as to why she was near burned wood after all did she go to bed near a fire pit? She didn’t remember.
Yuuki moved a bit before a sudden chill caused her to groan, she started to wake up a bit more to the point that she forced her eyelids to open in order to see what was going on. There near her was a bonfire pit only there was nothing but ashes to her confusion, now why was she sleeping near a pit when she had a bedroom?
Very soon she grabbed the closest thing near her and placed it near her face only, it smelt like... Daichi. Her face went red as what happened entered her mind causing her to burry her face in his haori in order to hide. Of all the places to do it in they had to do it in a room where Hana could enter at anytime, the thought of their daughter asking them embarrassing questions about as to what they were doing left her nearly mortified.
Speaking of Daichi, where was he?
Yuuki looked around to see nothing but an empty room causing her to pout, talk about annoying. Was this how he felt when she left him when he was asleep in the field of Sakura trees?
“Yuuki?” Daichi’s voice came from the left causing her to push herself up by her hands, only to realise that was probably not wise given the situation and grabbed the haori in order to cover herself as best she could.
“Ah! Uum... hi” Yuuki said weakly causing the poor mother to mentally slap herself thanks to what just happened, Daichi however just smiled and walked towards her with something in his hands.
“Did you just wake up?” the red head asked softly as he placed the tray down which contained some of the food they had been able to take with them when they left the house. It did seem a waste to leave it there but safety came first.
Yuuki’s face continued to heat up as she felt completely shy from his gaze, this made him smirk as he leaned forward and to kiss her. Yuuki even though she was half asleep kissed him back while smiling at the gesture; she could almost get use to this... almost.
“Hmm” Yuuki hummed after they pulled away from their kiss, her lips tingled from the emotions that she felt just from the kiss.
“Are you hungry?” Daichi asked with a smirk as he kissed the side of her mouth.
“A bit” she yawned before pulling away in order to cover her mouth; Daichi however had other ideas as he saw her yawn in a cute manner which left him smirking even more. Daichi then leaned forward once more and did butterfly kisses on her neck causing Yuuki to lean towards his face.
“Some morning” she muttered faintly even though she was feeling her face heat up from what he was doing. “You know, Hana’s probably going to come in here and catch me looking indecent you know” she murmured softly before as she tried to move away. Daichi however chuckled from how she was trying to wriggle out of what they were doing.
“Hmm? If that’s true then why is Miwa playing with Hana outside?” Daichi asked with a smirk as he kissed her neck, Yuuki pulled away so she could let him see her confused expression. Just seeing that look made him chuckle. “Yes Yuuki, I sent her to watch over Hana just in case anything happens and I made sure that Miwa knows exactly when to bring Hana in as well so-” Daichi kisses Yuuki’s shoulder “This way, we can have all the time we want” Daichi suddenly went rigid as Yuuki grabbed his tail and placed it on her lap, she soon patted and stroked his tail absentmindedly due to still feeling sleepy. This however did take Yuuki some time to process the fact that he was not making any moves on her. Once Yuuki looked up to see what was wrong, she paused the moment she saw his eyes. They were feral even though his eyes were gentle. She had started to get a feeling that his eyes meant something but couldn’t pin point what especially since she was not like him, also the last time she had seen his eyes like that was when he was about to or had killed someone.
Yuuki’s mind went blank as she stared deep into his eyes, not remembering that his tail was in her hand and gripped it instinctively. Only the moment she had done that did he send her to the floor and began to make out with her, he growled hungrily as he kissed her lips and necks.
“I think I have something in mind for breakfast” he whispered huskily before continuing where they left off last night however Yuuki on the other hand released a throaty chuckle as he kissed her tickle spot, she was amused from seeing how eager he was.
Yuuki laughed as he covered them with a large blanket that rested nearby, they continued to lay down on the floor before he pulled her close so he could nuzzle her cheek.
“We should get married” Yuuki looked at him oddly since she was already his mate/wife right? “Well I did give you the mate mark but that’s yōkai terms. I’m talking about human terms, it hardly seems fair that we are tied by only my customs and not yours” Daichi said with a near pout, Yuuki however looked at him before smirking.
“Oh? Daichi is actually trying to pout?” Yuuki asked with a teasing smile, this caused him to scowl and turn his head as his cheeks went red from what she was doing.
“Ha ha” he muttered before Yuuki moved to sit on him, she slowly leaned down to kiss him.
“You know we need to get cleaned up given that Hana does have a sharp sense of smell right?” Yuuki asked with a sly smile.
“I don’t want to” he whined “I want to stay here” he continued to whine, hearing this had left Yuuki laughing from his stubborn nature.
“Come on lazy bones, unless you want to ruin our daughter’s innocence I think cleaning up will do us some good” she said with a grin before pecking his moving face.
“Uuuugh Yuuki no fair, I want to stay with you in bed” Daichi whined at her still causing her to laugh and pinch his nose which left her hearing a weak yelp in return.
“You do realise that this isn’t the bedroom right? And that this is where we’re suppose to have food in” Yuuki said with a sly smile, Daichi gave her a weak look.
“Evil woman” he muttered as he looked up at her.
“Ah but you love me anyways” she said before grabbing his long haori in order to provide some modesty. “Now come on or Hana would spot you-oh and I need warm water please” Yuuki said before kicking his side lightly, he glared.
“You couldn’t just let us have fun could you?” Daichi grumbled before sighing. “Alright I’m up” he muttered before heaving himself off of the floor.
“Oh and by the way, we have to tell Hana about you” This got Daichi pausing as he covered himself with his white yukata with swallows on it.
"That’s right, she still doesn’t know that I’m her father..." Daichi looked down slightly causing some red hair to cover his saddened face, seeing this made Yuuki smile softly before she touched his arm in a light comforting manner. This made him look up to see her warm smile that showed understanding and yet her smile left him slightly at ease, In truth he could look at that smile all day knowing that it would just make him smile every time and leave him thinking that everything will be alright in the end.
“I’m sure that once you give her time to adjust to the idea of knowing that you are is her father, she will come round just wait and see” Yuuki winks while smiling playfully at him. Seeing her smile left him wanting to believe that it could go well for them, after all Hana did mention and look sad when she spoke about her father. Just seeing that expression left Daichi sad knowing that he had not only missed out on a lot of years but had left her feeling like she was not important in his life, darn it she was and so was her mother. And it was about time he showed it one way or another.
“Ah, Daichi!” Yuuki cried as the red haired fox had slung her over his shoulder like she was nothing more than a sack of rice before bounding to the bathroom area.
“What are we waiting for? Hana’s probably wondering what we’re doing” Daichi said with an eager smile that left Yuuki chuckling at his childish behaviour, there was the excited happy fox that she knew.
Hana looked up at him with a frown as she narrowed her eyes at the male yōkai in front of her. Just looking at her eyes had almost left Daichi startled by how she looked just like her mother, especially when she looked at him with the same suspicious eyes. Why was she staring him in that manner? Well...
“I know it’s hard to take in-”
“You can’t be my daddy” Hana said sharply taking the parents by surprise.
“Wh-Why not?” Daichi asked now recovering from Yuuki who had been cut off from their daughter who interrupted her. Hana pouted as she stared at him.
“Because daddy doesn’t know where we are, he can’t come here because yōkai and humans can’t be together since they don’t like each other” Hana snapped as she glared at him slightly. Yuuki bit her lip as she turned to look at Daichi who was looking at Hana with sad eyes. He knelt down and patted Hana’s head even though she had moved back a bit, however he could still catch the floral scent that remained him once again of his mate. A scent that gave him the courage and hope to break away from his past deeds, a scent that he tried to conjure up wh he went to sleep alone.
After all this time after that one night with Yuuki, this girl, this child that they had created from the love that they had for one another was there before him. Just seeing their daughter standing there had felt like something that he could only dream of, the moment he had heard that his mate had been pregnant and had their baby left him almost in denial for it was not possible. The scary part was if he woke up only to find out that this was all a dream, that it never happened which in itself was something that the red head wasn’t sure if he could ever recover from. And yet here he was, in the presence of not only their daughter but his mate as well. Two presences that he never did think would ever enter his life to begin with and yet here they were, now all that was left? Was to bond with their daughter and continue where he and Yuuki had left off, only he hoped that it would now be on better terms.
Yes they were on the run thanks to his brother who had gotten out of control thanks to the secret Daichi had hidden, but knowing that they were alive and with him this time had gave him the strength to not just carry on. But to fight as well if his brother Hakai were to ever dared to show his face to hurt his new family. In a way it was one of the fears that entered Daichi’s mind about when it came to his brother, knowing that his brother might not accept them and to his dismay he was right.
“I know it’s a lot to take in Hana, but I really am here and I am making no plans of leaving you and your mother anytime soon. I promise” Daichi smiled as he looked at her skeptical look.
“Even if I am to believe you. Don’t make promises you can’t keep” Hana said sharply causing Yuuki to laugh from her daughter’s response, Daichi however gave his wife a look.
“She is definitely you” Daichi said with a fake frown but seeing that made Yuuki chuckle while Hana stared at them oddly. After all it was a lot to take in for sure and she never did think that was possible, to think that this yōkai who had the same ears and tail as her was her father. The same one who she bumped into by accident and had spotted him in the room her mother was. Now here he was talking to her and her mother almost as if he had been with them since the moment Hana had been born.
Daichi as he was chatting to Yuuki had turned to look at Hana, only he went cold from seeing their daughter crying as she released small sobs.
“Hana what’s wrong?” Daichi asked while Yuuki was shocked by the sudden turn of events.
“Where... where were you all this time? Why now? Didn’t you want us?” Hana asked between sobs, Daichi immediately pulled Hana into a hug to which the small kit accepted without hesitation. Just being in his embrace felt familiar to her, his scent, everything about him made Hana cry harder knowing that she was happy to have him in their lives again.
“Of course I did want you both, things...” Daichi sighs while he took a pause “Things were very complicated Hana and I couldn’t risk you or your mother being in danger. Know that I will always love you two no matter what okay?” Daichi smiled at her as he allowed the small kit to see his face.
“Really?” Hana asked meekly as she felt unsure about his words, his smile meanwhile grew from her question.
“Really” Daichi kissed her forehead before pulling her into another hug, “I love you both so much Hana” Daichi said softly while smiling. Very soon he smelt salt water again. “Are you crying again?” Daichi asked sounding like he was surprised, Hana nodded slowly causing his brows to furrow in confusion.
“I am happy to have my parents together” Hana’s voice shook as she spoke, however hearing this made the pair smile from her words. Yes it was good to be where they belonged- with each other.
Dinner time proved to be a fun for the trio as they talked about things, most of it involved the parents listening to their daughter talk about certain things. The parents then looked at one another and smiled softly while Hana looked at them blankly, she slipped some food into her mouth and nibbled while watching them.
“Why are you looking at each other like that?” Hana asked with curious eyes, Daichi smirks at Yuuki while at the same time Yuuki smiles at him as her face went red from his look.
“We are thinking of marrying in human terms” Daichi replied, this made Hana blink at them and tilts her head slightly.
“It means that mummy and daddy want to be together by human law” Yuuki replied softly. “Does that make sense?” Hana’s mouth parted slightly.
“That means daddy doesn’t have to be away anymore?” Hana asked in surprise, the pair nodded and smiled in reply. Hana’s eyes went wide before a squeal left her lips.
“Yay! Thank you mummy and daddy!” she cooed before hugging her parents forgetting that she had chopsticks in her hands. She heard them chuckle at her enthusiastic behaviour.
The next day Daichi got himself ready to go out, he pulled an extra haori from near the basket of clothes since they didn’t unpack anything just in case they had to leave.
“I’m going to find a God that will tie us together” Daichi commented as Yuuki approached him with Hana.
“Will you be spotted by Hakai?” Yuuki asked with worried eyes, Daichi smiles before he pulls her close enough to hug her.
“I’ll be fine, just stay indoors and don’t leave the house okay?” he asks with a warm smile.
“We will!” Hana chirped for the pair of them. Daichi then knelt down and picked her up so he could hug her, he then kissed her nose playfully and smiled as she giggles from the gesture.
“I love you and mummy” he smiled, Hana giggles and hugs his neck.
“Hana loves you to” she smiles widely. Daichi allowed Yuuki to take Hana from his arms before he left the house in search for someone that could help.
Daichi blinked as he looked at a shrine that rested on top of a large mountain, he sighed out loudly and folded his arms.
“So this was the shrine for the Marriage God huh?” Daichi commented with a curious look, only as soon as he approached the shrine did he frown.
“This place is so barren! What kind of God lives in such a dump?” Daichi muttered as he entered the shrine. Looking round the rooms didn’t leave him feeling any other.
"How old is this God? Honestly" Daichi muttered, his long hair moved slightly as he walked while looking from side to side in order to find the God in question.
“Hello?” Daichi yelled in hopes of finding the God of Marriage, but then again the God might have moved somewhere else hence why it was so empty.
“If this God has abandoned this shrine, I’m going to-” Daichi seethed in anger.
“Hello? Who are you?” asked a timid voice that almost made Daichi jump from how quiet the voice was. He turned to the left and saw a teenage boy that looked like he was about sixteen. The boy had ginger hair and nervous green eyes, on his nose was a pair of big glasses that covered the whole of his eyes, he wore a brown yukata and was bare foot. However what surprised Daichi was how the boy was hiding behind a low table.
“Um... I’m Daichi” The red head replied sounding slightly disturbed by what he was seeing given that he was not expecting this, nor was he expecting a very young boy in the shrine... or at least what was left of it.
“Why is a yōkai entering my home?” the boy stammered “I have power to make you disappear if you are going to hurt me” Daichi raised a brow from the comment, but without warning the red head stormed over toward the boy causing the ginger haired boy to yelp in shock and fall over from fear, the boy tried to keep his glasses fixed onto his face as he fell but almost lost his hold over them. The ginger haired boy then tried to scramble off the floor only to get picked up by his collar.
“Oh yes that does sound interesting, making me disappear really?” Daichi asked with a frown.
“D-Don’t hurt me or my familiar-“The boy stuttered in fear.
“After what you just said about making me disappear I highly doubt it” Daichi scowled “Now who are you and where can I find the God of Marriage?” Daichi asked crossly while the flailing boy who was trying to escape suddenly paused from his words.
“Wait... why would a yōkai even want a God of Marriage?” the boy asked wearily until Daichi moved the boy up and down sharply causing the ginger haired boy to groan from being winded.
“I’m asking the questions now boy, start talking” Daichi snapped before the boy looked back and leered at him weakly, the red head raised a brow from the look.
“I’m the God of Marriage you bully! Honestly this is no way to treat a God” the boy muttered weakly, Daichi blinking in shock raised the boy up by his collar and glared at him once they were eye level, it was then that the ginger haired boy almost gulped from the sudden move.
“YOU! As in YOU are the God of marriage?” Daichi asked in disbelief.
“Y-Yes! Why? What do you want with me?!” The boy asked as he started to shake in fear from being this close to the scary kitsune. “You want to eat my heart or something?” Daichi frowned from the comment.
“Do you think that I would pursue such a wimp just to eat them? No I have a request” Daichi said darkly, this took ginger haired boy by surprise.
“Wait! What request?!” The boy cried as he continued to shake in fear, seeing this made Daichi rolled his eyes at his response.
“Stop shaking I’m not going to kill you” Daichi scowled at how cowardly the God was being and if anything he was disappointed from what he was witnessing. Were they now giving these roles to anyone?! The boy tried to stop shaking but found it hard to do so thanks to the intimidating aura. “I’m wanted to know if you would tie a woman’s fate to mine by marriage” Daichi said while looking at the boy with a frown.
“A-A woman? Wait yōkai right? You know there’s the mate mark that would easily solve your problems- wait that is the yōkai form of marriage right?” the boy’s eyes narrowed as he tried to think as he tried not to stutter or shake, confusion settled on his features leaving Daichi to twitch at how clueless the boy was.
“Yes it is, but she is no yōkai” This took the boy who was muttering himself by surprise and immediately stopped talking before looking up at Daichi.
“Wait a human?! Don’t you know that they don’t last long compared to you yōkai right?” The boy asked as he tried to fix his crooked glasses.
“Yes I know that! Now who are you? You still haven’t told me your name” Daichi snapped as he looks at the boy dully, one thing he noticed about the boy was that he had a nerdy look to him.
“N-Neko! My name is Neko” The ginger haired boy stuttered as he looked at Daichi. Daichi however almost dropped the boy after processing what the boy said.
“Neko? What kind of name is that?!” Daichi asks the nervous nerdy teenage Marriage God, the boy then stammers as he tilts his glasses a bit down.
“Well my mother was never good with names and this just happened to be the only name that she could come up with at the time” Neko replies nervously as he blushes in embarrassment thanks to the humiliating name.
“Well that’s disturbing” Daichi muttered dryly as he leers at him weakly.
“Try living with the name!” Neko muttered meekly, Daichi then gives him a withered look knowing that nekos are cat demons.
“I’d rather not” he said weakly.
“You did imagine, didn’t you?” Neko asks as he looks up to see Daichi wincing.
“Please no... look can you do it please?” Daichi asks sternly now wanting to change the subject.
“Well I am an new to my job so I’ll do my best” Neko replied weakly, Daichi gave him a look.
“Wait when did you start the job?” Daichi asked as he tried not to sound alarmed.
“Last week actually?” Neko blushed weakly as he admitted it.
“And how many people have you tied fates to?” Daichi asked sternly.
“No one yet” Neko replied still blushing from the lack of work, suddenly he was dropped to the ground causing him to whine in pain.
“Excuse me, I’ll be going now” Daichi said in a voice that signalled that he wanted to forget what he had just witnessed.
“Wait come back!” Neko cried “Don’t you want me to tie you and Yuuki together?” Daichi paused and looked at Neko who was looking at him weakly as he remained a mess on the floor.
“How did you-?”
“Look I know I started my job not too long ago but I really want to be a good Marriage God, please let me give it a try. I’ll even bless the wedding if you want” Neko pleaded “Just let me do this” Neko gave Daichi a pleading look. The red head stared at him weakly before sighing loudly.
“Ugh fine!” Daichi muttered, Neko’s eyes went wide before a wide smile bloomed on his face.
“Thank you! You won’t regret it!” Neko cheered while Daichi at the same time had a sinking feeling that he would.
Yuuki looked at her dairy that contained the photo of her family, beside her was Hana who admired the family in the picture.
“This is what mummy looked like when she was younger?” Hana asked looking at her mother with curiosity. Yuuki nods with a smile and hugged her daughter with one arm.
“Yup, that’s your uncle and grandparents” Yuuki pointed to each person in the picture.
“Why can’t we see them now?” Hana asked with a sad look before her hair was ruffled lightly.
“We’re in a time period that is before they are born” Yuuki replied softly, sadness formed on her face but nuzzled Hana softly knowing that they both wanted to see the family but were unable to.
“Can’t we tell Daddy about them?” Hana looks at her as she asks the question, to the kit’s dismay Yuuki shook her head.
“Your daddy would not understand and no doubt would think that I am crazy, I don’t know I can even age Hana” this took Hana by surprise
“But why mummy?” Hana asked with a curious look while Yuuki bit her lip.
“I think that it’s because this is not my time” Yuuki explained softly. Hana pouted before nodding stiffly not liking this one bit. “This has to be our little secret okay, I know it’s hard but once he finds out it’ll really upset him. But remember what I asked you to do once five hundred years passes” she smiles sadly. Hana nods meekly as she looks down weakly.
“Does mummy have to go into hiding?” Yuuki nods glumly from the question.
“He’ll be curious and angry that I hid this from him, he won’t understand why I want to go back home” Yuuki explained before Hana’s ears twitched.
“Daddy’s coming back” Hana said softly before getting up to leave the room so she could greet her father. Yuuki nods and puts the picture back in the diary before slipping it back in her bag, spying the hole that she made earlier on she moved her bag so it was under the clothes before placing the floorboard back into place. After securing it back into place Yuuki then stood up and dusted her yukata just in time to see Daichi enter the room, he watched his mate who was almost flushed from doing something.
“Something wrong?” Daichi asked.
“No, nothing” she said in a hurried tone, “Did you find the one you were looking for?” Yuuki asked as she left the room leaving Daichi to frown, even though he had been with her for a while he did pick up some bits about her for example- signs of when she was hiding something.
Daichi surveyed the area knowing that something she was hiding was in this room but where?
“Daichi?” Yuuki popped her head back in.
“What? Oh yes, I did and he’s coming in two days” Daichi replied sounding distracted.
“Mummy can I go out?” Hana asked meekly the next day. Yuuki looked up from her meal before turning to look at Daichi who also looked up from hearing Hana’s question.
“As long as you stay at the front of the house” Daichi replied to Yuuki’s relief. Hana nods eagerly.
“Yay! Thank you daddy!” Hana stood up and rushed out the house causing Yuuki to jump up.
“I’ll see you in a bit” Yuuki smiled and kissed his cheek before running after their daughter in order to keep an eye out for any trouble. Daichi meanwhile continued to eat until his bowl was empty, his mind still on how Yuuki behaved last night. As soon as Daichi washed and placed the bowls and chopsticks in their proper places he immediately rushed into their room. He searched the room and found nothing that would cause her to act strangely.
“I don’t get it, why was she behaving oddly last night?” he pondered before looking at the wardrobe- nothing. Daichi sighed out heavily and sat on his legs.
“Nothing... so why-?” Daichi paused as he noticed something was odd about the bottom part of the wardrobe. Why did the boards seem like they were moved?
Moving his shaking hands closer to the boards he pulled both wooden items off the floor and saw something odd. His eyebrows furrowed in confusion.
“What is this?” Daichi muttered to himself as he examined it, it was a strange object that was attached to something that could be lifted up. Once he opened what seemed to be a flap he peered inside it and saw even stranger objects. A rectangle item caught his eyes and took it out. It had what looked like paper inside it so he opened it, his brows furrowed as it had a strange symbols in it, looking through each paper his hand stopped at another piece of paper only it was separate. Daichi then took the paper out and turned it round since one side was a blank white. His eyes went wide as he sees what seem to be people on the paper, Daichi sat back and looked at all the people who wore strange clothes until his eyes went to someone that looked like- Yuuki!
"Why is Yuuki in this?" The red head asked himself as he then realised something, Yuuki didn’t look a day older compared to the picture. His mind continued to buzz as he began to think about Yuuki and how she looked, he soon began to wonder why she didn’t look a day older compared to when he first met her. Years had definitely passed and yet she was still the same, which was odd since humans grow older during each passing year and yet... she didn’t.
"How is this possible? I never questioned this but now I know that she’s hidden this from me, I have to wonder who she is? Why she didn’t age and most importantly what is she?" Daichi bit his lip in frustration.
Yuuki smiles as Hana enters the house looking slightly muddy from playing in the mud. As Yuuki enters she begins to notice a chill in the air taking her by surprise.
“Daichi?” Yuuki called out but heard no answer, Hana then went to the bathroom to wash up while Yuuki went to hers and Daichi’s room. She paused from what she saw- Daichi who was sitting with her bag beside his leg, just seeing this made her heart skip a beat.
“Daichi?” Yuuki asked meekly as she saw his stone cold eyes never leaving hers as soon as she entered the room.
“What is this Yuuki?” The red head asks bluntly, Yuuki bit the inside of her lip knowing that she couldn’t lie even if she wanted to.
“Um... it’s a bag” she replied with curious eyes.
“Don’t give me that look Yuuki, this isn’t a bag that I have ever seen before in my life” he spat causing her to go quiet. “I want to know why this is this is here and what this stuff is in here. More importantly Yuuki why do you not look a day older since the day I met you?” Daichi stood up and looked down at her, he saw her eyes grow hesitant.
“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you” Yuuki replied weakly.
“Who are you Yuuki? What are you?!” Daichi snapped as he caused her to take a step back.