Chapter 4 - Leave us alone!
“What should I do now Daichi-sama?” asked Miwa as she hovered near him, there was a pause as he tried to think of an answer to the question.
“Watch over them, don’t let them out of your sight” was all he said, and with that she was off.
“Yes yes I am fine” Yuuki said as she pulled the door open with one hand while holding her baby in the other arm. “I don’t need any help right now”
“Are you sure?” Asked one of the village women “It will be hard since she has just been-”
“I know but right now we just want to be alone, have a good evening” Yuuki said politely before slamming the door shut and without hesitation placed a talisman on the door in order to lock it, the female sighed deeply as she almost slumped in relief even though she was holding her baby.
"That was too close for comfort" Yuuki muttered before looking down and smiled at her little bundle as she removed the top of the blanket to reveal Hana’s head that now had twitching fox ears. Hana to Yuuki’s relief was very quiet but at the same time not too quiet that it would make Yuuki worry for her daughter, she didn’t know why her baby was even quiet to begin with but took it as a blessing as it came knowing that some babies would never stop crying for reasons beyond her. Yuuki then went to the kitchen and placed a cushion on the floor so she could lay Hana down before she could get started on cooking. By the time she was done with the food, Hana at that moment started to cry causing Yuuki to put her food on the table and tend to her newborn. Almost thankful for the clothes of the past Yuuki picked up her fussy baby and began to feed her, as she fed Hana Yuuki soon started to gain a sudden chill from something. Someone was watching her and she did not like it one bit, who it was was beyond her. Yuuki no matter how hard she tried was unable to shake off this uneasy feeling leaving her rather unsettled, even Hana had started to cry from the negative vibes causing Yuuki to immediately react. However she paused before she could put her baby down, what if someone had broke her barrier and stole Hana? The mere thought had terrified her to her core.
No one will take her baby away from her, not unless she had anything to say about it. Grabbing her baby blanket, she used it as a baby sling and immediately tied Hana to her back while covering her with a part of the blanket head. She then grabs a sharp knife and walks slowly towards the door.
She looks at the side of the window and peeks in order to see who it is. After looking out the window her eyes narrowed as she kept herself on guard for anything suspicious.
“Who is there?” the young woman asks sternly while waiting for someone to respond, however the only thing that responded was silence leaving Yuuki more unnerved than ever. As much as she wanted to open the door and check, the need to keep her baby safe over looked that.
“If you don’t respo-” Yuuki jumped as Miwa popped out in her line of vision causing Yuuki to yelp in surprise.
“Only me just checking up on you” Miwa said in a peppy tone that left Yuuki angry as Hana continued to cry from the noise.
“What an earth is wrong with you?!” Yuuki screamed as she leered at a startled Miwa. “You not only scared me but caused my baby to cry! Do you not know of the meaning answer when someone says ‘who’s there?’ Honestly I thought a demon or a killer was at the house!” Yuuki hissed angrily leaving Miwa’s eyes to go wide before guilt entered her system.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t know” Miwa apologized as Yuuki moved away from the window.
“Is it alright if I come in?” Miwa asked as she stayed near the window.
“Not after what you did!” Yuuki replied now ignoring Miwa’s shocked response.
“Come on! I didn’t know I’m sorry” Miwa cried but Yuuki continued to ignore her as she tried to settle Hana who continued to wail.
“Can you leave?! You’re upsetting my baby!” Yuuki yelled angrily, Miwa bit her lip before nodding and went without another word.
Miwa kicked a stone with her bare foot with a grumble and winced, that didn’t go as well and what’s worse is that she had to report to her master about this. Talk about bad and she knew that he was not so forgiving on such carelessness mistakes, but what does he expect? She was created to be stealthy so that meant at times she was unable to respond due to reflex.
Still she was sad that she upset Hana, she could even feel how upset the baby was thanks to her voice. For someone so small and delicate it was worrying but Miwa was sure that Yuuki could handle it, after all she survived this long but there did come a time when her luck will run out and that’s what scared Miwa. Yes she is a foxfire but she had feelings and grew slightly attached to Yuuki even if she was to admit it or not. In fact she was one of the first foxfires Daichi had made as a kit, she had been there when he lost his mother and father due to a fake monk who claimed that they were evil and were cursing a human village with their presence. This in turn left the village offering everything they had just to kill the family.
Only out of the four Daichi had survived before finding his ‘brother’ who had a real hate for everyone except him for some reason. It was then that their brother/friend group had increased to about eight. Only those six betrayed him for reasons unknown, after that Daichi’s faith and trust in any of his brethren had decreased until Yuuki came into his life. It was also thanks to Miwa that Daichi had learned of the human’s name and had never forgotten the shock of knowing that ‘Ami’ was not her true name, but at the same time understood given that his brother had wanted Ami for himself. Given that both the girls almost did look identical for anyone to be confused since no one would be able to know who was who. The only difference is their hair and attitude. Yuuki had an odd hairstyle that didn’t involve chopping her hair in a straight line, no hers were more natural wavy and often got more wavy as her hair grew. However Yuuki had recently cut her hair with something Miwa was sure had been something like a knife of something, which was odd since Yuuki’s hair was now jagged compared to before. It did leave people questioning about why Yuuki’s hair was different and what made her even think about doing it.
However that’s what Miwa liked about Yuuki, she was different and was sure that her feisty stubborn nature was what encouraged Daichi to pursue her and make sure that she was safe to begin with. Then again it was probably because of losing his parents and the fact that he had marked Yuuki as his, only Miwa had a feeling that Yuuki was probably not aware of this fact. In truth he didn’t want to lose her the same way he lost his parents- to humans. The irony of it all however is that Yuuki herself is human, which in turn left Miwa wondering if his opinion of humans was now changing even if it was thanks to one human. Miwa did hope that it was true since that would mean the stone in which he had formed around his heart to stop himself from being hurt was now starting to crumble, which would mean that he was reverting back to the way he was before.
After settling Hana down did Yuuki sigh in relief, although it was funny to eat and try to settle Hana with one arm as she focused on each task that she had to deal with.
After burping her daughter did Yuuki place her in her baby basket and resume her eating. Hana now fed and slightly sleepy slowly began to slowly fall asleep in her bed.
Yuuki smiled softly as she watched her daughter sleeping peacefully before grabbing her bowl and resumed eating, once she finished did she cleaned her bowl and chopsticks. Before putting them away.
Yuuki by the time she was finished getting ready for bed had took Hana from her basket and went to the bedroom. She then placed the covers over them but made sure that Hana’s head was not covered to prevent her from suffocating. Once they were settled Yuuki had then kissed her daughter’s forehead before going to sleep.
“Your such a good baby aren’t you” Yuuki’s ears caught the sound of her daughter’s voice which was a mixture of cooing and whining, this in turn left Yuuki confused. Who was talking to her baby? Wait-!
Yuuki’s eyes forced themselves open and forced herself into a sitting position in order to see who was with her baby. Her breath was caught once she saw who it was.
“What are you doing here? How did you get here?!” Yuuki asked sharply, her voice trembling slightly catching Miwa’s attention. The young woman was holding Hana in her arms leaving Yuuki in a state of panic as her daughter’s ears were showing.
“Oh good morning Hisae-san, did you have a nice sleep?” Miwa asked with a smile but Yuuki however was not happy. What if this woman blabbed or had done something to Hana when she was asleep? The mere thought had left Yuuki more scared.
“How did you get in here?” Yuuki asked again sounding very angry taking Miwa by surprise.
“Oh the door was open so I went to check to see if everything was okay” Miwa commented, what did take Yuuki by surprise was the fact that Miwa was not commenting about her daughter’s ears or tail but she cared not.
“I want you out” Yuuki’s voice quivered as she snatched her crying baby out of a shocked Miwa’s arms.
“Hisae-san?” Miwa asked with a look of disbelief on her face.
“Get out! I don’t want you here, I don’t even want any of you in my house do you understand? Leave us alone!” Yuuki cried before sending a horrified Miwa out the house before closing the door in Miwa’s face, not caring if people outside were watching the scene. Yuuki slumped feeling more tired than ever after placing a new talisman on the door, she cried softly while holding her baby close to her chest. How could that have happened? Yuuki continued to think furiously for any solution, she turned to her left and froze as she saw something on the floor. Using her free hand she reached for a paper that looked like it had been singed, she examined the paper only to have her breathing hitch in shock as it had the words ‘barrier’ on it.
“Hisae-san I promise I won’t tell anyone! I swear, just please let me in” Miwa pleaded but was completely ignored by Yuuki who then rushed away from the door with her baby, the distraught female hugged her daughter tightly while tears ran down her own face at what could have happened if she had not woken up sooner.
The next three months had been a nightmare, people had been coming to the house leaving her more agitated and upset.
“We just want to check on your baby, why must you be so difficult Hisae-san?” asked one of the women, the woman huffed at how she was being denied access just like everyone else including the physician to their surprise.
“Why are you so desperate to even see her? There’s nothing to see!” Yuuki cried as she tried to keep the door closed.
“Hisae-san she hasn’t even been seen by a physician to see if she is healthy or not?”
“She is healthy!” Yuuki yelled as she looked at the bedroom’s door but hoped that no one would even enter via the bedroom, if Miwa could sneak in her home then there was no way that she could take any chances now.
“But we want to see for ourselves” snapped the third woman.
“Not once have you asked for help Hisae-san and it’s very suspicious, how do we know that she’s even alive?” the second one spoke coldly.
“She is! I just had her down for a nap please just leave” Yuuki pleaded, wishing that they would leave them alone.
“We will be the judge of things” the first one said harshly leaving Yuuki more upset.
“If you do not bring the child to the physician by the end of today we’ll have no choice but to tell the elder that you’ve either neglected or have killed your child” the second one warned.
“How dare you!” Yuuki yelled as she resisted the urge to open the door, knowing that they would barge their way in and discover that her baby was half yōkai. The things that they would do to Hana scared her deeply and she was not going to risk it.
“I would never harm my baby! I’ve been busy but I’ve coped why must you be so nosy you harpies?! I’ve done nothing to deserve this kind of attitude!” Yuuki yelled now getting more upset. Hearing the insult made the three women angry.
“How dare you!” the first one yelled back.
“Then do not act like you are superior to me! You don’t see me sticking my nose into your business and nor do I throw my weight around like I own the place do you?” Yuuki ranted.
“That’s besides the point-”
“JUST LEAVE US ALONE ALREADY!” Yuuki cried as she tried to put a permanent lock on the door using a talisman.
“You have until sunset before we tell the elder Hisae-san” said the third woman.
“Remember that” the first one spat scornfully before they walked away.
Yuuki walked towards her room and watched her daughter as she slept in the basket, a sigh left Yuuki’s mouth leaving her more upset and depressed by the whole thing. Knowing that it was starting to get dangerous the longer she and her baby continued lingered here, both in this house and village which meant that they had to leave sooner rather than later. But to where that was the question, they didn’t have much time now before the elder would bring his men to break the door down or worse burn it if they assume that she’s a yōkai. She almost cursed Miwa who might have blabbed about how Yuuki would hardly leave the house but the question was why, why was Miwa so obsessed with wanting to see her and Hana? Was she a yōkai? The thought left Yuuki more scared than ever and she knew now that they had to leave without any witnesses, so she grabbed whatever she could and placed it in both her old backpack and the new bag that she recently obtained.
Yuuki then went to get her baby and used her long blanket to make the baby sling, by tying the ends to her neck and back. Once that was done Yuuki had then placed her backpack on while using her left hand to hold the other bag before attaching an air talisman on to her yukata knowing that they would both vanish into thin air. Satisfied with everything she grabbed the lock that was attached to the door and left without another word.
By the time it was sun had set the elder had arrived with his men, he was surprised to see that the door was still locked before one of the men saw the back door open and alerted the elder in the process. Once they were inside they were surprised to see that the whole house had been abandoned with no traces of anything that might be useful.
“Search the area, she couldn’t have gone far” the elder said sternly.
“Do you think she’s a yōkai?” asked one of the men which left the elder angry.
“We will just have to find her and interrogate her won’t we?” the elder said coldly. The mere thought of a yōkai who might have been living under his nose had left his blood boiling with rage, did she think that he was a fool?
Daichi was left speechless at seeing the state of the empty house, beside him was Miwa who was now back to being a foxfire. Both were in shock to see how damaged and empty the house was, just seeing and knowing that Yuuki was now gone had left Daichi disheartened enough to make his ears pin themselves to his skull while his tail went limp. Knowing that he was so close and yet she had slipped from his fingers yet again. What was he going to do now?
It had taken him months to find her so what were the chances of finding her this time?
Yuuki walked through the forest feeling tired but happy to be away from the village. The young mother had been walking for a few days through the woods ever since she escaped the village, at times she stopped to rest and feed her baby before she resumed her journey. The bags may have been heavy but it was worth it, the last thing she wanted was to be killed for being a witch or a yōkai when she wasn’t. Talk about a mess that was not even needed, all thanks to the nosy people who would always find anything to gossip about.
After the tenth day did Yuuki locate an abandoned house in the middle of the woods, it took her by surprise but she was sure that this would be a good place to live in after all she could try and fix things if it was needed right?
Yuuki also spotted a slope that was connected to a river was nearby, which in turn meant that she could get water for the both of them when needed. She also could explore the next day once things had settled down, the next priority however was to find the village in order to trade or buy goods. Yuuki did wince once she checked her bag to see that they hardly had any food left and began to search for a village nearby. To her relief it wasn’t that far, it was probably and hour away if her estimations were correct but instead of going into town she went into the house, locked it with her talisman and without wasting time began to unpack.
Satisfied with her findings and knowing what was what in the house did she rest, Yuuki chuckled at how Hana would fuss as she tried to roll on the blanket covered floor but always pulled a face when she couldn’t move.
“Hana don’t force yourself” Yuuki smiled while Hana looked up at her with curious eyes. Hana lifted her hands up and made little cute noises which had left Yuuki laughing at the scene before her.
“Why not” Yuuki lifted her baby up and began to blow a raspberry on her squealing baby’s stomach, this made Yuuki’s smile go wider at how happy and blessed she truly was to have an amazing daughter in her life.
It was the start of a new day in their new home, even though they were far from the village it was better than enduring people’s never ending demands or questions as to why Yuuki would refuse to have the villagers see Hana. To Yuuki’s joy the place was filled with fresh air, an area where she could grow or see vegetation nearby and a spring to collect water. It contained everything that Yuuki would need for the pair of them as they started their new lives.
Yuuki stretched before placing Hana in a baby sling after she sorted the item out, she then hid Hana’s head to avoid her ears being shown. Which in turn caused the infant to whine much to the mother’s dismay but knew there wasn’t much she could do given that humans would not take kindly to a yōkai even if it was an infant. However in order to cheer Hana up Yuuki had made a few gestures and pulled a few faces that left the infant distracted from being upset leaving Yuuki to smile and tap her daughter’s nose playfully. Just as Yuuki opened the door immediately she took a deep breath and smiled, sure money was going too tight but they could manage right?
Yuuki paused as her bare foot connected with something foreign, something that wasn’t wood causing her too look down. She paused while her eyes were wide in shock from what she was seeing- a woman’s kimono had folded neatly on the floor just in front of the door.
Where did this garment come from?
Who would have this lying there in front of her house?