Chapter 5 - Who is giving me these things?!
Yuuki continued to sit in the main room while staring down at the kimono which itself contained swallows on it, it was hard not to stare at it since it was an EXPENSIVE kimono that left Yuuki incredibly uncomfortable.
Who would leave such an expensive kimono at someone's home? Did someone find out that this house was inhabited? But most importantly why? Why do that and what was the purpose of giving or leaving such a thing? What if it was a stalker or something? After all she didn't know anyone around here for that matter.
However there was one thing that was clear, she was not going to keep it. She didn't feel like she earned it or deserved it for that matter, turning to look at her baby that was blinking at the kimono before looking at her mother. Yuuki had redid the baby sling and placed Hana inside before covering her head in order to prevent anyone from looking at her ears. Yuuki then grabbed the kimono but made sure that it wasn't damaged as she picked it up. Thankfully the sling hid Hana's tail and wasn't too tight but was secure enough for Yuuki to move without hurting her baby.
Hana immediately went to sleep and nuzzled Yuuki's chest as she slept, which in turn had left her mother smiling at the gesture before setting off to the world outside this house.
The walk was long but nice, the air was fresh and left Yuuki learning to appreciate this area more than ever. After all it was secluded and away from prying eyes. As she walked her mind slowly went back to a time when she had been in a peaceful area before.
Yuuki could still remember how he had took her her to a field of sakura and flowers that were so vibrant, so filled with many different colours that had left her shocked, breathless and in awe as she then goes towards the petals and stares in wonder form the many different flowers in the area. Seeing the beauty of this area had caused her to smile widely and continued to admire it, just seeing her in this mood had left him happy and relieved at how she was smiling after he took her away. Just seeing that smile had took his breath away without her even trying to do anything.
Her smile had left him warm and he could feel that his heart was beating like crazy in his chest, which had left him wondering if he was well or not, but at the same time he cared not for as long as she was with him it was all worth it. Just seeing her smiling had left him wanting to see more, it made him want to be greedy enough to hide her from the world so only he could stare at her all way. In truth he wasn't sure if he could ever get bored from ever seeing her smile, it just left him feeling things. Things he wasn't sure were good or not, but at the same time he didn't care not as long as she stayed with him. At the same time a frown almost appeared on his face from the fact that she was determined to go home so where did that leave him? He didn't want her to go and yes he should have been a little nicer but he couldn't help it, he didn't want to appear weak in front of her. He refused to have his pride ruined leaving him wondering why his pride was so important after all, shouldn't he be happy that she was not running away from him this time?
Without looking Yuuki had taken a step backwards and immediately bumps into him taking him by surprise, he did hope that she hadn't damaged anything since humans were so frail that it scared him deeply. Why did he have to fall for someone like that?
She then turns her to look at him and watches silently, her breathing hitched slightly as the fox lift her right hand up and kiss her knuckles leaving Yuuki mildly surprised by the gesture.
"I could make a home here, if you want" he says with a small smile, hearing this had left Yuuki shocked. She then shakes her head as she remembers that she has to go home.
"I can't, sorry" Yuuki says softly as she looks into his eyes "I have to go" she then tries to move away leaving him wincing at the thought of being alone, no he didn't want to be left alone again. The mere thought had terrified him to his core enough to look up and stare at her, not thinking as he opens his mouth.
"B-Be mine!" he suddenly yells causing Yuuki to freeze to the spot; the fox freezes as he realizes what he has just said. She then turns to look at him with disbelieving eyes; did he just say what she had thought he had just said?
"What?" she asks in a breathless voice and sees his cheeks go slightly pink, which had left her completely stunned and confused.
"Be...mine" Yuuki then watches him as her eyes now show sadness, she continues to stand and look at him, listening to him talk about how he first met her to when she saved him from the ambush in the forest just when he was on death's doors. Hearing that made her wince mentally after all she knew about that bit thanks to reading his story not realizing that she has changed his story by saving him until it was too late.
Yuuki continued to listen say that no matter what; he had never stopped thinking about her and then tells her something that had left her completely stunned- he loved her.
Just hearing those words had left her heart twinging from the fact that he could say it without skipping a beat; it had also made her heart lurch with mixed emotions, knowing that he was not lying as he did not once break eye contact with hers. Which in turn had left her almost uncomfortable and yet at the same time, she wasn't. Seeing his eyes soften as he talks about her with such heartfelt emotions that were welling up in his eyes, seeing him smiling at he reminisces everything as if it happened yesterday. Just seeing those eyes, that smile, everything light up from talking about her had left her feeling immense guilt for hiding her identity but it had to be done. She wasn't from this world-his world so she there was no point staying here, not when she hopefully would be able to go home. In the end he was either from a different timeline or was just a fragment of her imagination no he was a fragment of the author's story and painting. He had no true feelings nor did he truly exist, so why get attached to something that was an illusion.
"I...I can't I'm sorry but I'm not" she pauses causing him to look at her in shock, he felt as if he had been punched painfully in the chest as he looked at her. Knowing that she was still dead set on going to his dismay.
"You don't even know anything about me, you don't know who I am or anything in particular" Yuuki says as she moves away from him and of away from his hold so he couldn't get her, as she moves away from him while her back was turned to him.
"This...this is too rash and too sudden, no Daichi no this isn't right" Yuuki said as she shook her head. Daichi's ears pinned themselves to his skull. Not wanting to her go he tackles her lightly to the ground. Leaving her shocked and confused as to what he was doing.
"What is it that you want the most?" Daichi asks as pins her hands to the grass with his own, not caring if dirt and grass go into his nails. He looks at her and her alone. Yuuki looks at him and gives him a soft smile almost taking him by surprise.
"There is nothing you can give me" she says softly leaving his ears to pin themselves to his head from her response.
"How is that possible?" he asks as his eyes grow sad as he looks her, after everyone wants something right?
"Because we are too different, there's nothing you can give without something dangerous happening" This leaves him more sad from her words knowing that it was true in some sense, he then kisses her head lightly.
"Please, tell me one thing that you would want. Anything even if it is just a silly thought" Daichi asks softly as he looks at her with pleading eyes. Yuuki sighs as she looks at him, there was only one thing and she doubted that he could give it to her given their backgrounds, they were just too different Daichi and her. So what was the point in trying? It was best to save themselves from future heart break after all he was just an illusion that was created from a story, this whole place a world created by the painting and an author's mind. It had no truth in it, no value, it was a dream that she was sure that she would wake up from soon. And just looking at him had made it harder for her to say yes to anything.
"A family" Yuuki replied in a firm voice.
Daichi after contemplating her response for a while had then slowly released a shuddered sigh as he looks at her, still feeling sad as he leans close. Yuuki's heart skips a beat a he kisses her. Very soon he nips at her neck lightly causing her to mewl in shock and bliss without knowing why, she could feel him trying to pull her close and did not resist to her surprise. What was it about this guy or yōkai as she corrected herself mentally, what was it about this yōkai that drew her to him? It was dangerous to be even near him let alone allowing him to make out with her. It was like playing with fire only this fire would burn more dangerously and she was sure that she was going to get burned badly if this continued.
"Stay with me tonight" he says softly as he plants butterfly kisses on her collarbone, she then tilted her head up and looked at him weakly from hearing his request.
"Why Daichi? There's nothing to gain for you or me by staying here" she said in a breathless voice. Yuuki could feel that her left shoulder was bare thanks to him; she also could feel the gentle wind nip at her skin but didn't pay any heed as she looks at him. Daichi sighs as he looks at her.
"I know, but even if I can't be with you forever at least stay with me tonight. Allow me to have this one memory" he asked meekly feeling his face heat up from feeling embarrassed, after all this was all new to him. This feeling, everything was new and almost dare he say it scary. And in truth he had no clue on what to say or act, she wasn't a tanuki girl who would give him false promises. No she was honest through and through, even when she said no and had pointed out the brutally honest facts that had left him more sad to even think about. Seeing this expression had made Yuuki smile at how innocent and cute he looked, although he was anything but innocent. Yuuki chuckles before pecking his nose causing the fox to blink and move back in shock, he sent a hand to his nose and felt his ears perk up from what had just happened.
"What's wrong? You weren't so shy when you kissed me" she asks with a playful smile.
"I-I wasn't expecting that" he replied weakly now turning his head away shyly before he felt her hand on his cheek.
"I gathered" she said softly, very soon he slowly turned his head to look at her. He stopped moving and his heart skipped a beat, ignoring the bare shoulder his eyes were solely focused on her mesmerizing eyes. Without thinking he kissed her lips before moving her arms that kept her upright and slowly placed her onto the grass.
This might be an illusion or fake but at that moment she cared not as they made love, no this felt right somehow and not once did she want this to end but alas things had to. Whether she wanted it to or not, however without either of them noticing Daichi had marked her as his by biting her neck not caring if there was blood, his sole focus was on her and her alone.
Yuuki could still feel his fangs as he bit into her neck; she even remembered his tongue as he slowly licked away the blood without showing any means of apologizing or explaining why he had done that instead he continued without realizing what had happened.
Yuuki's face went red from even touching the twin puncture marks; she could feel her own skip a beat while her stomach had tied itself into knots. Even after a year had passed, he had still found away to effect her somehow and she wasn't sure if that was a good thing or not. What was so great about marking her anyways? The only thing that she could get out of that memory was that he had sharp teeth that would tear anything to pieces if he really tried leaving her almost shivering in fear maybe? She wasn't sure but at the same time she was shocked that her neck was still in one piece thanks to that stunt, even though it had two pin marks on her neck.
"That would be three hundred yen miss" said a person, this had snapped Yuuki out of her thoughts as she realised where she was.
"Huh? Sorry?" Yuuki asked as she looks down at the kimono that was in her hand and then at the merchant who was trying to buy the kimono.
"I said miss that I'll buy it for three hundred yen" the male merchant said now looking annoyed by the fact that she had spaced out. Yuuki bit her lip and winced before handing him the kimono.
"Oh right, sorry" Yuuki apologized weakly; she made no comment as he grumbles something under his breath while handing her the money. Yuuki also didn't comment or look at anyone as some gossiped about the fact that she a plain person could have such an expensive kimono in her possession. Not that she would be able to answer such a thing for she had no idea how as well, but it didn't stop her feeling uncomfortable from having them staring at her.
"Anything else?" the merchant asked as he looks at her, Yuuki shakes her head and bows politely while her hand was on the baby's head before going. Leaving a now shocked merchant to stare at her after seeing her bow politely even though she carrying a baby.
Yuuki continued to ignore the people as she brought some food thanks to the newly acquired money before heading back. This time the food amount was less due to the fact that if she carried too much then she would have fallen to the ground and squashed her baby, which is something that Yuuki did not have in mind. Instead the young mother had decided to be frugal with her spending, after all this was just a one time thing and part of her did feel guilty after all that could have been someone's kimono that had been left there either by mistake or because they were leaving it there for safe keeping. But Yuuki was not so sure about the second part. After all why leave something like that lying around when bandits and other unwanted people were prowling though the area.
By the time she arrived home, Yuuki had stored her non perishable items in a safe dry area so nothing like mold or water could touch it.
Once that was done did Yuuki hear Hana fussing and was about to turn around but, something else had caught her attention.
"Hana?" Yuuki's eyes went wide and a smile bloomed on her face as she saw Hana who was trying to crawl while slapping her hands on the floor, her eyes on the other hand was trained on Yuuki while she smiled slightly. Seeing this made Yuuki chuckle and slowly crouched down so she could be level with her daughter.
"Are you crawling Hana?" Yuuki asked while smiling, Hana's mouth parted as she panted before plopping on the floor after taking a few steps due to being tired, seeing this made Yuuki laugh lightly and proceeded to pick up a pouting baby up before kissing her forehead.
"What do you mean she sold it?!" Daichi yelled in shock, the hairs now standing on ends. Miwa smiles weakly as she looks at him. "After all that time of tracking her and leaving a present-SHE SELLS IT?!"
"Well Daichi-sama, she doesn't truly know who gave her the kimono and didn't want it so she-"
"Don't finish that sentence!" Daichi warned sharply which caused Miwa's mouth to close, just seeing him act like this made her mentally laugh. To think that Yuuki's actions would get a rise out of him.
"What if she was low on money Daichi-sama?" this made him paused in his rant; he turned to look at her allowing her to continue. "After all she did leave without letting anyone know and had to cut herself from people, rumor has it that the village she escaped from have suspected that she's either a witch or a demon" Daichi frowned.
"However given how she was concealing Hana-sama, this would leave people also suspecting her to be a demon since demons are never welcome in the village, mostly thanks to you and your gang" Daichi winces while his ears go flat, well that was going to bite him eventually. He eyed the floral yukata he had specially got for Yuuki in hopes of cheering her up but who's to say that she won't keep it?
"Miwa I don't even know what to do anymore-"
"Hello brother. What's got you so conflicted?" asked a black skinned oni who had wide toothy smile on his face, he had long white hair that was up to his waist and had some blood stains that refused to come off. He wore a blood red kimono top that went up to his waist while wearing red hakama, like his hakama his kimono had dark stains on them signalling that they were blood stains.
Daichi as soon as he looked at his brother almost twitched in shock from seeing his brother's eyes glint slightly, almost daring him to hide things from him. Miwa however almost trembled at the oni that was sitting on a branch, almost looking innocent but that was a façade and she knew it. He was anything but harmless.
"Hello Hakai, haven't seen you in a while" Daichi greeted blankly.
"Not that I wanted you to show up when I am in a crisis you sadistic moron" Daichi thought coldly but kept his emotions in check.
"You wound me Daichi!" Hakai exclaimed as he hopped off, allowing his hair to move like a cape. He landed without any injuries, not taking his eyes off of them for a brief moment "After all you've been keeping out of my line of vision for some time now, any reason for that?" Hakai asked while standing up, his tone almost held malice and resentment which was something that Daichi could not ignore. He sighed deeply.
"I had something capture my attention for a bit" Daichi replied before shrugging his shoulders. Hakai gave him an unamused look signalling that he wasn't falling for it before turning his attention to the yukata; his brow went up causing Daichi to almost blink.
"Who's that for?" Hakai pointed at the yukata causing Daichi to almost go pale but kept himself calm.
"It's Miwas" Daichi replied tonelessly, Hakai gave him a blank stare before laughing.
"She burns through every piece of clothing and that thing looks expensive! Do you really thing I am a fool to fall for that?" Hakai asked as he looks at the now offended Miwa, it wasn't her fault that she was a foxfire that automatically burned anything once she reverts back to her true form.
"No brother I do not" Daichi replied softly, remembering after he left the human house that he was recovering from while in disguise. The first thing he had witnessed was the mangled, decapitated bodies of their old comrades who had suffered Hakai's wrath for double crossing and trying to kill Daichi. Every last one of them stood no chance, seeing their battered crushed heads and scattered limbs that were nearby, their blood staining the grass had almost left Daichi fearful of his brother. He even remembered seeing an eye that was still on one of the demons that showed fear, which meant that Hakai had been very angry and was in a bloodthirsty mood. That in itself spelt death for them, they had no chance of living or escaping out of that confrontation alive. After all loyalty was everything to Hakai and Daichi, so to Hakai betrayal meant execution in the worst possible way. The last time they had been betrayed involved a demon being strung up by his intestines. This on the other hand encouraged Daichi to remain quiet about his findings after all, Hakai would never share his brother with a child let alone a half breed or it's mother. Daichi could imagine Hakai's reaction if his actions involving a human woman had come to light, resulting in a baby. Neither would survive and that in itself was bad for Hakai for Yuuki was his mate whether she knew it or not. The price for harming his mate would not end well and the last thing Daichi wanted was to harm his brother.
However his brother was indeed reckless, had cared too much on using his power to even think about protecting himself and knew that it would get him eventually.
"Is there something wrong with giving someone a present for their services?" Miwa snapped coldly causing Daichi to almost blanch at her tone, Hakai however glared at her tone.
"Do not mess with me foxfire, remember your place and keep your mouth shut" Hakai said harshly "I am talking to my brother not his servant" This left Daichi trying to stop Miwa.
"Enough you two, now what's going on Hakai? There's a reason why you are here" Daichi asked while looking at both of them. Remembering why he was here, Hakai's eyes lit up with glee.
"Oh yeah! I wanted to see if you wanted to go to war with me-"
"No" Daichi replied blankly causing Hakai to gawk in shock.
"What?! Why? You love this type of game" Hakai cried while pouting in anger.
"I am bored and I was planning to go to the red district later on" Daichi replied blankly while looking bored, Miwa almost gave Daichi a shocked look before remembering why he would say such a thing. Hakai rolled his eyes.
"Are the women there that interesting? Honestly they're not going anywhere and not once did I complain about the human smell that you had on you almost ten months ago" Hakai whined as he glares at his brother weakly. Daichi almost blanched in shock, remembering that he had forgotten to wash Yuuki's scent off but decided to it another time since it was the only thing he had to remember her by.
"I had found a stray human and thought that I would do what I wanted with her" Daichi replied in a matter of fact tone, Hakai shook his head while smirking.
"Always never leaving me any scraps, so how was this human?" he asks while folding his arms, his smirk going wide from seeing his brother's response. Daichi however shrugged.
"She broke" Daichi replied in a monotone voice.
Yuuki's right eye twitched from seeing a floral yukata after a week had passed. Was someone leaving these here on purpose?!
Her home was not a charity shop or a garbage site for clothes! So what gave them the right to even dump their clothes here? The worst part is that these were expensive or had very delicate fabric and stitchings leaving her to wonder what was even wrong with them. Once again she took the garment after getting ready to go outside and went to village to sell the yukata.
This time she had managed to get fifty more yen compared to the other kimono. After doing that did she get some food and began to head home, this time watching her back since she was sure that someone was following her thanks to the fact that she sold another garment. She had a feeling that they wanted to see where she was getting these clothes from but they were only going to be disappointed right? After all she couldn't make these things if she tried so there was no point wasting their time with her.
Daichi after the third week banged his head against the tree, once again Yuuki had sold another one of the clothes that he had brought her from the world over yonder. They weren't even cheep that's for sure and to know that she was selling them had left him disappointed and sad. However there was bright side, she was using the money wisely but it almost didn't make him any more happy to know that she was selling the gifts he was giving her. He had always kept his distance as to not upset or scare her so why was it hard to even allow herself to enjoy such luxuries? Her yukata was falling apart and they knew it so why bother selling them?
"Maybe you should get her a plain one this time" Miwa suggested "or have a lady from the market encourage her to give her one" Daichi paused as he tried to see the logic behind her words, his eyes lit up from her idea.
"That could work, thank you Miwa" Daichi said with a soft smile, grateful that his brother had decided to leave him alone. The condition however was that he had to visit him once a week, he wasn't so keen on it but at the same time knew that it was unfair to neglect his brother who had been there for him when he had been at his lowest. Both had been there for the other and that would never change no matter what, but would Hakai truly accept Yuuki and Hana?
"For me?" Yuuki blinked in shock as she looked at the woman merchant who was offering her a blue yukata with pink flowers on it.
"Yes Hisae-san" the woman chuckles at her shocked customer's reaction "someone asked me to give this to you since they were worried that what you have is the only thing you are wearing" this made Yuuki frown.
"What I wear is none of this person's business" she replied bluntly, the woman chuckled.
"That's what I said until I saw the hole in your sleeve" Yuuki blinked in shock and looked at her left sleeve, there was a long slit mark which had happened when she hand been distracted thanks to Hana and almost hit her own wrist.
"I had a scare with my daughter" Yuuki replied weakly making the woman smile as she handed the yukata.
"It's all paid for so you can take it and no I cannot buy it back, the person asked me to refuse at all costs" The woman laughed at Yuuki's reaction.
"Do you know who this person was?" Yuuki asked grudgingly knowing that this person had her beat on this one, the woman shook her head.
"Told me not to say I'm afraid" that left Yuuki blinking.
"Well that's new" Yuuki thought bluntly before sighing deeply.
"Fine I'll take it" she mutters darkly before lifting her hand up allowing the woman to hand her the yukata.
"I'm sure you've made this person very happy by accepting this yukata"
"Just as long as it's not a stalker or a pervert who's got it into their head that I am for sale and can have my affections by offering me such things" Yuuki replied bluntly. The woman shook her head.
"I highly doubt that its their intention, in fact the person did seem very worried about you. You should try and take care of your health, when's the last time you've had someone take care of you?" she asked Yuuki while folding her arms, a smile bloomed on her face. Hearing this left Yuuki pausing.
"I can handle things on my own, it's not my fault I was scared out of my home for suspicions" this made the woman shake her head at how annoyed Yuuki was.
"I see, well best be careful especially at night. Yōkai apparently are thinking of invading this place and we don't have the strength to hold them off" The woman explained before looking at Hana's covered form, Yuuki placed her hand on Hana's head stopping the woman from seeing her baby's ears.
"Let's hope that they don't" Yuuki said with a frown, she thanked the woman again before walking away.
"Maybe I could use this for firewood" Yuuki commented as she looks at the yukata, it was pretty but at the same time she didn't want to wear an item that wasn't hers. The annoying part was that she was going to buy this today so in a way this person had saved her money.
Daichi after hearing that she took the yukata and hadn't damaged it, had immediately left him cheering and started to do a victory dance to Miwa's amusement. It appeared that something was going right for her young master.
"I was worried that she would refuse it completely but she didn't! YES!" Daichi cheered once more making the three foxfires beside Miwa look at her, she was trying very hard not to snort and laugh at his childish behaviour knowing that it would not end in her favour if she allowed herself to be caught in the act.