Chapter 7 - Too Close For Comfort
Daichi after three days had passed since the last time he confronted Hakai about the people he killed, had refused the yukata yet again. Knowing that even if he did keep it and try to sell it, it would leave Hakai curious as to why Daichi was acting like this. He would wonder why the sudden change of heart even when he would have taken it the moment he was given it.
Daichi as he grew up to be a wild fox however had a code, never to kill needlessly unless it was provoked or the need for secrecy had to come first. Some of his code now changed to no killing unless it there was a reason, why? It was for Yuuki and Hana that he would change so easily but he didn't want Hana to know. No she was the innocent party, she didn't know about his terrible deeds and that was how he wanted it to stick.
But it was getting harder to refuse his brother's 'gift', it did seem odd that Hakai would just keep bugging him over something like this. Most of the time he would let it go, but not this time to his dismay. Daichi slowly started to get worried, wondering what would happen if he kept refusing his brother's 'gift' after all his brother often allowed him to be the exception in regards to having his own way. And to his dismay he had to distance himself from Yuuki and Hana for a while, until his brother would cool off and allow him peace. It was long and nerve wrecking but it would work eventually, it was just a waiting game that he would often have to play in order to be left alone.
Daichi started to realise that Hana and Yuuki were slowly starting to change him from the inside out, naturally he would have been happy and accepted this change with open arms. But then there was Hakai to consider, he without a doubt would not take kindly to this and would try to find the reason for his brother's sudden change of mood and heart before destroying it without a shadow of a doubt. After all to Hakai Daichi was a ruthless wild yōkai who was always there and went into battles alongside him. However now that kind of thing had left him pointless and dull.
There was no doubt that Hakai would try and do what ever he could to get Daichi back to the way he was before, which was something Daichi personally would not take kindly.
Even though he was happy to see Hana face to face, he still didn't feel completely satisfied. Why? Because the red head was hardly able to a word out without her freaking out and alerting her mother about him, then again he doubted that Hana would be able to say much since it had happened so fast.
A month had passed and Hana would still refuse to come out. Not without her mother with her which had left him sad if not disappointed. After all he couldn't just peek into the house thanks to the barrier and he tried, sometime after he had located them he had been rash and tried to enter the house without their knowledge. Only the moment that he had touched the windowsill did he receive a nasty burn and shock at the same time leaving the kitsune utterly surprised. Especially from how strong the barrier was, or maybe it was to do with how powerful her need was to protect Hana from danger he wasn't sure. But what Daichi was sure was that this could only hold off Hakai for so long before he would find away to smash the barrier to pieces, not caring if he had killed anyone who had been too close to the barrier- maybe except him of course after all he was close to Hakai in a brotherly manner. But that wouldn't mean that he would spare Hana and Yuuki, no they would be as good as dead which didn't sit well with Daichi.
Daichi sighed as he watched Yuuki peek her head out the house before letting Hana come out, only she was wearing her usual cloak in order to hide her ears. Did Yuuki not know that Hana could use leaves to disguise herself? He didn't know but that cloak could only do so much before the villagers would start to get suspicious, which could mean that they would have to leave unless something had been done. Daichi frowned knowing that he wanted to help Hana but he couldn't risk being known, he was content with them being in his line of sight despite the fact that he wanted more. It was so irritating and frustrating! They were just in front of him and yet he could do nothing.
Daichi looked at his hair and frowned, it's not like he could hide his hair colour but...there was one other way of hiding his true appearance but that would mean saying good bye to his long hair. Plus Hakai would get suspicious as to why his own brother would cut his hair when he would never have even wanted to do it in the first place, Hakai knew Daichi well which was starting to leave him annoyed. After all Daichi couldn't just cut his hair without a reason, split ends were not much of an excuse, he couldn't even lie about being attacked that some of his hair had took the fall. No that would get Hakai obsessing on who would have attacked him and he couldn't lie to his brother about something this serious, no he owed his brother that one.
So what could he do? Changing hair colours is basically impossible and he couldn't just find something without raising suspicion with his brother once more. Plus he was sure that Yuuki would remembered what he looked like as a yōkai so human appearance would tip her off that he was here, then there was his voice- no way of disguising it. He couldn't use foxfire since that would scare her off and make her more tense enough to effect her health and sleep, and Miwa had scared Yuuki enough when she was looking after their newborn Hana to his dismay.
Daichi watched her go into the woods that were in the direction of the village and sighed. This was definitely going to be tricky.
Hana as soon as Yuuki opened the door had immediately clung onto her mother's yukata despite the fact that she could accidentally rip it. Not that Yuuki could blame her after the confrontation had took place almost two months ago, just seeing Hana act like this left Yuuki completely worried for her daughter's state of mind. After all the little kit hardly showed fear and was always curious in regards to the world around her.
"The demon must have been intimidating enough to make her so scared to even go out doors" Yuuki muttered as she walked outside with Hana. Not once did Hana leave her mother's side which had left Yuuki slightly happy and yet worried, sadly for her the feeling would not go away anytime soon causing the mother to be on guard now more than ever. After all what are the chances that the yōkai would now decide to go after Hana? After all there was nothing special about her right? Or would they see her as a potential threat and hurt her? The mere thought had left Yuuki almost wanting to turn back and hide but she refused, if she could handle one supposedly strong yōkai, then she would handle as many as she could deal with. After all no one was going anywhere near her baby and nor would get away with it. She might be a weak human but there's a saying: never underestimate a mother, for she would be the most fiercest once her young is in danger.
On route to the village, Yuuki quickly watched the areas from the corner of her eyes. Assessing any potential threats as they neared the village. Once arriving Hana had tugged on her hood and kept her head down, showing that she was shy as she walked with her mother. Yuuki seeing this almost sighed, this couldn't go on anymore they had to move even if they didn't want to. But where would they find somewhere secluded without risking or attracting any trouble?
"Excuse me miss, you dropped this" Yuuki blinked and looked behind her to see a man wearing village clothes. He had hair that had been caked in mud making it hard to tell what colour his hair truly was, however seeing his appearance could suggest that he could be working in the rice paddies nearby.
"Oh..." Yuuki looked down and blinked at what he was holding, it was a yukata that was definitely not hers.
"Sorry but that's not mine" Yuuki admitted before walking away with Hana just as the young man was about to respond.
"Are you sure?" the male asked as he followed them to her shock, Hana on the other hand leaned more closely to her mother leaving Yuuki more worried given that Hana could trip if she kept her eyes down.
"Look it's not mine so can you leave me alone please" Yuuki said as she stopped to look at him, her eyes stern "You're scaring my daughter"
Both Yuuki and the male stared at one another wordlessly; one was on edge while the other was assessing the one on edge.
"I'm sorry, I was so sure that it was yours" the male said weakly now moving his hand containing the yukata back.
"Well it's not, so take what I said seriously will you? It's not mine, does it look like I have that much money to even buy something so expensive?!" She asked feeling slightly agitated, not just at him. No it was thanks to the one who kept sending the yukatas. Couldn't the person just take a hint and leave her alone since it was painfully clear that this person was aware that someone was home, it was also clear that this person would not stop giving her these yukatas either and it was leaving her more on edge. Who would give her such things?
There was no one she knew that would even recognize her right? Ami was happily married so that was out of the equation, Cho was or anyone that she would know... wait a minute. No one would recognize her unless they knew her!
Yuuki froze as she looked at him. There was one who would never leave her alone when she was in their grasp, someone who did not know about Hana and if they did. It's not like she could hide it from the person either, it's their right to know but in Yuuki's opinion. It was too soon and she was slowly adjusting to the fact that she couldn't get home even if she wanted to. There was Hana to consider and she refused to leave her daughter all alone in this bloody, twisted, cruel world that craved pain and sorrow.
No, Yuuki would not allow it but then...
"Miss I didn't mean to offend you" the male paused as if he was waiting for her to say her name, not caring that they were making a scene. Yuuki paid no heed even when Hana had continued to cling onto her yukata.
They were no longer safe. They had to leave!
Yuuki's breathing quickened, their reason for going to the village market area now forgotten. Instead Yuuki scooped up a shocked Hana into her arms and began to dash out of the village to the male's surprise.
"W-Wait!" he cried as he tried to go after her but stopped once he saw her behavior. What spooked her?
"Mama?" Hana looked up at Yuuki who was panting as she rushed home and slammed the doors shut; after placing the talisman on the door did Yuuki put Hana down.
"Baby, go and get mummy's bag. We need to leave now" Yuuki said in a shaky voice as she took the other bag and grabbed whatever was necessary, the best thing was that they had hardly anything in the house.
Meanwhile as Hana watched her mother in shock, not believing what she was hearing. They were leaving? But why? Hana didn't understand what was going on and why they had to move, it didn't make sense what so ever.
"Why mama?" Hana asked as Yuuki finished packing the food and some clothes, some were twice Hana's size since she was a growing girl. Yuuki turned to look at Hana, her face pale in fear that took Hana by surprise.
"We have no time to talk Hana" Yuuki said hastily before pausing and knelt down to Hana's level "we need to move before any bad yōkai find us, think you can be brave and help mummy pack?" Hana looked up weakly as memories of when she encountered a yōkai nearby, just remembering that left Hana on edge. She nodded sharply before running towards her mother's room and grabbed Yuuki's bag. It was almost heavy and yet it was not to Hana's relief as she carried it to her mother. Yuuki smiled softly as she grabbed the bag and slipped her arms through the sleeves.
"Great let's go now before anything bad happens okay?" Yuuki asked in a shaky voice now starting to get cold feet as fear crept up on her, it's not like she should be scared of him but there was his brother to consider and he was anything but nice. No one was coming near them and if it was Daichi then there was no question about it, he would be furious with the fact that she kept Hana a secret and worst of all there was no doubt that he would call her a liar. After she kept telling him that she wanted to go home, but how could she truly when her home when it was in the future? She was so close and yet so far that it left Yuuki utterly frustrated, after all what were the chances of her living that for long was impossible she was only human after all and compared to yōkai she would have a shorter lifespan compared to them, but-
Yuuki looked at Hana as they walked away briskly in order to find somewhere safe to live. There was a chance that if Hana could live during those five hundred years, then she could tell her parents once Yuuki's past self vanished that she was in the past. She could explain everything in hopes of getting her family's worries to settle, although she doubt that it would. Their daughter was gone from them, torn without any goodbyes even if the only thing they had left of her was Hana it wouldn't be the same. Not that Yuuki could blame them; in fact they might find that Hana is crazy until she revealed that she was a yōkai. Yuuki cringed at how her family would then either send Hana to a mental institute or an exorcist, something stupid like that but it was a risk Yuuki was willing to take.
She didn't want to part from her family but if that was her fate then so be it, however the only thing she did want was to spend as much time with her baby as possible. Hana was her whole world and if she could spend time the rest of her life nurturing and protecting Hana before her father would show up then that would be okay. She just hoped that Daichi would be a better yōkai and help her avoid the choices that he made in his youth, as long as Hana is not alone and was happy then Yuuki to would have no regrets.
Hana looked up once she noticed that her mother was looking at her, her eyes filled with curiosity as she saw that her mother was being oddly silent.
"Mama?" Hana asked causing Yuuki to chuckle.
"Be the best you can be, never stop smiling okay even if something were to make us part. Don't lose that smile or lose the feeling of being happy okay?" Yuuki said softly as she knelt down despite how heavy her bag was and kissed Hana's cheek.
"Mama why are you talking like that?" Hana asked as she tilted her head to the side making Yuuki smile more.
"There's something I want you to do for me but first" Yuuki grunted as she stood up, one hand on the strap the other holding Hana's hand. "Let me tell you a story once we find our new home" Yuuki said with a warm smile. Hana's ears pinned themselves from the fact that her mother was being odd, was she sick or something? She didn't know.
Daichi's eye twitched from seeing the now empty area. She no they were both gone!
But how and why?!
Everything seemed fine this morning so what brought this house to now be empty? He sensed nor heard anything. It was like they were almost never here except the scent that started to fade away from him.
Daichi was not going to cry, no he had to remain strong but it was hard when the ones he wanted to see were now gone from his life.
"Maybe it's for the best, they were never safe here anyways" Daichi muttered weakly as he looked down at the leaves by his feet.
"Who were never safe here?" asked a voice that made the hair's on Daichi's neck stand on ends. Oh no! Daichi turned to see Hakai pouting at him as he folded his arms. "You've been very secretive so what's the deal?" he asked bluntly, hearing this almost made Daichi gulp in fear. What was wrong with him?!
"I... hey isn't that my haori?!" Daichi snapped as he spotted his haori on his brother. Hakai looked at it and smirked.
"What you never visit or talk to me anyways so I grew bored-hey!" Hakai snapped as Daichi snatched it off of him, careful enough to not ruin it.
"Idiot! Why do you keep doing that?! It annoys me!" Daichi snapped making Hakai smirk knowing that he had his brother's attention.
"Well I wanted to tell you the news" Daichi blinked.
"I located Ami and killed her household, however she escaped for somehow so I can't find her no matter what" Hakai said with a smirk.
"What was the point in that?!" Daichi yelled in anger.
"What she was your interest so I thought that you would want to-"
"She isn't anything important to me so leave her alone already!" Hakai froze from how his brother was behaving, yelling him like that took him by surprise. What was going on with his brother? It was as if he was pulling away from him and that didn't sit well with Hakai.
"What has gotten into you?" Hakai asked bluntly almost puffing one his cheeks as he looks at him dryly.
"What do you mean?" Daichi asked as he looked at him with suspicious eyes, not liking this situation one bit. If anything this was rotten timing and had left him completely off guard to even respond in a way that would please his brother. Couldn't anything go right with him today?
"Your not the same as before, you've changed and I don't like it one bit" Daichi's eyes went wide in shock. "You're always pushing me away and acting like I don't belong in your life, are we not brothers anymore?" Hakai's question left Daichi gulping in shock; he wasn't expecting this kind of question. "I thought that we lived by a code- brother demons before anyone else"
Daichi sighed loudly.
"Things are going to change at sometime Hakai, it doesn't mean that I won't see you as a brother" he pauses as he tried to recollect his thoughts and was trying to make sure that he didn't drop himself in it by revealing his secret. No this would upset and anger his brother deeply without a shadow of a doubt. To Hakai he messed up, he allowed a human to live and was looking after their daughter. Which was a sign that he was changing to a point that he was pushing his brother away and for a human. Even if he didn't stay 'mad', there was nothing stopping him from teasing him before he would try and get to Yuuki. That in itself would be bad without a doubt and Daichi was not taking that risk.
"It just means that I have other things on my mind, priorities even but doesn't mean that I am abandoning you"
"What priorities?" Hakai interrupted gruffly. "What could be so important for you to ditch me?" Hakai paused before looking at him "Is it a woman?!" Hakai yelled in shock, Daichi on the other hand tried not to wince. He was half right and he didn't have to think much, looks like he would have to change tactics.
"Y-Yeah, there was a woman in the red district that just left the area. I was tracking her down since I was her regular" Daichi lied smoothly, mentally praying that Hakai would buy this.
"Sorry Brother but it has to be done, I can't let you hurt them. You are not just my family anymore they are and they need me to be there for them, especially after Hana is too young to defend both her and Yuuki" Daichi winced mentally as he looked his brother who paused as he tried to process what he said. His eyes narrowed at him not truly understanding one thing.
"Why would she be in the human world?" Hakai asked looking at him from the corner of his eye, this meant that Daichi now had to think fast.
"She wanted to keep a low profile since she had other patrons you know" Daichi said with a frown, suddenly Hakai laughed at him causing Daichi to raise a brow.
"Who knew that you would be obsessed over one tanuki girl! My little brother and his toys, you had me worried there" Hakai admitted as he placed his hands on his hips.
"Why's that?" Daichi asked, still on edge but slightly relieved that Hakai might actually believe his story.
"I thought you were pursuing a human woman or were actually thinking about abandoning me" Daichi chuckled weakly from Hakai's words, oh if only his brother knew. He would definitely get angry with Daichi once he finds out.
"What brought that thought up? Honestly you know they are insects that I can just break by twitching" Daichi said with a dry laugh, mentally cringing from the insult. Remembering that he was anything but rough with Yuuki that night, if anything he was scared to touch her since anything could have gone wrong and yet to his relief it hadn't.
"I know! They always scream for help before you break them, so loud and yet it is funny to see their reactions every time. Which reminds me I should go to the red district or find a human woman for fun. I heard there's a village nearby. Do you want to attack it with me?" Hakai asked with hopeful eyes, just seeing those eyes made Daichi hesitant given that he didn't want to kill anyone. He was trying to turn his life around and yet this was being forced down his throat, what's worse was that there was hardly any reason for him to back out now to his dismay.
"Come one Daichi!" Hakai slapped his arm playfully. "Think about it, women, sake money, all that we want is there" Hakai said with glee while Daichi mentally smiled weakly at his brother.
"What I want isn't there, there is no Yuuki or Hana and even if they were, I would never kill or hurt them. I just...I just can't find it in myself to hurt them" Daichi said somberly as he looks at Hakai.
"Actually I'm going to sleep. I was busy last night and didn't get any sleep" To prove his words Daichi yawned more loudly than ever while covering his mouth, seeing this made Hakai blanch in shock.
"What were you doing last night- Oh I get it" Hakai smirked slyly while Daichi tried not to blush.
"No that was not what I was doing you perverted moron! What am I talking about? I was like that myself before...I still think about Yuuki- darn it!" Daichi berated himself mentally as he looked at his brother.
"Yeah... it was kind of interesting" Daichi admitted as he shrugged his shoulders causing Hakai to smirk even more.
"Oh I see, well go to your 'lair' and sleep will you. There's no point in pushing yourself until you pass out" Daichi almost glared from what Hakai was talking about.
"That was your fault! You spiked my water with sake and caused me to get a massive hangover" Daichi snapped before narrowing his eyes.
"It was fun though, you are so tense now a days so why not try to loosen up from time to time. Anyways I'll see you tomorrow, will you join me in taking down an army?" Hakai asked with a grin as he looks at his brother.
"We'll see" Daichi replied before vanishing, without warning Hakai's grin vanished.
"Find out about this tanuki girl yōkai that he's hanging out with. Report back when you find out something" Hakai said coldly.
"Do you think that he's telling the truth?" a voice nearby asked, hearing this made Hakai almost bite his lip in anger.
"For his sake I hope he's right" Hakai thought grudgingly as he stared at the spot where his brother had once stood in before vanishing.
"Regardless, tell me exactly what you find out" Hakai ordered coldly. A shadow by the trees behind him had left without being spotted by anyone. Once he was alone, Hakai clenched his hands not caring if the smell of blood hit his nose after all he could heal no problem thanks to being a yōkai. He was not like those worthless insects that he called humans, no those things can die for all he cared. What had his attention the most was his brother, why was he being more secretive than ever? That was something he wanted to know now more than ever.
Yuuki after the their third day of travelling began to slow down, their food rations now dangerously low even though they were close to a village. Yuuki turned to look at Hana who looked as if she was about to drop off to Yuuki's dismay.
They couldn't keep going on like this; they had to find somewhere to rest. Yuuki then stopped and placed the bags down before picking up Hana.
"Rest now" Hana immediately shook her head even though it was weak.
"No mummy" she whined as she clung onto Yuuki's yukata. "What if someone bad comes?" Hana cried causing Yuuki to sigh weakly, she had a point but what could they do? There was so much that they could take in regards to pushing themselves to the point of exhaustion, sure there was water nearby when they were setting up camp. But the wilderness and the cold were not doing them much favors since the winds would often blow away the fire they had created, at times Yuuki worried that the fire would attract unwanted attention. At times she would be relieved that it hadn't so far but Yuuki refused to jinx it given that they never know what would happen next, in truth it was scary to know that they were sitting ducks knowing that they could be picked off at any time without warning.
Yuuki stoked Hana's head before humming a small tune, knowing that this song would affect Hana a lot. Given that it was a song that was sung when she was a baby. To prove that it was effective Hana's eyes were now starting to droop from fatigue, seeing this made Yuuki sigh in relief knowing that her daughter was now settling down due to their stressful journey.
But what Yuuki and Hana did not know was that a bluish black foxfire had stopped nearby and spotted them before rushing away. Instead Yuuki had decided to carry Hana and the bags knowing that they had to move once more. The young woman grunted from the extra weight but did not complain after all she was use to carrying heavy stuff, given the situation was dire and still is to this day. Being safe was on Yuuki's priority and she'd give up just when things were at their bleakest.
"Daichi-sama! Daichi-sama!" Daichi turned to the voice of a male and immediately recognized it to be one of his foxfires.
"What is it?" Daichi asked as he looked at one of his foxfires that had returned to him. So far none of his foxfires had been able to locate Yuuki or Hana, which had left him very worried about their wellbeing. After all who knows what could be happening to them?
"I have located Yuuki-sama and Hana-sama" Daichi had felt like his breath had been stolen, he was scared to hear the results but at the same time he trusted and hoped that the pair were safe and sound.
"Well? Where are they?" Daichi demanded as he looked at his foxfire as it hovered in the air, he almost blinked from seeing it look hesitant. What was there something wrong?
"They are resting in the forest to the east from where you are now, Yuuki-sama has just put Hana to sleep" Daichi's eyes went wide in horror. Knowing that the woods were never safe for any human, given that there were bandits and yōkai who would use this time to their advantage to pray on any unsuspecting travellers.
Without wasting time Daichi began to run towards the direction of where Yuuki was last seen.
"Make sure that no one is following me" Daichi ordered his foxfires knowing that anything could happen given that his brother was being suspicious of him; he knew that there were so many excuses he could come up with before he was found out. He was not ashamed of Yuuki and Hana to the point that he would claim that they mean anything to them, he was anything but ashamed nor where they his dirty secret and he would curse or attack anyone who would say bad things about them. His brother however would never understand given their code was brothers before anyone else, surely there had to be an exemption somewhere?
In truth Yuuki and Hana where dare he admit it his new family, and if Hakai did find out and was surprisingly supportive then Daichi would be more than happy to let Hakai into his new life with open arms. But that was just a fantasy, it'll never happen and that was the ugly truth. It was something that he wished would happen but he had to come to grips with things in life, Yuuki and he were too different and yet they weren't. If it wasn't for their species being different then Daichi would no doubt be allowed to stay with her. Yes she was his mate but in human terms she was not married and was caring for an illegitimate child which was something that was frowned on. How Yuuki was able to hide and get away with the fact that she caring for a child without being married in her human customs was astonishing, a smile slowly appeared on his face from an idea. Who knows, maybe once they were able to reunite properly, which would mean that he was in their lives properly. With luck they could get married even if it meant being in a disguised form.
"Hopefully... but who's to say that it would last? She's a human" he stopped running and looked down "They die to quickly so is it worth it? Staying with Yuuki even though the inevitable would come?" he questioned himself before looking up.
"I still want to know why she hasn't returned home, did something happen?" he pondered before realizing that Yuuki and Hana were not safe from where they were currently staying at. Daichi gritted his teeth as he ran more faster than normal until he stopped where the foxfire had stopped and spotted Yuuki, he looked round while he tried to mask his panic. They weren't here!
"Where is she?" he hissed at the foxfire knowing that it was late into the night.
"I think she might have moved" the foxfire admitted weakly as it looked down "Forgive me Daichi-sama, I didn't know" Daichi looked at the foxfire weakly before sighing.
"No I understand, Yuuki wouldn't stay in the same spot for long" Daichi commented before moving closer, he suddenly froze from walking and looked round. He knew that scent, the fox's eyes widen in shock recognizing who it was that caught his attention. Without warning a wide smile bloomed onto Daichi's face before he dashed towards the location of where the scent was. His heart pounded in anticipation and allowed himself to move closer until he came to a stop a small cave near a creek.
Daichi used this time to recollect his thoughts before slowly walking towards the cave; his hair blew behind him as he felt the cool midnight air touch his skin. For some reason the smile never did leave his face leaving him wondering if something was wrong with him, that was until he remembered who was in the cave.
Daichi almost grunted from climbing and peeked into the hole, he almost chuckled at what he was seeing. Yuuki was holding Hana close as they slept, Yuuki however was leaning onto the wall leaving Daichi to wince slightly at how much pain her back would be in once she woke up. They couldn't keep living out in the wilderness knowing that anything bad could happen so where could they- Daichi paused as a thought came to mind.
"Why didn't I think of this sooner?!" Daichi berated himself before going out the cave, first things first- sort out the things needed to make it happen!
Yuuki groaned as she woke up, she turned her head to the side only instead of being greeted by stone...she was greeted by soft bed sheets causing her eyes to shoot open and forced herself awake in order to see what it was. Yuuki almost blanched in shock to see that she was sleeping on an unfamiliar futon.
"What the-? What's going on? Why am I here" Yuuki froze as she looked round to see that Hana was not in the room causing her pulse to quicken.
"Hana?" Yuuki stood up and tried to look round the area which she now identify was a house but it looked too clean to be abandoned, however the bigger question was how she got here and why? How were they spotted so easily? The thought of being taken from Hana terrified the young mother as she looked round.
"Hana?!" Yuuki's voice quivered in fear of the thought of losing Hana, the only thing that meant a lot to her, her only link who was also the reason why Yuuki did not feel alone in this cruel place.
"Mummy?" Hana's tired voice hit Yuuki's ears causing her to turn right and spot her tired baby girl rubbing her eyes weakly. Yuuki at that moment felt her stomach plummet only instead of fear and dread- it was relief.
Yuuki without warning ran towards Hana, dropped to her knees and immediately hugged her daughter.
"Oh thank goodness you are safe" Yuuki said in a breathless voice while Hana whined weakly from the sudden move.
"Mummy squeezing too tight" Hana whined as she tried to get her mother off of her, Yuuki as she heard that smiled and kissed Hana's cheek.
"I'm sorry I was just worried after waking up to see that you were not here, do you know what happened?" Yuuki asked, this alerted Hana that they were not in the woods anymore. Her eyes went wide and she looked round to see that they were in a house.
"Mummy why are we in a house?" This made Yuuki sigh deeply and shake her head; of course Hana would not know what had she been thinking?
"I don't know sweetie" Yuuki replied softly before going back to the room she had been in before only to see that her bags were not in there, this made her panic slightly given that her main bag was the only thing that held value to her since it was to do with her timeline.
"Mummy! What's this?" Hana's voice shook Yuuki out of her daze causing the mother to go out the room and into the area where her daughter was, the young mother blinked from seeing Hana near a folded yukata, beside it was her bag and a piece of paper to her confusion. As thrilled as she was that her bag was safe, the dread however began to settle back in as she saw that there was a yukata and a paper. Yuuki's breathing quickened as she took the note after checking her bag to see that it was in one piece, not noticing Hana's questioning gaze as she opened the folded paper to see what was written on it.
"This was my old home, you can use it to live in for now and accept this yukata as an apology for the rude awakening. It was not my intention to scare you but it's not safe to sleep outside where yōkai and bandits will hunt you down and kill you.
Stay safe and before I forget there's a human village nearby if you are wondering on where to get food and water. Worry not you should be safe for now" Yuuki blinked from the note not knowing where this was going. All she did get was that this person had left her a yukata and this place to stay in for now, but she didn't know this person right?
What if this was a trap? Then they would both be walking straight into it which was something Yuuki did not have any intentions of letting happen.
"Mama" Hana looked up with curious but worried eyes that also left Yuuki more uneasy than ever.
"What is it Hana?" Yuuki asked as she knelt down slightly so she was almost eye level with her daughter.
"How did we get here?" Hana asked weakly as she looked at her mother.
"I don't know, but someone's left us their home to stay in for now" Yuuki replied as she hugged Hana tightly in order to reassure her daughter that the young mother would never leave her. Hana blinked in shock and tilted her head.
"Why?" Hana asked causing Yuuki to chuckle.
"Your guess is as good as mine darling" Yuuki ruffled Hana's hair lightly making the kit pout.
"Mama!" Hana whined from what her mother was doing making Yuuki laugh.
"Chin up, we can try and see what we can do before moving. We can't stay here for long" Hana nodded sharply as she agreed with her mother on this. Who knows what danger would await them if they stayed? But seeing where they were piped Hana's interests.
"Mama can we look outside please?" Hana asked causing Yuuki to bite her lip as she tried to think.
"Okay but let me sort my stuff out okay, stay near the house" Yuuki instructed causing Hana's eye to wide with glee.
"Yay! Thank you mama!" Hana cried before rushing out the house, seeing this made Yuuki smile before Hana rushed back in taking the mother by surprise.
"What is it?" Yuuki asked looking confused.
"Sakura nearby!" Hana said with glee before running back out, seeing that response made Yuuki blink before a smile bloomed on her face. Shaking her head lightly the young mother picked up her bag and placed it in her room before setting out. The mother blinked as she took in their surroundings as she saw all the trees and flowers.
Now where had she seen something like this before?
Daichi sighed in relief after a month had gone past, so far Yuuki and Hana were showing no signs of wanting to leave which was something he hoped would happen. Daichi did hope that Yuuki would recognize this place since this was where he had confessed that he loved her.
He almost chuckled at how he did in fact make a house here in hopes of living with her; even if it was short he was determined to spend every waking moment with her. Only now he had Hana his daughter and his mate living in this house, as much as he wanted to make it grand he somehow knew that she wouldn't take kindly to such houses like the lords or emperors would have. No she seemed to like the simple life which left him confused and yet he was happy to know that she didn't want much, her response to his question was simple- a family. That's all she wanted and yet she didn't go home, why was the question.
When he was taking Yuuki and Hana to their home, he had rooted through Yuuki's strange back and saw something that looked odd. It had Yuuki's face on it followed by some others, the face of the woman in the paper looked like Yuuki and yet she shared the same hair colour as the man beside the woman. Then there was also the boy beside her who looked like he was the same age as Yuuki. Was that her family? If that's true then why wasn't she with them and... why were they wearing strange clothes. In fact he also spotted in the bottom of the bag, he had noticed that the clothes were the same as the ones she was seen wearing in the paper. This in turn left him deeply confused, was she not from around here?
If that was true then why was she in the first place?
This was now starting to leave him deeply confused as to what was going on, now that he thought about it her accent was odd and her behaviour did not seem match a typical villager. Daichi was starting to get desperate in regards to finding out what was going on, why was it the more he tried to find out about Yuuki did things start to not make any sense?
Another month had passed and Daichi was sitting on the a branch that was near the pair he was watching over, he smiled slightly at how Hana was behaving given that this place was definitely a safe haven for not only their daughter but for Yuuki. Knowing that they had nothing to fear had left Daichi relieved.
On cue some time after the sun had risen did Hana leave the house to play leaving him smiling at how she would just go out explore the area, he was happy to know that this area never did get old to her.
"Who is that?" asked a gruff voice; it had took Daichi a while to process it before the horrible truth had sunk in. Turning to his left he spotted Hakai staring at Hana with a frown leaving Daichi almost in a state of panic, he mentally prayed that Yuuki would not come out since that would mean more problems that were not necessary. Instead of showing signs of panic, Daichi had sighed and looked at him with a bored expression.
"It's a kitsune child Hakai, what do you think she is?" Daichi asked as he looks at him blankly, Hakai raised a brow as he looked at him. What got his brother acting in such a manner and also why is he even looking at her in the first place?!
"I was just asking and why are you even watching her in the first place?" Hakai asked him coldly, Daichi almost had to settle slightly given that he didn't want Hakai bothering Hana. If she was scared of him then Hakai would be someone she would never want to interact with given that he smelt of blood non stop.
"I was just curious, there's no need to be suspicious after all I was just looking" Daichi replied, trying to mask his longing look the more he looked at Hana. He remembered bringing her to the house that night; she was so frail in his arms that it almost left him panicking at how easily she could break. She was so young as well which didn't make him feel any better.
Hakai narrowed is eyes at his brother before looking at the kit that was trying to jump and grab the sakura petals. He caught a flicker of emotion in his brother's eyes as he looked at the girl and frowned.
"You should get laid" Hakai said bluntly and almost laughed as he caused Daichi to give him a dark look as soon as he heard the comment. "What? I'm just saying and anyways children are a waste of time so why bother?" he looked up at his brother.
"Weren't we children once?" Daichi asked blandly causing Hakai's eyes to narrow.
"It's not an experience I would like to relive and you know it" he said, his voice coming out as warning. Not that Daichi could blame him, neither had a good life but that didn't stop Daichi from growing attached to his daughter and mate.
"I know but...haven't you ever wondered about having a mate?" Hakai released a dark laugh.
"Look if I wanted a woman I would have gone to the red district or kidnapped a human girl in order to have some fun. Anyways what's brought this on?" Hakai asked as he looked at his brother oddly.
"Just asking no need to get so defensive and by the way, what's with the spying? I know you've been sending your minions to spy on me" Daichi said coldly making Hakai chuckle weakly from being caught out.
"Can't a brother get worried about how odd his brother is being?" Daichi folded his arms and glared.
"You take things to personally when you know how I feel about certain things" Daichi replied in the same tone.
"Oh come on! You know how I've always wanted to play territory games with you-"
"It's not just humans that are getting hurt, we're killing our own kind Hakai!" Daichi said weakly. "Don't you feel any guilt for destroying lives?" Hakai blinked at him.
"Why should I? After all the world hasn't been kind to us so why bother being kind back?" Daichi almost bit his lip as he looked at his bother's bitter look. "Look this is getting boring so let's go already!" Hakai whined until Daichi frowned at him.
"Where exactly?" Daichi asked blandly as he continued to fold his arms.
"Taking down territories obviously or we can go to the red district-"
"I'm bored of all that, can't we do something else that doesn't involve either wasting our time or actually involve taking lives" Daichi said weakly, he was growing tired of it and it was evident of his face. Not that Hakai liked it one bit.
"It's because of that brat over there isn't it?" Hakai asked crudely, hearing this almost made Daichi respond but reframed from doing so. As much as he cared for his brother, he did not tolerate the insults directed at his daughter.
"I was asked to babysit her, her father is out and her mother is ill so I'm just making sure that no one dangerous bothers them as she recovers" Daichi lied smoothly, hearing this took Hakai by surprise.
"Are you serious?! Is this what you've been reduced to? What's happened to you brother?" Hakai yelled before Daichi shushed him leaving him more shocked than ever.
"She can't know that we're here, she likes to avoid her daughter growing up fearful of the world. Given our reputation I doubt that it's a good thing for a child to know about death and blood at a young age" Daichi explained "Didn't do us any good I have you know" Daichi added. Hakai however was still in shock from his brother's words, who was this guy and what has he done with his brother?
"Please Hakai, leave this family alone" Daichi asked weakly "they've done nothing to us so can you just make sure not to hurt them" Hakai almost leered at him.
"For now, but you have to do something for me the next time I ask" Hakai said before going away. Once he was out of sight did Daichi sigh deeply.
"That was too close for comfort" Daichi muttered weakly as he turned to the house, he spotted Hana near the house before his eyes went to see Yuuki who was now stepping out of their home. The male kitsune could only hope that Hakai did not catch the human scent that might be coming out of Hana. After all she was being raised by a human so it was only natural for her to smell more human than yōkai, not to mention she was half human half yōkai. Not that he was complaining but that didn't mean that Hakai would turn a blind eye to this.
Daichi watched with a smile as he saw Yuuki playing with Hana, every morning before they would wake up Daichi would always leave food at the front door. Knowing that it was a long trip given how he watched how long it took for them to even get to the village. At first he was left wincing before the idea of leaving food came to mind, he could only hope that she would not get spooked again and leave with Hana.