THE GIRL POV
She threaded through the forest grounds holding her side, trying to contain the bleeding that slipped through her fingers. Eyes bruised, open sores all over her forearms and ripped pants. "Shit" She muttered. Kasume looked at the terrane. The trees all looked the same, too tall to climb to the top. Too thick to put a landmark, and enough raised roots. Poisoned ferns, magical and otherwise that made threading the land more difficult than it should be. "Where are you" She muttered under her breath.
My throat tightened besides her. She gave me a side look. Pain and exhaustion weighed me down. Sore limps bleeding cuts and bruises and my eye was swelling shut. Normal magic wasn't working and I couldn't use my ablities either. "Try to stay close..we have about" She looked up at the sun covered by the branches above. Birds cried. Lizards slithered across. "Three hours or so before sunset..and we have to make it back before then"
"Alright" I nodded.
"Are you hungry? All I have are some dark chocolate granola bars
" She asked hesitantly after a few more minutes, I denied it even though my stomach was tearing itself apart. She stared blanky. "Alright" She half muttered and kept on moving. Our footsteps were the only ones for miles and it had been like that ever since the raid off camp. What had started as a fun pinic from the school's outing in the enchanted forests off the coasts of the sparkling seas, had quickly turned to chaos. Like the raging sky emerging from the sunniest clearest of days. The portals the hunters opened up, we managed to close but not before zapping Kasume and I to God knows where in the forest. No contact, magical or otherwise but I knew she was trying. Her forehead creased every half a mile or so, checking to see if she was closer and closer to telepathic range so Jirou could find us.
Suddenly a flare of light seperated the ground. A push sent me flying over the other side as the earth split. "Earth slugs" Kasume told me at the sudden cavern that opened up. The ground ripping and snapping apart the bone like features of rocks, dirt and roots. Teeth flashed when I stared down the black pit to see no clear end. The earth opened up like the jaws of a great breast threaten to swallow us both whole. Kasume held onto a nearby tree to keep from slipping into the abyss when the rumbling continued. I shook and trembled ended up on the floor. Easing away at the sections of earth that crumbled apart.
A lump raised in my throat. I hadn't felt this defenseless since I was with my family members. The shaking stopped after what seemed for eternity. Trees had stopped falling animals stopped scattering. The plants besides me opened up and flew away from the disturbed plot of soil. The magical forest had wonders I thought I was always prepared for until now. My shoulders were still sore from the force of her push. The moment the earth split beneath me I felt weightless until she grabbed onto me. She saved me but why? It had to be guilt on her conscious. No other possibly reason.
"We're gonna have to keep walking this way" Kasume told me on the other side. "Hopefully find a way to get you over here" She told me. "Come on-"
"Looked what the earth worms picked up" A voice cooed. Kasume seemed as white as a sheet as she turned around to face the woman whose cat like smile was fixed on her. Perfectly spiked ebony hair, shiny, thick and well kept. Pale silky skin and hiking boots. Amber eyes that mirrored amusement that I had seen in her own eyes. Kasume stared and side glanced me. My legs were still throbbing from the cuts and bruises.
"Hello Kasume" She said her voice silky. Green tank top and black pants that had been dirtied by the soil. "
"Hello.." She side glanced me. "Cousin..."
"Oh you lost that right to call me that so long ago" She told her then shot a look to me. "I see you have an interesting pet"
"What do you want Misora" She demanded.
"That same thing I've always wanted" She smiled. "Since all those years ago. Your head. On a stick" Kasume flinched when a cut opened up Misora's arm. She bolted from her spot, jumping down the chaos of roots.
"We gotta run!" She told me on the other side. I scrambled up to my feet when Misora gave me a sadistic smile. Tattoos covered her from head to toe before she put the blood in the center of her palms. Two handles, one crimson with diamond pattern and the other silver with black hearts pushed their way out when the blood glowed in her hand.
"Holy shit" I muttered. A hunter. A high level hunter at that but why did Kasume call her cousin? I didn't want to wait to stick around. Despite the distance between us I didn't want to become throwing practice for those blades and bolted down the path adjacent to hers. Misora ran after Kasume who had been jumping and running behind the trees.
When MIsora caught up in a blink of an eye. I knew the tattoos increased speed but I hadn't seen it first hand. The first swing of her dual swords sunk into bark when Kasume ducked. She moved to the side swiftly evading her next blade.
"You don't have to do this' Kasume told her. Dodging the swift movements of her attacks. He swung for her head but Kasume slipped backwards kicking her foot but to no avail. Misora moved gracefully with the balance of a dancer.
Balancing herself immediately from the loss of footing. Whether it was the spell's doing or her own graceful skills I wouldn't know.
"We could have been a team" Misora started retrieving her sword from the tree's jaws in one yank. "But you chose that monster over own blood!" Her neck attack sliced a jagged cut across Kasume arm. She screamed but a kick to Misora's stomach sent her further away from her. The blood rolled off her arm oddly. It wasn't like a the bleeding in her side. No it was a constant stream. The wound sizzled with black veins. "We were family and you betrayed us! Joined their cause. Joined them, had a hand in creating more of them as per honor code you're sentenced to die"
Kasume hissed at the round tearing her shirt to tie around it. I didn't know what to do or remembered how to breath. The stench of blood was thick in the air. What really caught my eye stole what little oxygen was left in me. The same black markings appeared on Kasume's body. Tiny markings that danced along her skin. What was going on?
"I knew you were bullshitting when you claimed you didn't remember" She cooed. Kasume's fingers dipped into her side wound. She winced but drew a diamond symbol on her palm with her own blood.
"Listen to me right now." I knew she was talking to me. "I want you to run. Don't look back. Keep along the path we were heading and you should be fine" The diamond glowed and a katana handle pushed out of her palm. Smoothed black with silver roses and thorns dancing on the diamond tile. She pulled out the entire blade and removed the sheath and even the blade itself was smoothed black. "Don't look back, don't try to fight back if this goes bad. Her blades are enchanted, one cut will kill an ESP user even if you can't use your powers" Well if that didn't make this shitty situation bad enough. Kasume took her stance with her blade in one hand. "Run now!!" Misora smirked moving on her. Their blades collided in metallic clanks. Clank Clank.
Kasume's speed was impossibly matching her own. She moved her wrist fast enough to block both swings of Misora's blades. Shifting and kicking at elbows to change the direction of the blade. Misora spun on her heel swinging one blade to Kasume's neck. She dodged but strands of hair fell on the ground and a cut opened up on her cheek.
The next blade headed for her stomach and Kasume kicked up the katana's sheath to misdirect her blow. Using her foot to send it into flying into Misora's chin. The blow caused her to bite down on the tip of her tongue. Blood pooled in her mouth but she spit it into Kasume's eyes. Misora knocked the blade from Kasume's grip when she was disoriented and pushed her into a tree trunk ready to slide the blades between her arms until she jumped using the blades trapped in the blade as a foot hold when she landed back down. Her feet stood on the blades before kicking Misora away from the tree. Her blades still in tack.
Misora let out a laugh. "Oh this is just like old times when we used to train together. You clearly haven't forgotten your training" She said off the ground. Both weaponless but the fury behind their eyes there was no mistaken. They started hand to hand combact. Misora punched and Kasume grabbed her arm to slam her into another tree, but Misora twisted and knocked her face into it. She groaned on contact.
I couldn't move. My legs were frozen in place. I wanted to help but both mind and body stopped me. Would it be such a bad thing if I let her die? Jirou would be devastated but her secrets were deadlier than I thought. Misora took a fist full of Kasume's hair and kept slamming her face into the tree. "I trusted you!!" she screamed. "We were family and you betrayed us!"
"I couldn't betray a decision I wasn't in the right mind to make" Kasume replied. Her eye and face bleeding. Misora pinned her arms. "I came back for you, I thought maybe if I was under a spell you might be too" She spat out the blood onto the tree.
"Me? A spell?" She frowned. "I chose this life. I chose to be by our grandfather's side because he rescued me. He saved me from those hell pits called Guardians after a bunch of them, with powers murdered my real mom and Dad. Murdered my grandfather, grandmother, every single one of my siblings" She growled. "He's been more of a grandfather to me than my own grandfather had a chance to be to me!"
"I'm sorry that happened to you! but not all of them are like that I swear to you! And Yoshirou is not a good man! He killed his own wife TWICE. Attempted to kill his adopted daughter. Dropped his actual blood daughter off the roof of a building when he realized she didn't have our cursed DNA. In his eyes that made them unworthy of anything! much less living! That isn't a man who would" Misora seemed to fly. In a blink of an eye a cut opened up on her cheek and Misora was behind of her. Kasume blocked the blade from getting to her neck.
"They were weak. Weak and tainted. He brought me up from nothing and trained me. Care for me. Gave me a purpose when all I wanted to do was die!. His first wife betrayed him just like you betrayed me!!"
She reasoned. "Everyone has the capability to do bad. Guardians included! it doesn't mean they're all like that!"
"They're demon spawns. Literally!! The Guardians give these monsters more power? more authority? how the hell can you stand up for something like that because you let one of them fuck you?" She slammed her face in again. "That kind of evil you're helping to spread in this world" She growled."After I kill you. I'll be sure to bury your husband and kids right next to the swallow grave I'll be making for you" Kasume tensed and sent her head flying back breaking Misora's nose. She stumbled back disoriented for a second.
"I don't want to kill you" I heard the underlining tone. But I will if I have to.
"That's your first mistake isn't it?"
"You say you don't want to but you won't hesitate to do it."She snarled. Kasume's eyes narrowed into a cold stare. "We both know how this is going to end. Don't worry. You won't be missing your family for long"
"No one is touching my family" She told her. Her face bleeding. Their collision began again. I hid in the nearby bushes out of sight. Kasume rammed her knee into her chest but Misora managed to catch her arm and twist it when she spun around. Their blows that connected did so much damage I couldn't truly appreciate how much the runes had done for them until that moment. The kicked each other in the face when the other was down, stepped on hands, picked up rocks to chuck at each other. Whenever one or the other tried to reach for their blades the other would do whatever it took to keep them away. At one point Kasume took a kick to the face when she reached for her Katana that I swore had knocked her out for a moment. Misora picked up a rock and went to bash her head in with it.
Kasume stirred awake looking up at Misora. "I couldn't imagine a better moment for any this" She smirked looking down. Kasume was bleeding badly, even with all of the runes I knew for a fact being anemic couldn't make this easy on you. "Maybe you'll do better in the next life"
Kasume stared up at her blankly. "Every s..word" She started. Misora raised a brow. "Has an innate..ablity.." Just as Misora raised the rock to send down a blow she froze in place. I almost jumped in my skin seeing the Katana fly across the feld and bury it's blade into her chest. Protruding out the front. She stared down at Kasume. Her blood staining her clothes and skin. "Yours was poisonous...I wanted mine to always return to my position at will." Misora coughed up blood.
"Wh-hy..didn't you" She choked out.
"Use it before" Kasume said tiredly. "Because I knew you never found out what my upgrade was..I wanted to to keep it until you let your guard down."
Chocking on the blood Misora stared down in disbelief but she growled and sent down the rock. Kasume held her hands keeping the stone from crushing her but even while dying Misora's strength was impecable. Kasume held her own and Misora screamed from the blade started to move through her. Every inch it advanced she screamed louder and louder until the blade, hilt on all flew and landed just behind Kasume's head. The blade pinned to the earth and the hilt touching the back of Kasume's head.
Kasume hand flew up and grabbed the hilt facing the back of her head and pierced Misora's chin straight through her skull after positioning the blade in one swoop. Misora's body twitched before the stone fell on Kasume's face when her limp body slouched off of her onto the side. Kasume groaned and cough the stone rolling off of her as she stared at Misora's body. Bile rose in my throat.
I knew alot of things about Jirou's family. His mother, brothers, sisters and father and I knew one important factor. Jirou wasn't a killer. He wasn't remotely capable of killing anyone no matter how much they deserved it. Guardians themselves were only allowed to kill off direct orders from the Elders when it came to other humans.
Kasume would have had to face charges self defense or not.
I expected to see grief in Kasume's eyes, sorrow, regret or pain but I saw none of it. Instead she pushed herself up to her feet balancing on the tree using her sword as a cane after she yanked it from Misora's body. "I wish things were different" She whispered. "But I have a family...and I won't let anyone harm them." One exhausted kick after another after dragging Misora's battered body to the edge of the opening she pushed her in. An earth worm shifted beneath the earth signalling they accepted their meal.
When her markings vanished it took every bit of strength she had in her with her. The blade vanished into a mist that collected and absorbed back into the palm of her hand. She fell to her knees and coughed out blood onto the rocks before forcing herself to walk down the path. I followed her carefully being sure to remain out of sight. The whole way there she was talking to herself.
"Are you proud of me?" She muttered. "Dad?" She stared into the bushes like she was seeing something. Blood loss was starting to affect her. "I protected them...they can't know but I protected them. I'm not weak anymore Dad but I don't know if I'm strong either....Is this what it feels like?. All I feel is empty inside..no..guilt..nothing just..empty" She stared at her palm. "I guess I couldn't escape it after all.."
It took another other before the split that divided our terraces ended. I ran up ahead and sat on a rock letting Kasume find me in surprise. I acted the part in seeing all of her bruises, swollen cuts and all the blood. "O-oh my god..what happened?"
"It's fine.." She muttered. "She's not gonna be a problem anymore." Kasume assured.
"Did you...did you?"
"No..she fell in the terrine..earth worms got to her." She said calmly. "I tried to help but..it was too late. It was probably for the best anyway" Her next step sent her to the floor. She coughed and I helped her to sit on the rock. "Thanks.."
"No problem" I muttered. "But what was that about her calling you cousin?" She flinched.
"Don't worry about it"
"Kasume!!" We both flinched at the chorus of familiar voices particularly Jirou's. "Guys!! where are you!!" They seemed close. I stood up to my feet.
"Over here!! We're over here" I yelled. In minutes flat the search party appeared from the trees and fog of tall grass that this part of the forest was known for. Jirou 's relief face turned to panic when he took a look at his wife. He ran over and hugged her tight.
"Oh my god" He looked at her wounds, swollen and bloodied face. His hands cupped her cheeks gentle to inspect the damage. She only smiled at him briefly and slumped against him happily. He turned to me in panic. "What happened?"
"Hunter" I spoke up when she had no energy left to speak. He picked her up bridal style. "W-we got away...but we should leave." He nodded.
"Are you okay?" I smiled even though his gaze kept shifting to his disoriented bleeding wife. He showed concern for me.
"Come on camp is this way let's get you guys home" His eyes turned from me to a person in the search party. "Run on back, tell them to get the medical equipment out!" The shorter man nodded running back while the rest of us followed quickly behind of him. I couldn't get Misora's face out of my hand when that blade pierced her.
The way her eyes seem to lose their light in almost an instant. The little hesitation on Kasume's part. The fact that Kasume was a hunter. She was a hunter or at least had hunter backgrounds. Did the elders know about this? Did Jirou? Peaking a look at his panicked state I knew even if he did he probably didn't care.
How could he trust someone like that? My stomach twisted and turned. I decided the second I got back I was going to do research on Misora. Kasume. Her entire family background and get to the bottom of this.
Few months later
If I had only known. Staring at the small arrow in the box of ornaments had kept me frozen in my tracks. The snow fell on my shoulders as the squealing of the children around me kept me in my own little world. My heart swelled with grief and tears sprung to my eyes.
'Papa' His eyes met mine while he shifted the christmas tree in place on the pot. Haru played with his new gameboy on the couch. Mom had stuffed us all in overly warm Christmas sweaters, mitts and scarfs even on the indoors because of the massive snow storm. Fire crackling in the fireplace, burning the apple scented wood filling the room with a comforting warmth. "I broke the angel" I whimpered on the words looking at the fragile broken glass body in the palm of my eyes.
Haru snickered in the chair. "Watch out we got a angel assassin in our mitts!" It didn't help. "Now Santa can't come! What are we gonna do Christmas is ruined!" My eyes burnt more trying to hold back the tears. Dad smiled and eased over to me, covered in pines and stray star lights that covered his christmas sweater of the reindeer and snow flakes Mom had knitted earlier. "I-i didn't mean it...wait don't cry!"
"Kasume sweetie it's okay" He smiled. He took the pieces from my hands. "Broken glass is dangerous though..I don't want you hurting yourself on them"
"But I broke it...Christmas is ruined." I stifled my cry. He picked me off my feet and placed me on his leg as he sat on the chair next to Haru who felt too guilty to finish his game.
"Christmas isn't ruined just because of one ornament sweetie..besides who needs a glass angel when I got a real one right here?" He blew into my neck forcing giggles from me. It tickled so much and soon Haru joined in. I couldn't stop laughing. Mom peeked in from the kitchen wearing her famous christmas smile. Smelling like gingerbread and cinnamon putting cups of spiced coco onto the table with a fresh batch of ginger bread snow flake cookies. She also took out a bottle of non alcoholic Passion fruit wine for the dinner table and placed two bottles in a bucket of ice near the table. I wanted to sneak some. It was a hidden joke that you weren't an Aio unless you were addicted to Passion fruit wine.
"But it's snowy outside..we can't get another angel before tomorrow.." I said after we each took a steamy cup. Mom always put butterscotch drops in mine and Haru's. It tasted so sweet that once Dad said winney the pooh would demand his honey back. I told him he would have to get through me to get it. Dad smiled looking at me again after giving me a cookie. "An angel always goes on the top of the tree..always.."
"Well I'm one for change in traditions. How about we make our own? I got clay and an old art oven. what do you say guys? Haru snickered breaking apart the ginger bread.
"We can make it something awesome! like a robot, or a car!"
"Or a Ballerina or Mommy!"
"Or Mommy as a ballerina robot sitting in a car!" I giggled at Haru and finished my cup.
"You're such a dummy" Dad laughed getting up and fetching the clay. We made our stuff, an extra set of ornaments for the Tree. Smiley faces, Mommy, an angel while Haru worked on cars and bells. Dad worked on something in a corner but he didn't let us see.
"I wanna see!"
"It's a secret!" He'd laugh. "If I tell you it wouldn't be a secret anymore would it?" I pouted and stomped back over to my station, looking at him work in the corner by the couch with gold and purple clay. Haru turned to me with a mustache made of clay.
"You dork!" I laughed. "Make one for me too!" We took pictures on Mom's camera and put them into little frames we baked months before. Dad only looked up from his work a few times to laugh at our antics.
An hour later, we had exhuasted all the clay and Dad baked them all while we washed up and helped Mom in the chicken with the roast and dinner rolls.
We finished the tree with our knee additions, mustaches, soft balls, robots, and disguired cars and at the top, rested two bells with a smiley face. Mom and Dad.
"And that's not all you too" He smiled when Haru turned around. I sat in the box with the lid on. He laughed. "Why are you in the box dear?"
"I'm invisible." I whispered. "I'm not here.." I closed the lid completely then shifted to peek out.
"Haru where's your sister" He looked passed me. Haru shrugged his shoulders.
"HONEY i lost our baby!" Panic rolled through me when he started acting sad.
"I'm here, I'm here" I took off the cover. "I'm here I'm not really invisible Papa!" He smiled and held out two tiny arrow ornaments. Green and purple, since Green was my favorite color and Purple was Haru's. Our eyes widened at them when he rested them in our palms. They were heavier than they should have been for their size.
"OOOO" I said. "Arrow!"
Haru turned his over and noticed an scribble on the back. "What does that mean Dad?"
He knelt and smiled at us both. "Cupid's arrow. You know how when CUpid wants you to love someone he shoots an arrow at you and TADA love"
I giggled. "Is that how it was with you and Mommy?"
"Ehhhh, sorta" He smiled. "More like he had to use quite a few arrows on your Mom." He smiled kissing my forehead. "But I'm not waiting for a baby with wings to show I love you two but these are me.I'll do that all on my own but I'm also shooting you two..so that no matter what. I'll always be in your hearts"
"It's a trap to make us love you?" Haru stared his jaw dropping. He winked at Haru.
"Woops but looks like you two fell for it" Haru snickered but I threw my arms around his neck.
"You don't need a trap to make me love you silly." He smiled holding us both close. "I love you Papa!"
"I love you too...both of you" He grinned. "Now why don't you guys put it on the tree" We agreed running over to the tree. Haru hoisted me up to reach the higher brances and I placed the tiny arrow on the branch. It perched perfectly. Spinning it's point in every direction and Haru's rested on the branch beside it.
"Now let's go steal some of Mommy's roast okay"
"YAY!" Haru cheered running across the livingroom and I chased aftEr him.
"Wait for me!"
Every year since his death. I always made sure that ornament was on the tree, even when moving out I wanted to keep it with me but even after all these years I hadn't once looked at the inscription until now.
The symbols were Latin.
It was a spell.
A purity linking spell. I had seen it in one of Jirou's books before. It kept corruption away from the person it was linked too but it was seasonal and needed recharging once a year in a populated area of positive energy to recharge for the rest of the year. They were complex pieces and absolutely forbidden since one of the ingredients was pixie dust and pixies didn't appreciate their lifeless bodies being used in spells anymore than the Guardians liked fighting them whenever there was an issue. They were illegal and Jirou could have gotten in trouble if any Elder had spotted the engravings on the tree.
Haru had lost his moving out and heading to college. This tiny arrow had been keeping the darkness away from my soul, from the curse that plagued my heritage ever since the black magic etched itself into our souls. Our ancestors first discovered black magic and now the generations were cursed because of it. Dad obviously knew what we could become and wanted to change that. Give us our best fighting chance. He wanted us safe. Happy. Free and most of all.
He wanted us to be okay. What about my kids? Had this little arrow been working for Sayuri and the girls? Tears welled my eyes and I jumped feeling a hand on my shoulder. "Honey?" I snapped out of my gaze and looked at Jirou's concerned expression. "Are you okay?"
"Mommy?" Sayuri blinked staring at me while Nori, Naomi and Naoko were building a snowman in the lawn. I smiled kissing her forehead.
"Mommy's okay dear go play with your sisters" She grinned, her breath going out in whisps of fog that disappeared as quickly as they were born. She joined the soon forming snow ball fight that developed. Jirou stared at me.
"Is Mommy okay?" He asked.
Smiling I kissed his cheek. "i just...Christmas always brings back memories..is all..of Dad.." He held me close rubbing my shoulder.
"If you want I can take you to his grave site later this evening..so you could leave the treats you always do.." I rubbed his hand.
"It's okay..I'm okay I was just thinking about something he said is all...I'm going with Mom and Haru tomorrow..we're going to be putting new cynthic flowers for the winter." He kissed the side of my head until a snow ball hit him square in the face.
The girls giggled behind their giant snow ball. Pointing at each other when Jirou looked at them in surprised.
"Guess that means I'll have to make snow balls for all of you then huh?" The girls squealed and ran when he faked a roar and ran after them. Even looking at such a scene my heart still felt heavy looking at the tiny arrow that I now held in my hands.
Had I known I would have taken better care of it. Paid more attention to where I stored it all year round since now the most terrifying thing about the tiny arrow in the palm of my hand.
Was the crack that present all the way through it.
Later that day
The door closed as Jirou stepped into the room. He crawled onto the bed after I kept my back to the door pretending to sleep.What I could savor of it anyway. The nightmares that kept me up at nights were realities I could be facing. How much had that little trinket played a roll in keeping me from being the worse of myself? or "snapping" as Grandfather so kindly put it. Kyrinka's Dad claimed my Grandfather was actually a kind boy growing up. What happened? It terrified me that I could ever become remotely as cruel as him. Murdering his own wife and children? Twice? Jirou took off the lamp on the dressing table and then he wrapped his arms around me pulling the covers up to his shoulders.
"So..are you finished pretending to sleep now?" I shifted a bit. "I know you're not sleeping honey....whenever you're ready to tell me what's wrong..I'm here"
"What makes you think there's something wrong?"
"It was all in your eyes since we got home after picking a tree" He smiled kissing my cheek when I turn around. He had a silly christmas tree and smiley face drawn on his cheek and on his white shirt and dark pants he'd usually wear to bed. "I know when you're upset....plus you sort of refused marshmellow chocolate brownies" I smiled.
"That's a huge teller isn't it?"
"Red flags Love" He nuzzled me. "Red flags.." I always felt safe in his arms. Feeling his chest raise and fall burying my face into his soft shirt. It had been freezing earlier, I hadn't taken my pills or the orange juice companion but in his embrace. It was warmer in them then away. He stroked my hair.
"Did Santa hide the presents so that the tikes can't find them before Christmas?"
"Why yes yes he did" He chuckled. "Magically protected and everything"
"Good" I held onto him. It was still hard to believe the scrawny yet squishy kid I hung out in Middle school. Cried in movies, though he still did that and felt territorial until we decided to share could end up this sexy. He was cute in middle school and the beginning of Highschool but puberty like it did for most Uchihas did good man. Did good. His growth spurt came before mines and he was still the dork I knew just a taller one. Now he was the Dean of his own school. Strong, Protective. Even if I couldn't trust myself I knew I could trust him.
Feeling his abs against my stomach brought up feelings I wanted to push down for the moment. "Do you..do you.." I started tripping over the words before I found them. "Why do you love me?" I still felt sick remembering earlier this year when Jirou took the school camping.
What I did to Misora. How I lied to Jirou during recovery, maybe that's why it was so easy to do it. Why it was so easy to Kill her without hesitation. The charm had been broken.
Was that all there was keeping me from being a killer? A charm? No strength of mine?
"Honey..you know why I love you" He replied running his hand through my hair. "Because you're the sweetest, kindest, funniest person I've ever met. It's impossible not to smile around you, or have fun. It's always been like that for me...even when we were dorky kids in middle school"
"Were?" I chuckled.
"Okay got me there maybe you're a little dorky" He snuggled teasing me.
"I.." I whimpered. "I found something.." He tensed up.
"Something ? "
"A charm..my Dad made two for Haru and I when we were younger" My hand reached for the draw and pulled up the tiny arrow. "We used to put it up for Christmas every year...." He inspected the tiny thing. "It's broken now.....and I just realized that...my Dad didn't just give it to us randomly. Look at the engraving in the arrow" He stared at me confused then focused on the arrow. His eyes widened as I felt my own heart breaking. Tearing in my chest till I couldn't stop crying. "Am I-i even me? is that little arrow what's been making me nice? kind? ..keeping me from being a monster?"
"No no no way" He tried dashing that though from me immediately putting down the arrow. "Magic like this doesn't influence or change who you are. It just"
"Keeps me from being a murderer"
"No honey.....let me give you an example..you know how whenever you used to overwork and never sleep. I used to put a sleeping spell on you? so you would sleep for a few hours?" I pouted a bit.
"It doesn't mean the spell is the only reason you sleep. The spell activates your body's natural instinct in you too sleep. I use it so you don't harm yourself...the arrow is the same way. . Even magic can't create kindness out of thin air. Trust me I tried it on Taro a few times. Same reason why Love potions can't make someone love you if they don't know you. It turns something else into Love. Hate, fear or Happiness. . Think of it as a patch..it reduces your craving for doing things like that by aiding the natural instinct you already have.but it's still your choice. You can still pick up a gun and shoot someone. You can still fight, you're still you. Their your choices. The genes make it harder for you to say no, it's chemical and the arrow helps keeps you balanced." He cupped my cheeks. "The arrow doesn't make you who you are..it gives you the fighting chance your ancestors robbed you off....you're this you Kasume...every bit as kind, caring..beautiful. Every bit of you is still here even when the arrow isn't" His thumbs wiped away the tears.
"W-W-hat if I told you..I-i..did..Kill someone"
"Then I had no doubt in my mind you had a reason. That you had no choice in the situation you were given...but p-please tell me? that way if anything pops up with the guardians I can be better able to protect you" A smile came to my lips. How could I have been blessed with such an amazing guy? I let the markings show up on my skin after a whisper. He jumped a bit startled but then looked at them. Racing across my skin until they reached the palm of my hands. A circular seal appeared. "That's a..."
"L-ion s-seal..y-yeah" I sobbed. "I can't remove it..it's permanent...because it sealed the weapon..I didn't want to tell you because..I was supposed to be acting like I didn't remember the whole Hunters almost made me kill you in high school thing..."
"Why did you lie about remembering?"
"B-because I hated myself for the things I said to you under their control. I made you cry...I broke your heart over and over and then I almost killed you. Even after you were so heart broken...felt so guilty you barely wanted to leave your room because you thought what I said was right...I-i had to..I couldn't bare to let you think that I could have in any way actually consciously said those things...so I played dumb..I tried to assure you that whoever they made me be in that moment was gone."
"D-did you?.." He started. "D-id you mean those things?"
"Absolutely not. Never. Not in a million years" He let out a deep breath. "B-but during the camp..when I told you that a hunter attacked? but they fell in a earth worm cavern?..It was Misora" He froze. "She wanted to kill me...kill the kids..kill you. I pleaded with her to stop but she didn't listen. I knew she wasn't going to. I knew it was either her or me so I killed her. Stabbed her through the skull with my sword....n-no hesitation..nothing..after she swore to me she wasn't going to give up but that's not even the scary part" I didn't realize I was shaking until he held me closer. I couldn't see the lamp through the tears even with his whispered assurances and his embrace. I couldn't stop thinking of the idea of me becoming like my grandfather or like what my mother used to be. It terrified the living shit out of me. It took a while before I finished the sentence "Even If she had given up...stopped..said she wasn't going to chase us anymore..I was still going to kill her..because I wouldn't have been able to take the risk."