"I saw Kousaka last night." Naoe started after Chiaki and Haruie came back in. "He is once again determined to find a way to release Shingen from Yuzuru."
"Kousaka came and you didn't tell me!?" Takaya said angrily. "Where was I!?
"You were asleep." Naoe said. "I didn't have the heart to wake you, especially after you had such a long battle.
"Geez Naoe I am not some baby."
"Except when you act like one." Chiaki said under his breath.
"Enough you two let Naoe continue." Haruie said rolling her eyes. Chiaki and Takaya got along okay, but Chiaki was none to fond of Kagetora for the way he treated people.
"That's really about it." Naoe said. "I have a feeling we have to keep a closer eye on Yuzuru. Have you two felt any strange presences lately?
"A little bit, but I will pay closer attention now after what you told me."
"It would probably be a good idea to guard Mandueka as well as the school." Chiaki said. "No doubt those will be the first places Kousaka and Shingen will try to control since those seem to carry the spirits of many that have passed."
"That might not be a bad idea." Naoe said. "However, we must not let our guard down. This city is teeming with Shingen's guards. He turned to Takaya.
"Since you have close ties to Yuzuru, it would be easier if you guarded him." Naoe said. "You can protect him better."
"Definitely." Takaya said. "Though I don't know how his parents will take it. They return in a few days and they usually don't like people hanging around for too long."
"That is true." Naoe said. The less people knew about their lives the better. Naoe thought for a bit.
"Well, there is another solution." He finally said. "Since obviously we can't tell Yuzuru's family about what's happening, but we need to protect him maybe he should stay at my place. I have an apartment here in the city."
"I thought you worked outside of town!" Takaya said.
"I work just about everywhere my lord. The temple I own is in a remote area anyway, not many visitors. So I work with another temple here in Matsumoto in conjunction with my office job as well."
Naoe was a man of many talents. He was the renaissance career man as anyone would put it. He was a good man in business and a spiritual one when it came to being a monk. While many people would crack under so much responsibility, Naoe enjoyed it. It helped him get his mind of Lord Kagetora.
"And how you going to pull this one off?" Takaya asked. "You know his parents are tight asses."
Naoe again thought for a moment.
"I will hire Yuzuru as an aide." Naoe said. "Since it is summer vacation, he can give me a hand in the temple and at the office. After all he is will be applying for university soon and they like to see students have a work history on the applications. I am sure it wouldn't be too hard to convince his parents about that and they do know me well enough to be trusted with their son."
"That's true." He said. "They are pretty strapped on money to be sending him anyway. I figured once we graduated Yuzuru and I would get jobs or do community college or something."
"Provided you even graduate my dear Takaya." Haruie said. "You're grades are something to be desired."
"Watch it." Takaya growled. "Just because I don't like to be there a lot doesn't mean I am not going graduate, just watch me!"
"We'll discuss your grades later." Naoe said. "But as of right now the plan is set. Once Yuzuru gets well, he will come and stay with me. Meanwhile the three of you will keep watch on any strange behavior happening in the city, agreed?"
"Got it." Haruie said.
"Agreed." Chiaki said.
"Ya sure whatever!"
"I agree too." A hoarse voice said. They all turned to see Yuzuru looking at them. He was still flush with fever but had heard everything they had said.
"Yuzuru!" Takaya said sitting by his friend. "How are you feeling bud?"
"Been better." Yuzuru said. "Hopefully it goes away soon."
"This should be the last day of the bad flu symptoms kiddo." Haruie said. "By tomorrow you should be feeling better."
"But I agree with what you all said." He said. "I don't want this Lord Shingen to cause anymore trouble. Just because I house his spirit doesn't mean he has control of me. I still want to be a normal guy no matter what."
"Shingen is quite a strong warlord." Naoe said as he placed a cool compress on Yuzuru's head. "But you have been stronger. We are trying to find a way for him to leave your body without harming you, but it's practically impossible. But you have been doing everything right to keep him at bay. You should be proud of yourself."
"Yeah Yuzuru." Chiaki said. "You've been doing really well now. Just keep it up and we'll take care of the rest."
"And I will be happy to help you in your temple and office Naoe." Yuzuru said. "It will be a nice change of pace."
"I'm very glad to hear that." Naoe said with a smile to the teen. Takaya just stared.
"See he's already trying to get to your best friend." Lord Kagetora whispered. "Bet he would kill Yuzuru in a second if you were in danger."
"Will you shut up already?" Takaya thought. "Go gripe somewhere else. I'm not letting you take control of me in front of Yuzuru, got that? And if by any chance in hell you do, you will be kind to Yuzuru, you will act exactly like me. None of your bullshit. He doesn't need to listen to some jerk with a grudge."
"Hmmph." Kagetora said.
"And while we are on the subject of best friends, I am sure Naoe was yours once in a blue moon. Instead of acting like a brat, why don't you think back to the days before Minako, I am sure Naoe saved your ass once in awhile."
"I will not answer to that."
"Of course you won't." Takaya smirked. "Because all you can think about is you."
"Hey Takaya, you okay?"
Takaya turned to see Chiaki staring at him through his wide glasses.
"Yeah I am fine." Takaya said quietly. He looked over to Yuzuru who was right now being gently held up in Naoe's arms as Haruie propped up a pillow. He then laid Yuzuru back down and handed him his tea.
"It's cold now since its been sitting, but the herbs in it will still be good." Naoe said. "They will help ease your symptoms a little."
"Thank you Naoe." Yuzuru said.
Naoe then handed him two little pills.
"Flu medicine." He said. "I'm the kind of monk who believes in mixing modern medicine with ancient."
Everyone in the room chuckled. Everyone but Takaya. He was still brewing over how Kagetora was being, but he was also trying to fight a fluttering in his heart. Naoe knew that Takaya saw Yuzuru like a brother and it was heart warming to see Naoe treat Yuzuru kindly. If Kagetora would only open his eyes and see the other side of Naoe, maybe he wouldn't be such a jerk.
But then again, maybe Takaya didn't want Kagetora to see that side.