It was only yesterday that Yahiko had given me my father's reversed edge sword. That battle we had…it enlightened me to why Yahiko won.

If it were down to skill, we might even. Maybe I even have an edge over Yahiko. I had inherited my father's speed, as they all said. If it boils down to experience, of course Yahiko would have the edge on that. But I don't think it's skill or experience.

Yahiko's eyes. They were different as he swung down that sword. I had seen those pair of eyes once in my life long ago, a very long time ago. I could still remember it though, that day.

"Have you forgotten what day it is today, Yahiko? It's your Genpuku."

Yahiko that battle, but he won otherwise. Dad handed him the sword, the sword that he had been carrying for fifteen years that it is as if it were already part of my father's body.

My shoulder felt that thrust of the sword so heavily that it hurts until now. But something hurts even more, something that I don't think Megumi-san will be able to cure.

"Kenji, are you there?"

Yahiko's voice, though very near, feel very distant. I could barely trace from what room he was calling out. I don't really care. It was not as if I would respond to that call.

He brought me back here to be with my mother and for that I am grateful. I love my mother very much. I might not admit it, or show it but I also care for my father. After all, without him, I wouldn't even be here right now. Yahiko, he keeps telling me of my mother and father's love. It's because…

"Kenji." The slide door opened. Yahiko stood before me. "Your mother would wake up soon. Come now so you would be beside her when she does." Yahiko smiled. "After all, you're still her little boy even though you might not be little anymore."

Yahiko left after that. I stood up and dusted off the dirt on my pants.

I glanced sideways to look at my father's sword one last time before I left the room.

That swing that beat me was not from the sword as Yahiko told me. It was something else. It was from the heart, Yahiko's heart. Yahiko, he knows my parents' love because he had felt them for so many years being with them, training with them, fighting alongside them. Yahiko…he could swing with that passion because he has seen what I could only hear. He has been through many incidents with my parents, and spent time with my father more than I did my entire life.

I open the sliding door to my mother's bedroom and watch her breathe heavily as she lay on the futon. Yahiko sat beside her. His eyes are soft and worried, filled with much concern.

"Kenji, she's about to wake up."

I closed my eyes for a moment. That final blow that made Yahiko win the battle wasn't because of skill or experience. It was because he had my parents' passion burning inside of him, something I try to attain but I cannot. I don't understand my father. He wants other people to suffer less and makes his family suffer more.

But Mom understands that…and so does Yahiko.


Yahiko removed the cloth on Mom's forehead and replaced it with a cleaner one. I felt that hurt again. Not because of the injury of my shoulder, but because of the brokenness of my heart. Maybe it's because...

Just maybe it's because…

I am indeed Mom and Dad's little boy.

But…Yahiko…he is their son.