A/N Yes, we're back, dear friends. Sorry for not updating for too long, If you could only know how much we wanted to update a new chapter, but work is work and it devours lots of our free time T.T We are very glad that we managed to write this chapter and now ready to show it to you.
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Now, as we promised, we will answer the reviews we received for the 6th chapter. You may find our answers for the reviews for Chapter 5 at the page with Chapter 6, that has already been beta-read and edited ^.^ ''
Thank you very much for your attention, guys! You are awesome!
abiecula thank you very much for reading! We are very happy that you like our story! Please, stay tuned and soon you will know the main idea of the story ^.^ Please, enjoy the next chapter~
The Silent Cartographeresse wow! Thank you very much for your hyper-mode review! We really appreciate it! ^.^ To answer your question about Saito's name…well his name is Hajime and his family name is Saito. By the way, we like the name Hajime, It sounds good hehe. We know that the story is confusing right now, but we assure you that soon you will find out the main idea. So, please, stay tuned and continue reading! We will be very glad to see you in the next chapter's review block! ^o^ Oh, and thank you for your advise about adding some flashbacks. We will consider it in the next chapters. ^.~
xXKimiko SakakiXx oh, thank you very much for your review! We love Saito/Chizuru pairing too! Please, stay tuned and soon you will find the answers to your questions!
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Through the Worlds to You
The next day at noon he heard a tiny knock on the door of his cabinet.
"Come in," the young man replied, never leaving his eyes from the document on the screen.
"Saito-senpai," Chizuru stepped in the cabinet Saito was working at. He looked up from the monitor of his laptop and placed his light-blue eyes on the girl. She seemed to be uncomfortable judging by her uneasy expression.
And she really was… and the reason was very simple. The moment she walked in the cabinet, she saw him sitting at the wooden table, wearing simple yet very elegant spectacles on his nose. The young man's face was as concentrated as always and those spectacles made him look even more unique, adding some special features to his natural handsomeness. Suddenly Chizuru felt her cheeks getting warmer and that fact didn't make her any happier. She scolded herself mentally for daring to think about her host in such a freely way.
"I… wanted to ask you for advice, Saito-senpai," she said uncertainly, closing the door behind her and looking down to hide her red face from his sight. The girl shut her eyes for a moment and made a deep inhale to calm down a little, still scolding herself for her secret thoughts.
The young man gestured her to sit at the working table he was currently sitting at himself. She did as she was offered.
"Does anything bother you, Yukimura-san?" Hajime asked politely, taking off his steel-rimmed spectacles.
"I didn't know that you wear glasses…they…they really suit you," the girl smiled shyly. Her innocent remark made the man's cheeks colour light-pink.
"I use them only when I work," he tried to sound indifferent, but, actually, he felt a little flattered that she liked his style. "So, what did you want to ask, Yukimura-san?"
"-Oh," her face clouded as she remembered the true reason of her visit. "Osen-san has called me today to remind me about the dinner on Thursday. I was in the library at that moment and couldn't talk, so I have to call her and give her my answer".
He listened to her attentively, placing his elbows on the table and laying his chin on his crossed fingers.
"I…don't feel like I did something splendid to be treated so highly, that's why, Saito-senpai," she gazed at him with her sad chocolate eyes, "I thought that maybe you could give me a piece of advice? What should I do? Should I go there or should I decline the offer?"
"I am not an adviser, Yukimura-san," he said evenly, looking at her with his examining azure eyes, "if I were you, I would not go there, but you have to decide it yourself whether you want to join the dinner or not".
Chizuru nodded her head in comprehension.
"I don't feel like going there, but I don't want to look rude in Osen-san's eyes either".
He sighed and laid his crossed hands on the table, averting his gaze from her.
"Then, it seems, you have already made up your mind".
"I am very sorry for disturbing you with my problems, Saito-senpai!" Chizuru hurried to beg for forgiveness.
Her childlike exclamation brought a light, almost invisible, smile to his lips.
"No, it is alright. I am glad I could help you".
"You helped me a lot! Thank you very much!" She stood up and bowed to the young man with a gentle smile on her lips. "I'll be going than. I will meet you in the dining room in an hour".
"Yes," was all he answered.
Hajime watched thoughtfully as she turned to leave, but before she could open the door his voice interrupted her intentions.
"Yukimura-san," the tall man stood up from the chair and walked to her form. His sudden way of action made her heart beat as fast as a little bird's and she had no clue why. "You have an ancient katana. I saw it yesterday, when I came to ascertain you at night."
After hearing his last words Chizuru's eyes widened in terror.
"You were in my room last night…" she uttered almost soundlessly, but he still heard it.
"Yes, I heard you screaming and decided to check-up your safety. But it turned out that you were having a nightmare and…"
She didn't hear his explanations anymore, because it wasn't necessary to know the rest of the story. Her face got bright red and she pressed her palms to her hot cheeks, hiding her face from his gaze in shame. It was awfully embarrassing! She wasn't even married to be having a man in her private room!
"So, it wasn't a dream!"
"Eh? A dream?" now it was Saito's turn to get surprised. "What dream?"
Chizuru looked up at him very slowly only to see total bewilderment on his face. It was a rarity to see Saito-senpai standing in astonishment like that. But how could she tell him that she was dreaming of him last night? In her nightmare he came and saved her from that dark shadow with red eyes that was hunting after her during her sleep. And now…it turned out to be truth. Her respected host really did come and hugged her, trying to sooth her last night. So, that meant that she wasn't dreaming when she felt his warm embrace and heard his calming voice. Could her shame get even worse than that? She didn't know what to do now; she could feel his inquiring gaze on her as if he was asking for explanations. What could she say?
"I…I am very grateful to you, Saito-senpai," the words got stuck in her throat and didn't want to come out. Chizuru swallowed hard and tried to continue, "for taking care of me last night. I had a nightmare and a scary one, so..emmm… thank you for helping me out," while saying those words, the girl didn't look at him but at her fingers, which she started to play with the moment he asked her about that dream.
"Actually, I did nothing…" by the way he said it, Chizuru could hear that he was embarrassed too. It was such an awkward situation and neither he nor she did know how to behave.
Saito was a sober-minded young man. He realized that he made a huge mistake by bringing up the last night's incident in Yukimura's room. The least he could do now was to smooth the sharp ends in their relations. And he could do it by changing the topic of their conversation, in sphere of which he had a great success.
"Yukimura-san, how long do you have that katana?" his composed and content voice broke the unbearable silence. Chizuru looked up at him a little surprised by his sudden question and then answered:
"Since I remember myself," she said casually, blinking several times in puzzlement. "Why do you ask, Saito-senpai?"
"It seems, that you treasure it, Yukimura-san," the young man's lips showed a shadow of smile.
Chizuru thought for a moment before she began to speak again:
"I don't really remember when I get it. My family seems to have had it for a long time, but I can't say for sure whose it was before. I know it may sound strange, but I feel like there is some kind of bond between the katana and me. I feel calmer when I hold it, and it always chases my fears away".
Saito listened to her story very attentively, and still he couldn't understand why there were two absolutely identical blades. Well, he couldn't tell for certain that they were 100 per cent identical, since it was dark in the room and he had no chance to examine the girl's katana more properly, but as far as he noticed, they were very much alike and had the same stamp. The train of his musing thoughts was interrupted by the maiden's melodic voice:
"I…I think I should be going right now. See you later, Saito-senpai. And thank you very much for your help!"
Her uneasy smile couldn't go past his sharp eyes.
"You're welcome. By the way, I haven't told you yet," Hajime's voice got a little more serious, "I have to leave for a couple of days. They need me as my family's representative, so I will be absent till Thursday's evening".
Chizuru's face fell a little when she heard the unexpected news.
"Oh, and when are you leaving, Saito-senpai?" she asked trying to sound cheerfully, but failed, since her voice betrayed her, giving out her disappointment.
"Today at 8 p.m." was his sharp reply.
"A-alright then, I won't disturb you any longer. I will see you at the dinner. Arigato for your help again, Saito-senpai," she sent him a gentle smile and walked out of the cabinet, leaving the young man standing there alone.
Something was strange. He could feel it but couldn't explain it. Yukimura Chizuru…
…everything that concerned that girl was a mystery…
Another sphere Hajime Saito was good at was solving such mysteries.
Thursday had changed Wednesday, but the time flew by very slowly without Saito-san. Chizuru caught herself on the thought that it was very lonely without her land-lord around. She realized that she missed him a lot. She couldn't say that they were close friends, no, she respected him deeply and was very glad that she got a chance to know such interesting and educated person as Saito-senpai. Chizuru noted that when she returned home, she had to thank Nagakura-sensei for this meaningful encounter in her life. But still it felt lonely without Saito-senpai. The girl missed their conversations and small debates, their talks about philosophy and fate. Chizuru tried to replace those lonesome feelings with studying, but in the end her mind got defeated with the thoughts of her senpai.
"When did I get so attached to him?" the girl kept asking herself. "Soon, I will leave Kyoto and return home". But the mere thought of leaving her handsome blue-eyed host's house was causing real torture to the girl's gentle soul. She had never felt that way before and couldn't give a name to those strange emotions. What exactly was the reason of her depression: a forthcoming separation with her senpai or her leaving the ancient capital of Japan? Yukimura sighed in defeat. She didn't know the answer to that question.
Chizuru looked up at the clock on the wall. She had to hurry up if she didn't want to be late for the evening. A couple of hours later the girl was ready for the event. She was so nervous about the dinner that she was going to share with people of high society. You couldn't say that Chizuru didn't know how to behave around the cream of society. Her father was a famous scientist after all and sometimes she had to accompany him to different conferences and cultural evenings. She could make a good first impression of herself, but the problem was that she didn't like showing herself in a public. She better stayed at home and read a historical book than joining some dinner with rich and influential people.
The girl made a long and heavy sigh, looking at her reflection in a mirror. She wore a modest but very elegant silky dress of dove-white colour, there were shoes on average heels on her feet and a small purse in her hands, which was the same light-pink colour as her necklace and shoes. Her hair was taken in a high pony-tail, decorated with a beautiful sparkling hair-clip. She was ready to go, her inner voice was telling her not to though, but Chizuru tried to ignore that voice. She didn't want to upset Osen-san with her absence.
When the girl was about to exit the house, she heard a familiar voice.
"Have a nice pastime, Yukimura-dono," said the butler.
"Oh," Chizuru turned around to face the brown-haired man. "Thank you, Yamazaki-san, I will try to return by 9 p.m. Please, tell Saito-senpai not to wait for me for the dinner," she said with a smile.
"I will," Yamazaki answered with a bow.
"Arigato. So, I will be going then," she made several steps towards the door, but before leaving the room she heard the butler's voice again.
"The car is already waiting for you."
"Oh, really? Thank you".
And indeed, a black Rolls-Royce was parked by the gates and was ready to take her to the place, where the event of the evening would be held.
30 minutes later she crossed the threshold of an expensive restaurant that was located in the area Chizuru hadn't been to yet, but still she knew that that area of the city was very old and lots of rich people lived and ran their business there.
She was met by a broad-shouldered man with long red hair, taken in a low pony-tail.
"Good evening, Yukimura-san. My name is Amagiri and I'm the owner of this restaurant. It's my pleasure to have you as an important guest here," the man said politely and showed her the way with his hand. "Please, follow me".
"Arigato," was all Chizuru could utter due to unexpectedness she was currently feeling.
Amagiri-san took her to the 3d floor—the highest floor of the building—and led her to the dining hall with a big table in the middle that was already served. There was no one in the dining hall, only a single man who was standing by a giant aquarium with his back facing the newcomers.
Suspicion and a very bad feeling sneaked into Chizuru's heart as she noticed the colour of that man's hair. It was pure blond. And all her fears proved the moment her escort addressed himself to the man.
"Kazama-sama, Yukimura-san has arrived".
Chizuru's pupils dilated in silent panic. She didn't know why she was afraid of the blond, but she just did. She watched as the man dressed in a traditional white yukata, embroidered with golden pattern, turned to face them gracefully and made several steps forward.
"Thank you, Amagiri-san. You may be free for now," Kazama said powerfully, shifting his gaze to the fragile girl, which looked very tensed and hesitant. His lips curved into a sly smirk.
"Have a nice dinner," the red-haired man said with a bow and left the dining hall.
The moment they stayed alone, Chikage gestured Chizuru to take her seat at the table. He pulled a chair for her gallantly, but she didn't hurry to take the invitation.
"Where is Osen-san?" was her serious and firm question, she felt like her stomach got frozen in fear though.
The blond stayed motionless, still offering her to sit.
"I asked you a question," her voice sounded firm and confident but it needed a great effort from her side to force it sound like that.
"You are really brave enough to speak with me this way," he said finally, straitening himself and sending her a mysterious yet mesmerizing gaze of his dark-ruby eyes. "Let's say that Sen couldn't make it for today's dinner. An important meeting required her personal presence that's why she had to leave for Osaka today. So, maybe you will take your seat now?"
Of course he didn't tell her that it was him, who had sent Sen and her parents to attend that important meeting. Sen didn't want to go, referring that she had to share a dinner with Chizuru, but Kazama was sly enough to lie to her, telling her that he had already called Yukimura and canceled the dinner. But in reality it wasn't canceled.
It was just a trap for dear Chizuru.
Chizuru looked around and didn't see anyone else in the dining hall. She swallowed hard and looked him in the eyes.
"If Osen-san isn't here, then I have no reason to stay here any longer. Excuse me," with those words she turned to leave, and even managed to make several steps towards the door, but a sudden pain in her arm made her stop on her tracks and cry out loud.
Kazama grabbed her by the forearm roughly and tightened his grip. He pressed the girl's body to his and hissed warningly.
"You won't leave this place until we talk".
With those words he threw her on the chair, which slipped backwards under the weight of her body and force. Silent terror was written on her paled face as she watched the man's approach.
"Now, dear Chizuru," he started, his eyes as sharp as katana, "don't try to pretend that you don't remember anything."
The girl looked up at him uncomprehendingly.
"What do I have to remember?" she asked finally, sending him a surprised gaze.
"About us. You and me."
Chizuru's eyes widened in shock after hearing that statement.
"What are you talking about? I see you for the second time in my life!"
Chikage walked closer to her and grabbed her by the chin, forcing the girl to look straight into his ruby eyes.
"Don't try to fool me. Don't even dare to tell me that you don't remember about burying your husband and those apology for friends," when he mentioned those people his face turned awry , "about asking me to give you 3 days to do it and then you would come with me? I kept my promise, Chizuru, and gave you the needed time, but you…" his grip on her chin tightened as his eyes started to glow with dangerous flames, "you decided to get rid of me by jumping off that cliff. You preferred death instead of becoming my mate! And when I was trying to save you, something strange happened: I lost my power and skills! And my next meeting with you occurred in that weakling's house". He paused for a moment to make a deep inhale and then asked the girl in a smooth, a little pained tone. "What happened to us, Chizuru? What did separate us and make us forget about each other?"
He let go off her chin roughly and made several steps backwards. Her face expressed fear and confusion, while her eyes were widened in disbelieve.
"I don't know what you are talking about. It can't be true!" she cried, shaking her head as if it could help her to forget his words. "Everything you've said doesn't make any sense!"
"What did you do, Chizuru?" he continued his questions, not paying attention to her complains. "How did you manage to send us to this place? Now I don't know where we are and, more importantly, who we are."
Kazama took a knife from the table and lifted a white sleeve on his arm only to cut his skin with a sharp blade of the knife. His wrist covered with crimson liquid that started to drop on the floor.
"Do you see it?" he said showing his injured wrist to her. "It continues bleeding, when it has to heal immediately! We were not humans, Chizuru. Neither you, nor me. But after your attempt of killing yourself I turned into a mere human".
"I don't believe you!" she exclaimed, dropping her lost gaze on her knees. "Not a single word of yours..."
An insane laugh filled the air in the hall.
"You recalled everything, don't you?" the man came closer and lifted her face by the chin one again, but this time in a gentle way. "You can't run away from me, Chizuru. He is dead. You have nowhere to go. That snotnose Saito is not your killed husband and he will never love you like Saito of Shinsengumi did," his voice was quite and hypnotically calm, yet it still sounded like he was ordering her to obey. "You may try to live in illusion, but in reality you will always know that you lie to yourself. Let's return to the world where we belong together. You know how to do it, don't you?"
Those last words were said in a whisper in her very ear. His hot breath on her skin sent shivers down her spine. His hand lay on her cheek and started to caress it tenderly, while his other hand found her pony-tail and released the girl's luxury hair from its bondage, letting it fall on her shoulders and back. Chizuru sat like paralyzed. She felt his proximity, his touches, his breath but couldn't make a move. Only when he showed his face before hers again, she managed to look up at him.
"You are even more beautiful with your hair down," Chikage said with a self-satisfied smirk. "That pathetic copy of Saito will never treasure you the way you deserve to be. He may have identical appearance with your dead husband, but he is absolutely another person. You are mine, Chizuru, and you have always been. The destiny itself wants us to be together."
Those words made a sobering effect on her shattered mind. She sent him a gaze full of disgust and announced boldly:
"I don't belong to anyone, so, leave me alone! And I don't believe all that nonsense you've told. I am going home! Back off!" she cried desperately, standing up from the chair and heading towards the door, passing his form.
"You may go now, but you do understand, Chizuru, that you don't have a home to go," Chikage threw those last words, filled with irony, at her back. "I won't stop you now, but I won't let you escape this time either."
Those words of his sounded like a doom to Chizuru. She bit her lower lip in anguish and ran out of the dining hall, leaving the smirking blond behind.
He would let her go now….but he didn't plan to wait for too long.
They needed to return to their world and he would definitely find the way to do it no matter what.
Chikage took out his cell phone and dialed a number of his personal security.
"Watch after her, but don't reveal yourselves. Make sure she will get to the place safe and sound".
He was sure that today she remembered everything. He read it in the depth of her eyes.
So, this is the end of 7th chapter. Wow… we did it. So, what do you think, guys? Please, tell us about your impressions in your reviews! ^.^ Arigato for reading!