Disclaimer: I do not own Kekkaishi.
A/N. Okay, first of all, thank for the review. I'll see if I can write a longer chapter. But, it'll depend on how much free time I have. Anyway, let's continue with the story. Just don't forget to review after reading it.
Chapter 3: Yoshimori's Resolution
It's been three days since Masamori left them.
Shigemori watched his second grandson carefully. The said grandson was sleeping on futon, having a fever. Fortunately, his fever was starting to break. He could still remember clearly what happened after Yoshimori come back home on that rainy day. At first, Shigemori and the rest of family minus Masamori were alarmed when they saw Yoshimori soaked in the rain from head to toe. Not to mention, his forehead was bleeding. However, Yoshimori didn't seem to care about his condition.
Of course, Shuji quickly brought him inside, grabbed towel to dry him and treated his wound. Yoshimori didn't show any response at all as Shuji treated his wound. He didn't cry or make any voice when Shuji accidentally pressed hard the wound. Thinking that it was probably because Yoshimori was too tired or cold, Shuji made a cup of hot chocolate drink for Yoshimori. Again, Yoshimori acted strangely. He didn't touch the cup at all. It was strange because Yoshimori was always crazy with anything to do with sweet and chocolate thing. He never let chance to taste delicious chocolate drink to slip away like that.
Shigemori had to admit he was very worried about Yoshimori. He never saw Yoshimori in subdued state like this. Yoshimori's face was stoic as if nothing happened. However, Shigemori knew better. The boy was suffering and in despair. This didn't sit well with Shigemori. The boy always stayed cheerful no matter what happened. He never let anything upset him. Something terrible must happened to him. For some reasons, Shigemori has a hunch that Masamori had something to do with this.
His hunch became stronger when Shuji asked some questions, "Yoshimori, what had happened? Where is Masamori?"
Yoshimori didn't answer immediately. He just stared at them blankly and then to his cup. It was clear that this nine years old child was thinking how to break the news. Finally, he answered in a voice barely heard by Shigemori and Shuji.
"He abandons us," Yoshimori said in defeated tone.
The two adult looked at each other, unable to understand what Yoshimori said. Yoshimori can't be serious, right? However, from his look, the two adult knew better that he was serious. Still, they wanted further clarification.
"What you mean, Yoshimori?" Shigemori asked.
It was an easy question asked in a nice way by Shigemori. However, something inside Yoshimori snapped. He felt angry, despair, betrayed and helpless. In fact, Yoshimori himself didn't know where these feelings came from. He wasn't sure if he was angry because his Father and Grandpa were too stupid to understand three little words that he said. The sake of god, it was just only three words. Three words, damn it? It was straight forward too. Is it too hard to understand? Don't they understand English?
Then, there was this feeling of despair. He didn't know if it was because of his mother's death or because of Masamori's action. Probably both. These things happened to fast. He still hadn't finish mourning his mother's death. In just one week, he had lost two family members even though Masamori is still alive. This was too much for him to handle. For crying out loud, he was just only nine years old, damn it. Why did he have to face these things?
He too felt betrayed by Masamori. All this time, he always looked up at Masamori, seeing him as a great kekkaishi and amazing big brother. Masamori was always good in everything. He got good great at school, becoming the top student. Not to mention, he knew many awesome kekkai techniques. In short, he was everything that Yoshimori wanted to be. But, now, Yoshimori wasn't sure. Did he want to be like his big brother anymore? A big brother who abandoned his family just to join some unknown organization that god knew whether it was safe or not?
Finally, Yoshimori felt helpless. He was the legitimate successor of this family. And yet, there was nothing he could do. He couldn't save his mother from dying. He couldn't stop his brother from leaving them. What could he do actually? He wanted to do something. Anything that can fix this mess. And yet, there was nothing he can do. Is he really hopeless like Masamori said? Is he really a failure? Yoshimori wished he was strong. If he was strong, his mother won't die. If he was strong, Masamori won't leave them. His family won't be in this state.
Yoshimori was so deep in his thought that he barely heard Shigemori's question, "Yoshimori, what you mean by Masamori abandoned us?"
Unable to hold his emotions, Yoshimori lashed out, "He abandon us. Is it too hard to understand? Masamori abandons us?"
Shigemori and Shuji flinched at Yoshimori's outburst. They never saw him like this. The thing that bothered them the most was Yoshimori was not addressing Masamori as aniki like he used to do. Instead, he called Masamori by his name. Before they could stop him, Yoshimori stormed away from the room and locked himself in his bedroom. Shigemori could swear that he saw a tear at the corner of Yoshimori's eyes. They quickly rushed to Yoshimori's room.
Knocking the room gently, Shuji called out, "Yoshimori, open this door, please. What happened?"
"….." There was no answer.
"Yoshimori, if anything happen, you can talk to us." This time Shigemori tried.
"Go away," Yoshimori said loudly.
Shigemori knocked again, "Yoshimori, what had happened? Please open this door."
"Just go away….," Yoshimori trailed off, "…..please…"
For some reasons, the last word seemed to be a plea. Both adults looked at each other. They never saw Yoshimori like this. Perhaps, it was better to leave him alone to cool down. Maybe he will be more willing to answer their questions, hopefully. As Shigemori turned to leave the room, he could swear that he heard a cry coming from Yoshimori's room. He didn't know how right he was. Yoshimori cried as soon as his father and Grandpa leave. He did try to stop crying but failed miserably. His tears refused to stop. And that was how he spent the rest of night.
Shigemori could still remember clearly how he and Shuji tried to get Yoshimori out from his room. At first, his grandson refused to open the door, saying that he was alright. However, Shigemori knew better. Yoshimori was far from alright. He was just covering it up. After several tries, Yoshimori opened the door. Imagine how shocked Shigemori was when he saw Yoshimori with swollen red eyes. It seemed he had cried for hours which he denied it of course. When asked what had happened, Yoshimori refused to say anything. Whatever happened between Yoshimori and Masamori must be bad.
If that was not enough, Yoshimori had a high fever. Shigemori didn't know whether it was because Yoshimori soaked in the rain or it was because of things that happened recently. Shigemori suspected both. Yoshimori didn't speak much. He just talked when other people talked to him first. He only ate when Shigemori or Shuji told him to. Not to mention, he kept spacing out. It seemed Yoshimori was lost in his little own world. This was not a good sign. However, Shigemori didn't know how to help his grandson. He can't help if his grandson refused to open up to him.
Then, there was another problem with his son in law. Ever since Masamori leave them, Shuji seemed to be more depressed than before. He would suddenly lash out his anger and frustration at Toshimori. At the beginning, it was understandable. Shuji just lost his wife. However, it was starting to get out of control. Shigemori saw twice how Shuji beat up Toshimori just because Toshimori asked some simple questions. Thank god he was there to stop Shuji from beating Toshimori to death. Or else, they might lose another family member.
Of course, he needed to think about Toshimori too. The small child didn't eat and talk too much. In a way, Toshimori's condition was similar to Yoshimori's. However, he was more opened up. Shigemori had a lot of hard time to explain to Toshimori why he will never see Sumiko again. At first, the child was confused and threw a tantrum when Shigemori said Sumiko was dead and will never come back forever. Being a four years old child, it was hard for Toshimori to understand the concept of death. The concept was very foreign to him.
Shigemori sighed. It was very difficult. Shigemori felt he was too old to handle all these things. He didn't have the strength like he used to have. He too was not healthy. He's been coughing a lot nowadays. He knew with his current health, he was not cut to guard Karasumori anymore. Initially, he wanted Masamori to do it. Well, until Yoshimori was able to do it. However, it was not an option anymore since Masamori had left them. Shigemori had an urge to strangle the said teen to death. He then considered his youngest grandson. Toshimori was clearly not a choice. He was too young. In fact, he hadn't begun his training as a kekkaishi yet.
Shigemori obviously cannot ask Shuji about it. Shuji was not even a kekkaishi at all. Sure, he can use charm and spell. In fact, he could beat ayakashi using them. But, Shigemori doubted Shuji will agree after what had happened to Sumiko. Shuji never showed it openly but he never like Sumiko's job as a kekkaishi. It was too dangerous in his opinion and Shigemori didn't bother to change it because it was true. Besides, Shuji still didn't take Sumiko's death too well and had a hard time to deal with it. It didn't help at all when Masamori left. He became more depressed and withdrawal.
So, Shigemori was left with Yoshimori. Yoshimori did have a talent and potential to be a great kekkaishi. Probably better than him, Sumiko and Masamori combined together. But, can Yoshimori pull it off? That child maybe the legitimate successor of this family but he had a weak body. He often got sick and bedridden. Shigemori looked at Yoshimori and sighed again. His family had a lot of problems in their hand. He just hoped they can pull through them especially Yoshimori. With that, he retreated from Yoshimori's room to allow the young child to rest.
Unknown to Shigemori, he was not the only one who was thinking deeply. Yoshimori had done a lot of thinking in the last three days too. He didn't just stay quiet for nothing. Truthfully, Yoshimori didn't know what he should think. He can't think a solution to their current situation. Each time he thought, it will lead him to think 'what if' scenario. What if his mother was alive? What if Masamori was the legitimate successor? What if he was strong? What if he was never exist? Yoshimori shook at this thought. He shouldn't think about bad things. He was supposed to figure out solution. Not to imagine bad things.
But, he couldn't help it. A tiny part of him wanted what he imagined to come true. He often wondered if it was better for the 'what if' scenario to come true. Would it truly better for him to never exist? If he was never existed, Masamori probably will be happier. Masamori didn't have to be angry and deal with him anymore. Then, his mother and Grandpa don't have to be angry at Masamori too. Then, Masamori won't leave them. His family will be happier this way. There will be no more fight. And then, everyone will get along with each other. They will live happily ever after.
If only it was true.
Yoshimori stared at the ceiling. It was midnight now. His fever had completely broken away. However, he couldn't bring himself to sleep no matter how much he was tossing around. So, he decided to go to kitchen to have a drink. Maybe it will help him to go to sleep. He passed his Grandpa's room. He could hear cough coming from the room. Yoshimori made a mental note to ask his father to bring Grandpa to clinic or hospital. He didn't care if Grandpa hated hospital with passion. His cough was getting worse and worse. They cannot let it continued to happen.
Next, Yoshimori passed his father's room. The room's door barely opened with small slit. Yoshimori peeped through the slit. He saw his father was looking at his mother picture. He father wore a sad and depressed look on his face. Yoshimori knew how much his father loved his mother. It must be hard for his father to accept her death. Deciding it was better not to disturb, he proceeded his way to the kitchen. However, he was stopped by a sob coming from Toshimori's room. He peeped into Toshimori's room. Toshimori was indeed crying although he tried as hard as he can to stop crying.
Yoshimori suddenly had an urge to comfort Toshimori. He didn't know where this urge came from. Maybe the way Toshimori cried reminded him how he cried when Masamori betrayed him. Maybe it was brother's instinct. Yoshimori didn't know. However, Yoshimori knew one thing for sure. He needed to comfort Toshimori. He cannot leave Toshimori like that just like how…..Masamori leave him. He opened the slide door, causing Toshimori to be aware of his presence.
"Yo – Yoshi-nii, what ….sob…..are you….sob….doing here?" Toshimori asked in his sob.
"It's nothing. I just come to check you out," Yoshimori cuddled Toshimori. "What had happened? Did you have a bad dream?"
Toshimori nodded slightly, "Yeah, I had a bad dream. There's this monster tries to kill me."
"Don't worry. Nothing happens. It's just a dream and besides, I'm right here," Yoshimori said which made Toshimori felt comfortable and smiled.
Toshimori then looked at Yoshimori's eyes and asked, "Yoshi-nii, are we going to be okay?"
Yoshimori was taken aback by the question, "Why you ask such question?"
"I – I don't know. Masa-nii is not here….," Yoshimori winced at this. "…..and then Grandpa suddenly collapsed…" Toshimori's next words made Yoshimori shocked
"Wait, what you mean by Grandpa collapsed?" Yoshimori asked in worried tone. He never knew Grandpa collapsed until now.
Toshimori just nodded, "Uh – huh, Grandpa suddenly collapsed yesterday. But, the doctor said he was okay and probably too tired or something like that." Before Yoshimori could finish processing this new information, Toshimori continued, "Then, Father acts strangely too. He gets too moody and sometimes beats me up when I ask some question. But, Grandpa saved me. He said Father did that because Father was too sad with Mother's death."
Toshimori then showed the bruises and cuts he received. Yoshimori was shocked. How could he miss something like this? How could he don't know Grandpa collapsed? How could he don't notice Toshimori's injuries? How could he was so oblivious to his father's pain? Yoshimori felt very angry at himself. He should notice them. They were all happened under his nose and yet he didn't notice them. He wanted to yell Toshimori for not telling him these things immediately.
But then again, he was too busy with himself. He was so absorbed with his problems and 'little world' that he didn't bother to check everyone else. Yoshimori knew this well and was ashamed of himself. He should ask how everyone was and whether they were okay or not. He shouldn't just make an assumption that everyone was okay. In a way, Yoshimori felt he was acting like Masamori. Selfish and ignorance to other people. Well, that's going to change.
"Look after the family when I'm gone."
Yoshimori suddenly remembered his promise to his mother. That's right. He had to look after his family when Mother's gone. He had made this promise and he didn't have intention to break it. He will make his mother, no, his entire family proud of him. He will be the greatest kekkaishi in the whole world. He will not allow anyone get hurt like his mother again. He will protect everyone.
With new resolution, Yoshimori said firmly, "Its okay. Everything will be okay. I promise. Now, go get some sleep."
"Really," Toshimori's eyes lit up.
Toshimori just nodded and went to sleep. He felt safe now. For some reasons, he knew his Yoshi-nii will keep his promise. It didn't take a long time for him to fall sleep. Yoshimori smiled warmly at this. His thought wandered to his conversation with Toshimori.
"Everything will be okay."
Everything will be okay.
It had to be okay.
He will make sure of it.
Because he is Yoshimori Sumimura, the legitimate successor of Sumimura family.