After changing out of her dress and bandaging the boy, the aunt sat her niece down.
"Akira, who is this boy?" Akira squirmed in her seat. Seeing the girl's hesitance in answering, her aunt became even more enraged.
"Sakamoto Akira, answer me right now!"
"I don't know! But I'm sure he's not as dangerous as you think." she mumbled embarrassedly.
"You don't know? You don't know?!" her aunt yelled. "You brought a man you don't know back to our house and have the nerve to not feel ashamed? What if he's a serial killer? Or a monster? How do you know he's not dangerous when you found him in a pool of blood?!"
It wasn't that the woman didn't want to take care of this boy, but she was already scared enough for her niece's safety, especially since she was the woman's last relative. She stared daggers at her niece while Akira squirmed in her seat. Serves her right to disobey her. Their family was originally from Japan, hence Akira's origin of name. In Edo, Akira's whole family used to be medical practitioners, which was why they were fairly wealthy. But when people in their city began disappearing for no reason, the family started to suspect something. They tried their best to avoid the talk about monsters and brushed them off as wild rumors. But one day when Akira and her aunt came back home from picking herbs, gruesome machines appeared in front of their house and shot Akira's brother and uncle. Since her mother died when she was ten and her father when she was seven, only Akira and her aunt remained. The whole city was dangerous after then, and the only way they survived was by traveling to Italy with a few other broken up families. The journey took them two whole months on sea and carriages to arrive to the town of Troy with barely enough money to buy bread. But Akira's aunt began helping the local pharmacy, which in turn took the two vagrants in and gave them a small house as compensation.
"Oh goodness, he's bleeding so much." Akira's aunt muttered to herself. Because Kanda's wounds were so deep, blood constantly oozed out from the bandages causing a risk for infection. Although Akira witnessed most of his smaller injuries heal, there was still a large one across the middle of his abdomen. It's been one week since he became unconscious. And until now, the only signs which proved that he wasn't dead was his heavy, labored breathing and an occasional whisper that sounded like 'Alma...'. Although Akira wasn't sure, but she believed that to be the name of the girl she saw that day. She knew what she saw was abnormal as the lady and the child appeared from nowhere and vanished into thin air. She couldn't hear what the lady was saying, but she did hear a soft voice whispering. To Akira, the woman's words sounded indistinguishable, not like any language she's ever heard, but when the long-haired boy stopped his movements and stared intently at the woman, Akira knew only he could understand her.
It was a sunny day when Akira just came back from fetching a pitch of water from the nearby well. Her aunt was working in the pharmacy, which left only her and the unconscious boy at home. After she re-bandaged and took care of his wounds, she went into the kitchen to retrieve more towels. Setting the bowl of warm water with towels near his bed, she sat on the edge of the mattress and began wiping the sweat on his forehead. She couldn't help but admire how beautiful this man was. From the bridge of his nose, his thick eyelashes, to his smooth skin, he was simply flawless. Just as she was about to brush the hair out of his eyes, he gasped gently and fluttered his eyes open.
"Y-you're awake!" He furrowed his brows in confusion. He couldn't remember where he was or why he was there. And he found it even more confusing as to why this girl seemed so familiar.
"D-do you need anything?" He squinted his eyes as the light through the windows were blinding.
"Water..."He hoarsely said.
Akira helped him into a sitting position before pouring a cup of water from the nightstand. He swallowed so desperately that he began choking.
"Careful..." Akira lightly patted his back. It was then when he remembered.
"Who are you?" He asked. Only to follow with a round of violent coughs. Akira squatted down next to him and gently patted his back.
He remembered her touch. And seeing how his wounds were bandaged, he guessed she must have taken care of him.
Akira noticed their closeness and suddenly stood up.
"Did you know how much blood you lost? You were almost dead. In fact, you were dead. What did you do to get yourself beaten up so badly? Wait no actually, who was it that did this to you?"
She didn't get a reply.
"Where is this?" he asked. His voice was surprisingly deep but gentle.
They returned to being silent. She was just about to leave when she heard him speak again.
"Kanda." She looked at him questioningly, not understanding what he meant.
"My name is Kanda." He added. She was surprised to hear this. If that were his real name, then that would mean he'd also be Japanese.
"How about your first name?" This time, the boy just turned his head in the other direction, ignoring her question.
"Well, Kanda." She emphasized. "Did you also come to take refuge here?"
He nodded slightly. It wasn't necessarily lying that he answered in such a way, because the moyashi did bring him there to hide from the order.
She went into the small kitchen which was connected to the living room Kanda now slept in. And because their house was so small, none of the rooms had any doors to them, which was why Kanda could see her silhouette whilst she was cooking.
With his meal ready, she stepped into the guest room to find Kanda buttoning up the shirt she gave him and about to leave.
"Where do you think you're going?" She blocked his path to the front door.
Only now did she realize how intimidating his height was since she had to crane her neck to look directly into his eyes. They simply stared at each other for what felt like a decade before he broke off the eye contact and sat back down on the makeshift bed.
"Che." He scowled.
In all honestly, Kanda didn't know where he was going either. Neither the order nor any other branch would happily welcome him back with open arms, and just the thought of seeing Komui was distasteful. Once he went back into the war, he most likely wouldn't escape it until it ended or he died.
Akira breathed a sigh of relief seeing that the Japanese boy sat back down. She set the steaming bowl in front of him, "It's okay if you d-don't want stay, b-but at least wait until your wounds are fully healed and then leave." She mumbled shyly, feeling out of her place for ordering him.
He sat seiza on the floor and began eating. He gazed sideways towards the girl as she was still staring at him. Noticing her rudeness, she stumbled back into the kitchen.
Akira peeked slowly from the doorframe. She was staring at him so intently that she began to drool, and it wasn't because of the noodles.
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