By Treasure

Chapter XVIII


Short Note: Apologizing for giving Karasu-Tengu's children different names as I've realized I didn't know their names.

Rikuo had slept for more than eighteen hours. The bruises were turning purple as an aubergine but his fever had subsided. It was tough on his young human form to receive that jab on his jaw, another one on his ribs that rocked his wind pipe, plus the kicks he received out of malice.

His mom cried when she saw Rikuo. Even though she had seen him once or twice with more than a few scratches before, she did not cry because she knew that it was the Third Heir who was doing the battle, a fight for a cause. But now, in his human form, he's still a boy. Why he would suffer so much, what they got into, she asked?

She's also worried for the ice maiden. Why is she still missing?

Rikuo was a bit disoriented when he opened his eyes. He relaxed a bit when he recognized his room, but alarm came back when he remembered "Tsurara! . . . . where are you, Yuki-onna?" He was almost shouting out her name. He quickly sat up but throbbing pains sent him lying again.

"Riko-sama!" Zen came as if flying inside the young master's room. "Please be calm, your bruises will hurt again."

"Help me, Zen. I need to check on Tsurara."

"You really need to lie back. No need to worry, parties were sent out to look for her. They'll be back in no time." Zen assured him.

"She's still haven't been found? No! I need to be out there looking for her!"

"But your body is in no condition to do anything other than lying down." Zen was lecturing the third heir when a bit of commotion can be heard further from Rikuo's room. Zen called out to one attending yokai and sent it to find out what's happening.

The one eyed yokai came back after a few minutes later and reported back to Zen and Rikuo. "Rikuo-sama, Zen-sama the Tengu's had brought back Yuki-onna.

"Zen let me see her!" Rikuo ordered while he was clutching his ribs.

"No Rikuo-sama; I told you to stay put. You would only hurt yourself if you don't heed my words. I'll attend to her and report back to you as soon as I can.

Rikuo would insist but the bruises are really painful and the medicine Zen gave him, had made him drowsy.

"Where did you find her?" Zen asked the Tengu's while he gets her pulse and examining her face, arms and abdomen for bruises with the help of Kejoro, (Tsura was still in her human form) as he deemed that the Yuki-onna might suffer the same bruises as the young master.

"She was left behind in one of the warehouse rows, five kilometres outside Yukioe town." The bespectacled crow answered. "Any internal injuries?" he asked the yokai healer back.

"Nothing I could see or sense. I think they use one or two forms of drug on her. Chloroform maybe; a chemical popular to humans to subdue another." Zen theorizes.

"Kejoro, please attend to her, and kindly apply this balm on her wrists and ankles. The ropes must have stung too much."

"Yes. I'll clean her up. But what about the insect bites? Have you anything for them?"

"Yes, I do have something for them too; though they are in my bag in Rikuo-sama's room, I'll send them to you a bit later."

"Er . . . . . . Hajime, any news about those human shenanigans who had done this?" Kejoro couldn't help enquiring.

"That part of the warehouse rows were empty or not in use for quite some time as we have gathered from some wandering yokais. But we will go back there tonight and make rounds a few days after as the perpetrators usually go back to the scene of their crime." T he golden haired tengu explained.

"Thank you. Now I can start dressing Tsurara's wounds, so gentlemen if you're kind enough to leave the room?" Kejoro herd them out of their room.

"Oh poor Tsurara, that must had been hard for you. We don't know exactly what happened, for you not to be able to use your power, and to be abandoned and be bitten by insects for too long . . . . "Kejoro pitied the ice maiden while cleaning her wound with such care.

"I suggest that we sent master Rikuo to a modern day dojo to learn Karate, Aikido and Jujitsu. Let his friends see him study those self-defence techniques so they won't wonder how he can defend himself." One of the clan senior suggests.

"We could just send him to Toono to train and tell his friends, when they ask, that he's out to practice Karate." Gyuki suggest another option.

"Or we could add a few more bodyguards for master Rikuo. In and out of schoo.l" Said another one.

"Or we should replace Yuki-onna as Rikuo's head bodyguard, as she seems to be incapacitated to fulfil her duties." Hitotsu, the one eyed elder informed them.

The Supreme Commander did not comment on their suggestions right away, merely touching his chin, pondering on the various suggestions made, each has a valid point, but none outweigh the other. "Thank you for all the valuable inputs you had given, I shall think them over and have the final decision by dinner time."

Rikuo felt less pain after a few more hours of sleep. He seated himself and was waiting for someone to come in his room, and after a while that no one was coming, he could sense that the creatures at the mansion thought that he's still sound asleep. He decided that this is the time to see Yuki-onna.

He slipped on his haori and moved gently as he can, out of the room. He used part of his "fear" to camouflage his presence in the hallway. He sensed an even breathing emanating from the girl's room, he was comforted by that, but the next scene made him grit his teeth, he saw that even the yuki-onna was sleeping peacefully, the rope marks on her hand were quite deep, her smooth cheek is looking purplish and her red lips are now pale and chaffed.

He decided that there are matters that he must take into his own hands. Not waiting for Zen to find out that his patient has gone missing, the third heir leap in the air and transformed in his night form even before he landed outside the mansion. No he would not kill those evil few, but he could play with them, mess up their minds, bash them a bit and round them for the local police. He would give them more than a dose of their own medicine. Only after that he can say in Tsurara's face, they've got what they deserve.

A/N- thank you so much for following my story. Small notes really fuel my enthusiasm. Feel free to comment. ^_^